To the Editor:
Talk about a misleading headline! “Catholic Schools Benefit From Converting to Charters” was a totally inaccurate statement.
The purpose and underlying philosophy of Catholic schools is the transmission of Catholic doctrine and values throughout the day, in the curricular and extracurricular life of students. Charter schools cannot do that and, as such, cannot benefit Catholic education.
To report that Catholic schools that shut down and then were rented to public charter schools “flourished” is a complete misstatement, and I cannot conceive of how the Friedman Foundation would make that conclusion as reported in Education Week.
The fact that charter schools mimic Catholic schools in cosmetic areas such as uniforms and local control is admirable, but where’s the beef? A charter school simply cannot be a Catholic school, nor vice versa, because the core and purpose of the Catholic school isn’t there. Those who would propose such an idea simply don’t get it.
Sister Carol Cimino
Superintendent of Schools
Diocese of Buffalo
A version of this article appeared in the May 21, 2014 edition of Education Week as Catholic Schools Cannot ‘Convert’ To Charter School Status