(NEW YORK) -- Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that higher quality schooling has a significant impact on the ability of children in poverty to improve their academic performance and avoid risky behaviors.
According to the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers at UCLA selected 900 economically disadvantaged students, 500 from a charter high school and 400 from a public school, to compare their academic achievement through graduation. They determined that 91 percent of students who attended charter school graduated, compared to just 76 percent in public school.
The students who were given the opportunity to attend charter school were less likely to skip classes, and performed better in standardized testing in both math and English. Researchers also noted that while students at the charter school or the public school both engaged in risky behaviors -- including drugs, alcohol and risky sex -- the students in the charter school were less likely to engage in multiple of those behaviors simultaneously.
The data suggests that given the opportunity to attend better schools, disadvantaged students may be able to improve their school performance, researchers say.
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