The author of one of my regular-read blogs made a post yesterday about how she is kind of conflicted about the Jesus dogma her young boys are learning at Catholic school, because she herself is a lapsed Catholic and no longer blindly buys into the Jesus lore. She was wondering how to balance her desire to have them learn the religion and know its stories, with the desire to let them know that they are free to make up their own minds. I get that completely.
But then, a few people flamed her for choosing Catholic school when she isn’t a believer. And she felt the need, when talking about her choice for her sons, to say that she thinks Catholic schools provide a higher caliber education than public schools.
This is one attitude that I find really prevalent among suburbia, at least in our city, and man, does it ever rub me the wrong way. Obviously I have a personal slant here, as my kids go to public school and I don’t want to believe that they are getting an inferior education in any way. But I honestly do not believe that the Catholic school board is providing better educations simply because its teachers, staff, and all the other students happen to be of the same religion. Does this mean they teach math or science or music any better? No, it does not.
I’ve definitely run into this opinion before — that Catholic school is a step up from public school, that it’s kind of a halfway point between public and private. I hate to think that people will look at our kids and think that that A that they earned in school just isn’t as good as an A from a Catholic school, that they didn’t need to work as hard, that they were taught some sort of easier version of the subject. Grrrrr!!
I have a few friends who are in a similar boat — they don’t go to church any more and don’t really consider themselves Catholic, but they chose Catholic school for their kids because it’s “better” in some nebulous way that is really, really insulting to those of us who choose public school. If you want your kids to go to Catholic school to learn about Catholicism and be in an environment where it’s okay to talk about and learn about God, then I can get that, I understand that. But don’t go telling me that your kids’ school is better than my kids’ school, simply because it is a Catholic school.
I have to say I have pretty big problems with the whole idea of a publicly funded school system that caters to only one religion in the first place, but I’ve ranted enough about the subject to get it out of my system so I’ll shut up now.
Just to close: I like my kids’ school, it’s a good school, and everyone who says otherwise can suck it.