Jesuit Father T.J. Martinez, the founding president of Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston, recently had an op-ed piece published in the Houston Chronicle, touting the Society of Jesus’ innovative Cristo Rey educational model. In the piece, Fr. Martinez suggests that the Cristo Rey model offers families a way to take the legislators out of his state’s educational dilemma.
“Rather than looking to Austin — or to any state or federal support in general — the bills are paid through a college prep program that integrates a paying job as part of the students’ weekly curriculum,” writes Martinez.
Students at Cristo Rey schools work one day a week at a corporation doing entry-level white-collar jobs, with their salaries going toward tuition.
Martinez cites the fact that the Texas legislature has cut funds for public schools; meanwhile the state ranks low in SAT scores, teacher salaries and senior graduation rates.
Martinez notes that the Cristo Rey network has been operating for more than 15 years and boasts a 99 percent college acceptance rate. ”This program is a proven success, offering a hand up rather than a hand out,” he writes.
Read the full article by Martinez at the Houston Chronicle.