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21 st Century American Catholic Schools

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  1. 21st Century American Catholic Schools 1920s to Present

  2. The origins of American Catholic schools “The common schools had not been designed with Roman Catholic children in mind.” Historian Neil McCluskey, 1964 “The Great School War” of 1840 • Public schools only exist as they do because of Catholic schools. • US Catholic schools exist as they do only because of US public schools.

  3. 19th Century Anti-Catholicism

  4. Look closely…

  5. Legacy of the Simian Irish…

  6. By early 20th Century… • National Parish Schools • Inculcating religious doctrine • Maintaining the language and culture of the homeland • Preparing students for life in the USA: Americanization • American Catholic Schools • Subscribed to 1 & 3 • Pushed for Americanization via assimilation instead of #2 • Sought compromise with public system

  7. National Parish School Attitude1891 editorial, Dziennik Chicagoski (Polish Daily Chicago News) • “Let us accept the principle that the study of religion, of the native tongue, and the language of the country are not secondary subjects. We will then recognize the importance of the parochial schools, because if any of these subjects is considered to be of secondary importance in the upbringing of our children, then the latter will not grow up into citizens of whom we should be proud.” Goal: Preserve & Transform Cultural Identity Americanization without Assimilation

  8. Turn of the Century Chicago • St. Stanislaus Kostka: largest parish in the world • 1880-1902: Of 119 parishes in Chicago area; 63 were national (24 German, 18 Polish) • 1900: 2/3 of all Polish children in Chicago in Polish-language Catholic schools • 1930: 53% of Catholic students in Chicago in ethnically-affiliated Catholic schools • Schools built for Czechs, Lithuanians, Slovenes, Slovaks, Hungarians, Germans, French, Italians, Dutch, Croatians, and Blacks. All others: Irish.

  9. But remember… At NO POINT in US history did a majority of Catholic children attend Catholic schools – Even after the bishops made it mandatory in 1884

  10. Pilsen Parishes • Geographical Parish: St. Pius • St. Adalbert – Polish • St. Ann – Polish • St. Procopius – Bohemian (Czech) • St. Vitus – Bohemian • Holy Trinity - Croatian • St. Paul - German • St. Stephens – Bohemian • Providence of God - Lithuanian

  11. The 4 Great Migrations that shape today’s Catholic schools • 1840s-1880s: Irish Catholics, N. Europe (Famine) • 1880s-1920s: South, Central, Eastern European Catholics and Jews • 1920s-1950s: Black Southerners to northern cities (WWI and WWII) • 1970s-Present: Mostly Spanish-speaking Latino (46%), mostly Catholics (42%)

  12. Shift to American Catholic School paradigm • “There is hardly any other institution in the country that does so much to bring about a sure, safe and sane Americanization of the children of immigrant people as do our parochial schools.” Archbishop Mundelein, Chicago, 1916 • “We propose to teach our youth that there shall no longer be Irish-American, German-American, or Polish-Americans in our city, but only real Americans. In other words, we intend to take the hyphen out of the parochial schools in Chicago” – Member of Mundelein’s school board • Two opposing ideas about what Americanization looks like

  13. Americanization Pressure increases… "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism…a hyphenated American is not an American at all. “The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English- Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian- Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality than with the other citizens of the American Republic.” Teddy Roosevelt, 1915 address to Knights of Columbus

  14. Decline of National Parish Schools • World War I • World War II • Rise of Catholic middle class, White flight • Generational assimilation • Decline of anti-Catholicism • Election of Catholic president

  15. Decline of Catholic school as cultural agent “The Catholic school, whether as an expression of a distinctive counter culture or as a symbol of protest and defiance or simply as a security blanket, had lost its meaning… Though many Catholics would continue to frequent the Church’s schools…the Catholic school as a powerful cultural agent had ceased to exist.” Sanders, 1977

  16. The Heyday • St. Ann’s elementary • 1905: 373 students • By 1920: 1,300 students • Movement away from National Parish Schools toward American Catholic Schools • System peaks in 1965: 5.6 million students nationwide, representing 12% of all US K-12 students and 87% of all private school students

  17. Catholic Schools Today • 2.3 million students in US Catholic schools • 7,498 schools • Increasing diversity: 25.7% minority • Increasingly lay teaching force: 96% (up from 43% in 1968) • More non-Catholics • 1970: 2.7% • Today: 13.8%

  18. Closures • 667 schools closed between 2000-2005 • Last year: 36 opened, 212 closed

  19. Latino Growth • 1 in 5 students in US schools is Latino • 19% of all students speak a language other than English at home • 2001: 25% of Catholic students belonged to ethnic minority group • In the West, Latinos account for 48% of Catholic school students • 47% of recent immigrants are Spanish-speaking • 42% are Catholic

  20. Pilsen Today • Many schools have closed, others are struggling to maintain minimal enrollments • St. Ann: 195 students (despite having the lowest tuition in Chicago) • Europeans are almost entirely gone; neighborhood is largely Mexican • Spanish is spoken in 86% of all Latino homes in Chicago • Latinos account for 38% of all public school children in Chicago • Only 53% of Latinos who enter high school graduate in 4 years (compared to 84% of White students)

  21. What Happened? + Vatican II – opening Catholic schools to all - Decline of religious vocations • Teaching staff goes from nearly 100% nuns to 4% by 2004 (50% of whom are over 70): major financial implications + Migrations 3 & 4 • Black migration from southern rural areas to urban areas • Latin American migration (mostly Mexican) throughout US, to both rural and urban areas - Generational Assimilation: Class consequences • 1972: 12.3% of Catholic students in lowest SES quartile; 29.7% in highest SES quartile • 1992: 5.5% & 45.8% respectively

  22. Historical Goals of Catholic Schools • Transmission of the faith • Nurturing robust cultural ties – esp. ethnic • Preparing citizens for life in USA

  23. Today’s Catholic Schools • American Catholic Schools – often mostly White. Religion class, transmission of values appeal to Catholic and Christian parents. Often suburban. Not far from what Ireland & Mundelein might have wanted. • Descendents of National Parish Schools – typically serve students of a single nationality, often all-Mexican. Most do not actively seek to maintain cultural identity. • Catholic Schools that serve Non-Catholics - typically all-Black schools in urban areas. Transmission of values, religiously-inflected culture, safety, and community atmosphere appeal to non-Catholics.

  24. Today’s Catholic Schools • Urban: 32.5% • Inner City: 11.7% • 20% drop in elementary schools between 1995-2006 in largest urban dioceses • Suburban: 34.6% • Rural: 21.3%

  25. Reasons for Hope : From Research • Coleman, 1960s: The Catholic school effect: Catholic schools are particularly effective in the education of minority students. • Greeley, 1980s: The “multiply disadvantaged” benefit most from Catholic education – BUT – these are the schools that are closing • Bryk et al., 1990s: Catholic schools are effective at reducing and even eliminating the negative effect of social class on academic achievement. • core curriculum, communal organization, decentralized governance, and inspiration ideology contribute to Catholic school effectiveness. • 2006 NAEP: Catholic school students outperform public counterparts in math, science, and writing • Shorkaii, 1997: Lower drop-out rates (19% vs. 9.3% for Latino students; 17.2% vs. 4.6% for Black students) • McDonald, 2006: Do more with less ($8,287 per pupil expenditure in public schools vs. $4,268/$7,200 ppe in Catholic schools) • Sector effect studies, civic engagement research, and research on social capital and social cohesion in Catholic schools

  26. Civic engagement

  27. Tolerance

  28. Culturally Responsive Pedagogy & Catholic Schooling Catholic schools are doing the same thing they were created to do a hundred years ago – facilitating social mobility for disadvantaged minority groups (Greeley, 1982). Central Assumption of CRP: “When the cultures of students and teachers are not synchronized, someone loses out. Invariably, it is the students.” – Geneva Gay, 2000 CRP encourages Catholic schools to look to their history to do again what they’ve always done well – serve a rapidly growing immigrant community

  29. More Reasons for Hope: Alternative Approaches to Catholic Schooling • School Models • Nativity Schools • Cristo Rey Network • Teacher & Leadership Preparation • ACE & UCCE • ACLP • University-School Partnerships • St. Columbkille (Boston College) • Magnificat Initiative

  30. More Reasons for Hope: Alternative Approaches to Catholic Schooling • New Funding Paradigms • Big Shoulders (Chicago) • CARE (Indianapolis) • Inner-City School Fund (Cincinnati) • Catholic Education Foundations • Gardner Institute (KC) • Archdiocese of LA • Fulcrum Foundation (Seattle) • University Attention & Resources • ND Task Force • BC Center for Catholic Education

  31. Dioceses served by ACE

  32. Dioceses served by partnering institutions

  33. Dioceses served by UCCE

  34. ACLP Member Institutions