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.


Emmett McGroarty, Esq. and Jane Robbins, Esq. are Senior Fellows at the American Principles Project. Their new book, Deconstructing the Administrative State: The Fight for Liberty, will be released later this year.

  • Deacon Ed Peitler

    Can anyone guess what the result will be of grafting Catholic institutions onto secular atheistic models? We’ve already seen what happens when we graft Christian charity onto secular ‘social justice’ models. Now, we can watch the same thing happen with Catholic education. But, no fear here as truth will be victorious in the end but it’s painful to watch as we are dragged through the mud.

    • SocialJustice delivers neither

      Amen to your thoughts. However, here in the Northeast, I am afraid that battle is pretty near over, and ‘Catholic’ education lies in ruins as a result.

      • patricia m.

        Yes, Catholic education here in the Northeast is a joke. If you’re not homeschooling, it’s better to put the kids in the public school system, at least you don’t pay anything. ‘Cuz they are going to learn the same thing, and everyday you’ll have to desconstruct what they learned in school and offer bits and pieces of wisdom instead. I hope that by doing that they’ll learn to have critical thinking at a very young age.

        • Kristen G.

          Even though the Philadelphia Archdiocese has embraced the Common Core, our grade schools have certainly kept a strong Catholic identity. I look over the materials my children take home, and we dissect the text and talk over certain biases. In this sense, it is a learning experience of what it means to be Catholic in the world. Further, we have had many school closings in the Archdiocese, and our Catholic schools are desperate to remain competitive. I’m not saying that I am a fan of Common Core, but I understand the rationale.

          • And you should not have to do any of that. It is a double waste of time. It’s a waste of time first because your kids are NOT reading good and human literature — they are NOT being introduced to a garden of beauty and truth; and because you then have to do detoxification when they come home. Sometimes I think that someone must have lobotomized everybody in every chancery in the country. Isn’t there ANYBODY in those places who has had an education in arts and letters?

            • slainte

              What is driving this?……an inability to pay qualified instructors to teach children arts and letters, or a policy decision that arts and letters are just not that relevant to all children?

              • homeschooling now

                From where I sit, I see Catholic schools taking fed and state monies for textbooks and thus, ‘You want the money, you take the Common Core’. A large majority of those who actually attend mass and then those who actually contribute to the church are sending their children to public schools and thus do not want to support the Catholic schools in their parish/diocese. I don’t see the folks in my diocese evil or stupid–just trying to make ends meet and on the flip side of that, there are few parents who have ever even heard of the Baltimore Catechism so they don’t even know what’s happening. They are sending their kid to the ‘Catholic’ school so, check the box–got that covered…

                • slainte

                  Sounds like Common Core is not unlike a trojan horse being welcomed into the catholic academy by clerics who equate Catholicism with cultural/social Liberalism. Education becomes a tool of conformity to the secular culture.

                  Once the curriculum is standardized and eventually expanded to include principles that are inconsistent with Catholic teachings, the Catholic schools will have to conform or be subject to law suits for bigotry, hate crimes etc. God will be shown the front door.

          • Apostle

            I don’t. Not long ago the U.S. Catholic Bishops supported Obamacare and what has that gotten the Church? Persecution for its beliefs, which they didn’t see coming. A naïve bunch. Likewise, Common Core will make a Catholic education subject to sinister secular forces. Fagetaboudit! Catholic laypersons need to speak up and be heard.

          • olivia

            Philadelphia is in it lock stock and barrel, they are correct above when they call so them cowards…. The entire common core system relies on cowards and cons.
            why would they need for:
            A. this to be done on the fed/state level in secret, circumventing legislatures?
            B. teachers to be signing non disclosure agreements?
            C. School administrations to require parents sign hold harmless disclaimers
            D. COMMON CORE TM has a sturdy disclaimer
            E. THE PRESS staying SILENT

  • Alecto

    Timely, perspicacious and sound Catholic writing is why I turn to Crisis online. This is a wonderful article, as so many are.

    If I shed my years of experience and magically become the wide-eyed innocent I once was, this move by American bishops wouldn’t make sense. But it does make sense because these clerics are first and foremost, cowards. A coward is at his core, someone who consistently takes the easy way out of every challenge. What could be easier than compliance? Surrender? And, how much filthy lucre will “Catholic” schools receive in exchange for surrendering Catholic principles?

    For anyone who believes I am being too harsh on these clerics, please review the history of faith-based initiatives and how government lures have straight-jacketed, perverted and stripped the spirit of Catholic charity. As a result, the Catholic bureaucracy willing accepted money in exchange for providing social services denuded of any Catholic message, any mention of God. Therefore, this bureaucracy has already taken on the yoke of government. That is why Catholic life is under assault facing mandates, restrictions and requirements which conflict with Catholic teaching. Now these same clerics want to destroy what those who came before sacrificed to build by surrendering to Leviathan. I am ashamed of their weakness.

  • This is why I homeschool.

  • WRBaker

    Catholic administrators feel they must embrace the public school methodologies and new programs because they need to be able to compare their students to public schools. Why, when we’ve always prided ourselves in doing better? Many Catholic school administrators, in a rush to prove their worth, have bought into this system – not through necessity, but because they don’t really know our past (and they probably have to do something to earn their, sometimes enormous, salaries).

    The need to change programs every decade or so also pervades education. Remember “New Math”? The invariable cottage industries spring up, as well. New testing, revised testing, periodic testing, books, new books and new bureaucracies are created, to the delight of many who make money off of education.

    “Why learn to multiply or learn prayers when we can merely look them up on our computer device?” stated one Catholic school principal. Wherein lies a (the) problem. Technology should assist education, we should not become its slave. How are we to produce a generation of thinking adults who can still think when the electricity goes out?

    Learning times tables, prayers, nursery rhymes, cursive writing, etc, were common place things that children were expected to learn by rote. Few pieces of classic literature are read and learning math is becoming more of a survey curriculum rather than producing in-depth knowledge of the subject.

    We need to not lose what made our schools the envy of the education community and also return our Faith to its preeminent role in teaching our students.

    • Alecto

      And what do you think is the significant difference between the Catholic schools of the past and today’s “get on the bus” Catholic administrators? Could it be the lack of vocations in convents? Those brave women, an army of God trained to raise up and educate those kids to do better? It’s difficult to imagine the spinster shrews who break into nuclear facilities inspiring any young woman to come to Jesus.

      • WRBaker

        The difference has probably always been the bishop and how really interested and committed to Catholic education he is.

        Most of the people at the diocesan education offices seem to stay in place for a long time, especially if education is not a bishop’s strong point – he thinks they’re doing an okay job, so why rock the boat? This allows favoritism to take place (teacher, principal, booksellers, etc) within the diocese. How a teacher becomes the superintendent overnight, why only certain teachers become principals and why there is a predominance of a certain company’s religion books within the diocese are examples of the questions that can be asked.

        Unfortunately, religion seems not to be the highest priority in some schools and dioceses – despite the lip service. “There’s too much religious stuff hanging in your room. You’re going to the church too often. Don’t teach altar serving to your students.” – all from a principal.

        Apologizing for Gospel readings, improperly dressed for Mass and ignoring the overt distain of the non-Catholic staff – all from priests.

        Ignoring Vocation Week and often ruling by diktat by the diocesan education office.

        These few examples are what is wrong – none of which have the students in mind nor, ultimately the Faith.

        • Pete

          Wasn’t St. John of the Cross that said:
          “The path to hell is paved with the skulls of priests.”

          • WRBaker

            Not to be left out (attributed, sometimes, to Dante):
            “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
            I sincerely believe that things must change and Catholic education is an important element for the Church’s survival.

            • Mr. Baker — oh dear, it seems you have gotten that quote from the execrable Dan Brown. Dante never said that, because he never believed that. Those who maintained their neutrality dwell in the vestibule of hell, where they chase after an empty banner and are stung by wasps and flies. They are contemptible — but they are by far not the worst of sinners. Brown makes up in stupidity what he lacks in style …. Please please take up the real Dante …

              • WRBaker

                Believe me, having taught religion I would never quote Dan Brown on ANYTHING – he caused me enough problems trying to explain to students that he didn’t know what he was talking about.
                The quote is sometimes also credited to JFK. I love the quote, but I’ll never credit Dante again. My apologies!

          • Allan

            I’ve read that St. John Chrysostom said, “The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.” Either way–yikes!

        • musicacre

          This is so sad. The schools should in all honesty, remove Catholic from the name of the school. They should be called, Anti-Catholic schools.

    • slainte

      If the quality and substance of Catholic education is gravely lacking or undermined by reason of the inadequacies or outright rebellion of individual clerics and parish administrators/teachers, maybe it is time for the Church to formulate a centralized approach and curriculum to teach the faith accurately.
      This would take the guess work out of what children are being taught in local parishes, and would also assure parents that their children were uniformally receiving proper catechesis in the Catholic faith.
      I recognize that this idea militates against the concept of “subsidiarity”, but as there seems to be a significant number of dissenting clerics and teachers at local levels imparting non-Catholic theology to naive children, maybe a centralized teaching model would be a starting point to minimize the damage done by these teachers.
      Fifty years (almost three generations) have passed since Catholics were properly catechized. Most parents of school aged children have not learned the fullness of the faith because they were not taught. Despite best efforts, they may not be prepared to adequately discern the accuracy of teachings or to separate truth from error.
      Maybe it’s time for Catholics to insist that their holy faith be taught properly to all who wish to learn it.

      • WRBaker

        There are multiple problems that would have to be dealt

        Religious education varies from school-to-school.

        Pre-Vatican II religion seemed to be somewhat standardized (there was no question about deviating from the Magisterium; teachers obviously
        and literally lived the Faith; and the Baltimore Catechism was a mainstay in how the Faith was presented (a book entitled, “Religion, Doctrine and Practice for Use in Catholic High Schools, published in 1926, is very similar to the Baltimore Catechism).

        Few religious are actually teaching anymore since Vatican II, so schools are forced to rely on lay teachers to fill the void. The depth of knowledge and the degree of conformance to the Magisterium of religion (et al) teachers is problematic and is compounded by the fact that not all administrators agree with Church teachings, (abortion, same-sex marriage, etc), as well.

        There is a proliferation of religion texts, most of which are of the touchy-feely type (as are the ones used in CCD), devoid of depth and wanting in the basic tenants of the Faith. Teachers have to supplement (a great way to use the Baltimore Catechism which, in my experience, students actually liked, but administrators hated). It’s easy to spot students who have an inadequate religion background in high school by the lack of depth they display.

        Perhaps a graduation test in religion might help, say 6th grade, 8th grade, 12th grade and in graduating from a Catholic college. Administrators (and not a few religion teachers) hate the thought of this because they would come face-to-face with how much their students don’t know, but should. Principals and diocesan offices would actually have to prove how Catholic their schools is/are. (This is not the ACRE test which has little depth and is taken in grades 5, 8 and 11).

        Parents are also a potential problem. Students hear what their parents say at home and often seem to agree with them (at least until they’re in high school, when they begin to know all things). Again, abortion, same-sex marriage, etc, are among the things that a student will state that they are in agreement with their parents about (which often shows how they were taught the Faith). Usually, this is because they have not been presented with Church teachings on the subject. Making it perfectly clear what the Church teaches AND WHY is so very important.

        There are many problems with at centralized system and just thinking that the USCCB would be involved should cause one to cringe. Remember this is the same group that undertook a ten year study of Catholic colleges and recently presented a lame report that said undetermined results are being made (it’s great to hear that schools like Notre Dame, Georgetown, Boston College, Loyola Marymount University, etc, are all in conformance with the Magisterium and are very
        Catholic now…not!).

        • slainte

          Thank you for your very thorough response. I have learned a great deal.

          Standardized pre Vatican II teaching unified Catholics and encouraged moral behaviour. That process should be replicated today. Our country needs good and moral people as does the Church.

          Pope Francis will need to assert his Authority and compel obedience from all clerics and lay people who teach or oversee the teaching of the faith.
          Our new pope has a lot on his hands. It’s a good thing that God is guiding him…there are many prodigal sons out there who need to come home, many of whom are high level clerics. Pope Francis must lead the way…this world needs a Good Shepard.

          • musicacre

            Great idea, why re-invent the wheel? Using the materials that were available before Vatican II would be a good start, in addition to the orthodox materials recently published by a number of small Catholic companies.

      • musicacre

        Have we all forgotten the efforts of JPII and others who brought us the Catechism of the Catholic Church, to be used by all Catholic bishops and teachers? They were given the tools, to go back to the truth and leave the gobbledygook behind, but there is the problem. They all refused; except a brave fringe….. So, the church DID formulate a centralized approach; the elite educationalists stuck their noses up at it. It didn’t sound complicated so it was below their standards. They were fooled not only by their incompetence, but by their massive pride. I like the fringe, that’s why we homeschool. There is good, honest company there, and refreshment from the ambiguities and insecurity of the religion-renovators.

  • CoastRanger

    I think I am as conservative as the next guy and fully committed to classical liberal arts education. I also don’t see a need for Common Core Standards for Catholic parochial and independent schools in the U.S., since our schools are already doing what CC wants done for all students. I’m also not for a national curriculum, especially one overseen by the federal government!

    That said, I think this article is baloney. It misrepresents what Common Core is all about,
    at least as far as the English language arts go. In good English classrooms both fiction and non-fiction works are already routinely read, and science and social studies courses require the ability to read non-fiction “informational” texts.

    I haven’t seen CC say anything about what students must read. That is up to the schools.

    Again, I am not for CC nor am I defending it. I personally think the core standards for English can be stated very simply and in a much more useful way for teachers. But I think this article is attacking a straw man.

    If someone can show me how CC would dumb-down or secularize a Catholic school,
    I’d be open to seeing how.

    • KRoll

      Curious to know your opinion on this 1st grade CCS

      • CoastRanger

        I just reviewed all the CC language arts first grade standards–something you should do before asking someone else to comment–and nothing like this is there. This “social engineering” being critiqued (I think rightly) by the video is the sin of this particular curriculum. Indoctrinating students in an ideology is not part of CC standards.

        • KRoll

          I do not know you, as you do not know me. I inquired what your thoughts were regarding this link. How it is you claim to know what research I have conducted and insinuate you are so much more educated than myself , I do not know. In fact, you have no idea. I can assure you it takes lots of time and more than just reading the standards. CC claims vs. reality are quite different and the manipulation of terms are quite interesting and the complexity can be overwhelming. However based on your arrogant, elitist tone to continue this dialogue is not worth my time nor worthy of a Christian. Very sad day for humanity.

          • CoastRanger

            This is weird. First, I’m called a wolf in sheep’s clothing by “Pete” for not agreeing the CC standards are downright evil, and then called arrogant and not Christian and causing a sad day for humanity by you. Geez.

            If it matters to you, why don’t you read the CC standards and decide for yourself if they are evil?

            I don’t personally support anybody adopting these standards (especially our Catholic schools) but there is nothing I’ve read in them that in any way requires what this video deplores. (NB: Every major textbook company is going to claim they are in conformity with the standards. Their curriculum is one thing; The standards are another.)

            In my experience as an educator, the CC language arts standards are similar to the kind of standards any good school would come up with on its own if it could put out the Herculean effort it takes to write down exactly what it does. In reality, any good school is probably too busy actually teaching kids to put them all in writing.

            Pax, KRoll.


              TROLL. KLINK.

        • sir michael Barberino

          Troll. KLINK.

    • Pete

      You are a wolf… sheep’s clothing.

      • CoastRanger

        Rather than making me the object of an ad hominem attack, why don’t you offer some evidence that the CC standards are harmful in themselves?

    • Alecto

      I believe you are missing the salient issue. It is not whether Common Core is “good”, “bad” or even “relevant”. It is that by adopting these standards dictated by a central authority, local schools lose at least some measure of local control. This is how we lose our identity, our liberty and our rights…gradually succumbing to central command and control. I and many others object to anyone telling a local school jurisdiction what their kids ought to learn.

      • CoastRanger

        I think your complaint should be directed at the authors of this article not at me!

        As for local control of public schools, are you certain your public school district actually has it and that it isn’t controlled in a thousand ways by the state board of education?

        But I agree with you 100% that every parish Catholic school and every local school district should have the maximum control they are capable of exercising. Subsidiarity.


          TROLL. KLINK, $$$$$. SHWING.

  • Steven Jonathan

    Excellentarticle Jane and Emmet!

    I think the battle for the public schools was lost long before the advent of the Common Core. We must war to recover the Catholic mind, heart and particularly the Catholic schools, many of which are hardly Catholic now in any meaningful sense. The real difficulty is that once a CINO is educated by the university they make an obstinate and formidable foe. The ignorance cultivated and misnamed “educated” is nearly invincible. Most Catholic school teachers I know are CINOs.

  • Rob Dvorak

    Unfortunately, the major premise of this article rests on a faulty assumption. The common core does not promote a movement from literature and fiction to technical writing and non fiction. What the common core is addressing is simply the need for students to read, across all disciplines, because quite frankly, they don’t. More specifically, the common core promotes the study of more complex literary texts (some of which were mentioned in this article and have served as the foundation of many catholic high schools across the nation already) No where is the skill of critically reading and evaluating complex texts more lacking than in the college classroom, where an unfortunate number of students who start do not finish with a degree. This is a problem, I think most reasonable people would agree, that needs to be addressed. I attended a catholic grade school and high school; I went to a catholic university for my undergraduate education and have taught English at 2 catholic high schools and 1 catholic university for the past 18 years. I value the power of catholic education because I have lived it, and in no way do I see the common core as a threat to our institutions. It is merely an initiative which serves no other purpose than to help our young people to become better students.

    • olivia

      respectfully Rob, we all see through it at this point.
      you are using propaganda talking points.
      your last line is the klinker.

      “It is merely an initiative which serves no other purpose than to help our young people to become better students.”

      really Rob? KLINK.

      • CoastRanger

        What is with all this “klink” stuff? What does “klink” mean?

    • lisa

      how much time have you spent in the public schools then? all they do is teach to the standardized tests, the kids learn the bare minimum period, they are not enlightened or enthusiastic about learning anymore

  • Deacon Ed Peitler

    I think we far too often miss the forest for the trees. When Barack Obama was first running for the presidency, he offered nothing more than platitudes about how he would govern. He offered us “hope” and “change.” Remember? We are now paying the price because those educated by government schools were unable to examine more closely the details of his life and philosophy…the company he kept and other peripheral information that would have adequately informed us that this was a dishonorable man likely to do dishonorable things in office. Do the words: Benghazi, IRS, and AP mean anything to you now?
    So, too, with Common Core. The very idea that some outside group commissioned by our trustworthy federal government would put together standards of academic excellence and serve our children sits well only for the very naïve. The American Catholic Church wrote the book on academic excellence. Why we would defer to any entity even vaguely associated with the federal government suggests to me that those working in the education departments of various chanceries are either not Catholic in their thinking or have not been exposed to academic rigor themselves. In many cases, it happens to be both!

    • Pete

      I was just saying yesterday at a large gathering…how….how….how…could anyone follow the “lead” of a so-called “government” that not only condones the slaughter of our most innocent human beings, the Unborn…but solidifies the horror of it by electing an evil person TWICE to be our “leader.” I want nothing to do with the current members of our government. The evils behind the current administration is one man, who voted 4 times, to “let the baby die” if they were to survive an abortion. He suggested we create “comfort rooms”…with rocking chairs, where nurses would be instructed to taking the dying child into this room and “rock them to death”…hold them…until they have died. He voted for this….4 times. What don’t you people get???

  • CoastRanger

    Here is a typical example of a CC standard (this one for writing for 8th graders). There is nothing “sinister” about it.

    1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

    a. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

    b. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.

    c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

    d. Establish and maintain a formal style.

    e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

    • b4u

      CoastRanger, how much do they pay you to disrupt blogger threads? is it the same pay as at the irs to illegally target patriots, connstitutionalist and Christians?

      • CoastRanger

        b4u why don’t you try reading the actual standards and make up your own mind? I’m a Roman Catholic and we prefer the truth to illusion.

  • Ronald Sevenster

    Why would Catholic educators voluntarily place their schools under the onerous federal yoke of the Common Core Standards? The answer is disconcertingly simple: Because, apart from very few exceptions, there are no Catholic educators and schools anymore. From a practical point of view it is clear that Catholicism has ceased to be a relevant cultural force since the Second Vatican Council. There’s hardly any cultural continuity between the Church as it was before Vaticanum II and the Church as it is now. The Catholic identity of schools and institutes of higher education has completely eroded. No wonder then that they are prepared to sacrifice themselves to secularist standards. They have forgotten who and what they are. And now they are prepared to join the leftist egalitarians.

    • Gail Finke

      Catholic schools became this way because that’s what the parents — who pay the bills — demanded. They became lower-cost private schools with a little Catholic flavor.

      • musicacre

        Think it’s too late for everyone to rally for vouchers? They cause a win-win situation. Everything becomes more competitive for those dollars. Get the word out on the street, until everyone is talking about it.

  • WRBaker

    Just read that Indiana has pulled out of Common Core for a number of reasons. A simple search should provide everyone with the details.

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  • Mary Wert

    Here are the “sexuality” standards for common core. Read them yourself. Print them. Take them to your priest, bishop, anyone who will listen and demand answers.

    • CoastRanger

      Mary, These have nothing to do with the Common Core standards this article is discussing.

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  • Gail Finke

    Two problems not mentioned here so far: 1) One reason, I think, that CC has a “trade school mentality” is that a large number of public schools don’t even prepare graduates for a trade, and 2) a large number of Catholic schools are ALREADY pretty much the same as public schools, but with a little religion thrown in. This project would never have happened if public schools were doing their jobs and Catholic schools were still Catholic. I’m not saying CC is good — I share a lot of the big concerns about it expressed here and elsewhere. But it’s not as if our schools have been doing great and someone decided to change them for no reason.

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  • Jenn

    Just knowing that the creators of this new curriculum are Bill and Linda Gates and a few other liberal bureaucrats – with absolutely no educational experience – is disturbing. Green-lighted by Obama and chock full of EPA and Planned Parenthood propaganda, this program will never touch MY children. Next year, like thousands of outraged parents, I am Catholic homeschooling all 4 of my children. Seton Home School has pledged not to align with CC. The best gift I can give to my children is to remove them from a government-run indoctrination center.

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  • abp

    The common core may not be a perfect system, but it aims to put these subject decision into the hands of the teachers, schools and states allowing them to determine what texts are appropriate reading, by setting only a level at which the text must adhere. Catholic schools will be allowed and expected to meet the basic requirements, but there is no prohibition on exceeding standards. There isn’t a day to day, verbatim curriculum that the teachers must follow. Our teacher will have as much latitude as they do now to infuse their classes with the same purposeful, mindful and spiritual guidance as they chose.

    To assume that just because a school is Catholic that they are meeting, much less exceeding, public school standards right now, is assuming a lot. In our area, although I feel the Catholic school does a very good job of taking care of their students, most children switching in elementary to the public school have a lot of catching up to do to get on par with the current public school standards.

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