Catholic Grade Schools and Academic Achievement
The effect of a Catholic grade school education on the test scores of non-Hispanic whites is examined. Particular attention is given to the issue of selection into the Catholic grade school sector. It is shown that eight years in a Catholic grade school is associated with higher vocabulary, mathematics, and reading test scores. No Catholic grade school effect is found on science test scores. Further, it is shown that there is not positive selection into the Catholic school sector. Thus, higher test scores cannot be attributed to selecting superior students. It is also shown that the positive Catholic schooling effect is driven by non-Catholics who attend Catholic grade schools. Once non-Catholics in Catholic schools are eliminated from the sample, the Catholic school effect becomes zero. Data from the third follow-up survey of the High School and Beyond 1980 Sophomore Cohort are used.
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