Advance Illinois Announces A New Vision For Education Reform - General News - News | The Joyce Foundation
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Advance Illinois Announces A New Vision For Education Reform

November 13, 2012 10:14 AM

A guide to close achievement gaps and increasing education attainment for all Illinois students.

I'm pleased to share with you The State We're In: 2012, A Report Card on Public Education in Illinois, a report released today by Advance Illinois. The report provides a snapshot for state education leaders and policymakers of student performance from preschool through postsecondary and highlights policy recommendations to guide state efforts toward the goal of closing Illinois' achievement gaps through a series of comprehensive systemic reforms.


Advance Illinois finds that the challenge before Illinois is great.

  • While Illinois provides students with a strong start in education by enrolling 20 percent of three-year-olds in state-funded preschool programs—more than any other state—only 33 percent of Illinois students are proficient in reading by the third grade. Furthermore, there are big achievement gaps in the state, with schools achieving just 12 and 18 percent reading rates for African American and Latino third-graders, respectively (compared to 45 percent for whites).
  • Only one in four students who begin high school in Illinois go on to earn a postsecondary degree, and the number of students completing degrees drops to fewer than one in ten if a student is African American or Latino.

However, together, legislators, education leaders, and corporations in the state are collaborating to implement a set of ambitious education reforms, including:

  • Rolling out the Common Core State Standards to prepare students for success by kindergarten and continuing into postsecondary education.
  • Implementing more substantive principal and teacher evaluations that utilize student performance data to provide meaningful feedback to improve instructional practices in the classroom.
  • Improving efforts to support low-performing schools by developing school options such as high-quality charter schools for families across Illinois.

The Joyce Foundation is pleased to support Advance Illinois, the lead education policy organization in Illinois, as it works to promote an education system that prepares all students for college, career, and democratic citizenship. With strong bi-partisan support from business, political, community, and philanthropic leaders, Advance Illinois has partnered with state-level groups across the state to pursue major policy priorities to improve state standards and aligned assessments, data systems, school accountability systems, and teacher quality. The Foundation applauds Advance Illinois in its continued efforts to partner with education leaders and stakeholders to improve public education across the state.

Download: The State We're In: 2012, A Report Card on Public Education in Illinois,


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