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Looking for the lost classrooms and communities

Lost Classroom, Lost Community by Nicole Garnett and Margaret Brinig


From Michael Sean Winters of National Catholic Reporter (

Nicole Garnett and Margaret Brinig will be coming to Washington to discuss their important new book, Lost Classroom, Lost Community, September 17, 2014, at the Metropolitan Club, 1700 H Street, NW at 6 p.m. For more information, contact Notre Dame's ACE program at
I reviewed this important book here. (

Garnett and Brinig will do another such event the following night at the University of Pennsylvania's Newman Center at 5:30.

I commented on MSW's review three months ago: Feel free to use it in questions:

If they are arguing for school vouchers than in the end it is a political analysis aimed at teachers - the kind of garbage one expects from the Heritage Foundation or the Manhatten Institute. While they talk about Charter conversion not being adequate to stop social pathology, I don't see that they have tested it by looking at the Charter conversion in Washington, DC - which also had a temporary school voucher program for comparison purposes. Chicago might not have been the best test case.

The fact also remains that schools are closed when parishes are no longer vibrant - mostly because the families have moved away. The pathologies may very well be because of white flight - which is not just a phenomenon of the sixties. While some diocese have kept schools open or made them charter schools when the parish community leaves (Washington, DC), Chicago clearly has not. It might also be that the parish has become Latino and the immigrant families simply cannot afford tuition and the pathology is from the influx of poorer people - since it is really poverty, not race, that causes crime (or opportunity - Capone was an Italian Catholic, Mayer Lansky was Jewish but both were crooks who tapped on the immigrant community for foot solidiers. It may be that ending the drug war is the answer to ending pathologies in the neighborhood - including the police war against black men - which leaves their families rudderless. Some alternative titles could have been "Lost Fathers, Lost Community", "Lost Middle Class, Lost Community" or the very un-PC "Lost White People, Lost Community."