03 November 2007

GCL Changing

The Catholic High Schools known as the GCL (LaSalle, Roger Bacon, Elder, Seton, Mother of Mercy, Purcell, McAuley, Moeller, McNicholas and Ursula are changing. (My guess is that Xavier and Ursuline are not part of this, but I am not certain.)
This article in the Enquirer discusses the competition the schools are facing to attract students. Until now, if you attended a certain parish, say St. Judes, you automatically attended a certain High School, say Elder. But Elder and Seton, whose feeder parishes ie: St. Lawrence, are in decline, have been asking to open up this process. They feel that their superior programs will attract students from parishes farther out. It will be interesting to see if they succeed. One thing is likely: One or two of the schools will close. The ones that will survive are the ones that are not coed, and have expanded offerings such as music and arts.

I have mixed feelings about this. These schools define part of the culture of Cincinnati. The scholastic programs and discipline are strong in the schools, but the teacher pay is crap and the schools help divide the city by class and race.

Cincinnati Public Schools have served us well, and I have met several other families in which the parents attended parochial schools, but now send their children to CPS because of the excellent programs. In addition, the tuition at the parochial schools has increased tremendously. When my father attended Roger Bacon, the tuition was nominal ($40 I think). Today it is probably $7,000 and Xavier is close to $10,000.

Because of how I was raised, I prefer the dress code and single-sex parochial schools, and I would consider it for my children's high school if it fit their needs. However, Walnut Hills, SCPA, and Clark are great schools too. Good thing we have several years to figure this out.


Larry said...

It seems to me that competition for existing students between schools in the GCL is not a very productive strategy. Shouldn't the schools be working together to develop creative educational programs across the dioceses? Shouldn't all of the science, or math, or English departments be communicating and collaborating together to promote excellence for all schools in the GCL? Couldn't the GCL initiate "magnet" schools in the Arts, Science/Math, and Language. Competition withing a family is divisive and weakens the foundation. The strong and better positioned schools will survive but I think creative collaboration is a superior strategy.

Mike said...

Using that logic, they should also cooperate with the public schools.

Well, they might well cooperate on program development, I don't really know, but the competition is over recruiting and enrollment. Those that fail to attract students will lose. Seems to me that Purcell is the weakest, followed by Bacon and Seton. But that is just my impression, no inside knowledge here or anything like that.