The new Common Core educational standards aren't just for public schools, Many private schools in the state are also shifting toward the new curriculum.
The Common Core State Standards were formally adopted by Wisconsin public schools in 2010 and cover kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics and English/Language Arts. Terry Brown is vice president of School Choice Wisconsin. He says the adoption of Common Core by public schools is causing many private schools to make the switch, partly because textbooks and tests are changing, "The standards are good, maybe not great in everybody's mind but they're good standards. Generally we're buying common textbooks, and we're going toward common testing and so we all have to see how we can fit our own specific mission and vision for education within those common cores."
Sue Nelson is the associate superintendent for the Archidiocese in Milwaukee which runs 118 schools. This fall all their schools switched to the Common Core math curriculum, and they plan to implement the Common Core English standards in 2014, "We decided with the Common Core our students are certainly going to be competitive in a world with all other students in this country. The tests that they take for college entrance, the types of thinking and learning that they will need to compete both in school and in their lives will be the same in schools and their lives so we as the archdiocese see no reason for us to not engage in this."
Nelson says the school plans to make some modifications to the secular Common Core curriculum to incorporate Catholic values.