As the Obama administration continues its effort to bribe or bludgeon state governments into accepting the widely criticized “Common Core” national education curriculum standards, opposition is growing — especially among homeschooling families and private institutions worried about the loss of educational liberty, parental rights, and local authority. While the controversial school standardization scheme does not directly apply to home educators or private schools yet, experts and advocates say the effects are already starting to be felt. This may be just the beginning, too, which is why activists are gearing up for a fight to defeat the agenda.
The Home School Legal Defense Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and advancing the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children, is on the front lines of the battle. According to the HSLDA, which has been expressing serious concerns about “Common Core” for years, the deeply controversial effort to standardize what government schools all across America are teaching is problematic for several reasons. It will affect homeschoolers, too.
“Our concern with the Common Core is twofold,” HSLDA Director of Federal Relations William Estrada told The New American in a phone interview. “The first is that the success of homeschooling shows that kids do best when parents are in control of educational decisions. Common Core centralizes what kids are taught, how they are taught, and what they should learn, in the hands of a few educational bureaucrats at the national level — completely cutting out parents, teachers, and local school boards.”
Indeed, a wide range of organizations and activists have expressed similar fears about the national education scheme, which is being pushed on state governments and local school districts by the Obama administration through the use of federal “Race to the Top” grants and other means. Under the radar until very recently, some 45 states have already signed on to the controversial program. The opposition, however, is just getting started.
Of course, supporters of Common Core claim that it does not directly affect homeschoolers or non-government-funded private schools. Home education advocates, families, and experts, though, are not buying the denials. Led in large part by the HSLDA and other liberty-minded organizations, the home-education community is just one of the powerful political forces getting involved in the fight. The problem for homeschoolers, Estrada explained, is that the Common Core will, at some point, seek control over all education.
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of President Obama: AP Images