Common Core and Homeschooling

Image from the Home Education Family Association:

Image from the Home Education Family Association:

The Heritage Institute blog, The Foundry, writes,

New information on Common Core “alignment” by the ACTSAT, and even GED exams raises questions about the impact Common Core will have on private and homeschooled students and their ability to “opt out” of the federally incentivized standards if they want to apply for college.

    …Proponents of the standards have tried to argue that Common Core is optional for states. But alignment of tests like the SAT, ACT, and GED poses new questions about the extent to which states, private schools, and homeschooled students will be compelled to accept national standards and tests.

But it isn’t just tests like the SAT, ACT, and GED aligning with the Common Core standards, standards which most homeschoolers won’t be teaching to, that may complicate college admissions. New rules will also call into question the validity of a high school diploma that is not aligned with the standards. Institutions of Higher Education are now under federal U.S. Department of Education rules which require them validate a high school diploma.    The National Association of College Admission Counseling issued the following policy brief in 2011,

Based on the GAO’s recommendations, the U.S. Department of Education drafted a new rule  defining a high school diploma. Under new Higher Education Act regulations (§ 668.16(p)),  institutions are required to develop and follow procedures for evaluation of the validity of a  student’s high school completion if the institution or the Department of Education has reason to believe that the high school diploma is not valid or was not obtained from an entity approved to provide secondary education. This regulation becomes effective July 1, 2011.
To help institutions identify diplomas that are suspect, the Department will establish and maintain  a list of public and private high schools, populated by surveys from the Department’s National  Center for Education Statistics. Also, the department added two questions to the 2011-12 FAFSA  (print and online) to assist institutions in identifying suspect high school completion.

The question added asks:

27.  When you begin college in year 2011-2012 what will be your high school completion status?
High school diploma
None of the above

A homeschool student earning a high school diploma following the regulations in their state should be able to answer “high school diploma”.  But instead they have to check homeschooled.  Why?  It almost leads one to believe homeschooled students are going to be targeted as having suspect diplomas that need extra scrutiny. This is really worrisome.

I must admit I wasn’t really worried about Common Core. I was aware of the uproar surrounding the new standards and I definitely wasn’t in favor of the program. I honestly think the federal government is stepping over the boundaries set for it by the 10th Amendment. But the government overstepping is sadly becoming commonplace and I figured I had done what I could by finally being in a place to homeschool. I wasn’t even terribly worried when I learned about the SAT and ACT aligning with Common Core standards because there was a round of stories at the end of last year about major colleges dropping those tests as an admission requirement. Any qualms I had about Common Core’s ability to affect my son’s future were counteracted by that revelation. And I also figured there is always Bible College.

But this targeting, at least it appears to be, of homeschool kids to have the validity of their high school diplomas challenged, this is maddening. The government, having grown tired of trying to turn adult minds, has now stooped to grooming children to be the dumbed down followers they want. And it appears they are trying to ensure no child is exempt from their indoctrination. Please someone, tell me I’m overreacting.


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