Common Core standards have been adopted by the many states and the District of Columbia. In light of their widespread adoption and implementation, you might expect general agreement on what they are, their benefits, and their acceptance. Unfortunately, the debates surrounding the Common Core standards often serve to confuse those they affect most deeply: you and your students.
Here are some basic facts about the Common Core Standards in the high school years to help you gain a better understanding of the system your school is using, and the possible alternatives.
- Common Core Standards were developed in response to radically different levels of achievement across and within states. The effort began in 2009, and the standards were released in 2010.
- Common Core is not a curriculum. It is a set of standards focused on English/Language and Mathematics designed to lay out what knowledge and skills students should acquire in each school year, similar to Course Objectives in a college syllabus.
- Common Core was a multi-state effort, not a federal program though it has been promoted by the Department of Education and the current administration.
- The English/Language standard incorporates an average of reading fiction, literary non-fiction, and regular non-fiction in all courses, particularly in the high school years. The idea behind this standard is to stress the importance of reading, writing and listening skills in relation to all learning rather than just English classes.
- The Mathematics standard shifted focus from performing mathematical functions, to grasping mathematical concepts in the hopes that a deeper understanding would allow students to better use mathematical thinking as they move into college and the workforce.
- The Common Core Standards were developed in direct response to an ongoing perceived problem in the US education system, namely the public education system was demonstrating a wider and wider achievement gap when compared with other developed nations.
Enlightium Academy is dedicated to helping you provide your student the educational foundation they need in a rapidly changing world. We strongly believe the best education is one that best equips individual students to succeed as a whole person with life-long learning habits. While standards are essential for accountability in education, every student is unique in their gifts, interests and learning processes.
Our curriculum respects the need for standards, encouraging students to grow from where they are when they enter our academy. We follow a standard based in Biblical recognition of the importance of excellence in learning and knowledge. We focus on tested teaching standards and curriculum that consistently produce great results for all of our students, including the traditional Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and Trigonometry model.
We understand the teaching model of the Common Core, aligned math curriculums in a way that may result in challenges when students try to shift to the traditional model. It is difficult to pinpoint what has been learned or missed in the Math I-IV curriculum when compared to the traditional math subjects, and we want to assure our students the ability to build on the knowledge they already have so they will continue to love to learn. We offer high school students the chance to continue the Common Core track to help assure they don’t lose progress, or miss key concepts as they grow, or we will help facilitate the transition back to the traditional model.
As standards change, and technology brings ever increasing challenges and opportunities in education, our hope is to continue to provide you, the parents, the tools you need to give your children the solid, unchanging foundation of a life-long love of learning and growth.
For a more detailed review of common core, click here to view a documentary that interviews both proponents and detractors from the standard
“Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America” by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, 2011.