In September 2013, the Partnership School Network launched a historic collaborative effort with the Archdiocese of New York. This agreement granted the Partnership broad authority to offer educational, administrative and operational services on behalf of six inner-city pre-K through eighth grade Catholic schools. The archdiocese retains governance control of the six schools and owns the six buildings. In addition, it implements the religious curriculum at these schools. The six schools include two geographical areas and serve more than 2,000 students, nearly all of whom receive free lunch: (Harlem: Mount Carmel-Holy Rosary, Our Lady Queen of Angels, St. Mark; South Bronx: St. Athanasius, Immaculate Conception, Sacred Heart).
This year the six Partnership schools posted impressive gains on statewide English and math proficiency exams. 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, the partnership has produced a template that could be used to transform parochial education—a huge plus for Catholic education in the city.
Epifanio Castillo Jr.