theory includes what he called the three
planks-parental involvement (much), in-
structional program (e.g., considerable
flexibility, with extensive dialogue be-
tween adults and children), and learning
environment (safe and orderly, with less
negative peer culture)—that are advan-
tageous compared to public and private
institutional school settings.
The Black home-educated students
in this study performed as well or better than the national average of public
school students of all races/ethnicities,
while Black students in public schools
score, in general, far below average. Also,
the scores of these Black homeschool
students were far above the scores of the
Black public school norm students in
In fact, analysis revealed that having
been home educated was a consistent,
significant predictor of higher achieve-
ment while controlling for gender of stu-
dent and the socioeconomic status of the
student’s family. Being homeschooled
was associated with a positive effect size
of roughly 42 percentile points in read-
ing, 26 percentile points in language, and
23 percentile points in math.
One way to look at these findings is
that even if the Black homeschool students’ scores had been just a bit above
the national average of all students, that
news would have been a very big story.
Black children whose teachers (their parents) are not government-certified teachers, and not using $11,000 of tax dollars
per year, and scoring not only above
Black public school students, but as well
as all students? That kind of news should
catch the attention of a lot of people.
In reflecting on the value of predictive
power in research, Wieman put forward
the following: “In cutting-edge research
in the hard sciences, there are always
things that one wants to know or mea-
sure or control that one cannot, just as
there are in education research.” 10 I have
tried to control some of the most signifi-
cant variables in this study, and I have
tried to heed Wieman’s warning that “it
is possible to be too careful.” I think it
is likely that this study provides findings
“that are reproducible and have adequate
predictive power to advance the field” of
research on homeschooling in general,
and on Black parents home educating
their children in particular.
Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., is president of the
National Home Education Research Institute, a nonprofit research and education
organization. Dr. Ray often serves as an
expert witness in courts, testifies to legislatures, and is interviewed by the media.
Brian is married to Betsy and they have
eight children and four grandchildren.
Note: You can keep the think tank
NHERI and Dr. Ray doing this work by
donating here: http://www.nheri.org/
donate.html. NHERI is not publicly/tax
1. Ray, Brian D. (2015). African American homeschool parents’ motivations for homeschooling
and their Black children’s academic achievement. Journal of School Choice, 9: 71–96.
2. Murphy, Joseph. (2012). Homeschooling in
America: Capturing and assessing the movement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, a Sage
3. Ray, Brian D. (2013). Homeschooling associated with beneficial learner and societal outcomes but educators do not promote it. Peabody Journal of Education, 88( 3), 324–341.
4. Murphy, 2012, above.
5. Ray, Brian D. (1997). Strengths of their own—
Home schoolers across America: Academic
achievement, family characteristics, and longitudinal traits. Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute.
6. Ray, Brian D. (2000). Home schooling: The
ameliorator of negative influences on learning? Peabody Journal of Education, 75( 1 & 2),
7. Ray, Brian D. (2005). A homeschool research
story. In B. S. Cooper (Ed.), Home schooling in
full view: A reader (pp. 1–19). Greenwich, CT:
Information Age Publishing.
8. Ray, 2013, above.
9. Murphy, 2012, above.
10. Wieman, Carl E. (2014). The similarities between research in education and research in
the hard sciences. Educational Researcher,
43( 1), 12–14; quotes, p. 13-14.
A Complete Curriculum
Meets 2 Year College Prep Requirement
Fun & Easy for all Ages: K- 12
Developed by a Homeschooler
No Prior Language Knowledge Required
Based on French & Spanish Phonograms
Hands-on Cultural Activities
Used in Missionary Training
Great Commission Languages Inc.
www.TheEasyFrench.com 1-866-773-7254 www.TheEasySpanish.com
Equip your Children to Change the World!
Fun & Easy Foreign Language Learning
Le Français Facile!
The Easy French!
¡El Español Fácil!
The Easy Spanish!
The relatively high achievement, compared to Black public school students, is
consistent with decades of research on homeschooling in general.