Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

George Will, writing about an innovative Inner-city model school:

….Cristo Rey is one of six “no excuses” schools around the nation that Mr. Whitman examined in a new book, “Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism.” James Gartland, a Jesuit, now CRJHS’ president, was back in America on a break from his work in Peru when he was assigned to walk Pilsen’s streets and discover how the church might serve. He asked people “What do you dream?” and “Why did you leave Mexico?” The answers pointed to what CRJHS has become.

It began in 1996 with 79 students meeting in the four corners of a roller-skating rink. Today the 540 students — most from two-parent families with an average of five members and an income of $38,000 — enjoy an old parish school, refurbished and expanded. About one-third of those admitted to the ninth grade do not graduate, half because they cannot cope academically, others because they chafe under CRJHS’ three hours of homework a night and its strict dress and discipline codes….

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