Cardinal Newman Society Releases K-12 Catholic Curriculum Standards


The Cardinal Newman Society released new Catholic School Curriculum Standards. Dan Guernsey and Denise Dohohue, the developers of the standards, explain that the standards are supplementary and are meant to be a resource to Catholic schools. “The Cardinal Newman Society offers these Catholic Curriculum Standards as a resource for educators to help keep focus on what is unique about Catholic elementary and secondary education: its evangelizing mission to integrally form students in Christ and transmit a Christian worldview,” they wrote.

They further describe the standards:

The standards cover English language arts, math, scientific topics, and history, focusing on unique Catholic insights into these curricular areas and complementing the Church’s standards for religious instruction. They are broadly grouped into two grade levels, K-6 and 7-12. They express student outcomes of learning, inviting educators to assign or develop materials and choose subject matter that serve the unique mission of Catholic education.

We built the standards on the solid foundation of Church documents, the educational philosophies of faithful Newman Guide colleges, and many writings on Catholic, liberal arts, and classical education. We consulted with many leading Catholic scholars, school leaders, and standards experts to ensure the highest quality resource.

Consultants that helped with the development of the standards are:

  • Joseph Almeida, Ph.D. (Franciscan University of Steubenville)
  • Dominic Aquila, D.Litt et Phil. (University of St. Thomas, TX)
  • Christopher Baglow, Ph.D. (Notre Dame Seminary)
  • Anthony Esolen, Ph.D. (Providence College)
  • Joseph Pearce (Aquinas College, TN)
  • Chad Pecknold, Ph.D. (Catholic University of America)
  • Andrew Seeley, Ph.D. (Thomas Aquinas College)
  • Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J. (The Magis Center)
  • Ryan Topping, D.Phil. (Thomas More College of Liberal Arts)
  • Gregory Townsend, Ph.D. (Christendom College)
  • Michael VanHecke (The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education)
  • Susan Waldstein, S.T.D. (Ave Maria University)
  • Christopher Zehnder (Catholic Textbook Project)

Unlike the Common Core State Standards, teachers and schools are allowed to adapt the standards how they see fit.

The release of the standards follow a white paper published by American Principles Project and the Pioneer Institute that found Common Core is incompatible with Catholic education.