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Archdiocese of Chicago Elementary School Students Exceed National Standardized Achievement Test Norms

The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools announced today the results of standardized achievement tests administered in 2010 to third, fifth, and seventh grade students. The test scores demonstrate that, in every major grouping of schools, the students achieved scores above the national average for all subtests.

The average total score (combined performance of Reading, Language, Math) for the 215 elementary schools across Lake and Cook Counties are at the 72nd percentile for third graders, 72nd percentile for fifth graders, and 80th percentile for seventh graders.

Performance on science and social studies tests at schools across the Archdiocese exceeded national norms with: third graders scoring at the 73rd and 75th percentiles, respectively; fifth graders scoring at the 70th and 71st percentiles, respectively; and seventh graders scoring at the 68th and 77th percentiles, respectively.

Total scores of Catholic school students in the City of Chicago were equally impressive with results at the 65th percentile for third grade students, the 65th percentile for fifth grade students and the 74th percentile for seventh grade students.

Further, Catholic school students in Chicago also scored above national norms in science and social studies with: third grade students at the 69th and the 71st percentiles, respectively; fifth grade students at the 63rd percentile and the 64th percentiles; and seventh grade students at the 62nd and 73rd percentiles, respectively.

In Catholic schools supported by the Big Shoulders Fund, where the students are 80 percent minority and 61 percent at the poverty level, every score in all five testing areas was above the national norm.

In the United States, TerraNova tests, published by California-based CTB-McGraw Hill, are widely used by both public and Catholic school systems. TerraNova tests are dually aligned with Archdiocesan curricula and Illinois State Learning Standards.

The Archdiocese of Chicago requires the administration of TerraNova tests to students in grades three, five and seven. Many schools in the Archdiocese elect to administer in other grades. In 2011, the TerraNova will be administered between February 28 and March 11 to students at Catholic elementary schools in Cook and Lake counties.

TerraNova 3 Test Results 2010
National Percentile (NP) Scores
Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools Catholic Schools in Chicago Catholic Schools Big Shoulders Fund
Elementary School Grades 3rd 5th 7th 3rd 5th 7th 3rd 5th 7th
Reading 67 70 75 62 64 71 50 52 64
Language 70 70 81 63 64 76 50 52 67
Math 71 69 75 65 63 68 53 51 59
Total 72 72 80 65 65 74 52 52 64
Science 73 70 68 69 63 62 58 50 54
Social Studies 75 71 77 71 64 73 60 53 65

NOTE: National Percentiles are National Percentile of the mean normal curve equivalent score. The above data reflects Archdiocese of Chicago Elementary Schools.

These test results suggest that the longer a student remains in Archdiocesan schools, the greater his or her achievement.

For more information about Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, or to locate a Catholic elementary or high school in Cook or Lake Counties, please visit

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