Catholic School Matters Top 5

After a short hiatus, Catholic School Matters is back!  For the next 6 weeks, you’ll be getting the newsletter. This is an important time for us as we build toward Catholic Schools Week, a time to remind ourselves why Catholic schools are important and what makes our schools such a fantastic investment. Stories like this one on the Cristo Rey network or this one on the expansion of inclusion programs in New Orleans Catholic schools or this article celebrating a classical Catholic school including children with Down Syndrome are cause to celebrate. I came across a few interesting articles over the past few weeks:

Top 5

Happy New Year!  I’ve collected some great articles from the past few weeks. My Top 5:

  1. In the American Catholic News section, I have a special section on legal concerns. There’s quite a few articles which raise issues such as church-state relations, employment contracts, pregnancy, embezzlement, past abuse, etc. We need to read these articles and imagine how we would respond if faced with the same dilemmas.
  2. In the Leadership section, “Schools as Places of Joy” is a reminder of what makes every school excellent—joy. We can’t leave out the joy in pursuit of excellence.
  3. In the same section, the article from the Wharton School on “Does Fear Motivate Workers—or Make Things Worse?” is thought-provoking. We often try to move students away from extrinsic rewards toward the intrinsic motivators but are we doing the same for our staffs?
  4. In the Miscellaneous section, the “Relentlessness of Modern Parenting” from the New York Times points out the reasons behind the anxiety epidemic. Parents are often the ones afraid of missing out!
  5. Small classes and personal attention have become aspirational for all schools. But they weren’t always such high priorities. A Libertarian entrepreneur has been building low-cost charter schools with a different approach. While you might not agree with his approach or his assumptions, it’s worth watching this video in order to clarify your own assumptions.

Enjoy! I’ll be back next week.


Just as the newsletter is being published 6 weeks in a row, I have 6 great podcasts lined up, too, and they’ll drop every Wednesday. This week, I have a great episode on disaffiliation. The Catholic School Matters Radio Hour begins with theologian Dr. Julie Rubio from the Jesuit School of Theology. She shares her insights and her work. Next, John Vitek, the CEO of Saint Mary’s Press, discusses the “Going, Going, Gone” publication and the insights from the study of disaffiliation. Finally, Dr. Patrick Manning, a former ACE teacher and now a professor at Seton Hall, discusses his work on the deep roots of disaffiliation. To prepare, here’s a great NCR article on disaffiliation.