A Plea for Catholic Schools to Ignore New Guidelines

A group of Roman Catholic scholars has called on Catholic schools to ignore the new educational standards known as the Common Core, a set of guidelines on what students should know and be able to do from kindergarten through 12th grade, opening a front with parallels to the fight over using the guidelines in public schools.

In a letter to the nation’s bishops last month, the group, including more than 100 professors and university administrators, argued that the Common Core would actually lower standards, that it would move parochial schools away from their grounding in the church, and that its emphasis on increased nonfiction reading across many subjects would translate into less focus on literary and philosophical classics, and moral teaching.

With more than half of the nation’s dioceses saying that their schools will adopt curriculum informed by the Common Core, the critics asked bishops to repudiate the guidelines.