Fresh from the pages of Sports Illustrated , here’s a list of the top ten high-school athletic programs in the nation:

1. Non-denominational Christian (of Congregationalist origin): Punahou School in Hawaii
2. Catholic (Jesuit): Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon
3. Catholic (diocesan): Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California
4. Public: The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands, Texas
5. Catholic (Jesuit): Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri
6. Catholic (diocesan): Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada
7. Public: Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia
8. Catholic (diocesan): Mater Dei in Santa Ana, California
9. Public: Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota
10. Public: Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma

This report (a little out of date, but the first I could find) suggests thats 10.4 percent of American children attend private high schools, with 84 percent of those in religiously based schools—meaning 8.7 percent of American high-school students go to religious institutions.

And, according to Sports Illustrated , six out of ten—60 percent—of the best athletic programs in the country are at those religious schools. Doesn’t that seem right, though? Consistently, in the ordinary experience of parents, a massive disproportion of the best schools in anything are the private religious schools.

There’s a lesson there somewhere, perhaps, for those now contemplating an expansion of state-run institutions.

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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