Tabernacle School’s Position on the Common Core Standards
As a school well known for maintaining academic excellence, Tabernacle School reviews all educational standards, both state and national. More importantly, we are committed to providing a Christian education to those we serve by forming and awakening faith in Jesus Christ in our students.
What is Common Core?
Common Core Standards are a broad set of national standards established to shape and govern the general educational standards and assessments in public school. Currently, there are a handful of states who have opted to not align with the national standards.
Private Schools and the Common Core Standards
While public schools in California are mandated by our state leadership to adopt Common Core Standards, private schools are in a unique position to choose their alignment with the standards for their curriculum and institutions as a whole. 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.
How does Tabernacle School Meet or Exceed Standards?
Many of the Common Core standards already have been in place at Tabernacle School. The Common Core calls for an increased emphasis on deeper understanding of underlying concepts in both the English Language Arts and Mathematics standards. Tabernacle School has long challenged students not just to memorize facts, but to go deeper, think critically, and demonstrate a higher level of understanding of content areas. Other Common Core Standards address only the minimum requirements and may be one or more grade levels below what we recognize as good teaching. We do not limit ourselves to the level of the standards but go beyond, based on our philosophy of learning and sound educational practices. In other words, Tabernacle School’s curriculum exceeds many Common Core Standards in age appropriate instruction and academic rigor.
In English (which the state refers to as English Language Arts), the Common Core State Standards refer to specific standards of reading, writing, speaking, and listening whose mastery allows students to leave high school “ready in literacy.” Tabernacle School never set out to align ourselves to secular standards, but we find that the Common Core standards are already embedded in our courses. Perhaps, it is because educators all agree that good teaching is teaching that drives students to think well, think critically, and think intelligently. This is what we strive to do.
The stated purpose of the Common Core State Standards Initiative is to detail and standardize what K-12 students from each state should know upon leaving each grade level. They are intended to achieve greater focus and coherence in the mathematics curriculum across the grade levels, leading to greater depth of application and understanding for individual students. Many would simply call this “good teaching,” and the Mathematics Department at Tabernacle is committed to a level of excellence that universally meets or exceeds the aforementioned standards.