Originally Sent: 5/20/2014
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Action Needed to Stop Common Core!
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,
Common Core creates a top-down nationalized education system which is bad for our country. For homeschoolers, the Common Core poses the specific threat of creating new obstacles to employment and higher education.
HSLDA is supporting Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr’s five amendments to the Senate budget which would slow Common Core implementation in Massachusetts. These amendments are identical to those filed by Rep. Keiko Orrall last month in the House and will be debated this week in the Senate.
These amendments would strike a blow against the Common Core by putting the legislature in charge and hindering unelected bureaucrats from making any more sweeping changes to the educational system. We need your help today to support these amendments.
Please contact your state senator today! 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 your senator the following message in your own words:
To find your state senator click here.
Senator Tarr’s amendments:
Amendment No. 462, identical to Orrall’s amendment which passed the House, would require a cost-benefit analysis be performed by the Department of Education on using the new PARCC assessments.
Amendment No. 463 creates a legislative task force to provide an independent evaluation of the current Common Core standards.
Amendment No. 465 pauses the implementation of the PARCC assessment until the required analysis and reporting back to the legislature are completed.
Amendment No. 470 allows schools to obtain a waiver from the Common Core if the effort is not fully funded by the state.
Amendment No. 394 would repeal the PARCC assessments altogether. All these amendments should be supported.
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 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.
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,
Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
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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 enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>
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