FEb 18th Newsletter

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FEb 18th Newsletter

Here is the link to the newsletter.  The Top 5:

  1. At the top of the American Catholic News section, there is a great feature story on Dr. RaeNell Houston, the superintendent for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Listen to my podcast interview from last fall with Dr. RaeNell here.
  2. As the immigration debate rages, Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners has a great article examining the Christian ethos of immigration reform. Replacing a family-based immigration system with a merit-based system has implications for our values.  Is economic value the best way to value citizenship?
  3. 6 School Culture Building Components,” a blog by Dr. Toby Travis, is a great reflection on building school culture. There’s a little bit of insight for everyone in this.
  4. I recommend you read the editorial “Gun Control is a Pro-Life Issue” as well as the NPR article entitled “Is There Any Way for Schools to Prevent Shootings?” and the story of the victims “Musician, Budding Scholars, Wrestling Coach, Soccer Player Among Fla. Shooting Victims.” We need to do a little bit of everything—put the story in context, figure how we can improve school security, and grieve the loss of our fellow Americans.  Gun violence is not a technical problem with a simple fix.  But that doesn’t mean we should give up trying to resist this “new normal” which has become a ritual for disaffected teens.

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Feb 11th Newsletter

Here is the link to the Feb 11th Newsletter.  My Top 5:

  1. The Need to Think Differently” in the American Catholic News section is a great blog post by Don Drees (President) Dr. Bill Hughes (Chief Academic Officer) of Seton Schools in Milwaukee. They argues that we (Catholic school leaders) need new thinking to avoid catastrophes such as the closing of Jubilee Catholic schools.
  2. The next article, “The Scariest Catholic in America” is a feature of Fr. James Martin. It should serve as a wake-up to Catholics to listen to one another and open our hearts to each other.  Otherwise, with friends like these, who needs enemies?  Divided we fall, folks.
  3. In the Catholic School News section, there is a combined NCEA/USCCB document on 529 plans. This FAQ would be a great resource for Catholic school marketing.  You might want to insert these in parish bulletins, post on your website, pass out to your parents, etc.
  4. In the Leadership section, the HBR article entitled “If You’re So Successful, Why Are You Still Working 70 Hours a Week?” is a great article examining what we define as success and what role negative motivators such as insecurity and perfectionism play in our lives.
  5. In the Miscellany section, I love the first article on individualism which appeared in the month’s Sojourners magazine. “Bowling Together” examines how communities have become separated and we need more emphasis on the common good.

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Feb 4th Newsletter

Here is the link to the Feb 4th Newsletter

The Top 5 Links:

  1. NCR was very kind in writing a great article about Catholic School Matters. The host of “In Conversations” also invited me onto the show.  I encourage you to click on the links.  Outlets like NCR pay attention to metrics.  The more hits and downloads, the more likely it is they’ll devote resources to telling our stories.
  2. Education Gadfly (part of the Thomas Fordham Institute) has two great blog posts—one very personal essay by Stephanie Saroki de Garcia (of Seton Fellows) about the need for more miracles in education and another by Kathleen Porter-Magee (of Partnership Schools in NYC) entitled “Charter Schools are Not the Future of Catholic Education.”
  3. I came across an article a couple of weeks ago referencing Rod Dreher’s monastic vision and the “Benedict Option.” Last week, Cardinal Cupich spoke out about what he characterized as “withdrawal.”  So I included the three articles in case you weren’t aware of this movement.
  4. In the Leadership section, the first article about decision-making and fighter pilots was one of the best things I read this week.
  5. Campaign Counsel produced a great guide to how the new tax code will impact giving and this can be found in the Leadership section.

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Turnaround Catholic Schools

Here is the link to the January 28th newsletter.  This week’s top 5:

  1. I’ve included links to the turnaround schools and a few articles about this schools. They are amazing stories.  Clearly, there is no silver bullet to turn around every Catholic school’s fortunes.  But you’ll be inspired by the efforts!
  2. However, school closing announcements have been pouring in. It’s important to read these stories because there are still people out who aren’t woke to our reality.  We have to help people understand that innovative approaches are necessary.  This section can be found after the American Catholic News section.
  3. Speaking of which, look no further than the first article in the American Catholic News section by Partnership School’s Kathleen Porter-Magee’s essay “To Spark a Catholic School Renaissance, We Need to Put Our Faith in Autonomous School Networks” is a must read.
  4. I recommend the article by HBR on Customer Service in the Leadership section. Sure, it’s common sense to pick up the phone and call parents to hear their concerns.  But it’s not common!  I’ve heard of principals who call a set of families every Friday to check in.  Not email.  Not letters and memos.  Phone calls.
  5. It’s Oscar season so enjoy this article on Lady Bird’s creator and her affinity for Catholic schools.

Have a great week celebrating Catholic schools!


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Innovation in Catholic Schools

Here is the link to the Jan 14th newsletter.

This edition of Catholic School Matters is devoted to Catholic school innovation.  I blog about my visit last month to Seton Catholic Schools in Milwaukee, a remarkable charter-like Catholic school network.  It would benefit any school or diocesan school leader to pay attention to what’s going on there.

I then include descriptions and links to thirteen other innovative models: ACE Academies, Catholic Schools Center of Excellence, Cristo Rey, Faith in the Future, Drexel Schools, Healey Education Foundation, Independence Mission Schools, Jubilee Schools, Lumen Christi Schools, Nativity/Miguel network, Partnership Schools (NYC), Seton Education Partners, and TWIN-CS.

My top 5 all focus on Seton Catholic Schools (Milwaukee):