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Faith-based schools are threatened by the national scope of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which “will negatively affect the autonomy of these schools, chipping away at the religious freedom enjoyed by faith-based schools,” writes education policy expert Maureen Van Den Berg in a new report released today.
“The Common Core and the Private School: The Overreaching Effects of a National Standard” is the third of a series of reports published at CatholicIsOurCore.org, a Cardinal Newman Society project to analyze the CCSS and its potential impact on Catholic education. Van Den Berg is a policy analyst for the American Association of Christian Schools, which serves more than 100,000 students and teachers in member schools across the United States.
She writes about private, faith-based schools:
Van Den Berg argues that national standards impose a “one size fits all approach” and do little toward improving the overall academic achievement of students, but rather they lead to “mediocre academics and a ‘race to the middle.’”
Although the federal government firmly maintains that the Common Core is a “state” initiative, Van Den Berg shows that the Department of Education has used Race for the Top funds as a“dangling carrot” before 45 states and the District of Columbia, persuading them to accept “billions of dollars” to adopt the Common Core even before many details were announced.
The impact of the Common Core on private schools is already being felt, she writes:
Although the Common Core is intended to improve education, ultimately national standards will stifle innovation and limit the freedom that allows the best schools to succeed: