Common Core vs. Heritage Academy’s Standards
by Dr. Earl Taylor, Jr., National Center for Constitutional Studies
Note: A number of states have adopted the new and mostly unknown Common Core Standards for K-12 education. Nearly all of the “adoptions” have not been done by state legislatures, but by state Boards of Education, a prime example of how administrative law-making is replacing legislative law-making in our country.
With the increased attention and rising public opposition to some elements of Common Core, I asked our American History teacher, Cara Palmer, to evaluate how the Common Core standards measure up with what we require at our charter high school, Heritage Academy.
Cara Palmer graduated from Heritage Academy in 2000 where she also served as our Student Body President. She went on to receive her B. A. from Southern Virginia University, her Master of Education from the University of Arizona, and 21 additional upper level history credits at Arizona State University. She now teaches American History at Heritage Academy where students can also receive dual enrollment college credit as they earn credits toward high school graduation.
The following is a summary of her report. The full text may be found here.
How the Two Align: Common Core State Standards and
Heritage Academy’s American History Curriculum (Summary Version)
Words from a Concerned Teacher - After reviewing the Common Core State Standards, a teacher at Heritage Academy had some apprehensions of just what American History lesson is being taught to students through the new standards. The teacher made the following comments in a message to the director of the school:
I just took a more thorough look at the Informational Texts and Sample Performance Tasks that you sent us this last week for the content area of History. I am working really hard to be an optimist in this situation, but I am having a hard time seeing how these suggested texts benefit, protect and preserve our country. Are these texts going to be the required texts? Do I have to use these exact excerpts? Every document that I viewed pulls down America’s foundation. I was not too surprised about the texts on the Battle of Little Bighorn and the “Declaration of Sentiments” from the Women’s Convention at Seneca Falls since most public schools and universities place great emphasis on these topics already. However, as I read the letter they chose to represent George Washington and the section they picked from Democracy in America, it became apparent what the motive and objective is behind these standards. Why didn’t they pick a section from Washington’s Farewell Address or choose an excerpt from Democracy in America that shows the benefits of religion and beliefs in our free nation? (2013)
These questions and concerns, as well as many others, steered the administration and staff of Heritage Academy to conduct a more thorough study of just what the Informational Texts and Sample Performance Tasks are not just asking students to do, but what they are teaching them on various topics, such as American History.
Click here to read the entire article: nccs.net