An initiative that endorses the Common Core standards in Catholic schools has quietly amended a first-grade unit plan, aligned with the new standards, resulting in the removal of three books that celebrate families headed by same-sex or divorced couples.
According to Crisis Magazine‘s Mary Jo Anderson, the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII), led by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), which has promoted the Common Core State Standards in Catholic schools, has removed The Family Book by Todd Parr and Who’s In A Family? by Robert Skutch from a recommended first-grade unit plan in English Language Arts following protests from parents.
In addition, the Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic education organization that is opposed to the Common Core standards in Catholic schools, identified a third book, All Kinds of Families by Norma Simon, that was also removed from the unit plan.
Cardinal Newman Society observes, “Although the CCCII’s original unit plan identified a revision date of July 2012, CCCII quietly removed the three books without acknowledging a new revision date in the current version or announcing the changes to the plan.”
Amazon.com’s description of Parr’s The Family Book states that it:
celebrates the love we feel for our families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether you have two moms or two dads, a big family or a small family, a clean family or a messy one, Todd Parr assures readers that no matter what kind of family you have, every family is special in its own unique way.
Amazon.com describes Skutch’s Who’s In A Family? as an “equal opportunity, open-minded picture book” that “has no preconceptions about what makes a family a family.”
Similarly, Simon’s All Kinds of Families is described as a book that “explores in words and pictures what a family is and how families vary in makeup and styles.”
In its Catechism, the Catholic Church defines a family:
A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated. (2202)
Despite significant controversy over the adoption of the Common Core standards in Catholic schools, CCCII and NCEA accepted over $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which heavily promotes both the standards and contraception and abortion globally.
Anne Hendershott, a Catholic scholar and professor of sociology at Franciscan University, also observed that the NCEA’s “gold and platinum textbook partners” include William H. Sadlier, Inc., a textbook company that will gain from its promise to provide teachers with class materials that will “prepare students for the 2014/2015 Common Core Assessments.”
In addition, as Cardinal Newman Society notes, of the 31 remaining books in the CCCII first-grade unit plan, only three books appear to be explicitly Christian, according to their titles: Child’s Guide to Baptism by Sue Stanton, My Baptism Book by Sophie Piper, and Stinkbug Saves the Day: The Parable of the Good Samaritan by Bill Myers.