Common Core Standards and Independent Schools

Vol. 10 No. 2


According to a recent article in Education Week, Common Core State Standards, which are being adopted in public schools in 46 of the 50 US states, are starting to move into some independent school curricula. The standards cover K-12 math and English/language arts, in an attempt to provide all US students with the knowledge and skills they need for college and employment success.

More than 100 Roman Catholic dioceses—including those in Los Angeles and Philadelphia—are adopting the standards, as well as Lutheran schools in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.

Why are private schools joining the public school movement? One reason could be economic, since more and more textbook publishers and other education suppliers are adapting their material to fit the Common Core Standards. So are teacher-preparation programs, according to Sister Dale McDonald, of the National Catholic Educational Association.

“If you are looking to hire new teachers coming out of a teacher education background, you are disadvantaged,” said Sr. McDonald.

“We are strongly encouraging and recommending that Lutheran schools go with this,” said Bruce N. Braun, the superintendent of schools for the Michigan district of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. “We think it's good for kids. And there is some room for creativity, room for you to be a professional in how you reach the standards."

Other independent schools are using the Common Core as a guideline or a starting point for their curricula.

“Our lower school math is grounded in the Common Core and I would say our language arts is influenced,” Andy Davies, Aspen Country Day School (CO) curriculum director, told Education Week. “As an independent school person, I can use it as a stake in the ground and massage it so that it meets our needs.”

To read Education Week’s extensive article, click here.

For more information on Common Core Standards:

Additional ISM resources of interest
ISM Private School News Vol. 9 No. 3 A New Publication About Greening Your Curriculum

Additional Resources for ISM Consortium Gold Members
Ideas & Perspectives Vol. 35 No. 3 The 21st Century School: Curriculum and Technology
Ideas & Perspectives Vol. 35 No. 3 ISM’s 20 Success Predictors for the 21st Century

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