Bob Laird, Cardinal Newman Society talks with Fox News about why Common Core is a bad fit for Catholic Schools.
- 99.4% students at Catholic schools graduate
- 78% of public school graduate
"Catholic schools are known to outperform public schools in just about every area. "
"Common Core is basically an untested experiment by the government in order to prepare kids for junior college and for jobs... Catholic education prepares kids for life."
Wesleyan University- video
Hillsdale College Professor Terrence Moore 10 minute explanation of CC
CCSS Parent Recon Project
The National Catholic Educational Association has cited in several news articles that more than 100 Catholic diocese in the U.S. “have indicated that they are adopting the Common Core State Standards and are adapting their curriculum and instructional practices to implement them effectively in schools.” However, when approached by parents and asked for the specific list on dioceses that are moving forward with Common Core adoption, NCEA officials have been unable to provide a list, admitting that no such list exists.
This is where parents must step in. Please help us in our CCSS Parent Recon Project as we seek to crowdsource the list of dioceses that are planning to adopt Common Core. What we need is simple:
Read more about how you can help...
Established by Catholics For Classical Education.
Promoters of the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII), which is basically the version of CCS to be used in Catholic schools, are currently attempting to quell our fears by insisting the CCCII is infusing "Catholic teachings" into CCS, is not a curriculum, and will be in line with the Church’s teachings. This is simply untrue. This initiative seeks to promote Common Core to Catholic educators and hand them tools, guides, and resources developed by them so that teachers can impart some Catholic themes and layer on Catholic concepts, all the while, following the methods and outlines provided by Common Core.
Read more at Pittsburgh Catholics Against Common Core
Saving the Uncommon Core of Catholic Education
As Catholic institutions have come under unprecedented pressure from government to trim their religious and social mission, it seems incredible that Catholic educators would consider voluntarily placing their schools under an onerous federal yoke. But that incongruous prospect may be nearing reality as over one hundred Catholic dioceses have signed onto the Common Core Standards Initiative (CC).
There is no mistaking what the Common Core is all about. Developed by handpicked, federally funded nonprofits and two national associations of state executives, the Common Core is an attempt by a subset of education “experts” to write k-12 standards and, ultimately, dictate curricula that will foster a uniform educational experience in the United States. The justification for this nationalization, according to CCSI advocates, is to create a generation of college- and career-ready students who can compete in a global economy.
The Obama Administration, naturally enough, is deeply enamored of the idea of removing local authority over classroom content and shifting it to centralized bureaucracies, much as it has done with the U.S. economy and health care. Equally naturally, some politically connected big businesses champion the Common Core, eyeing the practical benefits of gearing the nation’s classrooms to be trade schools for their vision of the world’s future workforce.
And at bottom, the Common Core embraces essentially a trade-school mentality. Even in English class—where the heart of humanist education should beat most strongly—the curriculum is to be redesigned to offer less classic literature and more nonfiction “informational texts.” After all, if a student is unlikely to encounter Paradise Lost in his future job, why waste time on it now? Better to focus on the technical manuals or government documents that he might grapple with in the corporate world.
Common Core Validation Committee member Sandra Stotsky, perhaps the nation’s premier expert on English language arts (ELA) standards, refused to sign off on the Common Core standards because they “weaken the basis of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework.” And the math standards are similarly deficient. Stanford mathematics professor James Milgram concluded that it is “almost a joke to think students [who master the Common Core] would be ready for math at a university.”
Why Catholic schools, which have a centuries-old vision of the purpose of education, and a track record only the most elite secular institutions can match, should embrace this olive-drab doctrine of uniformity and utilitarianism is not at all clear. In what way is this mindset compatible with Catholicism, and certainly with Catholic education? The great Catholic educator and scholar John Henry Newman, author of the visionary book The Idea of a University, believed that education must be directed at the whole person, not toward forming students for predetermined professional slots. Education, he wrote, trains “the intellect to reason well in all matters, to reach out towards truth and to grasp it.”
Newman’s vision for the university is still what Catholic and other parents (who will be the forgotten partners in the era of the Common Core) desire for their children when they make extraordinary sacrifices to provide this alternative. They desire excellence in education, but they see that excellence as part and parcel of personal excellence and moral character. They see these qualities not as adjuncts of discrete subject matter, but as an uncommon core animating every field of study from English to social studies to mathematics to religion.
Why trade these hallmarks of Catholic education for a mess of federal and special interest pottage?
The Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative has created a PowerPoint presentation (which can be found on the National Catholic Education Association website) that attempts to answer this question. The presentation claims that adoption of the CCSI will only mean grafting Catholic values onto a shared and presumably more rigorous set of benchmarks. But it is simply not possible to reconcile true Catholic education with the Common Core. A grafted branch cannot survive without a sound root, and the Common Core root is withered at best.
Dr. Anthony Esolen, editor of Magnificat and English professor at Providence College, had this to say about the Common Core:
[W]hat appalls me most about the standards … is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. We are not programming machines. We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women.
Frankly, I do not wish to be governed by people whose minds and hearts have been stunted by a strictly utilitarian miseducation…. Do not train them to become apparatchiks in a vast political and economic system, but raise them to be human beings, honoring what is good and right, cherishing what is beautiful, and pledging themselves to their families, their communities, their churches, and their country.
The Common Core does not aim to form individuals in this sense. Indeed, it does not acknowledge this goal as even a purpose, much less the purpose, of education.
In contrast, classical Catholic education inspires children, through the eternal truths, to become the people God intended them to be. That mission is consistent with the American tradition of education of forming individuals capable of fully exercising their liberties and who, if the spirit should call them, are prepared to enter the public square as citizen-leaders.
Now, more than ever, is the time to embrace classical Catholic education and shun secular fads like the Common Core.
Pope Rejects Any Kind of Educational Experimentation with Children
Read the full transcript of his talk here.
February 4, 2014
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson
Archdiocese of Saint Louis
Dear Archbishop Carlson,
Prayers and blessings for you as the Shepherd of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide you in serving all of the faithful.
Enclosed in this mailing is information on a recent conference I attended here in St. Louis. It revealed to me the breath, scope, and negative impact of this new educational approach called Common Core. The speakers were well versed in their knowledge of the subject matter they presented and answered the many questions that were placed before them.
It is hard to believe that these standards have been allowed to impact our children whether thru the public school system and also through our Catholic schools. There are so many reasons to resist these standards. Let me name but a few for you.
- Owned by 2 out of state entities that will control them from Washington, D.C.
- The provider of these standards has little or no background in education.
- Done secretly leaving out Missouri educators, legislators, and parents.
- Will create loss of local control (school boards) and parental input.
- Broke 2 federal laws and circumvented 6 Missouri state constitution statutes.
- These standards see our children as workers developing skills rather then as gifts from God developing the whole person.
- Testing processes have yet to be completed and teacher evaluations will be dependent on student’s success in passing the tests. Teaching to the test will become the norm.
- Change in the F.E.R.P.A. law that will allow over 400 points of student information to be shared almost anyone.
It is unfortunate that many parents and Catholic educators know little or nothing about these new standards and the impact they will have on their children and education as a whole in this country.
I remember the gathering in Jefferson City about the HHS Mandate that you led bringing forth 2000 or more participants supporting your efforts on that subject. I invite you to please place on your calendar Tuesday February 18, 2014 at NOON in the Capitol Rotunda and join with hundreds of people who are trying to educate the populace about these terrible standards.
We need you leadership on this subject. We need the leadership of the USCCB, across the country, in order to prevent these standards from becoming the norm in education in our state and elsewhere. We’ll not miss the impact because the changing of the SAT, ACT, and other testing modules will be centered on the new Common Core Standards and our graduating seniors will not do well in the testing process for college.
Please note that I received a letter from Mr. George Henry indicating that he offered Catholic resources to assist some local Catholic schools and the pastor and or the principal refused and they connected with DESE and entered into a training experience on Common Core this past summer at St. Pius X High School.
In many cases I can’t get a response to any of my questions that I place before them for discussion.
Look forward to seeing you in Jefferson City on the 18th of February. Please support us as we did you in the HHS mandate. These new standards are just as important as the HHS Mandate is, if not more important as they will daily impact our Catholic children in both public and Catholic school settings.
Yours in Christ,
National Catholic Education Association Gets Gates Foundation Grant to Promote ‘Common Core’ in Catholic Schools
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) more than $100,000 to support teacher training and materials on implementing the Common Core school standards, The Cardinal Newman Society has discovered.
The $100,007 grant made in September will only fuel division over the NCEA’s public encouragement for Catholic schools to adopt the Common Core standards, despite serious concerns about the standards’ academic quality and impact on schools’ Catholic identity.
The revelation comes even as The Cardinal Newman Society and other Catholic groups and dioceses—led by the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS)—are co-sponsoring a meeting in New Jersey with Catholic school superintendents, principals and educators to discuss concerns about the Common Core, a controversial education reform movement funded largely by the Gates Foundation.
- See more at: The Cardinal Newman Society
Letter to Catholic Bishops on Common Core
This letter was sent individually to each Catholic bishop in the United States. 132 Catholic professors signed the letter.
We are Catholic scholars who have taught for years in America’s colleges and universities. Most of us have done so for decades. A few of us have completed our time in the classroom; we are professors “emeriti.” We have all tried throughout our careers to put our intellectual gifts at the service of Christ and His Church. Most of us are parents, too, who have seen to our children’s education, much of it in Catholic schools. We are all personally and professionally devoted to Catholic education in America.
For these reasons we take this extraordinary step of addressing each of America’s Catholic bishops about the “Common Core” national reform of K-12 schooling. Over one hundred dioceses and archdioceses have decided since 2010 to implement the Common Core. We believe that, notwithstanding the good intentions of those who made these decisions, Common Core was approved too hastily and with inadequate consideration of how it would change the character and curriculum of our nation’s Catholic schools. We believe that implementing Common Core would be a grave disservice to Catholic education in America.
In fact, we are convinced that Common Core is so deeply flawed that it should not be adopted by Catholic schools which have yet to approve it, and that those schools which have already endorsed it should seek an orderly withdrawal now.
Why – upon what evidence and reasoning – do we take such a decisive stand against a reform that so many Catholic educators have endorsed, or at least have acquiesced in?
Read the entire letter on the Catholics for Classical Education site.