Singular concentrate on workforce development conflicts with Catholic schools' academic, spiritual and moral mission

BOSTON – The workforce-preparation focus from the K-12 English and math standards known as Common Core puts them at odds with Catholic education, and also the standards should not be adopted by parochial schools, based on new research authored by Pioneer Institute and also the American Principles Project.


As most states rushed to adopt the standards at the outset of the present decade, the National Catholic Education Association urged Catholic schools to get aboard, and lots of adopted Common Core. But the tide started to turn, as well as in 2019 several 132 Catholic scholars sent a letter to American bishops asserting that adopting Common Core could be detrimental to Catholic education.

In “After the autumn: Catholic Education Beyond the Common Core,” authors Anthony Esolen, Dan Guernsey, Jane Robbins, and Kevin Ryan argue that the national standards' unrelenting focus on skills that transfer straight to the current work world conflicts with Catholic schools' academic, spiritual, and moral mission.

Catholic schools have traditionally provided a liberal-arts education, using lessons from great literature to reinforce moral lessons and educate and inspire students toward a virtuous life along with a fuller knowledge of the human experience.

But Common Core cuts literature, drama, and poetry by more than half when compared to previous Massachusetts standards. When great literature is included, it's often only in excerpt form, robbing students of critical context.

The result, according to co-author Anthony Esolen, is “a strictly utilitarian look at mankind; man together with his soul amputated.”

Common Core's math standards largely end having a weak Algebra II course and do not prepare students for college-level coursework in science, engineering, and math. Even supporters have conceded that the math standards only prepare students for community-college-level work.

The authors argue that Common Core's shortsighted focus on workforce preparation is incompatible using the larger goals of human excellence, spiritual transformation, and nurturing faith and character which are at the heart of Catholic education.

The study includes a preface from Harvard School Professor Mary Ann Glendon and former Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn, each of whom served as U.S. Ambassadors to the Holy See. They concentrate on Catholic education's dual purpose of imparting academic knowledge and spiritual education, and argue that Common Core's recipe for standardized workforce preparation diminishes students' spiritual horizons.

Anthony Esolen is really a professor of English literature at Providence College. He's the editor and translator of three epic poems: Lucretius's Around the Nature of products; Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered; and, in three volumes, Dante's Divine Comedy. He's published a amount of their own poetry, Peppers, and seven other books, including two which bear upon the problem at hand: Ironies of religion: The Laughter in the centre of Christian Literature and Ten Methods to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child.

Dan Guernsey is an associate professor of education at Ave Maria University. He also can serve as the Director of K-12 Programs in the Cardinal Newman Society. His work includes Catholic educational policy along with a concentrate on Catholic school identity. He has worked for over 25 years in Catholic education both nationally and internationally at the K-12 level like a teacher, principal, and consultant as well as in advanced schooling in both instruction and administration.

Jane Robbins is definitely an attorney and Senior Fellow in the American Principles Project. She has written extensively about the deficiencies of progressive education and also the Common Core, and about threats to student and family privacy posed by government policies for example training students with technology instead of educating them with teachers. She has testified about these problems prior to the legislatures of 11 states. She is a graduate of Harvard School and Clemson University.

Kevin Ryan is definitely an emeritus professor of education at Boston University. He is the founder and director emeritus from the Center for Character and Social Responsibility. He's an old high-school English teacher and taught on the faculties of Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Harvard University, Ohio State University, and the University of Lisbon. He was appointed towards the Pontifical Academy for the Social Sciences by Pope John Paul II in 2003. He's authored and edited 22 books, primarily on moral education and the education of teachers, and it has written over 100 articles.