The goal of Catholic schools is to serve poor people, but there’s no profit in that. St. Stephen of Hungary on the Upper East Side changed its model to be more like elite private schools, offering French for 3-year-olds, violin for fourth and fifth graders, and iPads for sixth to eighth graders. Now the school is attracting white parents, and there are fewer NAMs:
Three years ago, 46 percent of the students received free or reduced lunch, in keeping with the Catholic Church’s mission of tending to the poorest; this year the number is down to 17 percent.
Enrollment of African-American students has dropped 15 percent; for Hispanic students, it has dropped 33 percent. And the school, which runs through the eighth grade, is noticeably whiter in its lower grades.