Core Knowledge Vs Common Core
Summer Greetings to all of our Holy Cross Families and Friends! July 9, 2019
Over the 4th of July weekend I had a chance to take another look at the survey that so many of you kindly participated in. There were many positive and heartwarming responses and from them, I am encouraged that we are moving Holy Cross in the right direction for your children and for you.
There were also, of course, some responses that made suggestions, posed questions, or stated comments that need to be addressed. One such comment that merits some attention asked Holy Cross to stop using Common Core books and to stop teaching the Common Core way. In case others of you hold that opinion, I felt a broad response to be necessary:
This past year in our middle school English Language Arts classes, we made the deliberate move to enhance and enrich our students’ literary experience by having them read some of the “classics” as their whole group novel studies. I agree with author Dr. Spencer Baum who suggests that to read
a work of classic literature is to engage with the best work of the best minds, and do it in a way that challenges one to be better, to seek out and appreciate beauty, to ponder the big questions, to follow a line of thought, to concentrate, to transform symbols of language into an image in one’s imagination, to weigh assertions, to analyze, and to exercise one’s faculties of reason. Isn’t this the kind of educational experience we all we want for our students? Thus, classic novels were brought in to the middle school classes, and as anticipated, these classic novels were quite well received by our students over all.
The classic books selected come to us from the Core Knowledge Foundation. This is not the same thing as Common Core. Common Core is a set of standards for what students should learn at each grade level. It is not a curriculum, nor is it a prescribed method of teaching. The State of Minnesota did not adopt the Common Core standards when they came out, but developed its own set of academic standards for use by public schools. Holy Cross does use Minnesota Academic Standard benchmarks, but does not use Common Core standards.
The Core Knowledge Foundation is an organization that has developed extensive, scaffolded curriculum in the areas of Language Arts, History and Geography, Science, Visual Arts and Music, but is not connected to the Common Core standards in any way. As a developer of curriculum, the Core Knowledge Foundation has published school editions of several novels that we have chosen for our students to read. Because they are a non-profit foundation, we have chosen to purchase books from them instead of from other, for-profit publishers.
Thank you for reading through this extended but important clarification about Core Knowledge Vs Common Core. I hope you find it helpful.
Enjoy this amazing summer day,
Constance Krocak, Ed.D.
on Tuesday, July 9 at 12:15PM