The NCEA Information for Growth: Assessment of Children/Youth Religious Education (NCEA IFG: ACRE) is annually administered to all Archdiocesan students, both Catholic and non-Catholic, in grades five, eight, and eleven. The ACRE is produced by the National Catholic Educational Association and serves as an integrated approach to assessment offering both faith knowledge (cognitive domain) as well as beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and practices (affective domain) sections. Results of the ACRE are used by Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta to guide the implementation and development of religious instruction and formation.
Archdiocesan students are tested annually in grades two through eight using the Iowa Assessments (formerly known as ITBS). This national examination serves as a standard to assist Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta in assessing the delivery and mastery of the curriculum. Student performance on the Iowa Assessments is utilized by schools to inform annual goals, to guide professional development efforts, and as an indicator in the pursuit of continuous improvement.
The Cognitive Abilities Test is administered to students in grades two, five, and seven. The CogAT is intended to estimate students’ learned reasoning and problem solving abilities through a battery of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal test items.
According to the results of the 2007 NAEP Catholic School students scored higher than the national public school average in every category in both grades four and eight, by as many as 21 points.
According to the 2008 results of the SAT students in religiously affiliated schools scored higher than the national public school average in every category, by as many as 65 points.
Following the guidance of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), archdiocesan Catholic schools do not post standardized test scores. Standardized test scores, as used by archdiocesan schools, are administered for the purpose of analyzing individual student growth and informing instructional decisions and are not intended to be a measure of overall school quality. Archdiocese of Atlanta achievement testing information may be found on the Office of Catholic Schools website.