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The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) has a rich background of highly successful schools dating back to the 1850s.  Our schools seek to achieve high academic standards, enrich young lives with fine arts programs, and above all, share God's love with the world.  WELS schools serve thousands of children across the United States each year.  The article shown below highlights the some of the success of our schools.

Research Study Indicates High Achievement Levels and Value-Added Academic Growth for the [WELS]  Class of 2014
In a recent research study ECRA Group, Inc. analyzed and evaluated the Fall 2013 TerraNova Achievement Test results for WELS students in the Classes of 2014 through 2019 who participated in the WELS annual fall assessment program. This overview highlights some of the results for the Class of 2014.  
At a summary level, there are three key findings from the study: 
- The Class of 2014 outperformed the nation in the areas of reading, language, mathematics, science and social studies in the fall 2013 testing. 
- Group findings across five years of testing indicate that the longer students attend WELS schools, the better they do in outperforming the nation in the basic skills areas. 
- Whether male or female, whether gifted, average, or in need of additional coaching and extra instructional intervention, this year’s research study generally confirms the effectiveness of the instructional program in addressing varying student achievement levels. 

The ECRA... study for the Class of 2014 includes information for approximately 1,540 students who tested in grade 8. While there is some variability in student achievement levels across schools, on average, the Class of 2014 outperformed the nation in the test areas of reading, language, mathematics, science and social studies. In fact, the average national percentile scores for the Class of 2014 in these areas were in the 73rd to 79th national percentile range, which is 23 to 29 percentile points higher than the national average. 
While the above information was based on the fall 2013 average performance levels of approximately 1,540 students in grade 8, a more in-depth analysis tracked 1,171 of these students who attended WELS schools for each of the past 5 years, i.e. from grade 4 in 2009 through grade 8 in 2013. This means that 76% of the students in grade 8 who tested in the fall of 2013 attended WELS schools for the past 5 years. 
Three different performance levels within this group of 1,171 students were evaluated in order to determine whether the instructional program is effective in addressing the academic needs of above average, average, and below average achieving students. 
The value-added benefit of the WELS instructional program is clearly evidenced for all three levels of learners as each group consistently outperformed similar students across the country in each of the five content areas: 
- Above average WELS students generally scored 12-17 percentile points higher 
- Average WELS students generally scored 24-30 percentile points higher 
- Below average WELS students generally scored 30-37 percentile points higher 



*This is copied from a WELS CLS newsletter.  The WELS compiled this information based on results given by ERCA Group, Inc.

The same newsletter included a link to a study done by William H. Jeynes, Dept. of Teacher Education at California State University.  It highlights a recent meta-analysis showing that religious private schools hold a distinct advantage over traditional public schools and charter schools. 

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