The State Education Department routinely releases the results of the standardized tests taken yearly by the students in third- through eighth grade and they are reported in the paper, generally in the spring.
The Archdiocese of New York chooses to give some of the same tests, although as private schools they are not required by law to do so and their results are not released with the public schools.
Last week, the Archdiocese released the math and English Language Arts test scores for fourth, sixth and eighth-grade children at all of its schools that opted to give them. Like the public schools, the administration uses the tests to see if students are learning what they need to know in order to pass the high school Regents tests and to make sure individual children receive whatever support they need.
The scores showed that more Catholic school students were at or above standards than their peers in New York City and across New York State in English and closer to public school students in math. Generally, their scores matched that of their suburban counterparts.
Of those fourth-graders who took the ELA test, 68 percent were at or above standards compared with 52.4 percent of New York City public school students, 59.4 percent of public school students statewide, 68.1 percent of Westchester students, 68 percent of Rockland students and 68.4 percent of Putnam public school fourth-graders.
For sixth-graders, 65.1 percent of the Archdiocese students were at or above standards in ELA compared with 45.3 percent of New York City students, 55.7 percent of students statewide, 66.8 percent of Westchester and 66.7 percent in Rockland and Putnam students. Some 63 percent of Catholic school eighth-grade students were at or above standards in ELA, compared with 39 percent in New York City, 50.3 percent statewide, 66.4 percent in Westchester, 66.2 percent in Rockland and 66.5 percent in Putnam.
In math, 71.1 percent of Catholic school fourth-graders were at or above standards, compared with 65.7 percent of New York City public school students, 69.2 percent of students statewide, 69.8 percent in Westchester, 69.4 percent in Rockland and 69.9 percent in Putnam.
Some 59.6 percent of Catholic school sixth-graders were at or above math standards compared with 59.3 percent of New York City public school students, 65.1 percent statewide, 69 percent of Westchester students, 68.6 percent of Rockland students and 68.7 percent of Putnam students; and 63.3 percent of Catholic school eighth-graders were at or above math standards compared with 55.2 percent of New York City public school students, 61.3 percent of students statewide, 68.5 percent of Westchester students, 68.3 percent of Rockland students and 68.8 percent of Putnam eighth-graders.
Timothy J. McNiff, the Archdiocese’s superintendent of schools, said the good showing on the tests was in part due to the hard work of the adults in the system.
“Thanks to the classroom teachers and school administrators, once again our Catholic school students demonstrated continued growth in last year’s state math and ELA assessments,” he said in a press release about the scores. “These scores, which are among the highest in New York City and much of New York State, coupled with a Catholic high school graduation rate of 90 percent and with 96 percent of those graduates going on to higher education, demonstrate that investments made to continually improve instruction and professional development are paying big dividends for the children in our classrooms.”
Not all Catholic schools participated in the tests; those that did were part of a “Sustaining Excellence” program created in partnership with Catapult Learning and the International Center for Leadership in Education, with literacy and mathematics coaches made available through Catapult Learning and the Cooke Center Institute of the Cooke Center for Learning and Development.