Standards Implementation System

Since the adoption of the Illinois Learning Standards in 1997, the Illinois state board of education has advocated for schools to become "standards-led." A four-year evaluation was conducted through 2002 to determine the level of standards implementation across Illinois. The study delineated five levels of implementation in seven dimensions. The findings of that report indicated that implementation has remained steady with professional development and curriculum most highly implemented at Level 3. Another conclusion indicated that most schools performing at a Level 3 were generally satisfied with their progress and did not have either a clear sense of how to further ILS implementation or a strong desire to do so.

Although the expectation of implementation has been imposed, what schools/educators/communities should "know and be able to do" in order to become standards-led has not been clearly defined. In response, a team of teachers, administrators, ROE/ISC staff, and university faculty was convened to develop an instrument to define the Standards Implementation System for educators, students, parents, and community members. The resulting rubrics were disseminated in December in draft form for public review and feedback. The team was reconvened to make final edits based on the input received.

Initial input from educators around the state has been favorable toward these Rubrics. Providing a clear, systematic instrument to articulate expectations should result in continuous improvement in Illinois schools.


Web site Launched on the Evaluation of the Implementation of the Illinois Learning Standards
The University of Illinois is currently conducting an evaluation for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) of the implementation of the Illinois Learning Standards (ILS). The purpose of the study is to garner a better understanding of the progress of standards implementation across Illinois. Visit the Web site ( to peruse information about the current evaluation, reports from the previous ILS study, and links to national resources and ISBE created resources (e.g., the performance descriptors).