COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Monday, May 21, 2012- As part of a plan to strengthen Catholic education in the Diocese of El Paso, the Catholic schools will begin offering a more rigorous curriculum with the adoption of the Common Core Standards. Previously, schools in our diocese have used the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) as the basis for their curriculum. Now, over a two year period, El Paso Catholic schools will begin implementing the new Common Core Standards.
According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, the new standards were established “by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.”
Although Texas is one of three states in the U.S. not adopting the Common Core Standards, the Diocese of El Paso has made the decision to adopt the standards in order to offer a more rigorous curriculum. During the past two years, we have looked at other dioceses that use the CCS, such as the Archdiocese of Hartford. The Archdiocese of Hartford uses the CCS for Connecticut and incorporates the teachings of the Church into their curriculum. As we move forward with the English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, we will adopt some of the elements from the Archdiocese of Hartford, especially the Church teachings and their pacing, but other aspects of the curriculum will be developed locally.
Our teachers have been in-serviced in the Common Core Standards and a representative group of teachers met with consultants in April to prioritize the Standards in ELA and Math. Teachers from our elementary schools will meet in June to develop a unit that they can then use as a template for future units based on our priorities. Social Studies and Science guides will be developed in the next two years. As we move forward, we will also be implementing the new Religion curriculum guide, which has been adapted from the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Framework for Adolescent Catechesis from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The high school curriculum follows the outline and sequencing set by the USCCB.
For more information about the Common Core Standards, please visit the following sites:
Catholic Identity & the Common Core
Common Core State Standards Initiative