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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.

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                                                 Founded in 1924

                                                 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
                                                                                            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.
                                                    Celia Wren                              the American church distinction for the            How appropriate that the independent
                                                                                            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: editors@commonwealmagazine.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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