J. Michael Smith, Esq.
Michael P. Farris, Esq.
Common Core State Standards Initiative:
National Education Standards 2.0
William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations
March 31, 2010
Numerous news reports have recently discussed a move by states and the National Governors Association to create common core curriculum standards. These standards have been created by a team of education experts, teachers, and other stakeholders, and will then be submitted to the state legislatures for approval. The stated goal is to create a national network of common core academic standards.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, however, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and national standards by any other name are still national standards. In fact, one of the major proponents of these standards, The New America Foundation, recently wrote in a major issue paper on the subject, “As part of a broader move towards common, national educational standards, a Next Social Contract for education must establish clearly articulated standards for what children should know and be able to do by the end of the third grade.”
HSLDA has been fighting national standards for decades, and we believe that the Common Core State Standards Initiative is national standards merely by a different name. Accordingly, HSLDA strongly opposes this initiative.
The proponents believe that national standards, or common state standards, will increase school readiness, increase academic proficiency, and better prepare students for life and the workforce. The common standards are not stand-alone: many of their proponents call for aligning curriculum from pre-kindergarten through graduation from college, so-called “p–16.” Others call for even more drastic intervention in the lives of students and families: place children from birth until graduation from college into government run programs and schools. We believe that this threatens parental rights and ultimately, homeschool freedom.
In the 1990s, HSLDA opposed Goals 2000 because it called for a seamless government program of intervention into the lives of children and families in this very same manner. We were ultimately successful in defeating Goals 2000. However, it has returned, this time under the name of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
We now have an opportunity to voice our opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. The draft k–12 common core state standards were released on March 10, 2010, and the comment period for people and groups to express their position on this draft ends on Friday, April 2, 2010. We encourage you to go to the Initiative’s web page, read these standards, and leave a comment about the standards specifically or national standards in general. You can leave comments at the Initiative’s webpage.
We will continue to provide updates on the Common Core State Standards Initiative, as well as actively opposing attempts to create national standards through this initiative.
| Other Resources|
HSLDA’s Federal Relations Department: “The Danger of National Standards”
HSLDA’s Federal Relations Department: “Is Congress Moving Toward Nationalized Standards?”