Catholic schools week

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Catholic schools week (put on by the National Catholic Educational Association Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2011) celebrates the achievements of Catholic schools, but there’s no denying that these schools face significant challenges. Only one in 10 Catholic teens today attend Catholic schools, notes youth ministry leader Sean Reynolds, and diocese continue to close schools (see our news section for the latest announcements). U.S. Catholic’s coverage of Catholic education analyzes the challenges and suggests solutions:

Understanding the challenges:
Unexcusable absence
Recruiting Hispanic students is crucial to schools with empty desks and to students in need of a quality education, Jeff Parrott reports.  

Final exam
Sarah Karp reports on the latest efforts to keep Catholic schools viable.

Catholic high schools aren’t just for the rich
We should support Catholic education for all students, regardless of their ability to pay, Carol Schuck Scheiber argues in a Sounding Board survey.

From our archives, Kevin Clarke’s explanation of "Why we can’t afford to close Catholic schools" in May 2001 continues to be relevant years later, as is Ed Wojcicki’s argument in the same issue’s Sounding Board survey that "A Catholic education is worth the sacrifice".

Looking forward:
Learning experience
Young adults willing to work for little are replacing Sisters in front of the classroom, Jeff Parrot reports.

System update required
Father Joseph O’Keefe, S.J. of the Boston College Lynch School of Education envisions a bright future for Catholic schools.