The evolution of the New York Archdiocesan school system, 1800-1967
Newton, Robert R. “The evolution of the New York Archdiocesan school system, 1800-1967”, 1982. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/4420.
The Catholic educational system of the New York Archdiocese has emerged through a series of crises and conflicts to become one of the most extensive educational systems in the country. It initially gained a foothold in New York during the administrations of the first three bishops of New York and expanded under Archbishop John Hughes. Hughes, at the center of a controversy over public funds for his schools, determined to avert the dangers of a Protestant-flavored Public School Society system by developing a commitment in his parishoners to the idea of separate Catholic schools for Catholic children. The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore furthered this concept when it directed each parish to provide a Catholic school for its children. In the 20th century, opposition to public schools shifted from objection to the Protestant character of schools to a rejection on the basis of their exclusion of religion from the curriculum. This necessity of religion for the total education of the student became the basis of the defense of parochial schools and the foundation of a papal statement urging a further development of Catholic schools which occurred, especially in secondary education, under Cardinal Spellman. By the mid-1960s, the New York Archdiocese provided complete education for more than 200,000 Catholic children and religious education for another 100,000.