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With the national discussion about education promoting school choice for families, the question arises as to whether private schools can provide effective instruction for students. Similar to the public sector, answers to this question often begin with an evaluation of the qualifications and efficacy of private school teachers and administrators, warranting an analysis of private educator preparation. Contextualized by recent reports and research regarding teacher and administrator preparation across U.S. colleges and universities, this paper’s focus lies within private education’s largest entity, the Catholic school system. Specifically, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (ALA) has developed a strong relationship with Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and its Catholic school teacher and administrator preparation programs. To follow is a description and analysis of four educator preparation programs within the Center for Catholic Education (CCE) at LMU — Partners in Los Angeles Catholic Education (PLACE corps), Catholic Archdiocesan School Teachers (CAST), the Catholic Inclusion Program, and the Catholic School Leadership Academy — which have positively impacted ALA and its efforts to recruit and retain skillful teachers and administrators who are dedicated to Catholic education. The characteristics that make these programs and their alumni successful are discussed as potential approaches to educator preparation in the private sector.
This paper will share the initial lessons learned by Notre Dame’s foray into the supply side of the parental choice scholarship effort, highlighting some of the early successes while articulating the greatest challenges our partner schools continue to face. After three years of operating Catholic schools serving low-income communities in Arizona and one year in Florida, we have learned much about increasing parental choice scholarship access and strengthening academic quality. We have become convinced of the critical importance of implementing a strong school culture, and we have come to believe that the greatest lever for school change is the principal. At the same time, we have encountered numerous obstacles. We have new appreciation for the challenges principals and parents face when dealing with the maddening complexity of some state parental choice scholarship programs. We have encountered the challenges of creating new governance mechanisms in a 2,000 year-old church governed by a code of canon law. And we have been challenged at every turn by adults who had grown comfortable with the status quo, despite its adverse effects on children. In particular, this paper will describe the challenges state tax policies and the scholarship-granting organization landscape can pose for school operators. It will also look into issues of scale and the challenges the Notre Dame ACE Academies face in scaling up their operations.
We all wish there were fewer failing schools of any type (district, charter, private school choice or other) in our cities and our nation. However, perhaps the bigger issue that our nation faces is not that we have too many failing schools, but rather that we don’t have enough great ones. From the perspective of a school operator who has experience starting and managing charter and private school choice schools in multiple states, this paper is an attempt to explain what it would take to create the market conditions necessary to catalyze the explosion of high quality educational options for families across our nation. The nine major considerations provided are a call for action with implications for all key stakeholders committed to improving education in our nation including advocates, elected officials, philanthropists and foundations, educators, community leaders and parents.
For the past 50-plus years, nations all over the world have moved the provision of a variety of services from the public to the private sector, with varying degrees of success. This chapter will survey the experiences of several countries to glean lessons that can be applied to the education system. In short, the primary lesson of market creation is that markets do not simply emerge from the ether; movement from the public to the private sector must be accompanied by reforms to property rights, legal responsibilities, and the infrastructure necessary to drive a supply side response of providers. This will provide a framework for a discussion of the reforms necessary to drive a more vibrant educational marketplace, from changes to the pipelines into teaching and private school leadership to financial reforms to move capital to private schools to foster growth to new regulatory tools to ensure quality and financial transparency.
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