Arts Alliance Illinois joins Common Core Coalition

Common Core: Real Learning for Real Life

In Illinois today, 80 percent of jobs require some sort of postsecondary degree, yet only 30% of the state’s adults ever earn one. To raise the bar, Illinois -- and 44 other states -- have adopted Common Core State Standards.

Common Core represents real learning for real life. The standards -- currently for Math and English Language Arts with more subjects to come -- are built on the lessons of the best-performing states and countries and are aligned with what students will need to
know to be college- and career- ready.

Common Core will:

  • Create the same expectations for all students across districts and adopting states
  • Emphasize skills students need for the modern workplace
  • Build on lessons of the grade before so learning is on a continuum
  • Focus on applying concepts to everyday life

Common Core is a framework for what students should learn, but does not dictate how students should learn. This is critical for the arts because art, music, theatre, and dance can help students develop and improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills in other content areas. Through arts integration, the arts can be a powerful tool to support student achievement in any subject.

In response to the roll-out of Common Core, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is revising the National Standards for Arts Education. The new National Core Arts Standards will frame the artistic literacy and practices that students should attain. Currently, the Illinois Learning Standards for the Fine Arts are based on a framework from 1985. The National Standards for Arts Education were developed in 1994 and last revised in 2005.

Given the impact Common Core will have on arts education, Arts Alliance Illinois has joined a coalition of Illinois organizations helping to spread the word about Common Core. To learn more, check out