Choosing the Right Mission ...

Choosing the Right Mission . . .

Earlier this week we posted an article from the Cardinal Newman Society regarding Common Core education. If you have not had the chance to read it yet we would strongly encourage you to do so. We think you will find it very enlightening!

As we have shared several times this past year, St. Francis will not be utilizing the Common Core curriculum as part of its program. One of the primary reasons for this is that we are very concerned about Common Core’s sweeping approach to education that focuses solely on college and career preparation as its end goal to the detriment of the arts and humanities. This has a profound impact on what is a distinctive Catholic education. When the end goal becomes moving a student through the system so that he or she is prepared for a career or for college the spiritual “formation” aspect of education becomes secondary or null and void altogether.

Here is an example: Under Common Core a student is reading and discussing less literature, history and art. These pieces of the curriculum have been replaced with “technical” reading such as design manuals or STEM related articles. This, of course, is to prepare the students for college and career in the 21st Century. But, by doing this students have less opportunity to read about, study and understand truth, beauty, and goodness and how mankind has measured those things in making both good and bad choices. This in turn allows for a deeper exploration of faith and, in particular, the Christian faith.

In other words, by focusing on college and career as the reason for education, we sacrifice the formative development of the whole student as the reason for education. This is why St. Francis feels so strongly about its program and Common Core. We are committed to preparing students for the 21st Century. But we recognize and understand that if we accept Common Core education to do so, we also deny a true Catholic education, it is impossible to have two competing end goals.

Christ taught, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other . . .” Matthew 6:24

St. Francis chooses to serve the mission of the church and the mission of Christ versus the mission of the world, and in so doing we trust that the Lord will bless our students!