Originally Sent: 5/29/2013

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
Home School Legal Defense Association

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Victory for Education Freedom Near!

Homeschooling in Michigan

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HSLDA staff attorney Mike Donnelly helps protect homeschool freedom in your community.
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Dear Michigan Members and Friends,

A conference committee between the House and Senate retained a provision to prevent the Michigan Department of Education from funding Common Core State Standards activities. The conference report has already been adopted by the House of Representatives and may come up for a vote in the Senate as early as today. This bill would effectively halt the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and allow lawmakers to more fully consider the negative effects of these standards.

The Common Core Standards are the latest attempt to adopt the one-size-fits all approach of national curriculum standards. These standards compromise local control of education and represent a step down the slippery slope toward national curriculum, national testing, national databases and national standards which could harm all forms of education, including home education. The threat posed by the continued implementation of these standards and the increasing federalization of education is detrimental to our children’s education. This bill stops the current movement toward these harmful standards and gives citizens the opportunity to reverse the standards’ implementation.

Action Requested

If you have not done so already, please consider contacting your senator and giving him or her the following message in your own words.

“Please vote to de-fund the Common Core Standards through House Bill 4328. I am concerned that the continued implementation of Common Core Standards will facilitate the increasing federalization of education with the potential to infringe the liberty of all parents to direct the education of their children. As a homeschooling parent, I am concerned that common core could harm my children’s ability to access higher education and economic opportunities as tests, curriculum and standards are developed. I am also gravely concerned about the talk of collecting data on all children—and whether you call it “data portability” or the precursor of a national database doesn’t matter—the federal government should not be involved in any of these areas. Please vote to deny funding for the implementation of common core so that we can continue to debate the very serious issues surrounding this increasingly federal program.”

You can find out who your senator is by going online.

Background

Although common core is ostensibly a program of voluntary cooperation among states to create one set of content standards for all public schools in the whole country, HSLDA has grave concerns about this program, and more and more organizations are lining up to oppose it.

It’s touted as a program of “voluntary cooperation” among states: in fact, states are getting fistfuls of federal money to ditch their own carefully developed standards and embrace a national standard. It’s touted as being academically sound: in fact, it’s a “dumbing down” of standards that individual states already have. And while common core currently only applies to public schools, HSLDA’s long history of fighting against a national, one-size-fits-all approach to what children learn is due to our concerns that homeschoolers would one day be forced to use the same curriculum that all other schoolchildren are using. In fact, there is discussion of aligning tests that homeschoolers take (like the SAT) to the common core, which would pressure homeschool parents to align their homeschool curriculum to what public school students are being taught. In addition, some of the supporters of the common core’s central databases are already discussing expanding their program to include the personal data of homeschool students.

Proponents talk about common core as a spontaneous movement of individual states working under the auspices of the National Governor’s Association. But through the Federal Department of Education’s Race to the Top program, federal education dollars are used to lure states to adopt the common core, and this gives more power over the drafting of educational standards that will be used in schools all across the United States to federal education bureaucrats who are far removed from the parents and teachers at the local level.

For generations, Americans believed that Washington, D.C. should stay out of what local elementary schoolchildren learn. But common core threatens this historic tradition.

To learn more about common core, read our recent article on the subject.

Thank you for all you do in defense of freedom for families in the great state of Michigan!

Very truly yours,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you. Thank you for all you do for freedom! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support for our work enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

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Home School Legal Defense Association • P.O. Box 3000 • Purcellville, Virginia 20134-9000
Phone: (540) 338-5600 • Fax: (540) 338-2733 • Email: info@hslda.org
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