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One other bit of news from the latest state Common Core exams means hope for New York’s Catholic schools.

Parochial schools were once a huge presence on the local scene, but more close every year. So it was heartening when the Archdiocese of New York decided not to shutter six struggling schools in Harlem and the South Bronx back in 2013. Instead, it agreed to let an independent nonprofit manage them.

The Partnership School Network remade all six, importing innovative management and borrowing the best practices of successful charters — such as emphasizing professional development and implementing the Core Knowledge curriculum.

And this year the six Partnership schools posted gains that topped the already-impressive performance of the city’s charter schools. Their students posted a 16-point increase over last year to reach a 43 percent pass rate on the English exam; and a 13-point gain on the math test, with 45 percent of students passing.

In short, Partnership has produced a template that could transform parochial education — a huge plus for the city.

The sad fact is that, fast as New York charter schools have been growing, adding to the choices for the city’s parents, the closing of Catholic schools has been eliminating other good choices.

Another irony is that the best charters themselves copy from the classic Catholic-school model — uniforms, firm discipline, high academic standards and expectations, plus a schoolwide ethic grounded in clear values.

We’re often accused of being hostile to the regular public-school system, but our real gripe is with its near-monopoly — which leaves it free to keep on serving the interests of its “stakeholders” rather than the students.

A healthy, competitive “education sector” should feature lots of options — different approaches that can learn from each other and, yes, compete to best serve the needs of different kinds of kids.

That’s why we’ve supported public charter schools, as well as the proposed Education Investment Tax Credit, which would boost giving for faith-based education, including parochial schools.

Most New York City children don’t graduate high school ready for college or the workplace. To change that, the city needs every good school it can get.


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