We, the undersigned parents, educators, grandparents and parishioners ask you to join us in petitioning the Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown to reject and stand firm in opposition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), (a.k.a. PA Core Standards) and to disassociate with the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII) that is supported and promoted by the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, of which Bishop Barres is a member, has said, "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 [Catholic] schools have resisted the need to adopt educational trends while addressing the ever-changing needs of children in education. We have tried to integrate the best in education while leaving behind what is not appropriate to the Church's educational mission."
The Common Core State Standards, developed mostly with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the National Governors Association (NGA), represent lower academic standards, are untested, experimental and have paved the way for a secularized curriculum and controversial teaching material in our Diocesan schools.
The Church recognizes the God-Given responsibility of parents to be the first educators of their children, and for our Bishop to assist in that responsibility. He employs the gifts and talents of parents and the professional educational community at all stages of establishing and operating Catholic schools at the local level. The instruction and formation in the Catholic school must be grounded in the principles of Catholic doctrine. Therefore we ask our Bishop to review in detail the material being promoted by the CCCII for the implementation of Common Core, as it distorts the Church’s teachings and does not allow Catholic school educators to fulfill their role and duty in guiding its students to discover the Truth and their highest potential as a whole person.
Furthermore, we ask that Bishop Barres set a strong example for other Dioceses across the country by publicly rejecting the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (a.k.a. PA Core Standards) and reject any current or future use of CCCII resources, training, and guidance for Diocesan educators.
We firmly believe that this is a significant opportunity for our Catholic schools to distinguish and differentiate themselves further from other school systems and will lead to a renewed support and enrollment from our local Catholic community and beyond. Catholic schools are an integral part of the New Evangelization and our schools are a critically important community by which our families are supported in living a life centered on God.
The Diocese of Allentown could be a true leader in the New Evangelization by rejecting and removing the Common Core State Standards (a.k.a. PA Core Standards) and curriculum from our Diocesan schools. As Bishop Fulton Sheen said many years ago “the refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision”. We see this as the great moral issue of our time, therefore if you agree with this petition, we invite you to join us and sign this petition.
Then, please share this petition with as many people as possible, and remember to keep our priests, religious sisters and Bishop in your prayers.
Thanks, God Bless and Keep the faith!
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