Outperformers

STUDY FINDING

In all grades,
in schools of all
sizes, students in
Adventist schools
outperformed the
national average
in all subjects.

Academic Performance of Students in Adventist Schools

The CognitiveGenesis study set out to answer these two related questions:

  1. How well are students doing academically in the Adventist school system?
  2. How does academic performance in Adventist schools compare to academic performance in public schools and other private schools?

Standardized Iowa achievement tests provided data about the students, but context and meaning would come from a comparison group.

The researchers selected the 2005 national norm group for comparison which included students from public schools (90%), Catholic schools (5%) and private non-Catholic schools (5%).

In the results show here, the 50th percentile is the national average. Anything above this represents above average academic achievement.

Results by Grade percentile ranking

grade

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 11

total:

All Students

60

61

60

57

59

63

62

68

61

 Adventist Education

66

69

68

66

72

73

72

79

70

Results by Subject percentile ranking

grade

Reading

Language Arts

Mathematics

Social Studies

Science

Sources of Information

composite:

All Students

63

62

55

59

63

59

61

 Adventist Education

71

70

62

67

70

78

70

Achievement by ability level

Ability test scores were used to divide students in Adventist schools into four groups (left column) based on their aptitude. Actual achievement scores were significantly higher than predicted (right column).

abilities test percentile rank

1–25

26–50

51–75

76–99

average:

 Difference from Predicted Score

+8.08

+4.55

+4.27

+3.02

+4.98

Overachievers

Academic Achievement of Adventist School Students

In addition to using achievement tests to see how well students in Adventist schools were acquiring knowledge, the CognitiveGenesis study used ability tests (also called aptitude tests) to assess how well students could think and reason in such areas as verbal skills, comprehension and problem solving.

There’s a correlation between ability and achievement tests. With a fair degree of accuracy, the results of aptitude tests can be used to predict how well students will do on achievement tests. However, when the CognitiveGenesis researchers compared the predictions against actual achievement scores, they were in for a surprise. Students in Adventist schools were consistently doing better academically than had been predicted. They were overachievers in the best sense of the word.

STUDY FINDING

Students in Adventist schools had higher-than-expected academic achievement based on an assessment of individual ability.