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Middle school students doing group work in a hallway

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North Carolina has been a pioneer over the past 20 years when it comes to the area of educational reform. Over the past ten years, North Carolina has been in a transition stage of adopting, creating and implementing a new set of learning standards for all students Kindergarten through twelfth grade in all content areas. The Common Core and Essential Standards focus on the most critical knowledge and skills that students need and must have in order to be college and career ready in the 21st century. To be clear, Common Core standards refer to Math and English Language Arts. These standards have been adopted by North Carolina along with 46 other states; the goal of this movement for change is to ensure that the students across America (who all attend the same colleges) are going to college having learned the same set of core skills. Because North Carolina adopted the new standards in ELA and Math, it was decided to develop new standards of the same rigor in all other content areas as well (Social Studies, Science, Physical Education, Health, Foreign Language, Visual and Performing Arts), thus creating the North Carolina Essential Standards. All standards have been written using Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, which raises the level of learning expectations significantly.

Lincoln Charter School also partners with organizations such as College Boards and Gaston College to provide higher level course offerings during the high school grades. These AP courses and Gaston College courses allow students to be dually enrolled in high school credit courses while potentially achieving college credit when successfully demonstrating their content knowledge in the particular course. Each of these courses requires a set of entrance criteria and contains different mastery requirements to earn college credit. Students will work with their high school counselors to ensure their course selections align with the student’s post-secondary goals at each high school grade level, in addition to meeting the Lincoln Charter School 24 credit graduation requirements.