The following comes from a Nov. 18 email to Cal Catholic by Camille Giglio of California Life Advocates.
In my previous report on Common Core Educational Standards I included a section on an interview conducted during the Friday morning, 11:00 a.m., Bishop’s Hour Program on Immaculate Heart Radio, 1620 AM dial out of Sacramento, in which Rick Maya superintendent of the Sacramento Catholic Diocese was interviewed. The subject was the Acceptance by all California Diocesan school districts (10) of the Common Core State (education) Standards which, Mr Maya assured us, was in no way similar to the secular Common Core but would be “infused” with Catholic Principles. Common Core is, he acknowledged, the roadmap to a common core of standards, but the Catholic curriculum would be the route taken to attain that common core.
Apparently the Bishop’s Hour program received numerous unhappy responses to this announcement because last Friday, Nov 15, The assistant diocesan superintendent, Laurie Powers, was interviewed to reassure listeners that the education of their children was not a “political endeavour.”
Further, she emphatically stated that there was no government funding behind the acceptance of the Common Core Standards.
She did seem a little confused about one thing. She used the phrase “the whole person” as being the target for a Catholic education, yet did not seem to realize that that is also the mantra of the public education. She also seemed not to appreciate how impersonal and unfeeling it appears to use “person” rather than “child.” One wonders if she realized that the phrase the whole person/child indicates that the educational system is, just like the presuming to take over the total development of every aspect of an individual’s life, physical health, mental health, nutrition, social skills, workforce training and preparation?
In referring to reading literacy for the third grade she declared that there would be an emphasis on “informational reading” as well as the classics. Informational reading, as in the public schools, is utilitarian in nature. Children will read personal biographies and histories not for their literary skills, historic or creative sense but for the development of specific objectives pertaining to the training. For instance, if they were in a math class, they might read a book about a mathematician. If they were in a history class they might just be reading a book about Harvey Milk and his contribution to local history.
In the previous article I referred to above, a fourth grade public school class was reading the biography of Coretta Scott King. The class was being encouraged to draw from her life’s story certain values.
What modern day stories will the Catholic school kids read to obtain certain values? Will they read about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, George Washington Carver, St. Martin de Porres as examples of equitable justice or compassion?
The most unsettling statement Powers made was that in 1997 Catholic educators took a look at Catholic education, at least in California, and decided to develop curriculum based on the California state (public) school standards….
About 22 minutes into the interview Powers stated that it is the goal of a Catholic education as reflected in the statements of the National Catholic Education Association, to create the lawyers, doctors, politicians, teachers of twenty years from now.
The question is: Will these future entrants into the professional world have any soul left?
For more information, read the following:
Catholic scholars blast Common Core
In an unusual statement, 132 Catholic scholars wrote a statement highly critical of the Common Core, which they sent to every bishop in the nation. They urged the bishops not to adopt Common Core in Catholic schools and to withdraw it where it had been adopted. They conclude that the Common Core standards are designed as standardized workforce training, doing nothing to shape and inspire the hearts and minds of children.