In a recent New York Times article benefactor Robert Altman, an investment banker and a deputy Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, said: "he saw Catholic schools as one of the most cost-efficient options available to poor urban families seeking to raise well-educated children and good citizens. You only have to walk into one of these schools to see it — the values they instill."
So good to see my alma mater taking a lead in ensuring a future for Catholic primary education in the inner cities. The Alliance for Catholic Education at St. Joseph's was also featured in the Catholic Standard and Times.
"We looked at these programs and thought, 'That's a contribution we could make,' " said Joyce, noting his university trains teachers through its education department. "And it's . . . an important piece of the puzzle for Catholic schools in the city."
Years ago, he said, a lot of young people entered Catholic schools as teachers.
"But they were nuns, priests, and brothers," said Joyce, a Jesuit priest who is assistant to the vice president for mission and identity. "I think Notre Dame has caught onto something: This is the new way that can happen."
When Desmond Shannon was a student at the Gesu School in North Philadelphia, he thought students at that private Catholic elementary school had more homework than their teachers.
Thanks to a new, local program that trains young college graduates to teach at inner-city Catholic schools, Shannon, 22, now knows better.
"I see the other side," said Shannon, who teaches 25 sixth graders at St. Rose of Lima Catholic elementary school in West Philadelphia and spends evenings grading their assignments and writing lesson plans. "Teachers have more homework than students."
After majoring in actuarial science at St. Joseph's University, Shannon expected to be crunching numbers for an insurance company. Instead, he joined 14 other 2010 college grads who signed up to teach at nine Catholic schools in Philadelphia through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at St. Joseph's.
With Notre Dame focused on providing teachers for needy Catholic schools in the South and West, other Catholic universities have developed ACE programs in other parts of the country.
All stress the same three "pillars": teaching, community life, and spirituality.
"You don't have to be Catholic to do ACE, but there is an emphasis on spiritual growth," said John Staud, an administrator with Notre Dame's program, which has produced more than 1,200 Catholic educators.
"We feel it's an injection of talent and passion into a Catholic school system that is increasingly fragile in the inner cities," Staud said. "We're going to attract people interested in service and maybe the profession."
(click link for the entire article)