Monday, June 16, 2014

Homeschoolers Rally Against the Common Core!

Associated Press political journalist, Kimberley Hefling reports on the impact homeschoolers are making against the Common Core. 
Home-schooling mom Jenni White gave some of the loudest cheers when Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation to repeal the Common Core education standards....

...n Oklahoma and elsewhere, home-schooling parents, often with their kids, are a frequent presence at legislative hearings and other political functions representing anti-Common Core forces. Sometimes, as in White's case, they are even leading the opposition."
The news out of Oklahoma is great and to know that a homeschooler helped lead the charge is outstanding.  Despite what some may still believe Common Core will affect homeschooling.  Kimberly Hefling references Shane VanderHart of Truth in American Education and Emmett McGroarty of American Principles Project on the concerns homeschoolers have with the Common Core. 
"McGroarty said there is a concern that the ACT and the College Board, which owns the SAT, are moving toward aligning with the standards. That, he said, would leave home-schooling parents no choice other than to follow the standards if they want their kids to do well on the college entrance exams.
An ACT official said the company supports the Common Core standards, but the exam hasn't changed because of them. The College Board, which is revamping the SAT, has said the new version of the exam isn't aligned to a single set of standards.  
The ACT and the College Board were both partners in the development of the standards.  So the idea that the College Board isn't aligning to a single set of standards is misleading and not quite accurate.  The report, Common Core State Standards Alignment produced by College Board states:
From the Report:
The College Board has been a strong advocate for and played an active role in the development of the Common Core State Standards. As part of this collaboration, the College Board helped draft the standards and helped shape the initiative by providing executive guidance on the Common Core Advisory Committee. The goal of the Common Core State Standards — to establish a common set of rigorous expectations to prepare students for college and career readiness — strongly reflects the guiding missions and values of the College Board, as well as of our programs and services....
...The College Board actively works with states and districts as they build their Common Core implementation plans, and we continue to provide guidance and technical assistance in the areas of:

• comprehensive alignment services;
• benchmarking standards, assessments and performance level indicators against college
• Common Core implementation plan development; and professional development.
 Add in the fact that one of the lead architects of the common core, David Coleman, is now President of College Board and the fact influence of Common Core on the assessments and implementation of the Common Core is strong and the potential harm to homeschoolers is great. 

Hefling also references HSLDA attorney Mike Donnelly in her piece.
Mike Donnelly of the Home School Legal Defense Association, based in Purcellville, Virginia, said there isn't anything "inherently objectionable" in the Common Core standards, but there is concern that if the standards become more mainstream, there will be more pressure for home-schooled students to conform to them.
 Recently, I've been critical of the HSLDA but I'm going to give Donnelly the benefit of the doubt that this is a  a misquote or he was taken out of context.  HSLDA's own Common Core website provides information on the objectionable philosophy inherent within the Common Core.
"Three threads of philosophy weave through the Common Core—statism, moral relativism, and progressivism, which are revealed both by what is proclaimed and what is omitted. The statist goals of the Common Core are implicit in the lockstep uniformity that is the central thesis of the program. All children in all states will learn the same content in the same manner so that the children may become useful workers. Traditionally, education has been premised on the notion that all education of value is designed to know truth that only can be fully known in God. The omission of the pursuit of truth as a core goal of the Common Core demonstrates its alliance with the dominant philosophy of modern education that there are neither absolute truths nor absolute values. Finally, we see progressivism in the view that all that is new is inherently superior to that which comes from prior generations of human knowledge.

The obvious influence of progressivism and relativism in the structure and goals of the Common Core reveals a view of education that is contrary to the desires of parents and educators who have chosen to pursue homeschooling, private schooling, and other forms of educational choice.
 Overall, the article presents the case that homeschoolers are making a difference and changing the narrative on the Common Core.   And that is good news!

Update:  HSLDA Attorney Mike Donnelly confirmed that the quote is not accurate.

HSLDA's "Cobelligerency" with David Coleman
Does taking the SAT Harm Homeschoolers?


Lisa Jackson said...

Yay! Go, homeschool moms! I am a homeschool mom of 6 in desperate need of a vacation, too!

Anonymous said...

Vacation... What is a vacation?

Thank you for sharing this news! Praise God for courageous homeschool parents to stand for what they believe in!