According to the Cato Institute in its February 2012 report on schools, “One of the first things you learn when you start to study the comparative performance of school systems is this: on average, Catholic schools are much more educationally effective and vastly more efficient than state-run schools.”
Academically, Diocese of Richmond Catholic schools outpace their counterparts in nearly all categories. For example:
Higher Test Scores: Catholic schools score higher on standardized test scores. A report by the the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) shows that in Mathematics alone, 8th graders in Catholic schools scored 12 points higher than their public school counterparts in 2017. Within the Richmond Diocese, our schools consistently rank in the top 12% on standardized tests.
Higher SAT Scores: SAT scores published by the U.S. Department of Education show a steady decline in test scores over the last several years with mathematics scores falling by 6 points and writing falling by 8 points since 2006. By contrast, SAT scores for Richmond Catholic Diocesan schools continue to grow with an average score of 1135, in 2018, compared with the Virginia average of 1118 and the national average of 1059.
Higher Graduation Rates: Diocese of Richmond Catholic schools maintain a 99% graduation rate. The U.S. average, according to the National Center for Higher Education, is 85% (based on 2017-2018 national data) .
More Graduates Attend Four-Year Colleges: The percentage of seniors attending a four-year college is higher among Catholic school students (86.5%) compared to other religious schools (63.0%) and other private schools (56.8%). In the Diocese of Richmond, in 2019, over 96% of our graduates are attending four-year colleges.
More College Scholarships: Over $28.5 million in scholarships and grants were offered to 219 high school seniors graduating from Richmond Diocesan Catholic schools in the class of 2019.
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s schools are individually accredited by AdvancED and approved by the Virginia Council for Private Education as authorized by the Virginia State Board of Education.
In addition, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond is accredited as a district by AdvancED. The Diocese of Richmond was the first diocese in the country to achieve this distinction in 2006.
District accreditation through AdvancEd allows for the use of a common language school improvement across content areas and grade levels, as well as across individual schools, feeder schools, and district lines of responsibility. District accreditation also provides the district and community with validation and recognition for improvement efforts as well as required actions that are designed to further the district’s effort to improve.
With nearly 100 international students from 13 countries, the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Richmond values it’s ethnically diverse student body.