“The business model of Catholic schools is broken.” So says Christine Healey, the dynamic president of the Healey Education Foundation, who joined the Catholic School Matters podcast to discuss how they are working to fix that model. The podcast dropped on the day when I started reading The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis (Moneyball). In the first chapter, Lewis explores how the Moneyball approach means looking at data in new ways and questioning human intuition in order to disrupt the status quo. Healey is taking the Moneyball approach to Catholic schools.
The foundation’s approach is to build up the business, advancement, and enrollment management efforts of schools. The traditional approach to these three efforts was utilizing the best efforts of our volunteers and current parents. We have devoted little effort to streamlining business efforts, instead relying on our volunteer Finance Councils to provide insight. Our “candy bar” culture distracts from our mission and the time/personnel commitment of non-stop fundraising prevents the promotion of alumni connections and advancement. And enrollment management usually consists of billboards and advertisements for new students, not a system of retention and recruiting.
The Healey Education Foundation is not simply a critic of the status quo. They are actively working to promulgate their ideas through their website and with specific schools. Listen to the podcast directly here or on iTunes here.