We stand on the threshold of a new school year. As a priest, each year of my life’s work has been an involvement in school.
Schools are, among other things, academies for citizen development. In a free society, that depends on the involvement of the citizenry, an educated, a schooled people are essential.
Both private and public education has this as part of its mission. A literate people, able to calculate, able to participate in discussion and debate, and able to reason – these are indispensable tools for democratic life; they are necessary to participate responsibly in civic life.
A people’s investment in and commitment to education is an investment and commitment to the future. Whatever you and I hope for tomorrow is bound up in a young student of today.
Educational opportunity is not equal in our country. Racial, ethnic, demographic, economic and social differences contribute to great disparity.
When a student is hungry, or lacks even minimal health care, and the want for stable housing the student cannot learn. When a student cannot read or do math at grade level by the age of eight, that student is destined for failure and our society lacks what it must be to advance democratic life.
Reading and math ability are keys to successful living and a good society.
Fr. Steve Adrian