Besides blood, toil, tears and sweat, our school is the product of a partnership between Hillsdale College and Responsive Education Solutions, an organization that runs over 70 charter schools throughout Texas and Arkansas.
Though the Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI), Hillsdale College partners with charter schools across the country and provides recruiting help, teacher training, and curriculum advice to us free of charge. All we have to do to maintain our partnership with Hillsdale is promise to follow ten principles that are essential to classical education and a healthy school culture. In return, we can call on Hillsdale and any of the other schools for help whenever we need it.
Looking at the 10 points is a good way of thinking about what classical education really is. Here on campus, we refer to them often. Here they are:
Charter schools assisted by Hillsdale College commit to embrace and uphold the following key characteristics:
- The centrality of the Western Tradition in the study of history, literature, philosophy, and fine arts;
- A rich and recurring examination of the American literary, moral, philosophical, political, and historical traditions;
- The use of explicit phonics instruction leading to reading fluency, and the use of explicit grammar instruction leading to English language mastery;
- The teaching of Latin;
- The acknowledgement of objective standards of correctness, logic, beauty, weightiness, and truth intrinsic to the liberal arts;
- A school culture demanding moral virtue, decorum, respect, discipline, and studiousness among the students and faculty;
- A curriculum that is content-rich, balanced and strong across the four core disciplines of math, science, literature, and history;
- A faculty where well-educated and articulate teachers convey real knowledge using traditional teaching methods rather than student-centered learning methods;
- A school that uses technology effectively but without diminishing the faculty leadership that is crucial to academic achievement; and
- A school with a plan to serve grades K through 12, although the grades at school opening may be scaled back if reasonable.