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Common Core State Standards

Today, just 1 in 4 Illinois high school students graduate ready for college or a career. We must get serious about what kids need to learn to succeed.

That is what the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are designed to do. CCSS is a set of voluntary K-12 standards in English language arts/literacy and mathematics developed by education experts, including members of the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and other education stakeholders. The Standards set clear expectations for what students should know and be able to do in key areas; reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics. Illinois is among 45 states and the District of Columbia that have adopted the Standards.


IFT’s Position
If implemented thoughtfully, with adequate supports and resources, IFT believes these new Standards will help improve education for all students.

In a 2013 Huffington Post column, "(Un)Common Sense on the Common Core", IFT President Dan Montgomery outlined the union’s support of the Standards, but cautioned against unfair consequences for both students and teachers if officials fail to “put the brakes on stakes.” Put simply, if educators and schools are not allowed the time and resources needed to properly implement the Standards before assessing their effectiveness, then the results shouldn’t count.

IFT members echoed Montgomery's words, responding to the union's 2013 survey about the CCSS awareness and preparedness. While 80 percent of the respondents said they are aware of their school or district's plan for CCSS implementation, just 51 percent rate their own readiness as "emerging" and nearly all respondents cite the need for more time for work, collaboration, professional development, and implementation related to CCSS.



The Council of the Great City Schools explains how the Common Core will help students achieve at high levels and help them learn what they need to know to get to graduation and beyond.

Peoria, IL teachers from PSD 150 describe what Common Core math looks like in the classroom.

The Hunt Institute describes the rationale for Common Core Standards and how the standards were developed.

Don't miss these one-weekend ULI workshops

by Amy Excell | Mar 25, 2015
A few spaces remain for two informative sessions on Common Core Standards and Effective Communications to be held April 25-26, 2015 in Westmont. Register today!

Don't miss out! Space is still available in these great one-weekend Union Leadership Institute workshops to be held April 25-26, 2015 in Westmont.

Register today for these informative sessions:

  • Success of Common Core: Mathematics in Your Classroom - This course for educators will help you continue to utilize CCSS standards in the classroom and will cover instructional implications, lesson planning, working with English Language Learners, and differentiating instruction in the K-6 classroom.

  • Effective Union Communications: Messaging and Social Media - Union leaders and activists will learn how to develop a persuasive message and harness the power of social media to increase member involvement, educate the public, and strengthen your union.

Detailed course descriptions are available here.

ULI classes are open to all IFT members. Click here for additional information and to register. The registration deadline is Monday, April 6.

Questions? Please contact Benita Twillie at btwillie@ift-aft.org or at 630/468-4080.

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