Faith & Learning Blog
Common Core Standards and Calvin Christian School
Calvin Christian exists to educate students through a Biblical Worldview while holding to the highest academic standards. With the onset of Common Core, this mission remains unchanged.
The Common Core Standards (CCS) for English Language Arts and Mathematics were written primarily in response to 15+ years of research trying to understand why the United States performs significantly below the average of industrialized nations in mathematics. One of the major reasons the U.S has not been performing well is due to the standards and curriculum being less rigorous and primarily procedural based. Calvin Christian students have consistently outperformed their counterparts in public schools, as revealed on National Standardized exams.
The Common Core Standards were written to prepare students for College and for 21st Century Careers. Approximately 85% of Calvin Christian graduates enroll in four year colleges and Universities immediately after high school graduation. Nearly all of the remaining 15% enroll in community colleges with the most of those having the intent of transferring at some point to a four year college.
Thus, Calvin Christian is in a position to carefully analyze the standards to determine which aspects might be beneficial to the already excellent academic programs while not interfering with the expressly Christian worldview through which all academics are viewed and taught.
Where the Common Core Standards increase rigor and coherence of the current Calvin programs, insomuch as they do not conflict with the Biblical worldview, Calvin will seek to address those standards. Where the research based practices will benefit Calvin students in their ability to understand and apply their academics, in so much as they do not conflict with the Biblical worldview, Calvin will seek to implement those strategies. Where the Common Core standards have a focus on reasoning, problem solving, and informational text, insomuch as they do not conflict with the Biblical worldview, Calvin will seek to implement those practices. As the Smarter Balanced Common Core exams are only made available at no cost to public schools, Calvin Christian students will not participate in them, but will continue to take the CTBS exam to measure student progress.
The ultimate goal of Calvin Christian is to prepare students who know the God who created the world and them, and learn to understand this world and live in it for His glory. This remains unchanged with the onset of Common Core, and gleaning the best from the CCS standards and practices will only help to increase the great success and mission of Calvin.
Karajean Hyde is a current Calvin parent, co-director of the UC Irvine Mathematics Project and wife of Pastor Daniel Hyde