LMU Catholic Schools Study Receives National Attention


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LMU’s recently published study on the effectiveness of inner city Catholic schools has been cited in numerous local and national publications, including opinion pieces by former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez.

From Archbishop Gomez’s article in The Tidings, “Nationally, we spend about $10,300 a year to educate one student in our public schools — compared to $7,000 per student in Catholic schools. And Catholic schools have higher graduation and college entrance rates and better SAT scores — especially among low-income and economically disadvantaged students. Nationally, Catholic high schools graduate 98 percent of their students; public schools graduate about 73 percent. Despite these impressive results, Catholic schools remain ‘conspicuously absent in the national and regional dialogues about school reform,’ according to a study released over the summer by Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles’s Center for Catholic Education.”

An article in the Los Angeles Times noted, “Over the last 10 years, Catholic school enrollment in the Los Angeles archdiocese has fallen 20% to about 79,400 from nearly 100,000, according to a recent study by Loyola Marymount University. There has been a recent push, especially in Los Angeles, to make the case that Catholic schools provide a higher quality of education for low-income and minority students. The Loyola Marymount study found that students at Catholic schools in inner-city Los Angeles outperformed their peers on nationwide standardized tests, had higher graduation rates than public school students and went on to college at a higher rate than the national average.”

An article in Education Week by Philip V. Robey also cited the LMU study, particularly the 98 percent high school graduation rate and 98 percent postsecondary education attendance rate for the economically disadvantaged students in the study sample.

The LMU study, also cited in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities News and the California Catholic Daily, was conducted by the LMU School of Education’s Center for Catholic Education. The research is a part of a multiphase longitudinal study examining the effectiveness of Catholic schools in Los Angeles.

For more on the study, visit the Center for Catholic Education.