Anti-Common Core Event Banned from Milwaukee Church’s Parish Hall

An event established to discuss the Common Core and its role in Catholic schools was barred from a parish after the superintendent of schools of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee discouraged them from hosting the event.

The Milwaukee chapter of Catholics United for the Faith has been forced to reschedule their upcoming lecture “Common Core: Dangers and Threats to Catholic Identity” with Dr. Duke Pesta, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh and a former Catholic high school teacher, from a parish hall to a nearby hotel.

The event was originally scheduled to take place on Nov. 17, 2013, at St. John the Evangelist's Church Hall in Wisconsin, according to the flyer from Catholics United for the Faith.

But last week, A.P. Szews, president of St. Gregory's VII chapter of Catholics United for the Faith, received a phone call alerting him that the event could no longer be held on parish property because of Dr. Pesta’s involvement.

Pesta, who is one of the foremost critics of the Common Core standards, testified last month against Common Core at a public hearing in Wisconsin and has been outspoken about the dangers of its use to Catholic identity in parochial schools. He even recently appeared on Relevant Radio’s nationally syndicated The Drew Mariani Show to discuss this issue.

Szews called the archdiocese shortly after receiving word that the event was banned from using the parish hall and received an email response from Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D., superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Catholic Education Daily has obtained that email.

Cepelka wrote that while she has no direct authority over the parish, she did say she had been asked about the event with Dr. Pesta. She wrote, “I discouraged having him speak at St. John’s because it’s my understanding that he has shared views in other places, which are contrary to the good faith efforts of St. John the Evangelist School and the entire Archdiocesan Schools program which attempts to provide the strongest academic program possible for our students.”
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