The proponents believe that national standards, or common state standards, will increase school readiness, increase academic proficiency, and better prepare students for life and the workforce. The common standards are not stand-alone: many of their proponents call for aligning curriculum from pre-kindergarten through graduation from college, so-called “p–16.” Others call for even more drastic intervention in the lives of students and families: place children from birth until graduation from college into government run programs and schools. We believe that this threatens parental rights and ultimately, homeschool freedom.I'm glad to know that HSLDA is on alert but where have they been? The e-alert is dated March 31 and public commentary ends tomorrow, April 2! That's not a whole lot of time. Informing and alerting the various committees and state officials should have been happening much sooner. Many states are already implementing much of the reform in order to increase their chance at obtaining federal funds. And as we can all observe, Congress isn't sitting idle either. They're very willing and eager to implement Obama's blueprint.
Already, one key component of the "P-16" cradle-to-college curriculum alignment was passed as a part of health care bill -- student loans. The federal government will now administer all college loans. Remember, he who holds the purse holds the power and can impose mandates upon the public. I have little doubt that obtaining a credentialed diploma using core national curricula will one day be a part of the federal loan application and approval process.
Homeschoolers who do not have the requisite credential on their diploma proving completion of a "rigorous" curriculum will likely be denied college aid. I'm not advocating that a student go into to debt to go to college, but certainly they should be the one to decide and not be denied simply because they were homeschooled using Bob Jones and not a "state approved" curriculum.
If you think that's far-fetched, consider a case I first blogged about in August of 2005 involving Christian students who were denied admission to the University of California because UC did not consider the students to have completed the requisite courses for admission. In January of this year, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the University of California's right to deny admission. The students completed a variety of courses using books published by Bob Jones and A Beka. This is the same curricula used by many homeschoolers.
As homeschoolers, it's incumbent upon us to stay alert and informed and not simply rely on any one organization to do it all for us. The job is too big and the future to important to let down our guard and think this will never happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave.