The Life-Altering Metrics We Should Be Paying Attention To
So, you've had your child enrolled in a private Christian school for a few months, years, or more than a decade. What's the end result?
A new report from the American Enterprise Institute has discovered positive outcomes with the "Protestant family work ethic" in relation to students attending Christian schools. While much of educational research is conducted around test scores and achievement, this particular study compares the impact of Protestant, Catholic, secular private, and public school education on marriage, divorce, and children born out of wedlock. The data set also controls for categories of race and income.
I encourage you to read the entire report. Here's one summary statement:
How do the moral communities of each type of school influence family formation once their attendees leave?
Our findings on this question were mixed, with some results validating previous research and other results that came as a surprise. Religious schooling—and particularly Protestant schooling—is associated with higher rates of stable marriage, lower rates of divorce, and lower rates of out-of-wedlock births, even after controlling for key aspects of respondents’ backgrounds. Furthermore, adults who grew up in financially insecure households and who attended Protestant schools seem to experience better marital outcomes. The ideals that students encountered in Protestant schools appear to compensate for a lack of economic resources when it comes to their own marital and child-bearing decisions.
That's a wonderful confirmation to the work the Protestant school and family are doing to model Christ and navigate life through a Biblical worldview. Of course, there are always going to be exceptions to these data points, and no educational system can guarantee the outcomes of a moral and virtuous life.
At Eugene Christian School, it is important to note that developing a Kingdom leader is more than a catch-phrase; it is the daily investment parents, teachers, and staff are making so a child begins to embody His teachings and to partner with God to bring His goodness into their relationships and communities. Certainly, God doesn't need our data or evidence to back this up, as we know one of the greatest things God gets out of our lives is the kind of person we become. Be encouraged that Christian education has and will continue to make an impact.
So, thank you Christian school teachers, staff, and families for loving children through difficult times and modeling the "hope of the nations" (Matthew 12:21). For me, these research findings confirm my own experience: following Jesus Christ is still the greatest opportunity of our lifetime.