The Texas-based writer, Molly Ivins, wrote a piece this past September for her home paper, Forth Worth Star-Telegram, that attacked Catholic schools for their “alleged” success. Because the column was syndicated in many papers throughout the nation, Donohue’s letter was sent to as many sources as published it. Here is the letter.
Molly Ivins’s sarcasm aside, Catholic schools do outperform public schools–especially in the inner cities–and the evidence for this is hardly “fatuous” or “superficial”: it is overwhelming. Moreover, Ivins seems to think that as lay teachers replace nuns (it’s been going on for decades) somehow this will result in less quality. But, again, the best social science data show that Catholic schools in the 1990s continue to outperform their more well-financed counterparts in the public sector.
Ivins may have a hard time dealing with the truth, but no amount of snide remarks can mask the fact that it is not the Catholic schools that are “crumbling,” rather it is Ivins’s beloved public schools.
William A. Donohue