In response to growing media attention regarding the changing
landscape of parochial schools in the United States, deans from 19
education schools at major Catholic universities joined St. John’s
University in calling for a fuller partnership with those
elementary and secondary institutions.
"Catholic schools need to retain their identity, their
traditional values, their adherence to social justice and response
to the needs of new populations who are among 'the hurting people
of society,'" said the deans in a consensus statement.
The deans are proposing partnerships with K–12 schools to
generate new knowledge and thought, with the ultimate goal of
rebuilding Catholic school systems by promoting 21st-century
learning in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)
subjects, the arts and humanities and global understanding.
the historic meeting hosted by St. John’s University in New York
City, the deans underscored the necessity of undertaking a new role
to support and sustain a seamless Catholic education. The deans,
concerned that these opportunities may be slipping away, agreed
that “meeting the challenges of federal and state reforms, as well
as providing the research and practice that would retain Catholic
school values and commitment to social justice, is paramount.”
According to the group, recent developments in pre-K programs in
Catholic schools receiving public assistance and the emergence of
quasi-religiously based charter schools also demonstrate the
critical need to reconsider church-state relations as they benefit
underserved groups of all faiths.
The group will widely distribute a position paper to bring these
concerns to a national level.
In addition to St. John’s University, participating institutions
included Boston College, The Catholic University of America,
Creighton University, DePaul University, Fairfield University,
Fordham University, La Salle University Philadelphia, Loyola
University New Orleans, Manhattan College, Niagara University,
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, Providence College,
Sacred Heart University, Saint Louis University, University of
Dayton, University of Notre Dame, University of San Francisco and
The University of Scranton.