Parochial schools are private schools that have some type of religious affiliation, be it with a diocese, parish or non-Christian denomination.
To attend a parochial school, students need to apply and take an admission test (often the Secondary School Admission Test [SSAT] and Independent School Entrance Exam [ISEE]). Most parochial schools do not require that a student share the same religion as the school, but regardless, students are required to attend religious services and take religious education classes.
Parochial schools are funded by the religious organization that supports them, tuition payments, and private donations or their endowments (should they have one). Educators at parochial institutions do not have to be trained or certified and may be clergy members.
The curriculum at a parochial school is outlined in their charter, or set forth by their board or trustees or governors. Most schools are less concerned with meeting state standards than they are with the individual development of a student. Some are accredited by their states, but their curriculum is not required to meet state standards. Their students do not need to take standardized tests (except the National Assessment of Education Progress [NAEP] test, which they must take every four years).
Catholic high schools in 2008 had the highest graduation rate in the country and generally have higher college admission rates than public schools.
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