The founders and leaders of Liberty Common School share a genuine concern for both the general decline in the quality of American public education and the preparation of American students to live free and compete well in a dynamic economy.
We reject the anti-intellectual traditions that have become so prevalent in American schools and colleges, particularly colleges of education. We find fault with the progressive, romantic theories of education that have come to dominate American education systems.
Instead, we advocate the systemic acquisition of broad knowledge, superior language, and active, engaged minds consistent with the idea of “intellectual capital” described by Core Knowledge Foundation founder E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
The mission of Liberty Common School is to provide excellence and fairness in education for school children through a common foundation by successfully teaching a contextual body of organized knowledge, the skills of learning including higher-order thinking, and the values of a democratic society. Liberty recognizes the value of inclusiveness or providing access to a broad cross-section of the community so that students from all backgrounds can benefit from Liberty’s educational offering. Liberty acknowledges the leadership of teachers in the classroom and recognizes the responsibility of each student for his/her academic effort.
With an expectation of comprehensive institutional excellence through fidelity to our founding principles and documents, Liberty Common School will be a premier community of primary and secondary schools characterized by high academic achievement and a growing body of students who know the good, the true, the beautiful, and the perfect according to the tradition of classical-liberal education.
Our Guiding Principles
- Children yearn for meaning and require a basis of solid contextual common knowledge for the development of mature literacy and critical thinking, for growth and communication in a diverse society.
- The educational "playing field" between students of differing backgrounds should be level to provide all students a basis to the greatest degree practicable upon which they can build further knowledge and to develop the skills necessary to communicate and succeed.
- The skills of learning—reading, writing, speaking, calculating, and thinking—are most meaningfully learned from the knowledge or content of the curriculum, modeling, coaching, and sensible practice.
- To thrive in work, citizenship, and personal growth, children must be taught the values of a democratic society. These values include: respect for others—their property and rights; responsibility for actions, honesty and social justice; resourcefulness—being ready to learn, to serve, and to share.
- Inclusiveness is fundamental in responding to the diverse needs of children and raising academic standards. All parents, regardless of economic status, should be free to choose this educational program for their children.
- Teachers are professionals—which implies considerable autonomy, mastery, and independence. Having accepted the academic and philosophic mission of a school, the teacher needs to be free to exercise informed judgment in order to fulfill his/her primary role as an educator.
- The principal determinants of individual academic success are individual ability and effort. The policies of the school (grading, discipline, homework, pedagogy) must support the student's adoption of a personal quest for academic growth using the clearly marked path of expectations in knowledge, skill, and character. The guiding philosophy of the school acknowledges that children can and should be held accountable for their own schoolwork and behavior with the support of teachers and parents.
We are on a journey of education; a quest to develop the mind, heart, skills, and knowledge in our children. The journey, a life-long endeavor, implies responsibility for one’s own education.
We set the example for our children. To help accomplish the quest, a dedicated group of school founders, administrators, and parents has compiled a collection of articles to point the way. This assembly of articles introduces many of our philosophies, providing background on how the school functions and why. Please read the collection. It will enhance the journey.