General Rule: Public schools may not teach religion, although teaching about religion in a secular context is permitted.- AntiDefamation League (emphases my own)
I was taught Math, Chemistry and Physics in high school, but I seem to have learned only "about" those rigorous disciplines and have the grades to prove it. The fault, dear Reader, was in myself and not due to a class action lawsuit and subsequent legislation. I was and remain incompetent in the matters of quadratic equations, tables of elements and quantum mechanics, God forgive me.
I managed to have a happy and mildly successful life, nevertheless. My gentleman's Ds notwithstanding. Being taught Math, Chemistry and Physics by men of God made all of the difference. The Augustinian Friars of my youth exacted a sense of awe for those studies in me. I learned I could read "about" those hard sciences and not plunge onto a career path where mediocre understandings are tolerated. I mix no potions, fly no plane, nor attempt to transform Nature.
American Public education is in the business of doing the work necessary for the growth of government. Catholic Education is the means of producing centered people. In public education, kids are a commodity and a tag-line. Catholic schools require the growth of a young person's potential. In public education students are weighed and measured and in parochial schools, young people are led to an acceptance that core values are good path to success.
Both educational systems succeed in the meeting their goals and objectives. One is showered with the mythical governmental doctrine of limitless tax dollars and the other must fend for itself.
The difference is simple God is not welcome in one and He is member of the faculty and staff of the other.
Public schools and charter schools are the same in that they cost families little to nothing. Catholic schools, like all American private schools, cost a lung.
Public schools pay licensed teachers very well, but Moses, Jesus, or The Prophet could not be hired. Catholic and private school teachers are paid somewhat of a salary,but the above three historical persons would find themselves welcome in the faculty lounge.
I have worked in Catholic high schools with Muslims, Jews, Methodists, Lutherans and Catholics and found my life enriched and challenged by their collegiality; our kids learned and achieved lives of happy commitment to something beyond their urges and impulses.
I will devote my attentions for few weeks leading to the start of a new school year to the idea of schooling.
Having taken my gimlet-eyed view of public schooling in this initial few lines, I will avert my eyes of that public mess and focus on
- Young people - males largely
- What works with young people
- What does not work with young people
- What is needed in a teacher
- What is never needed in a teacher
- What makes a great school
- How to fund a great school
- How not to fund a great school