Advantages of Faith-Based Schools

[Content featured post on ACSTO’s ‘News & Updates’ blog on 05/07/13.
Click for blog link here.]

0e1841929_school-choice-whiteboardIf you are reading this post, you most likely agree that private schools can beat out the competition any day. However, it’s helpful to know that research consistently proves it to be a fact, and not just an opinion.

Dr. William Jeynes, Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, and Professor of Education at California State University, undertook this study and is well-known for his meta-analytic research on a variety of topics. This study combined the findings from 90 different sources and was published in issue 3, volume 87 of the scholarly Peabody Journal of Education. This is all to say that this is a very respectable source!

Of the three main school types – traditional public, charter, and private religious – the results show that private religious education is associated with the highest levels of academic achievement.

During this past decade, there has been a trend toward expanding charter school options.  But to Dr. Jeynes surprise, according to his conversation with the Council for American Private Education, “students from charter schools did no better than their counterparts in traditional public schools. To the extent that neither traditional public schools nor charter schools are succeeding on a broad scale, it appears that the best hope for American education is religious private schools. Not only are they considerably more economically efficient, but their students obtain better results.” [emphasis added]

In conclusion, Dr. Jeynes asserts that “faith-based schools contribute something vital to the academic well-being of millions of American students” and “educators would be wise to investigate the possibility of expanding school choice programs to include the private sector.” This is good news because even though we already have school choice options for private schooling in Arizona, such as our tax credit scholarship program, it still has its limitations. There are still thousands of families who would make the switch to private Christian education if they were only given a chance. If educators and legislators could only see the benefits of equal opportunity in education, they would give private school funding even more leeway, allowing even more families to be able to afford the proven benefits of faith-based schooling.

For more school choice and private schooling support, check out our School Choice Research page on our website. This page, in addition to our blog, will provide you with everything you need to stay up-to-date on the school choice debate.


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