“Dominick, Go Frisk ‘em”**

Catholic schools are back in the news as the New York Diocese prepares for what the Times is calling an “aggressive effort to close or consolidate elementary schools”  — as many as 30 of the 216 in the system, reports the Times.

This continues a long and slow slide for American Catholic education, which I wrote about in Ed Next and for Fordham’s special report on saving urban Catholic schools.

The parochial system educates over 2 million students in the U.S. and is an educational network well worth preserving. For one thing, it is still a model of effective schooling in inner cities, for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  But it also serves as a great relief valve for the public system, which spends nearly twice as much on these students.

It seems as if New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan is up for the fight.  As the Times reports, he has “pulled no punches.” He says too many Catholic school administrators have “a hospice mentality,”  as if  “the best we can do is making their passing comfortable.”  Says the prelate, in the idiom of the high church,  “Malarkey!”

**Catholic joke: from the Latin, “Dominus, vobiscum” (the Lord be with you).

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