Tuesday, December 01, 2015

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Common Core Featured

Common Core Featured
Educators: Common Core Standards Incompatible with Catholic Education
Administrators from Schools of Excellence on The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll recently told the Newman Society that Common Core State Standards pose a significant conflict to Catholic curricula, and found the standards severely wanting in crucial areas of faithful Catholic education such as intellectual and moral formation.

“Regardless of the standards employed, Catholic identity must be at the core of instruction and pedagogy, implemented by faithful administrators and teachers who understand the importance of their role in the formation of students,” Jamie Arthur, senior fellow and manager of the Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll, pointed out.

The Newman Society has documented numerous concerns about the controversial Common Core State Standards through its Catholic is Our Core program.

Common Core Architect to Keynote National Catholic Education Conference

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has announced that Common Core architect David Coleman will keynote the association’s annual convention next March in San Diego, Calif., raising anew concerns that the Catholic association remains devoted to the Common Core standards despite serious concerns about their impact on Catholic schools.

This comes soon after the NCEA’s assertion of a “new direction” including “more fulsome advocacy” and “serving as the national voice for Catholic schools,” a role that appears to subvert the leadership of Catholic bishops in advocating and representing diocesan schools. By its own count, more than 1,000 Catholic elementary and secondary schools in America are not represented among the NCEA’s membership.

Five Years Since Launch of Common Core, Concerns Remain for Catholic Schools
Five years after the official release of the Common Core State Standards on June 2, 2010, The Cardinal Newman Society has released two new reports on the experimental reform and remains convinced that the English language arts (ELA) and mathematics standards by themselves are insufficient and even potentially harmful for Catholic schools, which must keep Christ and the Catholic faith as the true core of education.

Even more disconcerting are the many curricula and textbooks that have been labeled “Common Core” but depart from the successful practices and principles of Catholic education, as well as standardized tests adjusted to Common Core standards that have been widely criticized.

“It may at some point be possible to use parts of the Common Core in isolation in Catholic schools,” allows Dr. Dan Guernsey, the Newman Society’s director of K-12 education programs, “but it will be years before we know if it is effective in what it claims to deliver. The first testing on the Common Core just occurred this spring, and we are awaiting first results.”

The Cardinal Newman Society, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and individual bishops have urged Catholic educators to exercise caution with regard to the Common Core, withholding support before it has been thoroughly tested. The Newman Society maintains a website, Catholic Is Our Core, to educate Catholics about the Standards, including the special report, “10 Facts Every Catholic Should Know About the Common Core.”

Common Core Turns Five
G.K. Chesterton once wisely suggested that a child should not be subjected to an educational philosophy younger than he is. Such wisdom would relegate the Common Core to preschool—and a public preschool at that, but certainly not America’s Catholic schools.

In a saner world the Common Core State Standards, which were first unveiled in June 2010, would just be coming out of beta testing in a small-scale study to determine their efficacy. If data proved they were significantly successful, then various states would begin to consider adapting the proven elements into their own standards.

Of course, this is not what actually happened. When the Common Core was first unveiled during the height of the “great recession,” states in pursuit of federal funding quickly signed onto the untested Common Core—for some of them, sight unseen. Forty-six states signed on to the Common Core, with only Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia refusing to jump on the band wagon. Many Catholic dioceses in the Common Core states followed suit, wanting to ensure consistency with state standards and national tests.

Bill Donohue: Common Core Proponents Strong-Arming Catholic Schools
Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote in an article today, “[W]e do object to the tactics being used by paid advocates [of Common Core] to whip Catholics into line.”

Gates-Funded Lobby Pushes Common Core in Catholic Schools, Targets Newman Society
Sara Pruzin, a state operations associate for the Council for a Strong America (CSA) and former communications intern for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, unwittingly contacted a Cardinal Newman Society leader to rally Catholic support for the Common Core.

Culture Influences Student Performance, Says Author Russell Shaw
Russell Shaw of OSV Newsweekly recently shared his take on the controversy surrounding the Common Core and the broader problem of the negative impact the culture has on student performance.

10 Critically Important Adaptations Catholic Schools Should Make to Common Core, Says Education Expert
Catholic schools should “not alter [their] literature selections based on the standards” nor add more “informational texts” to their reading list, Guernsey argues.

Common Core Could Be Costly for Catholic Schools, Report Finds
Education professor Denise Donohue of Ave Maria University finds that “one quickly sees that the expense associated with implementation of the new evaluation instruments is in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars.” 

Common Core Analysis Begins with Catholic School Mission, Says Veteran Educator
Veteran Catholic school administrator Dr. Jamie Arthur asks, “Are academic outcomes (SAT, PSAT, ACT, college acceptance) how we measure the success of Catholic education?”  

Common Core May Conflict with Subsidiarity, Say Heritage Foundation Experts
"The principle of subsidiarity empowers parents, in consultation with local teachers, schools and churches, to decide which sort of education is best for their children..."

Common Core May Endanger Religious Freedom of Catholic Schools
In the report, two legal experts on religious freedom issues explain that Catholic schools must “maintain their religious mission in all their programs... if they want to avoid” government threats to their Catholic identity. 

Common Core’s ‘National Standard’ Threatens Autonomy, Religious Freedom, Says Education Policy Expert
Faith-based schools are threatened by the national scope of the Common Core State Standards, which “will negatively affect the autonomy of these schools, chipping away at the religious freedom enjoyed by faith-based schools.” 

Common Core at Odds with Classical Catholic Education, Says Educator
Dr. Andrew Seeley, executive director of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, finds that the Common Core State Standards are inconsistent with Catholic schools’ roots in classical education.

‘Naked’ Common Core Exposed by Catholic Education Leader
In a report, Dan Guernsey tackles the Common Core’s English language arts standards, which induce schools to place greater emphasis on informational reading instead of classical literary texts.

Principals of Top Catholic High Schools Fear ‘Common Core’ Would Harm Their Schools
Principals of America’s leading Catholic high schools are concerned about the impact that adopting the national “Common Core” standards could have on their schools’ Catholic identity.



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