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Catholic schools & Common Core

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Letter to the Editor
Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

More than 100 Catholic dioceses across the country, including the Diocese of Pittsburgh, have adopted Common Core education standards. Some are beginning to use the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII) — the Catholic version of Common Core.

Proponents of CCCII say they're “getting on board” because textbooks, testing, assessments and teacher training are aligning with Common Core. This means the role of the Catholic school is cast aside for educational fads and pedagogical theories. Common Core could be the demise of Catholic schools, and I wonder if that is the intention.

It is confounding that Catholic schools, with so many decades of proven success, would adopt this experimental and unproven approach to teaching and learning.

CCCII contains a massive amount of materials and detailed teaching guidelines that use behavioral psychology methods and philosophies nearly identical to outcome-based education models that were broadly defeated in the 1990s. They include weeks of unit content by grade — including book lists for first grade that contain books referencing same-sex marriage and website links and books promoting social activism and the questioning of parental authority.

CCCII's resources distort the church's teachings on social justice. These “Catholic” materials will confuse children, teachers and parents about true Catholic teachings. Parents should be very judicious and diligent in reviewing their children's school materials and activities — something they probably never imagined when sending their children to a parochial school.

Look for some of the buzzwords — excellence, 21st-century skills, digital learning, rigor, relevance, outcomes. If you see those, it means Common Core is at or coming to your school.

Ann Hynds

Pine Township

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