Why Catholic Schools Should Avoid ‘Common Core’

From Cardinal Newman Society

Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick J. Reilly appeared in the latest edition of EWTN’s “The World Over with Raymond Arroyo” to discuss why the Common Core standards developed for public schools are being heavily promoted in Catholic schools.

This discussion included the disturbing discovery,reported earlier this week by Catholic Education Daily, that the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) received a grant in excess of$100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to lead this promotional effort.

Although there is no legal requirement for Catholic schools to adopt the Common Core standards, some Catholic schools have taken steps towards implementation. Reilly asks schools to “pause and take a closer look” at Common Core before adopting it.

The principals at the leading Catholic high schools in the country expressed their great concerns about the Common Core in a survey recently conducted by Catholic Education Daily. The results showed that only 8 percent of the principals would adopt the Common Core “as is” and nearly half of the principals thought it would hurt their school.

Reilly pointedly stated that Common Core is “something that we don’t want, and it’s something that we don’t need,” and reflected on the negative impact the Common Core could have on the Catholic identity of Catholic schools. He stated:

Our Common Core is the Catholic Faith… The reason we set standards, the reason we have certain curricular decisions in how we teach is all based on our Faith; it’s all about formation of students, it’s not fundamentally about getting them into entry-level positions.

Reilly states that the Common Core benchmark is set at preparing students for entry-level jobs or community colleges, while historically, Catholic schools, which have outperformed public schools, nurture students souls and teach them the critical skills needed to maintain a vibrant culture.

Should the Common Core be adopted by Catholic schools, there will be negative consequences, according to Reilly. He stated:

If they can coerce Catholic schools to accept the Common Core, it’s done. Our nation will have one plan. It’s an experimental plan, it’s not tested, it’s not proven that this will even work. And it wipes all opportunities for future innovation in states and in Catholic schools because we will all be doing the same thing.

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.