Thank you all for your wonderful comments, emails, and facebook messages regarding our post on the Common Core Curriculum (What is Happening To You Child’s Education? The Dangers of Common Core). I had planned on putting the information out there and then moving on with our homeschooling series. I have some fantastic posts by our guest bloggers in the cue, waiting to be published, but I feel like there needs to be a brief follow-up to our introduction on the Common Core.
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 – 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. I want to, as succintly as possible, answer some of these…
The Common Core is being introduced into the PUBLIC school, so if I’m homeschooling, I don’t need to worry, right?
WRONG. The CC is being adopted by 45 of the 50 states, including the District of Columbia, and it’s goal is NOT educational excellence. One look at the standards and examples that we detailed in our previous post will undeniably confirm that. The goal of Common Core is CONTROL. 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 the State government, not the Federal government. If the States decide not to adopt CC, they will not be granted federal dollars, so although it’s not a mandate, it’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 I’m not worried. My child will do fine on the tests.
Although it’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. Standardized testing is slated to be reformatted and rewritten, so we’re talking about a totally different measure of scope and sequence. For example, math problems, as formed by the CC, are based on mental and verbal math; the emphasis is now on the process, not the answer. 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. If your homeschooled Senior can successfully complete complex mathematical algorithms but he is unable to explain how he got his answer, he will not pass.
Additionally, the literature requirements are changing significantly. Non-fiction/manuals are now required to compose 70% of your child’s “literature” by the time they graduate, and English/Language Arts classes must maintain a 50/50 split (non-fiction/fiction) ratio during the semesters. Here is a sample of the suggested reading within the CC:
Petroski, Henry. “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag.”
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. “Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control.”
U.S. General Services Administration. Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management
Gawande, Atul. “The Cost Conundrum: Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas.”
As enlightening as they may be, we’ll be tossing out many of the traditional classics in lieu of “The Evolution Of The Grocery Bag”. Therefore, as homeschoolers, if we haven’t been reading the above list with our Seniors, they have no hope of passing the SATs or GEDs, because we’re talking about two completely different lists of topics and material.
But as a homeschooler, I get to choose my own curriculum, so it’s my decision what my children will read and study.
True, for now. 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. For a very thorough and growing list, check out the curriculum updates on The Educational Freedom Coalition.
My homeschool curriculum DOES align with the Common Core Standards but it’s great material and it really works for our family. I don’t want to switch.
This has been the comment that I hear the most and ultimately this is a personal decision. I will tell you what MY family is doing and how we reached this decision. Approximately 30% of the material that I currently use for our Kindergartener and 2nd grader are listed as being explicitly aligned with CC. I had no idea and was, to be quite frank, shocked, to see many of my favorite curricula and publishers listed among those that have joined with the CC curriculum.
My family is standing up to this via the Free Market. I will be sad to switch many of our books out for next year, but I, PERSONALLY, cannot in good conscience grant business or endorsement to those companies that have explicitly aligned themselves with anti-Constitutional ideology. Our family is choosing to make this sacrifice, as disheartening as it is, based solely on principle. In all honesty, at the early elementary levels in our math and phonics (the two core subjects in which we use CC material, unknowingly) I don’t see a huge red flag, but I can definitely see a slow change in the method of thinking that those books are seeking to shape in my children. I can see the framework in the methodology that is being laid now in preparation for five or six years down the road.
I know many of us like to stay away from politics, but we no longer have that luxury. Don’t resign in fear.
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. There is no logical or logistical way that we would all conform to the same curricula.
It’s true that it’s not logical, but there’s more to CC than meets the eye. Remember, the goal is not about streamlining or fairness. It’s about control. Please realize that our current administration does not look favorably on homeschoolers.
Most recently, a German family was granted political asylum because they wanted to homeschool their children but it is outlawed in Germany (based on a law written by Hitler that was never revoked regarding disposing of minority political and religious groups). They were granted asylum in 2010 by an immigration judge, but most recently, our Department of Homeland Security is taking them back to court to revoke their asylum, stating, “that homeschooling is not a fundamental right”. Our government is saying that the choice of how and where to educate our children is no longer our right.
Please, continue to read up on the Common Core Standards and the position that our current administration is taking on education (see resources at the bottom).
Mothers, we hold the key to our Country in our hands every morning when we wipe their faces and get them ready for school, whether that’s on the couch or via the big yellow bus. We can no longer take this for granted. If we mothers stand up, Core Curriculum will end. Don’t ever take this for granted.
For further reading:
A Response to President Obama’s New State Standards for Education (from Classical Conversations)