The following ten commitments are required of all Barney Charter Schools associated with Hillsdale College:

  1. The centrality of the Western tradition in the study of history, literature, philosophy, and fine arts;
  2. A rich and recurring examination of the American literary, moral, philosophical, political, and historical traditions;
  3. The use of explicit phonics instruction leading to reading fluency, and the use of explicit grammar instruction leading to English language mastery;
  4. The teaching of Latin;
  5. The acknowledgement of objective standards of correctness, logic, beauty, weightiness, and truth intrinsic to the liberal arts;
  6. A school culture demanding moral virtue, decorum, respect, discipline. and studiousness among the students and faculty;
  7. A curriculum that is content-rich, balanced and strong across the four core disciplines of math, science, literature, and history;
  8. A faculty where well-educated and articulate teachers explicitly convey real knowledge to students using traditional teaching methods rather than using so-called ‘”student-centered learning” methods;
  9. A school that uses technology effectively but without diminishing the faculty leadership that is crucial to academic achievement; and
  10. A school with a plan to serve grades K through 12, although the grades at school opening may be scaled back if reasonable.