Author: Hallinan, Maureen T., & Kubitschek, Warren N.

Title: A Comparison of Academic Achievement and Adherence to the Common School Ideal in Public and Catholic School

University Affiliation: University of Notre Dame


Research Question: 1) Does the academic advantage that was observed in Catholic high schools more than two decades ago continue to hold for contemporary students in Catholic middle schools? 2) How closely do difference school sectors adhere to the common school ideal?

Published: Yes

Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation: Sociology of Education

Journal Entry: Volume 85 Issue 1 Pp.1-22

Year: 2012


1) While there are no drastic differences between achievement gains as a result of school sector classification (save for instances in which public school students are predicted to perform better than their Catholic school counterparts at low levels of school poverty), school poverty contributes to differences in achievement gains. For the interaction effect between school poverty and school sector, eighth graders attending public schools with no poverty attain the highest reading scores. On the flip side, eighth grades students attending public schools where all students qualify for free or reduced lunch have the lowest scores.

2) The effects of poverty are not as clear in Catholic schools. In a surprising result, eighth grades students in Catholic schools with more than 90% poverty not only have higher predicted test scores than their public school counterparts (also at schools with more than 90% poverty), but they also have higher predicted test scores than students in Catholic schools were 65-90% of students in poverty.

Scholarship Type Journal Article Empirical Research

Keywords: Academic Achievement, Private Schools, Public Schools, Residential Segregation, SES Composition

Regions Midwest

Methodologies: Quantitative

Research Designs: Mathematical models

Method of Analysis: Multilevel Models

Sampling Frame: 6th and 8th grade students in public and Catholic private schools in Chicago, IL

Sample Types: Population

Unit of Analysis: Individual, School

Data Types: Quantitative-Cross Sectional

Data Description:

Data for this study was taken from the Chicago School Study. This dataset includes information on sixth and eighth grade public school students in Chicago, IL in the year 2001 as well as information on sixth and eighth grade Catholic school students in Chicago, IL in the year 2004. On the whole, the dataset provides information for 65% of the public school student population and 80% of the Catholic school student population.

Student standardized test scores were also collected from public school records as well as scores from a special achievement test that was administered in the absences of test scores available for Catholic schools.

DV: Achievement Gains over a single school year on the administered and standardized tests for reading and math scores

IV: Student Level variables including race, SES, previous achievement on achievement gains, age, two psychological measures (mastery and safety), two behavior measures (homework and misbehavior), gender. School level variables include school sector and school poverty


Entry Created at: 2013-07-25 01:37:42 UTC
Last Update: 2016-09-10 01:13:11 UTC