Questions and Answers About the Standards
1. WHAT ARE THE ILLINOIS LEARNING STANDARDS?
The Illinois Learning Standards are statements which define a core of essential knowledge and skills that all Illinois students enrolled in
public schools are expected to know and be able to do.
2. WHAT IS A STANDARDS-BASED EDUCATION SYSTEM?
Standards-based education uses standards to help educators and their communities identify explicitly what students must know and be able to do. It brings what is to be learned into focus and holds learning as a constant while treating other traditional constants (time, location, instructional materials, etc.) as variables.
3. WHY DO WE NEED STANDARDS?
Among the reasons we need standards are:
• To set uniform high expectations for all students;
• To provide a basis for equal opportunity to learn;
• To clarify the intended results of schooling for all audiences;
• To ease transitions for students who move from school to school and from grade to grade;
• To specify exactly what will be assessed in order to return more useful information about student achievement;
• To establish criteria for a meaningful accountability system;
• To provide a foundation for defining the knowledge and skills teachers need in order to provide instruction for students.
4. WHAT DOES THE ILLINOIS LEARNING STANDARDS FRAMEWORK LOOK LIKE?
The standards framework is divided into seven learning areas:
English Language Arts
Physical Development & Health
Each learning area section contains the following information:
• An introduction to the learning area explaining the learning that is captured in the standards and background information.
• A section called "Applications of Learning," in which five cross-disciplinary abilities are discussed as they apply to the learning area: