Common Core Concerns

The following article is from the the magazine, Accelerator, a publication by Accelerated Christian Education. This article documents some of the problems with the Common Core State Standards. EBA agrees with the article. EBA has not and will not adopt the Common Core State Standards. One item of concern amongst parents must be stated. Simply because we are against Common Core State Standards, does not mean we are against standards. We love and agree with setting standards. We have very high standards for academic excellence.  However, to adopt Common Core would be a detriment to our school and to all of our students. As stated, EBA has a much higher education standard for every student and will not lower our standards to meet the Common Core State Standards.

All across the United States, there is great concern over the adoption of the Common Core State Standards. Some states have adopted the standards sight unseen, some have refused to adopt them, and some states have adopted them even though their own standards resulted in acceptable test scores. Of the 45 states that initially adopted the Common Core standards, Indiana recently became the first to opt out.

Educational initiatives to correct the ills of our government school system are not new. In 1983 a commission created by the U.S. Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan released the results of an 18-month evaluation. This report on the strengths and weaknesses of the government education system in America was entitled A Nation at Risk. A follow-up report released by the U.S. Department of Education twenty-five years later stated, “If we were ‘at risk’ in 1983, we are at even greater risk now. The rising demands of our global economy, together with demographic shifts, require that we educate more students to higher levels than ever before. Yet, our education system is not keeping pace with these growing demands.”

Later, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was implemented as an attempt to establish educational standards for students and teachers that would ensure that students graduating from government schools were college-ready. In 2009 the Race to the Top initiative purported to close the achievement gaps created by No Child Left Behind. Common Core standards are guidelines that have been produced for every grade level in an effort to close achievement gaps and ensure the success of Race to the Top.

The Common Core standards differ from other educational initiatives in that they represent a move toward establishing a nationalized curriculum. This is an alarming trend accelerating in our country. Twenty years ago who would have imagined a national healthcare system dictated by the federal government? Just as a national healthcare system concerns Bible Believers because of all that is funded through it, a national school curriculum should concern Bible Believers for the same reason.

As educators we are not opposed to the study of many of the disciplines or the development of many of the skills described in the Common Core standards. However, as Bible Believers we are opposed to the assumption by the federal government that it should take over the responsibility of training the minds and shaping the character of our children, when God has so clearly given that responsibility to parents (Deuteronomy 6:5–9; Proverbs 19:27; 22:6; Ephesians 6:4).

The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Since education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is a right reserved to the states; therefore, Americans should oppose an educational system dictated by the federal government. A.C.E. does not face the same challenges as the government school system. Students using the A.C.E. program are given a strong foundation in reading skills. They consistently perform well on standardized tests. So in the midst of yet another government – sponsored educational initiative, A.C.E. continues to pursue the same course set in 1970. We are continuing to update and publish curriculum that is individualized, guided self-instructional, and mastery-based. We remain committed to academic excellence, character training, and Biblical content. As the world continues to change, may we recommit ourselves to a God, who changes not (Malachi 3:6), and the Word of God that “endureth for ever” (I Peter 1:25). As we allow God and His Word to guide us, may we remain faithful to Him and His calling on our lives, even amid these challenging times.