A recent Education Week online article by journalist Benjamin Herold on the efforts by private and parochial schools reminds us of the importance of these terms, and what is at stake. Since the 1960s, when enrollment reached an all-time high of 5.2 million students, American Catholic schools have declined to roughly 2 million. The declining birth rates, demographic changes, a weak economy, and more educational options have all contributed to this decline. Herold writes that private, independent schools have also faced similar hurdles in recent years.
In order to position themselves as viable options for students, school leaders must think more creatively about data use, strategic planning, and mission. Herold includes a wide variety of schools to exemplify these efforts. These exemplary schools and schooling systems are using online content, networking with other schools, and challenging students through strong teaching. "We have an opportunity to [provide] some leadership in the field," John E. Chubb, president of the National Association of Independent Schools, or NAIS, in Washington said. "The next step in all this, and where these schools are beginning to experiment, is rethinking how students should learn."
In so many similar ways, the TWIN schools and the network being built is proving another version of these efforts. By joining together to provide students with the education needed for the 21st century, an education with a solid understanding of language and culture, the TWIN schools are blazing a path for future ideas of Catholic schooling.
Article link: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/01/29/19el-private.h33.html?tkn=RZZFpKqmAtpKpq6EHXVReoVOoQlwvriPYlx8&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=EW-BL14-EWH