The Catholic School Standards Project
What is the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative?
A national working group has begun the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII) to develop and disseminate resources and guidelines to assist Catholic elementary and secondary schools in integrating elements of Catholic identity (Catholic values, Scripture, Church social teachings, encyclicals, etc.) into curriculum and instruction based on the Common Core State Standards.
Forty-six states have agreed to adopt the Common Core State Standards, a set of high quality K-12 learning standards that includes rigorous content and application of knowledge using higher-order thinking skills, leading students to college and career readiness. Currently, Catholic schools are assessing what the implications of the standards and accompanying assessments may be for them.
While Catholic schools have their own local or diocesan standards, their ability to continue to provide high-quality education for their students is compelling them to consider adoption of the common core standards. Catholic schools will be impacted as curriculum resources and professional development opportunities become aligned with Common Core State Standards by producers of instructional materials, college teacher preparation programs, or regulations for participation in the federal programs that currently benefit their students and teachers. Within this environment, maintaining the uniqueness and integrity of the Catholic school will require integrating the demands of their mission and the academic expectations of their constituents and the wider education community.
To assist Catholic schools with enhancing Catholic identity integrated into the curriculum, the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII) has been launched as a collaborative project involving Catholic universities, corporations and sponsors invested in Catholic education, and the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).
The Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative has two goals:
- to empower Catholic schools and dioceses to design and direct the implementation of the Common Core standards within the culture and context of a Catholic school curriculum
- to infuse the Common Core standards with the faith/principles/values/social justice themes inherent in the mission and Catholic identity of the school.
What is Common Core?
The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.
Building on the excellent foundation of standards states have laid, the Common Core State Standards are the first step in providing our young people with a high-quality education. It should be clear to every student, parent, and teacher what the standards of success are in every school.