Value Catholic Education Essay

Value Catholic Education Essay-21
The theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2019 is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

The theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2019 is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.Abigail Akano was not sure she wanted to be principal.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.

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“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?

She rarely visited classrooms except to tally up data points for various forms she needed to complete.

She knew it was not an efficient way to run a school, but there was no time to think of a better system. Mary’s School, providing the high-level, big-picture decisions about mission and vision and money, and often hiring a principal to implement day-to-day school management.

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.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.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.There were budgets to make, payrolls to process, teacher contracts to negotiate, candy-bar fundraisers to run, and that bathroom on the first floor was not going to fix itself.When she met with her supervisor, the parish pastor, they focused on whatever was urgent (like that bathroom) and seldom on what they cared about most: ensuring that every student at Sacred Heart was getting a character-shaping, life-changing education rooted in the Catholic faith. Akano felt disconnected from her teachers and students.Shortly into her first year as principal, her fears were confirmed.“I spent a lot of time learning to do tasks that, quite frankly, I was not educated for,” she recalled.(Photo: Authenticated News/Archive Photos/Getty Images)By 1960, nationwide enrollment in Catholic schools had peaked, with more than 5.2 million students.“Then change roared across the nation,” the Catholic education experts Andy Smarick and Kelly Robson write in “Catholic School Renaissance,” their 2015 report for the Philanthropy Roundtable.


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