What is Common Core and does it affect homeschoolers?

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), also known as Common Core, is not a curriculum, but a set of internationally benchmarked goals and standards that define what students should know and learn in each grade level for English and Math. New standardized test are being developed to reflect Common Core standards. Since the US has fallen behind some countries over the past few years, some people believe that Common Core will help improve the rankings with other countries. The goal is to be able to compete better on a global level. There is also great emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
According to HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association), Common Core does not apply to private or homeschools (Unless you receive government dollars for your homeschool). If the Common Core does not apply to homeschoolers,  then why are so many people concerned about this issue?
There are 4 basic concerns:
(there are probably many more but these are probably the main ones for homeschoolers)

Concern # 1.
A common curriculum and tests based off common standards could be very harmful to homeschoolers if their college of choice refuses to accept a student’s high school transcript if it is not based on the Common Core.

Concern # 2.
Homeschoolers could also have trouble on the SAT if the test is fundamentally altered to reflect only one specific curriculum. (According to HSLDA the College Board—the entity that created the PSAT and SAT indicated that the main college entrance exam will be aligned with the CCSS)

Concern# 3
One of the worries that some people have  is that if the Common Core is fully adopted by all Ssates, policy makers will eventually attempt to change state legislation to require all students (homeschool and private school students included) to be taught and tested in line with the Common Core. It is said that National standards could lead to national curriculum and national tests, and would put pressure on homeschool students to be taught from the same curricula.

Concern# 4
Many people feel that Common Core is yet another example of the Government interfering with people’s freedoms by them trying to push their agenda on everyone.

Here is a map that shows each States position on the Common Core:

common core state map What is Common Core and does it affect homeschoolers?

Initially 45 States have adopted the Common Core. However, there has been more and more criticism of the standards. Several states have either opted out after initially signing on, or are considering opting out due issues relating to poor implementation and testing.

Here is why I am NOT concerned:
1. I am not concerned because many states have rejected the Common Core (see map). In those States, Colleges would not require a student’s high school transcript to be aligned with the Common Core in order to get admission.  However, the possibility that Colleges in many States will require the student’s transcripts to be aligned with the Common Core might limit many homeschoolers choice of Colleges. The Common Core might limit some homeschoolers choice of College, but it should in no way have the power to change the way people homeschool their children.
If a homeschooler must at all cost attend a certain College that has adopted the Common Core, then I would say go ahead and make sure you pick a homeschool curriculum that is aligned with the Common Core. At the end of the day we all have an important choice to make: Are we going to focus on raising children in the fear of the Lord, or are we going to be more concerned about how they fit in with the rest of the world and the type of College they attend? I went to a very good University and I am thankful I had this opportunity. However, I do believe that a College degree is often overrated. There are plenty of people who are successful in life without a College degree (financially and otherwise). (Example coming soon in another post)
Have you seen the latest College Statistics? Many people are still in denial, but people have to be made aware that it is no longer 1975,  but 2013, where Colleges have become major money making machines who work tirelessly to sell ‘’the American College Dream’’ to the general public.
1. According to the College Board, college tuition is absolutely soaring.
2. In 2012, the average college graduate had accumulated approximately $27000 in student loan debt by graduation day.
3. According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, the student loan debt in the United States has passed the 1 trillion dollar mark.
4. The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.

Anyway, I just thought I throw that in there. (I will try to expand on this topic in another post)

2. I am not concerned about SAT and PSAT tests at all. Let’s get real. Since when do people choose a homeschool curriculum that is designed to get students ready for the SAT and PSAT test? Nobody goes around saying ‘’I need to make sure that our curriculum is aligned with the SAT or PSAT’’. Anyone has access to SAT practice books and CD’s. Simply pick up a practice book and start practicing until you are ready to take the test. I am confident that homeschool students will continue to outperform public school students on the SAT, even if the SAT is aligned with Common Core.

3. I am not concerned because the law currently does not allow the creation of national tests, teacher certification and curriculums. The only policy makers who can actually decide whether or not to adopt the Common Core are governors and state legislators. Although the federal government has encouraged the states to adopt the Common Core through some federal incentives like grants, all states are still completely free to reject the Common Core. (More and more States are doing so)

4. If our children decide that they want to attend an University, I pray that they will have their heart set on an excellent University that honors God and where they are free to worship, give glory to God and are able to mention the name of Jesus.  I believe in academic excellence, but I will not encourage my children to attend some ivy league University that is hostile towards the Christian faith.
God said in his word ‘’…those who honor me I will honor ‘’ (1 Samuel 2:30). If we truly believe what the Bible says, then we should know without a doubt that if we educate our children in the fear of the Lord, they will grow up to be blessed and prosperous; with or without the Common Core!

signature What is Common Core and does it affect homeschoolers?

pixel What is Common Core and does it affect homeschoolers?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>