Assessment of Children/Youth Religious Education programs (NCEA ACRE) National Reports

Annual Summaries

Based on requests from many users and working with the NCEA, Computerized Assessments & Learning prepares and posts a summary of NCEA ACRE (2001) Part 1 performance (assessment scores and Standards classifications) compiled based on where students receive their religious education instruction. These table report results based on grade (5, 8, 9, 11 or 12), location (School or Parish program), and time of year when the NCEA ACRE was administered (Fall, Winter, Spring of a particular academic year). Currently reports are available for the academic years ending in June of 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Note, the national summaries provide scores for the cognitive portion of the asssesment only and are intended for comparative use by the schools, parishes, and diocese with full report data.

Sample Findings

  • Best predictors of achievement in faith knowledge are the type of program enrolled (parish or Catholic school) and reported Mass attendance.
  • Best predictor of Relationship with Jesus are students’ images of God, the importance of being Catholic, and the importance of praying the rosary. Type of program is not a predictor of Relationship with Jesus
  • Results from the prediction of students’ faith knowledge and religious practice show the importance of family and the parish
  • Catholic school students score higher on cognitive faith knowledge (Part 1) than those enrolled in parish programs with the score differences being larger in Level 1 (5th grade) and Level 2 (8-9th grade) than in Level 3 (11-12th grade)
  • Effective indicators (Part 2) are similar for both Catholic school and parish program students at Level 1 and Level 2; more variations at Level 3 with parish students reporting higher agreement with preferred Catholic indicators than Catholic high school students

Implications for Practice

  • Intended content (particularly a text or series) is not the sole factor in achieving effective catechesis
  • Data can help inform critical conversations with families and leaders about the benefits and limitations of faith practice as well as instructional support
  • Investing in forming the adults as people of faith, particularly the faith literacy of catechists/teachers, is highly likely to increase student achievement
  • Parish programs need assistance in examining how to develop a solid foundation of faith knowledge to accompany lived faith



What Do Our Children Know About Their Faith? Results From the ACRE Assessment, Dr. John Convey, NCEA

A well-respected researcher, Dr. Convey makes the national Assessment of Children/Youth Religious Education (ACRE) data accessible. Read about predictors for faith formation, Mass attendance, and relationships with Jesus. Discover how colleagues in dioceses, schools, and parishes produce exemplary results. Use the book with Catholic school faculty and volunteer catechist in-services. Click HERE to purchase in our online store.