Anne Hendershott, professor of sociology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, said that “Catholic schools may lose control of the curriculum in their own schools,” if they adopt the Common Core State Standards, according to an article in Crisis Magazine.
Hendershott explains how the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) is stating that the federal government is not mandating curriculum—only standards—as a justification for the Common Core to be used in Catholic schools. In fact, a video on the NCEA’s website features the NCEA’s director of public policy, Sister Dale McDonald, who discusses “why it’s important for Catholic schools to get on board,” with Common Core. However, Hendershott says that this is not necessarily sound advice. She stated:
The truth is that standards drive the curriculum. Assessments always drive curriculum. When the federal government is developing the assessments, the curriculum will be created to prepare students to perform well on these assessments—and no matter what the NCEA’s Sr. McDonald says, Catholic schools may lose control of the curriculum in their own schools.
The Franciscan professor notes how Common Core is going to be promoted in Catholic schools, citing a Catholic Education Daily article on the National Catholic Education Association accepting more than $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the controversial standards in Catholic schools.
She also cites Catholic Education Daily in recognizing that there is a “powerful financial incentive” beyond the Gates Foundation Grant for the NCEA and other companies—including the William H. Sadlier Inc., a leading Catholic textbook publisher, and Riverside Publishing, a national testing company—to promote Common Core in Catholic schools.
The Franciscan University of Steubenville, where Hendershott teaches, is recommended in The Newman Guide for strong Catholic identity.
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.