The Illinois State Board of Education has adopted a revised set of learning standards for K-12 education to better prepare Illinois students for success in college and careers. A state-led coalition committed to academic rigor and success in the global economy developed the new standards. The Common Core State Standards establish clear and consistent benchmarks for essential learning and skills, replacing the current Illinois standards that were developed in 1997.

"The goal is to have fewer, clearer and higher standards focused on college and career expectations," said ISBE Board Chair Jesse H. Ruiz. "Our Board supports these new standards because they are essential for our students, for their futures and for the future economy of Illinois. We look forward to working with all interested parties in implementing these standards in classrooms throughout the state."

The Common Core State Standards define the level of knowledge and skills that students should possess from their K-12 education. By achieving these standards, students will be prepared to enter college and training programs to join the workforce.

Beginning in 2009, teachers, administrators and education experts provided important feedback towards the development of the Standards. Experts in content, as well as teachers and researchers, developed the Common Core State Standards with the benefit of public comment opportunities. The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers released the final Common Core State Standards earlier this month.

Math and English-language arts standards were developed first because they provide a foundation upon which students build skill sets in other areas of learning. Subsequent standards will be developed, beginning with science. The K-5 English-language arts standards establish student expectations in reading, writing, speaking, listening and language across different subjects. The 6-12 standards establish English-language arts standards as well as a section in history, social studies and science. The math standards focus on practices that all levels of students need to develop.

Teachers in Illinois will be guided by a clear set of shared goals and expectations that define what students will need to succeed. Students in Illinois will benefit from the consistent standards, putting them on a level playing field of knowledge and skills nationally, as well as internationally.

For more information on the Common Core State Standards, log onto www.corestandards.org.