Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Brother Martin Junior High?

Apparently, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is not opposed to allowing Brother Martin High School to add a 7th grade to its ranks.

More and more, the Catholic High Schools are reaching back into the middle school student population. I've commented on this before, but I'll say it again now. If the Archdiocese is so keen on providing quality education to the city's neediest and poorest students that it openly supports a taxpayer funded voucher program to siphon away students from the public schools, then it should not only be advocating for a voucher system, it should also be encouraging the successful Catholic Religious Order run high schools to set up middle and elementary school feeder programs. If voucher program supporters really think that providing choice is key to resolving the City's educational crisis, then it shouldn't go only halfway in encouraging choice. It should embrace competition among and between Catholic educational institutions as well as among and between public schools and Catholic schools.

I'm glad to see that there appears to be some slow movement in this direction. Now, apparently, Brother Martin is joining Holy Cross and St. Augustine in offering a 7th grade program. I don't see how it can now prevent the floodgates from opening such that schools like Rummel, Jesuit, Dominican, Mount Carmel, etc., will be moving in that direction to get a part of that action. The losers stand to be the Archdiocesan elementary and middle schools. As I said, I'm happy to see Brother Martin go down this road; but I can't imagine that Catholic Elementary Schools like Holy Name, Christian Brothers Academy, Stuart Hall, and St. Dominic are too thrilled with the prospect of losing yet another grade to the much better education afforded by the Religious Orders who run these high schools. I have a feeling we haven't heard the last of this story yet.

I hope my alma mater, Jesuit High School, is next.

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