A wing and a prayer

It’s no broom-bedecked cover, but TIME coverage is still TIME coverage. In his recent article for that magazine, Gilbert Cruz reports that America's urban Catholic schools are facing a serious identity crisis--not to mention financial catastrophe. (That’s not news to Gadfly readers, of course.) Cruz says that these schools serve a socially important niche, but a growing number of poor students who can’t afford the full cost of tuition and the majority of teachers being of the salaried lay version mean they have an out-of-date business model. According to John Eriksen, superintendent of Catholic schools in Paterson, New Jersey, the church and Catholic schools have a hard time wrapping their respective heads around the idea of education provision as a business. Further, he explains, "a much more effective mantra than 'We're poor, give us money,' is 'We serve the poor. Invest in us, and we'll provide a good return on your investment.'" Amen to that.

Looking for Solutions to the Catholic-School Crisis,” by Gilbert Cruz, TIME Magazine, October 12, 2009

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