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Call to Action: National Educational Standards

Posted by homeschoolmentormom on March 27, 2010

       Note:  This blog is not about politics, and I’ve avoided posting any articles or links about my personal political beliefs unless they have something to do with the state of America’s educational system or our freedom to educate our children as we see fit.  This is one of those times I can’t keep quiet.  Please read the summary below and take the appropriate action.

      No doubt you have heard about Obama’s proposed national standards for education.  Perhaps you have been concerned, as I am, about the affect these standards could have on young children (the continued pushdown of curriculum), and on homeschoolers (who often are required by state law to keep their children at state “grade level”, no matter how inappropriate that “grade level” might be.)  Even those of us not required by law to keep our children at a certain educational level will be influenced by these standards, either through changes in homeschool curriculums because of the standards or through public/peer pressure. 

       The new National Standards proposed are disturbing.  They are not developmentally appropriate, and many of the “requirements” and unclear and open to subjective judgments.  If they pass, they will put increased pressure on young children and on homeschooling families. 

       These standards will, in my opinion, lead to a national curriculum and take away public school teacher’s abilities to be innovative or creative (opportunities to improvise/individualize the content).  From what I understand, every classroom in America would be required to teach the exact same thing in the exact same way on the exact same day across America. (Not to mention–who would write our “national” curriculum?  What type of social engineering/Outcome-based garbage might it include?)

       Most of all, I worry that these standards will eventually be used as an excuse to regulate homeschools and private schools.  If they were made to apply to homeschoolers, they would take away our abilities to choose our own curriculum or individualize our curriculum in content and method–and this has been one of our greatest strengths.  Additionally, these standards would take away our ability to move our children along at their own pace…letting our little one’s maturity set the pace, instead of the curriculum.  Curriculum would become a slave driver instead of a tool. 

         There is still time to do something about this.  First, read the position statement put out by the Alliance for Childhood and Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals.

         Next, go to the Alliance for Childhood’s website and follow the step by step directions to add your own comments to the proposed standards.   I won’t lie to you; it’s a pain.  But we only have until April 2nd to make our voices heard.  Please take the time to express your opposition to National Standards today.

© 2010 Susan Lemons all rights reserved.


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