What is CognitiveGenesis?

Seventh-day Adventist educators have long maintained that their students' achievement test scores (Iowa Test of Basic Skills scores), pass rates, and college matriculation percentages consistently outpace most public school and even other private school systems. The Annual Council of American Private Education Report indicates performance of private education students on nationwide standardized tests routinely outpaces those of public school students. Are these impressive facts or just well-intentioned propaganda?

CognitiveGenesis is the first division-wide (United States, Canada, and Bermuda) study to assess Adventist academics in elementary and secondary schools. Researchers at La Sierra University, in conjunction with the North American Division Office of Education (NADOE) and the cooperation of all nine unions, will undertake a three-year project. This research initiative will document the academic achievement of approximately 30,000 students in the NAD and examine the various factors that are related to achievement.

 

United States Results 2011 Summary Report

Data Set

  • Test data was collected over 4 years: Fall 2006 to Fall 2009.
  • Survey data was collected over 3 years: Fall 2006 to Fall 2008.
  • Incomplete test data and scores judged to be invalid were removed.
  • The final data set used for all analyses included 51,706 students with data gathered for 1, 2, 3, or 4 years.

Grade 3-8 Results

  • Median composite achievement over the four years was at the 60th percentile (above the national norm).
  • Median composite ability over the four years was at the 55th percentile (above the national norm).
  • Mean achievement was almost a third of a grade level higher than predicted based on ability.
  • Median composite achievement for students tested all four years increased from the 65th percentile in the first year to the 68th percentile in the fourth year.

Grades 9 & 11 Results

  • Median composite achievement over the four years was at the 65th percentile (above the national norm).
  • Median composite ability over the four years was at the 62nd percentile (above the national norm).
  • Mean achievement was almost a third of a grade level higher than predicted based on ability.

Major Relationships

  • Students in smaller schools achieve as well as those in larger schools as measured by the change from one year to the next.
  • Students do better the longer they are in an Adventist school.