Cardus Logo

Cardus Religious Schools Initiative measures important factor in parents’ school choice for their children

HAMILTON, ONTARIO – (CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE) – Researchers working at the University of Notre Dame have confirmed a key factor in why Canadian and U.S. parents often place their kids in independent religious schools. Using data from the recently updated Cardus Education Survey, they found that parents are strongly influenced in their school choices by the type of high school from which they themselves graduated.

The full research report is available here. It shows:

• Graduates of private religious high schools in Canada and the U.S. are more than twice as likely to enroll their children in private religious schools.
• Canadian parents who send their children to private religious schools in Canada attend religious services more frequently than parents who send their children to public schools.
• Parents who attended Canadian public Catholic schools are least likely to enroll their children in secular public schools.

Dr. Beth Green, program director of Cardus Education, says these findings highlight the need for educational diversity.

“Many parents feel a legitimate need to preserve and cultivate religious values in the next generation through schooling,” says Green. “While most parents still choose government-run schools, I think the research underlines the need for education systems to be open to a diversity of options.”


About Cardus
Cardus is a think tank dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture. It conducts independent and original research, produces several periodicals, and regularly stages events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S. To learn more, visit: and follow us on Twitter @cardusca.

About the Cardus Religious Schools Initiative
The Cardus Religious Schools Initiative (CRSI) seeks to generate new theoretical and empirical tools for understanding religious schools. CRSI conducts research which aims to appreciate the uniqueness of religious schools’ mission and organization, to reveal the extent that religious schools improve outcomes for students, families, churches, and communities, and to show the links between school mission and organization and student and family outcomes. To learn more, visit:

Daniel Proussalidis

Cardus – Director of Communications
613.241.4500 x.508