Be Not Afraid: A History of Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts

Pioneer Institute, March 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
By: Cara Stillings Candal, Ed.D.

Executive Summary
Catholic schools and the quality education that they provide are important not only to Catholics but to people of all faiths and society as a whole.This is evident in the numbers of non-Catholics who are enrolled in the country’s Catholic schools, and it is largely because of the highquality,
values-based education that Catholic schools provide.1 As Dr. Mary Grassa O’Neill, Secretary of Education and Superintendent of the Archdiocese of Boston notes, “Catholic education is a vital and important part of society…Catholic schools achieve excellence in education and Catholic identity, and our schools form good, caring people every day.” There are 209 Catholic schools in Massachusetts, 1242 of which are within the Archdiocese of Boston. The academic success of students in these schools is manifest in high test scores— Archdiocese of Boston schools outscore the nation, the state, and Boston Public Schools on Stanford 10t and SAT tests—and high graduation and college attendance rates. Perhaps most impressive, Catholic schools achieve these results while spending less money than their public school counterparts.

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