Sean Combs and one very uncommon core curriculum…

“Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs says UCLA kettlebell incident that led to arrest was self-defense”—LA Times

Although the full details of the incident in question has not been fully presented; a particular section from the LA Times article caught my attention; and like any good recipient of a rigorous High School Common Core Education; I thought about some wider issues and implications:

“…Justin Combs, who graduated from Iona Prep in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 2012, accepted a full merit-based athletic scholarship to play football at UCLA…”

And so I did a little research:

http://www.privateschoolreview.com/school_ov/school_id/19271

http://www.ionaprep.org/

“Today, Iona Prep continues to fulfill this vision and develop young men who are exceptionally well prepared for college while possessing the moral core necessary to be a leader in a society that often does not promote Catholic values. Our Christian Brother education, which permeates the entire program at Iona Prep, is counter-cultural. Iona Prep educates young men at a time in which self-promotion, consumerism, selfishness and personal gratification are the most visible values that adolescents see. In contrast, the Essential Elements of a Christian Brothers’ education defines an education which gives our young men the courage, moral strength and intellectual tools to be leaders in today’s society…”

Student: Teacher Ratio 12:1

% of Faculty w/ Advance Degrees 85%

Number of AP Courses offered: 16

Extra Curricula Activities:
Art Club, Bagpipes, Campus Ministry, Christian Service, Film Club, Gael Force (Newspaper), Gaelic Society, Gamers Republic, Habitat for Humanity, Italian Club, Jazz Ensemble, Math Team, Mock Trial, Music Club, Music Ministry, Peer Counseling, Philosophy Club, Photography Club, Prep Players and Stage Crew, Prep Reps, Recording Studio, Rock Climbing, Rock Ensemble, S.A.D.D., Spanish Club, Speech and Debate

Athletic Programs:
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Crew, Cross Country Track, Football, Gulf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Outdoor Track & Field, Volleyball, Indoor (Winter) Track & Field and Wrestling.

And then there is a strong moral, ethical and spiritual component to the curriculum; that reflects the best progressive traditions of the Catholic church:

“…Proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and deed. Permeate the entire curriculum, activities, and all aspects of the educational process with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Encourage young people to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ…”

And:

“…Stand in Solidarity with those Marginalized by Poverty and Injustice. Promote policies and structures that reflect a climate of compassion for the poor and disadvantaged. Include education and advocacy for peace, justice, global awareness, and care for the Earth. Prepare students to work toward the creation of a just society. Encourage ministry experiences that work with and serve the poor and marginalized…”

From what I can tell (without the benefit of a visit) the school is a very strict, but well-balanced, focused, values rich, academically rigorous, and orderly school….Sounds good to me! But I keep returning to this idea that: A lot of “regular” folks are raising their children educationally to be like celebrities, without some academic achievement to celebrate! And tragically, also like non-scholarly athletes. And then I keep discovering these many celebrities (and I praise, and applaud the attention they give to the quality of their children’s education!) who are raising their children like purposeful, well-rounded and focused scholars (who could also be athletes). What’s up with that?