Megan King, a parent from Kansans Against Common Core, is also homeschooling two of her children because she is unhappy with the Common Core standards.
“My oldest is in middle school, and is on an advance track that I felt comfortable leaving him where he is at, but even with him I am seeing problems in the area of English,” King told Breitbart News.
King said she pulled her kids from public school as Common Core was being implemented.
“I noticed the dumb and confusing way math was beginning to be taught, and as I looked more and more into Common Core, I didn’t like what I was seeing on so many levels,” she explained. “My 4th grader had only read one literature book through the year. I asked his teacher about their reading and she said they had been reading small non fiction books (informational text).”
“I just felt my kids were not going to learn at a level I know they can and should be learning at,” King said.
Though homeschooling has been an adjustment for the entire family, King said the results have been worth it.
Justin and Jennifer Dahlmann of Kansas also have decided to homeschool their children in response to the implementation of the Common Core standards.
KAKE.com reports that the Dahlmanns, who have four daughters from ages two to nine, said Common Core had been implemented at their children’s private school.
“Our own kids were taking these standards that are driving the curriculum and we didn’t know anything about it,” Justin said. “That’s when we started doing the research on it and realized how overbearing it was.”
The parents asserted that the Common Core standards are making education more confusing, as opposed to encouraging more rigorous critical thinking, as the standards’ supporters tout.
Homeschooling, for the Dahlmanns, is, in some ways, a form of protest of the “top down” Common Core standards.
“If this does nothing more than wake people up to becoming more involved with their children, that’s great,” Justin said. “But absolutely parents need to become more involved in this.”
Lisa Huesers from Kansas first opted her children out of the Common Core testing in the spring of 2013.
“When I first opted-out my kids, one principal said something about it, but nothing has been said since,” she noted. “I have asked the principals to ‘properly communicate’ to parents that the tests are optional, but they won’t.”
Huesers said parents receive frequent emails reminding parents to ensure that children are at school for the testing.
One of Huesers’ main concerns about Common Core is the collection of student data.
“I have taken actions to eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, my kids having personally identifiable usernames and passwords for all the daily work they do,” she explained. “There’s even more data being collected through this avenue. Parents should know what is being collected, who will have access to it, how it will be used.”
The University of Kansas Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation developed the tests. FOX 4 called KU’s CETE, but no one returned out calls for this story. One parent we talked to worries the testing problems are related to incorporating new Common Core standards into the exams.
“I’m not sure what the problem is, to be honest with you,” said Tate Jaeger, a parent. “I don’t know if it’s a matter of they can’t log in, or everyone can’t see the test. I don’t know for sure what the problem is other than there is a problem.”
Jaeger, who has two children in the school district, is concerned about sharing testing data with outside entities, particularly the federal government. He says a recently passed bill in the Kansas legislature would prevent that from happening. He’s seeking a better explanation for what’s being measured in the tests, and why schools are having trouble administering them when kids are prepared to take them.
“I look at my kids and I can’t imagine not fighting back for what I see as their whole future in education,” George says over the phone as her preschooler pesters her in the background. “It’s so much more to me than just standards. My son will tell me, ‘Mom, I think you’ve had enough computer time today.’ I feel like I’m fighting something because of them, and then taking time from them to do it.”
U.S Education Secretary Arne Duncan was right about one thing when he attacked anti-Common Core activists again in November: like George, they are mostly mothers. The media still usually labels Common Core opposition as Tea Party-driven, and that’s true to some extent, but the real drivers are mothers who saw Common Core in their kids’ classrooms and thought it degraded instruction.
“Common Core opposition is so completely grassroots, and support is so astroturf, “ says the education research fellow for The Heartland Institute, a think tank headquartered in Chicago that promotes individual liberty and free enterprise.
“It is already becoming a primary and general election issue in everything from local school board races to gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races,” she added.
According to Pullmann, the issue is “huge among mothers.”