Archdiocesan Assessment Program

The primary purpose of the Archdiocesan standardized assessment program is to improve student learning. The focus is on the individual student, rather than groups of students. Standardized tests are useful tools for assessing student progress and for evaluating the appropriateness of curriculum and the effectiveness of instruction. An Archdiocesan-wide standardized assessment program has been in place for more than twenty years. Elementary schools administer standardized tests to all students in grades four, six, and eight. The Iowa Assessments (IA) and the Cognitive Ability Tests (CogAT) are currently used for the Archdiocesan Assessment Program. Elementary schools also develop local assessment plans that supplement the Archdiocesan assessment program. Schools incorporate a wide range of instruments and activities in their local assessment plans. This may include use of the IA and CogAT with other grades or at other times of the year.

These tests are given in September each year in the belief that results should be used to address the educational needs of individual students and to make adjustments in curriculum and instruction during the current school year. Students with diagnosed special learning needs are not excluded from standardized testing. They are afforded the recommended appropriate accommodations during test administration. The effective use of assessment can assist a school in achieving its learning goals and enable students to evaluate their own progress.

The performance of students in the elementary schools of the Archdiocese has been consistently above the national average during the period of time a standardized assessment program has been in place. It is important to recognize that standardized test scores are just one indicator of success and quality and should only be used with other measures. The Archdiocese does not publish results of the standardized assessment program, because those results are not used to compare schools.

For additional information about the Archdiocesan assessment program contact:

Dr. Cathy Johns
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Catholic Education Center
20 Archbishop May Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63119