A new article in US News and World Report out yesterday highlights increased concern (and division) among Catholic educators about the Common Core standards adopted by many US Catholic schools.
The article notes that some Catholic dioceses have elected to “adapt” the standards, banding together to form the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative. From the CCCII website:
The entire CCCII initiative from its first moments to the present rests on the reality that Catholic schools use appropriate national and state standards as a foundation for good educational practices. Going beyond those standards to educate the whole child is our responsibility.
Yet others believe Common Core’s goals do not mesh with certain tenets of the Catholic educational tradition. From US News and World Report:
Dan Guernsey, who serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS), says an organization’s mission should drive its standards – and the Common Core doesn’t match the Catholic church’s mission of “educating the entire child.”
While the Common Core standards focus on college and career readiness, Guernsey says the Catholic school mission is much broader, and much more robust, validating the need for more robust standards.
“As Catholic schools, our mission involves transcendental –which is truth, beauty and goodness – and you won’t find those words highlighted in the Common Core,” he added. “The human heart and the human person is made for much more than college and career.”
Read the full US News and World Report article here.
The US News article follows a similar blog post last month from the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss on Common Core in Catholic schools:
Catholic educators, scholars and bishops are engaging in an increasingly vocal debate about the Common Core State Standards, with a major split developing between those who support the Core and those who don’t. More than 100 dioceses have already approved the standards for their Catholic schools, but others are rejecting them, including the Diocese of Madison in Wisconsin, which last week sent out a letter (see below) explaining why.
The division is underscored by a $100,007 (yes, $100,007) grant that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — which has heavily funded the Common Core initiative — awarded to the National Catholic Educational Association in September “to support training and provision of follow-up materials for teachers on implementing the Common Core State Standards.”