Archbishop Dolan is in the news, yet again.  And so is Waiting for Superman.

In a timely and thoughtful Daily News article, Archbishop Dolan offers a great insight on the importance of  K-12 Catholic education as ed reformers search desperately for a superhero.

Consider the following:

Superman is already here – and he’s waiting in the classrooms of New York’s Catholic schools.

If only the film had focused some of its attention on what is happening in our inner-city Catholic schools. I can’t help but be proud of what we have accomplished here in New York. Last June, 99% of our high school seniors graduated, and 96% pursued college.

These results are even more impressive considering Catholic schools serve the same demographic as public schools. Nearly 70% of children attending our inner-city Catholic schools come from families living at or below the federal poverty level, and 94% of our students are minorities. As reformers debate whether high-quality charter schools or traditional public schools better serve low-income children, Catholic schools should not be left shouting on the sidelines.

While the students in our schools have become more diverse over the years, the purpose of Catholic education remains the same. We provide a values-based, academically excellent and nurturing school to our children. Yes, we proudly teach our students about the Catholic faith, yet we also serve children of all faiths, or none at all, respect each of their backgrounds and care equally about their future.

Our schools still do a remarkable job with children – and they desperately need support from wider society.

To quote the Archbishop, Superman is indeed waiting.  And he could definitely use our help.

In other news, the Archdiocese of New York’s Office of the Superintendent of Schools just released the strategic plan discussed in an earlier post.  To download the plan, follow the link off this page. Might this bold vision for centralized financing represent the future of K-12 Catholic education in other urban areas?

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