Home > Education > Common Core is trying to push centralized standards, yet that is not why parents are choosing alternatives to public education

Common Core is trying to push centralized standards, yet that is not why parents are choosing alternatives to public education

November 13, 2013

school-chalkboard-clipartAs I’ve researched Common Core these last few months I find most advocates saying standards are what parents want for their children. I have no doubt that is true for some parents. But is that true for all parents? Just today Jason Bedrick posted an article on the CATO blog that highlights a study about the reasons why parents choose to send their kids to private schools. Here is one of the findings from this study:

The top five reasons why parents chose a private school for their children are all related to school climate and classroom management, including “better student discipline” (50.9 percent), “better learning environment” (50.8 percent), “smaller class sizes” (48.9 percent), “improved student safety” (46.8 percent), and “more individual attention for my child” (39.3 percent).

This next school year I plan to enroll  my two little boys in a private school for the improved individual attention and what I feel to be a better learning environment. Apparently others sending their children to private school feel the same way. Within the findings it is noted that only 10% of parents responded that standardized test score was in their top five reasons for choosing private school. I believe Common Core will push more parents to choose private schools or homeschooling over public schools. Common Core makes the presumption that lack of national standards is a problem. As more parents become informed they have decided that national standards are not the answer to their child’s education.

It should be noted that this study only looks at parents who have enrolled their children in a private school. It is not indented to show how all parents feel. Instead by focusing on parents that have opted out of the public school system they are better able to determine why that choice was made. For that reason I find this study to be more credible than over-reaching studies used by Common Core advocates. The variety of reasons for parents to choose private schools also reinforces the belief that there is no single answer to educating our youth. One more thing to note is that Common Core can still negatively impact school choice; even choices such as private schools and homeschooling can be negatively impacted by the implementation of Common Core.

Hopefully as the debate over Common Core moves forward studies such as this one will gain more attention. If Common Core advocates ignore such studies it may drive more parents to choose other options for educating their youth. While I encourage school choice I refuse to give up on public schools. Just because I am choosing to take my kids out of the system does not mean I want the majority of American children to suffer under a well-intended yet misguided attempt to centralize education. And that is what Common Core is really about: outsourcing our moral obligation to our childrens education to bureaucrats that think they understand what parents want.

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    November 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I think the Common Core issue is much to do about nothing. I was in education quite a while. It’s just a matter of whether the state bureaucrats make the rules or the federal bureaucrats.I wold rather have the states take responsibility and the the feds out. The real problem is the delivery system. We are still plowing with the mule and a moldboard in our delivery system. We do no till these days. The old mule can’t compete anymore and the system needs to catch up. The colleges are institutions who are going to protect their turf and the politicians are going to let them.

    • Ken Santema
      November 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      I agree. The whole system needs an overhaul and the education system itself is resisting that. That is actually a big reason I like that Common Core has started to get public attention. I believe the system was broken before CC came around. But not enough people cared. Now with CC there are enough people taking notice and maybe changes can be made for the better. It might not work (actually it probably won’t). Yet I feel this is the best time for a course change in education and CC may be the best rallying cry lead the charge.

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