Bishop David Ricken, head of the Green Bay diocese, announced today in The Compass diocesan newspaper, “I have instructed our diocesan Department of Education staff, school principals and school system administrators that they not ‘adopt or adapt’ the ‘common core standards.’”
Bishop Ricken further stated that the various diocesan school systems, “may use them only as a reference to improve the curriculum we already have.”
In his regular column, Bishop Ricken stated:
As of late, the “common core standards” initiative in the public school system is fueling a firestorm of debate and heated discussion in the Diocese of Green Bay, the state of Wisconsin and the nation….
Is it necessary for us to “adopt or adapt” the “common core standards?” No, it is not necessary…
The verdict is still very much out on the “common core standards.” All of the subject area standards have not yet been developed, let alone proved to be successful over time. There is no track record or existing data to help us determine if these standards will actually improve our students’ performance.
The bishop went on to explain, “Our diocesan Department of Education worked diligently several years ago to create comprehensive academic standards. Their hard work, coupled with our faith integration model, provides our students with an exceptional academic education and formation in their faith.”
He stressed the need to “support what we have created,” while striving to improve the existing curriculum with the “best ideas available.”
Bishop Ricken noted that he hopes that the Common Core State Standards, which were created for the public schools, will help the local public school system improve. And he expressed his support for the many unsung heroes of education saying, “I have great admiration for all those who teach our children, whether in private or public schools.”
In conclusion, he encouraged all to remember “the real reason we are all so invested in this topic. It is about the children.” That there is a diversity of approaches available to parents seekinga good education for their children, Bishop Ricken said, “is not a bad thing. That is a gift.”
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