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Why do homeschoolers oppose the Common Core?

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Dear Members and Friends,

Why do homeschoolers oppose the Common Core?

Because we’ve discovered that freedom is the key to educational success. Freedom gives us the flexibility to help our students find their own pace, discover their passions, develop their talents, and learn to excel.

In “What We Can Learn from Homeschooling,” Melanie Borrego, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education at Bradman University, explains an educational truth—which often goes without saying for homeschoolers:

An education should not look exactly the same for every student. Some need more guidance, others less. Some want to build things, others like to read. Some want to play geography games with children from other countries . . . others would prefer to learn outside or by listening and observing. Some need more time to complete their studies, others will graduate early. . . . If we can gradually build both flexibility and autonomy into their education, particularly as they grow older and their interests and abilities begin to deepen, we will see more engagement in and understanding of the material.

Home education’s success is a compelling counterpoint to the Common Core. When educational elites in ivory towers dictate their untested, one-size-fits-all standards and skills for all students, kids find their individuality smothered, their learning stifled, and their success uncertain. The Common Core’s top-down paradigm restricts teachers’ choices and flexibility, and it leaves parents feeling angry, perplexed, and powerless to help their children.

But parents are fighting back. Last September, a group of concerned citizens in Missouri filed a lawsuit against Governor Jeremiah Nixon, challenging a Common Core–based test development group—Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)—as an unconstitutional state compact.

This past February, a state circuit court agreed that Missouri’s SBAC fees were unconstitutional, and permanently banned the state from paying taxpayer dollars to SBAC. The court held that “the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium . . . is an unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented, whose existence and operation violate the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, § 10, cl. 3, as well as numerous federal statutes; and that Missouri’s participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as a member is unlawful under state and federal law.”

The state appealed the decision in March.

Now, HSLDA is joining the legal battle by filing an amicus (friend of the court) brief urging the judges to confirm that SBAC is unconstitutional.

The Missouri ruling has tremendous potential to influence the battle over the Common Core. Prior to the ruling, the Missouri legislature had already begun to tap the brakes on the Common Core. When the court decision came down, lawmakers promptly shut down all future funding for SBAC. A similar lawsuit has already been filed in North Dakota.

HSLDA’s amicus brief urges the Court of Appeals to recognize SBAC for what it is: a key component in a larger strategy, enticing states to act as federal proxies in the development of top-down national standards and assessments. (The United States Department of Education is banned from directly developing national curriculum or tests.)

Our brief also points out that mandates tied to federal funding for Common Core–related initiatives essentially create an invasive nationwide tracking system. Such a model is capable of following every student from preschool through college and even into employment. As we said in our brief:

The most immediate threat to homeschool and private school students is the expansion of statewide longitudinal databases. Over the past decade, a slew of new federal incentives and funded data models have spurred states to monitor students’ early years, performance in college, and success in the workforce by following “individuals systematically and efficiently across state lines.” . . .

The designers of the new systems fully intend for homeschool and private school students to be part of the massive data collection. At the National Conference on Student Assessment in 2011, officials from Oklahoma discussed how the challenge of meeting the data requirements of federal and state education policies [is] motivating them to “include student groups not now included (e.g., home-schooled) in the data system.”1

The legal battle over the Common Core is just beginning. If other states follow the example of Missouri and North Dakota, we expect to see more suits challenging these top-down databases and testing regimes. At the same time, the Common Core’s proponents will fight back, refining their legal strategies and amassing resources to protect their projects.

If we want to dislodge encroaching centralized control from America’s education system, our lawmakers and judges need to know the truth: the Common Core represents the very antithesis of educational freedom and innovation. But we need your help to spread this vital message.

Would you consider donating to the Homeschool Freedom Fund? Your gift will empower us to continue our efforts to thwart the Common Core and preserve educational freedom.

The untested Common Core State Standards, along with myopic assessments and invasive data monitoring, strip states, teachers, and parents of innovation and flexibility. America needs educated, free-thinking citizens—not mindless drones trained to accept the dictates of an administrative collective.

Won’t you stand with us to get the truth out about the Common Core?

For freedom,
Jim Mason, Vice President for Litigation and Development

DONATE NOW!

1 From “Data, Data Everywhere: Progress, Challenges, and Recommendations for State Data Systems,” presented by Jennifer Stegman at the National Conference on Student Assessment on June 20, 2011.

Update : SB 0136 Illinois Committee Hearing

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Is This A Homeschooling Lair of Learning? Truant Officer to Investigate?

 

Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Youtube is a wonderous thing.

On the ground reporting provides information very quickly, accurately and cleanly. In the case of Illinois SB 136, interesting terms from State Officials can be viewed. Here is one example.

Please pay careful attention at 3:30 forward where Senator Luechtefeld questions Bill Reynolds (Truant Officer) on why SB 136 is needed.

The general gist of the conversation for readers without access to video is the following:

Senator: So will you be going into the home of people even if they are doing a good job?

Truant Officer: Yes. They might need help. More

Homeschooling NIBS in ILLINOIS

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Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Okay – Maybe the Nibbly Imperceptible Bills (NIBs) is a great idea. Here is our first suggested entry:

SB 0136

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the School Code. Requires the parents or legal guardians of children attending non-public schools, a defined term, or private or parochial schools to annually register their children with the State Board of Education, in conformance with procedures prescribed by the State Board of Education.

At first parents of Illinois School Children were a bit concerned, but Senator Maloney has cleared up his proposed registration requirements – he only wants the Homeschoolers:

In an interview with “Illinois Review,” Maloney stated that SB 136 is aimed specifically at homeschoolers as a means of keeping tabs on them.

“What we want to know is where the homeschoolers are. It’s as simple as that,” Maloney told the online publication.

In fact, this legislation was designed originally to force all non-government schooled children to annually register, but that is apparently wasn’t the in the program notes for bill author Senator Maloney:

In the “Illinois Review” interview, Maloney stated that he plans to change the language of the bill to specifically target homeschoolers.

According to the Legislative Schedule, this proposed Bill is scheduled to be heard before the Education Committee Feb 15, 2011 10:45AM Room 212. More

Tea Party To “Dismantle” Federal Department of Education?

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Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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What underlying fear one must live in to castigate those who have decided to live an alternate educational lifestyle. What terror is exposed as apparently the “little subset” of society determine that teaching a 5 or 6-year-old child of the joys of masturbation might be more appropriate at a different age.

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Before I begin this blog I must admit I am acquainted with “Homeschoolers”, “Unschoolers”, and “Public School Students” – I like them. Diversity is not a bad thing.

There are times however when I wonder why one must be so hateful in their assessment of others actions. The following blog is a case in point. More

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