Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Faith, family shown to lessen 'achievement gap' between white, minority students (OneNewsNow.com)

Posted at One News Now.
A study released today shows that faith and family play a major role in bridging the achievement gap in education between minority students and white students, and that minority and low-income children perform better in religious schools than they do in public schools.

For years, researchers have claimed that biological differences in intelligence are responsible for the achievement gap that exists between white students and their African-American and Latino counterparts. But William Jeynes, a professor of education at California State University, Long Beach says that belief is not only inaccurate, but also misguided.

Jeynes says according to his study, stable families, coupled with strong religious faith, enable minority youth to achieve at the same levels as white students. And he says the study proves that more tax dollars will not solve the achievement gap.

"I think this reflects the orientation of our culture to a large degree where there are a lot of people out there who think that money is the solution to things," he shares, "and that is not the end-all." Jaynes points out that the amount of government money spent per student in 1962 compared with this year has tripled, but achievement tests are actually lower.

The researcher says his study also shows that minority students at religious schools perform better academically than do their counterparts at public schools because of better race relations and more emphasis on family and faith.

"This is a real source of strength for a lot of children of color," says Jeynes, "and I think that it's something that we've really overlooked in the public schools. In fact, it's unfortunate and sad really that a lot of public schools look down on people of faith and discourage expressions of faith."

Professor Jeynes will release details of the study at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Interesting results in this study. I'll look forward to reading the detailed results when they are published.

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