Do We Really Want To Nationalize Educational Standards?

“Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state. The state will take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child belongs to us already…what are you?”

Even though I realize that this current administrations goal is to expand government, and even though I recognize that the larger the government grows, the less free we are;  I never thought the progressives in Washington  really cared about homeschoolers or even private schools.  I was naive to think that the leftists in control only concerned themselves with the public schools.  Now though,  I am hearing that Obama wants to include all private, religious and homeschools in the National Standards. My prayer is that his efforts will fail even though he has made no secret that national standards are an agenda priority. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan declared,  “If we accomplish one thing in the coming years it should be to eliminate the extreme variation in standards across America.”

I do not believe that the department of education and the progressive elitists are so concerned with the “extreme varitation in standards” , but believe that they want  control over what we teach our children and what curriculum we use.  This is simply another power grab for them.  Not only do they recognize the power of a textbook, but they know what a great  tool it can be for spreading any type of propaganda or worldview.  Dictators and Tyrants know that Textbook propaganda works, and many are using it today.  Even here in America many of  our children have been indoctrinated into the religion of secular humanism, moral relativism, anti-free market, socialism and evolution. God has been left out of our schools and a message is given….no competing view points are allowed even at many colleges and universities these days.

Fascist regimes have always been against parental rights and homeschooling.  I can understand this because of the control that they desire over the people.  I was saddened when I heard about homeschooling being outlawed in Sweden.  One family had their child taken from them as they were heading out of their country to India.  Now the child is in foster care, attending the government school and cannot see his family more than an hour every 5 weeks!! This sounds like science fiction to me.  Did this really happen?  Could this happen in our America?

To “justify” their action, Swedish authorities cited the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (which Barbara Boxer of CA supports). It is unthinkable but, the White House and some members of Congress have expressed interest in ratifying this authoritarian treaty so that this type of government control could be exercised here in our America as well.

Just as the parents enrolled in charter schools or public school at home programs are offered money in order to recruit them, The Department of Education ensured high participation in the Common Core Standards by tying federal grants to state involvement. So, as usual, the government will offer us money in exchange for our freedom. Many states have already signed up in order to get funding.  Several states like Texas and Alaska have refused.

I am still learning about this subject but I intend to do what I can to thwart this expansion of government by supporting the Parental Rights Amendment, sending money to conservative campaigns,  and voting in true constitutional conservatives in November.  If you would like more information on this very important and relevant subject please check out the following links.  May God have mercy upon our Country,  forgive our sins and heal our land.  May He grant us the freedom to disciple and train our children according to His laws and precepts.~Anne

HSLDA’s Federal Relations Department

May 11, 2009

On Wednesday, April 29, the U.S. House of Representative’s Education and
Labor Committee held the 111th Congress’s first hearing on the potential
reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as
the No Child Left Behind Act). Entitled “Strengthening America’s
Competitiveness through Common Academic Standards,” the hearing could
foreshadow a serious threat to the freedom of homeschoolers nationwide and
America’s constitutional tradition of limited government.

While not connected with any bill yet proposed in Congress, the U.S.
representatives on the committee dedicated the hearing to the discussion of
a plan to potentially eliminate virtually all state control over the
education system, and centralize education in Washington, D.C. through
nationalized standards, which would lead to nationalized curriculum tests,
and textbooks.

The committee heard from various expert witnesses. Some, like Ken James, who
is the commissioner of education for the Arkansas Department of Education,
stressed that any plan should not be mandatory, or require the federal
government to establish its own national standards: “First and foremost,
this is a voluntary, state-led effort to establish a common core of
standards across the states. Let me be clear, this is not an effort to
establish federal standards,” said Mr. James.

Other expert witnesses, however, seemed to desire the federal government to
be more involved in establishing academic standards, and possibly even
testing and curricula. One witness, David Levin, who is the co-founder of
KIPP Schools, made an ambiguous comment at the end of his testimony that
left HSLDA wondering if he wanted Congress to regulate all education:
“Before the Civil War, when talking about our country people would say, ‘The
United States are..’ After, it became ‘The United States is..’ It is time
that we do the same in education and adopt one set of common standards.”

Other witnesses called for “common national standards that are rigorous and
relevant,” and urged Congress to take action.

In the face of these calls, HSLDA is closely monitoring Congress’s actions.
If groups of states on their own want to establish common standards for
public schools, that is one thing. HSLDA firmly believes that educational
decisions should be left up to the states and local school boards, not
Washington, D.C. However, we believe that any attempts by Congress to create
nationalized standards, curriculum, or testing would be unconstitutional,
and harmful to students and families. Homeschool families have demonstrated
that parents, not bureaucrats in Washington, best know their children and
what they need to learn.

Congressman Buck McKeon (CA), the ranking member on the House Education and
Labor Committee recognized this when he said during the hearing, “Some
people in Washington seem to think that the federal government created the
states to administer its far-reaching programs and policies. But that’s not
the case. History tells us that the states created the federal government.”

Congressman Mark Souder (IN) also shared his concerns about calls for
Congress to create national standards. He asked some of the witnesses, “By
the way, how do homeschoolers fit into this? How do Christian schools fit
into this? How do colleges fit into this?” His question was never answered.

Mr. Souder soundly called any plans for centralized top-down education “a
straitjacket which will be politically manipulated,” which will be exploited
by special interests, and which will not advance education, but rather
“advance whatever the political agenda is of those who are in power.”

For the past several decades, America’s education system has become more
centralized and more disconnected from parents and local control. This has
weakened academic quality as the federal government’s grip on the education
system grows tighter. Local control over education is always better than
centralized federal control. We are extremely concerned by any calls for
nationalized standards, especially since it is unclear what room would be
left for educational freedom, or how homeschoolers will be affected.

HSLDA urges you to contact your representative, as well as the
representatives on House Education and Labor Committee, and tell them to
oppose any calls for nationalized stabdardsm testing, or curricula. You can
find your representative on HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox


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