That’s the headline of Anne Hendershott’s must-read piece in Crisis magazine on how Catholic schools across the country are overturning their curricula in the name of obedience to the Common Core initiative, which is nominally state-led but whose contents are effectively controlled by the federal government. Catholic schools are chucking their curricula for Common Core in large part because the organizations controlling the SAT, ACT and GED are all strutting around bragging that they’re all going to be super-duper “aligned” to Common Core, even though nobody really knows what that means at this point because the federally funded assessment consortia haven’t yet released their plans for what national Common Core testing will consist of.
Hendershott points out that in addition to ignoring the wishes of parents, as is also the case with the public schools, the unilateral adoption of Common Core by Catholic schools raises another concern: The bishops don’t seem even to have been consulted, much less have they approved the overturning of the curriculum. So much for religious freedom—it would appear that Catholic schools are now more responsive to the federal government than to the clerical hierarchy.
First Things readers may recall my argument from two years ago that nationalization of education through Common Core would reignite the culture wars. Sure enough, the conflict has become more and more obvious ever since. But I didn’t foresee that Common Core would make such swift headway subverting private, religious schools; that can only bring the conflict to a boil all the more swiftly.