Classical Education: The Alternative to Common Core

Sponsored by Toledo Catholics Against the Common Core
Lee J. Strang | Director of Faculty Research & Professor of Law 
University of Toledo College of Law | EMAIL: Lee Strang  PHONE: 734.277.0719


Dr. Kenneth Calvert speaks about the development of citizenship and virtue in classical education, and how the common core does not focus on these important attributes; instead, it focuses only on making people good employees. Classical education, on the other hand, is the educational curriculum of our country's Founders, and molds citizens into virtuous human beings who then become outstanding citizens of their communities.

Dr. Calvert urges people to work together to move their current schools towards the Classical Model and turn away from the devastating "all kids are average" common core model. He says Classical Education involves memorization of important facts, such as math drills, grammar rules, states/capitals, presidents, poems, etc in the elementary grades; and this knowledge lays an important foundation for all student's academic success. With this knowledge, students can proceed on to jr high and high school by delving into subjects more deeply and will ask intelligent questions. He compares this to coaches expectation of kids on the playing field: teachers should expect a lot from their students in the classroom by challenging them to their personal best.

"Students always rise to the challenge of what our teachers ask of them, and afterwards they are very proud of themselves."
Dr. Calvert 


1) Dr. Calvert's Handout 
2) Action Plan (Toledo Catholics Against the Common Core)

Dr. Kenneth Calvert, a graduate of Wheaton College and Harvard University, is Assistant Professor of History at Hillsdale College and Headmaster of The Hillsdale Academy, a K-12 private classical school, in Hillsdale, MI. Dr. Calvert has served as the Headmaster of The Hillsdale Academy for twelve years and has advised and supported dozens of classical schools. For twenty years, Hillsdale Academy students have ranked at the 97th percentile or above on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills.

A Life Changing Story

By Greg Schlueter
It was 1976. Michael and Joanne Wagner boarded a bus heading for the March for Life in D.C. Everything about them proclaimed God's gift of life. Joanne was carrying baby number 13. 

Somewhere around midnight, while on the bus... head resting on her husband's shoulder, at the very young age of 39 - God called her home. She died silently in her sleep. Many years later, some who were on the bus that night reported the little boy kicking in her womb.

Burdened with an anguish I could never imagine, Michael returned home... loss of his unborn child, and the love of his life, an empty bed, an empty home, to face the demands of twelve children without a mom. 

Michael made no more than $25,000 a year. He worked night shift. So many demands. How would he do the all-consuming, overwhelming "it"? 

Somehow, beyond human understanding... though not without the usual travails of life- their life radiated the incomprehensible but evident light of God's abundant grace. As an anecdote, somehow they found a way to put each child through Catholic schools. 

My wife, Stephanie, was number 11. She was only five years old at the time. She shares a touching story of her first day back at school. Not quite understanding everything, she knew her mom expected her to have her hair in piggy tails (or "honkers" because her brothers use to pull them!). Not having her there to do so, her dad rose to the occasion. He used common twisty ties. 

While Michael has since been reunited with his wife, they remain great examples to me... for my children, of a life well lived... that radiated a providence beyond our poverty, a completion beyond our calculation. They gave us the great legacy of this simple but formidable truth: What God calls us to, He will provide for. 

Had to include a photo with youngest brother  Keith
So may it be for all God's children, born and unborn. Beyond our means,whatever you're dealing with right now, know His great love for you. Trust in Him. You don't need to find a way. Just turn to Him who is the Way.

Greg Schlueter and his wife, Stephanie, are parents to seven children (one in heaven) and lead Image Trinity, a Catholic family movement committed to engaging families in the great adventure of discovering our identity and living IT - we Image the Trinity. (Get IT?) Also see the person and parish transformation movement at