VATICAN CITY — A quantitative analysis of over one million students by a professor/researcher indicates that low income- and minority- students benefit the most from attending Christian schools. William Jeynes, a Harvard graduate and Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, shared the results of a meta-analysis, that indicated that the racial and economic achievement gap is on average 25% narrower in Christian schools than it is in public schools. A meta-analysis is a quantitative study that numerically summarizes the overall body of research.
Dr. Jeynes states that given that Christian schools are very adept at reaching the underprivileged, federal and state governments ought to implement test programs in school choice. Jeynes believes that test programs are most appropriate in perhaps 15-20 cities across the United States to determine if school choice in beneficial, before spending millions of dollars on reform initiatives based on school choice. By inaugurating these programs, low income students and other pupils can have an enhanced opportunity to raise academic achievement and also eschew gangs and the pushing of illegal drugs that are often common in public schools. Jeynes’ meta-analysis indicated that “students in the lowest-SES quartile generally benefitted the most academically from attending Christian schools, followed by students from the second lowest socioeconomic quartile, etc. Among the four socioeconomic quartiles, pupils from the highest socioeconomic quartile benefitted the least from attending Christian schools.” Similarly, Jeynes added, “African American and Latino students gained more from attending faith-based schools more than members of other ethic groups.”
Dr. Jeynes is careful to give a caveat that in spite of the findings of his studies, “The Christian community should be cautious about the degree to which they welcome government involvement in private education via school choice.” He agreed with Pope Francis who also spoke at the same Vatican City conference and declared that governments around the world were forcing Christian schools to adopt more of a secular ideology. Dr. Jeynes and Pope Francis also agree that in recent years governments around the world have pushed their agendas on schools and parents, causing substantial rifts between families, schools, and the communities in which they live.
Dr. Jeynes asserts that if these results are taken seriously, American education can make a comeback.