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Monday, 14th May 2007

Civics Exam: Schools of choice boost civic values

Civics Exam: Schools of choice boost civic values
Source: Hoover Institution
From press release:

Schools of choice, both private and public, often do a better job of boosting civic values among their students than assigned public schools, according to a new study in the forthcoming issue of Education Next (summer 2007). In a meta-analysis of 21 quantitative studies, the University of Arkansas’s Patrick J. Wolf found that schools of choice tended to fare better at steeping their students in seven civic values necessary for democratic citizenship: political tolerance, voluntarism, political knowledge, political participation, social capital, civic skills, and patriotism.

A majority of the 59 findings from the 21 studies suggest that the effect of private schooling or school choice on civic values (as compared to traditional public schools) is, if not neutral, then mostly positive. Among the more rigorous studies more than half of the 23 findings (52 percent) show school choice or private schooling as having statistically significant positive effects on civic values; 10 findings show a neutral effect. Only one finding showed traditional public schooling arrangements to be better at enhancing civic values. (Rigorous studies are those that control for selection bias in addition to differences in student backgrounds in the various schools.)


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