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District 90 is engaged in one of the most significant educational changes to occur in education in recent decades: the Common Core State Standards. Common Core is the first successful effort to align learning standards on a national level. Illinois and 45 other states either have adopted or are making plans to adopt Common Core to replace their state standards, which can vary widely. The overarching vision is to ensure that U.S. students are thoroughly prepared for college, careers, and a globally competitive society.
Developed collaboratively by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Common Core emphasizes English/Language Arts and Math, as well as the integration of technology into instruction and learning. Additionally, far more nonfiction/informational reading will be required, allowing greater integration of literacy with social studies and science.
Common Core Standards are designed to be relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need today. The standards are fewer in number than typical state standards, but much broader and deeper. The goals are focused and coherent, and set high expectations for all students.
In many cases, students will be expected to achieve learning goals earlier than they currently do. For instance, some Language Arts skills previously learned in first grade will be part of the Common Core kindergarten standards. The goal is to surpass the most stringent state standards and create uniform learning expectations for all students, no matter where they live. Assessment based on the new standards begins in 2014, replacing the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests (ISATs).
District 90 has long anticipated the shift to the Common Core. Staff training for the past couple of years has focused on developing a deep understanding of the standards and making any adjustments necessary to bring current curricula into alignment with the new standards. District 90 students will be well prepared for implementation of Common Core–based assessments in 2014.
The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt "Journey's Common Core 2014" text series was the overwhelming preference of District 90 faculty and administrators. Following a comprehensive review process that investigated several viable options, and included opportunities for parent and community member review, the Board of Education adopted the new curriculum at its July 15, 2013, meeting. The materials are anticipated to be used for 5-7 years.
For more information about how Common Core is being integrated in District 90, see our Fact Sheet.
For more information on how parents can help their students with Common Core Math, view here for Core Math for Parents.
The Parents' Guide to New Assessments in Illinois (joint project of the Illinois PTA and the Illinois State Board of Education)
Illinois State Board of Education FAQ about Common Core.