I always consider policy discussions about privatization – proposals to dismantle public education and replace it with charters, vouchers and home schools – a distraction from the real project of making our public schools the best in the world. But anti-Common Core activists have the gall to see the work needed to move our schools forward – like increasing expectations by instituting higher standards like the Common Core – as a distraction from their privatization goal!
Just think about that.
New Hampshire’s anti-Common Core activists express these very views (a point I first made here) but the American Principles Project further fleshed out this manifesto on its blog a couple of days ago. Here’s an excerpt:
American Principles Project has been an advocate for school choice since our inception. We have been alarmed how the Common Core State Standards has been an intrusion for private schools and even homeschoolers. In principle we desire greater choice in education as parents should have sovereignty over how their children learn. The Common Core diminishes parental choice as they are confronted by “common standards” at every turn. Robert Holland of The Heartland Institute gave a dire warning last month saying that the Common Core would cripple school choice.
Ultimately, disempowerment may be the main reason for parental angst. Unless it is stopped, Common Core will deliver a devastating blow to parental choice at all levels. The one, limited power possessed by most public-school parents is the ability to seek change at the local school board. Unfortunately, the corporate and foundation-funded sponsors of CCSS copyrighted the standards and set up no process for local amendment.
The greatest leverage for parents comes when they can use vouchers or tax-credit scholarships to transfer their children to private or parochial schools. But even in a state with as strong a voucher program as Indiana, the government requires schools accepting voucher students to administer the official test, which has opened the door wide to CCSS-style assessment. Thus will governmental creep dilute the liberating effect of school choice.
Nor will homeschooling parents be exempt if CCSS stands, because many states also require home educators to administer the official test. Even more insidious, Common Core lead writer David Coleman (formerly a testing consultant) now heads the College Board and has vowed to align the SAT with the nationalized standards. Thus any student—whether from public, private, parochial, or home school—will have to be Common Core-acclimated.
So there you have it. The privatizers see the Common Core as a threat to their goal of dismantling American public education. Naturally.