The fact that you’re reading this blog suggests you’re probably already familiar with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) fiasco now overwhelming the nation’s public education system. If you’re not familiar with CCSS, I recommend you take a few moments to read these other three posts (located here, here, and here) before returning to this post.
I won’t spend any time getting into the details of CCSS, since most of you already know them. What I do want to do is grab the attention of homeschoolers; a group to whom this issue should be of monumental importance but, sadly, doesn’t appear to be.
Homeschoolers have a vested interest in making sure CCSS does not invade their homes or their children’s minds. To simply dismiss the controversy as a passing fad or just a couple of wackos with their britches in a bind is to foolishly follow the blind right into the ditch.
Three Camps of Homeschoolers
From my observation there are three groups of homeschoolers in relation to how we view the CCSS. The first camp, of which I am proud to say I’m part, wants no part of CCSS in the day-to-day education of children. All three of my kids are grown and gone, yet I would hold this position even if we were still homeschooling.
The second camp sees no problem whatsoever with CCSS and is fully prepared to embrace it under the assumption it will produce well educated kids prepared to be productive workers of the 21st-century. As much as I disagree with this philosophy, I can at least respect these parents for going “all in.”
The third camp is the one that disturbs me the most. Why? Because it is lukewarm. This group of homeschoolers acknowledges that the CCSS is bad news and really doesn’t belong in the public school. Yet at the same time they are not willing to forgo CCSS aligned curriculum in their own homeschools. They prefer to keep using such curricula because:
- it’s what they’ve always used
- they don’t want the hassle of finding something new
- they believe they’re capable of protecting their children from bad influences
If you’re part of this third camp, let me ask you a question: what would it take to motivate you to throw away your CCSS aligned curriculum and look for something new?
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not trying to accuse or be judgmental. Rather, I’m hoping to motivate you to ask yourself some tough questions and respond with some honest answers. I believe if you take the time to really think this through you’ll find there’s no room to be lukewarm. Either you’re all in, or you’re all out.
Open Your Windows, Look Around
What are your thoughts regarding the scandals occurring in Washington and our own statehouses on a daily basis? Are you at all disturbed by what our nation’s leaders are doing to this country? If so, what do you think has led to the circumstances we now find ourselves in?
Conservative politician and philosopher Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” If I didn’t know Burke was an 18th-century figure, I would swear he was living in 21st-century America.
My friends, we are in the mess we’re in because We the People, for far too long, have not made the public business our business. We have hidden away in the corners of our own houses, desiring just to get along day by day with no thought of what is happening in the bigger world. As a country we have ushered in this current age through our own passivity and unwillingness to take a stand — on anything.
The CCSS controversy is more of the same. When homeschooling parents acknowledge the problem with both philosophy and curriculum, yet adopt the principle that it won’t affect their families, they are continuing the same course of action that has paved the road right to the door of our current mess.
By continuing to use CCSS aligned curriculum, parents are directly supporting its propagation by putting money into the bank accounts of those publishers who keep producing this garbage. To say it won’t affect your family may or may not be true, that’s a discussion for another time, but it will affect other families inasmuch as you are helping the curriculum to continue being produced.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to purchase new curriculum, you may have decided to continue using the older editions that have not yet been aligned. Under budgetary constraints this is certainly the lesser of two evils. But what about the idea of principle?
One of the reasons there seems to be no principled leaders in Washington or our statehouses is because there are so few principled people at home. The principle of right and wrong should never be compromised. It should never be sacrificed at the altar of expediency or limited budgets. I firmly believe when principled people do the right thing, God honors that by providing the necessary resources to accomplish the task at hand. That goes for purchasing curriculum as well as anything else.
If you can find a way to come up with the money to purchase new curriculum not only will you be taking a principled stand, you’ll also be supporting publishers that are doing the right thing. That should count for something. One of the best ways to defeat evil is to support good. If we really want to do something to help bring an end to CCSS aligned curriculum, it starts by supporting those companies that still publish good material.
Follow the Money
One last thing I’d like you to consider is the money trail. Since our founding we have done our best to keep the federal government out of the education system; and rightly so. Washington has no business deciding how and what parents teach their children. But as American citizens have abandoned their responsibility to rein in government, it has opened the door to a problem many of us don’t want to admit: curriculum is being driven by an unholy marriage between big business and state educators.
Here’s a newsflash: your CCSS aligned curriculum publisher is more interested in making money than ensuring your child gets a proper education. Some of the big names, like Math-U-See for example, have begun aligning with the CCSS because their business relies heavily on sales to institutionalized schools. What have they told homeschoolers? “You can just skip the aligned material.”
I’m all for capitalism, so don’t misunderstand. But there’s a time when capitalism must take a back seat to morality and integrity. I’ve already demonstrated in previous posts why the common core is so dangerous and anti-biblical. Principle dictates I cannot put my support behind a curriculum or publisher that would sell out the education of children in exchange for sales.
My fellow homeschoolers, this is not about a misguided educational choice gone wrong. This is about a concerted effort among those opposed to faith, family, and liberty to undo everything the United States was built upon. Those who sit passively by and claim it doesn’t affect their families are the same people the common core movement is relying on to keep this going.
Do you want to be part of that group?