Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Catholic Schools’ Success Is Built on Commitment

March 15, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Having just finished your article on the Gesu School in Philadelphia (“A Spiritual Investment,” Feb. 23, 2005), I felt a flood of recognition and warmth from my experiences in Roman Catholic schools. Though I am currently a public school superintendent, I spent much of my career teaching, coaching, and administrating in Catholic schools.

The dedication and commitment of the employees of these schools is difficult for many to understand. This is not an indictment of the wonderful, dedicated people in public schools, but there is a quantum difference in the commitment of Catholic-school people, in that many of them see their work as a holy mission. Why else would people work so hard to raise the funds to keep their schools in existence and then work so devotedly to educate children?

Those who support public schools do not need to feel threatened by the success of such schools, and private school supporters should not demean the contributions of public schools. Both are necessary. Who among us honestly believes that if these same inner-city kids at Gesu School were in a public school in the same building, with $5,200 per student being spent on them, 95 percent of them would eventually graduate from high school? You can’t argue with this kind of success.

If we truly are committed to the education of young people, we shouldn’t be pitting public schools against private schools. We should understand that there is a role for each, and that we need to cooperate in whatever ways we can.

We are all the better for the existence of Gesu School, because the children from the projects of North Philadelphia that it educates now have a chance to be successful contributors to society. These kinds of schools are rare, and we should not begrudge any child the chance to attend them, regardless of where the funding comes from.

Chuck Schmidt

Mission Valley Unified School District 330

Eskridge, Kan.

A version of this article appeared in the March 16, 2005 edition of Education Week as Catholic Schools’ Success Is Built on Commitment

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Working Smarter, Not Harder with Data
There is a new paradigm shift in K-12 education. Technology and data have leapt forward, advancing in ways that allow educators to better support students while also maximizing their most precious resource – time. The
Content provided by PowerSchool
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read