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Charter schools also implementing the CCSS
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2012 17:01 PM

Since the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were released in 2010, news outlets nationwide have focused on the ways in which public school educators have been preparing for the transition to this education initiative. The heavy spotlight on public schools may have left the parents of charter school students wondering if their children will also be learning according to the CCSS. Despite the lack of coverage these institutions have received, many charter schools are, in fact, implementing the new Standards.

Whereas public schools receive their funding from the government, charter schools are publicly funded institutions that are typically exempt from state or local rules and regulations, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. For this reason, some people may think that charter schools will not implement the CCSS.

However, this is certainly not the case with Florida’s Villages Charter School, which recently welcomed back students for the new school year, The Villages Daily Sun reported. One of the big differences with this year’s kindergarten and first-grade curricula is that lessons have been aligned with the CCSS.

"[Teachers] worked really hard to plan some great lessons," Kristine Rohan, vice principal of The Villages Charter Elementary School Primary Center, told the news source. "I think it’s really going to bring our curriculum to the next level."

This year, kindergarteners will focus on foundational subjects, such as reading and math, as they move from lessons on shapes to the basics of adding and subtracting numbers.

At the same time, there are those who believe the CCSS will provide a unique set of challenges to charter schools. For example, Michael Cohen, president of Achieve Inc., said that the Standards will place more emphasis on complex reading and writing, which charter schools typically do not demand of their students, according to the National Charter School Resource Center.