Catholic Schools Earn High Marks on Nation’s Report Card

Catholic schools demonstrate academic excellence on 2015 science assessments

Arlington, VA -- The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often referred to as the Nation’s Report Card, is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation’s students know and can do in subjects such as mathematics, reading, science and writing. The assessment results for grades four, eight and twelve show that Catholic schools consistently outperform public schools in science.
“Academic excellence in Catholic schools is proven time and again through tests such as the SAT and AP exams, as well as through assessments such as NAEP,” said National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) President/CEO Dr. Thomas W. Burnford. “Catholic schools are sacred places of faith formation, and where 1.9 million Catholic school students receive an outstanding education.”  

There are four achievement levels for this assessment: below basic; basic; proficient and advanced. An overall scale score of 0 – 300 is derived from the testing results of all four levels.  Catholic schools have a scale score of 167 for the fourth, eighth and twelfth grade levels compared to the public school scale scores of 153 for grades four and eight and 149 for grade twelve. 

Using only basic, proficient and advanced level results for fourth grade, 38 percent of Catholic school fourth graders are at a basic level compared to 39 percent of public school students; 50 percent of Catholic school students perform at a proficient level compared to 36 percent of public school students; and two percent of Catholic school students are advanced compared to one percent of public school students.

The eighth grade science assessment results show 36 percent of Catholic school students performing at basic levels and 34 percent of public school students. Forty six percent of Catholic school eighth graders are at a proficient level contrasted by 31 percent of public school students. Advanced level results are two percent for both Catholic school and public school students.

Grade twelve results for Catholic school students performing at basic achievement levels are 41 percent and for public school students it is 38 percent.  At the proficient level, Catholic school students are at 32 percent compared to 19 percent of public school seniors. And for Catholic schools four percent of students are at an advanced level compared to two percent of public school students.

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