Thursday, February 21, 2013

Catholic Schools Weak

While I was touching upon the purpose of education in my latest post, Boredom and the Barbarian, Australian reader Colin Jory sent me a CWN article on a poll of American Catholics.

Remarkably, the survey found higher levels of alienation among young people who had attended Catholic schools. Among respondents who had attended a Church-related school, 65% said that Church teaching on sexuality is outdated and 61% said that Mass attendance could be a boring obligation. Both figures were higher than the results for the overall sample.

And I state again the inflexible O'Brien's Law of Apostasy

There is no better indication that an adult has fallen away from the Faith than his having had 12 years of Catholic Education as a child. 

Another way of stating it is

The chance that a Catholic will apostasize varies in direct proportion to that person's years in a Catholic School, and approaches 100% as the time spent in Catholic Schools approaches 12 years.


Kevin said...

This is what makes a newlywed such as myself worried. When it comes to educating my future children, no option sounds satisfactory.

Homeschooling has its bonuses, but I honestly think a LOT of drawbacks. (And I'm just not a countryboy like most of the traditionalists I know who homeschool.)

Catholic schools are obstensibly places where people are given a well rounded education. Yet while the secular education tends to be above average, they seem to spoon-feed the watered down faith that kills the soul. This poll basically confirms that.

And while I'm loathe to even consider it, are government schools such as those in the suburbs that actually are well funded that much worse? Oh, they suck no doubt. but compared to what?

I remember awhile back when Fr. Stravinskas and others of the mainstream mafia tried to say that not only must Catholics send their children to Catholic schools, but that it was somehow a defect of the parent when they either sent them to public or homeschooled. I've seen some Catholic schools, and it's darn near spiritual child abuse to send them there.

Kevin said...

Here's something else.

Westian interpretation of John Paul II's "Man and Woman He created them" is supposed to be raising a generation of Catholics who are more respectful of the Churches teaching on sexuality.

These numbers tend to show the exact opposite, that the more we place kids in Catholic institutions (and most of them at the high school level teach this stuff) the more repugnant they find Catholic sexuality.

I'm not saying the alternative was better. (Catholic education has sucked for quite some time on these matters.) But for all the talk about how Westian thought is the future of Catholicism, I don't see it when I run the numbers.

Kevin O'Brien said...

Westianism is not Catholic. That explains that.

Catholic schools are generally academically inferior to good public schools.

It's a struggle. I'd say find some sort of good school and teach the faith by example and homeschool catechesis.

Kevin said...

I'm reminded a bit of Weigel's call for "Evangelical Catholicism." The "mission territory" catholics enter every day might as well be Catholic schools. Yet that really isn't a very PC thing to say, and Weigel won't last long on the mainstream lecture circut if he says that.

Sorry, always found Weigel a hack, moving on!

Anonymous said...

Some years ago I read a book by Steve Kellemeyer titled "Designed to Fail" which set forth his theory that the Catholic school system as we know it in America is, indeed, designed to fail.

He believes that parishes would do better to take the money they spend on maintaining Catholic grade and high schools and sink it into ADULT formation and catechesis. A parish could host nationally known speakers and apologists every week for an entire year, and include dinner and child care (so young parents could attend without having to arrange a sitter) at each session, for less than it costs to keep a parochial school open for a year!

If adults are properly formed in the faith, he says, they will model that faith at home, which is a far more effective way to educate kids in the faith than trying to do so in the classroom. I know it's a rather controversial idea but the older I get and the more I see the flaws in BOTH the public and parochial school systems, the more I tend to agree with this approach.


C4C said...

I attended 15 years of Catholic school (where I live we had until recently 13 grades plus junior and senior kindergarten before that) and sorry, not an apostate. . . I hate to ruin the joke, but in my experience, most Catholic schools are very good and know what they're doing.