- The Illinois early learning and development standards (IELDS) provide reasonable expectations for children’s growth, development, and learning in the preschool years. When used as part of the curriculum, the IELDS provide guidance to teachers in early childhood programs to create and sustain developmentally appropriate experiences for young children that will strengthen their intellectual dispositions and support their continuing success as learners and students. The age-appropriate benchmarks in the IELDS enable educators to reflect upon and evaluate the experiences they provide for all preschool children.
- The Illinois Learning Standards (ILS) for English Language Arts (ELA) establish clear and coherent expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. By emphasizing depth over breadth, the ILS for ELA ensures students are provided a comprehensive understanding of key concepts. The Common Core ELA standards set a level of high quality, rigorous expectations for all students which emphasize the application of knowledge to real-world situations and prepare students for the challenges of college and career.
- The Illinois Learning Standards (ILS) for math K-12 are designed to help students acquire a deep, conceptual understanding of core math content through focus, coherence, and rigor. Focus shifts teaching/learning from a mile long and an inch deep model to a deeper, richer understanding of fewer concepts. Coherence ensures math connections are made between grade levels and builds logical progression. Rigor promotes the equal balance of conceptual understanding, application, and procedural skill and fluency. Rigor: where challenge exceeds skill level.
- Illinois' current science standards became effective in February 2014 and are based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Forty-one experts, including three Illinois educators, wrote the NGSS. State-level committees in 26 states reviewed the learning benchmarks. These groups confirmed that the design and development of the NGSS were guided by the best available evidence to ensure that students who meet these standards are prepared for postsecondary education and careers in the 21st century.
- On December 16, 2015, the Illinois State Board of Education adopted amendments which included the new Social Science Standards. The purpose of these new, more rigorous standards is to better prepare students to be college and career ready.
- The standards describe the content and skills for students in grades K - 12 for social and emotional learning. Each standard includes five benchmark levels that describe what students should know and be able to do in early elementary (grades K - 3), late elementary (grades 4 - 5), middle/junior high (grades 6-8), early high school (grades 9-10), and late high school (grades 11-12). These standards build on the Illinois Social/Emotional Development Standards of the Illinois Early Learning Standards.
- The goals and standards for physical development and health foster workplace skills, including identifying short- and long-term goals, utilizing technology, following directions, and working cooperatively with others. Problem-solving, communication, responsible decision making, and team-building skills are major emphases as well. Through comprehensive K-12 physical development and health programs, students will achieve active and healthy lives that will enable them to achieve personal goals and contribute to society.
- The ELD standards were developed with input from leaders in the field and educators in WIDA Consortium member states. The standards framework consists of five components. Some of these components are expressions of a particular philosophy, while others are explicit representations of knowledge. The five components are: 1) Can Do Philosophy, 2) Guiding Principles of Language Development, 3) Age-appropriate Academic Language in Sociocultural Contexts, 4) Performance Definitions, and 5) Strands of Model Performance Indicators
- Throughout time, the arts have been essential to human existence. The arts enrich the quality of life. All students deserve access to the arts through creation, performance, and study. The new Illinois Learning Standards for fine arts are intended to reflect best practices and address the curricular areas of visual arts, music, theater, dance, and media arts. Standards under each of these curricular areas emphasize learning through the artistic process. Four artistic processes are addressed in the standards: creating, performing/producing/presenting, responding and connecting. Further, the standards are organized around both enduring understandings and essential questions to help both educators and students focus on the significant "big ideas" within the fine arts.
- The benefits of effective foreign language instruction focus on the role of the individual in a multilingual, global society. No longer do Americans live in isolation; instead, there is an ever-changing, interdependent world in which diverse cultural and linguistic groups converge. The National Standards for Foreign Language Learning establish the academic, business, personal, recreational and practical benefits of studying foreign languages, and the Illinois Learning Standards for Foreign Languages are based on this rationale. The national document states: "To study another language and culture gives one the powerful key to successful communication: knowing how, when, and why to say what to whom. The approach to second language instruction found in today's schools is designed to facilitate genuine interaction with others, whether they are on another continent, across town, or within the neighborhood.