The folks over at the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) have been studying the Common Core’s (CORE) potential impact on Catholic schools.
Taken at face value, CORE is designed to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn. In turn, teachers and parents will know what they need to do to help students succeed. According to the CORE website:
The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real
world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people
need for success in college and careers. With American students
fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned
to compete successfully in the global economy.
Pretty good stuff, no? Shouldn't every student, parent, and teacher should know how success will be measured in every school?
Hold onto your hat! Principals of the Top 50 and 23 "Honorable Mention" Catholic high schools--recognized for Catholic identity, academic excellence, or civic education by the Newman Society's 2012 Honor Roll--don't think so.
Participating in an October 2013 survey, the principals reported:
- 13% think the Common Core standards would improve the education at their schools.
- 48% think it would do harm.
73 principals were surveyed with 60 participating. The results are statistically accurate at a 95% confidence level with a 5.38 percent margin of error. Thus, it can be asserted that contrary to what one would think upon having read the CORE website or what politicians and educationists are promoting, principals of leading Catholic high schools aren't so sure they want CORE adopted at their schools.
- 8% are comfortable with Catholic schools accepting the Common Core as it is currently formulated.
- 32% prefer that dioceses and Catholic schools decline to participate in the Common Core project.
- 40% want the Church to take more time to study the standards more closely.
- 20% prefer that Catholic schools adopt the standards, but only with significant changes to protect Catholic identity.
With nearly one half of the principals thinking that adopting CORE will harm their schools and nearly three quarters wanting CORE rejected or delayed until its impact on their schools is known, the data indicate pretty clearly that these principals have serious reservations about the CORE's potential impact upon their schools.
These reservations send a very strong signal that the current rush to adopt CORE nationally may be a mistake, in general, having potentially negative consequences for some of the nation's finest Catholic schools, in particular.
The Motley Monk looks forward to reading the CNS's final report containing its analysis of CORE's potential impact on Catholic identity, school policy, laws concerning private education, and curriculum.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the CNS press release, click on the following link:
To read the Common Core Standards webpage, click on the following link: