CSG Holds Common Core Meeting in Bloomington, Ill.

The CSG Education Policy Team held a Common Core State Standards Policy Roundtable in Bloomington, Ill., today. The meeting was attended by State Superintendent Christopher Koch, Deputy Superintendent Susie Morrison, Deputy Chief of Staff Julie Smith from Gov. Pat Quinn's office and Jeff Mays, president of the Illinois Business Roundtable. We also had several members from higher education, PTA, the Urban League and the Illinois Federation of Teachers. Also attending were Rep. Roger Eddy - who is Superintendent of Hutsonville Schools - Representative Jerry Mitchell and Rep. Dan Brady.

Illinois has already adopted Common Core and is in the process of developing a plan to implement them. Conversation centered a lot, as usual, around assessment. Many states are grappling with the unknowns of how will assessments be handled until the rolling out of the new Common Core assessments in 2014-15. There is considerable anxiety in the states as to how the federal government will hold states accountable for student growth with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Conversation also centered on what kind of messaging needs to be done in relation to Common Core. It is important, attendees noted, that a consistent message be delivered to parents and teachers that says Common Core is not an entirely new idea. It is an update of the existing state standards."It's a matter of looking at all our systems all the time and seeing how we can improve it,"  Superintendent Koch said. "A standard is a standard for a set period of time; it needs maintenance."