An important part of why many parents favor school choice is it increases the chances their kids will get into a good college. Private school students and homeschoolers regularly score higher on college entrance exams than most public school children. Studies even suggest that homeschooled children perform better in college than their public schooled peers. As such evidence continues to mount, it should come as no surprise then that parents are embracing school choice and educational alternatives to better prepare their kids for the future.
Common Core poses a serious threat to school choice. Proponents of the new Common Core standards are quick to say that the standards themselves are a vehicle of school choice. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are two main college entrance exams: ACT and SAT. For decades, these two tests have determined the future of millions of people. These tests used to just measure basic high school achievement, but it has been announced that both ACT and SAT will now be changing to align with Common Core standards.
This is a major problem for homeschoolers and private school students who rely on these test scores to get into a quality college. Many private schools keep their standards separate from—and usually more rigorous than—public schools. Private education will be at a loss if the overall goal becomes measuring student compatibility through a Common Core-oriented scoring system.
If ACT and SAT align with Common Core, parents concerned about their child’s college potential will have no choice but to put their kids back in the public system to achieve a desirable test score. It appears as if the private and homeschooled students are being targeted or punished for not opting into the new Common Core system.
If private education and homeschooling methods are currently doing a better job of preparing students for college, you would think public schools might take a lesson from these successful endeavors instead insisting on promoting a new set of government standards with no record of success.
If we want to maintain a society where children have options in education—and continue to receive quality education—we need to stop the government school monopoly that will inevitably come with the implementation of Common Core.