June 9th 2007

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Climate change: don't spoil a good story with facts

NATIONAL SECURITY: How to fight global terrorism

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Kevin Rudd attack on Howard comes unstuck

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Nuclear power, ethanol can cut CO2 emissions

PRIMARY INDUSTRY: Wheat industry win, but final outcome uncertain

OPINION: Caving in to predatory big business

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Workplace relations and human asset-stripping / The Tampa victory revisited / Another tinsel turkey for Auntie / Show and tell

DRUGS POLICY: Drugs must be a federal election issue

CHINA: Beijing's crackdown ahead of Olympics

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Can we afford to ignore the Middle East?

MEDICAL ETHICS: Intentionally deformed ... for her own good?

EDUCATION: Intact family the single most critical factor in academic success

THE WORLD: Poland - front line in the culture wars

OBITUARY: Polish-Australian Stan Gotowicz a man of many parts

Howard Government's 'generosity' disputed (letter)

Apology for error (letter)

Why families can't afford a home (letter)

CINEMA: Family - the necessary refuge for sinners

BOOKS: MENACE IN EUROPE: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's, by Claire Berlinski

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Intact family the single most critical factor in academic success

News Weekly, June 9, 2007
Being reared in an intact family helps children the most to achieve the best, a Melbourne study has revealed.

What is the single most critical factor in the academic achievement of children: socioeconomic status, family structure, or the resources of home and school?

Judging from a study involving more than 6,000 schools in 32 countries by Gary N. Marks at the University of Melbourne, being reared in an intact family helps children the most to achieve their best.

Marks looked at data on more than 172,000 15-year-olds tracked in the 2000 version of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

He found that students who were living with both parents had consistently higher reading and maths scores than their peers from other living arrangements.

Students living with single parents had significantly lower reading scores in 18 countries and significantly lower maths scores in 21 countries.

The negative educational effects of living with single parents were strongest in the United States, which Marks noted as having the largest proportion of 15-year-olds in that category.

- from Gary N. Marks, "Family size, family type, and student achievement: cross-national differences and the role of socioeconomic and school factors," Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 37 (Winter 2006), pp.1-24.

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