Common Core Boosts Homeschooling

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Naysayers take note: Common Core has had at least one unanticipated positive outcome.

common core nc

“Home schooling has steadily risen in North Carolina since it was legalized in 1985 by the state Supreme Court,” T. Keung Hui reported on News on August 13, 2014. “Twenty-five years ago, there were about 2,300 home-schooled students in North Carolina.”

“But concerns about school violence, lack of a religious focus and the large size of public schools have helped fuel home-school growth.”

“And home-school growth in North Carolina has surged the past two school years. There was a net gain of 7,603 home schools in the 2013-14 school year with a projected net enrollment increase of 10,194 students.”

“The recent growth spurt has coincided with the use of the Common Core standards in math and language arts in North Carolina’s public schools. While hailed by supporters in more than 40 states as providing a more rigorous education, critics have charged that Common Core is not appropriate for some students.”

“Common Core is a big factor that I hear people talk about,” Beth Herbert, founder of Lighthouse Christian Homeschool Association, which has around 350 families, told Hui. “They’re not happy with the work their kids are coming home with. They’ve decided to take their children home.”

“The General Assembly passed legislation in July to create a commission to recommend standards to replace Common Core,” Hui wrote.

“Overall, the K-7 standards in these grades are better than 90 percent of previous state standards,” Richard P. Phelps and R. James Milgram wrote in a study published by the Pioneer Institute in September. “They are nearly as good as the old California, Indiana, and Massachusetts standards in Kindergarten through grade 5. (This remark is not meant as praise for CCMS. Rather, it is a reflection of the abysmal quality of the vast majority of the previous state standards.)”

Phelps is the founder of the Nonpartisan Education Review and Milgram is an emeritus professor at Stanford. “In Grade 8, the rigor of the standards declines markedly,” Phelps and Milgram write. “Apparently, requiring completion of Algebra I in grade 8 was deemed unacceptable. So grade 8 mostly marks time and does a tiny bit of Algebra around the equations of lines in the plane. It also begins a strange development of geometry that is very close to an approach tested in the former Soviet Union in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. That approach was rapidly abandoned and there is virtually no research to support it, certainly not for large-scale implementation. In both middle and high school geometry, students are to use only rotations, translations, and reflections to justify and, in a few cases, even prove results.”