HARTFORD – Catholic students in the Archdiocese of Hartford are exceeding both state and national averages in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the most widely implemented standardized test for college admission, and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), taken by elementary students.
Students from the nine high schools in the archdiocese surpassed the average scores in all areas of the SAT, especially in the writing and reading sections. On average, they scored 523 in reading, 519 in mathematics and 527 in writing.
Students in the state’s public high schools scored an average of 502 in reading, 505 in math and 506 in writing; nationally, high school students scored an average of 497 in reading, 514 in math and 489 in writing.
The ITBS scores also are higher. Students in third through seventh grades at archdiocesan schools exceed the national average in reading, math, language arts, social studies and science.
ITBS scores are reported in both grade equivalents and national percentiles. This year, consistent with the last decade of scores, the average performance of students in archdiocesan schools on all subtests measured in the top 20 percent of students tested nationally, with many students performing on average in the top 90th to 99th percentile nationally.
All students tested in grades three through seven, on average, scored in the top 90th percentile or better across the board nationally in language arts.
Most notable were the test scores of seventh graders in the archdiocese, who, on average, tested at an 11th-grade equivalency in language arts, 10th-grade equivalency in science and the later part of the ninth-grade equivalency in reading, math and social studies.
Valerie Mara, director of curriculum design for archdiocesan schools, noted that these scores exceed the outstanding results from the previous year.
"It’s like an Olympic gold medalist beating his own record," said Mrs. Mara. "These exemplary scores indicate that our Catholic school students will be prepared to tackle the challenges that lie ahead in college as well as [in] future career aspirations."
The high school graduation rate of Catholic schools in the archdiocese is 100 percent, and 97 percent of the student population attend college, said Mrs. Mara.
Schools superintendent Dale R. Hoyt commended the students.
"It is evident that they work extremely hard in order to achieve such outstanding results," he said.
He also expressed gratitude to the school administrators, faculty and staffs who, he said, "are steadfast and conscientious about executing our mission of fostering a culture of educational excellence through critical thinking with an emphasis on moral education, community and service."