Parents Choose Homeschooling Over Common Core

It is not just state departments of education that are having problems with the Common Core — it's also an issue for some parents who home school their children.

Kimberly Hefling, writing for the Associated Press, says that a family in Oklahoma was delighted to see the state repeal the Common Core standards. Jenni White, president of Restore Oklahoma Public Education, worked long and hard to encourage the state to change its policy on this issue.

Parents who home school can teach their children anything they choose, but that does not diminish their anti-Common Core stance. The Home School Legal Defense Association has produced a video on the standards. Facebook pages by homeschooling groups who are against the standards have appeared.

"All parents should be concerned about this. This is our children. To me, it's not political," said Megan King of Lawrence, Kansas. She pulled two of her three sons out of their public elementary school, in part, because of the math standards, and she co-founded Kansans Against Common Core.

The original reason for putting the Common Core in place was to assure that students would be ready for" life after high school". After that, the President Barack Obama administration offered incentives to schools that adopted "college and career" ready standards. Some called this federal intrusion.

The concern that the more education policy is centralized, "the less control they have as citizens" motivates many of these homeschooling parents, said Emmett McGroarty, director of education at the conservative American Principles Project.

Other reasons given for removing the Common Core are:

  • Developmentally inappropriate math standards
  • The danger of textbooks becoming Common Core oriented resulting in less"classically" aligned texts
  • The ACT and SAT will move toward aligning with the standards. (Both entities have said they are not doing so currently.)
  • Standards becoming more mainstream resulting in home-schooled students having to conform to them. (In most states, home-school parents can pick from a variety of testing instruments.)

Some education specialists think the Common Core is a good thing. Others, like Carmel Martin, a former Obama administration Education Department official, says:

"Those families make a personal choice, which is a legitimate choice that they are going to handle their child's education at home, so the Common Core doesn't really affect them," Martin said. "They have the option just like a private school to decide what curriculum is going to be used for their children."

Home-schooling parents have said they do like the "one size fits all" approach that is, in their opinion, at the heart of Common Core.

Judy Woodruff, writing for PBS NewsHour, says it was governors across the country that got behind the Common Core in the beginning. The bi-partisan support for the standards is, however, eroding. Woodruff alludes to a report from Louisiana Public Broadcasting, hosted by Shauna Sanford. In it Sanford hears from Common Core supporters and Common Core opponents.

Beth Meyers, who home schools her child does not think that the standards are supporting "foundational, philosophical material, which she thinks is critical for students before they enter college. Eric Lewis of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Louisiana Chapter, says that the Common Core raises the bar for public schools, and will make students have a competitive edge when it comes to being a productive citizen.

Amy Dutsch began home-schooling her children when she felt that the public schools were losing local control and that the standards were driving the curriculum. Another parent said she was for the accountability that the Common Core established.

06 19, 2014
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