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Enrollment Decline in Brooklyn Diocesan Elementary Schools

Perceptions of Change

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This book sought to understand the nature of change that significantly declined, for more than a decade, the enrollment of students into several diocesan schools that were in the past overflowing with students. In the Catholic Church, schools are means of grassroots evangelization. Pope Pius XI writes in his Encyclical: “there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man’s last end” (Pius, PP, XI., 1929, Christian Education of Youths). For the Church, the goal of Christian education is “to secure” the Supreme Good, that is, God (Pius, PP. XI, Christian Education of the Youths). A declining school enrollment portends a bleak future for evangelization and for salvation of people.
This book sought to learn from the parents of the school children what factors were important to them for choosing or not choosing Catholic education for their children. Education is a social activity in a natural order. But for the Christian, education is also more importantly a social activity within a supernatural order, for the salvation of human beings. Among the stakeholders of education, the tension between the natural order (politics, economics, social status, and personal/material wellbeing) and the supernatural order (fraternal charity and salvation of soul) will dictate the quality and outcome of an educational enterprise. An educational enterprise which flourished as evangelization and support for immigrant families will neither yield the same result and character when it becomes unaffordable for the poor majority nor will it become a great program when it becomes an abandoned project “for the rest.” This book discovers how some social dynamics in which educational stakeholders are involved affect the productivity of private schools. - Newsletter
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