You may have already heard about something called the Common Core State Standards Initiative. It is often referred to as Core Curriculum Standards. There is a lot of information about it online. The shortest explanation is that the Common Core State Standards Initiative is a set of curriculum that is intended to establish a single set of clear educational standards for students in kindergarten through 12th grade in English and Mathematics.
There has been a lot of controversy about the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Those who support it feel that it will provide a equal set of standards that will be the same all across the United States. All students, no matter what part of the United States they lived in, would be taught the same concepts, be expected to reach the same goals, and to learn the same skills. The idea is that this would make all students more prepared for college and a career.
Those who are opposed feel that the imposition of the Common Core State Standards Initiative infringes upon the rights of each state to choose their own educational goals. Many who are opposed are concerned that if their state adopts the Common Core State Standards it will mean that private schools would have to adhere to those standards, too. Others point out that the system has not been tested, and we cannot know for certain if it will produce the desired results.
Parents who are homeschooling their children might, at first, figure that the Common Core State Standards Initiative does not affect them. It seems to be something that the public schools are expected to follow (if their state has decided to adopt those standards). Homeschoolers would be exempt, right?
That is not necessarily the case. Part of it depends upon whether or not your state has opted-in to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. There is a resource that will show you, at a glance, if your state has adopted those standards. Most states have decided to do so.
Some parents who homeschool have concerns about how the Common Core State Standards Initiative would affect things like the ACT, PSAT, SAT, or other tests that students must take before they enter college. It appears that at least some of those tests could already be aligned with the Common Core State Standards. If you aren’t teaching that way, will it affect your child’s ability to pass those tests?
There are some parents who homeschool who would like to completely avoid all curriculum and lesson plans that adhere to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. The Educational Freedom Coalition has put together an extensive resource that notes which companies are writing lesson plans that fit those standards, which are not, and which happen to match the standards (without necessarily intending to do so).
Image by Alberto G. on Flickr.