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 3 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 16 years. The world has changed a lot since then!

That’s why over 40 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, the basis for the new Illinois Learning Standards in Math and English Language Arts.

how are the new learning standards different?

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.

work together with your children’s teachers

The learning standards aren’t the only thing that has changed! The Partnership for Assessement of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) test debuted in the spring of 2015, created to measure learning based on the new standards. It replaced old standardized state tests such as the ISAT. 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 happening 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!

the illinois learning standards

Grade-specific standards in Math and English Language Arts for Illinois classrooms

Higher, clearer, deeper and based on what students must learn to succeed in college and modern careers

Creating the same expectations for all students so families can understand exactly what every student should learn

Emphasizing skills students will need for the modern workplace: collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity

Built upon strengths and lessons from the highest-performing states and countries