Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Wheatley, Karl F.

Subject Headings

Catholic high schools -- United States, Education, Urban -- United States, Educational evaluation, Educational psychology, Educational sociology, Catholic schools, Achievement gap, Private schools, School climate, School culture, School caring


This study examined an inner-city Catholic high school to ascertain the possible existence of an achievement gap. Pearson correlation and multiple regression analyses examined academic indicators (GPA and Math and Science OGT results) and demographic and school variables. Students (258 Black, 101 White, and 55 Hispanic) completed questionnaires, which were matched with school data and confirmatory alumni focus groups. Analyses revealed no significant differences (ANOVA) among academic indicator means. Correlations were found between academic indicators and length of Catholic education, good behavior, extracurricular participation, high-school-graduation-oriented peers, and teacher caring scores. Regression models found positive student behavior, peers, female gender, extracurricular participation, and teacher caring predicted higher academic scores. Traditional achievement gap indicators (race, ethnicity, family wealth, parent education, attendance, and 2-parent households) were not predictive. Further research should replicate this study (using HLM nesting analyses between and within Catholic schools) among students and adults in Catholic schools

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