The darker the world becomes, the more brightly even the smallest light will shine.
NYC Catholic schools aren’t typically beacons of sound and faithful Catholicism but they’re seeming like good alternatives to the madness of public schools right now.
If Catholic schools can resist the temptation to mirror the insanity of the world, they will attract the sane people who are at least questioning the indoctrination and rot that public schools are forcing on our children.
Th Tablet: New York City public schools are seeing a precipitous drop in enrollment as parents — turned off by academic shortcomings, safety concerns and an emerging emphasis on “wokeness” — are voting with their feet.
One option parents are choosing is Catholic school.
Maria Argiro, who lives in Neponsit, had both of her daughters, Nicole and Giuliana, attend a local public school near their home until sixth grade. Then she enrolled each girl in Genesis, the middle school at Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge. Nicole is now a Xaverian freshman and Giuliana is a Genesis seventh grader. Argiro has no regrets about taking her children out of the public school system.
“We wanted more rigorous academics and a better choice of extracurricular activities. But a big push for me was school security,” she explained. “I need to know that my daughters are safe in school.”
Kim Piccininno took her daughter Bella Mia out of their local public school in Bensonhurst and enrolled her in St. Peter Catholic Academy in September, 2020 when Bella Mia was a second grader.
Her decision arose partly out of her frustration with the remote learning model public schools implemented during the pandemic. But mostly, she was concerned that her daughter was getting lost in the shuffle.
“My daughter is dyslexic and the public school never picked up on it, never had her tested or anything. They told me she was doing great,” Piccininno recalled.
Once Bella Mia enrolled in St. Peter’s, “her teacher in second grade was phenomenal. She caught right away that there was an issue,” Piccininno said. She had her daughter evaluated and she learned of the dyslexia diagnosis. Bella Mia, now a fifth grader, is thriving in school, her proud mother said.
The unhappiness that parents feel with the public school system is more than anecdotal. There are solid numbers behind it.
Figures from the New York City Department of Education show that the public school system lost approximately 50,000 students between 2019 and 2021. And kindergarten registration is down 17% between 2016 and 2022.
According to figures from the New York State Department of Education, enrollment in New York City schools for the 2022-2023 school year was 10% lower from a decade ago.
Meanwhile, more than 900 new students in grades 1-8 have enrolled in schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn for 2023-2024 school year, and those numbers are expected to rise during the month of September, officials said. Kindergarten enrollment is 2.2% higher than last year.
“We’re always here and I think what people are realizing is that they have a choice,” said Deacon Kevin McCormack, diocesan superintendent of schools. “They’re also beginning to realize that free isn’t always wonderful.”
Timothy Dillon, principal of Good Shepherd Catholic Academy in Marine Park, estimated that 40 new students have enrolled in the school for this new school year. The parents of half of those students have expressed disgust with the public school system, he said.
Principals are hearing a variety of reasons from parents on why they abandoned the public school system in favor of Catholic schools…
Dillon also said parents have expressed concern to him about the idea of teaching “wokeness” — awareness of such social problems as racism and inequality — to young children. “I’ve heard that from a few people. And they don’t necessarily think that “woke” is bad. But it’s being implemented so rapidly that it’s become somewhat disorganized and confusing,” he said.
Argiro said she too was “unhappy with the changes in the curriculum,” that placed additional emphasis on “woke” topics, LGBTQ issues, and sexuality, adding, “I feel it’s up to me to talk to my daughters about these issues.”
This is the thing. This principal of a Catholic school felt the need to temper what he was selling. Even he doesn’t fully endorse the truth here. He feels the need to point out that many of the parents don’t see “woke” as bad, it’s just the speed with which it’s being implemented.
So if I remove parental rights slowly and mutilate children’s private parts slowly, that would be better? Maybe he’s in New York and dealing with crazy liberals who are actually saying they don’t disagree with woke but it seems to me that we should all be pretty willing o sanding up against racism, mutilation of children, and communism.
That seems pretty basic.
But here’s the thing, this principal isn’t exactly offering a full throated defense of Church teaching here and yet the Catholic school he runs is seeing an increase in enrollment. Parents are desperate to get away from these evil public institutions. The best thing that Catholics can do is point out that these woke public schools are evil institutions.
Truth will attract good people. In this age of lies, truth is like a clarion call.