The Illinois Learning Standards are not just about what our kids must learn to make it in college and career, but also about what they can do. The new standards focus on the development of skills necessary for success in real life like critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, and creativity. We don’t know what the careers of the future will look like, but we do know they will require key skills as well as content knowledge.

Education is more important than ever before.

  • About 40 years ago, 72% of U.S. jobs were held by individuals with a high school degree or less. By 2018, only 38% of jobs will be available to people without some education and training after high school.
  • In Illinois, 8 of 10 employers say they need employees with some postsecondary education and good jobs are currently going unfilled. Learn about Illinois’ fastest-growing occupations.
  • Today all high school graduates need some postsecondary education and/or training if they are to have options and compete in the job market. Check out the chart below.
Click chart to enlarge.

The standards will help students develop a foundation of knowledge and higher order skills while in school that will serve them well when they move on to college and a career.

  • COLLABORATION: the ability to initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative projects (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with other students, fosters a student’s ability to collaborate with a variety of partners.
  • CRITICAL THINKING: The Illinois Learning Standards standards hone the critical thinking skills so vital for success in college and career by calling on students to analyze, interpret and evaluate content.
  • COMMUNICATION: Interpreting complex texts, evidence-based writing, informational writing to convey information, speaking and listening are all emphasized in the standards.
  • CREATIVITY: By asking students to synthesize information and use it in new ways, the Illinois Learning Standards fosters creativity and innovation.


Earnings and Education
More is more when it comes to education! Check out the Census Bureau’s cool infographics on what people earn in common occupations by degree level.


Rockford goes to Mars
Even a small manufacturing firm in Rockford needs highly-trained workers as they produce parts for the Mars rover Curiosity.

Wheeling High School students help Abbott
Wheeling High School students are using technology to learn about science while doing real world research for Abbott Labs.