Acton Institute Powerblog

Improving Catholic Education

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For Catholics, few doubt the importance of quality Catholic secondary education. However, many know that the current state of Catholic secondary education in America leaves much to be desired. The question that naturally rises is “what can concerned people do to enact serious improvement?”

The Acton Institute offers at least one solution. The Catholic High School Honor Roll is a unique evaluation system that assesses the overall quality of Catholic high schools based on academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education. Before the Honor Roll’s launch in 2004, there were no national evaluations for Catholic secondary schools.

Now, under the guidance of a notable advisory board, the annual top 50 list has become a “measuring stick” of sorts that honors schools for their good work and serves as a competitive motivator that helps schools continually strive for improvement.

It also generates significant national recognition for the schools and has proven to be a great resource for parents and others interested in Catholic education. Kyle L. Groos, principal of O’Gorman High School, said that the Honor Roll made “a huge impact within our community.” In an environment where parents are searching for quality Catholic education, “they want and need to know that we are considered one of the top Catholic high schools.” The Honor Roll has given schools the opportunity to help parents make the decision of where to send their children.

You can help support vibrant Catholic educational excellence and facilitate reform by encouraging schools in your area to apply for the Honor Roll. The deadline for applications is May 15. It involves no cost for you or the schools.

Anthony Pienta


  • Jude Chua Soo Meng

    Hi all, just in case this might interest you. I’ve recently completed a draft paper on what I call the “central case” of a school, and it recommends evaluation policies. It’s developed based on Grisez/Finnis/Aquinas (if you may). It argues that a school in its central case is one which embodies an ethos of openness towards the basic goods. Let me know if you are interested; I’ll send it to you, but you cannot quote since it’s still an experimental paper.

  • wanabesaint

    the phrase is, knowledge without wisdom is a dangerous animal.
    and that is todays indoctornation of minds, that since we have passed the test of intellect, we are liecented to be dangerous animals devoid of the Truth of wisdom..