I am writing to you because I am very concerned about the national reform called the Common Core Standards. I am a homeschool mom and this reform scares me. Common Core has the potential to make huge changes and consequences to our homeschool families. Let’s take a look at five ways this can affect us.
Currently, there are 45 states that have accepted the Race to the Top Grants to implement the Common Core Standards. Wisconsin is one of those states and has accepted 22.7 million dollars. The HSLDA has taken a strong side against the Common Core Standards. They believe that this is a push towards nationalized education and a national test. Considering that 87% of our students are under the mandates of Common Core, homeschoolers and private schools will be the only groups standing against the movement of a national curriculum and test. There will be continuous pressure for homeschool families to participate in these tests.
The loss of power at the local level is also a concern. The state of Wisconsin is now participating as a large consortia of 45 states. Each state is giving up their local power to work in this network. It is only a matter of time before Wisconsin will rewrite the state’s homeschooling law to agree with the collective. Chances are the national law will have more requirements for homeschoolers rather than less.
The Obama administration has shown little willingness to help the freedoms of homeschoolers. Recently, Eric Holder has been quoted, “There is no fundamental liberty to homeschool.” The German Romeike family has come to America to seek the right to freely teach their children as they see fit. They came to America looking for asylum and the Obama administration is showing signs that they will deport this family. Will Eric Holder use those same words towards American homeschoolers? Those words are a slippery slope and homeschools are sliding in the wrong direction.
Another concern is purchasing curriculum. I notice all the advertisements on the materials meet the new Common Core Standards. This movement is so strong that it has even embedded itself into homeschool teaching materials. We are unaware of the consequences that an unproven, untested set of standards will have our our children’s education. Yet, a homeschooler can not pick up and educational magazine, shop at a school store, or order materials from a reputable company without the words Common Core plastered all over it. One homeschool mother has dedicated an entire website to educating parents on what materials use Common Core Standards. Each day I read blog posts about homeschool families that are concerned about Common Core. I am not surprised by this. We are ususally the first defense to protect children’s rights and their educations. This is a war on the American family and the freedom to choose what is in the best interest of our own children.
Lastly, the SAT tests are a concern. The tests are being rewritten to meet the Common Core Standards. The College Board, which oversees SAT, helped develop the concepts behind the Common Core Standards. The College Board was one of the orginal five think tanks that gave America this reform from the top-down. Any homeschool student that wants to do well on his/her SAT will be forced to use curriculum that supports the Common Core Standards.
Fundamentally, the Common Core Standards go against every thing that I believe is good about American: freedom, liberty, and individualism. This is not the American way and it is not the homeschool way.