Originally Sent: 9/20/2013

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
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Call Your Representative to Oppose Common Core and Federally Controlled Testing

Homeschooling in Michigan

Help prevent a national standard.



HSLDA staff attorney Mike Donnelly helps protect homeschool freedom in your community.
Read more >>

Dear Michigan Members and Friends,

The Michigan House and Senate will be voting soon to determine whether to implement the Common Core State Standards and adopt the federally funded and controlled SMARTER tests. Your support is needed to oppose BOTH the Common Core Standards and the adoption of the SMARTER test regimen.

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 has the potential to 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.

Another component of the Common Core package is the adoption of the SMARTER tests. These tests are federally controlled and encourage teachers to “teach to the test” and use curriculum that aligns with the test standards. If these tests are adopted, they will strongly discourage the use of any curriculum that is not specifically aligned to the federal standards. The SMARTER tests are a foot in the door of federally controlled education standards.

Action Requested

Please contact both your state senator and representative and give them the following message in your own words:

“Please oppose the Common Core standards and federally controlled SMARTER tests. 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. The SMARTER tests likewise encourage teachers to ‘teach to the test’ and create a de facto national curriculum based around the tests. As a homeschooling parent, I am concerned that Common Core has the potential to 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 oppose further implementation of common core.”

You can find out who your state senator is by going here.

You can find out who your state representative is here.

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 “voluntary”: 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 school children learn. But Common Core threatens this historic tradition.

To learn more about Common Core, visit HSLDA’s webpage here.

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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