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Causal Analysis: Parochial School Advantage

2158 words - 9 pages

Catholic schools and other private religious schools across America are facing huge financial challenges in today’s economy, resulting in the closure of many schools in the past fifty years (Mullane, 2012). Even Chesaning’s local Catholic school, Our Lady, was forced to close its doors. Yet, according to the U.S. Department of Education (2012), as of the 2009-10 school year, 33,366 parochial schools in the United States are thriving and continuing to produce arguably some of the best students. Why are some parents still willing to pay the high tuition necessary to keep their children enrolled in parochial schools? These parents, along with the religious educators, see a number of advantages for the students who attend their institutions. A number of factors, including the moral portion of the students’ education, contribute to the overall superior education of parochial students.
Test results show that there must be something that puts parochial schools above the rest since there test scores definitely show their superiority.
A 2009 comparison between public and Catholic school SAT scores show that public school students had an overall average of 496 points on the critical reading portion of the test while Catholic school students scored 533 points on the same portion. Catholic school students outscored their public school counterparts by an average of 23 points, (Riha, 2011).
This source comes from Fox News and although it is often found that they are a politically charged organization, the statistics cannot be made up. With higher SAT scores, parochial school students are given an advantage in getting accepted into elite colleges, (Wenglinsky, 2007).
What makes parochial schools have such great educational quality? Their characteristics have a great deal to do with it. While parochial schools teach the same subject matter that public schools do, they provide students with test-taking skills that help them further their education, (Wenglinsky, 2007). These skills help to improve the students’ grades, their problem solving skills, and their chances on getting into the college of their choice. Furthermore, parochial schools have, “a curriculum that really focuses on teaching basic skills and an atmosphere that demands respect for authority and self-discipline,” (Gisler & Eberts, 2012). These quotes emphasize that parochial schools provide more than just education to students. According to research done by Jones (2012), 6 in 10 say parochial schools or charter schools provide a quality education, while far fewer say that about…public schools. Even parents and the public know that parochial schools provide an education with a little something extra that is totally worthwhile.
What is a relief to parents is that, “Religious private schooling reduces involvement in the most consequential risky behaviors such as teen sexual activity, arrests, and use of hard drugs (cocaine),” (Figlio & Ludwig, 2012). Gisler and Eberts (2012) say that parochial...

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