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Monday, April 15, 2013

Should Homeschoolers Be Concerned About Common Core?

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This weekend I attended a Common Core "State" Standards Informational Meeting. Representatives from: American Principles Project, Pioneer Institute, and The Heartland Institute explained the background on Common Core and the detrimental changes which will occur if implemented. Meetings were held in three major cities in Ohio with over 1,000 in attendance according to Ohioans Against Common Core.

I had first heard about Common Core from a friend of mine whose children attend public school. She is a mother who is actively involved in her children's education. When she spoke to me about some of the changes which were going to be implemented once Common Core was put in to place, I didn't think of it as being anything more than another "school" change, one that would hopefully be for the better. It never crossed my mind that this change may be something that I, as a homeschooler, would ever have to be concerned about.

Recently, I began to take more of an interest on this subject after a homeschool friend of mine sent me a link to the following video by StopCommonCore.com:



After watching this video I decided I wanted to learn more about Common Core which is why I attended the informational meeting. I wanted to know why, or if, this was something that as a homeschooler I should be concerned about. This is what I learned about Common Core:
  1. Lower Academic Quality both in English Language Arts and in Mathematics - Classics such as Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick, or stories written by Dickens will not be included in the curriculum. Algebra will be moved from being taught in 8th grade to being taught in 9th grade which means the large majority of children will not be able to do calculus in high school, as expected by some colleges.

  2. Legality Problems - By implementing Common Core three federal laws that prohibit the Federal Government from controlling Standards, Testing, and Curriculum at the state level have been broken.

  3. It will cost states about $16 billion and we don't know how this is going to be paid.

  4. This affects public, private, and charter schools.

  5. Because every school will be mandated to teach the same thing it will cut school choice.
Each of these points is discussed in the following video:


As I did some more research I learned that according to WeAreTeachers.com, "Only 1 in 5 say their students' parents are aware of the Common Core." I can't help but wonder, why are parents not being told about this important change taking place in their children's education?

And then there's the Data Collection for "educational purposes". Information such as social security numbers, blood type, family voting status, religion, medical information, family income, and more is being collected on each student and can be obtained WITHOUT the parent's consent. This information can be accessed by the federal government. (Note: There is a form you can fill out if you want to opt out of this database. Click here.)

Okay, so why would any of this affect a homeschooler? Should we be concerned about Common Core? Here are some things to think about in answering this question:
  1. If your child participates in ANY public or private school activity, their information is now part of the school's Data Collection which means the government now has access to your child's information.

  2. Publishers may have to change their curriculum in order to align with Common Core meaning your child will now be taught the SAME thing as public/private/charter school students. If it's accurate that the quality of these new standards is poor this is something you may not appreciate.

  3. Could the government someday mandate that ALL curriculum publishers align their curriculum with Common Core?

  4. SAT/ACT tests will also have to be revised to align with Common Core. Homeschool students take SAT and ACT tests so this will affect what they learn in order to pass these tests.

  5. Someone is going to have to pay for the implementation and upkeep of Common Core. As a taxpayer, could that someone be you?

  6. The Federal Government is now involved in our children's education. Are you familiar with the Romeike case - the German homeschool family who fled to the United States for political asylum because it is unlawful to homeschool in Germany? This is a family who was threatened by their government with the possibility of having their children taken away if they didn't stop homeschooling. Do we really want our Federal Government to be involved in our children's education? 
Between 45 and 46 states have already accepted Common Core. Most of these states accepted it before they even knew what would be included in Common Core due to the Race to the Top program in which states were promised funds and vouchers if they accepted Common Core. Ohio is one of these states. In fact, there will be a meeting to vote on the state's budget. According to Ohioans Against Common Core, "The language to legislate the PARCC Assessments into law is in Governor Kasich’s Education Budget, HB59 – Section 263.70. We must demand that the Finance Committee along with the House Republicans pull this section from the budget before the full House vote. The vote is expected TODAY (4/16/13) at 1:00 p.m. Please call now and help put the brakes on CCS implementation in Ohio." You can learn more about this here.

If you live in Ohio and want to help remove Section 263.70 from HB59, please call Chairman Ron Amstutz at (614) 466-1474.

Thank you for reading this far. From the informational meeting I learned that the subject of Common Core can turn into a heated debate as there are people on both sides of the fence on this issue. What side of the fence are you on?


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