The following is a Sept. 10 news release from the Archdiocese of Baltimore:
The Archdiocese of Baltimore announced today that students in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese exceeded the national average on standardized test scores in every age group tested and in many cases students scored in the top third of students nationally.
Scores for the standardized achievement tests, administered earlier this year to students in grades three through eight, indicated marked improvement from grade to grade, with few exceptions in fifth and sixth grades, the time when many parents are transitioning students from public schools to Catholic schools.
Scores in the higher grades were particularly strong, with average scores for 7th grade students placing in the 74th percentile in reading, language and math, while eight grade students placed in the 73rd percentile in reading and math, and the 76th percentile in language.
“These test scores demonstrate that our schools work and that our committed teachers are doing an excellent job of preparing the students we serve for high school and beyond,” Archbishop Edwin O’Brien said. “Catholic schools remain an excellent investment for parents to make for their children’s future.”
The Archdiocese will post the test scores for each school on its website, www.archbalt.org, beginning next week.
“Parents rightly want more information about the academic quality of the schools they are considering for their child’s education,” Dr. Ronald J. Valenti, Superintendent of Schools said. “We are proud of how well our schools and our students perform and are eager to share that with both prospective and current parents.”
Third grade students tested in the 65th percentile in reading, 63rd percentile in language and 60th percentile in math. Fourth graders placed in the 75th percentile in reading, 77th in language, and 72nd in math. While fifth grade students tested in the 72nd percentile in reading, 73rd percentile in language and 69th percentile in math. Sixth graders placed in the 73rd percentile in reading, 69th percentile in language and 70th percentile in math.
Students in inner-city Catholic elementary schools, many of whom receive tuition assistance from the Partners in Excellence scholarship program, scored near or above the national norm for all subject areas, with performance showing marked improvement from grade to grade.
The Stanford Achievement Test is the standardized battery of tests used by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The tenth edition of the Stanford Achievement Test, known as the Stanford 10 is the most recent and is used by school systems throughout the United States. The test developers incorporate national standards as appropriate for different ages and grades.
Last year, 97 percent of students in Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese graduated and 95 percent went on to attend college.