To survive, Catholic schools need to embrace what makes them unique, rather than ape their public school counterparts.
Summer no longer stretches long and lazy ahead, with the next school year no more than a weakling shade. In a few short weeks, my husband returns to teaching theology at a Catholic high school, and, even more alarming, a little after that our oldest child enters kindergarten at our parish school. Even as the summer shrinks before my forward gaze, Catholic education and all that it entails seems to simmer and percolate in my mind and heart with unceasing intensity.
Will our son thrive in the parish school? Will the local Catholic schools manage to stay afloat, while the last few decades have seen a steady stream of schools closing their doors forever? The importance of Catholic education cannot be measured, and the need for revival—indeed, the need for reform in many instances—stands in sharp relief against the background of a sickly culture. In order for Catholic schools not only to survive, but to thrive, they must be radically Catholic, both in education and culture, and offer a formation entirely unlike that offered by public schools.
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