Common Core FAQs

What are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)?

In 2010, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) adopted new Math and English Language Arts standards for K-12 education. It was the first significant change in setting knowledge and skill standards for Illinois schools since 1997. By adopting the common core standards, known as "The New Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core," ISBE has set targets for schools in their preparation of Illinois students for participation in college and the workforce in a competitive global economy.

Click here for a concise slideshow about Common Core from one of our school management partners, Distinctive Schools.

What are PARCC exams?

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams will align to the Common Core State Standards and provide better information about students’ abilities to master the appropriate skills and content benchmarks for college and careers. Unlike the ISAT and PSAE, the PARCC test is a K-12 computer-based assessment that will be given multiple times during the school year and provide a clearer, more detailed picture of a student’s strengths and areas for improvement.

The transition to the PARCC tests is scheduled for the 2014-2015 school year.

How can I learn more about how common core relates to my child's education?

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS)
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)




  • Create high-quality assessments
  • Build a pathway to college and career readiness for all students
  • Support educators in the classroom
  • Develop 21st century, technology-based assessments
  • Advance accountability at all levels