Parents push to keep private Catholic schools independent
The new federal education standards – known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – which have been adopted by 45 states, have come increasingly under fire by Catholics concerned not only about their influence on academics as a whole, but also about potential conflicts with the faith.
Michael Tenore, a parent with children at a Catholic school in Norwood, Mass. is concerned about Catholic schools adopting and aligning themselves with the Common Core Standards, and is organizing various groups of Catholic parents opposed to them in Massachusetts.
Tenore outlined his objections.
“This is being pushed on the national level by the Obama administration,” Tenore told The Cardinal Newman Society. “The Gates Foundation has backed it, and I object to how it’s being implemented. It’s very controversial, yet there’s been little discussion of it. I’m concerned about an insidious agenda being pushed – such as population control – through the curriculum. This is going to weaken Catholic education.”
“Parents are upset,” said Tenore. “They’re saying, if you’re going to give me a public school education, we’re not going to pay $5,000 for that.”
He described it as “the Land O’ Lakes agreement for primary schools,” referencing the 1967 agreement that began the secularization of many Catholic institutions of higher education.
Charlotte Hays, reported for the National Catholic Register, that the National Catholic Education Association is helping Catholic schools prepare for CCSS implementation through the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative, and is hosting a June 30 – July 2 conference for Catholic educators on the initiative and how to introduce Catholic ideas into the curriculum.
A May National Review article outlined how Indiana Catholic mother, Erin Tuttle, fought CCSS after seeing the results in her son’s Catholic school third-grade math homework in 2011. She and fellow concerned mother Heather Crossin organized Hoosiers against Common Core, and were successful in having legislation proposed to block implementation of CCSS, legislation that was signed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
Inside Higher Education reported that Common Core Standards could also reach beyond K-12 education to impact placement testing and freshman curriculum.