Common Core and Catholic Education

In December of 2013, The Cardinal Newman Society issued a statement expressing serious reservations about the rapid adoption of the Common Core State Standards in Catholic schools across the country:  The Cardinal Newman Society is concerned that adoption of the Common Core at this time is premature.  Worse, it may be a mistake that will be difficult or impossible to undo for years to come.  We do not doubt the good intentions of those who advocate the Common Core in Catholic schools, and we acknowledge their confidence that Catholic schools can maintain a strong Catholic identity even while measuring their quality according to secular standards.  But we do not share this confidence, in light of the sad experience in recent decades of many Catholic colleges, hospitals, and charities that believed they could infuse Catholic identity into the secular standards that they embraced (The Renewal Report). (.1) The Atonement Academy was instrumental in the decision not to adopt Common Core in the Archdiocese of San Antonio and continues to promote the true purpose of Catholic Education, which is much more than the stated purpose of Common Core: “The [Common Core] standards… are designed to ensure students are prepared for today’s entry-level careers, freshman-level college courses, and workforce training programs.” (.2) Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, former secretary to the Congregation for Catholic Education, explained in a 2005 lecture at The Catholic University of America: “The enduring foundation on which the Church builds her educational philosophy is the conviction that it is a process which forms the whole child, especially with his or her eyes fixed on the vision of God.  The specific purpose of a Catholic education is the formation of boys and girls who will be good citizens of this world, enriching society with the leaven of the Gospel, but who will also be citizens of the world to come.  Catholic schools have a straightforward goal: to foster the growth of good Catholic human beings who love God and neighbor and thus fulfill their destiny of becoming saints.” (.3) Catholic education did not become successful by striving for secular standards; its success begins with its Catholic mission.  Traditional classroom methods and pedagogy in Catholic schools developed precisely because of the desire to form students morally, spiritually, intellectually and socially.  (.4) The Atonement Academy continues to implement this mission: At The Atonement Academy we strive for excellence in the physical, the intellectual, and the spiritual virtues through a challenging course of classical and Catholic education.   

1. "The Renewal Report." Summer 2014. www.CardinalNewmanSociety.org. Document. 5 February 2018. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibi