The more I read about Common Core and education reform, the more I am convinced that one of the most important issues is that all students will have to be instructed with these standards if they choose to attend college.
A misconception exists about students in private or parochial schools being lucky that they won’t have to mess with the Common Core. But this is a myth, unless these schools will be willing to take criticism when their seniors wind up not answering correctly on the SAT/ACT tests to get into their dream colleges.
I’m not saying students will be better prepared for college, but they will have to learn what is on the test in order to get there.
Still, many are under the assumption that the Common Core State Standards are only found in public schools!
Even Nancie Atwell, who recently won an award for teaching, and whose book In The Middle is seen as a great reading resource for teachers, implied that teachers should only go into teaching if they go into the private sector. She said, Public school teachers are so constrained right now by the Common Core Standards and the tests that are developed to monitor what teachers are doing with them. It’s a movement that’s turned teachers into technicians, not reflective practitioners. She rightly criticized the Common Core.
But as much as Nancie, and anyone else running a private or parochial school, might dislike the Common Core, they will also be hamstrung to teach to the standards! Homeschooled students are not exempt either if they want to attend college.
The tie that binds all schools together is the SAT/ACT tests which are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The Advanced Placement (AP) tests and even the General Education Development (GED) tests are aligned to Common Core too!
David Coleman who helped write the English/Language Arts part of the Common Core, is now in President of the College Board. He is aligning SAT HERE. The ACT is also aligned HERE.
Here is a side-by-side description from the College Board comparing the SAT and Common Core.
Here are the comments by Dr. Sandra Stotsky who was on the Common Core Validation Committee but who now argues against it, said:
In 2012, Coleman was elected president of the College Board and has taken it upon himself to ensure that the SAT, ACT, AP, and GED exams are all aligned with the Common Core standards.
So while the myth continues that lucky students in private schools will be exempt from Common Core, the tests that students must score well on to get into college require the Common Core. So how does any college and career ready student get out of the Common Core State Standards? The answer is they don’t.
Think about the ramifications this has for private and parochial schooling. If everyone is working towards the same standards all schools are pretty much the same. Religious instruction is the exception.
And even if your state decides that they will not adopt Common Core, students will still need Common Core to master the SAT and ACT so they can get into college.
There are some universities that do not require the SAT/ACT tests, but most state schools and certainly most Ivy League schools do require them.
So if you want your child to attend an accredited university, you will not be able to hide them from the Common Core.
Students who attend private schools will have to work towards the Common Core State Standards.
Students who attend Catholic or other religious Schools will have to work to master the Common Core State Standards.
Students who are homeschooled will have to work towards Common Core State Standards.
Of course, we already know that students in public schools and students in charter schools will have to work toward reaching the standards too.
There is really no place to hide from the Common Core.
I have written about this twice before because I believe it is that important. Here and more recently Here.
Acknowledging that ALL schools are affected by the Common Core State Standards provides a larger platform to push back the standards.
Nance Confer says
I think there is a huge difference between being saddled with public school standards for 12+ years and learning how to actually learn and deciding to do some test prep if college is in the cards.
Nancy Bailey says
Thanks Nance. My point is that now they will all have the same standards because they will be aligned to the college entrance tests. On Twitter some some argue, I guess like you, this won’t be a problem for elite private schools. Maybe not. Like so many of these reforms time will tell.
Nance Confer says
Elite? Not by a long shot. 🙂
But students in my school are certainly not aligning themselves to CC or any other state standards.
For those who choose to go to a college or university that requires an SAT or ACT-type test, yes, they will need to prep for those tests.
But they are not burdened with 12 years of test prep.
Nancy Bailey says
Thanks again, Nance.
Nicholas Tampio from Fordham University tweeted this article he did about homeschooling and the Common Core. FYI.
Nancy Bailey says
Thank you, Rosemary!
Here is a petition for New York residents to sign against the Common Core State Standards.
Hi can you let me know how I can petition against common core in my state Iowa. In Sioux city ia.
This is actually completely untrue!! Kids no longer NEED to take the SATs for college! Some of the most prominent schools in the country have started announcing they are no longer requiring SATs for admission. In fact, some have even said they give preference to home-schoolers. Portfolios are acceptable to many colleges. They also want to see what “else” students have done in their youth-sports, music, community service, etc… to show a more critical thinking, socially supportive student. They are realizing that high grades and test scores are not the most important or the most valuable factor in incoming students…..
Home-school your children until the public schools are willing to change their system! Your children will be better educated for it!! …and it will be the fastest way to get the public schools to change their ways!! Money talks!
Nancy Bailey says
Thank you for your comment, and there is a list of colleges that don’t require it which FairTest puts out, but most public and private universities still require the SAT or ACT. They might look at a variety of things but in most cases the SAT and ACT do matter.
That’s an even larger list than I knew of; proving my point all the more. That’s 1/3 of all 4yr colleges/universities in the country… MORE than enough for people to choose from if they don’t want to ‘give-in’ to common core and state testing!!!! Though schools might take test-scores into consideration, a student can “prove” themselves in other ways if they really value a higher-education….and the admissions offices recognize this in our young adults.
Not to mention….college is a huge debt. Unless someone knows exactly what they want to do and have a job track in place, they really shouldn’t go off to school right away. It makes much more sense (for a lot of people) to work for a few years then go onto college…. requirements for adult learners become MUCH different at that point too.
Nancy Bailey says
Michelle, If you read my posts you will understand that I am not happy about Common Core being aligned to SAT or ACT tests. But since it is being aligned all schools who want their students in most public or private universities will have to take those tests and go through Common Core.
And the list of colleges that don’t require SAT or ACT is not all inclusive. It mentions some obscure colleges and some very good ones. If students want to attend any of these schools or no college that is their right and they can bypass those tests.
But most public and private universities DO consider ACT and SAT. The test might also be used to consider scholarships. The higher a student scores the more likely they will be accepted.
I did not right the rules to this. I am not a fan of CC or the tests as a primary determiner to getting into college. But saying those tests aren’t considered important to getting accepted into most colleges is what I disagree with you about.
Are there exceptions? Perhaps.
Students need to pay close attention to the university admission requirements before they bypass the test or they may come up short.
I have to agree with Michelle here for sure! My son is a Sophomore in College right now. He goes to a very elite school and instead of taking his SAT’s or ACT he chose to CLEP and take entrance exams instead! None of which used common core! SAT’s and ACT don’t mean much of anything anymore. Every school he applied to agreed to waive SAT’s/ACT as long as he took entrance exams! By the way, all the schools he applied to were State Universities or Ivy Leagues! SAT’s/ACT are just another useless test that tells nothing about a student except whether or not they’re good at taking tests. Common Core will be pushed out if enough parents push back!
Nancy Bailey says
I am happy for your son, Kelly, and yes there are exceptions, but most Ivy League schools and state universities still require an SAT or ACT. I am not saying that’s a good thing, just that the Common Core is being aligned to those tests and that’s not right in my opinion.
Here is a nice website with a list of colleges that are “flexible” about SAT/ACT scores.
Barton Campbell says
This article represents a basic misunderstanding of what the problems with the Common Core are. College requirements have not changed. Let me go over math for example. Upon entrance, colleges expect students to be prepared to take Calculus if they are interested in a career in a mathematics or a science related subject except health curiously and Probability and Statistics if they are not. This has not changed in anyway.
In order to be prepared for calculus, a complete understanding of trigonometry, algebra and geometry are needed. For probability and statistics only algebra is needed. So what was needed for college entrance before and after the Common Core was implemented has not changed. What Common Core has done is to first introduce algebra to elementary school (3rd grade) students rather than high school (9th grade) students. The question becomes, “Are students at such a young age emotionally and intellectually ready for algebra or does early preparation even help students to prepare for college ?” I am a mathematician and I can honestly say it’s ridiculous nor does it help students prepare for college level math. What Common Core does do – it insures that those students who do not understand algebra at such a young age, it insures that they will never be able to catch up.
It also requires high school students to learn mathematics, for example, functions, calculus, matrices, probability and statistics, etc. that are not required for college entrance at all. In other words, colleges expect students to learn these subjects in college and do not test for them on entrance exams. Therefore, private schools that do not teach the Common Core will not effect their students. This also insures that those who fall behind in high school will be discouraged and will never be able to catch up, while at the same time giving private school students a far more relaxing and enjoyable educational experience rather than the pressure cooker sweatshop experience that public school children will have to endure with no educational benefit
The same goes for reading. If a student loves to read on their own, they are not going to have a problem getting into college. The problem with the Common Core reading is instead of cultivating a love of reading, it again requires students to read texts far above their emotional and intellectual reading level long before they are ready for it. In other words, it actually discourages an interest in reading.
The Common Core does not increase the knowledge necessary to enter college, it merely introduces this knowledge long before the child is emotionally and intellectually ready for it and therefore is far more likely to discourage students or it forces students to learn college level mathematics that are not tested for on college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT. Don’t worry about private school students. The Common Core has no effect on them or their ability to enter college.
Note: The SAT tests for 2 years of algebra, 1 year of trigonometry, 1 year of geometry and pre-calculus only. Read the literate.
Nancy Bailey says
Hi Barton, Thank you for commenting. I agree with you 100%! I like the way you show how Common Core pushes subjects down to earlier levels. The purpose of this blog post, however, was to convey that here in America, the Common Core State Standards are to be used in all schools. Even parochial schools have had concerns. Some parents here have been under the assumption that they can remove their students from public school in order to avoid CCSS. But that might not work.
There is now an alternative to the SAT / ACT:
The Classical Learning Test:
The SAT has been officially dumbed-down to uselessness as of the past year. Many colleges were already overlooking it, probably even more so now. The vocabulary on the New SAT is rudimentary at best.
The CC Math is going to be known as the New New Math Disaster within a few years. But, more frightening are the CC Science Standards. They have gotten rid of The Scientific Method, and, apparently do not focus on facts, but rather some arbitrarily broad notions of experiential experimentation. Translation: We want kids to love science, so we won’t teach them any facts, we’ll just let them have fun and make stuff up as they go along.
This is the Assessment Test given by many elite Prep Schools in the country:
They hired a firm to compare their math and science tests to the Common Core. Far off in science.
They are probably going to align their new tests to CC, but hopefully they will keep this traditional version going as well.
Why would any of the most elite Independent Prep schools in the country, whose students are pretty much guaranteed entry into the Ivies, even consider changing what they have been doing for hundreds of years??? That makes absolutely no sense.
Kyle Winn says
It is now 2022 and the test results show that common core gas done an irreparable harm to our children’s education. Instead, we have an e tire generation of math disabled people who can’t even give change in a store. Congratulations on making America stupid. I’ve had to hire a tutor at 3000$ to twist my kids brain around common core. And she’s been taught real math by her parents for when she really needs to enter the world.
SATs are no loner important and Ivy League schools are just over priced indoctrination camps.. COMMON CORE NEEDS TO GO.
Nancy Bailey says
Thanks. I find it interesting that few discuss Common Core when they complain about children not learning well in school. I don’t know if the new parents understand.