Independent religious schooling in North America bears the weight of a popular critique regarding its ability to prepare graduates adequately for life in the public square. The charge commonly levied is that attending a religious school contributes to the social isolation and political radicalism of graduates (MacMullen, 2007). Peshkin (1986) argued that evangelical and fundamentalist schools in America hindered the development of the broader social capital and civic values necessary for participating well in democratic institutions. Rose (1988) argued that such schools foster conservative political ideologies antithetical to liberal tolerance (see also Diamond, 1995 and Reese, 1985). With the exception of the Cardus Education Survey there has been little inquiry into the outcomes of independent religious schooling in Canada. Our findings have consistently contrasted popular stereotypes portraying religious schools as ‘promoting socially fragmented, anti-intellectual, politically radical and militantly right-winged lifestyles (Pennings et al., 2011, 5). Canadian philosopher Elmer Thiessen (1993) has responded to these common objections to argue that a pluralistic rather than a state-monopolistic system better prepares graduates for productive citizenship when schools accept the basic ends of liberal education.
Liberal pluralism requires educational diversity because it rests on the premise that everyone should have equal access to a stake in the public good. Educational institutions are one of the spaces straddling the public and the private in which the self is formed and directed, and where institutional and community life is navigated. It is commonly accepted that the right to universal education under girds freedom in the modern world because equal access to knowledge and influence is “a precondition of equal access to power” (Sacks 2002, 137). Practices of education should protect and contribute to the flourishing of public life without being in direct opposition to the family or the life of a religious community.
A glance at the aims of government-funded education in Canada is reassuring in this respect. A summary put together in 2012 for the Cardus Education Survey draws on the aims agreed on within Canada’s ten provinces and three territories. This is important because provinces and territories hold their own jurisdiction over education. The following seven aims are under girded by a sense that education exists to prepare students for something greater than their own self-actualization.
Across Canada, public education aims to prepare students to:
- Be valuable participants in and contributors to the economy
- Be informed citizens who value democratic participation and civic engagement
- Be confident, responsible, self-sufficient adults
- Be honest, fair, and ethical members of society
- Contribute to a peaceful, pluralistic, and cohesive society
- Live personally fulfilled and healthy lives
- Value further education and life-long learning. (Pennings et al. 2012, 12)
These seven aims promote the kind of reciprocity that makes living life together possible. They suggest that there remains consensus around the idea that reciprocity is an appropriate way to engage in the “public” space. One does not need to be an anarchist anthropologist to agree with David Graeber (2011) that treating friends, family, neighbours, and even strangers strictly on the basis of profit and loss would make life intolerable
It was common through the 1970s and the first part of the 1980s to argue that educating students of different social, economic, and religious backgrounds in a secularly neutral “public” school was the way to accommodate difference and teach young people to live together (Troyna and Hatcher 1992). The social-contact theory (which maintains that a diverse student body is necessary for cultivating students to live in diverse communities) lies in part behind Canada’s multicultural education project and the “melting pot” of US secular education (Green and Pennings, forthcoming). The problem is that dealing with diversity at this level within the institution works neither philosophically nor practically. Mixed schooling is equally capable of aggravating ethnic, racial, and religious tensions as religious schooling (Shortt and Lenga 2010). In practice government-funded schools in Canada, whether secular or religious, and secular schools in the United States are all vulnerable to structural inequalities and social sorting (Green 2015).
While it is fashionable to blame this on the influence of libertarian school-choice policies, a considerable part of the reason lies in our superficial view of the “public” and a lack of commitment to growth in all that it takes to love a neighbour. Canadian philosopher of education Elmer Thiessen (1993) argues that we have to recognize that all education indoctrinates and that not all indoctrination is at the expense of individual autonomy. This is especially important if we reject the premise that it is ever possible to adopt a secular and neutral position from which to educate. Respect and tolerance, or love of neighbour, needs to be rooted in authentic growth from within a cultural, religious, and ideological tradition. It is simply not the case, as Signe Sandsmark (2002) has argued, that eschewing confessional approaches in education suggests that all faiths are equal; rather it proposes that all are equally irrelevant.
CANADA’S PROVINCIAL LANDSCAPE
Education in Canada falls under provincial and territorial jurisdiction; thus Canada’s provinces and territories do not approach educational diversity in the same way. All of them, however, are wrestling with how to provide for quality, parental choice, different religious and ideological values, and the economic demands for a skilled modern workforce (Green and Schoenhoff 2015). The Cardus Education Report is based on a national analysis, that is we do not report provincial findings, but understanding the provincial systems is necessary for understanding the context of schooling in Canada and the sector definitions we use in the report: Public, Separate Catholic, Independent Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Nonreligious Independent and Religious Home School.
Schooling is compulsory for children between the ages of five or six and sixteen, seventeen, or eighteen, depending on the jurisdiction. This compulsory schooling can be delivered through government or non-government (independent) schooling or in the home (Allison and Van Pelt 2012). The terminology for educational provision across the provinces and territories varies; some jurisdictions refer to non-government schools as private, others as independent. Throughout this report we use the labels “government” and “independent” to distinguish between them (although the government-funded Catholic schools in some provinces are labelled as “separate Catholic” schools). In some provinces and territories, independent schools may be subject to more regulation than others and in receipt of different levels of funding. A brief overview of the contemporary legislative and funding situation in Canada follows.
The Constitution Act guarantees that the rights to denominational schooling that were in operation when the province entered Confederation in 1867 remain in effect. In Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, religious minorities (either Catholic or Protestant) continue to have “separate schools,” that is, the right to set up their own schools within a school district; currently in these provinces almost all religious separate schools are Catholic.
Alberta offers a wide range of fully and partially funded schooling options, and since 1994 it has also been the only province to make provision for charter schools. In Alberta 95.6 percent of students attended government schools in 2013-14 (the most recent academic year for which data is available), which included public, separate, francophone, and charter schools—all of which are fully funded (Allison, et al. 2016). Partial funding for independent schools is granted in return for accreditation such as teaching the provincial curriculum and participating in provincial testing and a range of other accountability measures. Up to 70 percent of the provincial per-pupil operating grant of government schools is available, but not infrastructure or maintenance funding; this pays for about 50 percent of the operating expenses of such schools.
Ontario offers no funding for independent schools. Ninety-four percent of students are enrolled in government schools. Between 2001/2002 and 2013/2014, for which data are available, enrolment in the separate system has been declining (Allison et al., 2016). Enrolment figures for non-government schools in Ontario are difficult to measure accurately because the province requires very little in terms of curriculum compliance or regulatory oversight and does not collect enrolment information (Allison 2015). Recent estimates are that around 6 percent of school-aged students are enrolled in independent schools in Ontario and that half of this enrolment is in religious schools (Allison and Van Pelt 2012).
The province of Saskatchewan has recently announced education reforms that opened up funding for independent schools. Forty-three of its sixty schools receive some type of financial assistance depending on the level of their registration and accreditation with the provincial education ministry (Gabel 2015). The majority of students, 96.4 percent, are enrolled in government schools including separate (Catholic or Protestant) and French schools.
British Columbia (BC) entered the Confederation in 1871 but made no special provision for Catholic separate schools. British Columbia has the second highest proportion of enrolments in independent schools after Quebec: 87.7 percent of students are enrolled in government schools (Allison et al. 2016). Over half of BC independent schools are religious, and the 1989 Independent School Act makes provision for varying levels of funding. Depending on compliance with different levels of accountability measures independent schools in BC can receive between 35 and 50 percent of the per-pupil operating grants received by government schools. The largest independent sector in BC is the Catholic system, with an enrolment of almost twenty-two thousand students, which amounts to 27 percent of the overall independent school enrolment (Froese 2015).
Manitoba eliminated public funding for Catholic schools in 1890, but 90 percent of its independent schools, including denominational schools, receive some public funding. In order to qualify for provincial funding of up to 50 percent of the per-pupil grant, independent schools are required to follow the Manitoba curriculum, employ only Manitoba-certified teachers, and ensure students sit province-wide examinations (Zwaagstra 2015). Manitoba has the third highest proportion of enrolment in independent schools after Quebec and BC and a third of its independent schools are Roman Catholic or Eastern Rite.
The Atlantic provinces do not provide public funding for independent schools, and enrolment in these schools is uniformly low. In New Brunswick, 98.7 percent of students attend government schools, in Nova Scotia the figure is 96.8 percent, on Prince Edward Island it is 98.6 percent, and in Newfoundland and Labrador it is 98.5 percent (Neven Van Pelt, et al. 2015). During the years that our survey respondents attended high school, there was only one independent Protestant Christian high school operating on Prince Edward Island. New Brunswick does not legislate for either the establishment or regulation of independent schools. Derek Allison and Deani Van Pelt (2012) estimate that twenty independent schools operate in the province, accounting for 1 percent of school-aged students; a few of these schools would be Protestant Christian schools. Similarly, a handful of independent schools have been established in Newfoundland and Labrador since 1998, when it replaced its denominational system with a single secular government system.
The Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut all make legislative provision for independent schooling, but there are no such schools currently operating there.
Quebec has a markedly different history from the rest of Canada’s provinces and territories, and for this reason the Cardus Education Survey does not include the respondents who attended high school in Quebec. These data will be analyzed in a separate report, to be published at a later date. Nevertheless, it is helpful for the larger Canadian context to understand some of the particularities of the provincial system in Quebec. Until 1997 all of its government schools were either Protestant or Catholic. A change in Canada’s Constitution enabled the Quebec government to officially de-confessionalize schools in 2000. Quebec has the highest proportion of students going to independent high schools in North America, the majority of which are Catholic: a third of students attended an independent school in 2013/14 (Allison et al. 201). Schools are subsidized on a per-student basis with most independent schools receiving government funding for operations at a rate equivalent to 60 percent of the amount allotted to government school students (Donovan 2015). For the 2015–2016 school year this amount was $4,392 per student; limits are also set to the tuition amounts that can be charged by independent schools. In return for funding, independent schools in Quebec are subject to legislative restrictions including provincial language-eligibility requirements and full compliance with the ministry of education curriculum, and they must employ teachers who have Quebec ministry of education permits.
APPROACH TO INQUIRY/METHODOLOGY
The Cardus Education Survey measures the outcomes of graduates from the range of school sectors in North America. It is now in its fourth iteration, alternately reporting findings from the United States and Canada on a two-year cycle. The first Cardus Education report, published in 2011, relied mostly on data from US graduates supplemented by data gathered from school principals and administrators from US and Canadian schools. The study examined the alignment between the motivations and outcomes of Christian education and the graduates from this sector. Findings demonstrated significant differences between the two largest religious school sectors, Catholic and evangelical Protestant schools. While Catholic schools produced much stronger academic outcomes, efforts to instill faith and spirituality did not manifest in young adulthood, whereas evangelical Protestant schools excelled in forming spiritual life and faith but their academic outcomes fell short of other sectors.
This report was followed in 2012 by the publication of the first round of Canadian outcomes data. The second Cardus Education Survey refuted claims that religious and other independent schools do not prepare students to contribute positively to Canada’s multicultural society. Rather, the study found that graduates of independent schools were at least as likely to be involved in society and culture working toward the common good as their counterparts attending government schools, and in some cases they were doing better.
In 2014 the third Cardus Education Survey also concluded that on many measures US independent schools are as attentive to the public good as government schools. This report both repeated and extended the sphere of inquiry, including questions on high school experience, occupational directions, and views and practices regarding science and technology. The independent sector reported strong academic outcomes, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) streams and robust social connectedness. We are pleased to be able to report on these areas for Canada’s graduates in this the fourth Cardus Education Survey.
The 2016 Cardus Education Study includes a survey of randomly selected Canadians that was administered by MARU, formerly the Research and Consulting division of Vision Critical. This survey included a large oversample of non-government school graduates that was selected from the MARU Internet panel and from Internet panels of several MARU partners. The random sample was limited to respondents between twenty-three and forty years of age who had graduated from high school.
Between March 1 and April 30, 2016, respondents completed a forty-five-minute survey that included questions on schooling history and experiences, evaluation of their high school, family background, occupational goals, current education and occupation, marriage and family, religious and spiritual involvement, and civic and political engagement. In order to make the survey instrument comparable to the US sample of the Cardus Education Study, several questions were replicated from the Knowledge Networks profile and public affairs surveys, which were asked of the US respondents to the Cardus Education Survey.
The distribution of English-speaking, non-government high school respondents in the analysis is as follows:
- 540 Public
- 428 Separate Catholic
- 76 Independent Catholic
- 88 Evangelical Protestant
- 138 Nonreligious Independent
- 57 Religious Home-School
The size of each of the non-government schooling groups is modest, but adequate for most of our purposes. Note that the non-government schooling oversample is unique relative to other surveys, since all of the non-government sectors likely account for approximately 8 percent of high school students in Canada. The resulting data set was analyzed using nested regression analyses to predict outcomes related to socio-economic status, personality and mental health, and pro-social attitudes and behaviour, including volunteer, civic engagement, and political participation. The model controls for demographic variables and family background characteristics in order to isolate and report, wherever possible, school effects. In other words, our report compares “apples with apples” (i.e. school sector effect) by isolating out other factors which we know will also effect student outcomes. For a quick guide on how to read the data used in these report, please consult appendix A. Fuller details of the methodology for this study can be found in appendix B.
SECTION ONE: Work and Education After Secondary School
The most common way to measure graduate success today focuses on where they live, what they do for work, how much money they earn and save, and the highest level of education or accreditation they have attained. Such things are easily tracked and measured, and we cannot deny that this data provides an important snapshot of graduate outcomes from each school sector year after year. Economic stability, rootedness to a community, meaningful work, and the attainment of further accreditation and skills are all good things that allow individuals, communities, and societies to thrive. And when we control the data to isolate for school effect, such snapshots reveal how each school sector encourages or, possibly, inhibits such flourishing.
But we should also remember that such data does not provide the whole picture. Not at all. While location, mobility, income, savings, and educational attainment are all important variables to track and measure in a graduate’s life, these are not—as was laid out in the introduction—ultimately what a good education is for. And the conflation of a greater quantity of money, status, and accreditation with a greater quality of life and, therefore, a greater school creates its own set of problems. UK sociologist of education Stephen Ball (2003) refers to this as the culture of “performativity.” The current overemphasis on such performance outcomes is often under girded by the very utilitarian approach to education that we call into question. How, for instance, does sacrificing time to volunteer or joining a community organization fit into such a utilitarian metric of success?
Therefore, we carefully caution that this initial section be read as one piece within the full context of the entire Cardus Education Survey. The remaining sections of this report will unpack a whole host of other important aspects of graduate outcomes that are not always deemed as important—habits of home and family life, engagement with civil society, practices of giving, cultivation of friendships, and more. The outcomes you’ll find in the remainder of this survey are often seen as secondary or negligible. However, we encourage you to regard them as equally important. In fact, these other variables give a much better picture of how graduates have—or have not—been formed by their schools to use whatever material assets they’ve acquired in service to their neighbours, their broader communities, and the common good.
Since the majority of Canadians attend public schools, they set the baseline against which all the other sectors are compared, and the commonest narrative of Canadian graduates today since they represent the largest school sector by a wide margin within Canada. The story you’ll read about these graduates is the case for more Canadians than it is not.
When it comes to their connections to place, public-school graduates have spent as much time, on average, in their current residence as other graduates (5, 6), but are less geographically mobile—that is, move to cities different from those in which they grew up—than evangelical Protestant graduates (7). (The reason for this remains unclear, but we provide some speculation below under the “Evangelical Protestant” section.)
Regarding work, we find no differences by sector in terms of the likelihood of being employed.
Public-school graduates are no more likely to be in professional or managerial positions than their peers from every other school sector (18).
In terms of education, graduates from public schools will have obtained more years of school than religious homeschool graduates, but less than nonreligious independent school graduates (21). More particularly, public-school graduates are less likely to have a college degree than are graduates of separate Catholic, nonreligious independent, and evangelical Protestant schools.
Overall, in terms of educational attainment, public-school graduates are less likely to hold a bachelor’s degree than are graduates from separate Catholic and nonreligious independent schools.
Separate Catholic school graduates are no more likely than nonreligious public-school graduates to be geographically mobile (7) and also no more likely than them to remain in one location (5, 6).
When it comes to their work, separate Catholic school graduates are statistically as likely as public-school graduates to be out of work or in a parttime job (13, 14), and also just as likely to be in full-time employment (15) or in a professional or managerial role (18). A notable finding is that these graduates do tend to have higher incomes than their public-school counterparts (19).
Separate Catholic school graduates acquire slightly more years of education than public school graduates (21). They are also more likely than public school graduates to obtain education after secondary school (22) and complete a bachelor’s degree (25), although no more likely to finish an MA or PhD (26, 27).
Overall, graduates of separate Catholic schools, on average, have higher incomes and a higher likelihood of having completed a bachelor’s degree than public-school graduates.
Graduates of Catholic independent schools are slightly less likely than public-school graduates to live in rural environments (4). The reason for this is unclear, but may be due to the locations of Catholic independent schools throughout Canada, which are primarily in British Columbia and Manitoba.
When it comes to work, the Catholic independent school graduates are just as likely as other graduates to be fully employed (12/13) and to be in managerial and professional roles (18).
Regarding their total years of education, these graduates are statistically similar to public-school graduates (21). And there is no statistical evidence that suggests they are any more likely than public-school graduates to obtain a college degree, a bachelor’s, master’s, or a doctorate (22–28).
In terms of their overall performance, the Catholic independent sector graduate has no real reasons to believe that he or she is any less equipped than a public-school graduate to find work or attain educational credentials after secondary school.
Some of the common assumptions about graduates from nonreligious independent schools are that they are more likely than public school graduates to have higher levels of accreditation, job status, and income, and our findings largely bear this out, with a few important distinctions. In terms of where they reside, these graduates are no more likely to be geographically mobile than public-school graduates (7), and are also as likely to live in their current places for the same amount of time as public-school graduates; in other words, they are as rooted to a place as other graduates. (5, 6)
Perhaps contrary to common assumptions, our findings reveal that nonreligious independent school graduates are just as likely as the public-school graduates to have full-time (15) work and to be in professional or managerial positions (18). However, they have significantly higher incomes than public-school graduates (19).
As for schooling, these graduates are significantly more likely to have more years of education than public-school graduates (21), being the least likely to end their education at the secondary level (22) or even the college level (23), pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate instead (24- 27). This is likely due to the access such students have to higher education and the networking potential these schools possess, in addition to strong curriculum and the community expectations and support systems.
Overall, graduates of the nonreligious independent sector are, as may be expected, significantly more likely to obtain years of education and degrees after secondary school and are significantly more likely to earn a greater income than public-school graduates despite being just as likely to find full-time work or positions in management.
The graduates of evangelical Protestant schools are much more geographically mobile than their peers from public schools (7). They are not only likely to be living in their current houses for a shorter period of time, but they are also much more likely to change cities than public-school graduates (8). Reasons for this are not entirely clear, but the dislocation of seeking out post-secondary institutions with similar religious affiliations may be one reason. This mobility might also be tied to job availability. What this does show is that these graduates are not sequestered into their religious communities surrounded by members of family and church, but are quite likely to be transplanted into new areas of the country and the world.
Our findings reveal no statistical difference for evangelical Protestant school graduates finding work in their adult lives than graduates from public schools (12, 14, 15).
In terms of their likely occupation, these graduates are also more likely than graduates from the public school sector in finding managerial or professional roles (17). Yet their incomes are statistically the same as those of public-school graduates (19).
Evangelical Protestant school graduates are similar to public-school graduates when it comes to post-secondary educational attainment (22).
Religious homeschool graduates report no real distinctions from public-school graduates in terms of where they live and their mobility. These graduates are just as likely to be employed full time (15), and also just as likely to be in managerial or professional positions (18). They also report incomes equal to those from the public school sector. (19)
These graduates report having fewer years of education beyond high school than public-school graduates (21) and are significantly more likely than graduates of either public or nonreligious independent schools to end their formal education after high school (22).
Overall, religious homeschool graduates do achieve lower levels of education and are more likely to end their education at the secondary level than are public-school graduates.
In these brief snapshots, we get a first glimpse at Canadian graduates from the range of school sectors in Canada. We see that the majority of Canadians, who are educated in public schools, are more likely to have lower incomes than their peers and a lower likelihood to receive a university degree than graduates from the nonreligious independent school sector, yet they are just as likely to be employed and in positions of management as all their peers. Separate Catholic school graduates are likely to earn higher incomes than public-school graduates and are more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Catholic independent school graduates are almost indistinguishable from public-school graduates when it comes to post-secondary credentials and the likelihood of finding work. As might be expected, nonreligious independent school graduates do make more money than public school graduates and are significantly more likely to obtain post-secondary degrees; however, they are no more likely to be working full time or in positions of management. Graduates from evangelical Protestant schools are much more likely to be geographically mobile than public school graduates, and while they are more likely to obtain managerial positions, they are no more likely to be employed or to attain post-secondary credentials. Finally, the religious homeschool graduates are indistinguishable from public school graduates when it comes to the likelihood of being employed and the size of their income; however, they are less likely to attain post-secondary degrees.
While this is just the first part of a much broader picture, some of the contours are already clear. Nonreligious independent schools seem to be much better at cultivating graduates who achieve high incomes and education while the religious homeschool graduates seem to be less successful, at least when it comes to educational attainment after high school. Yet if the public school creates the standard against which all are measured, then the majority of independent schools are doing just as well, if not better, than the public sector in developing graduates who are able to work and thrive in Canada after their high school years.
SECTION TWO: Social Relationships and Personal Goals
While section 1 provides a small snapshot of the external attainments of Canadian graduates across school sectors, it is hard from such information alone to get a sense of what kind of people they have become in their time since secondary school. That is, simply by knowing the likelihood that a graduate will earn a high (or a low) income or attain a college degree or a doctorate does not provide any insight into his or her character and lived reality. The following sections will all work together to flesh out these “profiles,” but section 2 is particularly important since it narrows in on the lives young adult Canadians live today. It looks at their current family dynamics, current and past relationship statuses, their number of children, and the routines of their home. Do they eat together? Pray, read the Bible, or even talk about God together? The answers to these questions will likely surprise some. This section also looks at the hopes and dreams of graduates concerning work. Are they motivated by creativity? Better networks? God’s call? A good income? Again, the findings are not all what one might expect. Finally, this section looks at the company that graduates from various school sectors keep. Not only is this data interesting in a world where social isolation is perceived to be on the rise (de Jong Gierveld et al. 2006), but in terms of education that helps us to better love our neighbours, the diversity and range (or lack thereof) of close relationships is a tell-tale sign for how well or how poorly the various school sectors have cultivated students to share their lives with others who are different.
The first intriguing finding in the 2016 data is that there are no statistical differences between the school sectors regarding the likelihood of being divorced or separated (40); however, public-school graduates are more likely to be married than separate Catholic school graduates while being less likely than the evangelical Protestants (39). Another interesting finding is that public school graduates are more likely to cohabitate than graduates from all the independent sectors except the evangelical Protestant (44). Yet in terms of marital satisfaction, they report being more satisfied than either Catholic independent or separate Catholic school graduates, and just as satisfied as the others (45). Public-school graduates have significantly fewer children than graduates of Catholic independent schools, but are on par with graduates of other sectors. (46)
Not surprisingly, these graduates are less likely than graduates from nonreligious independent and the graduates of religious independent schools to have a child in an independent school (48), indicating that parents tend to support the educational sector they attended.
We find significant distinctions between graduates of public and independent schools in terms of time spent together at home. Public-school graduates eat meals together as a family less frequently than do graduates of nonreligious independent, evangelical Protestant, and separate Catholic schools (49), and pray as a family less often than do graduates of all other sectors (50). In addition, we find that graduates of all types of religious schooling environments talk about God and read the Bible together more often than do public school graduates.
ASPIRATIONS, ORIENTATIONS, AND SATISFACTION
The most noticeable sector differences when it comes to goals regarding work are between graduates of public schools and those of religious homeschool environments. Public-school graduates are more likely than religious homeschool graduates (but no other sector) to want a job that directly helps others (60), provides the chance to make friends (62), is worthwhile to society (63), and helps to establish community roots (64). They are also more likely to value work that provides the chance for creativity (61) and a good income (65) than religious homeschool graduates and the evangelical Protestant graduates. However, we find no school-sector differences when it comes to desiring work that fulfils any sort of religious calling (66).
More so than nonreligious independent school graduates, they report feeling helpless in dealing with life problems (69) and report feeling that life often lacks clear goals or a sense of direction (70).
Overall, there are no school-sector differences when it comes to satisfaction levels with a whole range of areas: including hobbies and non-work activities (73), family life (74), friendships (75), and health (76). There is no school sector effect that notes any significant differences on satisfaction, yet it is important to note that public school graduates are more likely than religious homeschool and separate Catholic graduates to report being thankful for much in their lives (71).
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Graduates from the separate Catholic sector are the only ones less likely than public school graduates to identify as heterosexual or straight (37), and are also less likely than public-sector graduates to be married (38). Family size is similar between graduates of both sectors (46); yet while they are less likely than public school graduates to report being married (38) or to cohabitate (44), overall, they do report a lower satisfaction with their marriages than those from the public schools (45). The reason for this is unclear, but may be due to higher expectations placed on marriage by the Catholic community.