Common Core State Standards
The Common Core Standards (CCSS) have been developed in English Language Arts and Mathematics in response to concerns about the rigor of K-12 education in the United States. The CCSS have been adopted by many states. In Illinois, they replace the former Illinois Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are career and college-ready and that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. The Common Core Standards can be found at: http://www.corestandards.org/
To better understand how District 64 has transitioned to the Common Core learning standards, please read our newsletter that previewed the steps.
2014-15: Full Implementation
District 64 is fully implementing the standards this school year. New state assessments will be introduced in spring 2015, and the ISAT will no longer be administered (see below). As teachers work fully with the standards, they will continue to use their knowledge of student learning to adjust and refine instruction.
As a result of the Common Core Standards, instruction has been shifted in both English Language Arts and Mathematics.
In English Language Arts, instruction now focuses on:
- Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and informational texts
- Using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information
- Regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary
In Mathematics, instruction has shifted in these areas:
- Focus: Instruction will focus deeply on only those concepts that are emphasized in the standards so that students can gain strong foundational conceptual understanding, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to solve complex problems
- Coherence: Instruction will encourage students to think across grades and link to major topics within grades. In other words, each standard will not viewed as a new event, but as an extension of previous learning
- Rigor: Students will be required to demonstrate conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application with intensity
Measuring student mastery of the CCSS
In 2014-15, a new assessment is replacing the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). The Partnership of Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of states working together to develop a common set of assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Illinois students now will participate in two assessments: March - Performance-Based Assessment and May - End of the Year Assessment.
Learn more about the PARCC tests in these ways: