ISSUE 5: MAY 2014

Inside This Issue
FAAC Spring Meeting
Net Neutrality
2014 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)
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Executive Director
"Where does Jesus send us?  There are no borders, no limits:  he sends us to everyone.  The Gospel is for everyone, not just for some.  It is not only for those who seem closer to us, more receptive, more welcoming.  It is for everyone."
Pope Francis

I take this opportunity to assure you of many prayers at the end of this 2013-2014 academic school year.  We ask the Holy Spirit to be with you and all in your school communities during the summer months. 


Associate Director of Public Policy

FAAC Spring Meeting
The Federal Assistance Advisory Commission held its spring meeting by conference call on May 9, 2014. Thank you to all members who participated to make it a lively and productive telephone meeting. We have 3 members rotating off the Commission--I wish to thank Jim Cultrara (New York), Cissy Frakes (Arizona), and Diane Starkovich (Georgia) for their exemplary service. They are each doing great work for our Catholic schools in their respective regions and I will continue to use them as a resource moving forward. Please join me in welcoming our newest members to FAAC: State Catholic Conference Executive Directors Jenny Kraska (Colorado), Ned Dolejsi (California) and Glenn Tebbe (Indiana). The next meeting of FAAC will be on October 25, 2014 in Albuquerque at the CACE Meeting.

Net Neutrality


This is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open internet. Net neutrality means that internet service providers may not discriminate between different kinds of content and applications online. It guarantees a level playing field for all websites and internet technologies. But all that could change. Last week the Federal Communications Commission voted to accept a new net neutrality proposal offered by Chairman Tom Wheeler and open up the proposal for public comment. While the proposal does ban internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to websites, there is wiggle room that would allow internet providers to charge companies for faster and more reliable delivery of their traffic to users. The concern is that this would create "fast lanes" for companies that pay up and mean slower traffic for others, with a net effect of squelching free speech on the internet for average Americans.


This is of particular concern now that premium broadband for schools is more important than ever with states taking on new online assessments. It could also restrict the ability of schools and colleges to perform and research, to collaborate and to provide students with the best access to information and the best opportunities to learn. While there is a 60-day period in which to file comments to this rulemaking, the FCC has already received over 30,000 comments in 4 days. We are monitoring this closely while still continuing to advocate for the modernization of E-Rate to include a cap raise. Originally we expected the FCC to issue an order on E-Rate Modernization this month. But given the increased activity and attention being devoted to net neutrality, the order is not expected until July or August.



2014 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)                         


A picture is worth a 1,000 words. The following information was provided in a recent webinar on NAEP Sampling. It quantifies the percentage of public, Catholic and other private schools that participated in Mathematics and Reading testing for 2013. Unfortunately, there is no reportable Catholic School data for grade 12 from this testing because a participation level of 70% or more of the population is required to conduct a fair and accurate sampling. The categories of no reportable data are highlighted in red below:


Schools Type

4th Grade

8th Grade

12th Grade

Overall Public




Overall Private








Other Private





In evaluating your school's participation in the upcoming 2015 NAEP, please consider the following:


  1. NAEP data has consistently shown that Catholic school students score higher than the national average across all subjects.

  2. Not participating is a missed opportunity to tell the Catholic school success story. We need and rely on data to tell this story on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress and their staff use it to convince their colleagues to support their initiatives in support of Catholic schools.

  3. NAEP tests are now administered by NAEP personnel and the tests only take 50 minutes (in two 25-minute blocks).