In a new FAQ document, the Catholic Schools Office for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati explains its stance vis a vis the controversial Common Core standards:

Is the Archdiocese of Cincinnati adopting the Common Core?

No. The Archdiocese publishes its own set of instructional standards, entitled Graded Courses of Study, for all subjects in preschool through eighth grade. For years, the Graded Courses of Study in all subjects (except Religion) have been based upon the Ohio State Standards. We essentially take the Ohio Standards, make them more rigorous, and infuse them with the Catholic faith.

Ohio has now integrated the Common Core into the subjects of Math and English/Language Arts. As such, the Archdiocesan Graded Courses of Study for these subjects are based upon the Ohio standards. However, since we make the standards our own by providing more rigor and the Catholic faith, we effectively “adapt” (vs. “adopt”) the standards. This is an important distinction. Adoption involves using the standards exactly as they are written. Adaptation is modifying the standards to meet our own needs and faith identity. By adapting the Common Core (via the state standards), we are
following the exact same practice that we have for years.

While I think Dr. Jim Rigg is a good man, I don’t find this semantic exercise especially helpful. I would hope we can expect a Catholic diocese not to use state standards “exactly as they are written.” It’s the influence of these standards as they’re rolled out in our schools that is the concern. We’ve watched Catholic schools drop courses in the Church’s mother tongue to beef up their Spanish language offerings to earn a presidential Blue Ribbon, so there is reason for skepticism.

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