The Common Core curriculum has been in the works for years. Illinois adopted it in 2010. It's meant to provide clear achievement standards in language and math at every grade level.
But this year, there's been a rise in criticism from conservatives and Tea Party groups. They contend the Common Core is a federal takeover of what's taught in schools across the country. But Illinois State Superintendent Christopher Koch says that's a misconception.
"We've attended some of the meetings with some of the folks who have had concerns about it, and what we're finding is there isn't a deep understanding of what the common core is, among those individuals."
Koch says his takeaway from the meetings is that it's not the standards themselves that are controversial, but rather concerns about federal power and the Obama administration. He says the standards were developed by and for the states, with no federal involvement.
Koch says the standards will help improve continuity of education from state-to-state, and even among Illinois' 867 school districts.