Culture Wars: Public rejects Common Core, welcomes Classical Education

Culture Wars:

Public rejects Common Core, welcomes Classical Education

Public Support For ‘Common Core’ Falls to Record Low

Dr. Susan Berry

The annual Education Next poll shows that public support for the Common Core State Standards has fallen to a record low.

commoncore-scores-crashAccording to the survey, support for the Common Core education plan dropped to 50 percent this year, down from 58 percent in 2015 and from 83 percent in 2013.

When political affiliation is a factor, Republican support for the plan plummeted from 82 percent in 2013 to 39 percent in 2016. Democrat support fell from 86 percent in 2013 to 60 percent in 2016.

The poll finds that, among teachers, support for the program has dropped from 87 percent in 2013, to 54 percent in 2014, to 44 percent in 2015, and continuing at that level in 2016.

The poll surveyed 4,181 adults, aged 18 and older, including oversamples of 1,571 parents and 609 teachers during May and June.

commoncoreAccording to EdNext, it is the Common Core “brand” that is problematic for the program. The education journal states that when a second group of participants were asked if they support “the use of the same standards across states,” without the mention of “Common Core,” two-thirds of respondents say they are supportive. Teachers, however, appear to be less influenced by the name “Common Core,” according to the survey: only 50 percent of teachers say they approve of any uniform standards.

“It seems that a substantial share of teachers either realize that similar standards and Common Core are much the same, or that they dislike standards in general,” EdNext says.

However, in last year’s EdNext poll, results showed a drop in support from 68 percent in 2014 to 54 percent in 2015 in the group that was asked simply about “shared standards” without the mention of the “Common Core” name.

Many politicians in both major political parties have termed the Common Core “toxic” and “poisonous.” Jeb Bush’s support for the plan was thought to be a significant contributing factor to his demise in the 2016 GOP primaries. Similarly, emails uncovered by Wikileaks from the Democratic National Committee show communications directors warning colleagues not to discuss Common Core due to its unpopularity.

“Support for Common Core continues to just plummet,” Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman education fellow at the Heritage Foundation, tells Breitbart News. “Just half of respondents now support Common Core, down from 58 percent last year.”

Classical Education Welcomed

Catholic Diocese Chooses Classical Curriculum Over Common Core

 

Dr. Susan Berry

academic-freedomThe Michigan diocese of Marquette plans to reject the Common Core State Standards and choose instead a classical Catholic academic curriculum for its schools.

“After much consideration, the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Marquette will not adapt or adopt the Common Core State Standards which were developed for the public school system,” announced Bishop John Doerfler in a statement.

The bishop continues:

That said, we acknowledge that there is a base of adequate secular material in the Common Core State Standards that faith-based schools could reference as part of their educational programming. While we respectfully understand that other private and Catholic schools may discern to adapt or adopt the standards for these and other reasons, we do not believe that such actions would benefit the mission, Catholic identity or academic excellence of our schools.

The diocese will begin implementation of a Catholic Liberal Arts Education curriculum, reports the Heartland Institute. The foundations document for the curriculum takes its inspiration from Pope Benedict, who told American Catholic teachers in 2008 at the Catholic University of America: “The dignity of education lies in fostering the happiness and perfection of those to be educated.”

“[O]ur curriculum seeks to form our graduate’s character, aiming as high as its perfection,” says the document.

The curriculum is founded on four areas:

biblical-worldview2-christianOrdered basic knowledge – which the document says is the “knowledge of God and his revelation,” and includes theology, science and mathematics, history, philosophy and the arts, and moral knowledge.

“God created us ‘in his own image and likeness’ and will not deprive us of the truth necessary to orient our lives,” states the document. “The ability to make judgments about what is true and what is false and to make choices based on these judgments is the goal of learning basic knowledge in the elementary school.”

Basic skills or tools of learning – the abilities to listen, speak and write clearly, and read critically; logical thinking and math computation; use of the scientific method; proficiency in art, music, and technology.

Development of the moral imagination – “The development of the student’s personal aspirations are derived from inspiration and reflection upon the ideals of the good, true and beautiful found within the curriculum and subject content taught,” states the foundation document.

Principle of correlation between subjects – With religious instruction as the central core in the correlation of the curriculum, teachers make connections across subjects for their students.

“When we study Christian doctrine through Scripture texts, Bible history, and Church history, the moral law and the forms and ceremonies of public worship we can make direct connections with literature, history, philosophy, poetry and music,” the document states.

As the Cardinal Newman Society observes, the Catholic liberal arts curriculum has been welcomed by parents and teachers alike.

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