Higher Order Thinking, Higher Achievement Essay

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For more than two centuries, Catholic schools in the United States have provided an outstanding education to millions of children. In these schools, students met the challenge of high expectations for academic achievement while integrating the Catholic teachings into the core curriculum. We are proud of the success in Catholic Schools, but we must continue that history of excellence. It is time to raise those standards for our children. Catholic educators have always stood out as experts in their field. Therefore, it should not be any surprise that many leaders in the movement to raise those expectations of the students comes from within our own Catholic community. In our world, today, students will no longer simply be allowed to come up with the right answer. We must demand that they not only give an answer, but also state how they arrived at the conclusion, and defend it. Setting high expectations for students and ourselves as educators will make for a better future for all of us.
Catholic schools throughout the country including the Diocese of Jackson are working with the Notre Dame ACE Collaborative for Academic Excellence to develop common curriculum goals to meet the need for higher expectations for student learning. We have always had standards for teaching. However, the standards, or clear learning targets have not been necessarily the foundation of our teaching. In Catholic schools, we do not teach subjects but rather we teach students and students need clear learning goals and consistency in schools across subjects and grade levels. Diocese schools have looked to National organizations along with state framework to development curriculum goals for its schools. These organizations include National Science Foundation, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Council of Teacher of English.
We strive that new Diocesan standards will increase the focus and rigor in the classroom. These two key...

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