Latinos in the United States are the fastest growing school-age population. At the same time, they remain the most underserved by traditional public schools and are affected by a persistent educational achievement gap.
Research suggests, however, that Catholic schools educate Latino and other underserved student populations particularly well. For many Latino communities, they represent a beacon of hope. In urban America, Catholic schools often provide the highest quality education available to Latino children and families, and research suggests that students who attend Catholic schools enjoy an educational advantage that helps to close the achievement gap.
Latinos who attend Catholic schools are 42% more likely to graduate from high school and 2.5 times more likely to graduate from college than their peers in public schools.
The educational attainment rates, as well as a broad range of advantageous holistic outcomes connected to Catholic schools, is what we refer to as the Catholic school advantage. There are many dimensions to the Catholic school advantage, including higher graduation rates, demonstrated academic achievement, character formation, civic engagement, and a variety of prosocial and pro-ecclesial effects.