Catholic Schools in the Public Interest

Past, Present, and Future Directions

Edited by:
Patricia A. Bauch O.P., The University of Alabama

A volume in the series: Research on Religion and Education. Editor(s): Larry Burton, Andrews University. Anthony J. Dosen, DePaul University, Chicago.

Published 2014

This book is a study of the contributions of Catholic K-12 schools in the United States to the public interest from the 1800’s to the present. It presents seven strategies that have the possibility of leading Catholic schools in positive, new directions. Outsiders often misunderstand the mission, purpose, and inclusivity of Catholic schools. This book brings a new focus on Catholic schools from the perspective of their service to this country through the education of Catholics and non-Catholics. In 16 chapters, a variety of scholars examine these schools across three periods: echoes of the past, realities of the present, and future directions.

The intention of the editor and authors of this volume is that Catholic schools and those interested in conducting Catholic school research will find guidance, especially in examining newer types of partnerships flourishing in different types of Catholic schools in different regions of the country and types of schools from rural, suburban to city and inner-city schools. By increasing the data we have, such studies could help stem the tide of Catholic school demise.

In addition, Catholic school leaders, and parents who chose them or are thinking about choosing them, will find here a balanced description of what constitutes a Catholic school and how they are different from public schools. In understanding better the role and function of Catholic schools in serving the public interest, new ideas, innovations, and improvements can help these schools survive and grow.

Acknowledgments. Preface. Introduction: Catholic Schools and the Public Interest, Patricia A. Bauch, O.P. Part I: Echoes of the Past. The Past before Us: Historical Models for Future Parish Schools, Timothy Walch. African-American Catholic Schools: An Enduring Legacy of Faith, Leadership, and Literacy for Freedom, Paul E. Green. From the Eliot School Rebellion to Campion Hall at Boston College: Solidarity, Public Interest, and School Vouchers—A Test Case for the Catholic Imagination, Fred W. Herron. Catholic Schools’ Enduring Presence in Urban America: From Conversion to Mediation, Gerald M. Cattaro and Kevin Smith. What Dooms Catholic Schools and How to Counteract It: A Research-and-Action Agenda, Donald A. Erickson. Part II: Realities of the Present. Academic Achievement in Catholic Schools: That’s Not the Issue, Stephen J. Denig. Mindfulness, Structure, and Effectiveness: A Catholic Elementary School Study, June Clare Tracy, O.P., Paul Miller, and C. John Tarter. Catholic Teacher Induction: A Multi-Dimensional Experience, Gregory L. Chatlain and Barbara L. Brock. “Because We Are Catholic”: The Social Context of Catholic School Identity, Laura Blackwell Clark and Claire E. Smrekar. Inclusion of Students With Disabilities in Catholic Schools, Martin Scanlan. Courageous, Comprehensive, and Collaborative: The Renewal of Catholic Education in the Twenty-First Century, Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J. and Erik P. Goldschmidt. Part III: Onward to the Future. Catholic School Survival and the Common Good: Trends, Developments, and Future Directions, Bruce S. Cooper and Steven D’Agustino. Finances and Catholic Schools: Toward a Viable Future, Leonard DeFiore. The Child Benefit Test: An Overview and Update, Charles J. Russo. The Legalities and Practicalities of Catholic Charter Schools, Lawrence D. Weinberg. Summary and Conclusion: The Innovative Road Ahead, Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J., Bruce S. Cooper, and Patricia A. Bauch, O.P. About the Editor. About the Contributors. Index.

"Catholic Schools and the Public Interest is an excellent contribution to international Catholic education studies in the quality of its scholarship, the rigour of its research and the rich resource of its policy ideas for securing and enhancing the future of Catholic schools in challenging conditions.

This is a book which will establish that contemporary Catholic schools are not, as critics suggest, a private and exclusive enterprise, but an educational mission devoted to the service of the common good of all people and to the public interest of all societies.

This book has the potential to change public and political attitudes toward Catholic schools, not only in the USA but also internationally. It deserves a wide readership." Professor Gerald Grace Director, Centre for Research and Development in Catholic Education. University of London, Institute of Education, UK

"Catholic schools are a national treasure. At a time when the only metric of educational conversation is standardized tests, these schools remind us that a true education of persons entails so much more. Because what and how these schools teach - about education as a force for moral and social good - this book belongs in our national conversation. It deserves to be read by all constituents - researchers, politians, parents, and educators." Anthony S. Bryk President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Stanford, CA, USA