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A Meta-Analysis on the Effects and Contributions of Public, Public Charter, and Religious Schools on Student Outcomes

Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87, No. 3

William H. Jeynes, California State University at Long Beach


An extensive meta-analysis, including 90 studies, was undertaken on the effects of religious private schools, charter schools, and public schools. The study explores the relationship between each of these school types and student outcomes. Additional analyses were done to determine the strengths and weaknesses of these institutions in a broad sense. The results indicate that attending private religious schools is associated with the highest level of academic achievement among the three school types, even when sophisticated controls are used to adjust for socioeconomic status. Students from public charter schools, however, performed no better than their counterparts in other public schools. Supplementary analyses indicate several ways that educators from religious and public schools can learn from one another.


William Jeynes is a Professor of Education at California State University-Long Beach and a Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the leading meta-analytic researcher in the country on issues of faith and family. He has been a sought after consultant and speaker for both the US and South Korean governments, including the White House. He was the chief architect of South Korea’s economic and education stimulus package that enabled it to emerge from the Asian economic crisis of 1998, the continent’s greatest economic crisis since World War II. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago.