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Archdiocese of Chicago Elementary School Students Exceed National Test Norms in Every Academic Category

Chicago, IL (December 5, 2011) – The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools today released the results of TerraNova standardized achievement tests administered in 2011 to third, fifth and seventh grade students. The test scores demonstrate that, in every major grouping of schools, the students achieved scores above the national average for all test categories.

Millions of students across the country take the TerraNova tests and, by comparing their scores, a national norm is established, which indicates students' performance at different grade levels. This national norm is set at 50. Scores above 50 indicate that students are performing above the norm; scores below 50 indicate below norm performance. 

The scores, (National Percentiles are the National Percentile of the mean, normal curve equivalent score), for the 215 elementary schools across the City of Chicago, Lake and Cook counties are: 

  3rd Grade 5th Grade 7th Grade
Reading 68 70 75
Language 70 72 82
Math 72 70 76
Science 74 72 69
Social Studies 76 70 76

In Archdiocesan Catholic schools supported by the Big Shoulders Fund, where the students are 80 percent minority and 61 percent at the poverty level, every score in all five testing areas was above the national norm.
In the United States, TerraNova tests, published by California-based CTB-McGraw Hill, are widely used by both public and Catholic school systems. TerraNova tests are dually aligned with Archdiocesan curricula and Illinois State Learning Standards.

The Archdiocese of Chicago requires the administration of TerraNova tests to students in grades three, five and seven. Many schools in the Archdiocese elect to administer the tests in other grades. 

For more information about Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, or to locate a Catholic elementary or high school in Cook or Lake counties, please visit

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