Why You Should Send Your Child To A Catholic School!

We set high standards and give all children the support they need to be successful.


FACT SHEET: THE VALUE OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
National Catholic Educational Association 1/22/08
www.ncea.org

Academic excellence: Research on school effectiveness in the last 10 years has continued to focus on academic outcomes of students. The outcomes include standardized test scores, graduation rates, post-secondary aspirations, and college attendance. Catholic Schools, while they aspire to academic success, include among their primary objectives an understanding of the Catholic faith, a commitment to the practice of religion and a strong set of values. These goals, along with academic achievement, are the key components of the Catholic school’s effectiveness.
 
Catholic elementary and secondary school students, on average, out perform their public school counterparts. Catholic schools send a higher percentage of their students to college than do public schools and are more successful in preventing dropouts than are public schools. Catholic schools remain effective for minorities and disadvantaged youth as well.
 
In national and science achievement tests at both the elementary and secondary levels, Catholic school students outscored their public school counterparts; in all subjects, Catholic School students show greater academic achievement gains between tenth and twelfth grades than do public school students.  

Community service
: Prayer and mission are at the heart of Catholic Schools. Community service is a priority. 94% of schools have service programs and the average number of service hours performed by students is 79. 

Commitment of Catholic schools to the development of the whole person is a fundamental one that corresponds to the core Catholic sensibility that we should be “finding God in all things.”
 
Satisfied teachers:  Catholic educators tend to enjoy high levels of job satisfaction. When teachers were asked to respond to the question, “if you could go back to college and start all over again, would you become a teacher or not?” More than 77% of Catholic school teachers responded yes, compared to 64% of public school teachers. Reasons for this job satisfaction include: a perception of doing meaningful work and professional growth and sense of service. With regard to satisfaction measures that are specifically related to Catholic schools, teachers point to the opportunity to work in a faith community as very important to job satisfaction. 

Catholic Schools and Minority Students. The percentage of minorities in all Catholic schools has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Reasons for this increase include a greater emphasis being placed on the needs for basic Christian values and religious instruction and the emergence of school choice. Catholic schools have a distinct climate: an atmosphere that encourages and supports the learning process among students of all types. This distinctive climate aids Catholic schools in providing a quality education for inner city and at-risk students, encouraging them to excel in academic pursuits and personal development. Consistent features of Catholic school climate include generally smaller enrollment; highly structured academic programs, devoted and loyal faculty, and the practice of regular religious experiences. Catholic schools attempt to promote complete intellectual, spiritual, athletic and social development of their students.

 Catholic schools provide a setting where each child is valued. The schools are pleasant, supportive, and respectful and expect success from minority students. Environments are safe and teachers enforce the need for students to be well prepared for the future.

 Catholic schools influence their students’ choices, which result in the more equitable distribution of course-taking among all social classes. Catholic school students take more advanced math courses and the schools influence their students to take more academically challenging and risky courses than do independent schools. They provide more equality and equitability in determining who completes advanced coursework.

 The academic success of poor minority students is attained with significantly smaller financial resources than those spent by public schools. Latino and African American students in Catholic schools are encouraged to assume more personal responsibility for their intellectual development. The overall philosophy is one that leads children to believe their intellectual abilities and to strive for academic excellence.

 Catholic school and selectivity. Catholic schools are not especially selective in admitting students, particularly with regard to academic ability. This finding works against the commonly held belief that Catholic schools are selective and therefore pick only the best students. In fact, they accept 88% of all students who apply.