Originally Sent: 4/28/2014

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

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Action Needed to Stop Common Core

Seriously? With Your Help—Yes!

Homeschooling in Massachusetts.

Please call today.



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

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

State Representative Keiko Orral, the only homeschooling mom serving at the Massachusetts Statehouse, has filed five amendments to the budget that would stop further implementation of the Common Core in Massachusetts. Pipe dream? Maybe not.

Representative Orral has told me that most of her colleagues are not very familiar with the Common Core issue—that is why we need you to take action today. And, if the Massachusetts Teachers Association votes on new anti-Common Core leadership, as it is poised to do on May 10, the potential to stop the implementation of Common Core will increase dramatically. The New York Teachers Union reversed course recently to oppose the Common Core, sending shockwaves through the pro-Common Core community.

The “Orral Amendments” described below would work against the Common Core and make important changes to Massachusetts law. They would give the legislature more oversight over education to make it harder for unelected bureaucrats to make such controversial and sweeping changes without input from elected officials. Representative Orral needs your help today to move these proposals forward.

HSLDA is asking you to contact Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Brian Dempsey, and your representative and ask them to support all five of Representative Orral’s amendments.

Action

Please contact Speaker DeLeo, Chairman Dempsey, and your representative. Although the Common Core affects homeschooling families it is not necessary to speak as a homeschooling parent since this issue affects all parents in Massachusetts. Consider giving them the following message in your own words:

“I oppose implementation of the Common Core and its associated PARCC assessment. The Common Core is a set of controversial standards developed by private organizations that are neither tested nor benchmarked. The Common Core moves toward a nationalized education system removing what are proven contributors to educational success—the involvement of parents, citizens, and local school committees. There has been virtually no legislative involvement in this dramatic shift from state standards and assessments to these unknown and untested standards and assessments. How much will it cost? No one knows. Why wasn’t the legislature involved? No one knows. Why are we changing from the MCAS to another untested and controversial assessment? No one knows. Representative Orral’s amendments would require the proper financial analysis and review to answer these and other questions before making such a dramatic shift in our state education system. Please support all five of the ‘Orral Amendments’ numbers 16, 36, 52, 61 and 1076 to the budget.”

You can contact the House Speaker and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee using the following contact information:

Robert A. Deleo
Speaker of the House
(617) 722-2500
Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov

Brian Dempsey
House Ways and Means Chair
(617) 722-2990
Brian.Dempsey@mahouse.gov

To find your representative click here.

Background

The Common Core standards are the latest attempt by some to impose a one-size-fits-all approach to education through national curriculum standards and federally funded tests. These standards harm local control of education and represent a step down the slippery slope toward national curriculum, national testing, national databases and national standards. This 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 and our nation.

The Common Core is a threat to freedom in education and could have a serious impact on homeschooling freedom. HSLDA has been a leader of the national coalition working to stop implementation of the Common Core. We are having some success as states are slowing and reversing course on these controversial standards.

Representative Orral’s amendments include Amendment No. 16, which would require a cost benefit analysis be performed by the Department of Education on using the new assessment. The analysis will be provided to the legislature upon completion. Amendment No. 36 would limit the Department of Education’s authority to make such dramatic changes in educational policy without legislative input. Amendment No. 52 would pause the implementation of the PARCC assessment until the required analysis and reporting back to the legislature are completed. Amendment No. 61 would require the state to reimburse any town for expenses incurred while upgrading information technology to accommodate the new assessments. Finally, Amendment No. 1076 would establish a legislative task force to provide an independent evaluation of the current Common Core standards adopted by the state board.

For more information about the Common Core and to watch HSLDA’s half hour documentary on the Common Core click here.

Thank you for all you do in defense of freedom for families in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!

Very truly yours,

/signature/

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

• • •

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! 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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