By: Krystle Crossman
Parents and teachers have been resisting the Common Core standards in public schools all over the country. The standardized testing and educational standards that are being used are causing stress and frustration across the board. Parents are unable to help their children with their homework because they have no idea how they are supposed to solve some of the math problems the way that they want the kids to. The teachers are having a hard time teaching the new methods because they are so different from what they have always taught. Now it appears that Common Core testing will be affecting not only kids in public schools but will be affecting home-schoolers as well.
The school districts in Tennessee have stated that the Common Core standards will not affect those who are home-schooled but this is not exactly true. The state law says that all students who are home-school through a church-run program do not have to take the standardized state tests but the ones that are home-schooled directly through the district still must take them. The grade levels that are included in this are grades 5, 7, and 9. In February of this year students were also required to take an assessment that fell in line with the Common Core tests and the TCAP testing. The grades that had to take these assessments were grades 5, 8, and 11. This included some of the students that were home-schooled and were at a 5th grade level. For the 2014-2015 school year they are implementing full testing for grades 3 through 11.
Many of the families in Tennessee put their children in church-run programs just so they can avoid having to do the testing. There are some families however that do not wish to have religion as part of their child’s education and so they must undergo the testing. They do have a legal case should they want to file against these rules though. The Home School Legal Defense Association states that the No Child Left Behind Act that was implemented in 2001 clearly states that home-school children are exempt from state testing no matter whether they are through a church-run program or not. The problem is getting around the language of the state law to fight the requirement for testing.