The workforce-preparation focus of the K-12 English and math standards known as Common Core puts them at odds with Catholic education, and the standards should not be adopted by parochial schools. In “After the Fall: Catholic Education Beyond the Common Core,” authors Anthony Esolen, Dan Guernsey, Jane Robbins, and Kevin Ryan argue that the national standards’ unrelenting focus on skills that transfer directly to the modern work world conflicts with Catholic schools’ academic, spiritual, and moral mission.
About Anthony Esolen
Anthony Esolen is a professor of English literature at Providence College. He is the editor and translator of three epic poems: Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things; Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered; and, in three volumes, Dante’s Divine Comedy. He has published a volume of his own poetry, Peppers, and seven other books, including two which bear upon the matter at hand: Ironies of Faith: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature and Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child.
The fate of poetry in the school curriculum may seem like an odd subject for a Pioneer Institute report. But we are struck by the absence of comments on what constitutes literary study in the schools from organizations that might be expected to have a professional interest in the school curriculum (e.g., National Council of Teachers of English, International Reading Association, Association of Supervisors and Curriculum Developers) and from higher education sources that might be expected to have a discipline-based interest in the topic (e.g., American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Modern Language Association).