Thursday, December 5, 2013

WaPo features our bishops: Catholics split over Common Core standards

Catholic educators, scholars and bishops are engaging in an increasingly vocal debate about the Common Core State Standards, with a major split developing between those who support the Core and those who don’t. More than 100 dioceses have already approved the standards for their Catholic schools, but others are rejecting them, including the Diocese of Madison in Wisconsin, which last week sent out a letter (see below) explaining why.

The division is underscored by a $100,007 (yes, $100,007) grant that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — which has heavily funded the Common Core initiative — awarded to the National Catholic Educational Association in September “to support trainings and provision of follow-up materials for teachers on implementing the Common Core State Standards.” The association has come under some criticism this year for its efforts to help Catholic schools implement the standards through an initiative that it established with Catholic educators called the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative, which, an association statement released last May says,

… provides resources to design and direct the implementation of Common Core within the culture and context of a Catholic school curriculum. Thus Catholic schools can infuse the standards with the faith, principles, values and social justice themes inherent in the mission of a Catholic school.

A month before that statement (see text below) was released, a Facebook page titled “Catholic School Parents Against CommonCore” was created last April.
continue at The Washington Post

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