MANASSAS, Va. – Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote in an article today, “[W]e do object to the tactics being used by paid advocates [of Common Core] to whip Catholics into line.” Donohue was commenting on the recent attempts by a Gates Foundation-funded organization to counter the declining support for the Common Core by “strong-arm[ing]” Catholic educators and opposing The Cardinal Newman Society, as was reported.

Sara Pruzin, a state operations associate for the Council for a Strong America (CSA) and former communications intern for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, recently contacted a Newman Society leader to rally Catholic support for the Common Core. She sent an email on August 28 to Dr. Daniel Guernsey, director of the Newman Society’s K-12 Education Programs, in which she claimed the Society was part of “strident attacks coming from parts of the Catholic community.”

The Society’s “Catholic Is Our Core” initiative explores the controversy surrounding the Common Core and helps Catholic families, educators and Church leaders to better understand the standards and protect the extraordinary legacy of Catholic schooling.

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In his article, Donohue took exception to CSA’s targeting of Catholic educators and organizations:

The Council for a Strong America (CSA) is pressuring Catholic educators to adopt Common Core. That wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t doing so at the behest of its benefactor, the Gates Foundation, or if it weren’t bashing the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), a respectable Catholic education non-profit, for opposing Common Core. But the fact is that CSA has received $1.7 million from the Gates Foundation, and its Florida office is hammering CNS for making “strident attacks” on the program. God forbid that Catholic schools exercise their independence by rejecting Common Core.

Donohue also observed that Catholic dioceses are already “having misgivings about [adopting the Common Core].”

“There is no end to the lobbyists, activists, researchers, unions, think tanks, and politicians who have been paid to get on board,” Donohue continued. They have “from the beginning acted more like salesmen than educators.”

Donohue writes about how the application of the Common Core has also been far from successful, arguing, “The implementation of Common Core in New York State, one of the first states to adopt it, is an abject failure: academic achievement is regressing.”

Donohue continued, “Whatever merits it may have, its most vociferous proponents are out of line when they try to strong-arm Catholic schools into accepting it.”

Authored by Justin Petrisek
Originally published here by Catholic Education Daily, an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society

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Published with permission