NO ONE is exempt from the new federal power-grab over education, which is designed to force all states and schools to teach a government-approved (Marxist?) curriculum.
The CCSS removes education standards from the purview of state and local control to being controlled by unaccountable education policy experts sitting in a board room far removed from the parents, students, and teachers who are most critical to a childâ€™s educational success.
Will the CCSS Affect Homeschools?
The CCSS specifically do not apply to private or homeschools, unless they receive government dollars (online charter school programs have no such protection). However, HSLDA has serious concerns with the rush to adopt the CCSS. HSLDA has fought national education standards for the past two decades. Why? National standards lead to national curriculum and national tests, and subsequent pressure on homeschool students to be taught from the same curricula.
The College Boardâ€”the entity that created the PSAT and SATâ€”has already indicatedÂ that its signature college entrance exam will be aligned with the CCSS. And many homeschoolers worry that colleges and universities may look askance at homeschool graduates who apply for admission if their highschool transcripts are not aligned with the CCSS.
The more that I read and study, the more convinced I am of the extreme detriment that the Common Core (CC) poses, not just to our children and our educational system â€“ but to our country.
There are a few questions and comments that I have received this past week, some ranging from fear, and some from outright astonishment that I would even propose that CC presents a risk.Â I want to, as succintly as possible, answer some of theseâ€¦
The Common Core is being introduced into the PUBLIC school, so if Iâ€™m homeschooling, I donâ€™t need to worry, right?
WRONG.Â The CC is being adopted by 45 of the 50 states, including the District of Columbia, and itâ€™s goal is NOT educational excellence.Â One look at the standards and examples that we detailed inÂ our previous postÂ will undeniably confirm that.Â Â The goal of Common Core is CONTROL.Â The government is seeking to Nationalize educational standards, which goes COMPLETELY against that 10th Amendment of the Constitution, which outlines education as being within the scope of theÂ StateÂ government, not the Federal government. If the States decide not to adopt CC, they will not be granted federal dollars, so although itâ€™s not a mandate, itâ€™s a mob version of law via monetary coercion.
Furthermore, homeschoolers will eventually need to meet the same educational standard and use CC approved/aligned curricula because the SATs, State tests and GEDs will all be modified to fit the new CC standards.
But homeschoolers traditionally test higher in academics, so Iâ€™m not worried.Â My child will do fine on the tests.Â
Although itâ€™s true that homeschoolers traditionally, on average, test significantly higher than their publicly educated peers, this is not a safeguard given what is coming down the pipeline in terms of change. Â Standardized testing is slated to be reformatted and rewritten, so weâ€™re talking about a totally different measure of scope and sequence.Â For example, math problem, as formed by the CC, are based on mental and verbal math; the emphasis is now on theÂ process, not theÂ answer.Â Eventually, CC-educated students will be asked to verbally explain their method for solving the problem, regardless of whether or not the answer was correct.Â If your homeschooled Senior can successfully complete complex mathematical algorithms but he is unable toÂ explainÂ how he got his answer, he will not pass.
Additionally, the literature requirements are changing significantly.Â Non-fiction manuals are now required to compose 70% of your childâ€™s â€œliteratureâ€ by the time they graduate.Â Â Here is a sample of theÂ suggested readingÂ within the CC:
- Petroski, Henry. â€œThe Evolution of the Grocery Bag.â€
- California Invasive Plant Council. Invasive Plant Inventory
- Kurlansky, Mark. Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/U.S. Department of Energy. Recommended Levels of Insulation
- FedViews by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
- Calishain, Tara, and Rael Dornfest. Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Smarter Searching, 2nd Edition
- Fischetti, Mark. â€œWorking Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control.â€
- U.S. General Services Administration. Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management
- Gawande, Atul. â€œThe Cost Conundrum: Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas.â€
As enlightening as they may be, weâ€™ll be tossing out â€œTo Kill A Mockingbirdâ€, â€œThe Scarlet Letterâ€ , Shakespeare and many other classics in lieu of â€œThe Evolution Of The Grocery Bagâ€.Â Therefore, as homeschoolers, if we havenâ€™t been reading the above list with our Seniors, they have no hope of passing the SATs or GEDs, because weâ€™re talking about two completely different lists of topics and material.
But as a homeschooler, I get to choose my own curriculum, so itâ€™s my decision what my children will read and study.Â
True, for now.Â However, I was disheartened to see that many large homeschool publishers have already, or are planning to, rewrite their curriculum in order to meet CC standards.Â Â For a very thorough and growing list, check out the curriculum updates onÂ The Educational Freedom Coalition.