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Program for Educational Access

  1. Catholic schools tend to produce graduates who are more civically engaged, more tolerant for diverse views, and more committed to service as adults.
  2. The achievement gap is smaller in faith-based schools
  3. Latinos who attend a Catholic school are 42 percent more likely to graduate from high school and two and a half times more likely to graduate from college.
  4. Between the 2000 and the 2011 school years, 1,755 Catholic schools have closed.

Lost Classroom, Lost Community


In the past two decades in the United States, more than 1,800 Catholic elementary and secondary schools have closed, and more than 4,500 charter schools—public schools that are often privately operated and freed from certain regulations—have opened, many in urban areas. With a particular emphasis on Catholic school closures, Lost Classroom, Lost Community examines the implications of these dramatic shifts in the urban educational landscape.

More than just educational institutions, Catholic schools promote the development of social capital—the social networks and mutual trust that form the foundation of safe and cohesive communities. Drawing on data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods and crime reports collected at the police beat or census tract level in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, Margaret F. Brinig and Nicole Stelle Garnett demonstrate that the loss of Catholic schools triggers disorder, crime, and an overall decline in community cohesiveness, and suggest that new charter schools fail to fill the gaps left behind.

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