Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Education Next -- an important education-policy journal -- has published this excellent review of Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools' Importance in Urban America, by Nicole Stelle Garnett and Margaret Brinig (buy it here!). Nathan Glazer is the author of the review. Here is a taste:
The areas in which Catholic schools are closing are also areas in which overall population may be declining, black and minority population increasing, and poverty rising. Do these not explain the increase in crime and disorder and the decline of trust? The authors make the ingenious argument that they can detect the distinct influence of the closing of a Catholic school because such events are not related only to the increase of poverty and the growth of minority populations. Which schools in such areas close, they argue on the basis of detailed knowledge of how Catholic schools operate, depends on the commitment of the pastor of the parish. Those more committed to the school and parish will fight harder to enable them to remain open. And the authors argue they can measure commitment by a number of factors: how old the pastor is, how long he has served in the parish, whether he has been ordained in the archdiocese or belongs to a religious order and is subject to its authority, whether there is some irregularity—like a sexual abuse charge—involving the pastor, and whether a temporary administrator heads the parish. . . .