Byline: Larry Smith and Diana Wallace Daily Herald Staff writers
There have been two subjects educators across Illinois have been talking about this year - school finance reform and state education standards.
While school finance reform collapsed this spring, the long awaited education standards were approved by the Illinois State Board of Education Friday. The final approval was much welcomed by local school officials.
"Certainly we're glad they're approved," said Marianne Zito, assistant superintendent of curriculum services for Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54. "We've been involved in this process for several years."
The standards set specific goals in seven subjects: English language arts, mathematics, science, physical development, fine arts, and foreign languages.
The goals suggest what skills students should possess during different points in their education, from early elementary school to late high school.
Local educators generally embraced the new state academic standards as being more useful and meaningful than their State Goals for Learning predecessors.
"I see this as having a tremendous impact on bringing the state goals for learning alive in the classroom," said Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary District 102 Assistant Superintendent Arleen Armanetti, who met with colleagues in several neighboring districts Friday to discuss the new standards.
"These will create that necessary bridge between standards and practices. What we have finally reached is some common ground on what the best practices are today."
Robert Stevens, superintendent of Glenbard High School District 87, said his district would not be affected by the new standards. The four Glenbard high schools already have put in place goals aligned with the state standards.
"I think standards are very, very important," Stevens said. "The overall concept I very much support. I think we need to have those targets out there. …