Thinking about the Common Core Standards

The State of Illinois is one of many across the country who are moving towards new curriculum in English, Language Arts, Math, and soon Science based upon the expectations contained within the Common Core Standards.  Here is some information from the Illinois State Board of Education that provides a nice overview to get you started in your learning.

The Common Core State Standards establish clear expectations for what students should be learning in English language arts and mathematics at every grade level from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Spearheaded by governors and state education leaders from a consortium of more than 40 states, the Common Core represents a collaborative effort to raise expectations and improve instruction for all students regardless of where they live and to provide students with an equal opportunity to succeed academically. The Common Core sets high, clear and uniform standards to prepare students for college and the work force.

 

The Common Core standards differ from previous learning standards because of their emphasis on critical thinking and concept mastery. In English language arts, the Common Core underlines the importance of reading nonfiction, using evidence to back claims and expanding academic vocabulary. In mathematics, the standards call for greater focus on fewer topics so that students gain a more comprehensive understanding of key topics. They also emphasize the application of math towards solving real-world problems. The Common Core’s changes will ensure that students not only gain skills and knowledge, but can also apply their knowledge to succeed after high school graduation.

 

Although created by a national consortium of states, the Common Core standards are independent of the federal government. Implementation decisions will remain local and teachers and school administrators will continue to write local curricula and lesson plans for their classrooms. The Common Core standards establish the benchmarks for what students need to learn, but districts still determine the best strategies and content for instruction and curriculum. Teachers will continue to make daily instructional decisions to reach individual students.

 

Illinois adopted the Common Core standards in 2010 after recognizing that it needed to update its existing learning standards. The creators of the Common Core consulted with parents, teachers and school administrators through two public comment periods held in September 2009 and March 2010. After considering public feedback, staff members from the Illinois State Board of Education then submitted their own suggestions to the consortium developing the Common Core standards. Educators across the state have already begun to incorporate elements of the Common Core into their curricula and all schools are expected to fully implement curricula that meet the new standards during the 2013-2014 school year.

 

Illinois is currently in the process of updating its science standards as well. It was one of 26 lead states that collaborated on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which will provide a new way of teaching science and engineering to students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. As a lead state, Illinois helped to write the standards and provided guidance on their eventual implementation. The final draft of NGSS was released in April 2013 and the State Board will review the new science standards for potential adoption later this year. NGSS is similar to the Common Core in that it is rigorous, internationally benchmarked and intended to better prepare students for college and career.

 

Students will ultimately benefit from the Common Core’s consistency and higher standards. Since the majority of states have adopted the Common Core, students who move from one state to another will face the same expectations. The standards ensure that an education in Illinois is on par with an education in other states. The Common Core aligns with international standards as well so that students will be well-equipped to compete in today’s global economy. Because it encourages students to apply and demonstrate their knowledge in real-world settings, Illinois’ students will be better prepared for life after high school graduation.

 

Resources

 

Illinois State Board of Education:

http://www.isbe.net/common_core/default.htm

 

Common Core IL, a project of the Core Coalition:

http://commoncoreil.org/real-learning/

 

Common Core State Standards Initiative:

http://www.corestandards.org/

Author: admin

I am the Superintendent of the Geneseo CUSD 228 schools.

4 thoughts on “Thinking about the Common Core Standards”

  1. Isn’t it interesting that Common Core has been brought into our schools through the Governor’s Association and not through the proper channels of legislation. The population of parents and teachers and leaders as yourself have been totally left out of the equation. The reason is that we have all been hijacked by our government who want to socialize our schools just like our healthcare.

    The Governor’s Association was offered money in exchange for instituting this Common Core system. Leading scholars all over this country, after studying what will be taught have unanimously opposed this curriculum for our schools. To name a few:
    Dr. Gerald V. Bradley – scholar in the field of constitutional law, on the faculity at Notre Dame.
    Dr. James Milgram – Professor of Mathematics Emeritus at Stanford University. To be noted, he was one of the main reviews of Common Core and would not sign off on it because the standards are too low to meet college level admissions.
    Dr. Terrence Moore – Assistant professor of history at Hillsdale College – totally against Common Core. Gives examples of 11th grade Literature, where they do not even read a book.
    For more information please contact me or go to http://www.stopcommoncoreillinois.org

  2. I agree with the above sentiments. Less local control = less accountability. Hope the CC gets abandoned. Yet another reason why more and more parents are considering the homeschool option.

    thanks
    Darrell

  3. Ever wondered how many in our community are in support or opposition of the CC? I did and went around and conducted an informal, unscientific poll…. 35 households in the district and 4 said they favored the system, 5 were of no opinion, and 26 said they had a problem with it and would like to see it go away. I sure would like to see someone conduct a legit poll in our district to get a more accurate picture of sentiment on the CC….. My guess is, based on who I spoke with that 75% of the community is against the core. If that is even close to true, why are we using the CC standards.

    1. Currently, school districts have been required by the Illinois State Board of Education to adopt the Illinois Learning Standards. More information can be found at http://www.isbe.net/ils. According to the State Board of Education the “Illinois Learning Standards (ILS) define what all students in all Illinois public schools should know and be able to do in the seven core areas as a result of their elementary and secondary schooling. Your point regarding a survey is well taken. There is much involved in educating parents about the curriculum adopted in our District. We look forward to beginning a process in the Fall of 2015 that helps establish new Academic Standards for our district. At that time we will review the curriculum that identifies what students should know and be able to do. We will also work to clarify to what level of mastery we should expect at each grade level. There will be survey work and in person meetings in the Fall. Look for more information once school starts. Thank you for sending your thoughts.

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