Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why Homeschool? Part 4

The previous 3 parts of sharing why we have chosen homeschool for at least the next year were desired outcomes we are running towards.  We believe that with those end goals in mind, homeschool will give us the highest probability if getting there.

Part 4 is a little different because it focuses on more of something we are looking to avoid rather than attain.  We are not running out of fear, but stepping away due to concern.  While not all of the details are fully known, and some of the items I'll discuss are plausible results of decisions being made now, we have decided to be pro-active for the time being for the best of our family.

Why have we chosen homeschooling?  The increasing role of the federal government in education through Common Core State Standards.

We Believe:

  • Public Schools are the responsibility of the local government, locally elected officials, and partnerships between teachers and parents to decide what and how best to teach the children of the community.
  • "How" usually precedes the ability to understand "Why" especially in math at the elementary level.
  • Worldview and political issues do not belong in most classroom environments (especially at the elementary level)
  • Standardized Testing is inadequate, unfair, and one dimensional in its evaluation of students, teachers, and schools.
The New Common Core State Standards (CCSS):
  • Were developed primarily by politicians, lobbyists, curriculum developers, and testing services.
  • Were not actually developed by the States.
  • Are falsely advertised as voluntary as the Federal Government as linked qualification to grant money to one's participation in CCSS.
  • Decreased emphasis on mastery of skills to conceptual thinking which leads to downgraded standards but raised expectations on standardized testing.
  • Focus on the "Why" rather than the "How" (example- a student should understand why 2+2= 4 before they learn that 2+2=4)
  • Require 'broad' worldview that must include things like the liberal definition of marriage, climate change, and evolution but cannot include items deemed Christian in viewpoint.
  • Equates public opinion articles and government papers on the same level as time proven classic literature.
  • Takes away local control of education and puts it onto path for a national school system:  Federally mandated core standards ---> decreased curricula choices ---> limited approved pedagogy (how a concept is taught) ---> National Education System
  • Zaps teacher creativity and freedom
  • Will lead to government dependency
  • May destroy ingenuity and entrepreneurial vision
  • Track students preschool-grade 12 in a massive database system accessible to all government agencies with data points such as blood type, religious affiliation, dental records, voting record, detailed transportation data, behavior, diseases and health history, and home status.
  • Place students early on into 'tracks' for vocational training, college prep, etc.  Dreams, desires, freedoms of children will be squashed before they can even be old enough to drive a car.
  • Force hand of private institutions to change curricula despite beliefs to maintain accreditation and and align with national testing

I will be the first to admit that a lot of these details are still sketchy as CCSS has yet to see full implementation, but the patterns are in place and the expressed desire of this government administration is well known to be on the side of 'big government'.  So, we are being pro active and taking a step out of the public school system for the time being.  Perhaps these root problems will be worked out and we feel that it is once again the right choice for our family to be in the public school system.

For some great information on CCSS (and the sources for my post):
Michelle Malkin has been doing great work on researching CCSS

Common Core Math Issues

Truth in American Education

The Federal Government Stepping into Schools

CCSS Not State Led

CCSS Testing

Problems waiting to happen

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