“Beyond the Core”

Published from The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools

It is right and just for the children and families we serve. Going beyond the standards of public schools has always been a hallmark of our Catholic schools. We have always had a mandate to teach the whole child in the context of the Catholic community. Our teachers and administrators will continue to “go beyond the core,” to find ways to integrate the faith that builds on reason for all of our students. We are canonically required to deliver an education that is as good as or better than public school options. Our parents expect it and our students deserve it.

Does the Common Core conflict with the mission of Catholic schools?

No. Most high performing, effective Catholic school teachers will find that they have already integrated much of the content and the pedagogical shifts (such as close reading or perseverance in problem solving) required by the CCSS into their classroom instruction.

However, the CCSS requires teachers to move beyond what students know to focus on what students can do with what they know. This expectation for the application of knowledge complements student readiness for the challenges of the 21st century and does not seem to conflict with the mission of Catholic schools.

We believe our students benefit by being even more prepared for college and beyond. We believe that the careful integration of the CCSS into our existing curriculum framework is in the best interest of our college-bound students who attend our Catholic elementary schools and complements the canonical requirement that Catholic schools are as good as or better than public education options. The foundation for college and career readiness must be initiated prior to high school; it is essential that Catholic school students are both academically and spiritually prepared to meet the real demands of college and beyond. It is important to note that colleges and businesses have reported that many students are unprepared for their education beyond high school and for their future. In 2012, universities reported that half of the 3 million students entering higher education each year required at least one remedial course at a cost of $7 billion to students.  As always, we want Catholic school students to graduate from their high schools ready for the most challenging entry level courses.

To Learn More About the Archdiocesan Common Core Standards, please follow the link -