By Cynthia Weatherly, 3D Research Group
Last week it was my distinct displeasure to open our local paper, The Athens Banner-Herald of February 10, 2015, and read “Draft of Clarke charter plan calls for schoolhealth clinics, streamlined teacher evaluation, local governance teams—andbetter performance.” Clarke County’s recently elected “Outstanding School Superintendent of the Year for Georgia,” Philip Lanoue, announced that he is proposing that Clarke County (Athens) become a charter district.
Under a recent state law going into effect this year, every school board in the state must declare by June 30 whether they plan to become a charter district, remain status quo, or seek “Investing in Educational Excellence” status (which parallels the “Opportunity School District” amendment that our governor wants passed to be able to create a New Orleans/Tennessee-style, state/governor’s office-run school district of takeovers that don’t meet designated criteria in three years). If “approved” by the Clarke County School Board, it will submit its charter for State School Board rubber stamp.
While locally elected officials are not always the most informed, having been forcefully trained to abide by the guidelines of the National School Board Association, they still are the closest representatives of local taxpayers and parents. There are efforts afoot to do away with local boards and districts under the auspices of ridding them of Common Core Standards. This is a ruse to change the governance structure and tax structure in order to have the funding follow the child as a voucher only slightly disguised as an Educational Savings Account (ESA). This is especially promoted by the Heritage Foundation, Heartland Institute, American Principles Project and other neocon organizations.
Even Home School Legal Defense seems to have lost sight of why families want to home school—to do something different from what is happening in public school. Michael Farris’s organization has been promoting legislation that would have homeschoolers using standardized tests—the SAT, ACT and PSAT—based on Common Core material, as indicators of annual academic progress.
Read more HERE.
ABCs of DumbDown: “Good” Bills?!
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has done it again—made us scratch our heads and wish we could ignore their actions. A previous post titled “ACT & Common Core” from a “grassroots mom” did an excellent job of explaining the problems with the ACT College Entrance Examination. The most obvious problem being that it now “is aligned to match the ‘learning’ gained from the Common Core Standards.” ACT states that it is “developing a holistic understanding of readiness—for college, for career, and for work.” Horrors!
Are these not the very things that homeschooling parents consider problems and what leads them to decide to make the sacrifices they do to teach their children other standards, like academics?
Then why, may I ask—and so should you—is Michael Farris’s HSLDA describing legislation that “will give homeschool families the right to submit a passing score (23rd percentile or higher) on an SAT, ACT and PSAT test to satisfy the year-end assessment requirement” in Virginia law under the column entitled “Good Bills Moving Forward” in their February 10th newsletter?
Read more HERE.
Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt
Former Senior Policy Advisor
U.S. Department of Education
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