Diocese, Fordham Set New Educational Standards

Bishop DiMarzio and Father McShane sign agreement between the Diocese of Brooklyn and Fordham University while Dr. James Hennessy (seated) looks on. Watching over the procedures are diocesan attorney, Kevin Kearney, and Thomas Conniff, attorney representing Fordham.

The Diocese of Brooklyn has partnered with Fordham University to establish the Catholic School Accreditation Association (CSAA).

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Father Joseph McShane, S.J., President of Fordham, signed an agreement at the diocesan offices at 310 Prospect Park West, Park Slope on Friday, May 25.

Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn, and Dr. James Hennessy, Dean of theGraduate School of Education for Fordham University, witnessed the signing.  CSAA was formed to promote the quality and well-being of Catholic nursery, elementary and secondary schools through the development of policies, procedures and standards for accreditation in such schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn and elsewhere in New York State.

“This is a visionary response to really look at accreditation practices and paves the way for other organizations to model,” said Dr. Chadzutko. “By partnering with Fordham University, it allows Catholic schools to adapt national standards of accreditation rooted in strong research and strengthen urban Catholic education. CSAA fully understands what it means to be urban and Catholic and understands the dynamics of what it means to be a diocese in a diverse city.”

The partnership compliments Preserving the Vision, the strategic planning initiative for Catholic education established in 2008.

Currently and for the next three years, schools within the diocese are moving to an academy model of governance. Under this model, pastors of parishes aligned with an academy are members of the corporation with particular responsibility for the spiritual care of the faculty, students and families. A Board of Directors composed of lay leaders with specific competence is responsible for the fiscal oversight and governance of the new school.