Classical Education vs. Common Core for ELA, An Example from Florida

Mason Classical Academy, a Hillsdale College charter school in Naples, FL, launched in 2014 with an emphasis on classical education instead of utilizing Common Core like the other schools in Collier County where they are located.

Classical education is language-based which they describe:

A classical education is more than just a pattern of learning. First, it is language-focused where learning is accomplished through written and spoken words versus images such as videos and television. In a language-focused learning, the mind needs to work harder and ‘decode’ symbols (words) into concepts. Images, on the other hand, allow the mind to be passive and enjoy the translation from words into concepts already completed.

They took the Florida Standard Assessments this year and looking at the overall results with schools throughout Collier County the Academy’s approach has been successful. They lead the county in English Language Arts Achievement. They are in the upper tier overall in Mathematics Achievement and considering they are not taught Common Core math their score is remarkable since the assessment is aligned to Common Core math.

Drilling down further with the county’s third graders 90 percent of the Academy’s third graders were considered proficient in English Language Arts. This is incredible compared to the county average of 57 percent and the state average of 58 percent. The Academy’s third graders are among the top two percent in the state.

Their 5th graders were even more dominant. 92 percent of the Academy’s 5th graders were considered proficient compared to the county average of 56 percent and state average of 53 percent. They are among the top one percent of 5th graders in the state.

So, it begs the question comparing Classical Education with Common Core which is better for literacy? In Florida, the answer is pretty clear.

2 thoughts on “Classical Education vs. Common Core for ELA, An Example from Florida

  1. Don’t give too many hurrah’s to Florida’s Classical Education as the founder of Hillsdale is rolling over in his grave having always sworn they would never take any federal $$ and by being a charter school they are. They even have a behind the scenes management company. A true Classical school would be as it was in Jefferson’s time when at the time of this nation’s founding, classical education was thriving and government had not hand in it. . Jefferson heartily recommended Greek and Latin as the languages of study for early adolescence and all who went on to higher education had learned at least two foreign languages.

    Florida is one of the beginner states in this Charter/Choice/Voucher scam with the governor taking money away from public schools for the others scams which are riddled with fraud and corruption and nothing being done.

    Last month Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, on Thursday signed a $419 million K-12 public education bill that has been labeled by critics as “scam” legislation — and he is holding the event at a private Catholic school where our tax dollars are going to private schools which is taxation without representation.

    The measure, popular among many but not all Republicans and pro-school choice forces, sparked a tsunami of opposition from parents, school boards, district superintendents and unions. They have argued that it will harm traditional public school districts, threaten services for students who live in poverty and curb local control of education while promoting charter schools and a state-funded voucher program. This bill takes $30 million away from public schools and leads our children into a deeper association with corporate America.

    I am neither R or D and our governor has sided with Jeb Bush and lied, and lied and lied about Common Core and more of what has been happening in this state in regard to education. Deep research should be done by all.

  2. Would help to understand the issue!! Common Core says TEACHERS know what works in the classroom & TEACHERS decide HOW to teach!! I challenge anyone to prove this false.

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