Having attended Catholic schools from K-12 (well, that time I attended public school kindergarten and walked out because I didn't want to sit on the floor doesn't count, right?), taught in Catholic school for my first teaching job, I appreciate the power of parents to get involved.
Both as a child and a young teacher, I remember nuns and their power. I still remember Sr. Finbarr starting the staff meeting with a prayer. Where else can you start a faculty meeting with a prayer that takes the starch out of selfish bickering? Wow, that just puts it all into context.
In case you haven't attended Catholic school--yes, there are nuns with rulers but happily, only one in 12 years who thought to animate the stereotype, in my experience--parents provide quite a bit of the funding.
This can sometimes lead to inequities in treatment...for example, rich guy usually wins most of the arguments, gets deferential treatment, etc. I've seen it time and again. In fact, I often wonder that nuns didn't use rulers (or yardsticks) on parents more than their children! Although I have less contact with Catholic schools now that I work in public schools, I have to confess that I miss joking with those wonderful ladies that taught me fairness and to look for humor in unexpected places. Of course, it's not all sweet petals...there are thorns, too.
What brought on this rambling, reminiscing of Catholic school education? The idea that budget cuts are bringing our public schools more in line with private schools...not the rich, charter ones, but the poor Catholic ones. Did you know that "catholic" means "universal?" Yes, universal. Consider this plurk:
hisheets Must say that our PTA is the most awesome community! They continue to supplement what the district can no longer afford to do
PTA is becoming the universal "school care" of public education. Is there something wrong, or right, with that?