Private schools avoiding Common Core debates

by: Ron Terrell Updated:

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TULSA, Okla. —

Common Core has been a hotly-debated topic for the past couple of years in Oklahoma.
 
FOX23’s Ron Terrell went to one of several schools exempt from the Common Core drama.
 
While many Green Country schools have had to deal with the implementation of new curriculum or the recent repeal of Common Core, private schools, like Augustine Christian Academy, don't have to deal with that.
 
Augustine, a private K-through-12 classical education school in east Tulsa, had 99 students enrolled in its high school last school year.
 
In Oklahoma, private schools can set their own curriculum, and Augustine teachers have not had to change the way they teach.
 
“We do respect the state's interests in seeing that its citizens are educated, but in Oklahoma we have the freedom to make choices about how we're going to do that,” said Kirk Post, headmaster of the school.
 
Post said he feels for public schools caught in the back-and-forth over Common Core.
 
While state curriculum is currently being worked on after the Common Core repeal, it's a process that could take up to two years to complete. While that's going on, in most cases, it's business as usual for private schools.
 
“Knowing what is expected, having those expectations clearly laid out before them and having teachers who are able to work with them makes it much easier,” said Post.
 
According to the website Private School Review, there are 208 private schools in Oklahoma with over 35,000 students.
 
Many are full time, but some private schools, like Augustine, offer options for home-schooling, putting more control in the hands of the parent, which Post said is the bottom line.
 
“It goes back to that philosophy. The parents have the responsibility to train their children.  The debate, I think, and the heart of the drama you've talked about, is over that issue of control. As we said, the state has a legitimate interest but the issue is 'who controls?'" said Post.