Thursday, August 27, 2009

Catholic Schools Outperform

This story made the front page of the Guelph Mercury last week. Apparently Catholic students in Ontario outperform public school students by a significant margin in standardized tests. I really wanted to title the post "Catholics are Smarter" but there's not enough data to support that statement - at least not beyond grade 6. Even so the C. D. Howe Institute report was bold in it's conclusions:

Students in Catholic schools perform better than their counterparts in the public education system, believes an analyst who has extensively studied Ontario's schools.

“For reasons we don't necessarily know, Catholic schools do better in Ontario,” said David Johnson of the independent C.D. Howe Institute.

“My conclusion is that Catholic boards are better. No matter how you slice this data, the Catholic boards outperform the public boards.”

The institute's latest report on education notes 10 of the top 11 schools in the province – based on test results of students in grades three and six – are Catholic schools.

Johnson, an economics professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, noted across the province, students in Catholic schools always do better than their public board peers.

That's a pretty solid endorsement of Catholic education. Parents take note.

9 comments:

KellyR said...

Catholic schools perform better? I thought everyone knew that! It's common knowledge out here in next year country.

KellyR said...

...freedom to excel only really comes when you are under authority.

wonderraven said...

I'd be interested in knowing how Protestant schools are performing compared with Roman Catholic schools. Does anybody know?

Russell said...

I don't know if the Catholic school system in Ontario is anything like the one in Alberta. But it is a little known fact that the catholic school system in Alberta actively encourage parents with special needs and problem children to go to the public school system were they would get better help. When the testing is done all children are tested and with the public school system having the vast majority of the special need children and problem children with behavioral and leaning disabilities the scores are brought down quite a bit. I wouldn't doubt this is the same case in Ontario. So you can say the scores are miss leading.

Manuel said...

Also in Alberta the Catholic schools have a lower student to teacher ratio which can provide more attention to a specific students needs. Mind you the only reason that is the case is due to lower attendance in the catholic school system as a whole.

Skinny Dipper said...

In Ontario, there is technically only one Protestant school board. It is located in Penetanguishene. I think it has only one or two schools.

While the Catholic boards do have special needs students, many parents who are eligible to send their special needs children to a Catholic school send them a public school. Special needs children receive levelled grades of zero or one on EQAO tests. That's an F or D. The F's occur because many special needs students do not write the EQAO tests.

Russell said...

I also should be noted that most of the ESL (english as a second language ) children attend the public school system. This is also a factor in bring down the scores.

eug said...

Hey Patrick! Just found your blog back, and am enjoying your posts, new and old. Thought you'd want to know that the possessive "its" is spelled sans apostrophe. Now, about that Catholic/Protestant education question...
Eug

Patrick O'Neil said...

Hi Eugene!

LOL! I guess you caught me! I'm a product of the public school system. I've only been Catholic for about 7 years.