A big THANK YOU to all who turned out last Thursday evening for our public meeting. Our movement is growing and gaining momentum. It is encouraging to see new parents from other diocesen schools such as Saint Thomas More, Saint John Vianney, Central Catholic, Our Lady Of Perpetual Help, and more join our movement.
There is a lot to do over the coming weeks, but there is no time like the present. Many people ask what they can or should they do? As we discussed in the meeting, one of the first things you should do as a parent is get educated about the Common Core. There are many resources online. You can start by going to the Common Core website and learning about the curriculum. For us Catholics the Cardinal Newman Society (link is here) has created a special section on its website called Catholic is Our Core. Here you can learn a great deal about the origins of the Common Core, its goals and why its not compatible with our Catholic Schools. Perhaps the most valuable of all the material is the “10 Facts Every Catholic Should Know About the Common Core” This is an excellent resource and something you should familiarize yourself with and use for your talking points. The proponents of Common Core have theirs, well now we have ours!
Second on the to-do list is to call in to see your principle and discuss to what extent the Common Core (or PA Core standards, same thing) have been implemented or adopted into your schools curriculum. Ask for a copy of the schools curriculum guide. Your principle should have no problem giving you a copy of this for according to the USCCB FAQ on the Common Core “Parents are the first educators of their children as a God-given responsibility”.
It is also helpful to familiarize yourself with the Common Core FAQ produced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The link to the FAQ document is here. Its important to point out that this FAQ was published in April 2014 when many diocese had already REJECTED or adopted the Common Core in some form or other. Its also important to say that while the USCCB did not take a position on it and left the decision to the individual diocese, they do state that Catholic Schools are NOT required to adopt the Common Core and that “The CCSS was developed for a public school audience.But the CCSS is of its nature incomplete as it pertains to the Catholic school.Our schools have resisted the need to adopt educational trends while addressing the ever changing needs of children in education.”
We should also familiarize ourselves with the faithful in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. We here in the Allentown Diocese can take encouragement and lessons from our friends in the Diocese of Pittsburgh for their Office of Education had already started down the road to implement Common Core when their Bishop took a courageous stand and rejected it. On March 18, 2014, Bishop Zubik released a statement that made it clear that the Diocese of Pittsburgh will NOT be adopting Common Core. The link to Bishop Zubik’s statement is here and an article about it by the Cardinal Newman Society is here.
We pray that our Bishop, Most Rev John O. Barres is enlightened, has courage, and takes the courageous decision to reject the Common Core in our diocese!
Our Bishop needs our support and prayers. Which brings me to the final part of this evenings blog…he also needs to hear from parishioners, educators and most of all, parents of children in his Catholic Schools.
Therefore, please take the time to write to our Bishop, share with him your concerns, that this was not developed for Catholic Schools and that our Catholic Schools already have a superior product therefore we don’t need Common Core! You can do this by email, but there’s nothing quite like a printed, old fashioned letter. And this way, your’re sure it will be delivered!
Most Rev. John O. Barres,
Bishop of Allentown,
4029 W. Tilghman St. , P.O. Box F
Allentown, PA 18105-1538
Our next public meeting will be Thursday November 13th. For those of you who attended for the first time on October 30th, your mission is to recruit and bring along at least two additional parents to our next meeting! Details on that meeting will be posted on our website in the next few days!
Thanks, God Bless and keep the faith!