In 1997 most of us had dial-up Internet, Bill Clinton was beginning his second term in the White House and James Cameron’s Titanic was raking in more money than any other film in history.
Things certainly change and educating children is no different.
That’s why a group of 43 states, including Illinois, is adopting new standards for what students are taught, how they are taught and how teaching efforts are evaluated.
The last set of public school standards were drafted in 1997. Since then, how and what students are taught has shifted toward a global economy and critical thinking.
On Monday, Rachel Kinder, the district’s future assistant superintendent for curriculum grades 6-12, briefed the Valley View School Board on those new standards—the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
The new common core standards, which will be fully adopted in all Illinois public schools by the 2014-15 school year, is a state-led effort to revamp the standards of education.
“What we once thought was important for kids to know has changed,” Kinder said. “We need to prepare our kids for the next step.”
Kind said the old model of standards, which will be gradually phased out by the 2014-15 school year, created a great deal of duplication and repetition in what teachers taught. Further, each state had separately written standards, which created inconsistency.
The new standards will span 48 states and be more aligned with college and work expectations.
There will also be more emphasis put on literacy standards for history/social studies and sciences, and critical thinking and problem solving in math.
“Students will be using math skills in the settings of the real world,” Kinder said. “They won’t be just memorizing equations or numbers, but using them.”
For more on the new common core standards, check out these links: