Friday, April 19, 2013

The Fuss Over Common Core (Part III)

I am dismayed at the lack of understanding so many have on Common Core.  As a home schooling mother, I try to stay informed on the educational forefront, as much as possible.  I take my children's education seriously and the right I have to educate my children seriously.  I believe that we must look out for our public and private school counterparts, as well.  Too many parents just drop their child off at school and pick them up seven hours later without a clue to what is really happening to their child all day.  But, I really don't understand how home schooling parents can stick their heads in the sand when educational reform comes around.

I have mentioned Common Core Standards to several homeschooling friends over the last few weeks and the basic reply was, "What's that?"  I proceed to tell them about the CC and they tell me, "Well, we don't have to worry about that.  We can teach what we want and it won't matter.  I won't give them any information for a database."  I tell them yes, you won't have a choice.  It might not affect us in the beginning, but just give it a few years.  We have to do something now because in a few years from now it will be too late!

I don't want to be told what my child must learn and when she has to learn it.  I don't want her taking umpteen hundred tests to see if she is learning.  I don't want her private information in a database, where educational companies feel entitled to sell me or a school educational materials.  Of course, others will have access to the information, as well. (Even though, we will be told no one has access.) It isn't any of their business to know what my child's blood type is, or if she has any dental appliances, or learning disabilities, etc.  However, so many parents are simply not aware of the database components or don't care.

I remember reading George Orwell's 1984 in eleventh grade literature class.  It seemed so foreign to me at the time.  I couldn't imagine a society that would allow such control.  Now, I feel like I am beginning to live in that book.  If we allow a database to track our children from preschool through the workforce, we are giving up our children's privacy rights.  Government is already taking away so many rights and privileges from the American people, what will be left?  What would our founding fathers think?  They tried their best to protect us in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Last night, we watched the ending thirty minutes of Memphis Belle with the children.  The final bombing run was underway.  The crew couldn't get a fix on the factory and had to go around again.  The children asked, "Why didn't they just drop the bombs and go."  I explained to them that those men knew their mission.  They knew what was right.  They knew that they had to sacrifice because of the greater cause.  Our children are our greater cause.  We, as homeschoolers and parents, must sacrifice for our children's future, our country's future.  If we give in and roll over to the federal government wanting to micromanage our children (our future), we will not live in the America we were born.

The Civil war was fought first and foremost for states' rights.  The southern states were tired of being told what to do by the northern states and federal government.  The states are their own identity that work together to make up the United States.  The constitution limits the federal government's role and control of the states.  The constitution does not give the control of education to the federal government.  However, when the Department of Education was formed, the states began to lose control of state education.  When other Dept. of Ed provisions were passed, the feds gained more control.  Money is used by the Dept. of Ed to exert this control.  We have been led to believe that more money will 'fix' our education wows.  Unfortunately, throwing money at something never fixes it.  

Education reform is needed.  We need to run the administrative components of education like a business.  Leave the teaching up to the teachers.  Untie their hands and allow them to tailor to the needs of their student.  Quit building schools that look like malls.  Quit packing schools with thousands of students.  Look back at developmental stages of children and quit grouping kids in classes by ages.  If a six year-old can't read, but can perform math at a third grade level, allow him move between levels.  That is what we do as homeschoolers.  Let students hack their education when in high school.  If we quit tying our students' to the traditional education and allow them to take control of their own education, we may just be surprised at the outcome. 

Common Core is not going to fix our educational system.  It is going to frustrate educators, students, and parents.  Luckily, some states are seeing CC for what it is and trying to pass legislation to stop implementation.  Hopefully, after they pass the legislation, they will sit down and look at real education reform.