Behind the Headline: Catholic Schools Are Back, and There’s Hope for Their Future



By 09/22/2015

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On Top of the News
Catholic Schools Are Back, and There’s Hope for Their Future
National Review | 9/22/15

Behind the Headline
Faith, Hope and Hard Work: Reflections on Year One of Partnership Schools
Education Next blog| 7/15/15

If you only read one article about Catholic schools on the occasion of the Pope’s visit to the U.S., make it this one by Andy Smarick.

“There’s more reason for optimism about the future of Catholic education than at any time in the last half century,” Smarick writes.

There are new networks of Catholic schools modeled after successful charter management organizations (think Catholic versions of the Knowledge Is Power Program). There are Notre Dame’s ACE program, often called the “Catholic Teach for America,” and other new pipelines of teachers and leaders. There are new tech-driven school models using virtual and “blended” strategies for instruction. There are innovative approaches to financing, including the Drexel Fund (the first-ever venture philanthropy fund for Catholic and other private schools) and Cristo Rey’s work-study program, which sends high-schoolers into offices one day a week.

He concludes, “The revitalization of this sector of schools is modern-day barn-raising. It’s a quiet triumph of civil society — collective action with public benefits but absent centralized government direction.”

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For more about one of the new independent networks of Catholic schools, please read “Faith, Hope and Hard Work: Reflections on Year One of Partnership Schools,” and “Why Catholic School Reform Isn’t Like Other School Reforms,” both by Kathleen Porter- Magee. Porter-Magee is superintendent at the Partnership Schools, a nonprofit school management organization that  was granted broad authority to manage and operate six pre-K–8 urban Catholic schools.

On Friday, Pope Francis will be visiting Our Lady Queen of Angels, a Partnership School in Harlem.

– Education Next

P.S. If you only listen to one podcast about Catholic schools on the occasion of the Pope’s visit, make it this show on WAMU by Kavitha Cardoza.




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