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Local opinion columnists

Common Core a disaster for Catholic schools

By From page A8 | July 06, 2013

This is one of those “good news, bad news” columns. I’ll start with the bad news, because the bad is worse than the good is good. It’s about Common Core, the new nationalized education program.

For many of you it will be very personal. It will require you to make decisions you never thought you would have to make. It starts with what I believe to be the death of quality Catholic education in most of America.

A parent of one of the children in a local Catholic school came to me with tears in her eyes. She told me that more than 100 dioceses had agreed to adopt the Common Core State Standards in their schools. The school her child attends is in the Sacramento Diocese, which encompasses 20 Northern California counties. The entire Sacramento Diocese has embraced Common Core, which becomes effective next school year.

To give you a better idea of the scope of the Common Core decision, you need to know that there are only 12 dioceses in all of California. Apparently, the Oakland Diocese is one of the very few that has not adopted Common Core. So, if you are sending a child to a Catholic school in any one of these counties (including Napa, Solano and Sacramento), you have time to look for other schools which retain the moral, ethical and academic qualities that Catholic schools have earned in the past. Save your money. There’s no point in sacrificing to send your children to schools with the same standards as public schools.

An article titled “Saving the Uncommon Core of Catholic Education” in the May 17 edition of Crisis, the Catholic laity magazine, tells the story. Authors Jane Robbins and Emmett McGroary write, “As Catholic institutions have come under almost unprecedented pressure from government to trim their religious and social missions, it seems incredible that Catholic educators would consider voluntarily placing their schools under an onerous federal yoke. But that incongruous prospect may be nearing reality as more than 100 Catholic dioceses have signed onto the Common Core Standards Initiative (CC).”

The entire article is available at www.crisismagazine.com/2013/saving-the-uncommon-core-of-catholic-education. Robbins and McGroarty are executives with the American Principles Project.

If you are Catholic and want to keep quality Catholic education, tell your priest and the bishop. If you are not a Catholic and want a quality Catholic education for your children, talk to the bishop. Common Core and quality are not compatible.

If you stay silent, you will have given up your right to have a say in your child’s education. Here are some contact numbers: Bishop Jaime Soto, 916-733-0100; Bishop Emeritus Francis A. Quinn, 916-733-0100; Bishop Emeritus William Weigand, 916-733-0100. Call all three.

Ready for some good news? Here it is.

Rep. Martha Roby and committee chairman John Kline introduced the Student Success Act of 2013, HR 5. It went to the Education and the Workforce Committee on June 6 and is in the markup stage. It is a revision of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind). It returns much of the control of education to school districts and to states. A few specifics are that it:

  • Returns the authority of measuring student performance to the state.
  • Gives states the authority to develop school improvement strategies and rewards.
  • Repeals “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirements in favor of state-local designed evaluation systems.
  • Eliminates more than 70 federal programs to promote a more appropriate federal role in education.
  • Supports parents’ ability to choose magnet schools.
  • Consolidates many federal programs into a single grant program to support local priorities.
  • Protects state and local authority over decisions in the classroom.

If you want to know more, Google “HR5 student success act.” If you want to support this legislation, call Kline at 202-225-4527. Your call can make a difference.

Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or [email protected]

Murray Bass


Discussion | 33 comments

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  • Jason KnowlesJuly 06, 2013 - 8:57 am

    What the Catholic Church fears is creating children who can think for themselves. With the critical thinking analysis that the Common Core standards envision, students will look at the Bible, the writings of Thomas Aquinas, and papal fiats and realize what a load of crap it all is. I spent 8 years in Catholic school and speak from first hand experience. The CC standards will have no bearing on any moral teachings that Catholic schools inject into their lessons. None. The reason that Catholic schools embraced CC standards is they need the federal money. Enrollment at Catholic schools is incredibly low, down 22% in the last decade. Child abuse scandals and people disenchanted with this anachronistic institution are at the root of why Catholic schools have this problem. CC is tied to some funding and they are going to grab what they can. Once again, Bass shows that he has no grasp of what the CC standards are about. He and the other Tea Party types are spreading paranoia and fear, hoping the sheep will swallow it. With the critical thinking and analysis of Common Core, people will be able to see through this ignorance and think for themselves.

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  • Murray BassJuly 06, 2013 - 11:42 am

    Jason, I have spent hundresds of hours reviewing common core , what it is and what it is not. I suggest you take a few minutes to look at Common core. It does not encourage independet thinking and analysis. It creates sheep. trips parents of ANY real say in the education of their children. . Does not prepare childrn for universities (community colleges, yes) Is both illegal and uncdonstitutional.Academically, Catholic schools have done a better job than mst public schools. At a cost.Jason(D) do your homework before you mouth of to someone who has.

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  • Aimee ResnickJuly 06, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    Mr. Bass, how do you know Mr. Knowles has not done research about Common Core? Have you come to this conclusion because he challenges your opinion? I have had the privilege of working with Mr. Knowles as Social Science TEACHER. in Fairfield. Mr. Bass, you may have spent a ton of hours researching the Common Core, but did you ever ask any teachers how it will change the content in the classroom? I do not know if you are a teacher, but one part of the picture you may have missed out on that Mr. Knowles hasn't is official training about Common Core and how to implement in te classroom. Kncator i

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  • Murray BassJuly 06, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    I know he didn't check it out because he only parroted the common core sale material. And he has Tea Party on the brain. Teachers know only what the feds, State and the Districts want them to know. . They are stuck. they don't have any choices. Jason is a good guy but is totally ignorant about the real issues in Common Core. Has anyone checked out thelinks I gave you? No. All I get is a seat of the pants response. And the seat knows less than nothing.Jason's seatt is no brighter than yours or mine.

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  • FibberJuly 06, 2013 - 1:43 pm

    Jason: If the Common Core standards are so wonderful, why did the committee setting standards for mathematics have only one trained mathematician and he refused to sign off on the end product because he believed it was so flawed? Any ideas from you?

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  • Mel AmatoNovember 14, 2014 - 7:30 pm

    There is no financial incentive for Catholic schools to adopt common core. The federal financial incentives are only offered to public schools. There actually is a financial disincentive. Parents pay a sizeable tuition to send their children to a Catholic school because of well above average achievement test scores, graduation rates, entry into college and superior academic performance in college. If the Catholic schools assess their performance and adapt their curriculum to Common Core standards, why should parent pay high tuitions to send their children to a Catholic school when they cab obtain the same curriculum and standards at a no cost, public school?. Common Core may actually decrease enrollment in Catholic schools which are presently struggling with declining enrollments.

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  • Danny BuntinJuly 06, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    "A parent of one of the children in a local Catholic school came to me with tears in her eyes. She told me that more than 100 dioceses had agreed to adopt the Common Core State Standards in their schools." This sounds a little made up Murray, or at least a little embellishment from you. Do women normally walk up to you with their concerns? What was the context? Was this before or after you gave your opinion on the matter?

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  • Murray BassJuly 06, 2013 - 3:20 pm

    Danny, this hapens to be a friend. I woman I have worked with on different projects. And I have talked to the director of Education in the Sacr,emto Diocese. Just because you don't do your homework doesn't mean I don't do mine. You can check this out for yourself if you wish.Have you checked the links I gave you.?

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  • Murray BassJuly 06, 2013 - 4:22 pm

    One last comment for teachers. There is a teacher assessment element to commcn oore. If a teacher's stucents do not perform well on the student ssessments for two years, they are subject to dismissal regardless of what the union contract says. Ask the teachers in NYC how they feel about it. If you are a reacher in piblic or Catholic school, the feds are urinating on you and telling youits warm rain. Jason and Aimee are "Singin' in the rain" and ignoring the smell. I feel sorry for you. You will have to teach to the test and will have lost the real oportunity to teach which for many of you is life's reward. It's time to come in out of the rain.

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  • Danny BuntinJuly 06, 2013 - 6:52 pm

    Yes, I have checked the links and read the article twice. I could not find any reference to your quote of "As Catholic institutions have come under almost unprecedented pressure from government to trim their religious and social missions" in the article. Where are you getting this from? I am aware that the Catholic church believes it should not have to follow laws like the rest of us, but where does it state that they must remove/decrease religious teachings?

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  • Murray BassJuly 06, 2013 - 9:28 pm

    Jason is right about oney beig the great motivatir. . The quote was probably from the introduction. Rewards and ounishments are related to how close one complies with the standards as measured by the asessments, I have asked myself, what is the price of a Bishps soul/ Th irt pieces of electronic equipment. Nothing is free Dany. It is a simpe fact of our lives that if a man pays you to go to bed with him as Obama has done with Common Core, you would have to be pretty stupid or naive to believe you would be gettingup in the morning still a virgin.That Aint the Way our Government works.

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  • Danny BuntinJuly 06, 2013 - 10:57 pm

    I'm sorry Murray, your whole argument has fallen apart. You have now fallen back on Rich Giddens type drivel. Their is no smoking gun here. All I see is someone looking to muddy the waters, because you do not like the President for reasons that change on a daily basis. Their are plenty reasons for people to be upset at the course and decisions our President has made. But I am sick of this partisan "Throw something at the wall until it sticks" approach. It is childish, and does nothing to move us forward. If you think we have a liberal President, I thinks its time you have your "Common Core" senses checked for proper calibration.

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  • Murray BassJuly 07, 2013 - 6:50 am

    DAnny,you have missed the point altogether. I am not debating anything. Just stating the facts. You seem to be hung up on debating things and cleverly trying to win. Pay attention to the facts. As long as all you are doing is debting, you are and will be picking doo doo with the chickens. Stop trying to find holes in an arguemant when there is no arguement taking place. You are better than that.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 07, 2013 - 7:08 am

    Mr. Bass, truth is Sir, you wouldn't recognize a fact if it bit you. You have proven that time and time again with your woeful, misguided Conservative politics and now, your misrepresentations of Common Core. Teaching professionals have spoken out in support of this program in very large numbers all across the country. Your myopic vision and obvious disdain for the president have severely limited your good judgment.

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  • Murray BassJuly 07, 2013 - 9:29 am

    Hello purely partisan CD. Hope ypu are well. I see that you haven't bothered to find out anything about this subject either. You sing in the rain, too. The chief government pimps have sold out teachers and families to the Federal Government. They (you) are now a part of the Democrat_ stable for them to do with what they wish. As I said earlier. When the man pays you big buckks to go to bed with him. it's foolish to believe you are going to get out of bed in the morning still a virgin. The man ha paid the big bucks and you are in bed with him. . Tell me how youy feel inthe morning.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 07, 2013 - 9:35 am

    Mr. Bass as usual with you, I am sorry for wasting my time. Have a good day and mind the sharp objects.

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  • Murray BassJuly 07, 2013 - 9:55 am

    You obviously are very good at wasting your time to have arrived at this time and still no nothing but what the man tells you. Martin Luther King , Jr. said it best in his book Strength to love (1963 Available at Amazon for lesthan $20.00 "NOTHING IN ALL THE WORLD IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN SINCERE IGNORANCE AND CONSCIENTIOS STUPIDITY" You guys scare the heck out of me.

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  • StR @ Murray....I Love You MurrayJuly 07, 2013 - 9:59 am

    I agree they are all very scary.

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  • You Bring Me Joy.....Anita BakerJuly 07, 2013 - 10:03 am


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  • You Bring Me JoyJuly 07, 2013 - 10:09 am

    You bring me joy... When I'm down... Oh, so much joy... When I lose my way your love comes smiling on me.............. I saw your face... And then I knew... We would be friends... I was so afraid when your eyes, they'd say 'come to me'............... So I'd say to you... "Can we talk for a while? "... You'd say "alright"... When you love me, I smile... I feel you hands and you feel mine You bring me joy................ You bring me joy... Don't go too far away... If I can't see your face, I will remember your smile.............. But can this be right... Always said we'd be friends... I get lonely sometimes and I'm mixed up again... 'Cause you're the finest thing I've seen in all my life... You bring me joy............... My joy, my joy... Oh baby, this is gonna be what you wanted life to be... I just love you, I just love you, can't you see... That you're the finest I've seen in all my life... You bring me joy................. My joy... you're my joy... My joy... my, my joy............. Thank you, baby, thank you, baby... I just love you, baby... When I lose my way, your love comes smiling on me

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  • CD BrooksJuly 07, 2013 - 10:03 am

    I can't judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in. Charles Manson

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  • @CDJuly 07, 2013 - 10:05 am

    Do you agree with me that 9/11 was an inside job?

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  • Arrested Development Chicken DancesJuly 07, 2013 - 10:27 am


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  • Murray BassJuly 07, 2013 - 11:02 am

    Physical evdence soesn't seem to support the inside job theory.I don't knowenough to think otherwise. and I'm to busy ith trying to save the republic to get wrapped up in something that we can'tdo anything about, As Debra said " You can't unring a bell."

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  • Architects & Engineers - Solving the Mystery of WTC 7July 07, 2013 - 1:34 pm


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  • They R all in on it...Obama Warns Not To Challenge Official 9/11 StoryJuly 07, 2013 - 1:40 pm


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  • Murray BassJuly 07, 2013 - 10:53 am

    Cd.That's the problem. Many of you are not looking outside of yourselves. Frankly, I am driven to try to restore our Republic . Tough when many of you don't even know what the Republic is or what it was designied to be. . I'm an old guy who in a couple of years no one will know I was alive. The valure of my life wil be in what future generation do and believe because I was here. and, maybe that will be nothing. But that won't be because I haven't tried. . Nobody will know I was here. How about you?

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  • CD BrooksJuly 07, 2013 - 11:25 am

    Mr. Bass, I have never concerned myself with such things. I have made as good a life as I could manage for my wife and kids and their kids. Nothing else really matters.

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  • Yes let's just all put our heads in the sand till.....The Fall of the RepublicJuly 07, 2013 - 11:38 am


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  • ContinuedJuly 07, 2013 - 11:40 am

    Fall Of The Republic documents how an offshore corporate cartel is bankrupting the US economy by design. Leaders are now declaring that world government has arrived and that the dollar will be replaced by a new global currency............ President Obama has brazenly violated Article 1 Section 9 of the US Constitution by seating himself at the head of United Nations' Security Council, thus becoming the first US president to chair the world body............ A scientific dictatorship is in its final stages of completion, and laws protecting basic human rights are being abolished worldwide; an iron curtain of high-tech tyranny is now descending over the planet........... A worldwide regime controlled by an unelected corporate elite is implementing a planetary carbon tax system that will dominate all human activity and establish a system of neo-feudal slavery................. The image makers have carefully packaged Obama as the world's savior; he is the Trojan Horse manufactured to pacify the people just long enough for the globalists to complete their master plan................ This film reveals the architecture of the New World Order and what the power elite have in store for humanity. More importantly it communicates how We The People can retake control of our government, turn the criminal tide and bring the tyrants to justice.

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  • Murray BassJuly 07, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    I have advocated replacing the charges and indictments against King george with charges and indictments against King Obama and the complicitCongress. Throw the rascals out and start over gain with the sme Declaration. Unfortunately, that would porobably mean revolution, But revolution is better than slavery to a world King. The problem is we are all ready to bitch about it but very few are willing to do anything about it. Where are today's 56 men (and women) willing th pledge their fortunes, lives and sacred honor.? Go to patriot Post Cmmentary and click on my name. to see what I believe. If it's unconstitutional or illegal, don't comply. Massive civil disobedience. the only weapon the public has short of violent revolution. see what you think.

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  • Murray BassJuly 07, 2013 - 3:24 pm

    You don't care?

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