Heartland Institute’s Common Core State Standards expert Joy Pullman just posted a new article about what goes on in really top performing schools in this country.
She says top public schools know they must teach “More than Core” for their kids to really be successful.
How much more?
Referring to the BASIS charter schools, Pullman says:
“Children attending BASIS encounter math books two or three grades above theirs—fifth graders take seventh grade pre-algebra, and so forth.”
Regarding the KIPP charters, Pullman references comments from Alma Salman, principal of KIPP’s Houston elementary. Says Salman:
“The state sets the academic objectives for the children, and [KIPP schools] extend those objectives because our job is not just to take them to college but to get them through college so they are successful and happy.”
Citing a specific example, Salman continues:
“The state says by the end of the school year the kindergarteners should be reading on level four, for example. We want our children to be reading at level six.”
And, this isn’t just for top performing white students. Pullman mentions the YES Prep charter schools in Houston:
“YES Prep charter schools also aim to lift disadvantaged children. Two of their high schools rank in the top 100 nationally, and in the top 20 in the state, according to US News & World Report. Its students are 97 percent Latino and African American, and 79 percent low-income. All its students graduate and attend college.”
Clearly, if a Kentucky school only teaches Core, kids elsewhere, including disadvantaged kids, will be learning a lot more. And, if Kentucky had charter schools in its mix, more kids would be able to enjoy the benefits found in BASIS and YES schools.