On this regional public affairs program, studio guests Brother Theodore Drahmann, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis; and John Littleford, headmaster of Breck School in Minneapolis discuss nonpublic schools.
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Good morning. The time now is exactly 10 and this is Bob Potter speaking from our studios in Saint Paul. In previous broadcast during this $10 on Saturdays. We've talked with varying at enduring aspects about the public schools in Minneapolis. And st. Paul in this are we going to do focus on the non-public schools in the Twin Cities area speaking about the schools that offer education for those in kindergarten through grade 12 Our Lives Studio guests this morning our brother Theodore Drummond, who is the superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and st. Paul and John Littleford. Who is the Headmaster of Breck School in Minneapolis? German first of all, what what are we talking about? When we say non Public Schools or Independent Schools are private schools. What kinds of schools are there in the Twin Cities? And how many of them are there? The theater in the Catholic sector we have here in the u12 County area that comprises the Archdiocese total of 126 schools of 112 are Elementary. That's either k-26 Cirque 808 and 14 of them are secondary schools 9 through 12. There are many other schools in addition to the Catholic schools. There are Lutheran Schools Episcopal schools. Totally non-religious schools Seventh-day Adventist school. So taken altogether. They they run the Spectrum from sectarian to non-sectarian and affiliation with almost every branch of of religious faith that you can imagine. Do you have any ideas to how many students altogether attend these various classes of schools? We have a total of about 44500 in R 126 schools about 35,000 in the elementary schools and over 9000 the high school's I guess it's probably another ten to twelve thousand enrolled in the remaining non-public schools in it in the media is 17 County area has been the pattern in the Catholic schools. The pattern was one of a very steep decline over the last 10 years 10 years ago. We had about 90,000 students in the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese. Now we have about half that number but in the last 2 or 3 years why we've had a definite bottoming out and even increasing I think this year particularly is the enrollment indications are encouraging because the total decline was only one tenth of 1% and I in some crucial areas there were increases I think probably the most significant is a fact that are First grade enrollment this year increased 12% over last year and we also had significant increases in the seventh and ninth grades High School enrollment is up for the second year in a row. The enrollment in some of the other non public schools had never really declined. I think that the Lutheran School enrollment had gone up and down according to basically the same patterns that brother Theodore mentioned with the Catholic schools schools like Saint Paul Academy Blake of Minnehaha Academy many others in the metropolitan area have been generally experiencing over the last 5 to 10 years. Continue the modest growth national average Independent Schools. I have been experiencing about between 1 and 2% growth annual it. So we haven't experienced a sudden downturn or up turn but it's been pretty continuously upwards slightly over the years for the food or why was there a decline in the first place? And then what do you think happened to turn the situation around decline in our schools were related to internal matters both in the church and in the schools themselves, I think it was the related to the the opening up of the church in general due to the influence of Vatican II the the turmoil caused in many sectors the dissension in controversy over religion programs. And so on the easing of the moral obligation that parents felt with regard to having to send their children to Catholic schools at the same time came Sputnik and the increasing emphasis on science and a quality education 10 years ago. We had very large class sizes and because here in the Twin Cities there was in Call the Twin City area. There was a quality public school program going on the parents felt with their New Freedom their dissatisfaction in many cases with the religion programs and the desire for better facilities or equipment and so on that they found the move to the public schools fairly easy, and now it's changing. Why is that? I think that we have in analyzing this that I think there are three big reasons that can be reduced for parents choosing a non-public school. One is their desire for Quality education. The second is the desire for training and religion and values and the third is discipline. That is favorable safe learning learning environment know I like to cite the fact that there are three different recent studies that give each one of these three first place in the minds of parents that the famous Greeley study of Catholic schools nationally which came out last year. So as a Catholic School a Catholic parents choose Catholic schools first for Quality education, though, we had a local research project done at the University of Minnesota study are schools in parent attitudes and the reasons that the reason coming out of this research. Was that our parents here Tuesday. Catholic schools for the religious values. First of all with a quality education is very important. But then lay the latest Gallup poll taken the both of public school parents and parochial school parents in asking the reasons for over for the concerns or parochial school parents. They showed that discipline was their first concern so those are the big three and I think all three of them are very important in the minds of parents who make the choice of a non-public school and you think that those things come along just in recent years to sort of overshadow the the reasons for the clients that occurred in the 50s and 60s. The religion programs have been updated have been stabilized. If you will improve very much our quality of Education. Our class sizes certainly have been cut quite drastically and well, I think we always did have a good discipline in the positive. Send sole of a good positive. Environment in the schools. I think I'm speaking for my school Breck School. We've seen some enrollment patterns are at least interest patterns that would tend to demonstrate that interest in religious or spiritual values is coming back as a strong force wreck is an Episcopal School and we tend to stand in a middle ground between the public schools in the Catholic schools in terms of not being particularly related to One Faith. Although Workwear Piscopo. We tend to serve the needs of all face. We find the on a survey taken a couple of years ago that over 80% of our parents specifically mentioned religious values being taught at the school as being important to their child's enrollment. We also find I would agree with that brother Theodore's comments about the quality of the education the general spiritual telling of the school and how they're being really firm standards of behavior is having something to do with the enrollment growth. But certainly I think two we're experiencing enrollment growth or at least greater growth and interest partially due to some of the difficulties of public schools are facing enrollment at my school at Bragg has grown by 20% in and three years, but more statistically interesting is the fact that Admissions enquiries and applications of grown by over 200% So that would certainly seem to indicate there's some relationship of something that's been going on in the last couple of years in the area for the theater. I think related to that also Bob, but the John is said is that A big factor, I think responsible for our turnaround is the fact that parents feel that they are closely involved in our schools. One of the things we have done management wise in the last few years is to encourage the development of local boards for each of our schools and almost all of our schools now do have a local board which is entrusted along with the pastor of the parish in the case of the grade school and the local principal and so on with the management of that school, so our parents are involved in the decision-making on the local level, and they said they'd another words they work on financing they work on tuition. They work on the general policies and management of the school and they're directly involved in that and I think that factor of direct local control and parent involvement is really responsible for the Resurgence of interest in our schools. You both mentioned quality of education is being a factor for people choosing private education. Public education. Can you describe what that is a little more distinctly. Can you differentiate to what it is in the in the non-public schools in the public schools that makes the difference in quality. I think certainly certain schools. It's it's whether or not the philosophy is different many of our of the non-public schools are quote college for paratore. I think they state that their major curriculum is college oriented that most of their graduates if not all gold directly onto college that would certainly be the case of most of the schools that I'm familiar with in the area and I'm Public Schools. I think another aspect of that quality is the small class size are the small Factory student ratio, which at my school is 1 to 11 in and that compares favorably with what most public schools have to offer but in addition to statistics like faculty-student ratio. I really think that parents are are seeking a a quality of relationship. That exists between child and teacher or between student and student that maybe has the support of a has the support of the faculty and administration of the school and a private school and we nurture this relationship between students and teachers and I think within this is very close relationship to Quality education has an opportunity to to constantly improve. For the cedar I can back up with John has just said because I think those factors are present in our schools to I think Although our schools are not as distinctively college preparatory in general as the problem with a group of schools that the John is speaking of because really are far Perry's who was particularly are public schools in our community schools in the sense that to all the children of the local community are admitted and true to a certain extent of our high school's to I think that is a pragmatic Factor the fact of quality education in that that our parents being know if they have to pay tuition for a part of the cost of which is true of the Independent Schools to are inclined to take a closer interest just for that pragmatic reason having to pay out money. They want to make sure that they get their money's worth. So there I believe that there tends to be in general more overall parent motivation and interest in the Education then to I think in line with what John said about the teachers. I think we have a wonderful core of teachers in our Catholic schools. 1/3 of them are members are religious orders, which bring but not only the religious dedication but I think a professional and rather Cosmopolitan sophistication being that they cover a wide area of the several States and they have experienced outside the community and then these are supplemented by the late teachers two-thirds of the staff who are usually from the local community and bring that local element. And then there is I think that dedication to is that exemplified pragmatically by the fact that our teachers are not paid Minnesota Public School salaries, they're willing for many reasons to take considerably less. In fact, we estimate that the total contribution of contributor Services by our lay and religious teachers for ours are schools totals between eight and nine million dollars a year. Compared to what they would receive if they were paid as an average salaries of Minnesota Public School teachers. So that dedication I think is is there is on the quality of Education. I think it's to take off on that for a moment, but the independent school certainly attempt to keep up as best they can with the public school teaching salary standards, but I think almost always go anywhere from five to fifteen percent behind in any one year, but most teachers that I know will take a salary cut to come to an independent school to teach their primarily because there is more freedom of choice materials have freedom of teaching style their smaller classes. There's less discipline. There's a greater feeling of director warrant from teaching students. So we find as an example in this is no exaggeration. We've had several teaching spots open in the last year. We've had over a hundred applications for each one and these were not very widely publicized so we know that the other significant interest into And non-public schools and the quality of the student-teacher relationship. I think is one of the most important if not the most important factor in schools, like ours experiencing relatively strong success recently on the basics of Education the three hours then the public schools do I think it's going to be difficult for brother Theodore or me to to directly compare what we do with the public schools and teach public school district is is really different and in each of our schools are are really different but I do think that parents who are paying an additional tuition on top of school taxes to send their children to an independent school are going to be more interested in on a daily basis as to what their children are bringing home what's going on and in our school, for example, many of our parents are professional people and they've been reading the same National statistics of concern about the capability of college. Kids being able to write so we certainly have been stressing and all three of our lower middle and upper school divisions. I guess what you call the basic skills that composition is very heavily stressful Cavaliers have at least rest both computation as well as math math conceptual programs are heavily stressed. So I don't know if it's a sudden turn about the we really been doing this for some time, but we don't Experiment or play around with some proven successful tools of teaching and proven methodologies. I think if we feel they've been successful in their continuing to be successful were satisfied with those methodologies. The Twin Cities Community has not been as strongly affected by school desegregation orders as some other areas have particularly with regard to busing there has been some of that and what the what extent do you find that school desegregation is a factor in your enrollments never be very difficult for us to to tell but we do have we're interested in the problems of the segregation and interracial Justice and all of that very much. So and what we have done to the Archdiocese and board of education is pass a policy applies to our school is one of the very few specific policies that are archdiocese and board have passed by the way because of the decentralized management of our schools, but in that no school is to admit any students who are evidently applying to escape desegregation or busing that's an n on the other related to that and this is I'm going back to some of the research father Greeley's research on Catholic schools in general have shown that in the ten years since he did his other National study that Catholic students attending Catholic schools show up significantly better in tests of social justice racial and ethnic acceptance and tolerance in someone than Catholics who do not like children who do not go to public schools. And I think that is the result with the stress. We've been having in our curriculum on principles of what we believe are Christian social justice. I think there's a point here that you bring up Bob. That's a good one. It would be awfully hard for us to pinpoint weather not a family is leaving their public school district for purposes of desegregation. They probably would not mention it even though we may ask them and I think certainly all of us have the feeling we are not interested in getting into a situation of admitting families were fleeing the public schools for this kind of a reason but it is interesting that there was a recent editorial in the Minneapolis star-tribune talking about our previous meeting brother Theodore and I had in one of the remarks made was at Breck hata a 9% minority ratio at our school and the comment was made that in the editorial at these minority families were primarily middle-class or striving to achieve middle class status, which in fact is not correct. They they run the full gamut of socio-economic background, but I think there is one point. Families of all backgrounds whatever race or economic situation they come from are concerned about whether or not the atmosphere in a school is conducive to learning that is are there so many discipline problems that the teacher is bogged down with handling them and has little time to teach where this is perceived whether it's by a white family black family and engine family or whatever that family is going to seek Alternatives. So to what extent there are desegregation problems or the what extend those are perceived by parents as discipline problems. It's hard to tell it's all very fuzzy. I think we have made two in our schools a definite effort over the past year is to continue to serve the minorities and the economically disadvantaged we have about 3% minority in our schools right now concentrated more course in the urban area, but we do make a definite effort so that Catholic Education is present in the urban areas the central city government grants of about one-third of a million dollars a year two parishes that no longer able to sustain of their own resources schools in the Central City areas. This is done by the contributions from the entire diocese what extent does your school end to the extent, you know about others go to recruit people from different socioeconomic until racial backgrounds. In my case, and I know many of the other schools like our school we recruited very heavily at one time that is 5 to 10 years ago when we realized that we were not serving the community broadly enough. We reached out to various mechanisms of public appeal going down town to meet with various community group social agencies those activities and recruitment activities strenuous right now because the percentage of minority applicants coming to us is fairly high. I would suspect though. We cannot fall into a position of complacent sand must continue to make sure that those sources of minority recruitment continue to come are virtually all the people who attend your school from the Twin Cities area, or do you have some come in from outside from other states? Ed Brack we are entirely a day school, but we do draw from 30 different school districts within a 30 mile radius of our school. And I think many of these non-public schools like brackish st. Paul Academy or Blake are drawing students from Beyond their specific School District. In fact, they probably rely on that and the transportation system connected with it to maintain both your academic standards and there and their enrollment health Let's talk a little bit about money for the theater. What's the financial health of the Catholic schools. Now, I recall their reports several several years ago that things are pretty bleak. they were Bleak and I think Financially, we still have major problems just to put the give you the total picture are our total expenditure for our schools amounts to about twenty-six million dollars a year that that's both Elementary and secondary and we have at present time in the grade schools. That is a Perry schools. The tuition covers about 1/3 in the Perry subsidy from the contributions of the entire Perry sponsors. It covers about two-thirds in the high school. It's about a between 80 and 90% is paid by the cost paid by the students themselves and the other 10% is done by fundraising various kinds or other other sources of income are costs are going up every year tuition is going up every year, but we're trying to encourage the schools to have moderate regular increases and try to seek out all All kinds of outside funding that they possibly can so I it's kind of hard we have continual problems, but we don't anticipate particularly in light of the turnaround Andrew Minton Salon major problems in financing. The schools have an average figure for tuition costs a in the Elementary grades in 9 through 12. Yes. It's about the less than $150 per student for an elementary student per year per year. And that's which means they are operating cost per student in the elementary school is a little bit over $500 a year that doesn't cost account. They contributed Services of the T-shirt. They High School cost is about $850 per year and the students pay an average of about $700 tuition, but this varies cuz I mentioned we have such a decentralized system all these two Financial. Legends are made on the local level and so it varies quite a bit at what rate of inflation would you say your tuition is going up is it to faster than the national inflation rate a little bit lesser know I would say between 5 and 10% a year perhaps you find that this increase is driving some students away who might otherwise attend. That's hard to tell in especially in light of the enrollment turn around probably not but we are making every effort to make it possible for students through the grants to the parishes on the elementary level. And then we have about a third of a million dollars per year granted to individual high school students who need help in paying a $700 average tuition. What about your area of the world? How about your costs? I think we see the future of of Independent Schools being very much in Jeopardy unless we can do three things and do all of them. Well, I'd say one of them is to operate in the most efficient possible way. We have to constantly examine our fiscal operations or management style or cost-effectiveness and we have to be as well managed as the best managed business in terms of far are spending of money. Secondly. I think we all have to begin looking at a building endowments. We don't have them already. So it Have some cushion against inflation and thirdly we obviously have to maintain continued enrollment health and we must rely for the bulk of our income for the near future on tuition. I think several of our schools recently. We've been experiencing about a 7% 7 to 10% tuition growth and quite frankly that concerns us cuz if that were to continue on into the future many of the families in our schools would be unable to continue to send their children there. Although most of the schools. I represent Grant anywhere from 7 to 10% of their operating budgets annually for scholarship paid the Minnesota Independent School fund of which I'm present of the board is a new organization that is aimed at some of these very problems. It's an organization that is made up of all of the non-public non-public secondary schools within a 17 County area Catholic and non-catholic combined. And I major thrust is to obtain financial support from the corporate Community, which is in the past then perhaps Jen with individual schools, but has never broadly supported non-public education and that we have a first-year goal of $500,000 for 25 members schools. If we reach that goal that would break down to $20,000 per year for each of the member schools, which is a very significant and additional source of income for these institutions. So we obviously are are hoping that the corporate Community will be responsive to our our needs. Do you have the an average tuition figure average? I'll give you the range schools like Bracken the Blake School Saint Paul Academy Summit and other similar types of schools are charging a range of I'd say 7 or $800 a year for kindergarten to a high of 22 23 24 hundred dollars a year for High School tuition, and that's not covering our costs. We're losing anywhere from 200 to $400 per pupil on top of that that we must make up an annual giving request. But most of the operating money does come from tuition and the students and their families do payments due to 80% remaining fifteen to twenty percent comes from charitable contributions above that I think a big boost to the financing and development foundation, which has given over a half million dollars in the last couple of years. And there was they were the ones who gave the impetus to starting a Minnesota Independent School fun to try for long-range need. None. As I mentioned are in the Catholic school is why we have the annual Catholic appeal over by the all the Catholics of the entire 12 counties contribute for educational needs and of the $10 that's allocated of that to education every year two-thirds of a ghost to help needy Perry shows or needy high school students. I think before we leave that subject. Just like the plug that as well the the Northwest area foundation has been the most cognizant in the most supportive of non-public schools developing mechanisms of helping themselves. If we continue to receive Foundation support of that kind that is funds that are organized to help us help ourselves. I think we'll have a healthy future. I think one of these if I might just had this one of the reasons why again are costs are low is because of Arda centralization with a very small Central overhead cost being at our central office which tries to coordinate and serve 126 Quarles operates on a with a full-time staff of less than 10 people to coordinate a school system of work for almost forty-five thousand students in our whole a man that is as John just mentioned to make the local management as so capable as self-reliant as possible. Well, the time is about 10:30 29 minutes past the hour to be exact. Our guests are brother Theodore drammen superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese in Minneapolis. And st. Paul and John little for the Headmaster at Breck School in Minneapolis. The topic is non-public school education in the Twin Cities area these gentlemen R&R studios in St. Paul Live and willing to answer any questions you may have about the subject. If you have a question, give us a call to 911 to 22 in the Twin Cities area 29112 to 2 or if you're outside the Twin Cities and have a question. You can call us toll-free at 800-652-9700. 865 to 9700 is the watchline up to 9 1 1 2 2 2 for those of you in the Twin Cities and we'll pause for a moment. Back again with brother Seafood Ramen and John little forward and one person has come on the line now with question. Good morning. You're on the air may we have your question, please I wanted to ask the panelists. How much are your school is affected by state regulation side of the Department of Welfare or the Department of Education and a second question. Are you contemplating any programs in the Elementary Preschool area that is force a 4 year olds in those for 5 after the school year begins. Brother Theodore. Do you want to start out with that? Yes, the Catholic schools are are certainly subject to the basic health safety requirements of any any any institutions in the state. And then also we are charged with giving an education essentially equivalent to that in the public school. So that in the neck way, we satisfy the compulsory education law. We are not subject in detail to the legal legal requirements of the public schools. We are many of our schools are planning a preschool programs. We've opened 66 kindergardens, for example in the last 4 years and a number of our schools are studying. And in fact have launched her early childhood type of education. We have Montessori programs in some of our schools. Jonathan Breck began a preschool program two years ago directly in relation or response to a parent concern and interest in that and I I know that Saint Paul Academy Summit has the Crocus Hill School attached to it for the same purpose. As far as the state requirements are concerned. We meet the state requirements education in terms of Education. Usually in terms of the number of days that you are required to be in session the kinds of subject matter we cover but I think we go far beyond that we see that is a bare minimum at breakfast Nampa which is a college preparatory school. We are judged by an evaluation agency according to the standards that we set for ourselves. If we are not meeting those standards than our hands are slapped it when acreditacion time comes around but we are certainly meeting and regard as minimal Mo state regulations. I think the one area we perhaps don't in all cases made state regulations. And in fact may not want to is that the State certifies teachers to be Elementary? Secondary teachers I think in many cases in my school for one. We are certainly pleased to have a teacher be certified as an elementary or secondary teacher, but I'm more concerned that they be experienced teachers was considerable subject-area knowledge in the area in which they're teaching. 2 9 1 1 2 2 2 for those of you who have questions on the subject of non-public school education in the Twin Cities area. We have another caller on the line. Good morning. You're on the air. The situation in your school and other private schools out why it's occurring what types of situations have brought it about the advantages disadvantages and so on. I think the state of Minnesota is a state where the teachers organizations are extremely strong. I think the enrollment decline in the state of Minnesota and nationally has caused teachers to be more concerned about job security than they might have been 5 or 10 years ago when there were enough openings for teachers. I understand that there are something like 800,000 teachers Nationwide without jobs. This is a highly trained group of people who are frustrated. I think that frustration is part of what causes interest impossible unionization efforts in Minnesota. There are a number of private schools in the state of Minnesota where faculty organizations of one kind or another have begun not know. Sara Lee related to a union or outside teachers organization. The purpose of these organizations being to attempt 8 to develop a greater Financial Security and more voice within the operation of a school. I don't think intrinsically that it's unhealthy. I do think that so long as such organization of teacher interest occur within the framework of what Independent Schools represent, which is that students are the first and foremost priority for the schools and that as long as we keep their needs foremost in our minds working with the faculty to improve their working conditions is certainly something that we're interested in. Prince you don't have any comment on that. I would say from our standpoint that we have had no direct movement in the Catholic schools for teachers to organize recording with that is affiliated with the existing teacher teacher organizations. Its principle of Catholic Social teaching, of course that everyone has a right to organize for the benefit of there and their job conditions and so on and we will never deny that we will it we are trying though to involve the teachers in the decision-making process. He's on the local level. They usually are in communication with the boards and so on and try to have our schools manage as much as we can on a collaborative basis with all the interest represented the pastor's the principal the teachers the parents and even the students to make it a collegial Cooperative in Enterprise it without any it was hoping to avoid of fix pressure groups and so on. Our next caller is standing by good morning. You're on the are the possibilities of Education in the state. I like to know if there are such possibilities to start such an organization that are working toward that in and how about your system would affect education in both public and private schools in my question can go to brother theater are referred. Whoever wants to take it. I'll tell you it's it's a controversial question that you raised as a very good question is when a lot of our parents are asking to the try to answer the second after your question, press brother Theodore knows more than I do about what organizations are now geared to doing this but I don't believe it. It's a realistic possibility in the in the current political climate either in the state of Minnesota or at the federal government. If there were to be a voucher system. It would essentially mean that parents and students could exercise the freedom of choice as to what school they wish to attend. As far as the public schools are concerned and I think as far as public school teachers are concerned. This would be chaotic from their point of view the enrollment might very suddenly shift from public school to private schools private schools might not be able to handle the sudden influx of interest that might generate from this personally. I think it's something that should be further explored and it may indeed be a valuable resource to have available. But my political feeling is that I don't believe that the public school teachers or the organization that represent them with the legislators are ready psychologically to allow an alternative like that to come about I concur with what the John has said the guard to the boxers as being so extremely controversial at this time and therefore politically unrealistic. I believe though. It probably is the most basic a form of affirming parent rights in parent choice in education that could be in there. Hence. Its it would be a desirable alternative to have I believe that the matter should be studied. I think there should be a careful study made of this and in in the hopefully in an uncontroversial way, but that it should be explored because after all the only but it's really the same Principle as we had of the GI Bill and it could be turned voucher on the elementary and secondary level could be termed a junior GI Bill and although because of the difficulties with mr. Rutherford mentioned it something that could not be implemented at this time, but I think it should be carefully studied and if possible a pilot program in the state could be implemented to Try it out in a local area. Another listener is on the line. Good morning. You're on the air. Is it because of a lone woman of now than we didn't order it. If not having so many nuns nowadays. It's a defect in the way of Education in the school. As I mentioned the religious orders form about one-third of our faculty and 10 years ago. It was probably formed by 90% I think it has been very hard for many Catholic parents to accept the idea of Catholic schools without an almost complete faculty of sisters on it. And this has been a factor I think in our declining enrollment, but I can say that the court again according to the Greeley National research that Catholics across the country now accept the fact that lay teachers can be effective in Catholic schools. And I think our parents here in the Twin Cities are accepting at all. So we need to have both represented in our faculties. Are phone lines here in the Twin Cities are open if you have a question about non-public school education 29112 to 2 in the Twin Cities area or 806-529-7001 in Southeastern, Minnesota who are listing this morning. The voucher system that that you referred to as of course one one type of Public Aid to private education Lee Pro card bill was past couple of years ago to provide additional public assistance for private schools. Not without a good deal of controversy on my dad. Tell us a little bit about what that what that bill does and what kind of need it provides. My first comment Bob is that that we in the non-public schools do not like the term for okayed that was turnovers coined by the opponents of Aiden on public schools and it to try to convey a stereotype of the rigidly controlled Church dominated indoctrinating type of elementary school that and that so that's why we really we would like a different term to be used. However, it's very common so I don't blame you for using it but the program that was enacted two years ago basically is a textbook in instructional material a law which provides for a certain amount of to be allocated to each of the non-public students in the state for the purchase of textbooks and related instructional materials to be used by the student in their academic work. And this is now in the second year of implementation has just been held constitutional by a three-judge federal panel. And so it will continue other forms of ID to non-public school students are in the form of busing providing transportation to them. Also in the form of shared time programs where students from non-public schools that end in one or more classes in a public school. And that's those are they perhaps the principal here in the state in addition to federally mandated programs where instructional materials and services to the the disadvantaged are provided. There's also a tax deduction element that allows a parent to deduct $500 for the elementary child and $700 for the secondary child. Most of the non-public schools in this area Catholic or non Catholics support and have supported the the bill that brother Theodore was referring to but there are some concerns that together with public support Maycomb public control and to that extent support among among the non-public schools for state aid is Not By Any Means unanimous. The feeling is that we are Independent Schools whose degree of success is directly related to to this local local governing relationship at the parents at the school. Have a great deal to say about what's going on there. So we would be loath to lose any of our independent operating capacity as a result of our parents receiving the same kind of support the public school parents are receiving if one is possible without the other fine. Are you going to be urgently 77 legislature to enact additional leads to to non-public schools? If so, what what and I was sort of a chance that you think. Speaking for the non-public school community that I'm in touch with perhaps represented probably most directly by the citizens for educational Freedom, which is the nun Denis non-denominational parent group for parents rights in education. I would say that they perhaps in this state have approached pretty close to the limit of what is constitutionally permissible under the present interpretations of the United States Supreme Court. And so there would be no major new form of Aid that we would be attempting I would say that from my point of view and got too many of my colleagues are major thrust in the future in the near future should be to try to educate the legislature. I'm not doing more for us, but making sure that additional legislation that is passed and in regard to education does not hurt us. As I said a moment ago does not damage the independence of these Independent Schools. A question that was passed in to the studio here for you must have been afraid to ask so what specific subject areas would be especially well taught at 2 and Breck. That's a hard question to answer. I I'm naturally Prejudice. I think all the subject are his at Breck are are well taught but this is really your chance to make it to get into individual School plugs. I just think that in general. These these Independent Schools are the type that I represent are liberal arts schools were attempting to be skip basic skills already ended and we're attempting to develop a child is going to be not only are well skilled in his academics, but well around it is as a student other facets of his life. One of the things we haven't touched upon and perhaps we should have in fact, it's almost a crime that we haven't and that is one of your first questions Bob was why two children are why do parents send their children to Independent Schools at a school like bracket many of the other non-public schools the possibility of becoming involved in a student leadership role or to play on athletic team or to be the star of the debate team or to be the star of the high school quiz bowl is 100 to $1,000 to a thousand percent better. Then it would be at a public school because of the sheer numbers. 90% of all black students in grades 5 through 12 are involved in his classic Athletics of some kind almost every student has a shot at student leadership and some form and I went to public school and in junior high with 2,000 students and I just wasn't strong enough athlete or a strong enough singer to compete in those organizations, but I went to a private school and grades 10 through 12 found out they needed me the fact I was not only invited to get involved. I was expected to get involved and I must say it it made me I think of a better individual today, I don't know what other school could have ever played 130 lb. First ring full back to the latest question. I simply think that we were trying to create an excellent well rounded educational program in subject disciplines as well as outside of the classroom. My own background is probably different from a completely different from John's in that I went to a public high school and it was a small high school and I think I was in almost every every activity all the way up to buttocks. I was a real bomb in that but otherwise I'd it was a small public high school and then by chance to be very active think I was but I think in our in our schools to the academic quality, of course depends on the local management put in our testing programs, which each school has in its own way. We find that in the testing of the basic skills and general Chief. Why are students invariably do do quite well? I just said, here. I think it's important to some people think of non-public schools as being a certain type. We had eyes didn't come in to see me. The other day is a black boy senior came in. He said, you know before I came to Breck I had the impression that all private schools were for families driving Mercedes and and for bunch of pinheads bite in head cement very bright students and they said now I realize that it's it's normal school of highly motivated kid, but they come from all walks of life. And we have a number of National Merit Scholars and every senior class a very high number but we also have kids so I need extra help in order to succeed. So the diversity of these non-public schools in terms of their economic social and racial background of students is matched. I think by the fact that there's a fairly significant academic diversity we have kids who but won the State High School quiz Bowl championship twice in the last 4 years, but they are also counterbalance by Kids who need some tutoring after school, so he and I think many other people have the opinion that this these types of schools are for a very narrow range of child and I would like to dispel that opinion if I could 29112 to 2, if you'd like to participate in this discussion of non-public education in the Twin Cities area, are there some circumstances under which you would advise people not to go to a private school. For example of which kinds of kids should definitely be in the public school system. It's rare, but in from time to time, we have had a child or children who have found the independent school environment to be too small. That they were they wanted a larger environment. They did not want to be they want to be more Anonymous. It's awfully difficult to be anonymous within a classroom a 15 or with a senior class of 60 or total High School 250. And I think there are some students who may want to retain that anonymity or may simply feel that a high school public high school can give them a greater range of certain kinds of activities. Certainly their athletic teams are buying large going to be a more outstanding if they can make those teams than ours, but I dozed that's the the first typing in the major type of reason it might come to mine for me. I think they're probably are two types that we would tend to discourage one is if parents really were not in sympathy at all with the basic religious philosophy of our schools in the fact that the learning environment in the school is one it is in the context of our religious philosophy. No parents were not in harmony with that or not. Cooperate and back that up at home according to their efforts the child would could have difficulties the other type that we would have to discourage regretfully would be the child who has learning disabilities of such a severe type that we do not have the specialized help for that. Although the new law here in Minnesota which mandates provision with learning disability help to all students at beginning of next school year will enable us to keep those children in our own environment and you haven't got to give them the help they need to your schools have for the basic. I don't know. I don't want to say intelligence exactly but two basic requirements before except one out of about every four applicants that apply which puts a great deal of pressure on us as to why are we not accepting the other applicants? And we attempt not to be a stair Ayala in examining solely academic potential or achievement. We'd like to look at the whole child and find out whether or not our school at Breck provides the atmosphere that will enable this child to experience success a great deal of emphasis that I'm concerned about is a child experiencing academic and social success that he coming to an environment where his self-image is reinforced positively as possible. If he's going to enter the environment he's going to experience academic failure and frustration which may cause discipline and emotional problems. It's a disservice to the child to bring him into that environment. So we do give various types of admissions testing as well as I require the child to spend the day as well as have an interview with a child and his or her parents and hopefully from a combination of those factors plus transcripts recommendations and so on we have a total picture of the child and can make a a logical and fair decision. I may have had a mental block. I can't remember their asked you this question or not. But to the how much you're switching back and forth. Is there between private and public schools at our school? Almost none last year senior class at Breck or we took a statistical survey. We found that the average length of time to hit spend at our school was 7.6 years. So most of them began quite early, in fact, 15 out of 57 began in kindergarten or first-grade. So there was obviously a considerable continuity which were very supportive. But because it means that they have a better chance to work on their skills development. So we find very little turnover what turnover we do find I think it's largely due to transfer families and so far. We have we find that we formally law students to in good numbers at the end of the sixth grade and and also the end of the eighth grade when they would go to public schools. Now that has been stopped schools are reporting that they are theirs retaining in the 7th grade and we're having good number is coming a good percentage is coming into the ninth grade. In fact, they hire beginning to reverse. So in that in those grades why we're having students come to us from the public schools, but in general I would say are holding power is quite steady, and it's getting stronger. Because the public schools are public because news media pays a fair amount of tension to the dates that go on in the public schools. We know that the kinds of things that to school boards wrestle with the arguments. They have over curriculum. So on what about the private the non-public schools? What are the sources of controversy that you have to deal with? What are the burning issues is the continued physical health. Where are the sources of funds going to come from in the future how Dependable are they? The charitable dollar is quite difficult to predict. I think basically another source is another source of potential controversy is deals with the question of academic Innovation Independent Schools. Should be on The Cutting Edge of American Education. We should be in the Forefront of it. It doesn't mean we should be experimenting with programs. But it does mean that if something looks very good to us. We should be able to try it out and if it works keep it if it doesn't work throw it out without wasting a lot of time with it, but obviously changes of that nature can cause controversy if they aren't properly planned, although I think in small schools like most non public schools that you lay your ground would break quickly before you make Innovations of any kind. We would have both of those problems too. But I think we have a couple that are peculiar to US-1 is the type of religion program because we've gone in the last 10 years to quite a a plural of approach to religious problems or religion in the in the Catholic church and that's represented in our schools by parents at every place around the spectrum of the matter of the sex and family life education is very cute controversy of times and then probably the third area is the matter of transferring to local control with parent involvement the development of boards and how the boards know if it in along with the previous Authority by structures of the pastors of the parish and a religious orders and the principal in the governance of the schools, Mr. Littleford, you mentioned that your schools are to a large extent of college preparatory to certain extent the Catholic schools are also but I'd rather see it or how do you deal with the Devil Keep the need for vocational education, assuming that not all of the kids that go to Catholic school go on to college. We have a weird trying to deal with that in two ways. And none of neither of them completely satisfactory because we don't have the resources to have extensive vocational think we're trying to do that first by developing share time programs with the public schools were by our students could get that but they're all kinds of difficulties connected with it. The other thing I think is is to give a solid a basic education to our students as we can and including Career Education so that after high school they could go to the Technical vocational Institute things that type the be prepared in a solid way before they go on for the specialized education. Yes. I was going to say we are .9% of our kids going to college every year but I think career education is important. We do have a strong Career Education Program because we do not know for a fact when are students graduate and go to college that they'll finish 4 years of college. We want to prepare them for life and whatever it may hold as well as for particular College preparation. Well, tell him we've come to the end of the hour. I want to thank thank you both very much for coming in this morning. Our guests brother Theodore grauman superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Minneapolis. And st. Paul and John for the Headmaster at Breck School in Minneapolis. We were talking of course about non-public school education in the Twin Cities area.