Stellar Schools uses its examination database as the operational definition of its curriculum. While a course’s content in the first instance derives from the textbooks, source documents and lecture notes, what is required to be learned is (obviously) the material covered in the examinations. Every course has a set of Learning Concept Statements (that may number well over a thousand) which are presented to the students and are the basis of the examination questions and answers. We plan to use a form of mastery learning in which students will be required to achieve scores of 95% or better to pass a course. Every examination will consist of a random sampling of the examination database and thus when a student retakes a test, the questions will, almost in every instance, differ from those on the preceding test.

Having described the “mechanics” of how the curriculum of a course is related to its assessment methods, we need to characterize the content we intend to teach in the Stellar Schools. Though we would ideally lean towards a classical curriculum wherein Latin and Greek are introduced in the early primary years we have tentatively decided to follow a classical “lite” curriculum in which children are taught Latin, but not Greek, beginning in the middle school years. The Hillsdale Academy of Hillsdale, Michigan has published such a curriculum guide (the download version is free) and we currently plan to borrow from their curriculum. We also intend to integrate the Core Knowledge Sequence of E. D. Hirsch into the primary school course content. Once children reach middle school levels, we intend to implement a mathematics, science and history curriculum similar to the one developed by the Advanced Math & Science Academy of Marlborough, Massachusetts. To get an idea of its rigor consider that fact that its students are required to pass Advanced Placement examinations in math, physics, chemistry, and biology to receive a high school diploma.

Lastly, many K-12 schools lack the adequate preparation of students in economics. We intend to integrate economics principles in many courses: history, geography, civic, and mathematics- and do this starting in the primary levels of schooling. At the high school level a separate year-long course in economics, similar to the curriculum followed by the Trinity-Pawling School of Pawling, New York, will be required for graduation.