16 October 2013

The Federal Takeover of Catholic Education

An interesting take over at Crisis Magazine about Common Core, the death spiral of Catholic education, stacks of cash, and the tactics of Saul Alinsky via plutocrat Bill Gates.


A recent poll by Phi Delta Kappa International and Gallup revealed that 62 percent of the population has never heard about the Common Core curriculum. Now that they are finally finding out about what can only be called a federal takeover of public education, it may be too late. The curriculum has been created, the books have been purchased, and the standards have been implemented. Assessment testing has already begun. Many are asking how something like this could happen without parental and local input. Others are wondering how education could have become federalized when there are already laws in place to prevent just such federal intervention?

The answer is that it was a stealthy appropriation by the federal government to take control of the curriculum in the local public schools—and now, in some private schools also. The federal takeover involved no parental input, and very little involvement by elected representatives. It had to be done covertly because there are indeed laws protecting states against unwanted federal intrusion into the educational curriculum of local school districts. The General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act all protect states against intrusion by the United States Department of Education. The problem is that the “intrusion” has not been entirely “unwanted” by state political leaders—especially the governors of each state. Enlisting the state governors as allies in the creation of the curriculum through the National Governor’s Association, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation used the lure of more than $150 million in grant money—and the promise of future federal funds—to convince the leaders of budget-strapped states to support the federal standards.

Working collaboratively with the Obama administration, the Gates Foundation helped to subsidize the creation of a national curriculum that has now been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. Endowing the creation of the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed an additional $76 million to support teachers in implementing the Common Core—a standardized national curriculum. This, on top of the more than 100 million they have already awarded to the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to develop the Common Core in the first place.

Although the Common Core was designed to address problems in the public schools, many Catholic schools have decided to adopt the Common Core standards also. Eager to share in the largesse of the Gates Foundation, and the promise of future federal funds, Catholic school superintendents from more than 100 Catholic dioceses across the nation have embraced the federal education standards. According to the National Catholic Register, the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), while not formally endorsing the Common Core, has been holding workshops on how to implement the standards in Catholic schools.


These angry sentiments are echoed by many other concerned parents. Most have said that they believe the Common Core will be detrimental to Catholic education—as Hynds said “Catholic educators all say how excellent Catholic education has always been.… So why are they doing this?”

That is a good question. While it is understandable that the governors were empowered to make the decision in collaboration with their school superintendents, it is less clear how Catholic school superintendents were empowered to make the decision about Common Core unilaterally. Many parents are asking whether their bishops were involved in the decision to implement the federal curriculum.

In other news, Missouri bishops are backing a school choice bill under consideration in the state legislature.

Catholic schools need money. Why? Lots of reasons, but at root, the problem is contraception by Catholics.

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