Obama Should Acknowledge His Roots

Posted on January 27, 2009 In No categories

Give Catholic and Other Non-Public Schools the Recognition They Deserve

As strong proponents of the importance and vital role played by parochial and other non-public schools in the United States, we at the OU are pleased to see op/eds such as this one appearing in the press.

Wall Street Journal Editorial – Of the many parallels between Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy, one has eluded all coverage: Both attended Catholic school as children. In fact, while JFK may have been the Irish Catholic from Boston, he spent less time at the Canterbury School in Connecticut than did young Barry (as he was then called) at St. Francis of Assisi in Indonesia.

At a time when America’s 6,165 Catholic elementary and 1,213 secondary schools are celebrating Catholic Schools Week, President Obama’s first-hand experience here opens the door to a provocative opportunity. In his inaugural address, the president rightly scored a U.S. school system that “fail[s] too many” of our young people. How refreshing it would be if he followed up by giving voice to a corollary truth: For tens of thousands of inner-city families, the local parochial school is often the only lifeline of hope.

“When an inner-city public school does what most Catholic schools do every day, it makes the headlines,” says Patrick J. McCloskey, author of a new book called “The Street Stops Here,” about the year he spent at Rice High — an Irish Christian Brothers school in Harlem. “President Obama has a chance to rise above the ideological divide simply by giving credit where credit is due, by focusing on results, and the reason for those results.”

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.