Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MI adopts National Standards

Michigan says good-bye to local control of education.
The State Board of Education unanimously adopted today the Common Core Standards - a set of rigorous, college and career-ready K-12 curriculum standards that states across the nation are considering adopting to bring consistency in education across the states.

With this action, Michigan formally adopts the final Common Core Standards that are internationally benchmarked in English Language Arts and mathematics, formalizing Michigan's agreement to integrate the standards into the state's public education system.
The standards will determine the curriculum and the assessments given to students and will be fully implemented by 2014 and the federal takeover of parents primary responsibility, the education and discipleship of their children, will finally be complete. Unless of course parents rise up and refuse to take the state wide exams that are central to implementation of these standards. I'm not optimistic but I'll keep blogging anyway.

For an understanding of how this will affect homeschoolers, read The Employability Olympics.

Here's a list of states that have officially adopted the Common Core (as of June 18, 2010)

Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland (adopted draft standards 5/25), Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Fordham's Chester Finn, Jr. thinks those that oppose this are "paranoid." He is currently working on a project which is

"devising a workable governance structure for the “common core” that keeps it firmly in state—and lay—hands over the long run."
We already have a workable governance structure and it's called the US Constitution and the Tenth Amendment which says
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Education isn't a federal issue and federal dollars shouldn't be spent, including Obama's Race for the Top. Period. If the US Constitution isn't good enough to protect us (and it apparently isn't) then I don't hold out much hope for something Flinn and the Fordham people devise.

HSLDA accepts the notion that these are standards are developed by the states (I don't) and says,
"HSLDA has worked with Congress to include language in federal education legislation that completely exempts homeschoolers from federal control. This language also protects homeschoolers from being required by states or local school districts to take tests or use curriculum that has been created for public schools. If a concerted effort were ever made to force homeschoolers to align their curriculum to national standards, HSLDA would lead the fight to stop such an egregious attack on parental rights in education.
But that is a very narrow view. Even if homeschoolers are exempt from the national standards, we will still be affected by the standards. As I previously established, employment and training opportunities will be based on a child's performance on the standardized tests which are based on curriculum and "soft skills." Those that are without the credentialed diploma will be at a strategic disadvantage in college and career placement.

Many homeschoolers in Michigan are voluntarily taking the state test (a combination of ACT and WorkKeys) even though we're not required to do so because there is money available for college. With student loans now a part of the federal bureaucracy even more pressure will be put upon homeschoolers to comply just as they are currently putting pressure on the states to adopt the Common Core Standards.

I hope HSLDA works as diligently as they did in the early nineties where they didn't wait but instead helped inform homeschoolers and identify the "dangerous pitfalls" of national standards and eventually defeated them.

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