Local school districts are facing curriculum and testing changes that put teachers and students under added pressure to meet new goals; and Illinois’ regional superintendents want local school districts to know they can help them meet these new challenges at no cost to the local schools.
The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents are offering new “Foundational Services” to school districts focusing on five key areas. These new services use federal funds formerly targeted to the No Child Left Behind initiative.
While much attention has been focused on the controversial “Common Core” standards, there are other new learning standards, assessment tests and student performance requirements that schools and teachers must also meet.
“These are technical areas that can be difficult to understand, even for educators, and some details are still being worked out as we move through this school year,” said Pat Dal Santo, Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents President and Regional Superintendent of Schools for Kane County. “But we cannot stress enough how important it is that every school district take advantage of these free services, whether their performance is excellent or needs improvement.”
The five areas include:
Continuous Improvement – Works with districts to define educational goals, identify the leadership and resources currently in place, research the proper strategies to meet the goals and monitor those strategies to ensure they are working effectively.
English Language Arts – Provides training to English teachers on the expectations of the new Common Core State Standards in a number of areas, including academic vocabulary, close reading and narrative writing.
Math – Helps math educators understand the New Illinois Learning Standards and how to create real-world problems using the problem-solving structures within those standards, as well as how to best connect classroom instruction with testing.
Balanced Assessment – Focuses on explaining the expectations of the new Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) testing program and how to deliver education that produces the best student learning and growth.
Teacher Evaluation – Trains educators on expectations for educators from state legislation passed in recent years, tied to student growth and performance
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