First Lady Laura Bush visited the Little Flower School in Betheseda,
Maryland today to acknowledge their outstanding achievement in quality
education. You probably won’t see this in any of the big media.

But I received a transcript from the White House Press Office, so here’s some of what she said:

I’m very happy to be here today.  One of the things I’ve
been most interested in over the last eight years while I’ve had the
chance to live in the White House is education, because like the
Archbishop said, I was a teacher.  I was also a school librarian. 
That’s been my whole career.  And I’ve had the chance to visit schools
all over the United States, and schools in many foreign countries, as
well. 

…This is my last school visit as First Lady of the United States,
and I wanted to end my school visit with a terrific school like Little
Flower.

January 25th through January 31st is National Catholic Schools Week
in the United States.  That’s the date that — the week that everybody
in the United States can thank our Catholic schools for the great work
that you do all over our country and all over the world, really.  And
it’s also a time for us to talk to our leaders about the importance of
Catholic education.

Better get that message out there now. Things are about to change at the top.

You have a long history of both academics and also of
making sure American children in Catholic schools learn the values that
are important to all of us and that are important to the people of the
United States…

Catholic schools have a special commitment in inner cities.  Many
Catholic schools in the United States are taking as a special mission
their responsibility to educate disadvantaged students, and I want to
give you my special thanks for that and my encouragement to continue
that important mission in our inner cities.

She congratulated them on being chosen as a “Blue Ribbon School”, a designation awarded to only 50 non-public schools in the US.

So that’s a really wonderful accomplishment.  And that
means that in your schools, students are really learning, you’re
succeeding in every way, and so I want to give special congratulations
to the teachers, to the administration, to the faculty, but especially
to the students at Little Flower School.  I want to applaud you…

Congratulations on being such smart kids.  You might want to know
that in the Archdiocese, about 97 percent of children who go to
Catholic schools go on to higher education, go on to college.  And
that’s a very, very good record and very good statistic.  So
congratulations to all of you, and thank you very much, Archbishop.

Thank you, Mrs. Bush, for all you and the president have done to encourage school choice and quality education.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....