Common Core State Standards & Private Schools
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will be implemented in the fall of 2014 throughout all of our nation’s public schools. Common Core is often misunderstood as a new curriculum when, in actuality, it is a new, broad set of national standards established to shape and govern the general educational standards and assessments in public schools. At Crossroads Christian High School, we exceed educational national, state, and district standards by providing a higher academic level of learning, with content integration in a Collaborative 21st Century environment.
Crossroads Christian High School Impact
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are coming in the fall of 2014 and while public schools in California will be mandated to implement these new standards, private schools are in a unique position to use them in whatever way makes sense for their curriculum and respective academic institutions as a whole. Crossroads Christian High School is familiar with the standards and will continue to provide learners with a thorough academic foundation in all subjects. While we will not be “aligning” ourselves to Common Core in all subject areas, we will use it to help articulate how we are preparing learners to excel in academics, specifically in mathematics and English. Our curriculum provides learners with an opportunity to be fully prepared for future success in a college or university, as well as the entrance exams and other standardized tests that may be required. CCHS is committed to developing in our learners with the highest level of academic, artistic, athletic and spiritual development possible.
What Is Common Core?
Common Core is often misunderstood as a new curriculum when, in actuality, it is a new, broad set of national standards established to shape and govern the general educational standards and assessments in public schools. Furthermore, certain states such as California have added additional standards.
The new standards were initiated by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers and aim to create a foundation to work collaboratively across states and districts, instead of each state having its own unique set of standards.
In addition to new standards, Common Core also brings a new standardized test for students; however, private school students are not required to take these state tests. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is writing the new test, which will no longer include multiple choice or true and false questions. Sixty percent of the test will be performance-based tasks and the majority will be performed on computers. The SBAC will conduct field tests in California between March and June for public school students in third through eighth grade.
Private high schools certainly monitor and keep watch on the standardized tests, as well as the college entrance exams—the SATs and ACTs will also be rewritten to align with the new standards. The architect of the Common Core, David Coleman, is the current president of the College Board and is redesigning the SAT, targeting the introduction of the new test format and content in 2015. The ACT is also being revised at this time.
Leaders of local private schools said they like having the opportunity to be flexible regarding Common Core—they can opt out of what they do not feel best serves their educational goals and can embrace ideas they deem best for their students. Most private schools do use the state standards as a springboard but traditionally go well beyond those minimum state standards. This is true of CCHS: our standards aim for higher and broader goals, considering the state standards and national standards to be a minimum. We exceed the standards by providing a higher level of learning and content within the context of a Christian worldview.