Learning Standards and Integration
A commitment to 21st Century standards
Collectively, the Illinois Learning Standards define what Illinois citizens believe all students should know and be able to do as a result of their public schooling. Through broad stakeholder support, revisions of the standards took place in 1985 and again in 1997. The current revision of the standards prioritizes defining what students need to know and be able to do upon graduation from high school to ensure they are college and career-ready. Furthermore the core content teams are charged with revising the current Illinois high school learning standards to:
- Clearly articulate the essential knowledge students need by emphasizing rigor, coherence, focus, specificity, clarity, and measurability;
- Ensure that the Illinois Learning Standards embody the fusion of the three Rs and the four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation); and
- Identify non-essential knowledge and skills that can be removed from the current standards.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.
The NGA Center and CCSSO received initial feedback on the draft standards from national organizations representing, but not limited to, teachers, postsecondary educators (including community colleges), civil rights groups, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Following the initial round of feedback, the draft standards were opened for public comment, receiving nearly 10,000 responses.
The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.
These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:
- Are aligned with college and work expectations;
- Are clear, understandable and consistent;
- Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
- Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
- Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and are evidence-based.