Just mention the Common Core and you’ll get a reaction from parents Justin and Jennifer Dahlmann.
“We both get a little tight in the chest,” Justin said.
The Dahlmann’s have four girls ranging in age from 2 to 9. They say they noticed the kids were beginning to struggle in school recently. They didn’t know why.
Then, Justin, a former educator, says they found out the new Common Core math and English standards had been implemented at their children’s private school.
“Our own kids were taking these standards that are driving the curriculum and we didn’t know anything about it,” Justin said. “That’s when we started doing the research on it and realized how overbearing it was.”
They say the standards are making education more confusing rather than helping students to think more critically, as supporters claim.
The Dahlmann’s are among a growing number of parents across the nation who have decided to homeschool their children in response to the implementation of those standards.
“We’ve said, ‘As soon as you drop the standards, we’ll put our kids right back in there,'” Justin said.
Kansas is one of 46 states that have adopted the standards. Proponents say educators from those states worked together several years ago to come up with a unified approach to what every student across the nation should know in English and math.
When states adopted the standards, they were given some creative license to add state-specific standards.
When Kansas came up for its seven-year review of the standards, state education leaders say they Kansas Board of Education adopted the standards with some state-specific additions. They’ve dubbed the final product the “Kansas College and Career-Ready Standards.”
The is the first year the Kansas state assessment test will be 100 percent based on those standards. Leaders say they expect scores to drop initially because it’s a new way of thinking for students.
But the Dahlmann’s don’t think it’s a good way.
The Dahlmann’s say from their research they believe that the standards have essentially come from the federal government.