No “Common Core” for St. Francis

St-Francis-blog-no-common-coreSt. Francis will not be adopting the “Common Core” Standards.

There is a plethora of piñatas packed with reasons why, but let’s concentrate on one of the big ones.

The Common Core’s stated aim is “success in college and careers”. That’s it. The almighty educational regime has built an entire new system devoted to lowering achievement from living out “truth, beauty, and goodness” to the uninspired and unremarkable goal of career success. How many books, movies and songs have already been devoted to such an empty cause?

I am reminded of a letter from an educational leader to thousands of constituents defining the role of educators as developing “the workers of tomorrow”. What? Is that all we are doing? No wonder students have little respect for the institution.

Even more sobering is the prophetic short story entitled “Examination Day” by Henry Slesar that was turned into a “Twilight Zone” episode on November 1, 1985.

In that episode an intelligent boy turns twelve and is required to report for mandatory government testing (think Common Core). The boy is excited and is sure he will pass, but his parents are noticeably upset about the matter and it is clear that they have been dreading the day for some time. After several hours of anxiously waiting, the government contacts them to tell them their son has been executed. Why? His IQ exceeded the legal limit.

Obviously, the ending to Slesar’s story is a bit more dramatic than today’s circumstances. However, the end result is the same. Instead of eliminating individual achievers today’s governmental education system had eliminated true achievement altogether. In doing so it produces workers, not thinkers and certainly not leaders.

And that is at least one reason St. Francis will not — no cannot — adopt the “Core”. St. Francis is focused on creating thinkers and leaders for tomorrow . . . there are plenty of workers being created already.