Make no mistake, these “Culturally Responsive Standards” have nothing to do with reading, writing, or math, but, on February 16, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules of the Illinois General Assembly approved them anyway—and they’re on track to go national.

Here is a sampling of teacher mandates from the “Standards,” saying teachers must:

*** “Understand and value the notion that multiple lived experiences exist, that there is not one ‘correct’ way of doing or understanding something.”

*** “Recognize how their identity (Race/ethnicity, national origin, language, sex and gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical/developmental/emotional ability, socio-economic class, religion, etc.) affects their perspectives and beliefs about pedagogy [the method and practice of teaching] and students.”

*** “Assess how their biases and perceptions affect their teaching practice and how they assess tools to mitigate their own behavior (racism, sexism, homophobia, unearned privilege, Eurocentrism, etc.).”

*** “Be aware of the effects of power and privilege and the need for social advocacy and social action to better empower diverse students and communities… [Leverage] student activism [by being a teacher who] promotes student activism and advocacy.”

*** “Embrace and encourage progressive viewpoints and perspectives that leverage asset thinking toward traditionally marginalized people.”

*** Embrace ideas like ‘systemic racism’ and affirm “that there are systems in our society that create and reinforce inequities, thereby creating oppressive conditions.”

*** “Provide multiple opportunities for parents to communicate in their language and method of preference.”

*** “Engage with students’ families and community members outside of the classroom to develop a more holistic understanding of the students’ lived experiences.”

About these “standards,” columnist George Will writes, “… Illinois will become a place congenial only for parents who are comfortable consigning their children to ‘education’ that is political indoctrination, audaciously announced, and comprehensively enforced.”

By the way, in non-COVID 2019, just 37% of Illinois’s 3rd graders could demonstrate grade-level proficiency in English-language arts and just 41% could do so in math.

Still, that same year, the Illinois General Assembly did away with the basic skills test required of all teachers to measure their basic knowledge, understanding and application of core academic subjects, like math and literacy.

Troubling, no?  ~ Carol

P.S. According to the U.S, Census Bureau, Illinois lost 2% of its population between 2010 and 2020, the second largest such loss in the whole country.