(The Following is a guest post from Bill Schmitt, Communications and Media Specialist for the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame)

Why do you support Catholic schools? The Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), a nationally recognized initiative at the University of Notre Dame,  has been asking people that question—and providing answers—as part of a celebration of Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 30-Feb. 5.

Several commentators are posting their answers at the “ACE Advocates” website that is officially debuting during the week. The comments will also be appearing at the Advocates’ Facebook and Twitter sites. The website contains a related feature called “Why Catholic Schools?” and also summarizes decades of rigorous educational research on school effectiveness, all of which points toward what scholars call “the Catholic school advantage.”

The “why” and the “how” of supporting Catholic schools was also addressed by ACE on more than 100 Catholic radio stations on Monday, Jan. 31. ACE’s John Schoenig spoke about Catholic schools and school choice on the Son-Rise Morning Show, broadcast nationally. Schoenig is director of the Program for K-12 Educational Access within ACE Consulting.

ACE has participated in a number of media discussions about Catholic schools, from Our Sunday Visitor to US Catholic. Go to ace.nd.edu and click on the links in the “News” section of the homepage to see the articles. Follow the new ACE Advocates website to find the latest news plus opportunities to put one’s support for Catholic schools into action.

ACE Advocates is a national movement under the ACE umbrella, uniting Catholic school supporters to foster greater commitment to, support of, and innovation for Catholic schools. Other ACE initiatives at Notre Dame include a long-standing formation program for new Catholic school teachers that sends its participants to work in under-resourced schools around the country. A related initiative, the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, prepares its participants to become Catholic school principals and leaders in diocesan school systems.

ACE co-founder Rev. Timothy Scully, CSC, reflected on challenges and hope in Catholic schooling in a piece published Jan. 30.  His comments are posted at Spes Unica, a blog of the Congregation of Holy Cross vocations office.  Father Scully is director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives, an academic unit that includes ACE’s master’s degree programs and interdisciplinary research endeavors such as the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, directed by distinguished sociologist Mark Berends.

Please feel free to spread the word about ACE’s activities. We welcome mutual linking. Comments or questions for any ACE people? Bill Schmitt can be your first step at wschmitt@nd.edu and 574-631-3893.

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