New study confirms homeschoolers outperform public schoolers and unschoolers

A Canadian study shared in a press release from Concordia University yesterday confirms what American researchers have known for several years:  Homeschool students score better on standardized tests than public school students. This new research, conducted by Concordian and Mount Allison Universities, added another twist, however, and compared homeschoolers with a structured curriculum with those who use an “unschooling” approach.  The former were found wanting.

As early as the mid 1990s, Arizona legislators had discovered that homeschoolers typically scored in the 70-85 percentile on the then-required Iowa test, while the state school pupils averaged around 40-50th percentile.  This discrepancy held true for years as Arizona educators tried out different assessments.  Homeschool students were dropped from the mandatory testing in 1995, and Arizona become one of the first states to allow freedom to homeschool without government intervention.

Highlights from the Concordia University and Mount Allison University study press release

  • This is among the first nonpartisan studies to investigate home education versus public schooling.
  • 74 children living in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were compared: 37 homeschoolers versus 37 public schoolers. Participants were between 5 and 10 years old and each child was asked to complete standardized tests, under supervision of the research team, to assess their reading, writing, arithmetic skills, etc.

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