In keeping with the mission of the Lowrie Center to provide a forum for innovation, research and the enduring ideas the center would like to open a dialogue regarding the Common Core State Standards.
Consider the mission of the Common Core State Standards:
The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.
Is this mission compatible with the mission of Christian schools? There is no question that it is our desire to "fully prepare" our students for the future. The Christian worldview views "fully prepared" in a radically different way from the writers of the Common Core. The inclusion of the Truth through the study and integration of God's word is critical to living life both skillfully and fruitfully. We educate based upon the enduring idea that God's word provides the cohearance factor for curriculum and that apart from Truth you cannot be prepared for an eternal future.
The idea that there are core outcomes for each discipline has value. It is unlikely however that the outcomes will address dispositions (values, beliefs, and attitudes) since these are so centered on cultural and worldview beliefs. Can there be a common core in a pluralistic society?
What are the common core dispositions of a Christian school education? What are the common core standards related to the study of God's word? Are we willing or even interested in developing a common core or will each school work independently to develop its spiritual outcomes? In light of our common "text" and values that seems impractical. Can we envision a day when we become a Kingdom Education system, a movement where we operate under God's view of the fully educated individual?
1) Lets begin a dialogue concerning the Common Core. What questions do you have? What are the issues? How are you addressing the Common Core? Post your questions and comments
2) Lets begin to think about Common Core Bible and Spiritual Formation Standards. Post one or two Standards for a specific grade level. Once we get the ball rolling, the Lowrie Center will begin to organize your recommendations into a K-12 Common Core. This will not be possible without your involvement so I urge you to join in this dialogue and effort.