South Dakota parent, Ann Holman, has penned this letter to all South Dakota Legislators. She has given permission to publish it here.
January 26, 2014
I am once again writing to share my concerns with Common Core. I am not able to make it to Pierre for legislative session as planned, due to the weather.
I am the parent who was furious when I received the letter telling me I would be breaking the law if my 6th grade daughter did not take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. I have since pulled my daughter from public school and am currently homeschooling her. I put the letter out on Facebook and it has gone across the country and infuriated many people, rightfully so! I feel that threatening parents and students is an overreach of boundaries and do not appreciate it. I do not feel as though I should be bullied by any government entity whose income comes from taxpayer dollars!
When I first learned about Common Core, I didn’t take someone else’s word for it. I researched it myself and came to my own conclusion. Standards are very important, and education is extremely important in my family. Here is what I determined about Common Core as it relates to my child. My daughter is an exceptional, straight ‘A’ student and was a student council member and never in trouble at school. When I pulled her out to be homeschooled, I gave her a math placement test to see how she scored. I was shocked when I realized that the so-called “Rigorous Common Core Curriculum” was not so challenging. She was behind in math per the placement test.
In addition to homeschooling my own child, I also have after school children that I help with any homework. I have a 2nd grader who hates the math. She looked at me one day and asked me why there was so much writing in math. I have seen her frustrated with trying to figure out math problems that don’t make any sense. I have tried to help her and I am unable. Keep in mind I have a major and a minor from SDSU. The problems are beyond my understanding. My concern is, with the common core standards in place, the children’s school day will be full of stress and anxiety. Children at that age cannot reason the way that adults can. They will have plenty of pressure on them as adults and they do not need it as children.
Thanks for all you do for our state. I truly do appreciate it and hope that you take my concerns and do the right thing by repealing Common Core altogether.