The Heritage Foundation published a special report with essays from several education experts, detailing the background and the effects of Common Core. Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and William Estrada, director of federal relations at the Home School Legal Defense Association, highlighted the problems with Common Core.
Estrada began his essay, saying, “Common Core is good for homeschooling.” He pointed out in 2009, there were 850,000 homeschooled students in the U.S. By 2012, the Department of Education found that there were 1.8 million homeschooled students. As you can see, the growth in homeschooling tracks nicely with the growth in Common Core. In North Carolina, there was a 14% increase in one school year in the number of children being homeschooled, to the tune of 60,950 students. Today, there are almost 100,000 homeschooled students in the Tarheel State.
“Moms and dads…are frustrated. Parents are losing local control over the education of their children. They are losing the ability to do something as simple as homework with their kids. And now, they are voting with their feet.”
However, Estrada warned that Common Core “threatens the foundation of homeschooling.” Standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT, are beginning to be aligned to Common Core standards, and this sets a worrisome precedent for homeschooling. School districts are also becoming more emboldened to coerce homeschooling to follow their education standards. Westfield, New Jersey saw a school district push homeschoolers to follow Common Core. Estrada’s organization, HSLDA, stepped in and Westfield backed off its outrageous demand. Additionally, there are student privacy concerns with Common Core, when student information is logged into a database.
Kurtz, in his essay on how Common Core and Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum were structured, pointed out that the College Board, “the nonprofit entity that creates and administers the SAT and Advanced Placement (AP) tests, released a detailed, controversial and highly directive ‘framework’ for the teaching of U.S. history.” He added that the new curriculum ended up “highlighting America’s foibles and failing at the expense of our strengths, and for downplaying America’s distinctive characteristics.”
Also, the College Board will be evasive and will not say that their curriculum adjustments are a part of Common Core. “The College Board has begun to radically redesign all of its Advanced Placement exams, not just AP U.S. History.” Other subjects that will be affected: Physics, World History, Art History, and others such as European History and U.S. Government and Politics. Kurtz believed that the College Board is insulated from public accountability, and this should change. He continued, “state and federal governments channel tens of millions of dollars to the College Board, making it in effect a government-supported monopoly.” He concluded, “The College Board’s recent power grab must be a central component of the debate over Common Core.”
Photo by Patrick Q
Photo by Patrick Q
Photo by WWYD?