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There are few things 9-year-old Rhett Ricardo relishes more than curling up on his family’s living room couch and delving into a novel, like “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” – his imagination whirling as he reads the fantastical plot about a mysterious sea monster and a submarine, his mother says.

But Jill Finnerty Ricardo, of Dade City, Fla., who home-schools her three oldest children, has concerns about what is known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – a national assessment standard adopted in 45 states that, among other objectives, seeks to balance out a perceived literature-heavy English curriculum with more non-fiction reading and writing, particularly informational text..

While the new standards, which purport to emphasize critical thinking and problem solving, are meant for public schools only, opponents say they will affect all children – including those who are home-schooled, especially when it comes to taking state standardized tests that are aligned with the Common Core.

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