"Morning Briefing" here at NCR linked today to an important article by Manya Braecher in the Chicago Tribune about that city's Catholic school system, its successes and challenges. I am not the product of Catholic schools and my mother was a lifelong member of the National Education Association. But, I have come to appreciate the Catholic school as essential in creating Catholic culture and generating vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Just as importantly, at this moment in our nation's history, when our public schools are so often under-performing, especially in their service to the poor, Catholic schools are a ray of hope in the inner city. Until the public schools improve, Catholic schools may be the only lifeline available to a smart, young person in the inner city, and the government should help that young student attend a Catholic school for that very reason, and continue to do so until the public schools provide an adequate education.