School Sector and Student Outcomes

Paperback / softback
Differences in students' performance across different school sectors - specifically, public, private religious, and private nonreligious schools - has long been an important topic in the sociology of education. In recent years, debate over the merits of each sector has increased between advocates and critics of school choice, as exemplified by current struggles over educational vouchers and their ramifications for public policy and politics. What has been lacking in this debate, however, has been a theoretically grounded empirical analysis of the factors that affect student success across sectors. School Sector and Students Outcomes offers such an assessment. By presenting a set of methodologically rigorous empirical studies, the volume provides a viable basis for comparisons across sectors on such dimensions as school organization, governance, curriculum, and pedagogy in U.S. elementary and secondary schools. Carefully reasoned conceptual analyses identify the source of sector differences, trace the evolution of the dual school system in the U.S., and describe the mechanisms that link school sector to school processes. The volume amply documents how sector differences operate and what the consequences are for student learning and behavior. Of intrinsic interest to administrators and scholars in education and the sociology of education, this volume should stimulate new research and help educators improve both public and private schools.