Why is CHAP Concerned about the Common Core State Standards?
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were initially intended to be math and english standards that could be voluntarily adopted,modified or rejected by the states. The standards were initiated by private interests in Washington, DC, and then presented by two political lobbying organizations (the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers). As a result of the federal stimulus bill of 2009, over $53 billion was designated to improve the education system in America. The voluntary nature of the standards were dropped and now states were required to adopt the CCSS in order to compete for federal Race to the Top (RTTT) funding. Through the use of federal funds, CCSS will institute de-facto nationalized standards for education. In order for the states to receive and continue to receive the money from RTTT, they will need to adopt CCSS. Implementing CCSS also involves the creation of assessments as well as contributing to a national database to track its effectiveness. This is an invasion of privacy of the individual and family. (Although those supporting the CCSS standards claim that no homeschoolers are included in the database, the state of New York admitted that information about homeschoolers was included in the database.)
Protecting Our Freedoms
The Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania seeks to promote Christ-centered, home-based discipleship as the best method and standard for education. CHAP seeks to protect the God-given rights of parents to homeschool. We feel that engaged parents make the best decisions for their children’s education. The Common Core State Standards instead promote a diminished one-size fits all approach to education with standards being implemented by unelected bureaucrats. In order to measure its effectiveness, the CCSS will also require national tests and a massive national database tracking extremely invasive information that goes beyond basic academic performance. Parents as home educators know their pupils well and can adjust the curriculum and teaching methods to best educate their children.
National standards will lead to national curriculum and national tests. The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) will become aligned with CCSS in the 2014-15 school year. Also, the new Keystone exams are in even stronger accord with the Common Core than the PSSA 3, 5, 8 and 11 standards. This will put pressure on homeschool families to teach to these tests and limit their ability to freely educate their children.
How You Can Help
Historically, state and local governments have been responsible for education. However, the federal government, through the use of funds, has intruded on that process. The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to force the states to adopt a national curricula. States are free to reject common core.
Contact the Governor’s office, your state representative, your state senators, and the state board of education to discuss your concerns and opposition to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
Review the Pennsylvanians Against Common Core website and then Sign the Petition
Pennsylvania and Common Core
- On July 1, 2010, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics.
- On December 23, 2011 Governor Corbett announced that Pennslyvania (sp) was awarded $41,326,299 under the “Race to the Top” grant program. The focus of the grant was to implement a statewide new teacher evaluation.
- On March 15, 2013 the State Board of Education voted to adopt final changes to amend Chapter 4, Academic Standards and Assessment, of Title 22, the Pennsylvania Education Code. The final-form regulation will be transmitted for regulatory review by the House and Senate Education Committees and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.
- Common Core is scheduled to be fully implemented in Pennsylvania by July 1, 2013
- Common Core State Standards
- Pennsylvania State Senate Education Committee
- Pennsylvania House Committee on Education
The State Board of Education approved the following items during its March 14, 2013 meeting:
- Chapter 4 Final-Form [PDF]
- Pennsylvania Common Core Standards: English Language Arts & Mathematics (Appendix A-1) [PDF]
- Pennsylvania Common Core Standards for Reading in Science and Technology & Pennsylvania Common Core Standards for Writing in Science & Technology (Appendix B) [PDF]
- Pennsylvania Common Core Standards for Reading in Science and Technology & Pennsylvania Common Core Standards for Writing in Science & Technology (Appendix C) [PDF]
Changes to Assessments in the Pennsylvania Education Code
- The PA State Board of Education adopted the final implementation schedule for the Keystone Exams, which are homogeneous, end-of-course assessments designed to ensure a student’s mastery of specific academic content determined by unelected bureaucrats or political appointees. These exams will be required to graduate from a Pennsylvania high school.
- Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, students will be required to pass three Keystone Exams – algebra I, biology and literature – or a comparable assessment to obtain a high school diploma.
- Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, students will be required to pass four Keystone Exams – algebra I, biology, literature and composition.
- Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, students will be required to pass five Keystone Exams – algebra I, biology, literature, composition, and civics and government.
- The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) will no longer be required for 11th grade students but will continue to be taken by students in grades 3 through 8. The PSSA will become aligned with CCSS in the 2014-15 school year.
HSLDA and Common Core
- Common Core State Standards Initiative: National Education Standards 2.0
- Nationalized Education Standards – an Update for Home Educators
- Common Core State Standards Initiative: Too Close to a National Curriculum
- National Databases: Collecting Student-Specific Data is uneccessary and Orwellian