Do private schools guarantee scholastic and professional success for their students? Many believe they do. What about charter schools or Montessori schools for that matter? You can immediately dismiss public schools as far as many people's opinions are concerned. However, most students will obtain their education from the America public school system. The opinions on American schools vary as much as there are people to give them, but one thing is for certain. There is an exception for every rule that an expert might make, and where there is an exception, there is always hope that our students have a chance at success.
This article will only skim the surface of the ocean of data, research, and studies that pertain to the American educational system, but hopefully, it will also whet your appetite for further research so that you broaden your perspective about the education situation in America.
Firstly, it is true that the American test scores in comparison to other developed countries are declining, and our students understanding of math and the sciences is no longer the best as it once was. There are many factors that play crucial roles in these findings. These include but are not limited to: home life, socio-economic association, parental involvement, classroom climate, teacher quality, the conflicting federal, state, and municipal school board regulations and standards, student motivation, and of course the type of school. Let's look at the last factor.
By the numbers, student performance by school type constantly changes, depending on the sample group and the duration measured. However, these findings were verified by the most trying standard of all: the dollar. Many tech companies have been forced to hire outside of America due to the lack of qualified American applicants. You can bet that for the pay these companies are offering, qualified Americans would fill these positions if there were enough. Here are a few cross sections that bespeak state of American education.
· On average, charter schools perform about the same or worse than public schools, according to a Stanford University study in 2009. To boot, only 1 in 5 charter schools outperform public schools.
· The Center on Education Policy found in 2007 that neither private school students nor public school students with similar backgrounds were more likely to attend college. In addition, low-income students attending public high schools performed just as well academically as low-income students attending private high schools.
· In 2006, the NAEP found that despite the "advantaged" populations that attend private and charter schools, public schools score exceptionally well and many times outscore private and charter schools. 
There are two documentaries that really bring the whole American school system into question. First is A Private Universe, in which filmmakers queried Harvard graduates how the seasons work. Surprisingly, they produced the same misconceived explanations that jr. highers gave. The second is more recent, Waiting for Superman. This documentary takes to task the teachers' unions like the AFT and holds them responsible for encumbering the current education system to the point of retardation. In any case, these are worth watching.