I found a facinating article
on the sucees and struggles of a Catholic high school in Harlem today. Rice High School spends less than half per student as the city's public schools and yet:A public high school principal who lifts the minority graduation rate above 50 percent will win accolades for his genius. If Rice’s graduation rate ever dipped much beneath 90 percent, the school would consider itself a failure.
Study after study shows that Catholic schools do a better job at educating minorities and the poor and yet somehow people seem happy to see these schools fade by the wayside. Failures to help these schools with any public money are hailed as wins for seperation of church and state. Suggestions that voucher plans might be put into place are rejected as evil attacks on public education. Somehow it is seen as better for minority students to fail in droves than for Catholic (or any other religious) schools be given a fair chance to help with public money. The common good apparently does not include successful programs when public funded failures are available.
Personally I find it hard to understand how using public money to increase the graduation rates of minorities and the poor is a bad thing for society. But then I used to teach at a Catholic school so I must be biased.