Save Our Schools

We haven’t let up in our efforts to pass the Education Investment Tax Credit bill.  My thanks to Bill McGurn in today’s Post for his support.  Here’s an excerpt:

Why does this matter to others? It matters because a child who attends a Catholic school is much likelier to finish high school and attend college than his or her public-school counterpart.

In Buffalo, for example, 99 percent of Catholic high school students graduate — more than twice the 47 percent rate for public-school students. Ninety-eight percent of the Catholic-school students go on to college.

Meanwhile, fewer than 10 percent of Buffalo public-school students leave high school ready for college.

Earlier this year, Justice Sonia Sotomayor stressed to The New York Times how especially vital these Catholic schools are to people of color or little means — and why she was so “heartbroken” to learn her own alma mater, Blessed Sacrament High School in The Bronx, is shutting down:

“It’s symbolic of what it means for all our families, like my mother, who were dirt-poor. She watched what happened to my cousins in public school and worried if we went there, we might not get out. So she scrimped and saved. It was a road of opportunity for kids with no other alternative.”

Translation: If access to a decent education is indeed the civil-rights issue of our day, Catholic schools play an irreplaceable role in New York.

You can read the full article here.

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3 Responses to “Save Our Schools”

  1. Christin Filippelli says:

    Wouldn’t it be wiser to halt the secular inclusion of common core in our schools~ to keep Catholic education true to its history?! Why offer the exact same standards as public schools when our Catholic schools have met and surpasses public sector?! You truly want to keep Catholic schools open~ advertise a common core free curriculum.

  2. Yolanda Williams says:

    “It matters because a child who attends a Catholic school is much likelier to finish high school and attend college than his or her public-school counterpart.”

    Which is why I have forwarded this appeal to continue Father Thomas Derivan’s assignment at St. Helena Church & School in the Bronx. Public school was not an option as it lacked the religious instruction and discipline necessary for todays youth. And what made my decision so simple was Father Derivan’s attention and dedication to his parish and our children in our Bronx community. Please read on.

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    My name is Yolanda Williams and I have lived in the Bronx (10465) for the past eight years. I am writing to you to implore you not to remove Father Thomas Derivan from my parish – St. Helena Church. He is a staple in our community of the Bronx and the main reason why I selected the St. Helena school for my children Maya (age 8) and Christopher (age 6). While, the great curriculum and teachers are unmatched I was especially impressed with Father Derivan when I observed him greeting and blessing the children into school every morning alongside the principal Mr. Meller – another stellar example of the Catholic school system.

    Father Derivan knew every child’s name and grade. It was endearing and impressive and exactly what I was looking for when searching for the right educational environment for my children.
    On another occasion I saw him consoling a teenage girl whose hands were crossed in front of her and her head down in reverence just because of his presence as he spoke sternly but softly to her. Reverence and respect for authority and the church which Im sure I don’t need to tell you is sorely lacking in today’s youth.

    As a New York City police officer for 25 years I cannot tell you how intimidating the search was for the right school to entrust my young and impressionable children to. However the St. Helena was the right fit all because of Father Derivan. Many parents would agree that he is vital to the schools continued success. Moreover, the Sunday family mass at 10 o’clock every week would not be the same without him.

    His appeal to adults and children alike every Sunday is what holds the congregations attention with his soft and gentle nature as he reviews the gospel. He is our family! And my children are devastated at the prospect of losing their family member.

    Therefore it is with extreme sincerity and respect that I urge your excellency to please NOT TRANSFER Father Thomas Derivan from his current assignment at St. Helena. He is St. Helena Church and the St. Helena school and the embodiment of what it is to be Catholic!

    Thank you for your time and God bless you today and always.

    Yolanda Williams

  3. Unhappy Mother says:

    I can see why the Catholic Schools are suffering. The heads of these schools have forgotten the word compassion to their own neighbors. Today I was told to remove my car immediately or it would be towed. The church official didn’t even care that I had been circling the block for 15 minutes looking for a parking space and was approaching the cut off time to pick up my daughter at 6:30 pm. He just said it was a private lot and that I needed to leave not caring at all about what I had just gone through looking for parking. It only takes 5 min to pick up your child and clearly he doesn’t have any.