Six elementary Catholic schools will now be managed by the Partnership for Inner-City Education come fall in an attempt to provide financial assistance and revamp the schools’ curricula.
Even though the nonprofit has a history of working with Catholic schools, this is the first time an independent organization will be managing the Archdiocese of New York.
“It’s a partnership with us, our schools, our leaders and the archdiocese,” said Jill Kafka, the executive director of the Partnership. “Everything we’ll do will be working with the schools.”
The Partnership will manage many aspects of the six schools—three are located in Harlem and three are in the Bronx—including finances, administration, operations and the curricula. Kafka said that the Partnership will not be involved in the religious curricula. The organization also intends to adhere to the Catholic Teachers Union.
Along with extending the school day by an hour and a half, the Partnership also plans to include more arts, music and sports programs. Although the nonprofit has many ideas, Kafka said it is still in the beginning stages of organizing it all.
Prof. Sam Anderson, from the Coalition for Public Education, said the future of the schools cannot yet be predicted.
“If the management team is not conscious of the centrality of the Black and Latino heritage, then it’s not going anywhere,” Anderson said. “If you don’t have a team of primarily Black and Latino educators, you get a poor representation of the community.”
The chairman of the Partnership, Russell Carson, said all the existing teachers will be employed, and a committee will be in charge of working closely with the academics of the school.
The Partnership only recently hired a chief academic officer, according to Kafka. She added that the curricula have not yet been developed, but that the organization is sensitive to the students’ backgrounds.
“We want to celebrate the culture of our students,” she said.