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Catholic schools superintendent explains why vast majority of her students are back in class

Written by on February 16, 2021

In contrast to the political battle surrounding the reopening of public schools, the vast majority of America’s Catholic schools are open for either in-person or hybrid learning, Partnership Schools Superintendent Kathleen Porter-Magee told “America Reports” Tuesday.

“I think that one of the reasons that 92% of Catholic schools were able to reopen for either in-person or hybrid learning when only 43% of public schools did—and only 34% of charter schools — is because they really are community schools that stand … slightly apart from the larger political debate going on right now in public school districts across the country,” Porter-Magee said.

Although public school teachers’ unions across the country have been leading the fight against returning to class, teachers at Partnership Schools in New York are members of the Federation of Catholic Teachers, a union for Catholic school teachers.

“That was one thing we were able to do in New York,” Porter-Magee said. “We were able to look at the evidence and follow the guidelines and reopen while working with our union.”

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By contrast, she added, the Biden adminstration has “shifted the goalposts” when it comes to the return of in-person learning.

What’s needed to get students back in class, Porter-Magee posited, is both “strong administrative leadership” and “strong health guidance that actually says ‘how can we achieve that goal without unnecessarily harming students?’”

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