Altamont Superintendent Says of Education in Illinois: "Let the Change Begin"

Print

Published on August 2 2013 7:06 pm
Last Updated on August 2 2013 7:13 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

(ALTAMONT SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS JEFF FRITCHTNITCH)

Compliance with Common Core standards in education will be a tall order for Illinois schools to achieve, but Altamont Superintendent Jeff Fritchtnitch said he thinks it will be a "good thing".

A chief aim of Common Core is that educators and parents be assured that their students and children would receive the same level of education and at the same pace, regardless of where the children attend school.  Fritchtnitch made his remarks as guest speaker at the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce First Friday Luncheon for August.

Fritchtnitch made reference to a family that has moved back and forth from Kentucky to the Altamont district several times in recent years.  He said the goal is that the students won't be hurt by the moves, at least as far as their level of learning.  Kentucky and Illinois are both Common Core states, two of 19 states in the US pursuing Common Core curricula.

Fritchtnitch urged patience on the part of parents and educators.  He said educators are sometimes frustrated in the effort, since they are now having to teach things in fourth grade that used to be taught in fifth or sixth grades, and wonder when they'll be able to get students caught up.

As for parents, Fritchtnitch said he thinks the switch to Common Core will enrich students and make them better able to compete in a global economy, but said in the meantime, "Our scores are gonna go in the tank."

Fritchtnitch also advised that if people had concerns over too much testing of students and "teaching to the test" in the No Child Left Behind set-up, there will be even more testing to make sure students and districts are "keeping up with one another."

The Altamont superintendent cautioned that while Effingham County school district officials have been meeting on a regular basis to get ready for Common Core, some districts in Illinois "have been sitting on their hands" and are yet to implement the standards, so the impact of their inaction is yet to be known.