Cedar River Academy adopts state common core learnig standards

Cedar River Academy has adopted Washington's new Mathematics and English Language Arts Common Core Standards for the 2012-2013 academic year.  These nationally defined standards augment the school's standards for science, foreign language, the arts, social studies, citizenship, and health and physical education.

Educational standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful by providing clear goals for student learning.

“The Common Core State Standards are authored by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices”, said Kristin McSwan, Cedar River Academy Head of School.  “These standards are intended to make it clear to every student, parent, and teacher what defines success in school.  We like these new definitions because they are more focused on encouraging higher level thinking than the historical state standards which, we believe, are more focused on memorization.”

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills young people need for success in college and careers.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics that states can voluntarily adopt.  The standards have been informed by the best available evidence, and the highest state standards, across the country and globe, and designed by a diverse group of teachers, experts, parents, and school administrators, so they reflect both aspirations for children and the realities of the classroom. These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to go to college or enter the workforce. The Common Core State Standards are benchmarked to international standards to guarantee that United States students are competitive in the emerging global marketplace.

While a number of Washington State public schools have defined pilot projects to evaluate the Common Core Standards, Cedar River Academy is one of the first schools in the state to completely adopt them.

“Cedar River Academy made the decision to adopt these new standards to ensure that all students are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce”, said Roger Franklin, Cedar River Academy CEO.  “The goal for deploying the nationally recognized learning standards is to ensure our students are receiving a high quality education.  Standards do not tell teachers how to teach, but they do help teachers figure out the knowledge and skills their students should have.  Teachers can then teachers can create the best lessons and environments for their students.  Standards also help students and parents by setting clear and realistic goals for success.”

Cedar River Academy has developed a comprehensive Learning and Teaching Management System, named Aspen, which assists CRA teachers as they develop curriculum that embodies the learning standards, and then make formative and summative assessments of individual student progress toward mastering each standard.

English-language arts and mathematics were the first subjects chosen for the Common Core State Standards because these two subjects are skills, upon which students build skill sets in other subject areas. They are also the subjects most frequently assessed for accountability purposes.  Other subject areas are critical to young people’s education and their success in college and careers.  However, the National Governors Association will not develop standards in other subjects.

Cedar River Academy is a non-sectarian private elementary and middle school. For more information visit

-from a press release

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