SPRINGFIELD, Va. – While education advocates across the country debate the merits of the national Common Core standards, Ron Paul is working to provide an alternative.
The former congressman and presidential candidate – one the strongest opponents of Common Core’s far-reaching tentacles – last month announced his new homeschooling program, which is tailored to students’ interests and future aspirations while also providing a classic education steeped in the principles of liberty and freedom.
“Growing dissatisfaction with Common Core and other centralized education schemes is leading an increasing number of parents to pursue alternatives such as homeschooling. Throughout my congressional career I was a defender of homeschooling. Now that I am out of Congress, I have expanded my work with homeschoolers through my Ron Paul Curriculum,” Paul wrote last month in his weekly Texas Straight Talk column.
“The curriculum provides students with a rigorous education in history, math, English, foreign languages, and other subjects. While the curriculum is designed to prepare students for college-level work, students not interested in pursuing a traditional four-year college degree will also benefit,” according to the column.
“The curriculum features three tracks: natural science/math, social sciences/humanities, and business. Students may also take courses in personal finance and public speaking. The curriculum avoids the ideological biases common in public schools; for example, the government and history sections of the curriculum emphasize Austrian economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of liberty.”
The Ron Paul Curriculum also goes beyond the traditional classroom lessons to facilitate student discussions among peers through online forums, and to help students to start their own Internet-based businesses, Paul wrote.
“Here, students learn the basics of Western Civilization and Western liberty – how it was won, how it is being lost, and how it will be restored. (Not can … will.)
Students also learn the basics of American history, the United States Constitution, and American geography.
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They get two courses on free market economics. They get two courses on government, including a how-to course on reclaiming America, one county at a time.
Students get mathematics, either thr4ough calculus or statistics or both.
They get the basics of science: biology, chemistry, and physics.”
The curriculum’s website also offers resources on how students can obtain a Bachelor’s degree by age 18, low cost colleges, summer school opportunities, and other education issues. The whole program is based on the principles of liberty, responsibility, standards, self-discipline and success.
That’s a far cry from the one-sized-fits-all federal Common Core standards currently taking over school districts across the country, Paul wrote.
Essentially, the Ron Paul Curriculum is the anti-thesis of Common Core – a customizable education that’s targeted to the specific needs of each individual student.
“The devil with Common Core lies not in its details but in its underlying principle. That principle is that DC-based central planners can develop a curriculum suitable for every student. The idea that government ‘experts’ can centrally plan a nation’s education system is just as flawed as the idea that government can centrally plan the economy,” Paul wrote.
“One major flaw in a curriculum designed by central planners for use by all students is that it will likely not be academically rigorous enough to meet the needs of college-bound students. Yet at the same time, ‘one-size-fits-all’ curricula like Common Core offer little to meet the needs of students interested in technical or vocational education opportunities.”
The Ron Paul Curriculum is free for students through fifth grade. From sixth through twelfth grades, the cost is $250 per year, plus $50 per course. For this summer, however, Paul is offering an online school refresher program for students going into sixth grade and above as a sort of low-cost trial offer.
Parents can enroll their children in the three-month summer program for $25.
“If you are a parent dissatisfied with existing education options, I hope you will take advantage of the Ron Paul Curriculum’s summer refresher program and consider opting out of Common Core and opting in to the Ron Paul Curriculum,” Paul wrote.