Thinking biblically

Controversy surrounding the Common Core State Standards continues to swirl as we wait for lawmakers and state officials to hammer out their differences. Parents and others have expressed concerns to educators about what will happen if it's mandated that our schools adopt this set of standards. And principals find themselves caught in the middle of a debate that extends beyond schools. Yet our students continue to come to school, ready to learn and hear the Word of God. And our teachers continue to demonstrate the most important thinking skill given to us by God: discernment. As stated by John MacArthur, "In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically." Recently, our principals closely examined the standards themselves. In our analysis, we found nothing that appeared to be dangerous or harmful. We did find that students are expected to ask and answer questions, determine themes or central ideas, analyze elements of a story, and compare and contrast two different texts. These are great expectation for literate people. Imagine the potential of our students equipped with the ability to engage others in thoughtful discussion and debate as they witness and share the Gospel! Our Lutheran-school educators discern every day. And they're now being asked to teach students how to discern, so that no matter what students encounter, their thinking will always be biblical. Our schools are blessed to be able to weave the truths of the Bible into every corner of our school day. And we will continue to be vigilant in protecting our curriculum as decisions are made at the state level. Our mission has never changed, even as the mandates and expectations do. "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5: 21-22