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Whose  Authority  is  it  Anyway?     Where  are  the  Bishops?

  Common  Core  State  Standards  and  Catholic  Schools     By:  Righteous  Catholic  Mother  

  Anyone   know?   Because   I   still   do   not   have   any   answers.   The   deceit   and   circular   conversations   are   astounding.   I   am   angry   today.   I   am   angry   that   I   have   received   NO   clear   answers   to   any   of   my   questions   about   the   changes   that   are   taking   place   at   my   childrens’   Catholic   school.     Have   YOU   received   any   clear   answers?  Have  you  been  brushed  off  and  told,  “It  is  nothing  to  worry  about?”    The  Diocese  administrators   have   given   us   vague   snippets   of   what   their   real   intentions   are,   and   our   teachers   are   already   singing   the   praises  of  Common  Core.         I  am  angry  that  they  are  doing  this  to  us.  I  am  angry  that  by  failing  to  answer  our  questions,  they  are  putting   me  in  the  position  of  questioning  whether  or  not  Catholic  school  is  the  right  choice  for  our  children.     I  feel  lied  to.  I  feel  betrayed.    I  feel  very  sad.    I  don’t  want  to  send  our  kids  to  public  school.  I  believed  in  our   Catholic  schools.  I  feel  stuck.     The   conversations   we   have   had   are   mind   numbing   and   blurry.   The   changes   that   are   taking   place   are   not   clear   to   me   –   and   I   personally   have   confidence   in   my   knowledge   of   what   Common   Core   is   and   who   the   proponents   are,   both   secular   and   Catholic.     But   what   about   the   other   parents,   who   don’t   have   the   time   for   extensive  research,  who  look  to  their  teachers,  principals,  pastors,  superintendents  for  answers?  They  are   spoon-­‐fed  banalities  like  “CCSS  is  really  not  that  much  of  a  change”  and  “it’s  okay,  trust  us.”      I  feel  like  I  am   just  “being  tolerated”  by  the  administrators  of  our  Diocese,  and  that  they,  not  us,  are  the  primary  educators   of  our  children.  We  are  all  just  cogs  in  the  wheel  of  educational  reform…     The   conversations   feel   like     “Who’s   on   First”   banter   that   go   something   like   this   (I   combined   the   various   statements  made  by  various  people  into  one  conversation  to  highlight  the  inanity  of  it  all):     -­‐          “The  standards  are  rigorous…   o Wait   –   no   they   aren’t,   they   are   a   “minimum”   standard   –   as   Catholic   schools   have   always   been  EXCELLENT,  seeking  true  excellence,  and  maintaining  the  excellence  they  have  always   had,  don’t  you  know?   -­‐ The  Common  Core  is  voluntary…   o Well,   it   depends   on   how   you   define   voluntary   -­‐   the   teachers   are   required   to   attend   in-­‐ service   days   and   trainings   on   CC   and   everything   is   changing   –   all   around   you!   But   don’t   worry  about  it  –  it’s  voluntary,  depending  on  how  you  define  that.     -­‐ Oh  yes,  your  superintendent  (who  is  new  and  came  from  public  school)  understands  it  all,  and   made  the  decision…   o Oh  wait  –  he  knows  nothing  and  we  must  provide  resources  and  tools  and  guidelines  and   tools  so  that  you  can  infuse  Catholic  Identity  into  these  non-­‐Catholic  school  standards.     -­‐ It’s  a  fundamental  change  in  teaching  and  learning…   o But  truly–  it’s  really  just  the  NAME  and  “vocabulary”  of  the  lessons  that  are  changing.   -­‐ The  textbooks  are  all  changing….  




REALLY?   Last  I  checked,  it  was  the  Bishops  who  directed  Catholic  education.  Where  are  they  in  all  of  this?  I  am  angry   that  Bishops  are  nowhere  to  be  found.  Does  support  for  Common  Core  State  Standards  in  Catholic  schools   extend  all  the  way  up  to  the  USCCB?    Who  gave  the  superintendents  and  their  ally,  Sister  Dale  McDonald  of   the  NCEA,  the  authority  to  put  the  Common  Core  State  Standards  in  our  Catholic  schools?  Who  gave  them   the  authority  to  move  full  steam  ahead  on  ALL  of  it  and  never  include  the  parents?  Who  gave  the  NCEA  and   Loyola  University’s  Center  for  Catholic  School  Effectiveness  and  all  of  the  higher  education  elitists  who  sit   around  conference  room  tables  and  salivate  at  the  idea  of  FINALLY  being  able  to  push  forward  their   globalist,  progressive,  new  age,  pedagogy,  the  go-­‐ahead  to  experiment  on  our  kids?    And  who  is  writing  the   talking  points?  Why  do  all  of  our  Educators  and  Administrators  in  Catholic  schools  keep  quoting  THEM  and   not  our  Church  Leaders  –  our  Bishops?    

Well  –  maybe.    But  we  have  no  choice.  Wait,  NO  –  they  are  just  being  labeled  with  Common   Core  –  it’s  all  for  marketing,  you  see?  Move  along…   The  standards  ARE  NOT  a  curriculum…   o But     –   here   are   book   lists,   and   questions,   and   models,   and   websites,   and   videos,   and   guidelines,   and   models   and   diagrams   and   scripts…   and   everything   you   need   so   that   you   don’t   have   to   think   about   a   single   thing   when   you   implement   this   non-­‐curriculum   in   your   Catholic  schools…for  your  curriculum.     We  are  going  to  use  only  the  good  parts  of  Common  Core  and  align  it  with  Catholic  teachings…   o Oh   no,   don’t   worry   about   the   resources…   but   to   get   you   started,   here   are   some   books   with   same  –sex  marriage  references  for  the  little  ones,  books  with  links  to  (just   block  the  web  links  about  abortion,  euthanasia,  LGBT,  population  control,  and  transgender   issues   that   sort   of   sound   normal)…   and   yes,   some   social   activism   books   for   the   prepubescent,  and  we’ll  throw  in  the  Catholic  Youth  Bible  to  use  as  a  resource…  hey,  isn’t   this  great  –  we  are  bringing  back  some  banned  60’s  books  about  drug  use  and  sex    –  But   remember,  your  teachers  determine  the  books  and  they  really  just  don’t  matter.  The  only   thing  that  matters  is  JUSTICE.  Nothing  to  see  here…     The  Bishops  have  approved  it  and  are  ok  with  it,       o Uh,  well…  hmmm.    Where  are  they  anyway?”     o

And  yes,  it  IS  experimenting  –  digital  citizens,  essential  questions,  social  justice,  Skinner,  Bloom,  Dan  Pink,   LOTS  to  HOTS,  brain  compatible  learning,  assessments,  mission  driven  data,  21st  century  skills…     They  are  using  their  buzzwords  with  the  word  “excellent”  to  manipulate  us  and  make  us  feel  comfortable   and  safe.  But  who  is  telling  them  to  do  this?  Who’s  writing  those  talking  points?  Who’s  guiding  the  schools’   heads  to  give  elusive  answers  when  we  ask  questions?     It’s  all  one  big  deceitful  machine.  Who  is  in  Charge?  WHERE  ARE  THE  BISHOPS?       The  really  “excellent”  and  Catholic  thing  to  do  would  be  to  exemplify  the  Gospel  values  we  all  hold  dear  and   tell  the  truth.    Answer  our  questions.    We  as  Catholics  depend  on  and  seek  the  embodiment  of  Christ  in  our   Church   leaders.    This   “excellence”   you   put   forth   upon   our   children   is   not   the   excellence   by   which   you   were   called  to  in  your  Holy  life  and  we  Catholic  parents  need  to  hear  from  you  directly  why  you  have  (or  have   not)  authorized  the  NCEA  to  misdirect  the  education  of  our  children  -­‐   the  future  leaders  of  the  Church  and   the  sowers  of  Catholicism  for  all  of  humanity.  Speak  to  us!  Real  Catholic  parents  need  real  answers  now.   “The  Virtue  of  Justice  Demands  a  Response”.