Home Education Across the United States
Does Parent Education Level Predict Student Achievement?
     A parent’s education background has no substantive effect on their children’s home school academic performance, according to this study. Home educated students’ test scores remain between the 80th and 90th percentiles, whether their mothers have a college degree or did not complete high school (Figure 5.1).
     For public school students, however, a parent’s education level does affect their children’s performance (Figures 5.2 & 5.3). In eighth grade math, public school students whose parents are college graduates score at the 63rd percentile, whereas students whose parents have less than a high school diploma score at the 28th percentile. Remarkably, students taught at home by mothers who never finished high school score a full 55 percentile points higher than public school students from families of comparable educational backgrounds.
Figures 5.1 - 5.3

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Footnote: * See Ray (1997) for more detail about the non-equal-interval nature of a simple percentile scale which has distortion especially near the ends of the scale.
     ** Basic battery achievement test scores not available for public school students.
     *** Public school data are for eighth grade writing scores and 13-year-old’s math scores based on tables from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research & Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics (1996, November). National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) trends in academic progress [trends report and appendices]. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.
     Home school data are for grades K-12.


Copyright © 1997 Brian D. Ray & HSLDA
This report may not be reproduced.

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