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Public Data on Private Schools

The Washington Post has a story today about “a little-known database on the Department of Education’s Web site” — the Private School Universe Survey (PSS):

Private schools have a reputation for being, well, private. Private about their size, private about their students, private about rates of college-bound students.

The information on their Web sites, which is sometimes meager, and the material that a pesky parent can wrangle from an admissions director sometimes seem to be all that is available to interested families.

But a little-known database on the Department of Education’s Web site has a surprisingly comprehensive profile of the nation’s private schools.

The Private School Universe Survey, part of the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, is a biennial roundup of private schools with information on enrollment, demographics, college attendance rates and number of days in the school year.

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