School Choice & Charters

First Of His Kind

By Jeff Archer — January 28, 2020 1 min read

In 1976 Leonard Defiore became the first lay person to be named superintendent of schools for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Twelve years later, he had the similar distinction of becoming the first lay school superintendent for the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey. In July, Defiore claimed another first. He became the first lay person to take the reins of the 92-year-old National Catholic Educational Association, which represents the nation’s Catholic schools, colleges, and seminaries. Defiore, who attended Catholic schools in Philadelphia, takes over the organization at an auspicious time for Catholic education. After three decades of declining enrollments, Catholic schools have seen four consecutive years of increases. Enrollment is up by about 160,000 students from its low of about 2.47 million in 1990. For the past 10 years, under the leadership of Sister Catherine McNamee, the NCEA encouraged local Catholic schools to improve their marketing and fund raising. Many also added early childhood programs, which have helped boost overall enrollment. “For 20 years, the problem was we had more buildings than we had children,” DeFiore says. “We have quickly turned in many places, especially in the suburbs, to where we have many more children who want to come than we have buildings to put them in.’' With Catholic education apparently no longer on the defensive, Defiore says the NCEA can now focus more on instruction.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the September 01, 1996 edition of Teacher

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
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Home Schooling Is Way Up With COVID-19. Will It Last?
The shift could have lasting effects on both public schools and the home-schooling movement.
10Homeschool IMG
RyanJLane/E+
School Choice & Charters Opinion Challenging 3 Common Critiques of School Choice
A new volume from Corey DeAngelis and Neal McCluskey challenges some of the familiar but suspect assertions that pepper public debates about school choice.
3 min read
School Choice & Charters Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion COVID-19 Has Capsized the Case Against School Choice
Amid the pandemic, public schools aren't able to deliver on their promises. This makes it hard to denounce school choice's tapestry of options as an inadequate or immoral alternative.
2 min read