Washington D.C., Nov 7, 2013 / 05:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 130 leading Catholic scholars have signed a letter to the U.S. bishops criticizing the Common Core State Standards for school curricula, warning that the core philosophy will “undermine Catholic education.”
“We believe that implementing Common Core would be a grave disservice to Catholic education in America,” said the Oct. 16 letter, organized by Notre Dame Law School professor Gerard Bradley.
The scholars said they are convinced that the Common Core standards are “so deeply flawed” that they should not be adopted by Catholic schools and that those which have endorsed the standards should “seek an orderly withdrawal now.”
The Common Core State Standards were created with the intention of setting uniform educational standards across various U.S. states. The effort to create the standards originated with the National Governors’ Association and the school superintendent leadership organization, the Council of Chief State School Officers.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has become a major backer of the project, giving more than $160 million to develop and promote it, Politico reports. The Obama administration has also created strong monetary incentives for states to adopt the curriculum.
Since 2010, more than 100 Catholic dioceses have decided to implement the Common Core curriculum, as have 45 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
In some cases, Catholic schools are following the lead of state law. In Indiana, Catholic schools had to adopt the Common Core because state vouchers are available to religious schools only if they adopt state standards, National Review Online reported in May.
The Catholic scholars’ letter, sent to every bishop in the U.S., said the curriculum lacks “America’s Catholic schools’ rich tradition of helping to form children’s hearts and minds.”
“In that tradition,” they wrote, “education brings children to the Word of God. It provides students with a sound foundation of knowledge and sharpens their faculties of reason. It nurtures the child’s natural openness to truth and beauty, his moral goodness, and his longing for the infinite and happiness.”
“Education in this tradition forms men and women capable of discerning and pursuing their path in life and who stand ready to defend truth, their church, their families, and their country.”
By contrast, they said, Common Core is “a recipe for standardized workforce preparation” that “shortchanges” the goals of Catholic education.
The curriculum’s Catholic critics include Robert George of Princeton University, Anthony Esolen of Providence College, Scott Hahn of the (Read More)