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N.C. Catholic Bishops’ bad call on public school curricula

North Carolina’s Catholic bishops are overwrought about proposed new language for a nonexistent civics and economics textbook, CNA reports.

Bishop of Raleigh Michael F. Burbidge and Bishop of Charlotte Peter J. Jugis sent a Feb. 11 letter to the state’s Catholics referring to “draft text that is being proposed for a revised textbook on Civics and Economics,” although they are actually taking issue with the language of curriculum standards for Social Studies, Civics and Economics [.pdf]. Not a textbook.

Even so, the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh reports in its News section:

The proposed text asserts that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized abortion and struck down state and federal laws that regulated and limited access to abortion, is an example of how the Supreme Court has upheld rights against oppressive government. The implication of this proposed text is that opposition to Roe v. Wade is wrong.

The language over which they are hyperventilating, and over which North Carolina’s right-wing Civitas Review waxed righteous before them, is in fact a well-accepted example of U.S. Supreme Court actions upholding individual rights and overruling oppressive government. That general language is so frequently used to define that topic in text books, law review articles, Constitutional Law coursework descriptions and the like that Google search on it returns 4,700,000 (four million, seven hundred thousand) hits.

Specifically, the version we searched on is:

Using three Supreme Court Cases (e.g., Brown v Board, Roe v Wade, Korematsu v US) as support explain how the US Supreme Court has upheld rights against oppressive government?

The bishops’ letter also said comments are closed tomorrow (Feb. 15), and that is incorrect as well. The State Board of Education, Department of Public Instruction has announced via its Web site:

The deadline for feedback on 1.0 has been extended through March 2nd, 2010.

The bishops and Civitas are objecting to a curriculum standard which requires, as it should, honest and accurate student understanding of the law of the land, because they disagree with the law. Not because the curriculum actually errs.

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February 15, 2010 - Posted by | Catholic, Education | , , , ,

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