Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Employability Olympics

Many states are beginning the process of adopting national standards renamed Common Core State Standards to make them sound "state-led" as their new education standard. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has expressed her support for the standards in a video on the CCSSI website.
"I strongly support the Common Core State Standards Initiative because all students - all students - no matter where they live deserve access to rigorous, internationally benchmarked standards that is going to enable them to compete in the global economy. Common standards that are consistent across states that allow us to share best practices and better align resources within and across states." (emphasis added)
All students means all. Once these "best practices" are in place homeschoolers will eventually be forced into accepting the "internationally benchmarked" standards or be isolated from consideration in college and career placement necessary to compete in the global economy.

Diplomas will come with a distinction levels (gold, silver, or bronze) which, based on tests and curriculum, will indicate to universities and employers the student's academic level and their next step in the pathway from school to career and their aptitude at the "soft skills" necessary to compete in the global economy.

Here's a quote from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth that explains more about the credentialed diploma and what it will do.

"The Michigan Certificate is based on WorkKeys® assessments developed by ACT, Inc., the nation's leading job skills assessment system and focuses on three "real world" foundational skills that employers view as critical to success in the majority of jobs in today's workplace: Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information....

Levin said Michigan has exceeded ACT's national worker credentialing standards by adding Employability Skills training in ‘soft skills" such as teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, critical thinking and problem solving.The Michigan Certificate complements any traditional academic credential such as a high school diploma, postsecondary degree or certification, or GED. It's a portable credential, recognized by thousands of employers worldwide for more than two decades. Certificates are awarded at four levels based on an individual's performance. Individuals with higher scores are prepared for a greater range of jobs or training programs.

This isn't just specific to Michigan. This is happening in every state at various levels. Forty-eight states agreed to the draft of standards and are now seeking going through their state's approval process.

Any guesses where a dogmatic conservative Christian homeschooler will place on the "soft skills" assessment? We're not even going to qualify for the employability Olympics because the only way to get the credentialed diploma is to submit to the state exam based on the Common Core State Standards. But that is exactly why we homeschool and fought to keep our rights as parents to direct the education of our children free from busy-body politicians who think they know what's best for my children.

I don't educate my children to compete in the Employability Olympics to get a job in the global economy. That may be your goal Governor Granholm and President Obama's goal, but it isn't my goal. My children are not commodities to be tracked like cars on an assembly line and shipped to various locations as workers in the global economy. They are people with dreams and their dreams will not bow to to your standards.
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