Parental rights to raise children to respect the parent’s traditions and values have been under attack from many fronts including the U.S. Department of Education. The implementation of Common Core Standards undermines parental rights to make educational decisions for their children. Now is the time for parents to protest this intrusion by opting their child out of Common Core for the 2014-2015 school year.
Race to the Top was a three-year program which expires in 2014 making NOW the ideal time for parents to opt-out. Districts need time to open discussions with parents about alternatives to Common Core and to implement those alternatives before the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
Congress did NOT pass legislation requiring Common Core standards to be implemented nor did Congress require that standards, curriculum, and tests be aligned. If parents allow the U.S. Department of Education to force policy upon the public as if that policy were law, the parents will be surrendering more than parental involvement to the federal government. How soon will it be before all parental rights are ceded to the federal government?
Nowhere in the Race to the Top guidelines is there any requirement for repayment of dollars obtained to implement Common Core. Therefore, if parents find Common Core to be unacceptable, they can change standards and districts will NOT have to return any RttT dollars.
Our government has falsely represented Common Core Standards as “internationally benchmarked” with proven success. Both statements are false and the government has no proof that either statement can be verified. When a company makes promises about a product and those promises cannot be delivered, the customer has a right to return the product and demand that his money be returned. The most effective way for citizens to receive the equivalent from the federal government is to demand that the federal government stop taxing states for educational dollars, to reject every federal educational policy the government tries to impose upon the state, and to recognize that this taxing authority is unconstitutional and should be returned to the states.
Examine the method of implementation used in your state. For example, Wisconsin did NOT commit itself explicitly to maintain any policies under RttT, including Common Core. This is an excellent source of leverage that parents may use.
If the U.S. Department of Education tries to become punitive, most likely Title I money would be threatened. Doing so would give parents a political goldmine. Title I dollars are intended for the neediest students. Imagine the outrage when the DoED takes money from those who need it the most simply because parents want to be involved in educational decisions affecting their children. Parents would be protecting their children from a vengeful, tyrannical federal government.
Advocates for Academic Freedom has opt-out forms on their blog page. The relevant form for this process is: OPTING-OUT OF FEDERALLY ALIGNED STANDARDS, CURRICULUM, AND TESTING FOR THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR. Parents may cut and paste the form from the blog page to use in their districts. http://advocatesforacademicfreedom.blogspot.com/