LMU Study Finds Inner City Catholic School Students Outperforming Public School Peers (June 2011)


Through its research, the Center for Catholic Education is seeking the most effective approaches to running Catholic schools and educating their students, as well as providing data to support the value and impact of a Catholic school education.

Research by the School of Education, in partnership with the Catholic Education Foundation, is bringing much-needed attention to the value and impact of Catholic schools. One study analyzes the long-term impact of Catholic schools, particularly in educating poor and marginalized students. Findings from the study's first phase – showing a substantially higher graduation rate for at-risk Los Angeles-area Catholic school students than for their counterparts in public schools – have drawn national attention, including a reference in a Wall Street Journal editorial on Catholic education.

There is more ahead for LMU's Catholic Schools Research Project. The completed second phase of the study analyzes how Catholic schools prepare low-income and marginalized students for post-secondary education, looking at student achievement data such as SAT scores along with college enrollment rates.

Future research will expand on the effectiveness of Catholic schools and develop new models for sustainability and collaborative partnerships to ensure that the tradition of Catholic education endures.


The Center for Catholic Education works to secure the continued viability of Catholic education by engaging constituents at the local, state and national levels as part of its outreach mission. Research into critical questions affecting Catholic Education is disseminated to policymakers and funders, increasing knowledge of the contribution and successful outcomes of Catholic schools. The CCE works to pursue partnerships with other Catholic universities, organizations and departments of education to further its outreach goals. The CCE is in a favorable position to present best practices and research findings at local and national conferences which promote Catholic education. CCE host speakers and offers workshops on issues closely affecting our not just Catholic schools in Southern California, but Catholic schools nationally. The national field of Catholic education is the beneficiary of the mission-driven work of the CCE .