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Here at
our sales people and
consultants are asked
almost everyday about the
"Common Core Standards."

We hope this will help answer
a few of your questions.

What is the Common Core?

The Common Core is the popular name given to the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), a set of educational standards developed by private individuals under the auspices of a non-profit foundation with connections to curriculum publishers and a computer/software company. The copyrighted standards were accepted by the National Governor’s Association and thereby portrayed as being an initiative of the states. However, the standards were tied to federal monies by the Obama administration, which in effect made them federal standards. Curriculum publishers immediately reformulated their materials to fit these standards, further reinforcing the national nature of the standards. The College Board, which administers entrance exams for many colleges, was then taken over by new leadership that is realigning the SAT with these standards.

How does the Common Core
affect homeschoolers?

Supporters of the CCSSI insist that the standards are not federally mandated and that they are comprised of the best of the state standards that existed prior to this initiative. Those statements are hotly debated by opponents of the CCSSI. The bottom line for homeschoolers is that any time a set of wide-sweeping standards are proposed, it undermines the freedom homeschooling parents have in determining how they shall train and educate their children. State legislators who set educational requirements tend to be swayed by the arguments in favor of a standardized curriculum and begin to undermine the authority of local school districts to select the curriculum for their students. These restrictions are often imposed on homeschooling families as well. Besides these curriculum restrictions, the effect of such a wide-spread restructuring of educational resources trickles through the educational community, limiting what materials are available and what material is included in state-wide tests and college entrance exams. Even if the requirements are not formally imposed on homeschoolers, they are in effect because of market conditions.

support the Common Core?’s focus has always been and will continue to be “education in the shadow of the cross.” This is why we clearly mark publishers who have a Christian worldview with a cross next to their name. We do not carry anything and everything that is available from the publishers we select. We choose resources based on the following criteria:
     •  compatibility with biblical truths
     •  quality of presentation, comprehensiveness, and educational content
     •  flexibility and home education approach that is supported
     •  learning styles and specific needs being met
     •  cost effectiveness and overall value

Given these criteria, we do offer some materials from secular publishers. Most of these are supplemental workbooks that are designed to reinforce key skills, which means they are either “neutral” or compatible with a biblical worldview. We do offer one curriculum track that is clearly marked as being totally secular, in response to families who need to mainstream children back into the public school system and need something that is “acceptable.” Because these publishers also sell to the public school systems, they have been forced by market conditions to show how their materials fit the CCSSI standards. However, we have never selected these products based on the fact that they fit the Common Core standards. We only choose products based on our criteria.

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