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Findings of a study that examined the impact of parent involvement on student performance in Catholic and public schools are presented in this paper. Methodology involved regression analysis of the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88) database, which contains information on 1,035 schools (802 public and 233 private schools) and findings of a survey and series of standardized tests administered to 24,599 eighth-graders. First, in terms of external involvement, Catholic parents were much more involved than their non-Catholic counterparts. However, Catholic parents and public school parents did not interact differently in the home. Second, a strong verbal relationship between parent and child was an important factor of student academic performance in both public and Catholic schools. Parental regulation of children's extracurricular activities appeared to contribute to improved achievement for public school children, but not for Catholic students. Finally, increased parent involvement in Catholic school activities appeared to facilitate improvements in the performance of all students in the school. The findings suggest that there may be some measurable differences in the climate of public schools compared with Catholic schools and in the association of climate with performance. Much of the differences appeared to be related to the ways parents interact with their children outside the home, in the context of the school and community. Three tables and an appendix containing 12 statistical tables are included. (LMI)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Catholic Schools, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, Family Environment, Family School Relationship, Parent Child Relationship, Parent Influence, Parent Participation, Parent Role, Public Schools, Regression (Statistics)

Autor: Muller, Chandra


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