A great deal of conversation and energy is spent these days on educational standards and, in particular, the Common Core State Standards Initiative. In the Catholic school world, the “National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools” are becoming the yardstick of a common vision and foundation for quality Catholic education.
While not a student-centered, grade specific set of achievement standards, these national standards, instead, are designed to describe a quality Catholic school from its Catholic identity to operational vitality. They answer the question, “What makes a good Catholic school?”
Developed through the collaborative efforts of the schools of education at Loyola University Chicago and Boston College, the standards, benchmarks, and related rubrics are “intended to describe how the most mission-driven, program effective, well managed, and responsibly governed Catholic schools operate.” (p. vi)
To support schools in their planning endeavors, we have redesigned our strategic planning approach to include these national Catholic standards. In this way we will continue our ministry of assisting schools across the country create achievable plans, make smarter decisions, and ultimately, strengthen their mission.
“Meitler is the first to use the ‘Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Schools’ as part of their planning process. This aligns them with an important development in the field of Catholic education. They were thorough in their work, and brought a new energy and vitality to our faculty and the planning committee. We have definite goals and strategies to follow as we look forward to our centennial year. I am very happy with the consultants’ work, their professional approach, and their understanding, not only of Catholic education, but our school and educational system in particular.”(Fr. John Serio, Director/President – Salesian High School. New Rochelle, NY)