Campus Watch

Home-schooling Boomlet

THE WASHINGTON POST, Nov. 8 — Once a tiny group, home-schooled children now comprise 2% — 1,000 children — of the Howard Country, Md., student population, according to the Post. The number of home-schoolers throughout Maryland has increased sevenfold since 1990.

The Post said the prevalence of home-schooling in Howard is particularly striking because of the high scores routinely achieved by area public-school students on state tests. Thanks to cooperative efforts by parents, the paper said “today's home-schoolers [also] have just as many opportunities to make friends as do children who attend traditional schools.”

Digest Moves Off-Campus

THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT, Nov. 16 — The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., is selling Catholic Digest magazine to Bayard USA of Mystic, Conn., the largest Catholic publisher in the world, according to the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The university is operated by the archdiocese.

The Digest is the largest paid-circulation Catholic magazine in the United States with 401,413 recipients. Included in the deal with Bayer, which is owned by the Congregation of the Augustinians of the Assumption, is the 50,000-circulation God's Word Today. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Vouchers Supported

CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER, Nov. 10 — New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is among three dozen elected officials, professors and organizations who have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Cleveland's 6-year-old school-voucher program.

They are asking the high court to overturn a federal appeals-court ruling that declared the program unconstitutional because it allowed parents to chose to spend a portion of their tax dollars to pay tuition at parochial schools.

Comfortable With God

THE EL PASO TIMES, Nov. 15 — Eastwood High School officials denied that the complaint of one student prompted them to remove the “God bless America” message from the school's marquee, reported the Texas daily. They said the message was changed as part of a normal rotation, and not because a senior said it was “insensitive.”

The Times was not able to find a single other student who objected to the message. “It's not a real issue,” said a student. “The majority of students believe the sign should be up.”

Radical Solution

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, Nov. 13 — Pennsylvania is likely to takeover the troubled Philadelphia school system and place it under the management of Edison Schools, Inc., a private management company, according to the Monitor. If enacted, the plan could become the nation's largest experiment with privatizing public education.

Where the Boys Are Too

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, Nov. 8 — The College of Chestnut Hill of the Sisters of St. Joseph, in Philadelphia, will open its undergraduate-degree program to men in 2003, reported the higher-education trade publication.

The decision followed a six-month, $250,000 study into the future viability of Catholic colleges for women, which Chestnut Hill commissioned along with Rosemont College, a women's college administered by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus in nearby Rosemont, Pa.

The study found that the number of women's colleges has shrunk to 65, down from 298 in 1960, and that only 3% of today's high-school girls say they would consider attending a college exclusively for women.

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The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy