Our Books & the Common Core

e are sometimes asked how our history textbook series matches up to the Common Core Standards. This is an important question, both for those schools who have aligned their curriculum to the Common Core and those that haven’t. Both groups want to know if the Catholic Textbook Project is Common Core friendly, or not.

The simple answer is this: CTP’s textbooks were not written with the Common Core Initiative in mind, nor do we plan to alter our books to conform to the standards. But, while those who have opted out of the Common Core will find that our books follow the best of traditional pedagogy, those adopting the Common Core will discover that our books will help them uniquely fulfill the Common Core standards both in history/socials studies and English language arts — and that because we have remained faithful to classical modes of learning.

In April 2012, the Common Core Standards Initiative published its Revised Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy, Grades 3-12. The purpose of these criteria is “to guide publishers and curriculum developers as they work to ensure alignment with the standards in English language arts (ELA) and literacy for history/social studies, science, and technical subjects.”

How do Catholic Textbook Project’s social studies texts fulfill these criteria?

What the Common Core Standards Do

 The Common Core Standards for social studies are not content but classroom standards.

 The Common Core Standards do not impose the inclusion or exclusion of events and subject matter.
– The Common Core Standards establish criteria governing text complexity and  literary quality, as well as  the relationship of questions and tasks to the text, the building of vocabulary, and the way students are trained to the tasks of writing and research.
How Our Textbooks Uniquely Fulfill Common Core Goals

 In text complexity our textbooks fall within or slightly above the Lexile ranges called for by Common Core reading standards.

  Our texts fulfill the Common Core goal that students read increasingly complex texts.”

 Our texts are challenging; they call on students to stretch their minds and imaginations to attain a greater proficiency in the reading and interpretation of texts.

 The literary character of our books helps students learn to discern central ideas from those that are more incidental.

 Moreover, our texts, written in a rich and colorful narrative style, draw students into the story of history. Students advance in reading competence and build their vocabulary through the sheer pleasure of reading.

 Our teacher manuals offer guidelines to help instructors guide students in discerning the central ideas and facts in the text.

 Our end-of-chapter exercises fulfill the Common Core requirements that a “significant percentage of tasks and questions [be] text dependent” and that “high-quality text-dependent questions … move beyond what is directly stated to require students to make nontrivial inferences based on evidence in the text.”

To see for yourself how our books can enhance learning in the classroom, please click here to view sample chapters of our books. The samples not only allow you to familiarize yourself with our engaging writing style, but give you the opportunity to experience the beauty of our books’ layout — complete with full-color reproductions of great works of art and custom maps.