WELS students score above average
Students from grades three through eight in 248 WELS schools and 12 Evangelical Lutheran Synod schools are scoring above the national average in academics, according to the ECRA Group, Inc., a national education research firm.
Normally half of all students around the country are expected to perform at or above the 50 percentile. In WELS, tested students are at or above the national level in these different academic areas:
The Commission on Lutheran Schools contracted with ECRA in 2008 to facilitate the use of the TerraNova test, a nationally standardized achievement test used by public and private schools around the country, with participating schools. About 11,000 students from WELS and ELS were tested in fall 2010. Participation in the program is optional; about 75 percent of WELS schools are involved.
Statistics also show that the longer the students attend WELS schools the higher they are performing in these academic skills compared to the national levels—whether they are high, average, or low achievers.
“The testing results confirmed that our Lutheran elementary schools are able to meet the needs of all levels of students,” says Greg Schmill, director of the Commission on Lutheran Schools. “Our students are growing at rates above what the rest of the country is experiencing.”
According to Schmill, because ECRA is analyzing and comparing data on individual students over the past three years, participating schools are also able to see where students are growing and where they are struggling. “There’s really some good information that our schools can get to in a convenient way,” he says. “They can then use that information to take a look at the curriculum and instruction in the school—both for the entire school and the individual student.”