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Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are academic guidelines detailing what students are expected to learn in English, history/social studies, science and technical subjects, and math.
CCSS was developed by Achieve Inc., a private, nonprofit organization located in Washington, D.C. Achieve Inc. joined with other private organizations to create the American Diploma Project (ADP). The goal of the ADP and CCSS was to prepare students to enter higher education or the workforce. The Department of Education closely aligned acquiring waivers from the No Child Left Behind program with the adoption of CCSS, and federal funding was offered as an incentive for states to embrace CCSS.
Most likely. Since 46 states originally adopted Common Core, many publishing companies now draft their content to align with CCSS. Because of this, you will often find Common Core-aligned materials even in private and faith-based schools that did not adopt Common Core. Unless parents homeschool or know to ask their schools about the instructional materials used, it is likely that CCSS has already had some impact on your child’s education.
According to the Common Core website, “Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Common Core State Standards.” Alaska, Indiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia are the only states that have not implemented CCSS. However, see above for how your school may still be impacted via textbooks, etc…
Supporters of Common Core argue that it is not a national curriculum because each state can choose whether or not to implement it. However, states do receive financial incentives if they choose to adopt CCSS. Additionally, although the standards can be modified by each state, these modifications are limited to adding content. States must otherwise use the national standards and may not delete any content.
While the Common Core website denies that data collection is required with the implementation of CCSS, the Department of Education has overtly encouraged the collection of student data from preschool to the workforce.
“We want to see more states build comprehensive systems that track students from pre-K through college and then link school data to workforce data. We want to know whether Johnny participated in an early learning program and completed college on time and whether those things have any bearing on his earnings as an adult.”
– Arne Duncan, Former Secretary of Education | June 8, 2009
Whether directly or indirectly, Common Core does have ties to the collection of public school students’ sensitive data, potentially including information on health records, family income, grades, and religious affiliation. While the purposes of this data collection may sound noble, the actual use of this data should be concerning to a family.
Yes, prior to taking control as the new CEO of the College Board — which publishes both the ACT and SAT — David Coleman was one of the creators of Common Core. By rewriting both the ACT and the SAT to align with CCSS, the College Board is testing all students who wish to attend a university on Common Core content and methodologies. The new tests are written to, “require a different method of perceiving a math problem,” according to Jed Applerouth, an educational innovator with a Ph.D. in educational psychology. Applerouth continued his assessment by saying: “Students who are well versed in the logic and language of the current SAT may, in fact, struggle on the new SAT because of their training. If you are looking for the standard setup — find the relevant info in the problem, structure the work left to right, top to bottom, and solve — you may be scratching your head, wondering how to proceed when facing these new kinds of problems. Students trained on the current SAT will have to unlearn strategies to succeed on the new SAT.”
The academic rigor and excellence of CCSS have not been fully backed by seasoned educators. Sandra Stotsky, a nationally recognized English language arts expert, was asked to sit on the validation committee to review Common Core’s English language arts standards. She ultimately refused to endorse CCSS because she believed that “they were not research-based,” and “they were not rigorous.” James Milgram, professor emeritus of mathematics at Stanford University, served on the validation committee to review the math standards. He also refused to endorse CCSS and stated, “there is significant international evidence that major parts of the standards will not work.”
By promoting the adoption of CCSS, the government is (knowingly or unknowingly) establishing CCSS as a national curriculum. This promotion could be concerning since having the government mandate a national education curriculum has historically been problematic and presents a conflict of interest.
Parents who are concerned with their child’s education being negatively affected by CCSS may be overwhelmed by trying to find an alternative curriculum, but there is an option available. Liberty University Online Academy (LUOA) provides quality, Christ-centered online education for grades K-12. With an emphasis on individualized learning, coursework is tailored to fit your child’s unique academic needs. Lessons for online classes are interactive and designed to stimulate your student’s interest, engage them in the learning process, and capture their imagination. Although coursework promotes self-instruction, parental guidance is essential.
Since the faith perspective of a school is important, LUOA teaches all classes from a Christian worldview. LUOA offers the best of homeschool, private school, and Bible-based education all rolled into one.