Common Core FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions concerning WCA and Common Core State Standards



Click here for the Common Core Prezi
Click here for the WCA Executive Summary of Common Core Analysis
What are educational standards?

Educational standards are concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at specific stages of their education. Educational standards describe educational objectives (what students should learn by the end of a course or grade level), but they are not curriculum, delivery method, or assessment method.

Are educational standards different from goals and objectives?

Educational standards and  goals and objectives are essentially the same.

  • Goals –  broad expectation for students
  • Objectives  – specific statements of what students should know and do


    Goal 1: The learner will understand numbers and ways to represent numbers.

1.02         Model and count objects in a set and rote count:

a.             Forward to 100.

b.            Backward from 10.

Does Wake Christian Academy have educational standards?

WCA utilizes goals and objectives, which serve the same function as educational standards. As an independent Christian school, we have the autonomy to establish standards for our students. Our current standards are a product of research and evaluation by our academic departments. During the process of creating our standards, we reviewed academic standards from states such as North Carolina, California, Michigan, New York, and Texas.

If Wake Christian Academy is independent of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, who determines if the standards WCA selected are appropriate?

In 2012, a thorough review of Wake Christian Academy’s curriculum (including goals and objectives, or standards) was conducted by educators from 5 accrediting organizations (Christian and secular), and Wake Christian Academy was awarded full accreditation status. Below are the accreditation organizations who evaluated WCA:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • National Council for Private School Accreditation
  • North American Christian School Accreditation Agency
  • American Association of Christian Schools
  • North Carolina Christian School Association.
Are educational standards the same as curriculum?

Curriculum is the specific academic plan (both formal and informal) developed to educate students. It should be researched, organized, taught, and evaluated by teachers. Curriculum is much more than a textbook; it also includes goals and objectives, or standards, prepared for the educational benefit of students.

What  are the Common Core State Standards?

“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 word, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.”  Common Core State Standard Mission Statement (

Who developed the Common Core State Standards?
Why were the Common Core State Standards developed?
  • To address inconsistencies among the existing states’ standards
  • To improve college completion rates
  • To assist students in adapting to the changing work world
How were the Common Core State Standards designed?
  • Research and evidence-based
  • Aligned with college and work expectations
  • Rigorous and engaging higher-order thinking
  • Internationally benchmarked
How are the Common Core State Standards organized?
  How are the Common Core State Standards designed to  impact education?
  • Include fewer, more specific standards designed to allow teachers to cover less material in greater depth
  • Emphasize literacy across disciplines
  • Stress real-world relevance
  • Encourage higher-order thinking skills
  • Value research and problem solving
  • Weave in technology and media literacy
Are the Common Core State Standards national standards?

Currently not all states have adopted these standards, but they are intended to be consistent throughout the nation.

The Common Core State Standards sound good. Is WCA adopting them?

The Common Core State Standards Initiative contains many positive elements, but WCA has chosen to maintain independent standards. WCA will continue to engage in regular re-evaluation of its standards to assure that we are preparing our students for success in college and careers.

If WCA is not adopting Common Core State Standards, what will WCA do?

WCA sees great value in self-examination and will perform a Gap Analysis.  This is an item-by-item comparison of WCA’s Goals and Objectives with the Common Core State Standards. The purpose will be to assure that WCA students are meeting or exceeding Common Core State Standards.

How will the Gap Analysis work?

First, we will determine whether a standard has educational value for our students. Second, we will determine whether the standards are  more rigorous than our current goals and objectives. If so, we will modify our goals and objectives to meet or exceed the Common Core standard.

Why is WCA performing the Gap Analysis?

We are committed to providing our students a quality Christ-centered education that will allow them to go into the secular world prepared academically, as well as spiritually, physically, and socially.

Will this study of Common Core State Standards change what we teach ?

The Gap Analysis will reveal any areas that we need to address, but we do not anticipate significant change in what we teach.  All items from the gap analysis will be reviewed by experts in the subject area. A determination will be made as to whether changes/additions/removal will benefit our students and the Mission of WCA.

Will the study of Common Core State Standards change how we teach?

We are continually evaluating our teaching methods in order to motivate and encourage our students to achieve to their fullest potential.

How will you assess the progress of WCA students?

Our students currently are given nationally standardized tests each year. This is a legal requirement for all private schools in North Carolina. We will continue to administer these tests.

What is the timetable for this study?

We are working on the timeline for our Gap Analysis, but we estimate that it will take at least six months to complete the review. 

Who is leading the study for WCA?

All teachers will participate in the Gap Analysis. The leadership team is listed below:

Pam Griffin – Ed.D. Student, Higher Education Leadership & Instructional Leadership—Nova Southeastern University; M.Ed., Teaching & Learning—Liberty University

Wayne Helder—M.Ed., Administration/Supervision—Liberty University

Larry Hoxie—M.Ed., Secondary Education—Bowling Green State University

Justin Leonesio—Ph.D. Student, Mathematics—North Carolina State University; M.S., Mathematics—North Carolina State University

Sonya Massengill—Ph.D. Candidate, Curriculum & Instruction, English Education—North Carolina State University; M.A., English — North Carolina State University

Sandra Sauls—M.Ed., Teaching & Learning—Liberty University (Spring 2014)

Tina Scribner—Doctoral Studies, Educational Technology—North Carolina State University; M.S. Technical Education—East Carolina University

Mike Woods—M.A., School Administration—Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

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