Originally Sent: 5/20/2014

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

Donate to HSLDA
To support HSLDA’s litigation, education and lobbying efforts, click here. Contributions or gifts to HSLDA are not tax deductible. To make a tax-deductible gift to the Homeschool Freedom Fund, which will fund litigation and education of the public, click here.  For more information about these two opportunities to support the work of HSLDA see the FAQ here.

Join 20,000 others...

The HSLDA Curriculum Market is buzzing with activity! Save money on new and used homeschooling materials, or sell your extras.

You Can Help!

The Home School Foundation supports homeschool families in need. Whether it's a widow or a family suffering after a natural disaster, HSF is there to help. You can give directly, or through our Clicks For Homeschooling program; online merchants contribute to HSF when you shop!

Start shopping here to contribute to HSF at no cost to you!
   

Action Needed to Stop Common Core!

Homeschooling in Massachusetts.

Please call your state senator!



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

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.

Action Requested

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:

I oppose implementation of the PARCC assessment. This assessment is neither tested nor proven and offers no obvious benefits over Massachusetts’ current educational assessment the MCAS. Furthermore, the PARCC Assessment is associated with the Common Core, a set of controversial standards developed by private organizations and was neither tested nor benchmarked. The MTA has just elected an anti-Common Core president which should send a message that teachers are not in support either.

Massachusetts has one of the top-ranked education systems in the country—why would we change to a set of untested and unproven standards? Why would we use a new test that is neither proven nor tested? I oppose the Common Core because it creates a nationalized education system and removes local involvement of parents, citizens, and local school committees. As a parent and citizen I am concerned that there has been virtually no legislative involvement in this dramatic shift from state standards and assessments to these unknown and untested standards and assessments. Senator Tarr’s amendments would require the proper financial and analysis and review to answer these and other questions before making such a dramatic shift in our state education system. Please support Senator Tarr’s amendments No. 462, No. 463, No. 465, No. 470, and No. 494 to the budget.

To find your state senator click here.

Background

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.
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 enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>


The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

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
Web: http://www.hslda.org

Subscription Information: You subscribed to the HSLDA E-lert Service as:
##ToAddress##

Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Change Settings

POSTMASTERS: This message is being sent to the most recent address we have for our subscribers. If this is an invalid email address or you have other problems, please reply to webmaster@hslda.org.

DISCLAIMER: This is considered a private and confidential message from HSLDA to its bonafide HSLDA E-lert Service subscribers. HSLDA cannot attest to the authenticity of copies posted, forwarded, or sent by any party other than HSLDA.

NOTE: Please do not reply or otherwise use this email address; hslda@hslda.org is for broadcast purposes only and is not intended to receive incoming messages. We cannot reply to any email sent to this address. If you have comments or questions, please send email to info@hslda.org or call HSLDA at 540-338-5600. HSLDA members can also email staff directly through the Members website at http://members.hslda.org/contact.asp. Thank you for your cooperation.

© 2014 HSLDA. All rights reserved.