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Future editions might challenge the stakeholders - church leaders and members, the scholars in Catholic universities and centers of research - to test whether the concerns of the church in the United States with respect to the evangelization of youth in the midst of a secularized society are similar to those of the immigrant church of the 1 800s; whether the actual discretionary philanthropic wealth of the graduates of Catholic schools and universities exceeds the costs of maintaining and developing the Catholic school system (even if donations are limited to tax-deductible amounts); and whether alumni appreciation of Catholic education increases as time passes (independent of graduates' choice of schools for their own children, and independent of whether their former schools still exist). [...] the article implies that charter schools will endure. [...] I simply wanted to say thanks for who you are and what you do.
Letters Founded in 1924 Editor Paul Baumann Managing Editor Patrick Jordan Associate Editors Grant Gallicho, Matthew Boudway, Mollie Wilson O’Reilly Different charters, directions, takes Magazine & Web site Production Tiina Aleman promoting literacy system (even if donations are limited to Copy Editor Paul Moses’s report on Catholic schools tax-deductible amounts); and whether Susanne Washburn and public charter schools (“The Public alumni appreciation of Catholic education Editorial Assistant Christopher Cimorelli Option,” December 4, 2009) evokes con- increases as time passes (independent of Development cern about how we as a church pass on graduates’ choice of schools for their own Christa A. Kerber our faith to our children. children, and independent of whether Poetry Catholic schools were the favored their former schools still exist). Were these Rosemary Deen strategy when U.S. church fathers gath- hypotheses to prove true, the core issue Screen ered for the Councils of Baltimore in the would be revealed as more a matter of Richard Alleva, Rand Richards Cooper 1800s. The impact of that choice earned will than of economics. Stage/Media Celia Wren the American church distinction for the How appropriate that the independent Columnists religious literacy of its laity. The “miracu- Catholic press take on this defining issue E. J. Dionne Jr., John Garvey, lous” success of the Catholic school sys- of our “generativity” as a church! I look Melinda Henneberger, Cathleen Kaveny, tem advanced the causes of at least two forward to Commonweal’s keeping the Jo McGowan, Charles R. Morris, William Pfaff American saints. evangelization of youth in the forefront of Marketing Coordinator When charter schools are housed in Catholic thinking and doing. Colleen Gibson church-owned buildings, built with the patrick sean moffett, cfc Advertising Manager donations of faithful parishioners, staffed Miami, Fla. Roth Advertising with former Catholic-school teachers and Commonweal, [ISSN 0010-3330] A Review of administrators, and are small and safe, false alternative Public Affairs, Religion, Literature, and the Arts, is published biweekly except Christmas/New Year; with good academic standards and even Paul Moses’s article on Catholic schools and monthly July and August, by Commonweal plaid uniforms, they seem indistinguish- morphing into charter schools accurately Foundation, 475 Riverside Drive, Rm. 405, New York, NY 10115. Telephone: (212) 662-4200. able from the parish schools they replace. portrays the current situation and debate, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Toll-free: 888-495-6755. Fax: (212) 662-4183. But charter schools are public schools. particularly his reminder that “charter Advertising correspondence should be sent to By definition and by law they are pro- schools are public schools.” Their public Roth Advertising, Inc., P.O. Box 93, Sea Cliff, New York, NY 11579 (516) 674-8603. postmaster: send hibited from promoting religion. They character means they are beholden to address changes to Commonweal, P.O. Box 3000, are a distraction, albeit an interesting public rules, regulations, and bureaucra- Denville, NJ 07834-9982. distraction, from the question of the cies. While there is currently great latitude Publications mail agreement no. 40609667. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Express evangelization of youth. While they may in operating charter schools, will state Messenger International, P.O. Box 25058 London BRC, Ontario, Canada N6C 6A8 provide financial reprieve for challenged departments of education continue to parishes, they have no role in faith-based allow such freedom? Will unions and
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