Illinois & Gates -- And Elliot Regenstein

Check out this announcement from last week about a new state-level partnership between Illinois and Gates -- and Holland and Knight.  That's where former Blago-ite Elliot Regenstein works, and so I'm guessing he's back in the game. 

Not sure what that means, or what this state level thingamajig is all about -- but Illinois has never had a strong state level policy group like some other states, outside of the funding issues.  So maybe they're trying to invent that wheel.  Or maybe you know better.

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR                ______NEWS



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                          CONTACT:    

13, 2007
Ottenhoff           312/814.3158

Rausch          217/782.7355

Cardenas        312/814.3158

Vanover (ISBE)  217/782.4648


Blagojevich announces new partnership with

Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation to better prepare

students for
college and workplace


Partnership will focus on
developing state policies and

programs to better prepare all
students for success


– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today
announced the Illinois College and Work Readiness Partnership, which will
focus on developing policies and programs to better prepare Illinois students for success in the
workforce and in continuing their education after high school.  Partners
include the Office of the Governor,
the Illinois State Board of Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates


“Preparing our
students for success in college and in the workforce is one of our top
priorities,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “I am excited that the Gates
Foundation shares our goal, and supports our efforts to improve expectations, student
achievement and build a stronger, more successful Illinois in the future.”

This Illinois College
and Work Readiness Partnership is focused on developing a set of state policies
that will encourage more students to graduate ready for continuing their
education after high school.  The Gates Foundation, through it’s partner the
Holland + Knight Education Policy Team, will look for ways to improve curriculum, better coordination
between elementary, secondary and higher education, improve the state's data
systems and targeting assistance to schools that need it most.
partnership will work to create an overall framework for developing and
implementing policies to improve student performance beyond high school. 

excited to be partnering with Illinois
to increase student achievement and better prepare our young people for success
beyond the classroom,” said Steve Seleznow, Program Director with the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  “Illinois is an important partner in our
national goal to help all students graduate as strong citizens ready for work
and college.”

has begun the process of ensuring that its high school diplomas are truly a
measure of preparedness for continuing education after high school and the work
force, and that a higher percentage of students obtain a diploma.  Gov.
Blagojevich successfully led the effort to increase Illinois’ high school graduation
requirements for the first time in more than 20 years and has supported
policies leading to increased rigor at our high schools, as well as better
addressing the linkage between secondary and higher education.

The Illinois State Board
of Education is focusing on post-secondary education and workforce preparation
by selecting high school reform as one of its top issues and by adopting as a
central component of its strategic plan the goal of fostering 21st
century literacy skills.  ISBE is also working with other state agency partners
on improving the preparation of students for work and careers and is chairing
the Illinois Workforce Investment Board Task Force on K-12 career development. 

“Gov. Blagojevich
and the Board have made preparing our students for success in life after high school
a priority,” said State School Superintendent Christopher Koch.
“This truly is a win-win situation for Illinois, as this partnership will bring to
the table expertise that we would not otherwise have had access to, and
we’ll be able to get that expertise at no additional cost to the

Based in Seattle, the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to reduce inequities and improve
lives around the world.  Through its partnerships in communities across the nation,
the Foundation is committed to raising the high school graduation rate and
helping all students, regardless of race or family income, graduate as strong
citizens ready for work and college.

The Holland + Knight Education Policy Team, with
extensive expertise in the process of educational policy change, will lead the
provision of technical assistance.  This partnership with the Gates Foundation will
help ensure that Illinois
decision-makers have access to high-quality information and action plans that will
help prepare students for continuing their education after high school and
success in the workforce.

Filed under: The World Outside CPS

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