By Edward B. Driscoll Jr.
Common Core is the educational standards program that everyone loves to hate – except the people who set policy for America’s public schools. That’s one reason why more parents are opting to homeschool instead.
But homeschooling parents shouldn’t be complacent about the threat posed by the Common Core crusaders, warns the e-book “Homeschooling: Fighting for My Children’s Future.” The companies behind college entrance exams are aligning their questions with the Common Core curriculum.
“If your homeschooled children plan to go to attend college someday,” Paula Bolyard writes, “the way things currently stand, they will be tested on Common Core ‘achievements and behavior.’ That means you may need to consider altering your curriculum to align with the standards.”
The essay is one of three on Common Core that Bolyard penned in the book, which includes 26 essays from the pages of PJ Media. Together they paint a picture of a public education system in turmoil and homeschooling as one way out of the mess.
The section on Common Core opens with a list of the 10 worst homework assignments based on those standards. The examples are from eight states (Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio and Rhode Island) and cover several grades, illustrating the breadth and depth of Common Core’s reach.
Most of the questions involved baffling approaches to math work. But one promoted Islam as a peaceful religion as part of a video about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and another pushed liberal ideology about climate change.
The message to parents is that if they have children in public schools, they need to be diligent about not only what they are being taught, but how. “If your children are under the influence of this curriculum,” Bolyard said, “you may need to spend a significant amount of time debriefing them after school.”
In the second essay, her warning to homeschoolers about the potential impact of Common Core on college admission focuses on two big ties between the two.
First, David Coleman is not just a lead architect of Common Core standards; he is also president of the College Board, which designs and administers both Advanced Placement courses in high school and the SAT for college entrance. Then there is the ACT, “an active partner with the Common Core State Standards Initiative.”
With a monopoly like that, no wonder parents need to think long-term about their children’s education – even if they oversee it directly as homeschoolers.
The last essay points out that Common Core is so bad, it may create common ground for the left and the right. But conservatives need to be cautious, because advocates in the United Opt Out movement hate more than just Common Core. They also despise charter schools, merit performance for teachers, union reforms and other ideas that could improve public schools.
“Many in the traditional public education monopoly believe that education should be all public, all democratic, all the time,” Bolyard said. “Any variation must be defeated and destroyed.” That includes homeschooling.