Catholic School Renaissance: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Strengthening a National Asset

The Philanthropy Roundtable
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 Over the last generation, Catholic schools have been buffeted by a confluence of winds:  changing demographics in the urban neighborhoods where many of their facilities are located, the disappearance of nuns and priests from classrooms, new competition from tuition-free charter schools. Finances crumbled, enrollments fell, and 6,000 schools were closed. 

Yet two million children remain in Catholic schools today. This includes a great many low-income and minority youngsters for whom Catholic schooling is a lifeline in an otherwise dysfunctional neighborhood. And Catholic schools get enormous bang for their educational buck—posting graduation rates, college success patterns, and levels of constructive student behavior that much exceed the performance at counterpart public institutions.

Donors never gave up on Catholic schools. And in recent years they have begun to be rewarded for their loyalty. The last decade has brought a burst of fresh management structures, teacher pipelines, back-office mechanisms, helpful technologies, support groups, education-reform allies, private investors, and state and local school-choice programs that leave Catholic schools in their best position for future success in more than 50 years.            

It is now possible to see the outlines of a significant Catholic-school renaissance. And it is donors who are leading the way. This practical guide describes hundreds of opportunities for savvy givers to put a stamp on this field—where there may be more opportunities for life-changing philanthropy than in any other corner of our nation.

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About the author

Kelly Robson is a short fiction writer, based in Toronto. She writes stories in science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. Her work has appeared in major speculative fiction markets and various year's best anthologies. She is also a regular contributor to Clakesworld's, Another Word column. She won the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novelette, for her work, A Human Stain. Her other work includes We Who Live in the Heart, Waters of Versailles (winner of the Prix Aurora Award), The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill, Two-Year Man. And Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach.

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Additional Information

Publisher
The Philanthropy Roundtable
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Published on
Nov 1, 2015
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Pages
123
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ISBN
9780986147449
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Language
English
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Genres
Reference / Handbooks & Manuals
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Twenty-five years ago, charter schools hadn’t even been dreamed up. Today they are mushrooming across the country. There are 6,500 charter schools operating in 42 states, with more than 600 new ones opening every year. Within a blink there will be 3 million American children attending these freshly invented institutions (and 5 million students in them by the end of this decade). 

It is philanthropy that has made all of this possible. Without generous donors, charter schools could never have rooted and multiplied in this way. And philanthropists have driven relentless annual improvements—better trained school founders, more prepared teachers, sharper curricula, smarter technology—that have allowed charter schools to churn out impressive results.

Studies show that student performance in charter schools is accelerating every year, as high-performing models replace weaker ones. Charter schools as a whole already exceed conventional schools in results. The top charters that are now growing so fast elevate student outcomes more than any other schools in the U.S.—especially among poor and minority children.

Charter schooling may be the most important social innovation of our age, and it is just beginning to boom. Philanthropists anxious to improve America have more opportunities to make a difference through charter schools than in almost any other way. This book provides the facts, examples, cautionaries, inspiration, research, and practical experience that philanthropists will need as charter schooling shifts gears from promising experiment to mainstream movement bringing improved opportunity to millions of students.
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