Sustaining the Legacy 2020

Teacher with student

Launched in the Fall of 2020 as a collaboration between the National Catholic Educational Association and Boston College's Urban Catholic Teachers Corps and Department of Educational Leadership, the Sustaining the Legacy 2020 research study will provide an up-to-date overview of and a comprehensive and collaborative vision for urban Catholic education for the next 20 years. 

For the Future of Urban Catholic Education

This work will provide a roadmap for the future of urban Catholic schools serving the marginalized and excluded.
Andrew Miller, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Higher Education

Enrollment Decline & School Closures

The pandemic and resulting economic uncertainty have exacerbated the precarious position of Catholic education in the United States. Over the past 20 years the Catholic school sector has experienced an annual 1-2% decline in student enrollment and number of Catholic schools (MacDonald & Schultz, 2020). However, more than 150 schools have already closed since March 2020 (Crary, 2020; Gjelten, 2020), well exceeding the anticipated 1-2% of annual closures with more closures predicted in the coming months.

Should Catholic schools in urban areas serving low-income, marginalized, and excluded communities continue to close at their current rate, a crucial social good contributing to equity and justice for these communities will be lost. 

 

Need for Research

Since 2005, there has not been a comprehensive attempt, through research, to demonstrate the ways that the legacy of urban Catholic schooling for marginalized and vulnerable students has been continued, enhanced, or adapted to the changing contexts and times. In this unprecedented COVID-19 era, new research in the spirit of the original Sustaining the Legacy study is necessary to make sense of the complex student, staffing, and structural issues confronted by urban Catholic schools. 

 

Sustaining the Legacy 2020 

This study will lay the groundwork for a broader understanding of what is necessary to lead this “courageous, comprehensive, and collaborative” change in urban Catholic schooling of the marginalized and excluded over the next 20 years. Our update of the “Sustaining the Legacy” research, together with NCEA, will provide for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in Catholic education a more robust and complex way to make sense of the current challenges and needs of these schools. 

Sustaining the Commitment to Justice

Should Catholic schools in urban areas serving low-income, marginalized, and excluded communities continue to close at their current rate, a crucial social good contributing to equity and justice for these communities will be lost.
Charles Cownie, Director, Catholic Teacher Formation; Director, Urban Catholic Teacher Corps

Sustaining the Legacy 2020 Research Team

Charles Cownie, J.D., Ph.D.

Charles Cownie, J.D., Ph.D.

Sustaining the Legacy 2020 Principal Investigator

Director of Catholic Teacher Formation
Director, Urban Catholic Teacher Corps
Co-Director, Jesuit Education in a Global World M.Ed.
Lynch School of Education and Human Development
Boston College
Charles.Cownie@bc.edu 
617-552-0602

Andrew Miller, Ph.D.

Andrew Miller, Ph.D.

Sustaining the Legacy 2020 Co-Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Lynch School of Education and Human Development
Boston College
andrew.miller.6@bc.edu

Myra Rosen-Reynoso, Ph.D.

Myra Rosen-Reynoso, Ph.D.

Sustaining the Legacy 2020 Co-principal Investigator

Research Director, Urban Catholic Teacher Corps
Lynch School of Education and Human Development
Boston College
myra.rosen@bc.edu

Annie Smith

Annie Smith

Sustaining the Legacy 2020 Co-Principal Investigator

Director of Research and Data Management
National Catholic Educational Association
ASmith@ncea.org

Obtain a copy of the 2000 study

Purchase the 2000 report, Sustaining the Legacy: Inner-City Catholic Elementary Schools in the United States

Learn more at NCEA

Participate in the 2020 study

Join the Sustaining the Legacy 2020 Research Study

Link to survey for urban Catholic school leaders