“Should I open it?”
I was in the room, a conference center near the Phoenix airport when the original data from researchers at Notre Dame arrived during one of our Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) board meetings. This data detailed the results of a comprehensive survey commissioned by ACCS to help us see how Classical Christian graduates stack up to alumni from other types of schools.
ACCS’s President, David Goodwin, asked the board, “Should I open it? I can put the data up on the big screen.”
That took a lot of courage. I was thinking, “Yikes! What if it isn’t good?"
The data originally came in something like 160 slides. There has been a lot of work done since then to make that original data something that can be easily understood and digested. Since then, the ACCS has catalogued, condensed, and released the data in the eye-opening "Good Soil Report."
It is my privilege to share this data with you. Over the next few weeks, we'll be publishing a series of articles that examine the Good Soil Report, what it means for parents and students, and why it's an invaluable tool for people considering investing in a private education. For those families who are invested in a Classical Christian School like Veritas Academy, this report will affirm your choice with real proof of the lifelong fruit this type of education can reap in a child.
What is the Good Soil Report?
The Good Soil Report finds its roots with the Cardus Education Survey, which is a highly regarded study by a Canada-based think tank. As one of the most comprehensive and valuable surveys of its kind among education administrators, leaders, and policy-makers, a Cardus Education Survey was completed in Canada and the United States in 2011, 2014, and 2018.
The original Cardus study compared data on different educational options. It does this by looking at the lives of alumni, aged 24-42, who graduated from different types of schools or who were homeschooled. Graduates from the following types of schooling were polled and compared: Public Schools, Catholic Schools, Homeschool Students, Private Non-Religious Schools, and Traditional Christian Schools.
Knowing the quality of this study, the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) reached out to researchers at Notre Dame and asked them to compare alumni at ACCS schools with the other groups. They did this comparison using the same number of data points to ensure that all groups are compared accurately. The alumni polled in the study were graduates of schools that are part of the ACCS (Veritas Academy is an accredited charter member of ACCS). These alumni were asked a series of around 160 questions - the same exact questions used in the original Cardus study. The researchers helped ACCS take the data and put it into seven indexes that group questions and provide data that can be effectively digested.
Why it is important?
This data is important because we, as a nation, spend a massive amount of money each year on education. Sadly, these funds have not produced a lot of human flourishing. Students today seem less well prepared, less educated, and profoundly less Christian than past generations. One might be tempted to blame the public schools, but do religious schools actually produce better outcomes and more flourish for their graduates? This study aims to find answers to this important question.
The results of this report might make your heart beat a little faster with excitement for the concrete, lasting ways a Classical Christian Education can shape your child's future - their walk with God, their leadership skills, their pursuit of learning, their preparedness for college and career, and more.
This goes beyond the ample anecdotal evidence you hear from our alumni, who talk about joy in learning, love for reading, confidence in communicating, and more. This is data, painstakingly collected to mitigate bias and uncover the truth, that opens our eyes to a school's unmistakable effect on a person's path.
Before diving into the reports and graphs, you may want to read this info page, describing the methods and metrics used to help you understand how to interpret the data.
To see the full Good Soil Report, visit the Classical Difference's page here:
Are you hoping for a school that does more than just fill your child's mind with knowledge? One that will plant seeds of joyful learning, Biblical thinking, and more in their hearts for years and even decades to come? One that will prepare them exceptionally for the issues they will face in the world? We invite you to visit Veritas to find out how we are cultivating loving, serving, thinking students for life. Schedule an in-person tour or register for our Virtual Open House on July 9 to learn more!