This Parent Guide is intended to highlight specific features of CatholicIsOurCore.org
which can assist parents in making judgments on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and their potential impact on Catholic schools and students.
As you begin your walk through the website, we used the arrow (») to highlight portions of the website where you may wish to explore first.
Primer on Common Core
- The statement from the Cardinal Newman Society provides a summary of concerns over the Common Core and its potential impact on the Catholic identity in schools throughout the country.
- » Catholic Bishop’s Conference Statement on the Common Core New Resources “Catholic schools must consider standards that support the mission and purpose of the school as a Catholic institution,” states the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Secretariat of Catholic Education in a recent document answering frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In the FAQ, the bishops acknowledge the “growing concerns about the effect of these standards on Catholic schools in our country.”
A more extensive analysis of the USCCB questions and answers can be found in this well-written essay recently published in National Catholic Register by Dr. Dan Guernsey.
- » Do Catholic Schools Need the Common Core? This is a fact sheet presented to Catholic bishops during a meeting in November 2013. Fundamental to any discussion on the Common Core is the fact that the mission of Catholic education is to assist students encounter Christ where the mission of the Common Core is only “college and career” focused.
- » The Common Core and Classical Education This new resource provides information on the growing movement toward a return to the classical education model.
- » Building the Machine: The Common Core Documentary Here is a new resource from the Home School Legal Defense Association. It crystallizes the issues relative to the Common Core and lays them out in a very thorough and logical way. Its purpose is parent education. It is 38 minutes long, but well worth the time spent on it.
- » A link to Frequently Asked Questions is always useful to Catholic parents,educators, and leaders in answering some of the basic questions about the impact of the Common Core on Catholic education.
- Links to “reliable sources” for information on the Common Core:
o The Heritage Foundation
o Pioneer Institute
o Truth in American Education
- Eight issue papers authored by seasoned Catholic educators detailing aspects of implementation of the Common Core into Catholic schools:
o » "10 Minimal Adaptations Catholic Schools Should Consider Making to the Common Core State Standards" Dan Guernsey, Ed.D. | National Association of Private Catholic andIndependent Schools (NAPCIS) | 2.14.2014
o » "The Naked and Procrustean Common Core" Dan Guernsey, Ed.D. | National Association of PrivateCatholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS) | 12.30.2013;
o "The Common Core vs. the Classical Roots of Catholic Education" Andrew Seeley, Ph.D., S.T.L.| Institute for Catholic Liberal Education | 12.31.2013;
o "The Common Core and the Private School: The Overreaching Effects of a NationalStandard" Maureen Van Den Berg | American Association of Christian Schools | 1.6.2014;
o "Maintain Schools' Religious Character to Protect Religious Freedom" Kevin Theriot and Jeremy Tedesco| Alliance Defending Freedom | 1.9.2014;
o "Catholic Education in America: Accountable to the Church or the Feds?" Brittany Corona and Ryan T.Anderson | The Heritage Foundation | 1.13.2014;
o "Catholic Identity Should Be at Heart of Common Core Decisions" Jamie Arthur, PhD | The Cardinal Newman Society| 1.14.2014;
o "CommonCore Assessments May Be Cost-Prohibitive for Catholic Schools" Denise Donohue, Ed.D (ABD) | Ave Maria University | 1.16.2014
Catholic Identity Concerns
The goal of the CCSS is simply to prepare students for “college and career.” This statement is in conflict of the mission of Catholic education which prepares students to encounter Christ through an education centered on the pursuit truth, beauty and goodness, thus preparing students not only for college, but for life.
This section of the website details articles and statements which address concerns on how Catholic identity is impacted in schools. Articles and statements include information from:
Common Core Standards
If you are interested in the actual standards, you have an opportunity to read them here. Also included is some analysis of them by our experts.
Catholics believe in the principle of subsidiarity. As the center of authority moves away from local control, so too does the ability for input to be provided by those who are closest to the students being educated. National and largely voluntary compliance with standards that are academically flawed, untested and not focused on the core mission of Catholic schools have the potential to negatively impact students.
“Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators”.
(Cfr.II Vatican Council, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, 1965, n. 3)
Articles are presented detailing the threats involved in moving towards nationalized standards and loss of local control (parental) in the implementation.
Articles of a general concern to parents can be found on this page.