Classical Education is Academic Excellence
Students at classical curriculum schools tend to test higher than students from other schools. They are also more likely to do well in both college and the workplace.
Students who study Latin also test higher than other students.
A study in Philadelphia showed 4th – 6th graders who studied Latin placed a full year higher on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Similarly, the 1981 LaFleur study found that the average verbal score for Latin students on the SAT was nearly 150 points higher than those of non-Latin students. LaFleur concluded that the higher scores could not be attributed to the fact that Latin attracted brighter, more capable students since German and Russian also attracted students of a similar caliber and these students were similarly outscored by the Latin students.
Why? Dorothy Sayers explains that:
[T]he best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this, not because Latin is traditional and mediaeval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least fifty percent. It is the key to the vocabulary and structure of all the Teutonic [and Romance] languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of all the sciences and to the literature of the entire Mediterranean civilization, together with all its historical documents. … Latin should be begun as early as possible–at a time when inflected speech seems no more astonishing than any other phenomenon in an astonishing world; and when the chanting of “Amo, amas, amat” is as ritually agreeable to the feelings as the chanting of “eeny, meeny, miney, moe.” (Dorothy Sayers, “The Lost Tools of Learning”)
- For additional research on the study of Latin and academic performance see Alice K. DeVane, ‘Efficacy of Latin Studies in the Information Age’ (1997, Valdosta State University) http:// teach.valdosta.edu/whuitt/files/latin.html
- For data on the performance of students at classical schools compared to other schools, see Anthony B. Splittgerber, ‘The Effects of Classical Education on Achievement in Lutheran Schools’ (2010, Concordia University) http://www.zionkearney.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Splittgerber.classicalresearch.spring2010.pdf.
- Further information is also available on the statistics page at the Association of Classical & Christian Schools website.