Standards-based instruction is defined as instruction for student mastery of a defined set of standards. It is an ongoing teaching and learning cycle that insures all students have opportunities to maximize their learning. The Illinois State Board of Education requires all public schools to use new, more rigorous standards for all students. These standards include the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and math and the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition to these new standards, schools are still responsible for previously adopted standards in social studies, fine arts, and physical education.
You may hear or read information questioning the use of standards. Standards are not new to Illinois schools. So just what are standards?
Standards are part of a larger system that includes three essential components. These components work together to maximize student learning.
Curriculum: In all areas of learning our curriculum determines what a student should know, understand, and be able to do at a given grade level or within a given course. These curriculum are defined by standards and insure that all students have an opportunity to learn.
Instruction: This is how we teach the curriculum, or the standards, and includes the text book and materials used in our schools as well as the strategies and methods we use to support learning for all students.
Assessment: We assess students in order to determine how well students have learned what was taught. Assessments include quizzes, tests, projects, teacher observation of student work, as well as state and national assessments. In addition to local assessments designed within our district, our students are also assessed using the Illinois Snapshot of Early Literacy (ISEL) in grades K-2 and the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in grades 3-8.