Religion is not an academic subject and should not be taught as a graded subject

Joe Kyburz, Copy Editor

Religion should be the center of a Catholic school. However, religion class should not be the sole academic focus. Students should be able to use religion class as a refuge.

Religion class should not affect GPA or class rank. It should not take time away from core academia, therefore it should be a pass or fail course.
While Catholic education is undoubtedly the backbone of our school’s, and the Archdiocese’s missions as educators, no subsection states the need for religious education through rigorous religion classes.

“At The John Carroll School, guided by the spirit of America’s first Catholic Archbishop and early patriot, we cultivate in each student a love of learning, a respect for self, and a sensitivity to others,” is the beginning of JC’s mission statement. This could be better achieved if class focused more on learning, not drilling monotonous definitions of religious terms.

The love for learning that JC should imbue in its students should stem from the environment of the classroom and school, as a whole. The school should realize that we are a Catholic school because of the welcoming environment and focus on a global perspective that helps to develop students intellectually, socially, and spiritually.

JC can achieve its goal of “instilling Catholic values through a challenging college preparatory program,” by actually preparing students for college and focusing on the academics that will be prevalent throughout their continued education.

About half of the students have had prior religious education, which puts the other half of students at a disadvantage. Additionally, the inconsistent grading practices from teacher to teacher puts students with teachers that have harsher grading practices at a disadvantage.

Ivy league schools use pass/fail classes to allow students to take courses and learn to learn, not for a grade. When these colleges look at a transcript, they will examine the core courses that you’ve taken. With religion as a graded class, JC is falsifying students’ GPAs and causing additional work for admissions personal.
Catholic school should provide religious education through more than just classes. The Catholic focus should be in all academics. Unnecessary competition and emphasis on grades in a religion class is detrimental to the mission of the school.

Forcing students to memorize Catholic vocab and history and not placing emphasis on the values undercuts the mission of the Catholic Church. Religion classes should be pass or fail so students can focus on the foundations for academics and life that are so necessary for the future, not Church history.

The religious curriculum should not only be throughout all academic classes, but also be specifically fostered in a religious class that provides a welcoming discussion environment that enables Catholic views on real-world applications of religion or religious values.

By making religion classes pass fail, teachers have more flexibility in their approaches to imbuing Catholic values, and in the end, you either pass or fail at using Catholic values, so why should our education ignore that?