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Faith Related Schools in the United States: The Current Reality

  • Joseph M. O’KeefeEmail author
  • S. J.
  • Michael T. O’Connor
Chapter

Abstract

In the 2009–2010 school year, approximately 4,400,000 (7 % of all students) attended just over 19,000 religiously affiliated schools (20 % of all schools) staffed by 315,000 teachers (9 % of all teachers) in the United States. This chapter provides an overview of this important, though relatively small, sector of American education. It begins with an overview of the history of faith related schools in the United States. Then, using nation-wide data from the federal government and other sources, it examines trends in student demographics (racial and ethnic composition, religious differences), staffing patterns (public-private-faith related staff comparisons, teacher and principal characteristics, movement and retention, and salary), sustainability (expenditures, fundraising, innovation), and curriculum and effectiveness (curriculum and standards, teacher training and qualification, and academic and non-academic outcomes). After assessing the data, particular attention is given to current policy debates such as: funding schemes through tax vouchers and credits, government’s role in personnel decisions, and the impact of the rapidly growing sector of public charter schools. Lastly, the chapter describes the unique challenges and opportunities that differentiate faith related schools in the U.S. from their counterparts in other countries, particularly given contemporary attitudes toward religion and faith related schools.

Keywords

Academic outcomes Challenges Christian non-denominational schools Curriculum Diversity Enrollment of students of affiliated faith Enrollment of students not affiliated with faith Episcopal schools Funding History Innovation Islamic schools Jewish schools Leadership Lutheran schools National Center for Education Statistics Non-academic outcomes Principals Private education Public education Roman Catholic schools Teachers 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph M. O’Keefe
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. J.
    • 1
  • Michael T. O’Connor
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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