Blog author: jcarter
by on Friday, February 1, 2013

In the Wall Street Journal, Cardinal Timothy Dolan explains how Catholic Schools can combat falling enrollment while keeping standards high:

I have heard from many leaders in business and finance that when a graduate from Catholic elementary and secondary schools applies for an entry-level position in their companies, the employer can be confident that the applicant will have the necessary skills to do the job. Joseph Viteritti, a professor of public policy at Hunter College in New York who specializes in education policy, recently said, “If you’re serious about education reform, you have to pay attention to what Catholic schools are doing. The fact of the matter is that they’ve been educating urban kids better than they’re being educated elsewhere.”

The evidence is not just anecdotal. Researchers like Helen Marks (in her 2009 essay “Perspectives on Catholic Schools” in Mark Berends’s “Handbook of Research on School Choice”) have found that students learning in a Catholic school, in an environment replete with moral values and the practice of faith, produce test scores and achievements that reliably outstrip their public-school counterparts.

This is why, to the consternation of our critics, we won’t back away from insisting that faith formation be part of our curriculum, even for non-Catholic students.

Read more . . .


  • RogerMcKinney

    “A large part of the Catholic schools’ success derives from the fact that they are faith-based…”

    You don’t know that. Research has shown that the home environment is the greatest determinant of success in education. If parents value education their children will value it and put in the effort to learn. Catholic schools succeed because the parents of the students chose the school, and they did so because they value education.

    The success of charter schools is similar. They naturally attract students and parents who are deeply interested in education. By pulling the best students out of public schools, public schools become worse, but that is not the problem of the student or the parents.

    Vouchers are necessary for making private schooling available to poor parents, but more is needed. Entrance exams, such as colleges use, will be necessary to keep out students with a voucher who don’t value education and will do nothing but disrupt the process.

    We have to get over the idea that we can educate students who don’t want to learn anything.

  • rightactions

    Researchers like Helen Marks (in her 2009 essay “Perspectives on
    Catholic Schools” in Mark Berends’s “Handbook of Research on School
    Choice
    ”) have found that students learning in a Catholic school, in an
    environment replete with moral values and the practice of faith, produce
    test scores and achievements that reliably outstrip their public-school
    counterparts

    “Moral values and the practice of faith” are generally more effective than “Because I said so” and “It’s the law”. But the latter is all the secular government-run politician-controlled teacher-union harassed taxpayer funded school employee has.

    And now thanks to Mark Berends, we have the science to back up our moral intuition.

    A ‘social study’ is the elaborate demonstration of the obvious by means that are obscure.
    –William Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education

    P.S. It’s time to separate School and State, for much the same reasons of conscience that others advocate separating Church and State. After all, in the long run the most principled course also proves the most practical.