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Religion Assessment Test

to be implemented

in Catholic schools

Local teachers take part in Diocesan

Teachers Institute and Commissioning Mass

The Religion Assessment Test currently utilized by the Diocese of Wichita will soon be implemented in all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dodge City.
    Teachers from Catholic schools across the diocese were informed of the implementation at a Sept. 28 Diocesan Teachers Institute in Dodge City.
     It was the first of such gatherings for new Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Bill Biermann, who easily slipped into the role of emcee for the day-long event, and who introduced the new assessment test to the teachers.

    The main speaker for the gathering, which was held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, was Father Dwight Birket, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish, Hoisington, and a former teacher.
    Biermann told the teachers and principals that the test, which will be given to grades 3-8 and includes approximately 40 questions, will not only evaluate the student, but will reflect how the school is doing in presenting Church teaching. The Religion Assessment Test is similar to the Kansas State Assessment Test  in its multiple choice format, the latter of which which evaluates student achievement in reading, writing and arithmetic.
    A sample question on the Religion Assessment Test for sixth graders asks: “Which prayer at Mass reminds us that Jesus died for our sins?
    a) Our Father
    b) Responsorial Psalm
    c) Holy, Holy, Holy
    d) Lamb of God
    Exactly when the test will be implemented has not yet been determined.            A highlight of the day came when Father Birkett, quoting Father Ronald J. Nuzzi of the University of Notre Dame, listed 10 things about Catholic education that “you can’t get anywhere else:”
    The top-10 list includes:
    “An Incarnational View of the World; Immersion in the Paschal Mystery; The Value of Relationships as a Reflection of the Divine; A Nuanced View of Scripture; Civic Engagement; Service for the Common Good; Discipline as a Faith Expectation; The Centrality of Arts, Ritual, Drama, and Music to the Life of Faith; The Fullness of the Catholic Identity at the Heart of the Church; and Personal Excellence as a Spiritual Goal.”
    The day also included a commissioning Mass celebrated by Father Robert Schremmer, vicar general, who stood in for Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore.
    He told those gathered that the bishop was remembering the teachers that day in Mass, and that the bishop expressed “his gratitude and his appreciation for all the ways in which he has received support and encouragement” from the educators.
    During the Mass, the teachers and principals from each school were called forward and stood around the altar. Father Schremmer led the teachers in commissioning ceremonies during which the teachers and principals answered together, “I do,” to questions such as, “As co-workers of Jesus Christ, do you commit yourselves to teach as Jesus did?”

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