Learning at Faith West is objective-based, and we believe our objectives should be the skills that students must master in order to be successful in the next grade level. While Common Core has been adopted by 47 states (not including Texas), at Faith West we believe it is not the end-all-be-all of education. Some states have chosen Common Core as the “Bible” of education, and all of their curriculum and literature centers around the standards. We believe there are more appropriate ways to use any set of standards. Teaching objectives for the sake of them being objectives, or to prepare students ONLY for a standardized test, is not an appropriate use.
At FWA, we see our entire curriculum as a tool that is used by the teacher. We do not teach the curriculum without teacher supplementation, and teachers can and do alter the curriculum as they learn the needs of their students.
FWA recognizes that many of the standards presented by Common Core are solid, skill-based standards. We also recognize that we must prepare our students to be successful, and we must have objectives by which to measure their success and confirm that teaching and learning is happening in the classrooms. We also believe that our curriculum should far exceed any sort of minimum level. We do not endorse the standards, we do not seek to use only Common Core curriculum, but we do seek to use the best available resources.
The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), an association of which Faith West is part, released a statement regarding Common Core, stating that ACSI member schools should do the following:
- not adopt Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as a wholesale benchmark for curricular quality
- evaluate its curriculum against the CCSS
- ensure that the philosophical foundations of Christian education are used to evaluate the CCSS, and be able to articulate those distinctions
- use the standards as an informational piece regarding the national and global educational context in which we are preparing students.
FWA does all of these things, and holds the same beliefs as ACSI in regards to CCSS.
Read the ACSI Press Release regarding Common Core.