Archive for April, 2009

Educational Inequality Hurts Everyone

If we weren’t already convinced of the devastating long-term effects of the poor education many low-income children are receiving, here’s more proof.

A new McKinsey report, The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools, shows a strong correlation between low test scores in fourth-graders and high school dropout rates, low college attendance rates, and lower lifetime earnings. McKinsey shows that the achievement gap between mostly minority students in poorly-performing schools and others accounts for a permanent national recession that’s much larger than the current economic crisis.

In fact, the report estimates if we could close the achievement gap between low-income students and others in the U.S., the GDP would grow by $400-$670 billion, or 3-5%. And if students in the U.S. performed as well as those in Korea and Finland, the GDP could be a shocking $1.3-$2.3 trillion or 9-16% higher.

Once again, it is sobering to think of the difference a CSF scholarship may make in a child’s life. If we give someone a chance to attend a high-quality school and lay a foundation for life-long learning in their early years, they will have a much better chance of graduating from high school, going to college, and living longer, healthier, and more successful lives. And it’s not just the children who benefit. We are all better off.


Conversation with Patrick McCloskey

Last Thursday, CSF hosted a conversation with Patrick McCloskey, author of The Street Stops Here: A Year at a Catholic High School in Harlem. The event was a great success – lively conversations, good food and drinks, and best of all, a gathering of CSF supporters, including a scholarship recipient family.

The evening began with the story of how CSF started and a speech by scholarship recipient, Aleysha Taveras, showing how CSF and the support of her family and educators helped her to become the confident and intelligent young woman that she is now. Aleysha has been a CSF student since first grade, and has matured into a thriving ninth grader at Academy of Mount St. Ursula, where she earns excellent grades and is active with her school’s theater and leadership programs. After high school she plans to attend college to become a professor of philosophy.

Following Aleysha, CSF President Darla Romfo engaged author Patrick McCloskey in a discussion of his book. McCloskey told of his efforts to bring to light the work that Catholic schools do in inner-city neighborhoods. Using the example of Rice High School in Harlem, he spoke about higher graduation rates at Catholic schools, and the impact they have on the immediate community and society as a whole. The conversation was topped off with thoughtful questions from the audience about educational options and statistical data.

Thank you to all who attended, and if you did not, we hope to see you at the next event!

Taveras Family

The Taveras family.

Patrick McCloskey, Darla Romfo, and Aleysha Taveras

Patrick McCloskey, Darla Romfo, and Aleysha Taveras.

Sol Stern - City Journal; Heather Mac Donald - Manhattan Institute; Timothy McNiff - Superintendent of Schools

Sol Stern – City Journal, Heather Mac Donald – Manhattan Institute, and

Dr. Timothy McNiff – Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York.

CSF President, Darla Romfo, and Board Member, Noelle Nikpour

Darla Romfo and CSF board member, Noelle Nikpour.

Guests and CSF President, Darla Romfo

Robert Granieri, Darla Romfo, and Rebecca Stewart.

Hello Spring, Hello “Required Reading”

CSF’s latest issue of its quarterly newsletter, Required Reading, is now available!


Highlights include:

  • CSF student presenting Mayor Curt Pringle of Anaheim at the State of the City address.
  • Philanthropy Collaborative news highlighting the fact that “$9.7 billion in foundation grants to education-related programs generated $49 billion in direct economic benefits.” What a return!
  • School visit to Saints Peter and Paul School, featuring a tug-of-war contest between students and CSF President, Darla Romfo!

Read the complete issue here to find out all the details.