In Catholic Schools and the Common Good, researchers Valerie Lee, Anthony Bryk and Peter Holland point to the unique characteristics of the Catholic school environment that promote academic achievement: a common core of academic work; decentralized, efficient governance; inspirational ideology; and a supportive, communal, and collaborative atmosphere. These characteristics play out in some of the hallmarks of a Catholic school education, including community service, extensive graduation requirements, a clear consensus about the purpose of the school, a set of core values, and actions that promote the common good – and they achieve results.
Nationally, the Catholic Church educates 2.1 million elementary and high school students every day. While this education costs the Church $10 billion annually – and saves the American taxpayer $18 billion per year – Catholic school graduates are going on to university studies at the rate of 92%. In the Diocese of Austin, the graduates of our six Catholic high schools exceed the national average for attending college.
How do we do it?
The curriculum in our Catholic schools is designed to prepare students for college and beyond. Serving Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, the Catholic schools provide a Christ-centered education in which Catholic identity permeates the entire curriculum. The curriculum encourages our students to reach their fullest capacity and teaches the whole child – spiritually, academically, physically and socially.