The Common Core is Real Learning for Real Life

It’s time to get real about what our children must learn if they are to succeed in today’s world. Right now, only 1 in 4 Illinois high school students graduate ready for real life, be it college or career.

Part of the problem is that we haven’t updated learning standards in Illinois for 15 years. The world has changed a lot since then!

That’s why 45 states, including Illinois, have voluntarily adopted the Common Core State Standards in Math and English Language Arts- with more subjects in development.

Developed by a diverse group of education experts, these new learning standards are more relevant to real life than previous Illinois learning standards in several important ways.

• The standards for each grade build upon what is learned in the previous grade
• English Language Arts standards emphasize nonfiction reading and vocabulary development
• Math standards focus on a more comprehensive understanding of fewer math concepts and the ability to apply them to everyday life
• Strong writing and communication skills are required for all subjects

The learning standards aren’t the only thing changing! The Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) will be replaced in the spring of 2015 by a new test created to measure learning based on the Common Core State Standards called Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). As with any new test, we should expect to see temporary dips in test scores as what is being measured is different.

With so much change coming to Illinois classrooms, it is more important than ever to stay in touch with your children's teachers. Work with them to make a plan to support your child as we transition to expecting more from them- and for them!

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