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Unlocking the secret: Why there are fewer student dropouts in Catholic schools than in public schools

Rebecca Lynn Krahl, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Though most students complete their educational journey, some choose to leave school early and drop out before graduation from high school. The focus of this study is to determine if the school organization and the people most engaged in the educational process of students influence some students to drop out of school in both public and Catholic schools. Prior research has demonstrated that in the United States, Catholic schools consistently have fewer student dropouts than public schools. What is different within Catholic school walls than public schools and are students in Catholic school dissimilar to students in public schools that give Catholic school fewer dropouts? A U.S. Department of Education data set containing approximately 25,000 students, their school administrators, and parents was used in this study. This data set surveyed each of these groups when the student was in eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades in both public and Catholic schools all across the United States. Applying logit regression to ascertain the odds of students dropping out of school, examined was the school administrators, parents, ^ and students. The results suggest that parental involvement is the foremost motivation as to why students drop out of school. Not that parents in Catholic schools are more engaged in their children's education, but parental involvement did matter as to why fewer students drop out of Catholic schools than public schools. A unified model containing all significant variables from each of the three subjects; students, parents, and school administrators, indicated that school classification no longer had an impact on students dropping out of school. What school, public or Catholic the student attended did not matter; the student who is likely to drop out of school will probably drop out of school. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Political Science, General

Recommended Citation

Krahl, Rebecca Lynn, "Unlocking the secret: Why there are fewer student dropouts in Catholic schools than in public schools" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3034382.