LLCA and Common Core

LLCA parents and students,

No doubt you have either heard or read something, over the last couple years, about the development and implementation of national standards in core subjects.  You may be concerned about how these Common Core State Standards will affect Lindsay Lane.  All three of my children attend LLCA, so my wife and I are certainly concerned.   Let me tell you exactly where we stand on this subject.  Early on, the CCSS were viewed by many people as helpful tools and a worthwhile addition to strengthen the schools in America.  It seems like a good idea to have universal standards and criteria for mastery to allow comparison.   However, as more information was disclosed, some disappointing issues were discovered.  From an academic standpoint, many of the standards are set too low and have received a great deal of criticism from college professors.  Another issue is raised from a worldview concern.  Much of the required reading and curricula selected is very anti-Christian and will not be implemented at LLCA.

In Christian Education, we acknowledge the importance of core subject knowledge, but in order to meet our mission we must challenge students to go beyond—to understand the wisdom of God as revealed by Jesus Christ.  True wisdom and knowledge cannot be separated from God.  God’s word is the bedrock in which we anchor content knowledge.  Therefore, any standards that leave out God fall short of being complete.

It is important to keep in mind that, for private schools, these standards are descriptions of desired student results, not the means to attain those results.  The CCSS are not curricula, but they are clear goals and expectations.  The LLCA administration and teachers are becoming familiar with the standards so that we may continue to improve teaching and learning for our students.  In numerous areas, LLCA meets and exceeds the standards for subjects.  We will identify and improve areas that require improvement so that our graduates are well-prepared for the next level. 

Many states have adopted the CCSS,  perhaps doing so because of their tie to federal dollars which they would otherwise forfeit.  Other states have rejected them, vowing to keep the federal government from controlling local education.  LLCA will not allow an outside agency to require reading of curricula or informational texts that contradict our mission.  The rigorous process of filtering information through the lens of a Christian worldview perspective is ultimately the goal of Kingdom Education.  This process allows one to discern whether or not information is to be rejected, accepted, or transformed.

There are standards in science, literature, and social studies that do not align with our faith.  Our goal is not to ignore these standards, but to address them head-on so the student will be able to intelligently discuss these issues with others of different beliefs.  We must prepare this generation to respond with logical arguments that affirm their faith in the Bible.  I Peter 3:15 tells us to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you, to give the reason for the Hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 

I recently attended a symposium for Christian school heads in Dallas, TX, where the Common Core State Standards were investigated by a group of school heads from around the country, and we continue to monitor changes in current trends in public school, but we will not be adopting these standards to take our students down academically or spiritually.  We are constantly evaluating Christ-honoring curricula for potential use in the future.  Please pray for God’s will as we seek to provide teachers with the very best tools in the classroom. Our goal is for students to be prepared to the best of their individual abilities, have a solid understanding of academics, and have the discernment to use it wisely.