There has been a huge debate going on in Michigan in regard to adding a STEM certification to the diplomas of our high school graduates. I would like to provide you a little food for thought as well as some resources to educate yourself and take action should you feel so led. It is my belief that this legislation is poorly written, part of a bigger plan, and will ultimately destroy educational choice for all, not just those choosing to homeschool. BUT, that is just my opinion. Here are some resources for you:
Have you heard of Gov. Snyder's vision for P20 education? Do you realize that the 'p' stands for prenatal? If this is all new to you, you may want to do a little research to familiarize yourself with the vision and initiative. Here's a place to start.
Spunky Homeschool, aka Karen Braun, has been a fearless advocate for our educational freedom as homeschoolers. She has put together an informative collection of details on Common Core on her blog, SpunkyHomeSchool. If you are new to the term Common Core, or if you just desire to learn more, this is an excellent resource.
Last week was the first time hearings were held on the STEM Bills. Stop Common Core Michigan has done a good job of keeping us up to date on the happenings. Here is a good recap of what has transpired so far. To the best of my knowledge the bill passed the Senate Education Committee yesterday and is slated to go before the house tomorrow. They sure do seem in a hurry to pass this through making Michigan the first state in the country to pass such legislation. Not sure that's a precedent we should be setting, but that's my opinion.
Here is the actual wording of the bill as it stands today. Keep an eye out here at the Michigan Legislature website for updates on the progression of this bill. Contact your local representatives and let them know what you think.
From the Michigan Stop Common Core website these are four main reasons to oppose the STEM Credentialed Diploma:
- It is unwise to create a “class system” in Michigan which is not supportive of all students. Having a STEM diploma creates a “better” path, leaving the students not on this path to believe they are on the “failure track”. A high school diploma should carry the full credibility of a robust education for all graduates regardless of their preferences of study
- All specific course information is already provided on high school transcripts. Colleges and universities currently use high school transcripts to determine the coursework and student achievement in their determination for entering freshman. In this manner, employers determine the courses appropriate to preparation for their field.
- Michigan Department of Education should not control diploma designations and course requirements. Control of the diploma designation becomes a politically driven process rather than an educationally sound process controlled locally by teachers, parents, community members and employers.
- The alternate pathway designation begins in 7th grade, limiting a student’s ability to change their mind. 7thgraders are typically 13 or 14 years old, perhaps aware of their personal preferences, but not ready to make career defining decisions.
To read more on the STEM Designation on High School Diploma click here.
I wanted to provide you with a more rounded collection of resources. Unfortunately, it seems no one else is speaking out about this. If you know of other sources, I would love to check them out. I believe it is important to read as much on a topic as possible from as many angles as possible. The most important thing is to pray, seek wisdom, and take action as we feel led.