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June 20, 2001
Raymond Domanico has written a 26-page report comparing the academic performance of New York City's Catholic elementary schools with the city's public schools. (This study is under the auspices of New York University's Program on Education and Civil Society.) The Catholic schools, which have an enrollment equal to about 14 percent of the public school system, are on average half the size of public schools but have larger average class sizes. Domanico concludes that taking race and family income into account, students attending the Catholic schools reach higher levels of achievement than their public school peers-a gap that is much more pronounced at grade 8 than at grade 4-and that Catholic schools are more successful in breaking links between race or family income and student achievement. In fact, Domanico notes that, on some indicators, the performance of poor and minority youngsters in Catholic schools equals or exceeds that of public school students who are less poor and more white or Asian. He believes that school size is part of the explanation. To obtain a copy of the report, contact the Program on Education and Civil Society, New York University, 269 Mercer St., Room 207, New York, NY 10003; tel: 212-998-7503 or download a copy from the Heartland Institute's "PolicyBot" in three separate parts by surfing to http://www.heartland.org/PDF/21653e.pdf, http://www.heartland.org/PDF/21654s.pdf, and http://www.heartland.org/PDF/21654t.pdf.