Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why Homeschoolers Really Should Be Concerned About the Common Core

Ashamedly, I admit to you that I used to be one of those home educators who did not care what happened around me in American education unless it affected my children.  I was self-absorbed.  I chose to not get involved, purposely.  One of my excuses was, I am too busy; I didn't have the time to devote to keeping up with the educational reforms.  Another lie I believed was that one voice couldn't possibly make a difference.  No one will listen, so why bother?  I'm just a stay at home mom, and a home educator, what credentials do I have to offer those who throw my inexperience in my face?  

And then I heard about the Common Core.  In March my Canadian homeschooling friend told me about it (a sad commentary on how out of touch I was with American education) and then a few days later my brother-in-law sent me an article on it.  The more I read and the deeper I dug, the more horrified I became.

Anxiously I searched for someone in Oregon who was leading the charge against this federal takeover.  I was willing to join the army that I was sure was being assembled.  I googled different phrases: "stop common core in Oregon", "against common core Oregon", "Oregon resistance to common core"; but my searches turned up empty.  There was nothing.

So on a whim, I started up the "Stop Common Core in Oregon" FB group.  I had no idea what I was getting into!  Who would listen to a stay at home mom? Who would join a fledgling group dedicated to 'opposing and overturning' the Common Core?

You all surprised me.  From all directions you came.  All different walks of life, all different beliefs, all different political affiliations, and you united under this common cause.

We started a revolution, quietly.  We have been amassing our knowledge of Common Core and gaining more soldiers along the way.

I feel the fervor that you have all ignited in yourselves.  

And yet, there is a huge portion of our army that is missing because of misinformation.  The homeschoolers have been lulled into a false sense of security in their ability to control their children's education.  They have been paralyzed by the false assertions of well-meaning individuals.  They have trusted in the experts and those experts are wrong.

So, as a fellow home educator, I am sending out a call to rally the homeschooling troops.  Our voices must be added to those whose are raised in defiance of this greedy overreach of the government.

Lie # 1: Our homeschooling experts tell us that we don't need to be concerned because it won't directly affect us.  

Truth:  ALL the assessments are going to be aligned to the Common Core curriculum and standards.  We will very much feel how it affects us when our children go to take the assessments.  Additionally, along with the Common Core comes the data collection and data mining.  Do not be deceived, the government will find a way to include homeschoolers in that as well.

Lie #2:  We shouldn't get involved because it doesn't concern us.

Truth:  Would you save your neighbor's child from a burning building or would you let that child burn to death because it really didn't concern you?  Of course some would say I am being melodramatic in my example, but I don't believe I am.  Under the Common Core, our children will be stripped of all individuality, forced into an educational box that is then packaged and sent along the career conveyor belt.  Our government views our children, all children, as human capital.  A future global workforce.  Indebted slaves.  My children are more than human capital, and I believe my neighbors' children are too.

Lie #3:  It's all politics and we should stay out of that.

Truth:  It is not all politics and we most definitely need to be involved.  What voice does the homeschooling community have if we are mute?  WE are our representatives.  How are we to ensure homeschooling freedoms if we allow public education freedoms to erode?

Lie #4:  It will all blow over soon and we don't need to waste our efforts.

Truth:  This is not going to go away by putting your head in the sand. This has been a carefully crafted and well-organized effort of the federal government and private interest groups.  There is a deeper agenda at work behind the academic reforms.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. "
 -- Edmund Burke 

If we are able to save one child from this terrifying future, is it not worth it?  

Fellow homeschoolers, I call on you to stand up for what is right.  Stand against what is unjust.  Stand with us and fight.  Ignore the experts.  Do your research.  And then join us.

We must fight for all educational freedom, not just our own.


  1. Education for your past or your children's future? Common Core, a state led initiative incorporates higher order thinking skills that current curricula and OAKS testing don't.
    This USA Today article exposes the myths behind ultra conservative efforts to squash progress in upgrading our industrial age educational system:
    Rich Kaestner, Philomath

  2. Mr. Kaestner, you obviously haven't done enough digging into the truth of the Common Core. USA Today is not an expert on education. Perhaps you should listen to a real expert: Dr. Sandra Stotsky was on the validation committee for the Common Core Standards and she refused to sign off on them! So did mathematician Ze'ev Wurman, who was the only mathematician on the committee. Additionally, it was not a state-led effort. How then did the government award Race to the Top grants for "adoption of the standards common to the states"? There is nothing wrong with having high standards for our children to achieve, but when the government is forcing us to adopt standards that are going to set our children TWO years behind in math and stripping them of critical thinking skills by brining "informational texts" rather than complex classic literature; we should stand up and question what is really their agenda.

  3. Ultra conservative efforts...Rich, please look into this more. There are many ultra progressives not liking the CC also. Do more digging. Don't just take one side over another, please.