Pittsburgh, PA – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), the largest private professional education organization in the world (according to their website), had its first national conference on June 30, 2013 in Nashville, TN in support of the very controversial Common Core State Standards. The NCEA is actively promoting and marketing these Nationalized one-size fits all standards by providing teaching materials to Catholic Educators all over the country. They have formed a partnership with the Catholic School Standards Project, and have helped create a Catholic version of Common Core, called the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII). (Read article here)
The Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative. A curious if not oppositional idea. How does a Catholic education organization seek an identity through a set of secular achievement standards?
identity, n., The fact of being who or what a person or thing is: synonym oneness
ideology, n., A system of ideas and ideals, esp. one that forms the basis of economic or political policy: synonyms – beliefs, worldview, articles of faith
Is it possible to share an identity with a set of achievement standards? Clearly not.
Is it possible to share an identity with an ideology? Certainly.
Is it not reasonable to conclude the NCEA clearly understands that Common Core is much more than standards, and that a child’s faith can be re-identified through ideological instruction? Most definitely.
Common Core is an agenda, just the latest means to an ideological end. Case in point, the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative’s Exemplar – Grade 1 – World Communities Fiction Texts Unit Readings and Vocabulary includes the following selections:
The Family Book by Todd Parr - The Family Book celebrates the love we feel for our families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether you have two moms or two dads, a big family or a small family, a clean family or a messy one, Todd Parr assures readers that no matter what kind of family you have, every family is special in its own unique way. Parr’s message about the importance of embracing our differences is delivered in a playful way. With his trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes, this book will encourage children to ask questions about their own families. Perfect for young children just beginning to read, The Family Book is designed to encourage early literacy, enhance emotional development, celebrate multiculturalism, promote character growth, and strengthen family relationships.
Who’s In A Family? by Robert Skutch – Family is important, but who’s in a family? Why, the people who love you the most! This equal opportunity, open-minded picture book has no preconceptions about what makes a family a family. There’s even equal time given to some of children’s favorite animal families. With warm and inviting jewel-tone illustrations, this is a great book for that long talk with a little person on your lap.
All Kinds of Families by Norma Simon -Embracing the full spectrum of families, nuclear, traditional, adoptive, racial, and divorced households are represented in a lucid, contemporary style.
Odd that the Bible is not listed as a “reading unit” to support the teaching on marriage and family. Catholic doctrine teaches that marriage is defined as a man and woman and not subject to cultural definition. It is celebrated as the holiest of unions and a sacrament. It is incorrigible that the National Catholic Education Association would promote the incorporation of books that teach six-year olds that the sacrament of marriage and family should have “no preconceptions”, implying that such thought would be discriminatory. It is an abomination to the faith and scripture. All Catholic school tuition paying parents should be revolting. It’s long overdue.