Homeschooling seems to be an easy target for critics of school choice. It always has been. With homeschoolers being by definition outside the education establishment, some people attach a stigma to their choice, suggesting homeschooled children and their families must be somewhat weird. Recent claims about Adam Lanza, alleged perpetrator of the Newtown massacre, are just the latest and perhaps most egregious example.
Tagged: school choice
The 2010 introduction of Common Core, a set of requirements for what elementary and secondary school children should know in math and English language arts, has turned schools in one state after another into battlefields as its complexity and other factors led to protests against it. Even so, by mid-2014, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that very nearly half of those asked about it hadn’t even heard of it. A number of states, such as Missouri, Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina have withdrawn from it.
To briefly summarize Common Core, the decision to adopt the Common Core standards was left almost exclusively in the hands of the governors and the state boards of education. The public was not made aware that our education system was in the process of being changed, and certainly we were clueless that all states had been asked to accept an education system initiated at the federal level, something our forefathers prudently warned against. However, forty-five states committed to those standards, and did so even before the standards and/or accompanying curriculum were completed.
Assigning children to schools by ZIP code especially disenfranchises the poor and needy, because they have the least ability to buy their way to better schools either by moving to another neighborhood or paying for private tuition.
Why are Indiana leaders not also considering, for example, standards from California and Massachusetts, which are known to have some of the best education standards in the country, along with Indiana’s former standards? Even evaluators from the pro-Common Core Fordham Institute rated all three of these states’ standards higher than Common Core. Given that, perhaps only the Indiana, California, and Massachusetts standards should be on the table, at least if we want “the best in the nation,” as Gov. Mike Pence has promised. This suggests politics is more important than quality.
Maybe he was hard up for a good bragging point. Whatever the motive, President Barack Obama may rue taking ownership of the Common Core standardization of elementary and secondary education in his January 28 State of the Union oration.
Mary Najarrian, principal of Saint John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy in San Francisco, joins The Heartland Institute for a podcast about how an orthodox school balances conflict and education.
Public education imposes a “one-size-fits-all” and attempts to satisfy everyone’s preferences and moral values, but it’s just not possible. And in turn, it creates social tensions that could be dissolved with the freedom to congregate in mutual self-interest.
Victor Skinner, the author of the report for the Education Action Group News, joins The Heartland Institute to talk about his findings regarding Wisconsin’s oddly balanced school voucher system.
Parents and other taxpayers have multiple reasons for mounting a full-fledged grassroots rebellion against the nationalized education program being marketed as the Common Core State Standards.
Christian D’Andrea, an education policy analyst at Madison’s MacIver Institute sat down with Heartland’s Education Research Fellow, Joy Pullman to talk about how union limits in Wisconsin have helped positively influence education in the state.