"School Sector and Student Outcomes is an important work for policy makers and social scientists alike. This research is critically important for anyone concerned with educational policy and the academic future of our children." —Teresa A. Sullivan, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, The University of Michigan
"Providing original contributions to our understanding of school sectors, this volume will be of great interest to sociologists of education and scholars and students in education, history, and political science." —George Farkas, Pennsylvania State University
Variations 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 Student 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 issues 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.