Collegebound can’t opt out of Common Core

Common Core Standards will affect homeschoolers when their children apply to college, writes Paula Bolyard in PJ Lifestyle. Without traditional academic credentials, homeschooled students need strong SAT or ACT scores.

David Coleman, a “lead architect” of the Common Core, is now president of the College Board, which designs and administers the SAT and AP (Advanced Placement) tests. He plans to “redesign the SAT, transforming it from an aptitude test intended to control for varying levels of school quality, to a knowledge test aligned with the Common Core,” reports The Atlantic.

The ACT, which describes itself as “an active partner with the Common Core State Standards Initiative,” also plans to revamp their tests, notes Bolyard.

If your homeschooled children plan to go to attend college some day, the way things currently stand, they will be tested on Common Core “achievements and behavior.” That means you may need to consider altering your curriculum to align with the standards.

Alignment of the SAT, ACT and GED exams to Common Core “poses new questions about the extent to which states, private schools, and homeschooled students will be compelled to accept national standards and tests,” writes Brittany Corona on Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry

Even in states that do not sign on to Common Core, schools could find themselves having to align content with Common Core material in order to ensure student success on the SAT or ACT—something that could affect private schools.

The GED is “sometimes used by homeschoolers to demonstrate content mastery,” Corona writes. The new version of the test “could pull homeschoolers into the Common Core web.”

Michael Farris, co-founder of Home School Legal Defense Association, told Coleman (in a polite conversation): “Just because you have a good idea (homeschooling in my case, Common Core in his case), it doesn’t mean that it is appropriate to force everyone in the country to follow your idea. And that is my central problem with the Common Core and all forms of centralized educational planning.”

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  1. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Hmm. Possible problem here: SAT’s utility lies in its ability to differentiate on aptitude, which supposedly translates into some sort of college success.

    Knowledge is a LOT easier to get than aptitude.

    The test will flatten out at the top, and may lose its effectiveness as a predictor of college success.

    Or not. I’m just musing on the possibility.

  2. Oh great. So how will colleges find those kids who go to bad schools but have high aptitude? that is one thing that the SAT does, after all; identified kids with talent from substandard schools.

    • The obvious answer is they won’t although the top colleges will, I suspect, go to considerable lengths to uncover the next-generation talent that’s necessary to keep them on top Common Core or no.

      A MOOC “class”, for instance, could be designed to be a test rather then a class. The economics of MOOCs practically begs to put them to all sorts of unexpected uses.

      I’m sure there are other ways to discriminate between the also-rans and the academic superstars that’ll help keep the names of “name” schools very recognizable.

  3. These tests really exist to serve the colleges–I can’t imagine that they’d do a complete overhaul without making sure they still offer value to the colleges…..

    On the other hand, if a homeschooled kid has a decent education, filling in the gaps to look good on the new SAT shouldn’t be so hard.

  4. I’ll try to get a link to it, but I’ve been told that the ACT is not going to change itself and adapt to CCSS, but be an alternative to any national testing that does. This would be a good thing for homeschoolers.

  5. Interesting. Texas opted out of the CCS. It is also one of the most populous states. We’ve seen how Texas influenced textbooks, now I wonder if we’ll see the same in testing?

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      I suspect a lot of people at the College Board would love to say, “Eff you, Texas. This time, we’re in charge.”

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    achievements and behavior.”

    Behavior? Questions arise. Is there an objective metric?
    If it’s even the least subjective, perhaps the home schoolers won’t have the right behavior. That’ would be like “holistic” admission criteria for colleges which discover that Asians don’t have any holistics.

    • From what I’ve read about the CC, no. Every student will have a full profile, including social/emotional aspects, that is to be started in infancy and will follow them all the way past college. CC is far more than academics; it smells like state ownership of children.

  7. I predict (and hope) that the Common Core will founder. The NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel may keep Common Core alive, but homeschoolers will find obvious paths around it. Homeschoolers may take the GED, then attend community college for the first two years of post-secondary schooling, for example. The accommodations that colleges will have to make for foreign students will eventually apply to American-born as well.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      accommodations that colleges will have to make for foreign students will eventually apply to American-born as well.

      Get out!