Releasing students from class for spiritual instruction: Does it hinder academic performance?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Release time programs allow public school students to be excused from classes to receive offsite spiritual instruction during school hours. With the passage of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, schools are under increasing pressure to raise test scores, which has led to questions about the advisability of allowing students to miss classes. In the face of these concerns, this study examined the relationship between release time participation and academic outcomes in a large urban school district. Contrary to what might be expected, participation in release time was not associated with lower academic test scores.The article also explores the possibility that release time may represent a form of social capital, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, helping to instill values that directly and indirectly help students to achieve academically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalChildren and Schools
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Academic outcomes
  • Public education
  • Release time
  • Religion
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education


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