Common Core- Sr. John Mary Fleming
Common Core- Sr. John Mary Fleming
Turning Threat to Opportunity
“GINORMOUS” national debate
Catholic identity, mission and purpose
Textbook and resource materials
Data mining and privacy issues
Common Core State Standards
#Common Core: take the best, leave the
• 195 Dioceses in the United States
• 178 Latin Catholic Arch/Dioceses
• 17 Eastern Rite Eparchies
Percentage of Participation
• Catholic schools must consider standards that
support the mission and purpose of the school as
a Catholic institution.
• The Common Core State Standards should be
neither adopted nor rejected without review,
study, consultation, discussion and caution.
• In the Church, the principle of subsidiarity directs
that human events are best handled at the lowest
possible level, closest to the individuals affected
by the decisions being made.
This principle provides a great strength for Catholic schools as it
gives the local diocesan and school community the ability to make
decisions at the school level related to guidelines and curriculum.
It also allows for adjustments and adaptations to be made by
teachers and administrators for the children under their care.
The great strength of Catholic schools is that they control and
direct their own curricula.
The Committee encourages a rigorous discussion at the local level
that reinforces a solid understanding of the philosophy and
mission of Catholic schools with a clear rationale for the
standards and guidelines implemented by the diocese.
The CCSS was developed for a public school audience.
The CCSS is of its nature incomplete as it pertains to
the Catholic school.
Our schools have resisted the need to adopt educational
trends while addressing the ever changing needs of
children in education. We have tried to integrate the
best in education while leaving behind what is not
appropriate to the Church’s educational mission.
“The fundamental theory of liberty upon
which all governments in this Union repose
excludes any general power of the state to
standardize its children by forcing them to
accept instruction from public teachers only.
The child is not the mere creature of the state;
those who nurture him and direct his destiny
have the right, coupled with the high duty to
recognize and prepare him for additional
The responsibility of a Catholic school is enormous and
complex. It must respect and obey the laws that define methods,
programs, structure, etc., and at the same time it must fulfill its
own educational goals by blending human culture with the
message of salvation into a coordinated program; it must help
each of the students to actually become the "new creature" that
each one is potentially, and at the same time prepare them for the
responsibilities of an adult member of society.
Religious Dimensions of Education in a Catholic
School: Guidelines for Reflection and Renewal, #100
This means that a Catholic school needs to have a set of educational goals which are
"distinctive" in the sense that the school has a specific objective in mind, and all of the goals
are related to this objective. Concretely, the educational goals provide a frame of reference
defines the school's identity: in particular, the Gospel values which are its inspiration must
be explicitly mentioned;
gives a precise description of the pedagogical, educational and cultural aims of the school;
presents the course content, along with the values that are to be transmitted through these
describes the organization and the management of the school;
determines which policy decisions are to be reserved to professional staff (governors and
teachers), which policies are to be developed with the help of parents and students, and
which activities are to be left to the free initiative of teachers, parents, or students;
indicates the ways in which student progress is to be tested and evaluated.
Religious Dimensions of Education in a Catholic School:
Guidelines for Reflection and Renewal, #100
“It has been said that we live in a knowledge-based
society. However, Catholic schools are encouraged to
promote a wisdom-based society, to go beyond
knowledge and educate people to think, evaluating
facts in the light of values. They educate people to take
on responsibility and duties, and exercise active
Educating to Intercultural Dialogue in Catholic Schools:
Living in Harmony for a Civilization of Love, #66
Teaching young people the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Environment of a love of learning
Beauty of the good moral life taught in the Catholic
Excellent habits of mind and heart
Respect for the dignity of the human person
Love of the sacramental life of the Church
1. How can the present debate about the Common Core help us to begin to address a
relativistic approach in our standards and curriculums?
2. How do we ensure that the standards/guidelines we claim as our own support the
distinctive mission and purpose of Catholic schools?
3. How can we best communicate to parents what is distinctive about our standards,
goals, and objectives so as to show the integration of faith in reason on our
4. What would we identify at the diocesan level as obstacles to an integrated Catholic
curriculum and what can we do to remove some of the obstacles?
5. What opportunities/threats do the Common Core State Standards present to the
viability of our Catholic schools?
The bishops who attended
the Synod on the New
Evangelization said: “If
evangelization is to be true to
itself, it cannot take place
apart from education; it is
directly related to it.”