It’s time for educators and members of our school communities to take back the conversation about public education in Illinois. It’s a blueprint for the future of public education that has been developed by Illinois educators from all regions of the state. The goal of Vision 20/20 can be best summarized as, “Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education.” Education is an investment in our children’s future, our state’s future, and our nation’s future. It is our responsibility as educators to reflect upon the current state of education in Illinois and to take action to create an education system that meets the needs of all students. A healthy and viable public education system is vital to a healthy democracy, and a highly trained workforce is critical to our country’s future in the global economy.
Vision 20/20’s policy platform is divided into four main pillars:
- 21st Century Learning – Not just knowledge of reading and math, but providing the technology and tools for learning in today’s world as well as a commitment to the whole child;
- Highly Effective Educators – Policies to help attract, develop and retain the highest quality of teachers and administrators;
- Shared Accountability – Creating a shared accountability model that includes more input from educators, increases collaboration with legislators and restructures mandates to allow more flexibility for local school districts and communities; and
- Equitable and Adequate Funding – An evidence-based funding model that takes into account what it actually costs to educate a student in various parts of our state and utilizes research to identify those things that have the most impact on student success.
This plan was developed by educators from the southern tip of Illinois through the northern Chicago suburbs. It resulted from input from more than 3,000 diverse stakeholders, discussions with field experts, and a review of current literature on best practices. The organizations that collaborated on Vision 20/20 include school superintendents, school board members, principals and school business officials. The plan already has been endorsed by the Illinois PTA and the Ounce of Prevention Fund, an organization dedicated to providing children in poverty the best chance for success in school.
I invite you to learn more about Vision 20/20 by visiting the website at www.illinoisvision2020.org. You may wish to sign the petition in support of these policies. You also can follow the progress on Twitter at @ILVision2020. Changing the course of public education in Illinois can only happen with grassroots support, and we are asking you to help us fulfill the promise of public education to children in Monticello CUSD #25 and the more than 2 million schoolchildren in our state. The Monticello CUSD #25 Board of Education resolution in support of Vision 2020 can be found here.