Standards for Effective Elementary and Secondary Catholic Schools: A New Responsibility for Higher Education
Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life
Executive Director of the Roche Center, Boston College
Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Rd
Abstract: The recent release of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools has brought a new focus on accountability to the discussion of Catholic school reform. Though the document proposes a set of standards for K-12 schools, the Catholic universities and schools of education that train and empower future Catholic educators are crucial components in its success. In this presentation, the executive director of BC's Roche Center for Catholic Education discusses the origins and aims of this seminal document and its importance for educators today.
Patricia Weitzel-O'Neill is executive director of the Roche Center for Catholic Education at Boston College, and former superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. At the Roche Center she leads a number of programs in professional development (for Catholic school principals and pastors, as well as administrators at Catholic colleges and universities), advocacy, and applied research in conjunction with the Lynch School of Education and the local and national Catholic school community. Weitzel-O’Neill is co-director of the new Innovation Institute, a project of the National Catholic Education Association that sponsors research, development and adoption of innovative programs to enhance academic excellence in Catholic schools. As superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., she was responsible for 29,000 students in 96 early learning, elementary and secondary schools. During her eight-year tenure, she was credited with strengthening the schools' academic programs, introducing a standards-based curriculum and enhancing professional development standards. Prior to serving as superintendent, Weitzel-O'Neill served Trinity Washington University as vice president of academic affairs, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and associate professor of sociology. She is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University, and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from St. Louis University.