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Do The New Common Core Standards Affect Homeschooling?

      Now that a majority of states have jumped on the Common Core bandwagon, it seems that it is time to assess what impact this will have on the homeschooling community. The common core standards apply to math and language arts and most states are adapting their state standardized tests to these new standards. If your state happens to be one of the few that makes homeschool students use state standardized tests, then you might want to appraise yourself of the standards.

     Common Core was developed as a state led initiative by the National Governor's Association. It purports to set common state standards to prepare students for college and professional life. Since most states that have adopted the standards have just begun implementation, it will be a while before we will have a true assessment of its results. We do, however; have plenty of anecdotal information that does not look positive for the standards. An example comes from Carol Buris who was named outstanding high school principle of the year in New York. She has chronicled several problems with the standards including an example of a first grade test that asks students questions that are really not age appropriate for first graders if they are only five years old. She notes that though the standard is supposed to be based on international standards, many students in other countries do not enter first grade until age seven. You can read the article here.

     Rethinkingschools.org has an interesting assessment on Common Core that is none too favorable. They believe it will probably fail just as No Child Left Behind failed. I believe that one of the main problems is that standards are set without the teachers being adequately prepared to teach their students the material necessary to achieve the standards. Testing in the state of New York after the first year showed dismal results. Math scores statewide dropped from 64.8% proficient to 31%. English scores dropped from 55.1% proficient to 31.1% proficient. While may people point out that the older standards were too easy, it seems that the students are still just not learning the material necssary to prepare them. Setting higher standards does not in of itself create better students.

    Anyway, to get back to our main question, in looking at how this will affect homeschool students we need to take a look at curriculum providers and see what they have to say. A Beka Book, which is one of the largest homeschool and Christian school textbook providers has stated that their standards are and have been better than Common Core. They have said that "in Mathematics, A Beka Book has chosen a different sequence of topical representation because it is more logical in presentation than what Common Core proposes". Homeschool curriculum providers are not altering their curriculum to meet Common Core standards. And you should be glad because the standards of homeschool curriculum on the whole are much higher than public school standards including Common Core.

    Common Core will probably end up in just as much disarray as No Child Left Behind and is just one more great reason to homeschool your children. Continue on and your children will still be way ahead of the public school education system.

     Please view the video below for an assessment of Common Core

    


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