Sotomayor: Catholic school girl

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor went to Catholic schools as a girl in New York City, reports the New York Times. Her father died when she was 9; her mother worked as a nurse to support her daughter and son, who became a physician.

In speeches to Latino groups over the years, Judge Sotomayor has recalled how her mother worked six days a week as a nurse to send her and her brother to Catholic school, purchased the only set of encyclopedias in the neighborhood and kept a warm pot of rice and beans on the stove every day for their friends.

The family moved from a housing project to a middle-class neighborhood when she was in her teens, which has undercut the hard-luck story.  Sotomayor went to Princeton on scholarship, then to Yale for law school.

A widowed nurse with two kids doesn’t have an easy time. But, if she spends her limited income on encyclopedias and school tuition, her kids will get the message that education is valued.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Cardinal Fang says:

    [quote]The family moved from a housing project to a middle-class neighborhood when she was in her teens, which has undercut the hard-luck story. [/quote]

    I haven’t heard that she has a hard-luck story. Rather, I’ve heard she came up from poverty. I don’t know how moving to a middle-class neighborhood as a teenager undercuts the story that she comes from a low-income background. She lived in the projects for years; that’s about as low-income as it gets.

  2. Foobarista says:

    One thing I was amazed by is just how cheap NYC Catholic schools are. My sister-in-law went to NYU on a visiting-scholar gig from Shanghai, and took her son so he could experience life in the US for a year. She lives in Queens, and her first visit to the public school terrified her. The charter school was vastly better, but had a gi-normous wait list. Then, she found out about the local Catholic school, which was glad to have her and the tuition was only $5K/year, so that’s where he goes.

    Catholic schools here in Silicon Valley are at least twice that and often more.

  3. Frank Zavisca says:

    The Sotomayer story brings 2 major issues from Team Obama to mind:

    1 Obama et al oppose school choice; without it, Sotomayer would not be where she is today.

    2 Trial lawyers own Obama et al. Excess litigation over Catholic Church scandals has caused great financial strain on diocese and Catholic schools.

    Putting pedophile priests in jail is appropriate, but NO ONE should get rich off of such.

    I wonder if Sotomayer could keep a straight face while likely opposing school choice.

  4. I like how the Jezebel crowd got all excited about her being raised by a “Single parent” until some commenter point out that her mother was a widow, not a knocked-up teen, which says something about the party line over there.

    Her story is great, and inspirational, but then, so was that of Clarence Thomas, and I don’t see many people (like Judith Warner at the NY Times) drawing any comparisons.

  5. Catholic school graduates are, indeed, different. In my experience, they demonstrate better self-control and personal discipline than students who are from public schools (in general). Those are qualities that enable them to take advantage of the education that is available. They come in with reasonable skills in math and english, which prepares them to benefit from high school.

  6. Foobarista wrote:

    > Then, she found out about the local Catholic school, which was glad to have her and the tuition was only $5K/year, so that’s where he goes.

    I remember some years ago reading a comparison between the number of non-teaching professionals working for NY city schools and the diocesan schools. I believe it was something on the order of 17,000 non-teaching professionals working for the NY school district and 70 working for the diocesan system.

    Granted the public school system was much larger then the diocesan system but even adjusting for the difference in size the public school system had about twelve times as many non-teaching professionals.

  7. There was also a comparison between the DC Public Schools and the Archdiocese of Baltimore schools, which had the same number of students. As I recall, the Archdiocese had about 15 central-office administrators and DCPS had something like 1350. The educational outcomes were vastly different, too.

  8. Cardinal Fang says:

    Obama et al oppose school choice; without it, Sotomayer would not be where she is today.

    Come on. Sotomayor’s mother sent her to a private school. Obama doesn’t oppose private schools. He sends his daughters to private schools.

  9. Putting pedophile priests in jail is appropriate, but NO ONE should get rich off of such.

    That’s a fine sentiment, until you realize that the entire RCC hierarchy was responsible for protecting the pedophiles from the law.  And I mean entire, up to Joey the Rat himself.

    The same institution which manages to run good schools in NYC also ran the Magdalene laundries in Ireland.  There are no excuses for these abuses of authority, and the entire institution should be subject to outside supervision as a condition of its continued existence, let alone retaining its ill-gotten wealth.

  10. Richard Aubrey says:

    Fang.
    Obama doesn’t oppose private schools for his kids and the kids of rich folks.
    He does oppose funding vouchers for poor kids.