NEW YORK – Jewish day schools make a difference in the lives of children, their teachers and the communities they serve, according to information from Yeshiva University Institute for University-School Partnership.
However, with escalating costs, a lagging economy and new educational models, day schools’ sustainability has become an existential challenge, according to information published in ejewishphilanthropy.com.
Although research conducted by Jewish communal agencies has long endorsed Jewish day school education, a new academic study provides evidence about the power of faith-based education.
William Jeynes, a senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J. – not a Jewish day school professional – has published an important paper in the Peabody Journal of Education that notes: “[A]ttending private religious schools is associated with the highest level of academic achievement among the three school types [religious private schools, charter schools and public schools], even when sophisticated controls are used to adjust for socioeconomic status.”
Jeynes’ data, derived from an analysis of 90 studies on a variety of educational institutions, provides external validation. Because the data comes from a totally unaffiliated source, with no investment in Jewish day schools, it achieves a kind of objective authority.
This research confirms that Jewish day school education does make a significant difference. In an interview with the Council for American Private Education, Jeynes said: “Students who attend religious schools score at an academic level about 12 months ahead of their counterparts.”