As part of a new recruiting blitz, Ezell-Harding Christian School in Antioch has adopted the slogan “Uncommon at our Core,” a jab at Common Core Education Standards adopted in Tennessee’s public schools.
The admissions materials suggest Common Core is “overburdened and restrained by bureaucracy” while “bowing to national standards and teaching to standardized tests.”
Called for comment, school president Ronald Rummage backed off the attacks a bit, even praising parts of Common Core.
“Many of the standards are quite good,” Rummage told WPLN. “There are certain groups that have issues with the government intervention in Common Core. Ours is a much more practical one. When we looked at the curriculum, it just simply wasn’t for us.”
Rummage said his school felt the need to put out a position statement because so many prospective parents ask about Common Core.
“We have had several parents who are interested in knowing what our full curriculum is,” he said. “And many will just walk in the door or in their first phone call ask, ‘are you a Common Core school?’”
Still, Ezell-Harding will use some Common Core-approved textbooks, Rummage says. While most tuition-driven schools don’t follow the public standards to the letter, they can’t ignore them altogether. College entrance exams are now aligning with Common Core math and English standards.
Common Core has been a delicate topic for some private schools. When Candice McQueen was named to lead Nashville’s Lipscomb Academy, she was forced to send a letter to parents, explaining that she didn’t plan to start using Common Core, even though she continues to be one of the state’s biggest cheerleader for the standards.