To the editor:
There is fertile soil for the renaissance of Catholic education in America; the reason, Common Core. With the debate and debacle over the reality of what the guts and goals of the modules and assessments are, both teachers and parents are seeking answers in the aftermath of adoption. The architects have admittedly created a curriculum of "one size fits all." The emphasis is on preparing a workforce-only populace, while dismissing the need for narrative and classical fiction in favor of "informational texts."
Local autonomy for education has fallen into the hands of federally-funded nonprofits and unscrupulous business people who are protracting the future benefits of trade school educated students.
Without embracing a mindset that educates the whole person, both mind and spirit, education is doomed to fail the student and the country. Catholic schools can market their "uncommon" core that has successfully prepared students for decades to excel in virtue as well as academics.
Interestingly enough the dictionary suggestion for the word "common" has a derogatory connotation of inferior. While uncommon means "individual" or "unusual."
The great scholar John Henry Newman gave a roadmap to Catholic education in his work, The Idea of a University. It is impossible to reconcile the faith and reason hallmarks of Catholic education with the cookie cutter doctrines of the Common Core. The goals and purpose of Catholic education is to enrich the human spirit, inspire the creative imagination, live the virtues necessary to be a responsible contributor to the public square, and to transmit a faith worth sharing.
Grafting all of this on to the tree of Common Core won’t work. It behooves the Catholic schools to withdraw from the Common Core, without fear of any legal consequences, and return to a system of excellence that embraces the whole child.
Colleen Kelly Spellecy