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Friday, August 14, 2009

Where Catholic Education Is Headed

As the economy tanks and Catholic schools continue to close due to lack of interest, Catholic bishops have begun slamming together blue-ribbon panels in an effort to fix the problem. Will it work?

No.

Currently, the Catholic school system is the largest private school system in the nation. By 2012, there will be more homeschooled students than any other kind of private school student in the nation. Parents are slowly returning to their roots. The days of the warehouse school are numbered.

To see why, we need only look at history, using Catholic education as our model. There are a lot of ways to discuss the history of Catholic education. For today's reflections, I will divide it up into four phases: pre-printing press, pre-industrialization, pre-Internet and Internet.

Period I - Pre-Printing Press: The Ascension to 1450.
During this period, there were two forms of education: one for children, a different kind for adults. Prior to the printing press, the creation of a book was a one-off, highly expensive undertaking. A book the size of the Bible could cost as much as the church in which it was kept. Consequently, literacy rates were low and most children didn't get much training in that particular skill.

While Romans and Greeks not uncommonly brought in tutors to educate their children, Jewish households homeschooled. For the first 1500 years of the Church, Catholics tended to follow Jewish tradition. Children were taught by their parents. While Catholics did establish schools, these were almost exclusively oriented towards educating adults, training them in adult skills like literacy.

Keep in mind the definition of "an adult." Until the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, anyone twelve or older was considered an adult. Most people married and started their family somewhere between the ages of twelve and twenty. Indeed, an unmarried twenty-year old, especially a woman, who was not a member of a religious order was considered odd.

Unbaptized adults were taught the Faith in a several-year long process. After baptism, adult instruction was dedicated to the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, dialectic), and the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music). "Grammar schools" were called that because they taught grammar first.

For the first 1000 years, there were no parish schools because there were no parishes. Most schools were built around monasteries and cathedrals (one cathedral per city). Provision was made for poor adult students who did not want to enter orders but did want to learn. Still, training in literacy was mostly confined to those under religious vows: clerics. That's why we still refer to "clerical staff" today.

By the tenth century, parishes were being erected, generally around monasteries and monastic schools in the countryside. In the cities, universities came into existence around the twelfth century: Salerno, Bologna and Paris in the twelfth century, Oxford by 1170. These universities dedicated themselves to three main subjects: theology, the law, and eventually medicine.

Period II - Pre-Industrial: 1450 to 1800’s
The invention of the printing press and the discovery of America fueled a sea-change in education. The printing press allowed inexpensive books. Literacy became affordable for most people. It also made heresy much more pernicious. Once most people could read a book themselves, without an instructor, they could also interpret that book in ways the book was never meant to be read.

Historically, nearly every major heresy the Church faced came from a priest or a bishop, i.e., someone who was both literate and had influence. Their literacy allowed heretical priests to mis-read the Book, their influence allowed them to spread this mis-reading widely. But, for the first time ever, unbridled literacy allowed the theologically insane to seriously distort Catholic society in a much more profound way than had ever been possible earlier.

The Council of Trent agreed that children should be taught, but it did not advocate the creation of schools for children. While it did ask priests and parents to offer regular instruction in the Faith, literacy education was left to the marketplace.

Trent created exactly one new kind of school - a training school for priests called a "seminary." Eventually, every diocese was supposed to have it's own seminary for priestly formation. Theoretically, this would head off theological insanity among priests.

But by now, literacy was so cheap it could even be affordably taught to most children. Martin Luther, an Augustinian priest, was one of the first to realize that the best way to spread his crazy ideas was to propagandize children. His small catechism was designed in a question-answer format for children, he advocated church-state separation, and he pushed for children to be educated at the earliest possible age.

With the discovery of the Americas also came the discovery of its indigenous peoples.During the previous 1500 years, the Church had placed almost all its effort into evangelizing adults. For the first time since 380 AD, when the Catholic Faith became the official faith of the Roman Empire, the Church faced a large number of un-baptized peoples who would listen (Moslems didn't listen).

Now that cheap books were available, She began to put some effort into directly teaching children (i.e., those under the age of 12). She set up a new kind of school: the mission school. Mission schools were dedicated to teaching unbaptized adults and children the tools they needed to enter civilized society, which now included literacy. These schools were also meant to prepare children and their families for eventual baptism.

The Church had always promoted literacy, creating written Germanic and Slavonic long before Gutenburg's birth. But, while literacy was wonderful in helping to spread the Faith, it also created enormous difficulties. Increased literacy increased the probability of doctrinal distortion. So, over the course of time, the Church developed some rules for how schools should work in order to limit the distortions:
  • All teachers must be Catholic (the term “professor”, which means "one who professes the Catholic Faith" comes from this rule),
  • The Catholic Faith must permeate every aspect of the curriculum,
  • Baptized and unbaptized students must be kept strictly separated,
  • Girls and boys must be taught separately.
In Europe, literate Catholics tried to teach illiterate Catholics both literacy and Faith. Missionary societies meant to minister to illiterate Catholics spring up everywhere: the Jesuits are the most well-known: in 1540, Spain was still considered a mission field. While teaching groups like the Dominicans had existed prior to the printing press, the most of the great teaching orders come into existence only AFTER the invention of the printing press

Back in the Americas, Catholic missionaries flooded in, trying to teach the illiterate natives through mission schools. They are everywhere: both coasts, the Midwest, South America.

They create their own problems. The Jesuit schools in South America are so successful at civilizing the natives that the entire Jesuit order is eventually suppressed. After all, it is nearly impossible to enslave well-educated natives, and the Jesuits were creating far too many well-educated natives to suit Moslem-influenced Catholic slavers in South America.

Protestants, who were, by definition, almost all literate, settled primarily on the Eastern seaboard of North America. They ignore the Indians, using them only for occasional trade or killing them when they get in the way. Protestant schools are meant for literate Christians. The "school year" is generally only about 12 weeks long, and they really only provide "finishing" skills - students are expected to have been taught literacy and basic math at home before they enter. By the mid-1800’s, these schools are becoming Protestant evangelization centers against waves of poor Catholic immigrants.

During this time, higher education, like the Catholic university system, is still pretty much unique to Europe. In 1900, United States' high schools and universities will permit entry to no more than 2% of the population. Still, the entire population, being mostly Protestant, is extremely well-read, with a 100% literacy rate. Butchers and farmers read Thucydides and Plato.

Period III - Pre-Internet: 1870’s to about 1980’s
The advent of industrialization deeply affects education since industrialization requires the destruction of family artisans and crafts, splitting up the family. In country after country, effective industrialization follows the same pattern. First, children are legally forbidden to work. Then, the newly-idled children are legally required to attend warehouse schools to keep them off the streets while the industrial floor snaps up both parents for a 12-hour workday six to seven days a week.

Vatican I attempts to respond to effects of industrialization by promising a statement on marriage, but it is pro-rogued by the war of Italian unification. Over time, the wage-earning capacities of most adults, whether mother or father, are captured for the corporations.

As a result, family trades and stay-at-home work, the mainstay of the family for thousands of years, largely disappears. Family-based education is essentially wiped out. Family life is distorted in brand new ways.

Industrialists push for warehouse schools across the nation by appealing to Protestant leaders. Protestant communities are able to proselytize the hordes of Catholic immigrants through the schools. The Third Baltimore Council (1884) responds to the threat by mandating parish schools.

Unfortunately, the parish schools do not draw on the trivium, quadrivium tradition. Instead, they imitate the public school warehouse format. Protestants respond by outlawing Catholic schools around the country through Blaine Amendments.

Industrialists end-run both religious groups by subsidizing the creation of teacher "certification" programs and teachers’ unions, which in turn encourage the removal of religion from the curriculum entirely.

The teacher certification programs are meant only to instill in adults the ideas necessary to successfully warehouse children and school them in factory attitudes. Teachers are meant to manufacture factory workers, cogs in the machine, not students liberally educated in the trivium and quadrivium (the disaster that was Jesuit success in South America will not be repeated).

As I outline in my book, the factory schools (both Protestant public and Catholic private) together create America's modern contraceptive society. Seminaries were the first to collapse. Although every diocese is still supposed to have its own seminary, by the mid-1980's most American dioceses can't afford the expense. A handful maintain seminaries. The rest now export their priestly training.

Period IV – 1990’s to now
Once the contraceptive society is firmly established, the number of children in school necessarily flatlines. You can't enroll a child that doesn't exist. Today, with population rate of 2.1 (no growth), public schools experience essentially no growth, apart from the small increase or decrease obtained from the infusion of immigrants' children.

The population of “Catholic” schools not only flatlines, it has actually begun to drop. The reasons are straightfoward. The contraceptive society strips away not only Catholic children, but Catholic identity in general, so the raison d'etre for the Catholic schools disappear. Catholic "intellectuals" worked for years to get rid of the "Catholic ghetto." When the "Catholic ghetto" disappears, so does the Catholic school.

Catholic school losses can be attributed to essentially three major problem areas:
Social: The Desire to Integrate Into Protestant-Secular Society
  • Even at their height, Catholic warehouse schools never had more than 50% of Catholic children. Most Catholics wanted to "get out of the ghettoes" and integrate into a largely non-Catholic society. They have succeeded.
  • The post-Vatican II loss of Catholic identity means the already weak parental impetus to send children decreases. In order to stay open, schools need pupils - they invite in non-Catholic students.
  • Today, nearly 15% of Catholic school students are non-Catholic. Catholic identity is further watered down to attract even more students in a vicious downward spiral.
Economic: Warehouse Schools Are Too Expensive
  • Post Vatican II loss of religious orders means loss of cheap labor,
  • Schools eat up parish income. School tuition is now nearly universal, further depressing demand,
  • Catholic schools serve increasingly wealthy student population as only affluent parents can pay the bills. This further destroys the medieval Catholic ethos that required making room for poor Catholics.
Theological: "Catholic" Schools Aren't Catholic
  • Loss of trivium and quadrivium (the classical education), means loss of Catholic identity,
  • Most schools and parishes violate the Catholic principle of subsidiarity in sacramental education by removing sacramental instruction almost entirely from the parents' shoulders,
  • Virtually no "Catholic" school adheres to the Vatican documents on Catholic education.
  • Teachers are not restricted to actively practicing Catholics, but to whoever will take the pay.
  • Children are not segregated along baptismal or belief status, nor according to sex.
  • The curriculum is not permeated by Catholic viewpoint, it uses texts, teachers and teaching philosophy identical to that of secular schools.
  • The Catholic Church now runs a string of private schools that are Catholic primarily in label, not content.
Like the seminaries before them, Catholic parochial schools are collapsing. To the extent that Catholic bishops realize all of this, most of them can't say any of it out loud because their flock doesn't want to hear it.

We've seen the effect of literacy and industrialization on Catholic education. What effects does/will the Internet have on all of this?

The Future
The internet allows home-based businesses. It also allows the dissemination of information at an even lower cost than the printing press and the public library. Information is now essentially free and parents can return to home employment as artisans/craftsmen to an extent that hasn't been seen since the mid-1800's. This is slowly being reflected in the effects on the nation's school systems.

The public schools per pupil cost hovers between $5000 and $10,000 depending on how the numbers are counted. The are not particularly effective at educating children, but then, that was never really their purpose. Their primary advantage is their ability to warehouse children while the parents work. As a secondary bonus, schools tend to disrupt family life, making all family members dependent on goods and services provided by corporations.

Today, Catholic schools comprise the single largest private school system in the nation. By and large, they do not handle special needs children. They lose 7-10% of their students every five years. Per pupil cost is about the same as public school when straight educational offering is compared. They are 37% more effective than public school in educational outcome. While there is slight growth in suburban areas (where the affluent clients live), that growth is more than offset by losses in the inner city and rural areas. Their primary advantages are their ability to warehouse children while the parents work, and to provide a better educational outcome than public school, albeit at an obvious direct tuition cost to the client.

Since 1999, homeschooling has experienced growth of 8% per year, every year. Per pupil cost is 5% of public school ($500 vs. $10,000) and 10% of Catholic school ($500 vs. $5000). Burgeoning Internet resources and on-line courses will only improve the cost numbers. It is nearly 75% more effective than public school in educational outcome, and 35% more effective than Catholic schools. The primary advantage is the educational outcome, albeit at an obvious direct cost: no two-income or single-parent use of homeschooling is really possible. Given the number of broken families in American society, this is a real roadblock to the growth of homeschooling.

Homeschooling transforms education from a school year endeavor controlled by corporate bureaucrats back into the year-round, home-based, family-centered pursuit that augmented the Church for nearly 18 centuries.

Today, the Catholic parochial school system is the largest single private educational entity (12% of total school population in 1960, 5% in 1990).

Given current trends, by 2012, the homeschooling population will be bigger than the population in the Catholic school system. Assuming Catholics comprise 25% of homeschoolers, by 2035, more Catholics will be homeschooled than will attend parochial school.

If Catholic bishops want to get on board, the train is leaving the station. The school model proposed by the Third Baltimore Council in 1884 has never really worked; at best it never schooled more than 50% of the Catholic children in the nation. Today it is slowly closing down.

Homeschooling is an imperfect return to an educational model that was successful for thousands of years. Given the demographics, it will probably be at least another decade before Catholic bishops can publicly move their support away from the dying Catholic school parochial system and decisively move toward support of Catholic homeschooling. Until then, bishops commission blue-ribbon panels to natter on about What Should Be Done (tm). And they wait.


The Numbers
In 2007, the number of homeschooled students was about 1.5 million, an increase from 850,000 in 1999 and 1.1 million in 2003. The percentage of the school-age population that was homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 2.9 percent in 2007. The increase in the percentage of homeschooled students from 1999 to 2007 represents a 74 percent relative increase over the 8-year period and a 36 percent relative increase since 2003.

Homeschooling $500 per pupil cost
Year Enrollment Percent Increase
1999 850,000 or 1.7% of nation's total school population
2003 1.1 million
2007 1.5 million or 2.9% of nation's total school population.
36% increase since 2003, 74% increase since 1999

Catholic School $5870 per pupil cost $10,228 2ndary pupil cost
Year Enrollment
1998-1999 2,648,844
2003-2004 2,484,252
2008-2009 2,192,531 17.4% decline since 2000

84.5% of Catholic school population are Catholic students (1,852,635).
14.9% of Catholic school population are non-Catholic students ( 325,835).
This is an increase from 2.7% in 1970 and 11.2% 1980.

Public School K-8 Public School 9-12 Total Private School Enrollment
Year Enrollment Year Enrollment
1995 32.3 million 1995 12.5 million 1995 11.7% of public school total
2005 34.2 million 2005 14.9 million 2005 11.0% of public school total
2006 34.2 million 2008 15.1 million

19 comments:

Kevin Jones said...

"Until the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, anyone twelve or older was considered an adult. Most people married and started their family somewhere between the ages of twelve and twenty."

Not sure this is true, especially for England.

See here:


"Data taken from birthdates of women and marriage certificates reveals mean marriage ages to have been as follows:
1566-1619 27.0 years
1647-1719 29.6 years
1719-1779 26.8 years
1770-1837 25.1 years"

Steve Kellmeyer said...

The industrial revolution began in England (see http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook14.html_). While the earliest dates you provide precede that social transformation, it is the case that the process of industrialization uniformly pushed back the age of marriage, precisely because it attacked family and employment structures.

Furthermore, I'm mostly addressing the effect on American society, whose frontier society encouraged earlier marriage ages. Stories of medieval saints not uncommonly remark on 12 or 14 year olds being married (the Blessed Virgin herself is believed to have been about 14 at the Annunciation). As late as the 1750's, the legal age for marriage in the southern states was 14, in colonial Mexico it was 12. Half the population was married by the age of 18.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

You can also peruse this slightly more erudite offering: an analysis of Scandinavian age at first marriage.

Given the mortality rates current prior to antibiotics and modern farming and nutrition, almost universal female marriage by the age of 20 was a biological necessity for population stability.

Brendan said...

Fascinating narrative.

I'd love to study more details about the South American Jesuit missions in light of this.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

I upgraded the information link in the article, the one that starts "entire Jesuit order..."

Click on that and you'll see the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Jesuit reducciones.

There are several good books on it as well, but the CE article is a good start.

Mike said...

Given this analysis, I wonder if the author would care to comment on the outstanding Catholic school system in the Diocese of Wichita.

Wichita has about 120,000 Catholics and 39 elementary and secondary Catholic schools which educate about 11,000 children, all without charging the Catholic students one penny's worth of tuition.

If the Diocese of Wichita can do this, what is to prevent other dioceses emulating its success story?

One may read the Wichita story here.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

ike,

Sure, Wichita has a Catholic school system that doesn't charge tuition. It also does NOT have a diocesan seminary, which it is supposed to have.

As you can see from this page, the schools spend more than they take in, they bleed the parishes dry in order to stay in business "tuition-free."

And Wichita is the only diocese which has managed to maintain a tuition-free situation.

I worked in a parish (not in Wichita diocese) that supported both a tuition-free grade school and high school. A single parish, mind you, supporting BOTH schools tuition-free. I saw how that worked first-hand.

The principal of the tuition-free high school was Protestant. He was hired and stayed employed because he was a GREAT football coach. This was in direct violation of parish and diocesan policy, but nobody cared because the football team did well.

One of the married teachers was dismissed because he had sex with oine of the high school students. He didn't go to jail only because it wasn't clear if he had sex with her the week before or the week after her 18th birthday. Parishioners lamented the loss of a fine assistant football coach (I wish that were a joke, but it's nearly a quote from a parishioner).

Another teacher divorced a member of the parish staff and got engaged to one of the high school teaching staff without first getting an annulment. The Protestant principle proudly announced the engagement over the intercom to the school, much to the dismay of the child of the first marriage. The pastor was fine with it.

In the grade school, the married janitor continually sexually harassed the single second-grade teacher until she quit in disgust because the pastor wouldn't fire the janitor (he was really good at his job and would have been hard to replace). The other second-grade teacher forbad her students to receive the Eucharist on the tongue, and punished them if they dared to do so, even though they have a RIGHT to do so according to canon law and Rome.

The Mass had a rock band in once a month that replaced the psalm response with their own compositions because Scripture was "too boring." The director of adult formation was fired because he taught that contraception was an intrinsic evil. The pastor didn't like getting angry phone calls from parishioners (and possible loss of funds) due to that particular teaching.

The parish finance council was, up until just a few years before I left, secret membership, invitation only, secret deliberations, made up of the wealthiest parishioners. When every other parish event was in the parish hall, the finance council met at the country club, where the table cloths were linen and waiters brought bottles of wine in crystal goblets.

In addition to the excellent football team, the parish kept those schools tuition-free because it was the only way the children of white-bread Caucasians in town could escape having to mingle with the Catholic Hispanics (the Hispanics mostly went to public school). I have heard the parish schools are now tuition-only - I guess the Hispanics started invading.

So, yeah, you can get tuition-free "Catholic" schools. Absolutely. I've seen it. Is this how Wichita does it? I have no idea. I wouldn't be surprised to hear it was.

"Tuition-free" generally means "don't piss off the wealthy parishioners." If the parishioners are orthodox, it works. If they aren't, then the free schools can be called many things, but "Catholic" tends not to be one of them.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Whoops - forgot the link to the Wichita Diocese page that shows the finances. It's here.

Mike said...

Thanks for the quick reply, Steve.

I'm sorry to hear about your experiences in your old parish. I could tell you a couple of similar stories involving Catholic parishes and Catholic schools in my neck of the woods (Rochester, NY), and I'm sure others around the country have their own horror stories.

Yes, it sure seems that the Wichita system ran a $2.6 million deficit last year but I see no indication in the report that a substantial deficit is the normal state of affairs. Do you know of anything that would indicate otherwise?

The Fordham Foundation report I referenced gives no sense of stewardship having been forced down the throats of unwilling parishioners. Quite the contrary, all of the people quoted in the report seemed very positive about the program.

Now I would expect that in a puff piece written by a diocesan functionary with an obvious conflict of interest. This report, however, was written by an apparently disinterested third party with no obvious axe to grind. This makes the lack of serious negative points all that more impressive - at least to me.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, there's a couple of big problems in the report itself. Fordham admits that 80-90% of parish income is devoted to Catholic schools.

That means only 10% is left for everything else. Now, according to the Magisterial documents of the Church, ADULT FORMATION is the NORM for all catechesis in the parish. That means children's catechesis is supposed to model itself on how the parish adult catechesis works.

The USCCB (normally dodgy) actually agrees with Rome for once and says adult catechesis is supposed to get the best of parish resources ("Our Hearts Are Burning Within Us"). How does that work when you can't even devote 10% of the parish budget for educating adults in the Faith?

I strongly suspect Wichita is an aberration that's about to blow up. It's relying on retired seniors for support. What happens when they die? My guess is, they don't get replaced.

The Fordham Foundation gets donations by supporting K-12 education. If it said that homeschooling was the way to go, would most of the foundations giving it serious coin re-think their donations? Put another way, does the Sam Walton Foundation or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation really WANT to lose half their workers so they can watch those adults become homeschooling parents?

In the last ten years, the foundation has mentioned homeschooling exactly four times, and not favorably. Notice this sentence from the review of the 1999 report, "Homeschooling families are also larger: 62 percent have at least three children compared with 44 percent of non-homeschoolers" and recall that Bill Gates is a huge population control advocate.

Warehouse schools, whether public or Catholic, are an effective means of population control, and the Fordham Foundation knows it. That's why you get glowing reports on Catholic warehouse schools.

Mike said...

Good points, Steve, including several I haven't heard made before.

I can see I need to do some more reading - and thinking.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

You know, there is an additional point which can be made - I make it in my book.

Look again at the Fordham report.
Notice what the priests say.
"The school is the center of the parish."

There's the problem.

The MASS and the sacraments are supposed to be the center of the parish. I've had many parishioners tell me that the parish exists to serve the school. That's exactly backwards. But when 90% of the parish income goes to support the school, parishioners understandably get things confused.

Americans know you throw the bulk of your money behind the most important thing you do. If the bulk of the parish money goes into the school, then it must be more important than anything else the parish does, including teaching adults, receiving confession, getting married in the Church or consecration of the Eucharist.

I've seen parishes and dioceses cut marriage prep and NFP instruction before they cut anything from the school budget. That's obscene.

Brendan said...

Thanks for the updated link, Steven.

While I wholly agree that 90% of a parish budget is not justifiable for funding schools, I would expect a school to be expensive. I do not expect adult formation to be expensive enough to be a measurable fraction of a parish budget, and Confession and Eucharist I cannot see gaining much by allocation of additional funds. Or am I missing something?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Try talking to adults in the parish. You'll discover that most parents are frightened out of their minds by the thought that they should be doing all the sacramental instruction of their own children.

Yet, according to the Magisterial documents and the liturgical rites of the Church, they are.

Instead of building schools for children, we are SUPPOSED to be holding weekly instructional sessions for ALL the adults in the parish, twice a week during the seasons of Advent and Lent.

Now, how much advertising, how much skill, how much quality, would be necessary to get ALL the adults in the parish educated at an adult level. I'm in Texas, where the parish size is typically around 10,000-14,000 people (including children). You tell me how much money it would take to educate, say, 7,000-8000 adults in the Faith each year.

Try a small community college.
At each parish.
THAT is what is supposed to be happening, according to the documents. THAT is what happened for the first 1500 years. The Church set up monastery schools, chantry schools, universities, all to educate ADULTS. Not children.

Do you see that happening today on 5% of the parish budget? 3%? 1%?

Today, we pay for the children, but the adults get dust. It's all backwards. The center cannot hold.

Patrick said...

Most of the adult education classes I've seen are agenda driven. Married and female priest movements, allowing laity to perform mass due to the lack of priests, all parish decisions should be run exclusively by the laity, grassroot email campaigns to get rid of (mostly conservative) bishops - all of these have popped up under the auspices of adult education. Information on the problems with contraception, voting for pro-choice government representatives or other traditional adult-related themes are difficult to find and the claim is that it is because of lack of participation. From what I've read on other Catholic blogs, I don't believe my experiences are too far out of the norm. Catholic adult education is another word for undermining traditional Catholic teaching in many parts of the states.

Brendan said...

Considering too the dearth in adult knowledge of the Faith, that is a powerful point, Steve. Thanks.

Aaron Traas said...

"The public schools per pupil cost hovers between $5000 and $10,000 depending on how the numbers are counted."

I assume that's a national figure; in New Jersey it's much, much higher, especially in the state-funded inner-cities, where it can go upwards of $40,000 per student, due to local corruption.

I'm the father of a 6-month old, so education beyond sitting up and behaving in mass is all theoretical at this point. That said, homeschooling is my preferred option. It would be nice if there were formal programs where the church would assist homeschoolers at the diocesan level. My parish is starting a program now, mostly centered around arts & crafts and mass. We'll see where this goes.

Iris said...

I'm the mother of a 3-year-old and concern for her education naturally comes to me. I'm especially apprehensive because there are no traditionalist Catholic schools in my diocese nor are the diocesan schools orthodox in their practice of the Faith. I'm seriously thinking of homeschooling her but my parents and in-laws are against the idea. Now that I've read what you wrote, I have something to support my cause. Thank you so much.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Glad to help, Iris.
Please spread the link to this article far and wide.

People who write for public consumption haven't run the numbers and don't know what they are talking about.

Even many Catholic Ph.Ds are simply not paying close attention to the figures and the motivations.

The bishops are silent, either scared to speak or ignorant of the facts or both.

Catholic schools are done. A few will hang on, of course, but the economy is permanently changing and the school system that went with it is also permanently changing.

Warehouse schools will exist only for single-parent households, which means the "warehouse" function will continue to supersede the "school" function.

Homeschooling will be the primary form of education for intact families. Because of its superiority, this will create an educational rift in the industrialized population that will be virtually unbridgeable.