Dr. Dan Guernsey defends integrity of Catholic education
Catholic schools that have rushed to embrace the controversial Common Core State Standards—despite inconsistencies with the mission and methods of Catholic education—should at minimum consider making 10 adaptations to the standards, argues a Catholic education expert in a new report published by The Cardinal Newman Society.
In the latest of a series of papers at the Newman Society website, CatholicIsOurCore.org, Dr. Dan Guernsey of the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS) outlines 10 of the conflicts that result from implementing secular standards in Catholic schools, where the magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church should be the foundation for the curriculum.
Catholic schools should “not alter [their] literature selections based on the standards” nor add more “informational texts” to their reading list, Guernsey argues in “10 Minimal Adaptations that Catholic Schools Should Consider Making to the Common Core Standards.” Rather, Catholic schools should continue teaching “great works with compelling themes that speak to the heart of the human condition across the ages.”
Guernsey also rejects the Common Core’s “emphasis on peer editing.” The Common Core standards require peer editing beginning with second grade students, but Guernsey argues that “young students deserve adult guidance at this stage and not the faux guidance of their peers who cannot teach what they do not yet know.”
These adaptations might just be the beginning of the discussion about the changes to Common Core that are necessary for implementation in Catholic schools, Guernsey believes. “With so many concerns, one wonders why Catholic schools would base their efforts on the Common Core at all,” he concludes.