Monday, April 23, 2007

Student improvement and Religion

Here's a story in the Waco Trib about a study which shows that minority and low income students' academic performance is positively influenced by the religiousness of the student's family and their presence in a private, religious school.

The study's author said that the academic success of these students at private schools has to do with parental involvement, the school culture, and the encouragement of religious commitment. The majority of private school in the study's data set where Christian. So just maybe Christianity doesn't result in complete and total backwardness in its faithful.

The study also found that private schools have greater racial harmony. Now one reason for this could very well be that private schools have a more homogeneous racial complexion, but many public schools are homogeneous as well. I think a better reason for this finding is that all students are at the school voluntarily and (more importantly) they share some common cultural characteristics. So what is seen in many public schools may not be racially based conflict, but instead a conflict of cultures or maybe even a conflict of visions in one sense.

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