The Bush administration has more reasons to rail against the New York Times (unfairly, I believe) because they are reporting about a recent independent study that the administration would rathar have us not hear about. The study, coined the Nation's Report Card commissioned by the Bush administration's education department has been peer reviewed for a year and was released by the department on Friday (the best time of the week to bury news) without an announcement or a news conference.
The study shows that on average that 'after adjusting for selected student characteristics', kids in private schools don't do as well as kids in public schools and that those unlucky enough to be in conservative Christian schools do significantly worse. This makes some sense to me since so much of the school year is 'wasted' on religious instruction. The report cautions that the report is only a snapshot in time of a small subset of students (4th and 8th grade performance at 7000 public schools and 530 private schools), and it does show that kids in Lutheran schools generally did fare better than those in public schools. The portion of the study dealing with charter schools was not released, which suggests there might be some good news for charter schools coming next week (and not on a Friday) or that the news for them is even more dismal.