About the Catholic High School Honor Roll
Few doubt the importance of education. The founders of the United States linked widely available education to the preservation of freedom. The education of the founders themselves was heavily indebted to the program of learning that had its roots in the monasteries and universities of medieval Europe—that is, in institutions closely tied to the Church. In the United States, the Catholic Church has continued its impressive academic legacy by establishing, maintaining, and expanding the largest non-governmental school system in the world.
The inadequacies of public education in the United States are well known, but there are many harmful trends present in Catholic schools as well. Today’s Catholic educators face a number of serious challenges: financial difficulties, high rates of student and teacher turnover, lack of recognition from local communities, lagging academic standards, pressure to dilute Church teachings, and the culture of moral relativism pressuring the schools. Those schools that face these struggles with excellence and integrity deserve to be recognized.
"The Catholic school ... leads its students to promote efficaciously the good of the earthly city and also prepares them for service in the spread of the Kingdom of God." (Gravissimum Educationis, Declaration on Christian Education, Second Vatican Council)
The primary goal of the Catholic High School Honor Roll is to acknowledge those schools that maintain high academic standards, uphold their Catholic identities, and prepare their students to actively engage the world. A “constructive competition” of sorts, the Honor Roll encourages schools to improve the academic and spiritual formation of America’s youth. After analyzing and highlighting the particular strengths of Catholic secondary schools, the Honor Roll publishes a list of America’s Top 50 Catholic Schools as measured in the areas of academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education.
Since the Honor Roll’s inception in 2004, schools on the Top 50 list have enjoyed well-deserved distinction and praise from bishops, school boards, donors, the media, and, most importantly, parents. Hundreds of media stories about the Honor Roll have accompanied the positive recognition from clergy, principals, board members, and teachers. Visit the “What they're saying” page to view these stories.