Common Core & Catholic Education

What in the world is Common Core doing in our Catholic schools???

I was shocked and dismayed to learn that Common Core  had invaded our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg. No debate. No dissenting opinions sought. As with public schools, it was full steam ahead on this runaway train – let’s put it out there then we can find out what’s in it. The same run around and dismissal from those in authority as with public education. It’s here. We think it’s great. It’s staying. And there is nothing you can do about it. That’s the prevailing attitude of the Common Core courtiers.  I often compare it to being in an episode of The Twilight Zone …

We are in a battle to save Catholic education from  secular, modern cultural influence. Catholic schools in over 100 Dioceses signed on to Common Core State Standards, via the influence of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).

In a letter I sent to Livia Riley, Superintendent of Schools for Diocese of Harrisburg, I included a commentary that was  in the July 15, 2013 issue of The Catholic Witness, in which Father Quinlan was responding to President Obama’s disparaging statements in Ireland about the divisiveness of Catholic education. Father Quinlan said:

 “For over two centuries, Catholic schools have served the mission the Church envisioned for them … They have prepared young people to become leaders of the Church and civic community. … I respectfully submit that Catholic schools are in many ways the very glue that helps hold our American community together by helping to prepare well-educated and morally literate citizens.”

I would argue that Common Core is the solvent that will dissolve this glue.

Furthermore Father Quinlan references the Supreme Court case Pierce vs. the Society of Sisters (1925) where the court recognized the right of parents to raise and educate their children according to their faith, noting that “the child is not a creature of the state.”

I continue to pray that Bishop Gainer will recognize that Common Core does not belong in our Diocese schools. And as we have discovered in our journey, these issues are much bigger than Common Core. Regrettably, those of us who have contacted his office have received nothing more than a form letter expressing his support of the manner in which the Diocese, under the authority of Livia Riley, is adapting CC.

Getting rid of Common Core is just the beginning, not the end, of restoring Catholic education to be the beacon of hope for our youth, instead of following in the footsteps of failed state-run policies and programs.

See these great ‘No Catholic CC’ links!

Here are links to some excellent websites and articles written by people who say it so much better than I can why Common Core is incompatible with Catholic education:


Also, please visit our Facebook page: Harrisburg Catholics Against Common Core



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