Last week, the College Board reported that 57 percent of the college-bound class of 2011 did not meet the
SAT’s College and Career
Readiness Benchmark. The low proportion of students meeting this threshold,
which is designed to indicate “the level of academic preparedness associated
with a high likelihood of college success and completion,” comes as no surprise
to those who understand where academic capacity really grows: the intact
When comparing the academic performance of children reared in intact families to those in non-intact families, it becomes inescapably clear that those raised in intact families do better. Our latest MARRI project, “Marriage, Family Structure, and Children's Educational Attainment,” demonstrates this on the basis of differences in both raw student achievement (e.g. test scores, GPA) and in student behavior (e.g. attendance, engagement, suspension from school).
“Marriage, Family Structure, and Children’s Educational Attainment” also shows that different family structures generate different environments at home. For example, parents in intact families tend to have higher expectations for their children and to be more involved in their children’s education. They also tend to worship more and to have higher incomes, both of which facilitate strong academic outcomes.
Those who analyze the
and the performance of students who take it will likely produce a variety of
solutions to improve academic achievement in the
These solutions may have merit, but the best way to ensure student success is
to strengthen the family. U.S.