Monday, January 25, 2010

Study: Homeschoolers Dramatically Outperform Gov't-Schooled Kids

Homeschooled students are performing academically far above students incarcerated in government schools.

How much better? Homeschoolers, on average, scored a startling 37 percentile points above government school students on standardized achievement tests.

That's the finding of a recent study conducted by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute.

The homeschool national average ranged from the 84th percentile for Language, Math, and Social Studies to the 89th percentile for Reading, compared to the average scores of 50 percentile points for government-schooled children.

"Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics" is the first major study of homeschooling results in ten years, and it is the most comprehensive study of homeschool academic achievement ever. It surveyed 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states (and Guam and Puerto Rico) for the 2007-08 academic school year.

The study's findings of academic superiority for homeschoolers are consistent with previous studies on homeschool academic achievement.

And there's more good news for homeschoolers. Government school students are plagued by achievement gaps related to the students' gender and the education and income levels of their parents. But such achievement gaps were not found in the homeschooled students surveyed.


* Homeschooled boys and girls scored equally well.

* The income level of parents did not appreciably affect test scores.

* While parent education level did have some small impact, even children whose parents did not have college degrees scored in the 83rd percentile, far above the average for public school students. Homeschooled children whose parents both had college degrees scored in the 90th percentile.

Further, whether or not parents were teacher-certified had no impact on scores. Nor did it make any difference whether a student lived in a state where homeschooling was heavily regulated or not.

The difference in cost is amazing, too. Government schools spend, on average, nearly $10,000 per child per year. The average homeschool parent spends about... $500 per child per year.

There are an estimated 1.5 to 2 million homeschooled children in the U.S. today, which is about 4% of the school-aged population.

Homeschooling is growing at around 7% per year. With results like these, it's no wonder.

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