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Homeschooling: All Things

States Adopting National Standards

I just received this article by Susan K. Stewart from one of the organizations here in California called CHEA. I thought it worthy enough to re-post for you all who are not members of  CHEA to read. Enjoy!
 
 
Last fall the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) together with the National Governors Association (NGA) began exploring national education standards. In March of this year, they announced proposed standards titled “Common Core State Standards.”  At that time a website inviting public comment was opened.
 
States around the country have been quietly adopting these standards, as reported in the New York Times on July 21, 2010. To date more 30 states have adopted these standards.
 
The Common Core Standards do not apply to private homeschoolers. Families enrolled in charter schools will, however, be subject to these standards. J. Michael Smith, president of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), said, “For private homeschoolers there is no immediate impact. However, the next push will be to make private schools and private homeschoolers to have to adhere to these standards. Now, the federal government by law cannot impose education standards on private and home schools unless they take government funding.
“We need to make sure this remains the case as National Education Standards will continue to pour fuel on the fire of poor education generally being provided in the government schools.”
 
Not all public educators favor the national standards. Some, like Joseph Rosenstein, a math professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, believe the national standards are weaker than their state's standards.
Professor Rosenstein said he thinks the math standards “distort the curriculum in a way I think is inappropriate." He fought the adoption of the standards in New Jersey.
 
Peggy Littleton (R), member of the Colorado Board of Education, said the issue is about states rights. In a written statement, Littleton said, “Adopting these national standards would invite greater federal intrusion into the education of Colorado students. It would open the doors to national standards in other areas, like science (currently underway) civics and health, while moving us closer to national assessments and national curriculum.”
 
Also at issue is a federal incentive. The Obama administration has offered up additional points in the Race to the Top competition. States that adopted the standards by August 2 stand to be eligible for a share of $3.4 billion dollars to be awarded in September.
 
Littleton says the amount that Colorado could receive amounts to $50 per student over four years. “Colorado kids are not for sale,” she said.
 
Nationalizing education standards also moves control of public education away from local control and local taxpayer input. Smith said, “This is clearly a bad trend in education. This was attempted when George Bush I was President, when he tried to get the Governors to adopt National Standards, but fortunately it was met with opposition so it didn't go anywhere then. However, the seed was planted and now it is blossoming and the result will be a sour fruit.”
 
The California Board of Education (BOE) adopted the Common Core Standards at a special meeting on August 2.
 
According to Family Protection Ministries (FPM), California's adoption of these standards has no impact on California homeschoolers. FPM has been working with CHEA for more than 25 years as our legislative consultant to successfully identify and stop legislation that could adversely impact private homeschoolers and associated parental rights. FPM has indicated that no action is needed here in California this time.

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