Common Core is a set of academic standards currently written for Language Arts and Mathematics that outline what skills and knowledge students should acquire in each grade level. The Common Core was developed to address inconsistencies among schools’ curriculums. The Common Core has sparked passionate conversation across the nation due to the nature of the required assessment methods as well as for some of the content included in the Common Core materials.
What is the difference between National Common Core Standards and Minnesota State Standards?
The Minnesota State Standards specify what students should be learning at each grade level in Language Arts and Math; the Standards do not comprise a curriculum. Minnesota adopted the Common Core for Language Arts in 2010, albeit in amended, more rigorous form; but it did not adopt the Common Core for Mathematics.
Does CMCS, as a private school, have to follow National or State Standards?
No! As a private Christian school, CMCS is not legally mandated to adopt the Common Core or any other state standards.
Does CMCS have its own educational standards?
Yes! As a private Christian school, we consider a large variety of resources when developing a scope and sequence for instruction and curriculum materials, and at the heart of all of those materials remains our most important resource, the Word of God. Jesus is our Common Core. He is the reason that our school exists and why parents choose to send their children here for a Christ-centered, quality education to equip them for a life of service. Academic rigor has always been part of CMCS’s mission, and we are striving at this time to create and meet our own rigorous standards.
We realize that it is imperative that our students receive value in education that makes them competitive in the global market place and ready for college. We welcome increased academic rigor and high academic standards. As we pursue those standards we recognize that students are unique in their academic strengths and abilities. We are committed to providing a personal approach to students’ academic needs without standardizing instruction or bending to the political and social agenda that is hidden within the Common Core materials.
How will CMCS use the Common Core or MN State Standards?
Because CMCS is based upon and incorporates a Biblical Worldview into each area of our work, we could not and should not adopt the Common Core or even the Minnesota State Standards. We would be remiss, however, if we did not consider them. Our teachers need to know what is included in the Common Core standards and Minnesota’s academic content standards because they are used in ACT, SAT and other college-preparatory testing. In addition, they are what most of our students’ “competition” is using and thus are relevant to our students’ post-secondary academic experience.
What stand has CMCS taken in relation to the Minnesota State Standards?
In terms of our relationship to the Minnesota State Standards, our position is that we will use them as one of many guidelines for curriculum. Our main guideline has always and will always be our Biblical Christian perspective. We strive to hire great Christian teachers who are trained very well in being a “living curriculum” in providing a distinctively Christian education. For a fuller explanation of our Christian worldview and how it guides our work, please refer to our mission, philosophy, and goals statements published in our handbooks and on our website (www.cmcschool.org).