Boston Catholic Schools Supt. Tom Carroll on National Catholic Schools Week

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard celebrate National Catholic Schools Week with Tom Carroll, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Boston. He shares his view of the value that Catholic schools add; the reasons for their success at improving student outcomes and creating a sense of community; and their commitment to serving children from underprivileged backgrounds, regardless of religious affiliation. They explore how Catholic schools have adapted to changes resulting from COVID-19, taking a proactive approach to closures and remote instruction, and re-opening in the fall while many public schools across the country have remained closed. They discuss the impact of these decisions on their enrollment, and the efforts they have undertaken to follow health protocols and ensure safe and clean classroom environments, leading to a minuscule COVID-19 case count. They also delve into why Superintendent Carroll is a strong supporter of tax credit scholarship programs, that would allow all families, regardless of income, to enroll their children in the schools that are best for them.

Related: Wall Street Journal: “Catholic Schools Are Beating Covid
New Book: A Vision of Hope: Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts

Stories of the Week: In Chicago, the public school district and teachers unions have entered a cooling-off period that will continue remote instruction, in an effort to avoid a strike over in-person learning. Are they merely prolonging the inevitable? February marks Black History Month, during which we celebrate the achievements of African-Americans – but few of us understand the role played by Black educators in establishing this event.

Guest:

Thomas Carroll is the Secretary of Education and Superintendent of Schools for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, serving over 31,000 students across more than 100 schools. He is also the founder of the USA Workforce Coalition, a group of nearly 300 organizations focused on adopting federal legislation that addresses the nation’s skills gap and expands educational opportunities. Before joining the Archdiocese of Boston, Carroll was president of the New York-based Invest in Education Foundation since its founding in 2012. Carroll served as New York Governor George Pataki’s Deputy Director for Regulatory Reform and played a leading role in the adoption of New York’s charter-school law. Over the course of his career, he has led a network of high-quality urban schools, renovated and constructed school facilities, advocated on behalf of Catholic schools, and raised millions in private donations for Catholic scholarships. Carroll has both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University at Albany. He and his wife, Claudia, have two children.

The next episode will air on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 at 12 pm ET with guest, Prof. Valerie Boyd, the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence and Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Georgia, and the definitive biographer of Zora Neale Hurston.

Tweet of the Week:

News Links:

https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/opinion-the-important-political-history-of-black-history-month/2021/01

https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-chicago-schools-reopening-updates-covid-19-20210201-gzonljoum5dlnjj5gy4mjvsr6e-story.html

Get Updates on Our School Choice Research

Related Content

Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher on Edu Federalism, School Choice, Learning Pods

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Jonathan Butcher, the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation. They discuss the growing popularity of learning pods, an education innovation propelled by K-12 public education’s failure to meet the COVID-19 moment. With as many as three million children enrolled in learning pods, 35 percent of parents participating in them, and another 18 percent interested in joining one, Butcher shares findings from his report on the role of pods in expanding parent-driven educational choice options.

The Washington Post’s Jay Mathews on An Optimist’s Guide to American Public Education

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Jay Mathews, an education columnist for The Washington Post and author of the recent book, An Optimist's Guide to American Public Education. Jay describes the three key trends in K-12 schooling that he views as cause for hope.

Poll Finds Mixed Views About Schools’ Pandemic Performance

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts residents have mixed opinions about how K-12 education has functioned, but they tend to view the performance of individual teachers more favorably than that of institutions like school districts and teachers’ unions, according to a poll of 1,500 residents commissioned by Pioneer Institute.

Study: Systemic Failure in IDEA Implementation for Private School Students with Disabilities in Additional States

On the heels of a $3.8 million settlement for private school students with disabilities in Massachusetts for the state’s failure to comply with provisions of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that require provision of equitable, publicly funded special education services to students in private schools, a Pioneer Institute study finds that two states and three school districts around the country for which data are available also appear to be out of compliance.

Dartmouth’s Prof. Susannah Heschel Discusses Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel & the Civil Rights Movement

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Susannah Heschel, the Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, and the daughter of noted 20th-century Jewish theologian and Civil Rights-era leader, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. They discuss what teachers and students today should know about Rabbi Heschel’s life and legacy.

Charter schools leading the way with in-person instruction

Massachusetts charter public schools have lived up to their decades-long record of excellence during the pandemic, developing innovative ways to continue providing high-quality education by maximizing the number of students who can safely learn in person.

Best-Selling, Netflix Author Loung Ung On Surviving Pol Pot’s Killing Fields

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Loung Ung, a human-rights activist; the author of the bestselling books First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, Lucky Child, and Lulu in the Sky; and a co-screenwriter of the 2017 Netflix Original Movie, First They Killed My Father. Ms. Ung shares her experiences living through genocide under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979, which resulted in the deaths of nearly a quarter of Cambodia's population. 

American Federation for Children’s Tommy Schultz on School Choice & Edu Federalism

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Tommy Schultz, CEO-elect of the American Federation for Children (AFC). They discuss how COVID-19 school closures have increased the interest in alternatives to public schools, and what AFC's polling shows on shifts in attitudes toward school choice options in both urban and rural communities.

Key Madison Park Program Lags Other State Voc-Techs, but Shows Signs of Improvement

The co-operative education program at Boston’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, which places students in paid positions with local employers, lags far behind other Massachusetts vocational-technical schools in terms of both placements and number of employer contacts.  But with the school as a whole beginning to improve after years of turmoil, the co-op is also showing promising signs, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

UGA Prof. Valerie Boyd on Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem Renaissance, & Black History Month

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard celebrate Black History Month with Professor Valerie Boyd, the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence and Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Georgia, and the definitive biographer of Zora Neale Hurston. Boyd discusses why Hurston is such an important novelist and cultural figure, and the influence of Hurston’s 1937 classic novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, on American literature.

Boston Catholic Schools Supt. Tom Carroll on National Catholic Schools Week

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard celebrate National Catholic Schools Week with Tom Carroll, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Boston. He shares his view of the value that Catholic schools add; the reasons for their success at improving student outcomes and creating a sense of community; and their commitment to serving children from underprivileged backgrounds, regardless of religious affiliation. 

Tax credit scholarship program would give Catholic schools fighting chance

/
I am among the countless individuals whose lives have been shaped by Catholic education; in my case, it was attending high school at Austin Prep. Despite a stellar record, Catholic schools are facing a grim financial picture. But a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision gives new hope to the schools and to the many Massachusetts families with children who would benefit from attending them.

AZ Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick on National School Choice Week

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard kick off National School Choice Week with Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick, co-author with Kate Hardiman of a new book, Unshackled: Freeing America’s K–12 Education System. Justice Bolick shares his experiences serving on a state supreme court, and how it has shaped his understanding of America’s legal system.

New Book Offers Roadmap to Sustainability for Massachusetts Catholic Schools

Catholic schools in Massachusetts must focus on the characteristics that make them academically successful and distinguish them from traditional public schools, but must also seek new models and governance structures that will help them achieve financial sustainability, according to a new book published by Pioneer Institute. The book, "A Vision of Hope: Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts," will be the topic of a webinar co-sponsored by Pioneer and the Catholic Schools Foundation to be held on Wednesday, January 27 at 2:00 pm.