Earlier this month the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) published its quarterly magazine, The Classical Difference. Hopefully, it has arrived in all Trinitas parents’ mailboxes. If not, do let us know so we can make sure you get yours next quarter; also, we will have extras in the school office soon, so stop by and pick one up.
Articles in this edition of The Classical Difference range from informative to inspiring. Perhaps the most inspiring article is one about a young girl in a classical Christian school who developed a brain tumor. While we would be hard pressed to find anything inspiring about a brain tumor, we can sometimes find inspiration in the way people respond to them. The article was written by the girl’s mother who recounted how the school responded by rallying around the family to support them during this difficult time. The story truly is a picture of the body of Christ doing what the body of Christ is supposed to do. It will inspire you to love your neighbor.
Among the informative articles is a series of tutorials on the Common Core Initiative and how it is affecting the educational landscape in the United States. The articles lay out a case for politics, not education, as the main drive for Common Core. Historically speaking, Common Core appears to be a perfect storm more than 100 years in the making and now being powered by a combination of accreditation, college entrance exams, textbook publishers, and billions of our tax dollars funneled through the US Dept of Education. Ironically, the end of Common Core seems not to be better educated students; rather, it is a progressive attempt to create an egalitarian, Orwellian, utopia in which humans are as cogs in a machine. Because Common Core sets the standards in a way that “levels the playing field,” according to the College Board, “regardless of where [students] live,” according to the Common Core, and then ties accreditation and federal funding of schools to achieving those standards, the result will be millions of automatons crossing the stages at graduations around the nation every year. Common Core appears poised to create a generation of students who possess just about as much knowledge as the next guy (and certainly not more than the next guy) in the next town over, but with no real training in how to think or learn for themselves. But I’ve said enough. I encourage you not only to read these articles in The Classical Difference, but also to do your own research on Common Core as well.
Let’s get back to the inspiring articles, shall we? The article that brings this whole edition of The Classical Difference together is written by an alumnus of a classical Christian School who is asking the question, “What is the value of a classical Christian education?” Eleven years removed from the classical Westminster Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, Will Frazier, who holds degrees in English and Philosophy and has a career in finance, is beginning to plumb the depths of his classical Christian education. Though he cannot put a dollar value on it, he is finding that his being taught and trained at Westminster to “love that which is worth loving” has placed him on a lifelong pursuit of just that. That pursuit is further fueled by his “sense of wonder”—a quality common among classically trained students. He also finds that his classical education has, instead of giving him a map and requiring him to memorize it, taught him to use a compass so he can find his way even when he is off the map. Will’s compass is a great metaphor for the tools of learning and the thinking skills that classically trained students acquire.
The kind of citizen classical Christian education has produced in Will Frazier presents a stark contrast to the kind of citizen Common Core might produce. At Trinitas Christian School, we are working hard to produce Will Fraziers, not mere cogs for a machine. Take a look at this edition of The Classical Difference. You will see right away that Trinitas is not alone in this work. We are part of an enormous resurgence in classical Christian education in the world that is seeking to graduate thinking, reasoning citizens who love the Lord Jesus Christ and know how to use a compass. That’s the real classical difference! Come join us!