Value Catholic Education Essay Soccer Leader Essay
“White Catholic families departed cities in droves.
Church membership and Catholic observance declined, and the flow of new nuns and priests”—who had provided a steady supply of low-cost teachers—“shrunk to a trickle.” Plus, the threat of anti-Catholic bigotry was no longer on parents’ minds.
Driving this shift toward more collaborative styles of decision-making is a twofold recognition.
First, with a limited number of new ordinations, priests need to focus on the church’s sacramental life; and second, schools benefit from the specialized skills lay leaders can offer.“The church can no longer do it,” said Christine Healey, president of the Healey Education Foundation, a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization that provides training and funding to Catholic schools.
“And if we believe we want to invite the laity to help solve the equation, do we only want them to raise money for us?
Or will we also give them some operating control to be part of the solution?
(Photo: Authenticated News/Archive Photos/Getty Images)By 1960, nationwide enrollment in Catholic schools had peaked, with more than 5.2 million students.
Abigail Akano was not sure she wanted to be principal.”Of course, how much control a board has—and who is a voting board member—varies considerably among schools.In some models, for example, parish pastors can appeal decisions made by the school board to the archdiocese; in others, the scope of a board’s authority is limited to a narrow set of decisions—differences that reflect a range of approaches to balancing the leadership of clergy and laity.Despite these infinite possibilities, when it comes to decision-making, there is a clear pattern.Most schools today are shifting power from a single person (the pastor) to a board of directors that includes a combination of members of the clergy, laypersons and diocesan leaders.But the neighborhood—part of the poorest congressional district in the United States—was struggling.The median household income was ,042; more than 40 percent of families with kids under 18 lived in poverty. Akano think twice about the job; it was the paperwork.Embedded in these approaches are different answers to the big questions of Catholic education: How much power should be given to the laity and how much retained by the hierarchy? Yet on one topic, there is agreement: The era of the parochial school—at least in the form that has dominated Catholic education in recent memory—is over. 1: “We’re afraid not.”For extra credit, here is a primer.How do we balance independence with the call to be in solidarity with each other? For a quick study of the past several decades of parochial education, consider the following lines from the 1993 film starring Whoopi Goldberg, “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.” Nun: “St. Though some parish schools existed during the colonial era, today’s parochial system was shaped by the anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic spirit of the early 1800s.In a crisis, she could call the diocesan superintendent or make a “mayday” call to a nearby principal, but for the most part, “the expectation was that you would figure stuff out on your own.”Multiply stories like Ms. Uhl belongs to a movement of administrators, philanthropists, diocesan leaders and education experts who are rethinking the parochial, or parish-based, model of Catholic education. But today Catholic schools are shifting some of that authority from pastors and principals to other sources. Uhl and his colleagues, these changes let principals focus on coaching teachers, free up pastors to focus on the school’s spiritual life, offer the laity more robust opportunities for leadership, and—crucially—ensure that Catholic schools maximize educational quality and financial sustainability.Akano’s across the United States and you are looking at one of the major challenges Catholic primary education currently faces: Running a parish school has become too much for one pastor and one principal to handle.“For so long, we’ve held up independence and site-based management as the hallmarks of good Catholic schools,” said Tim Uhl, who is superintendent of Montana Catholic schools and host of the podcast, newsletter and blog “Catholic School Matters.” “But what we’re seeing today is that leaving someone alone to run their school and saying, ‘All the best! These alternative models—and there are many—do not offer a single vision for the future of Catholic schools.