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Commentary By Kathleen Porter-Magee

Amid the Pandemic, Progress in Catholic Schools

Education Pre K-12

Enrollment and student achievement are rising, thanks in part to parents.

The Nation’s Report Card is out, and it is dismal. The 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, released Monday found that achievement in reading and math among fourth- and eighth-graders has dropped since 2019 in nearly every state.

To the extent that anyone could deny it before, the results settle the debate: America’s response to the pandemic set a generation of students back. But amid the bad news, Catholic schools were a bright spot, reflecting how these schools are making a difference in students’ lives.

From the beginning of the pandemic, American Catholic schools have shown how community focused, mission-driven leadership can benefit children. In March 2020, Catholic schools were among the first to close as Covid hit. In the fall of 2020, after we had learned more about curbing superspreader events and as it became clear that children were the least vulnerable to the virus, more than 92% of Catholic schools across the country re-opened for in-person learning, compared with 43% of traditional public schools and 34% of charters.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal (paywall)


Kathleen Porter-Magee is and adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the superintendent of Partnership Schools, a network of nine urban Catholic schools. Based on a recent MI issue brief.

This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal