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Catholic schools to boycott state's new review mandate

Dec 12, 2018 12:00 pm
Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union the leaders of New York's more than 500 Catholic schools say they will boycott a new review system in which local public school officials would inspect parochial schools and determine whether they offer a substantially equivalent education. The recently enacted guidelines from the state Education Department require local public school officials to inspect non-public schools, including Catholic and other private schools, to ensure that students are exposed to the same basic topics such as English and math, that are covered in public schools. Under the new guidelines, after local officials conclude the private or parochial school is offering a substantially equivalent education, the local school board must then approve the findings in a vote. “The parents who choose our schools can have great confidence in the academic rigor of our schools,” said James Cultrara, executive secretary of the state Council of Catholic School Superintendents. But, he added, “We simply cannot accept a competing school having authority over whether our schools can operate.” The Catholic superintendents have outlined their concerns in a series of letters over the past year, including one on December 5 to state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. State Education Department officials said they are reviewing the letters, but offered no additional comment. Read the full story in the Times Union.
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