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January 30, 2018


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A similar thing drives me crazy about my kids' school, too. It's a k-12 private school we chose because of its early language immersion programs. My older daughter switched to public high school and the younger will likely do the same (because mercy, the cost!). But the school is always crowing about being named the state's most challenging high school by the Washington Post, who simply look at the percentage of students at every school who take AP or IB classes. At this school, 100% of the kids take IB classes--that's all there is! I do think it's nice that as a result, some kids that might have only taken "regular" classes at a public high school do get pushed a little in the IB program, but to your point, they all have parents with a strong interest in education, books, learning, and so on.

Maybe worse is the crowing (at pretty much every high school) about how many merit dollars their graduates were offered when they applied to college. The amount of money seems impressive at first (millions!), but what they don't tell you is that the figure represents a SUM of numerous scholarships offered to individual kids, none (or very few) of which alone would cover a single college education. It would be much more honest to say "Our students who apply to private universities are often offered merit scholarships in the range of 15-25K/year."

My problem with CSW being celebrated by the parish is the simplistic things that the representative parent has to stand up and say: "We send our kids here because we value the faith-based education." I say this as someone who sends my kids to the parish school. But there are many parents who don't, sitting in that congregation, and do you really think they DON'T value a faith-based education? Of course they do. Perhaps they also value a COMMUNITY-based education, and the public school system, which needs good parents and students, too. To speak "at" them like they're lesser parents who DON'T value their faith REALLY rubs me the wrong way and has since I was a student (in Catholic school).

Haa, the student at mass this Sunday values her Catholic school education because she can be an altar server. Newsflash: any kid in the parish can.

We all have our reasons for sending our kids to Catholic school or public school, and I agree with you el-e-e: let's not make people feel less-than. ALSO. What if your kid is one of the ones that Jamie mentions that is not admitted to Catholic school due to their special needs. You value the faith-based education, but it's not available to your child. How does THAT make those parents feel???? Urgh.

I have my issues with Catholic Schools Week, too. One of which is that it seems they're not actually doing a whole lot of, you know, SCHOOL this week. :P

Even if we could have afforded Catholic school, there's no way we would have sent our kids to our parish school the way it was then. When an "educational" display in the hallway (obviously made by a teacher) labeled a chalice "challis" (like the fabric) we were EXTREMELY grateful for the public schools.

I have nothing to add here except "Yes."

The aspect of this kind of thing that drives me crazy is that it says loud and clear, "Your average, or non-college-bound, student is not welcome at our Catholic school."

Not all high school kids will go to college.

For many, planning to enter the military, or a trade, or to start a business, is their dream. For others, just graduating successfully will be a serious challenge.

Those students deserve a Catholic education just as much as the stars who will bring up the school's ranking and average ACT score.

Over-emphasizing scores erases those students.

The school serves the children, not the other way around; and what does it say when a Catholic school clearly has a preferential option against the college-readiness-poor?

The Cristo Rey schools nationwide have achieved excellent results with at risk kids, many of whom learned English as a second language. In my previous diocese, Messmer Catholic and the St Anthony's School system were similarly successful.

Many Catholic schools do an excellent job educating the average student. In our current diocese (which includes the two poorest counties in the state, of which we live in the second poorest), there is tremendous cooperation between the public school system, which provides all special services. At the K-8 level, speech pathology, reading, and academic enrichment services are available at the parish school.

There is a truly admirable new Catholic school in our diocese- St James Academy in Lenexa. It was founded as a classical curriculum school and has recently expanded to serve students with Downs Syndrome.

Lucy, Parish school mother of two and counting...

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