Examining the Distribution of Social Capital across School Sectors: Does it Explain Sector Differences in High School Achievement?

Yoonkyung Oh, University of Wisconsin at Madison

While a number of studies have found sector differences in student achievement, most of them used data collected decades ago. Employing data from more recent cohorts of students (ELS:2002), this study examines how attending Catholic, public, or other private schools makes a difference in student achievement and whether sector effects on student achievement can be attributable to the sector differences in school social capital, measured as parent school involvement. The preliminary findings from the HLM analysis show that Catholic schools and other private schools produce significantly more learning than public schools and a substantial portion of those sector effects is mediated by the differences in the distribution of social capital across school sectors.

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Presented in Poster Session 2