Working Towards a Common Core in Illinois - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Working Towards a Common Core in Illinois

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Common core standards.  

These are new expectations of what students need to learn in English, Language Arts and Math.

 It's all part of an educational effort to raise learning standards and get students ready for college and future careers.

Both Iowa and Illinois have both adopted the standards are implementing them.

Right now in Illinois - districts are in a testing period, something local schools are getting the chance to be apart of. 

Like in Galesburg, at Gale Elementary, where the testing is starting small, just two classes taking part in field testing the new standardized tests. 

It's part of the common core.

In the future, every student in the country will be taught and tested in the same way. 

On Wednesday, dozens of students in Galesburg got the chance to experience the future, early. 

Students are taking the PARCC test. 

It will replace the current I-SAT and Prairie State Achievement tests currently used in Illinois. 

One of the biggest changes school are having to deal with is the new tests will be taken online only, instead of with pencil and paper. 

KWQC spoke with Galesburg Superintendent, Bart Arthur who says this may put a burden on school districts who don't have up to date or compatible technology. 

"This is pretty new for everybody.. We've had problems with browsers, java, kids getting kicked off machines," Arthur explains. "Just the kids starting up the machines and getting things going, the passwords. It's pretty difficult for kids. So I'm really glad we're trying it and it's good. It'll help us know what we need to do and it should let the state know were just not quite ready yet."

Getting equipment updated for the testing next year will be the responsibility of the school districts, but parents here in Galesburg seem to be against their kids being taught just like everyone else.

"I think kids should be taught more individualized than standardized," says Galesburg parent Michelle Clark. "I think all kids learn different so I don't think kids or teachers should be judged on a standardized testing system."

Another parent - Kristi Schmoe, agrees. "I have a 9 year old autistic/aspergers child and he's not going to learn like other children across the nation. So why are we going to teach all children the same on the common core? Each child is an individual, not common. I'm very against the common core."

Right now, students will only be taking a couple of days worth of testing in Galesburg. 

But according to the superintendent - once full testing starts next year, it will take 6 weeks, broken up into 2 week chunks throughout the year.




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