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The Cardus Education Survey

The Cardus Education Survey seeks to examine the school-sector effect in the lives of a nationally representative sample of high school graduates, aged 24 to 39. By school sector, we mean religious independent schools, non-religious independent schools, and public/government schools.

To date, the Survey has been administered three times in the United States, in 2011, 2014, and 2018; three times in Canada, in 2012, 2016, and 2018; and once in Australia, in 2018.

The number of graduates who were surveyed ranged from 1,327 (Canada 2016 survey) to 4,913 (Australia 2018 survey).

On this page you will find links to each report we have produced, in chronological order, along with a quick summary of key findings.

Research

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Press Release

America Needs a New Attitude Toward Public Education

Think tank releases new report on the contribution private schools make to the public good       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          October 9, 2019 WASHINGTON D.C. – America is ripe for a more inclusive definition of public education, a new report from public policy think tank Cardus finds. Based on a decade’s worth of research, Rethinking Public Education: Including All Schools that Contribute to the Public Good, argues that private schools contribute to public education in tangible and measurable ways. “All education is public education when it contributes to the public good,” says Ray Pennings, Executive Vice President of Cardus and report co-author. “A modern, inclusive, and pluralistic public education system would take those contributions into account and include all types of school – public and private.” Rethinking Public Education: Including All Schools that Contribute to the Public Good is based on the Cardus Education Survey (CES) – one of the most significant measures of private school outcomes as compared against public school outcomes. Pennings presented the findings in Washington D.C. during an October 8 panel discussion moderated by Anne Snyder, editor-in-chief of Comment Magazine. The key findings of the latest CES include:Evangelical Protestant schools in the United States tend to produce graduates who are at least as civically engaged as their public school counterparts and are generous in charitable giving. Catholic school graduates are more likely than your average American public schooler to have a greater proportion of friends of a different race and ethnicity. Non-religious private school graduates are more likely than public schoolers to donate to charity and to volunteer in health care, arts and culture, and political and international causes.“Sixteen percent of American education is delivered through schools that are Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, charter, non-religious, and homeschools,” says Pennings. “Some of the most progressive countries in the world, like Finland and the Netherlands, provide some level of public funding for such private schools. America should open up to a new way of thinking about education and school funding.” Marisa Cassagrande, a Cardus researcher, and Dr. David Sikkink, associate professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, co-authored Rethinking Public Education: Including All Schools that Contribute to the Public Good with Pennings. -30- MEDIA INQUIRIES Daniel Proussalidis Cardus – Director of Communications 613-241-4500 x508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca

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Press Release

Can Education Help End America’s Culture War?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 4, 2019 As Americans tire of toxic political rhetoric and a decades long culture war, have state and national leaders tapped into education’s full potential? A new paper from think tank Cardus suggests leaders need to take a broader view of schooling in order to take full advantage of what education can offer. “Non-government, and especially religious, schools are often considered damaging to social cohesion,” write authors Marisa Casagrande and Ray Pennings in Religious Schools: Seedbeds of Civic Virtue in the Culture War? “This report challenges that assumption. Relying on outcome-based data from several surveys of adults who graduated from religious schools … we argue that the value of religious schools for creating civic virtue has been underappreciated.” The paper references the Cardus Education Survey of 2014, a representative sample of 1,500 American high school graduates between the ages of 24 and 39. Among its findings, it shows that attending an independent or religious school is associated with a long-term positive influence on civic measures and outcomes.  Graduates of religious schools especially stand out in terms of giving and volunteering – two pro-social behaviours standing in contrast to today’s often bitter public discourse. Graduates from Protestant schools are much more likely to go on a social service trip and to donate money or goods to an important cause or organization. Catholic school grads are the most consistently positive on giving and volunteering, showing a higher likelihood of volunteering outside their congregation and donating to charity.  In other pro-social behaviours, such as political interest, trust in organizations, and an obligation to participate in civic affairs, religious independent school graduates largely match the levels of engagement of public school graduates. In brief, state and national leaders could find allies for pluralism and civility by taking a more welcoming view toward independent religious schools. “At their best, religious schools and other religious spaces can offer valuable communities of practice where particular dispositions of tolerance, humility, and patience can be formed,” write Casagrande and Pennings. Recent Barna Research data collected in partnership with Cardus show that American church leaders, parents, and schools also aren’t speaking to one another enough on these matters either. More than half of non-mainline Protestant (56%) and four in 10 Catholic clergy say they haven’t addressed the topic of school choice even once in the last year. In both cases, fewer than half of church leaders say parents even asked about it. “Church leaders, parents, and educators are missing the opportunity to bring religious schools into the conversation about building a unified, pluralistic American society,” says Pennings. “If political leaders also recognized the value of these schools, it would help tame America’s culture war.” Download Religious Schools: Seedbeds of Civic Virtue in the Culture War? from the Cardus website. -30- MEDIA INQUIRIES Daniel Proussalidis Cardus - Director of Communications 613-241-4500 x508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca

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Press Release

Cardus Welcomes Paul Bates and David Sikkink as Senior Fellows

185 Young Street Hamilton, ON L8N 1V9 Tel: 905.528.8866 Fax: 905.528.9433 info@cardus.ca www.cardus.caCARDUS WELCOMES PAUL BATES AND DAVID SIKKINK AS SENIOR FELLOWS HAMILTON, May 27, 2014—Ray Pennings, executive vice-president of Cardus, has announced the appointment of two significant leaders in education and business to the Hamilton-based think tank's Senior Fellows program. Paul K. Bates, of McMaster University in Hamilton, and David Sikkink, of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, will join the Senior Fellows group effective immediately. "David and Paul are outstanding thought-leaders in their respective fields. Their addition adds immeasurably to the already highly impressive expertise and eclecticism of our Fellows," Pennings said. Cardus Senior Fellows comprise a network of recognized experts in a wide range of disciplines, bringing specialized expertise and capacity to Cardus research projects and events. Cardus provides an institutional framework within which they can write about and speak on key topics within their specialties. Paul Bates is Assistant Professor of Leadership at McMaster Divinity College, following two years as special advisor to the president at McMaster University. Prior to this he was dean of the DeGroote School of Business during the seven-year period when it tripled its number of doctoral candidates and doubled the enrolment in its MBA program. Prior to his academic career, he established himself as a major figure in the Bay Street business world, including presidencies of four major investment and brokerage firms. "Paul Bates brings business and academic experience to the table and has thought deeply regarding questions of vocation and leadership. Shaping a society in which labour is understood, valued, and appropriately rewarded is among our contemporary challenges; Paul's expertise will help inform Cardus in addressing this," Pennings said. At Notre Dame, David Sikkink is an associate professor in the sociology department and has been deeply engaged with the Cardus Education Survey. He now serves as the director of the Cardus Religious Schools Initiative. His Ph.D. dissertation at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill examined the shaping effect of religion and community on education, leading to a career interest in the relationship between faith and schooling. He has also published in scholarly journals articles on faith and political protest as well as on the American Christian Right. "Through our partnership with the University of Notre Dame and the education research projects we have completed together, Cardus has come to appreciate David's breadth of expertise regarding youth and religion in North America today," Pennings said. "We look forward to incorporating that expertise into our Senior Fellows symposiums to shape our strategies regarding renewing North America's social architecture." Cardus is a think-tank based in Hamilton, Ontario, which focuses on the renewal of social architecture in North America. For further information on the Cardus Senior Fellows Program and the Senior Fellows themselves, visit www.cardus.ca/fellows. To arrange an interview with David Sikkink, Paul K. Bates or other Senior Fellows, please contact Naomi Biesheuvel at nbiesheuvel@cardus.ca or call 905-528-8866 x31.-30-

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Press Release

College Choice Affects More Than Just Job Prospects, Study Finds

Post-secondary education tied to alumni perceptions of moral obligation, and commitment to common good.

Press Release

Delegates participate in International Conference on School Choice and Reform

The 4th International Conference on School Choice & Reform (ICSCR) took place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this month, bringing together researchers, policy specialists, practitioners, and organization leaders from around the world to consider how private religious schools contribute to the public good. The Cardus Education Survey published in 2014 compares school sector differences in the U.S. to show how they influence graduates into young adulthood. CRSI, a regular contributor to this conference program, submitted a symposia entitled: "Faith-Based Schools: Current Issues and Research." Ray Pennings, Albert Cheng, Dr. David Sikkink, and Dr. Beth Green presented this research at the prestigious conference. Pennings provided a comprehensive review of the data which found that, contrary to many assumptions, private and public schools do not differ significantly when it comes to involvement in civic life. Cheng’s paper reviewed the data in relation to volunteering in more depth. Volunteering is a good proxy for civic commitment and involvement and tells us about graduates community ties and the strength of social trust. Dr. Sikkink’s research drilled down into some of the nuances of the data, especially in relation to STEM subjects. And Dr. Green offered a UK perspective on the CES findings. Together these papers show that religious schools do not de facto result in social segregation and that they can enrich the diversity of education provision, but that they do need to retain autonomy and the freedom to innovate in order to benefit the public good.

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Press Release

Education: Proving Excellence

The Cardus Education project has a special place in our mission to renew North American social architecture. Our research, papers, and events not only focus on shaping the educational landscape in a way that affects public square realities today, but if done well, the fruits of our work will shape the education of the next generation and will reap even greater dividends down the road. It’s a two-for-one deal and we have been thrilled with the dividends this project is providing. Please donate by December 31, 2014 to receive a 2014 charitable tax receipt: click here. This past year was the first complete year that the Cardus Religious Schools Initiative, our research partnership with the University of Notre Dame, has been functional and already great strides have been taken. In addition to another benchmark survey of the US education data, we’ve authored over twenty research reports, participated in several academic conferences, and most importantly, have seen our research extensively utilized by a wide range of religious schools. Perhaps the most tangible illustration of the conversation-changing impact this work is having was the invitation to present our findings at the CUNY Institute for Educational Policy at the Roosevelt House in New York City. This event attracted leaders from across the educational establishment, engaged with Jewish and Muslim school leaders, and was covered in the New York Post. Yet to keep up this momentum, we do need your help. Cardus can develop ideas, take initiative, and point to the fruits of our efforts, but an even more important measurement of what we do is the extent to which we are able to speak on behalf of a growing community who care about these issues and are prepared to express their concern with solidarity and with giving. If you're able, please consider making a tax-receipted donation to Cardus in support of our work before the year is over. Thanking you for your past interest and support in Cardus and our work in education and looking forward to hearing from you. Ray Pennings Program Director, Education December 2014 Please donate by December 31, 2014 to receive a 2014 charitable tax receipt: click here.

Press Release

Families Can Pay as Little as $649 for Ontario Independent Schooling

With Ontario independent school enrollment rising 25% between 2006–07 and 2020–21 according to Statistics Canada, it’s important for media, politicians, and parents to get a better understanding of this important school sector. One persistent myth is that independent schools are all bastions of wealth and privilege.

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Press Release

Good Citizens Ready for “Real Life” at Half the Cost

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 17, 2018 British Columbia’s independent schools are far ahead of public schools in meeting a key provincial educational requirement: getting high school students ready for “real life.” The provincial government recently implemented changes to high school curriculum in order to help graduates better prepare for real life decision-making as young adults. But the latest Cardus Education Survey (CES) indicates BC independent schools – both religious and non-religious – were achieving the same ends years ago. “Looking back on their high school years, graduates of BC independent schools were more likely than their public school counterparts to say their school prepared them for relationships, university or college, work, and religious life,” says Dr. Beth Green, who directs education research at think tank Cardus. “That’s remarkable when you consider that most of these schools are not elite institutions and all of them get, at best, just half the per-student government funding of public schools – with zero funding for capital costs.” The 2018 CES for BC surveyed adults aged 24 to 39 who graduated from public, Catholic independent, evangelical Protestant independent, or non-religious independent schools in BC. It also found:Non-religious independent and Catholic independent school graduates reported average annual incomes up to $16,000 higher than public or evangelical Protestant school grads.   Evangelical Protestant school graduates are just as likely as public school grads to have a friend who is gay or lesbian, is a recent immigrant, is of a different race, is a co-worker, has a university degree, makes more than $100,000 annually, or makes less than $25,000 annually.   Non-religious independent schools produce graduates who are 2.2 times more likely than public school grads to volunteer in the community. (Evangelical Protestant school grads are also 2.2 times more likely to volunteer, thanks to family and church influence.)   Non-religious independent school and independent Catholic school graduates are more likely than public school grads to attend university or a graduate program.“Our social science research indicates that B.C.’s independent school graduates cultivate diverse social ties, are active and engaged members of their communities, are committed to the well-being of their neighbours, and are ready to give of both time and resources,” said Dr. Green. Today, more than one in 10 BC students attends an independent school – up from just four percent in 1977 – and enrollment continues to grow. “The independent school sector is too large to ignore and comprises a significant, productive, and positive part of the province’s education system,” said Dr. Green. “That’s important for educators, unions, policy-makers, and all British Columbians to recognise.” The CES is the only study in Canada that uses repeated measures to report on the outcomes of religious, non-government schooling and compare it to public school outcomes. The 2018 report is the first to include provincial-level results, as opposed to national results. The 2018 CES British Columbia Bulletin, including details on methodology, is available online. To book an interview with Dr. Beth Green, please, contact Daniel Proussalidis.MEDIA INQUIRIES Daniel Proussalidis Cardus - Director of Communications 613-241-4500 x508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca

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Press Release

Groundbreaking Research on Australian Christian Schools Released

Pioneering North American education research is now proving its worth in Australia. The newly published report Australian Schools and the Common Good uses the Cardus Education Survey (CES) to measure the contribution of Australian secondary school graduates to the “common good” of society, rather than just the academic success of the individual.

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Press Release

Independent Schools Instill Good Citizenship Values, Study Finds

This Canada Day – perhaps more than any other previously – will be a time to reflect on what good citizenship means and how civic values are formed. The need for those values has come into sharp focus recently amid horrifying news regarding the federal government’s former Indigenous residential schools.

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Press Release

Janet Epp Buckingham, Deani Van Pelt appointed as Cardus Senior Fellows

Cardus is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Senior Fellows: Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham and Dr. Deani Van Pelt. Dr. Buckingham serves as associate professor at Trinity Western University, and Director of the Laurentian Leadership Centre in Ottawa. She is one of Canada's foremost authorities on religious freedom. Dr. Van Pelt is an associate professor at Redeemer University College, and Director of Teacher Education. She is serving as the head of qualitative studies on the Cardus Education Survey. She is one of the nation's leading authorities on independent education, and home schooling. The Cardus Senior Fellows are a network of recognized experts in a wide range of disciplines. They bring specialized expertise and capacity to our research projects, networks and events. For more information on our Fellows or these appointments, please contact Ray Pennings.

Press Release

Major National Education Report Breaks Religious Independent School Stereotypes

HAMILTON, October 11, 2016—As debate rages across Canada over the role of independent schools within the public education system, major think tank Cardus has released its latest national education survey. "The Cardus Education Survey (CES) is the only national survey commenting on the contribution of graduates from religious and independent schools to the public life of the nation," says Dr. Beth Green, program director of Cardus Education. CES 2016 confirmed findings from 2012 that undermine the stereotype that public school graduates are more civically minded than those from independent schools. "Public and separate Catholic school graduates are less likely than evangelical Protestant, Catholic independent, and nonreligious independent school graduates to feel responsible for helping those in need," says Dr. Green. "The data indicate that public school graduates are also less willing than evangelical Protestant and nonreligious independent school graduates to give blood, volunteer, and to donate to charity." Dr. Green adds that the latest survey shows educational diversity and encouraging a role for independent schools within the public education system would benefit Canadian society as a whole. CES 2016 surveyed graduates from 968 public schools and 359 independent schools earlier this year. To arrange an interview with Dr. Beth Green, contact Daniel Proussalidis, Director of Communications. Get the full report at www.cardus.ca/education. Download the media backgrounder at this link.-30- About Cardus Cardus is a think tank dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture. It conducts independent and original research, produces several periodicals, and regularly stages events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S. To learn more, visit: www.cardus.ca and follow us on Twitter @cardusca. CONTACT INFORMATION Daniel Proussalidis Cardus - Director of Communications 613.241.4500 x.508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca 905-528-8866

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Press Release

Media Availability: Major Study on Private Education Outcomes

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: MAJOR STUDY ON PRIVATE EDUCATION OUTCOMES HAMILTON, September 21, 2012—Ray Pennings, director of research at Cardus, and David Sikkink, a renowned sociologist from the University of Notre Dame, will be available between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 to answer questions about the Cardus Education Survey, a major study showing Canadians educated at privately-funded schools out perform their government-funded peers in key areas of citizenship and civic participation. The report release and media availability will take place at the Holiday Inn Select, in the Cabinet Room, at Pearson International Airport: 970 Dixon Road, Toronto Ontario. Mr. Pennings and Dr. Sikkink were part of the multi-disciplinary team that studied the citizenship attributes of 2,000 Canadians aged 24-39. The survey, conducted in March 2012 by Angus Reid's Vision Critical group, found that graduates of the range of non-government schools are more likely than their government-school counterparts to volunteer, to be actively engaged in neighborhood and community groups, to participate in grassroots movements especially around environmental issues, and to have stronger families. "If we use the standards for citizenship outcomes found in most provincial education acts across the country, we find that the various non-government schools—separate Catholic, independent Catholic, independent non-religious, Evangelical Protestant, and religious home schooling—produce a higher proportion of graduates who meet or exceed those benchmarks than do government-schools," says Mr. Pennings. "It's clear from the findings that so-called private schools make a significant contribution to the public good," he added. If you have questions, or wish to arrange interviews with Ray Pennings and David Sikkink, please call Kathryn de Ruijter at 888-339-8866 ext. 30. What: Cardus Education Survey 2012 release Who: Ray Pennings, Cardus director of research and David Sikkink, University of Notre Dame When: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. September 26, 2012 Where: Holiday Inn Select at Pearson International Airport: 970 Dixon Road, Toronto Ontario. Contact: Kathryn de Ruijter, 888-3339-8866 ext. 30.-30-

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Press Release

New Initiative Will Study Religious School Outcomes

NOTRE DAME, IN, May 23, 2013—Building on its groundbreaking studies into the citizenship outcomes of educational choice, Canadian think tank Cardus has partnered with the University of Notre Dame to establish a long-term education research initiative. The Cardus-Notre Dame initiative will formally launch in July 2013, with a mandate to explore how parental choice of religious school influences long-term student, family and community life. Ray Pennings, Cardus executive vice president, says the partnership is a result of the think tank's survey work in both the United States and Canada on how graduates of religious schools engaged in civic life once they entered adulthood. "Our surveys in 2011 (U.S.) and 2012 (Canada) were the first of their kind and provided a snapshot of what sort of citizens are being shaped by religious schools. The Cardus-Notre Dame Initiative is like turning the snapshot into a video of the long-term impact religious schooling is having," Pennings says. "This allows us to map the contribution various social institutions, including schools, make towards our shared life. It recognizes that belief systems play a vital role in how we act and think," he adds. University of Notre Dame sociologist Dr. David Sikkink, who will direct the research initiative and a staff of four researchers, said the primary goal is to provide the educational world with comprehensive, trustworthy data on the outcomes of religious schooling, and provide religious schools themselves with self-assessment tools. Cardus and the Notre Dame team will also host regular symposiums through the partnership. "The Cardus Initiative will design and conduct data analysis that addresses the question of why religious schools matter for particular student and family outcomes," Sikkink says. "By sorting out these mechanisms, the initiative will provide information to improve schools throughout the various religious school sectors and illuminate how these schools provide models for successful education." Cardus is a Canadian-based think-tank that has the renewal of North America's social architecture as its mission. The research initiative coincides with a growing profile for Cardus in engaging public conversations regarding faith in public life. In early May, it hosted a high-profile lecture featuring Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney speaking on renewing trust in the financial system. It has also expanded its Social Cities program studying the relationship between municipal governments and faith institutions. For more information or to arrange interviews Ray Pennings and David Sikkink on the Cardus-Notre Dame initiative, please contact Julia Nethersole at 905-528-8866 ext. 29 or by email at jnethersole@cardus.ca.-30-

Press Release

Ontario Loses by Marginalizing Independent Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 25, 2018 New research confirms that Ontario’s independent schools are producing socially engaged, generous graduates with zero provincial support.  The new Cardus Education Survey 2018: Ontario Bulletin finds that the province’s independent religious schools produce the Ontario’s most civically engaged graduates. They’re the most likely grads to participate in almost every Statistics Canada category of volunteering, they’re more trusting of strangers, co-workers, and neighbours, and they’re more likely to pay attention to the news. “Many Canadians rightly worry about the loss of civility in our culture, the decline in how welcoming our country is, and a drop in charitable giving,” says Dr. Beth Green, who directs education research at think tank Cardus. “Ontario’s independent schools – especially the religious ones – help counteract these negative trends by producing graduates who are interested and involved in the world around them.” Despite these results, Ontario remains the only province from Quebec to British Columbia that offers no public funding for independent schools. “Ontario loses by marginalizing independent schools and funding government-run schools exclusively,” says Dr. Green. “It should bring independent schools in from the cold by making them more affordable for low and middle-income families whose needs aren’t met by government-run schools.” The 2018 Cardus Education Survey: Ontario Bulletin contains findings from respondents aged 24 to 39, all of whom graduated from a public, separate Catholic, independent Catholic, evangelical Protestant independent, or non-religious independent school in Ontario. Researchers control for socio-demographic factors in order to isolate the school effect on students. Other notable findings include:Non-religious independent and independent Catholic school graduates are twice as likely as public school graduates are to obtain a Master’s or an advanced specialist degree. Catholic and Protestant independent school graduates are just as likely as their public school counterparts are to have a friend who is gay or lesbian. Public school graduates are least likely to agree with the statement: most people can be trusted.Meanwhile, Cardus Executive Vice President Ray Pennings notes independent school enrollment is up. “Independent schools now teach more than six percent of all students in Ontario,” says Pennings. “Parents are increasingly seeking affordable options for their kids’ diverse educational needs.” To book an interview with Dr. Beth Green or Ray Pennings, please, contact Daniel Proussalidis. MEDIA INQUIRIES Daniel Proussalidis Cardus - Director of Communications 613-241-4500 x508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca

Press Release

Study Uncovers a Key to Reversing Downward Trend in Test Scores

There’s new evidence that a good fit between student and school helps improve students’ math and reading performance.

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Press Release

Survey Reveals Communication Breakdown Among Church Leaders, Parents, Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 19, 2019 OTTAWA – A newly released survey of clergy in the United States points to the need for new conversations and partnerships among churches, parents, and schools to address spiritual formation in Generation Z. The Barna Group, in partnership with think tank Cardus, conducted the survey of 650 clergy in Mainline Protestant, Non-mainline Protestant, and Catholic churches.  The survey captured church leaders’ perceptions of education and spiritual formation. Key findings include:65% of Protestant pastors and 50% of Catholic priests perceive schooling generally to be a negative influence on a child’s spiritual formation.  More than half of non-mainline Protestant (56%) and four in 10 Catholic clergy say they haven’t addressed the topic of school choice even once in the last year. In both cases, fewer than half of church leaders say parents even asked about it. Only 20% of Protestant clergy and 17% of Catholic clergy reported prioritizing training for parents for the spiritual formation of their children. An analysis of Cardus Education Survey U.S. data finds a measurable and positive influence that Christian schooling has on spiritual formation. The data clearly demonstrate that graduates of Christian schools are more likely to pray, read the Bible and attend church regularly, and tithe than their public school counterparts are. This school effect is distinct from the influence of family, socio-economic background, or church life. “Church and family life are important in the spiritual formation of young adults, but our research reinforces that schools play an important role too,” says Ray Pennings, Cardus executive vice-president. “Church leaders, parents, and educators must understand the positive influence of Christian schooling on spiritual formation and work together to ensure that these schooling options are genuinely available for as many families as possible.” The Barna findings and a commentary on the numbers by Ray Pennings are both available online. MEDIA INQUIRIES Daniel Proussalidis Cardus - Director of Communications 613-241-4500 x508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca

Press Release

Three Key Ways That Christian Schools Influence Students

January 30, 2018 Christian high schools in North America help students remain faithful as young adults, new research confirms. Using Cardus Education Survey data, University of Notre Dame analysts say that attending a Protestant Evangelical school has a measurable effect on graduates that is distinct from the influence of family, socio-economic background, or church life. Among the findings in the new report, Walking the Path: The Religious Lives of Young Adults in North America, are three key ways in which graduates of Protestant Evangelical high schools are different than public school grads:Christian school graduates report significantly higher belief in orthodox Christian teachings, such as the belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and that the Bible is infallible in matters of faith and practice. Christian school graduates are much more likely to pray, read the Bible, attend church regularly, and tithe. Christian school graduates are less likely to switch religious affiliation or to turn from the faith of their childhood.“Church and family life are important in young adults’ spiritual formation, but our research reinforces the fact school plays an important role in this as well,” says Dr. Beth Green, education program director at think tank Cardus. “Church leaders, parents, and educators must know and understand just how important attending Christian school can be in bolstering young adults’ faith.” Dr. Green says the findings underline why families need access to diverse school options. “We must maintain Christian schools as an option for as many families as possible so that everyone who wants to can have access to Christian education,” says Dr. Green. Click here to read Walking the Path: The Religious Lives of Young Adults in North America online.-30- MEDIA INQUIRIES Daniel Proussalidis Cardus - Director of Communications 613.241-4500x508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca

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Press Release

Top Three Reasons Ontario Kids Attend Independent School: Safety, Support, and Character Development

67% of parents with kids in Ontario independent schools made major financial changes to afford tuition FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 10, 2019 OTTAWA, ON – There are more than 138,000 students in Ontario independent schools, rising 21% over the last decade. Today, the groundbreaking report Who Chooses Ontario Independent Schools and Why? is offering new insight into this phenomenon. Researchers who surveyed parents with kids in Ontario independent schools found the three top-ranked characteristics parents sought in a new school were a safe environment, a supportive and nurturing atmosphere, and an emphasis on character development. “You don’t get this kind of growth in independent schools unless parents are genuinely – and in some cases desperately – looking for solutions that meet their kids’ needs,” says report co-author and Cardus Senior Fellow Dr. Deani Van Pelt. “When parents tell us they’re looking for school safety, it’s more than just safety from bullying; it’s a sense of confidence in the curriculum and trust in teachers and staff.” Who Chooses Ontario Independent Schools and Why? also confirms previous research that found the parents who send their kids to Ontario independent schools are mainly regular folks:75% of them attended public schools growing up, with about 6 in 10 attending only public schools 67% of them have had to make major financial adjustments to afford tuition, including adding a part-time job, taking out a loan, making other budget sacrifices, or getting help from family or friends 54% of them have to come up with $8,000 or more  annually just for tuition for their kids’ schooling“The fact that enrolment in Ontario independent schools continues to grow is notable, in part, because families that need this option have to pay every penny of it out of their own pockets,” says report co-author David Hunt. “But there are likely many more Ontario families that simply can’t afford an independent school, yet need one. It’s a matter of fairness for the provincial government to ensure that all families have equitable access to the full range of educational options in the province.” Who Chooses Ontario Independent Schools and Why? is freely available online. -30- MEDIA INQUIRIES Daniel Proussalidis Cardus – Director of Communications 613-241-4500 x508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca

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Press Release

University of Arkansas Professor Appointed Cardus Senior Fellow

Dr. Albert Cheng joins Cardus Education to provide insight and direction for education research.      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  April 23, 2019HAMILTON, ON – Cardus is pleased to announce that Dr. Albert Cheng has joined Cardus Education as a senior fellow. Dr. Cheng’s work with Cardus comes as he continues to work as an assistant professor at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. “Dr. Cheng is an accomplished professor with expertise in areas such as education policy and independent schools,” said Ray Pennings, Executive Vice President of Cardus. “His knowledge and interests align very closely to ours, so it’s exciting to have him join our roster of senior fellows.”  Dr. Cheng says he’s looking forward to his new cooperation with Cardus. “I’m excited to be taking on this new role with Cardus – an organization whose work I know well and for which I have immense respect,” said Dr. Cheng. “The Cardus Education Survey and other Cardus research in education has helped to uncover and document the valuable contributions that independent and faith-based schools make to the common good.” Dr. Cheng has a PhD in education policy. He teaches courses on the history and philosophy of education as well as education policy analysis at the University of Arkansas. Known for his research on character formation, school choice policy, faith-based schooling, and homeschooling, he serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Christianity and Education. He is also a research affiliate with Charassein: The Character Assessment Initiative at the University of Arkansas and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University.  Dr. Cheng has a master's degree in education from Biola University. He worked as a high school math teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area after completing a mathematics degree from the University of California, Berkeley. -30- MEDIA INQUIRIES Daniel Proussalidis Cardus - Director of Communications 613-241-4500 x508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca

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Press Release

What do Math, Marriage, and Money Have in Common?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 11, 2018 A modern, new, evidence-based sexual education curriculum in Ontario should include accurate teaching about marriage, argues think tank Cardus in Please Say Yes? Marriage Proposes to Sex Ed - part of its submission to the provincial government’s education consultation. “This is partially what teaching on consent aims to convey: the idea that one must always think through relationship choices and ascertain with certainty the degree to which the other is interested in engaging in relationship,” wrote Andrea Mrozek, a Cardus program director. “Marriage is the highest standard for consensually entered, safe relationship.” In a separate submission, Cardus calls for improvement to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) teaching in Ontario.  “The province should move toward integrating STEM learning into shop and building classes,” wrote Peter Jon Mitchell, senior researcher at Cardus. “Hands-on learning enhances understanding of concepts and principles, and improves problem-solving skills.” Cardus also advises the province to go beyond curriculum changes by providing fair and equitable education funding for all Ontarians, including those who choose independent schools for their children. “Providing Ontarians with more choice in education, including religiously oriented options, contributes to the public good,” wrote Mitchell. “The 2018 Cardus Education Survey found that graduates of religiously affiliated independent schools establish diverse social ties, engage their communities, and commit to the well-being of their neighbours.” The Cardus submissions on marriage in sex-ed and on STEM and school funding are available online. To book an interview with a Cardus spokesperson, please, contact Daniel Proussalidis. MEDIA INQUIRIES Daniel Proussalidis Cardus - Director of Communications 613-241-4500 x508 dproussalidis@cardus.ca About CardusCardus is a non-partisan, faith-based think tank and registered charity dedicated to promoting a flourishing society through independent research, robust public dialogue, and thought-provoking commentary. To learn more, visit our website, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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Media Coverage

Christian Post covers Cardus education survey

A new study of K-12 Christian schools shows that Protestant Christian schools do a better job of developing their students' spiritual formation while Catholic Christian schools do a better job developing their students' intellect. Read the news coverage here.

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Media Coverage

Dr. Beth Green discusses latest Cardus Education Survey findings

British Columbia’s independent schools are part and parcel of the education system in the province and they’re contributing to the public good. That’s the message Cardus Education program director Dr. Beth Green took to Radio NL in Kamloops, BC as she discussed the latest Cardus Education Survey findings.

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Media Coverage

Do Christian Schools Produce Good Citizens? The Evidence Says Yes.

According to their critics, private Christian schools foster an attitude of isolation and withdrawal from society. And according to their boosters, public schools provide a unique and essential preparation for citizenship in a diverse nation. For the past five years, my colleagues and I at Cardus have been studying these claims, and last week, we released a new study that shows just how little data exists to support them. Do private schools (whether religious or not) foster social isolation? Do public schools uniquely help to create the "social capital" that comes from diverse friendships and working relationships? Based on the data we released last week, the answer seems to be no on both counts. Adult graduates of Evangelical Protestant, Catholic, non-religious private, and public schools were all as likely to have a close friend who was an atheist or of a different race. The only statistically significant difference we found was that Evangelical Protestants were marginally less likely to have a close gay or lesbian friend—about 57 percent of evangelical Protestant graduates, compared to 69 percent of public school graduates, report a friend or relative who is gay or lesbian. The Cardus survey, collected in March 2014 and analyzed by the team at the Cardus Religious Schools Initiative at the University of Notre Dame, was designed to give a comprehensive account of how different kinds of high schools contribute to the academic achievement, cultural engagement, and spiritual formation of their graduates. Read the rest of this article by Ray Pennings at the Christianity Today website.

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Media Coverage

Fraser Institute’s Deani Van Pelt references Cardus research

In a CCTV interview, Director of the Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education at the Fraser Institute and Cardus Senior Fellow Deani A. Neven Van Pelt explained some of the economic advantages of homeschooling. In her comments, she referred to the Cardus Education Survey: "Although, for example, home school graduates weren't quite as likely to attend university following their grade 12 homeschooling experience, if they did attend university, they were more likely than any other sector to go on and get a PhD. So it seems like someone who is homeschooled ends up being 'all in.'" Find out more about the Cardus Education Survey at carduseducationsurvey.com. Watch the full interview:

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Media Coverage

Helping good schools save themselves

Catholic schools work miracles — but they’re closing left and right. What can we do about it? And what can they do? The latest proof that these schools are a boon to society is a survey by the Canadian company Cardus. It’s well established that Catholic-school students, particularly urban ones, are much more likely to graduate high school than their public-school peers. But Cardus shows that these institutions are also providing a better education in the “STEM” fields vital to the good jobs in the modern economy — science, technology, engineering and math. The study looked at a nationally representative 1,500 people aged 24 to 39 who’d graduated high school. It found that students in Catholic schools “took more advanced classes in science and math than their public school peers.” They were more likely to have taken geometry, trigonometry and calculus, as well as chemistry and physics. The study authors note, “These findings may reflect the importance placed on a core academic curriculum for all students in Catholic schools.” No kidding. Yet these schools operate far more cheaply than public schools do. New York City spends more than $20,000 per student in its often-horrible public schools; the city’s Catholic schools spend just $7,000 per kid. Yet Catholic schools keep closing nationwide. And that’s a problem for all of us, because these schools educate so many non-Catholic kids. So how can we ensure their survival — or even their growth? Many support increased public funding of these schools — tax credits or vouchers offered directly to parents struggling to get a good education for their kids. Yet there’s also room for reform within. Notably, the Partnership for Inner City Education has stepped up to find ways to run Catholic schools better and more efficiently. A little over a year ago, the Archdiocese asked the Partnership to manage six schools — three in Harlem and three in the South Bronx. These are classic urban schools: All students are eligible for free lunch; 94 percent are black or Hispanic. The six together have a little over 2,100 students in grades K-8 — but enrollment’s been steadily dropping. The Partnership aims to “develop Catholic schools that are strong operationally and financially by maximizing enrollment, improving efficiency . . . and stabilizing revenue sources.” In other words, bring these schools up to the 21st century. The first thing that the Partnership did, explains Executive Director Jill Kafka, was “separate the academics from the operations.” She notes these were largely “mom and pop shops,” typically run by priests or teachers who’d been pushed into the position of principal. Yet that job involves making decisions about budgets and management that they had no experience with. The Partnership hired operations managers, some with MBAs, to deal with the non-academic side of running a school. It’s hard for a principal to be in charge of something like tuition. You want to talk to parents about their child’s educational prospects, but you also want to know why some tuition hasn’t been paid. At some of these schools, notes Kafka, parents got in the habit of thinking tuition was optional. Now there are Admissions and Development Associates at each school to ensure better communication between parents and the school. As one parent told the Partnership, “When I come to this school, I know I’ll get respect.” Things haven’t gotten just more efficient, but also more personal. There’s other updating. The teachers at the six schools are getting together to share best practices and ensure that curricula live up to high standards. Each school no longer operates in a vacuum — teachers needn’t reinvent the wheel whenever they sit down to figure out what to cover in each lesson and how. The schools now all have extensive and substantive after-school programs, including music, robotics and tutoring. They can work as a mini-district, competing against one another in basketball and chess, for instance. They’re not cookie-cutter; one specializes in the arts, for instance. But all gain from being part of a network, says Kafka, who acknowledges copying some strategies from the KIPP charter network. The Partnership, in turn, hopes to see other Catholic schools and dioceses steal from its successes. Let’s hope it catches on.

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Media Coverage

Let’s have diversity of school choices

By Matthew Lau Over the past year, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University has released a series of delightful one-minute videos featuring a cartoon Milton Friedman explaining key economic insights. One recent offering is about diversity and freedom. In a free society, people can make their own choices and pursue their own preferences, different from the choices and preferences of others. “It’s this diversity, the fact that there isn’t a monolithic conformity imposed on us,” the Nobel Prize-winning economist-toon says, “that is the source of protection for our freedom, and also the fruit of freedom.” The one-minute lesson? Diversity and the freedom to choose go hand in hand. The opposite of diversity and freedom is a government monopoly. The fact that in Canada there is both a government monopoly on health care and a near-monopoly on schooling suggests this country isn’t as free and diverse as many of us might think. And, ironically, the progressives who usually preach the virtues of diversity tend to be most strongly opposed to diversity in health-care and educational choices. A case in point: Alberta’s recently introduced Bill 15, the Choice in Education Act, would expand freedom and improve access to educational diversity by: providing families with more homeschooling options; protecting funding for independent schools; and making it easier to set up new charter schools — which are government-funded but independently run. The reaction from progressives ranges from skepticism to rabid hostility. The benefits of improving educational diversity instead of confining families to the government-run schools are clear. Student test scores at Alberta’s charter and independent schools are consistently higher than in its government-run schools. Similarly, in British Columbia, students from families with comparable incomes achieve higher test scores on average at independent schools than at government-run schools.  Beyond these academic differences, recent surveys from Cardus, a think-tank, find that graduates of independent schools are more likely to volunteer and donate to charity. A recent Cardus report also noted that Ontario’s coronavirus-induced transition to learning-from-home was more efficient at independent schools. Although the province announced March 12 that its schools would close “it was not until April 6,” according to the report, “that teacher-led learning resumed with limited instructional support … By contrast, Ontario’s independent-school administrators and teachers worked through spring break to ensure a rapid transition with minimal educational disruption.” But even if independent and charter schools were not demonstrably better than government-run schools, that wouldn’t alter the fact that families should have greater access to different educational options. The parents who pay taxes to educate their children should have a choice as to how that money is spent. After all, if a new grocery store wants to open up, it doesn’t have to prove to the government it will provide better products or greater variety than the local Loblaws. Its owners believing, rightly or wrongly, that enough people might want to shop there to make it worth the investment is sufficient reason to allow it to operate and compete on a level playing-field. If it turns out people don’t like the new store and don’t shop there, it will close. Schools should be no different. If there are families who want to send their children to a new charter school, the government should let them. If the school succeeds, fine. If it doesn’t, it will shut down. One great disadvantage of a lack of educational diversity is that families cannot fire their government-run school, even if they are profoundly dissatisfied with it. Independent schools are prohibitively expensive for many families. Charter schools in Alberta have long waiting lists — evidence there is no lack of demand — and in every other province, charter schools are not allowed at all. Many families are stuck sending their children to schools they are unhappy with but which are under no pressure to improve. The same families can very easily fire their grocery store by taking their business elsewhere. Which means people are less likely to be dissatisfied with their grocery store than with the school their children attend. Grocery store diversity works pretty well. Alberta recognizes that educational diversity is a good idea, too. Other provinces whose politicians and citizens claim to value diversity and freedom ought to follow its lead.

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Media Coverage

Milke and Van Pelt: Why private schools should receive equal funding

In a liberal democracy, where critical thinking is often touted as an end goal in education, it was disappointing to read Calgary MLA Kent Hehr’s attack on parental choice in education (“Private schools divide pupils by wealth and religion,” July 26). Hehr’s arguments ignore the benefits of school choice and the underlying reality about how human beings function. He thus overlooks why choice is invaluable in education — because it leads to human flourishing. By not going deeper, Hehr, also the provincial Liberal Party’s education critic, thus repeated the tired and misleading clichés about independent schools. They’re for rich kids and religious kooks (although Hehr is too polite to phrase it that way). The concern over faith is misplaced. The point of a free society is to ensure diverse viewpoints are protected and encouraged — even when others disagree, especially in the education system, lest stultifying non-critical thinking become the norm. Hehr is also wrong on the facts. He fails to consider the research evidence that non-government schools provide solid, and in some cases exemplary, academic, social and cultural results for individuals and for society. A 2013 OECD analysis of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) math performance scores found that Canadian 15-year-olds from private schools significantly outperformed their peers from public schools. This was true even after controlling for economic, social and cultural status. A 2012 study by Cardus compared graduate outcomes for Canadian adults from different school systems — public, separate Catholic, and various independent school systems. The findings were clear. Graduates from independent schools are significantly more likely than their peers to contribute to civic society — to vote, volunteer, and donate (all again, after controlling for a variety of socio-economic factors that might otherwise explain the differences). Furthermore, parents don’t just “feel” — as Hehr claims — that the public system isn’t good enough for them. In a 2007 Ontario survey on why parents choose private schools and in a 2009 analysis of stories told by parents about choosing private schools, many reported that they have tried public schools for their children but were forced to look elsewhere. They leave public schools for a variety of reasons: bullying, lack of teacher care or availability, concerns with the curriculum, neglect of their child’s special needs, or poor academic results. And many stay with a private school once they arrive because of caring and attentive teachers, positive academic performance, safety, and improvements in their child’s social life. Hehr argues that any education spending for independent schools misdirects “government resources.” Such “government resources” are also known as the tax dollars of every parent. And Hehr asserts their money can only be spent on so-called “public” institutions. If that same standard were applied elsewhere in government, welfare recipients would be forbidden from spending their taxpayer-funded income at private grocery stores — only government outlets (if such stores actually existed). The point, of course, is not private or public provision but to ensure that everyone has an abundance of food to eat or is abundantly educated, regardless of who provides the food or the education. Hehr, and other like-minded allies, ignore the effect of monopolies on human behaviour and on the service to be delivered: Little innovation, sub-par service, few reasons to improve, and the misallocation of resources. For example, extra education tax dollars are often funnelled to people entrenched in the system, without improving the quality of education. The 2007 special payment of $1.2 billion into the Teachers’ Pension Plan in Alberta to make up for yet another shortfall is a perfect example. Hehr needs to think more carefully about how governments can create educational equity. It makes sense to recognize the results achieved in independent schools. When local communities are given more control — whether independent or charter schools, home-based educational programs, or public schools given more local authority — administrators, parents and teachers can achieve excellent results, results that benefit individuals and society. A system where all taxpayer dollars are spent on one provider, the “public” system, and not among the schools that parents choose, would be rejected as absurd and unhelpful if we were talking about welfare payments and grocery stores. It’s only in education — and regrettably, the mind of a provincial politician — where, despite evidence to the contrary, political attachment to monopoly thrives.

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Media Coverage

OACS covers Cardus study on Christian schooling

A peek into the findings of the Cardus Education Survey (CES) was released last week, featuring the largest representative sample of Christian school graduates with the aim to discover the alignment between motivations and outcomes of Christian education. Read the entire coverage of the Cardus Education Survey here.

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Media Coverage

Protestant, Catholic graduates differ

U.S. News covers the Cardus Education Survey in Washington D.C. WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- The graduates of Protestant Christian schools have different traits than those who attend Catholic and non-religious private schools, U.S. researchers say. Read more.

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