WASHINGTON (EWTN News)—A research synthesis paper released by the Family Research Council indicates that students from intact biological families experience greater academic success than those from disrupted families.

“We cannot ignore the fact that the vast majority of American youth grow up today without both their biological mother and father,” said Patrick Fagan, director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at the Family Research Council. “This has significant, weakening effects on the educational attainment of our students.”

“If we want to turn America’s educational system around, we must encourage America’s parents to remain together in a committed relationship,” he said.

The paper was released on Sept. 19, just after the publication of reports by the College Board that showed SAT reading scores are at a 40-year low. The paper, “Marriage, Family Structure and Children’s Educational Attainment,” examines the connection between children’s educational achievement and the marital status of their parents.

The research found that adolescents from intact biological families have higher math, science, history and reading test scores than their counterparts in disrupted families. Furthermore, such adolescents report that their parents have higher educational expectations for them, are more involved in their education, and are more likely to supervise their schoolwork and social activities.

Children from intact biological families are also more likely to graduate from high school, enter college and complete a four-year college education than those from disrupted families. Students from uninterrupted backgrounds are also more likely to care about doing well in school and less likely to be suspended or expelled from school.

“Policymakers and candidates who are serious about reversing these lower SAT scores should start by advancing policies that encourage, and not hinder, family formation and marriage,” Fagan said. “Strengthening the family is fundamental to bringing up the next generation to be competitive in this ever-evolving world.”