October 19, 2021

Nationalizing Education

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a misnomer; it is, in fact, an effort to nationalize education. Because it would be unconstitutional for the U.S. Department of Education to standardize education, the private Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded development of the Standards and bought cooperation from the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. But the Obama administration has also played a major role in persuading states to quickly embrace the untested Common Core by offering federal grants for compliance.

What does this have to do with Catholic schools?  Although free to maintain their own standards, Catholic school leaders are concerned about being left behind, because their states and most of the nationally benchmarked tests are conforming to the Common Core. The result, if unchecked, will be a national and largely voluntary compliance with standards that are academically flawed, untested and not focused on the core mission of Catholic schools.

Catholics believe in the principle of subsidiarity. As the center of authority moves away from local control, so too does the ability for input to be provided by those who are closest to the students being educated. That is why parents are the primary educators of their children: “Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators”.
(Cfr. II Vatican Council, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, 1965, n. 3)