Governor names council for Illinois bid to win Race to the Top funds

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Longtime education champion and current Chicago City Clerk Miguel del
Valle will lead the fight for Illinois to get a share of the $4.3
billion that will be awarded through the federal Race to the Top
program. Governor Pat Quinn appointed former state senator del Valle to chair the
state’s 25-member P-20 Council, whose main charge is to oversee the
development of a longitudinal data system to track student outcomes
from preschool through post-secondary education. The council will also
play a role in the state’s bid for competitive Race to the Top funds, which some
insiders predict will be awarded to just 10 to 20 states. Longtime education champion and current Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle will lead the fight for Illinois to get a share of the $4.3 billion that will be awarded through the federal Race to the Top program.

Governor Pat Quinn appointed former state senator del Valle to chair the state’s 25-member P-20 Council, whose main charge is to oversee the development of a longitudinal data system to track student outcomes from preschool through post-secondary education. The council will also play a role in the state’s bid for competitive Race to the Top funds, which some insiders predict will be awarded to just 10 to 20 states.



Illinois stands to gain between $400 and $500 million to invest in education, Quinn said. “We want to get Illinois in that race and make sure we get as much money as possible from Washington.”

Members were recruited from among the business sector, civic groups, and the education world. Among them: CEO Ron Huberman; Robin Steans, Advance Illinois; state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago); Dea Meyer, Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago; Kathy Ryg, Voices for Illinois Children; Jeff Owens, Illinois Community College Board; and John Luczak, The Joyce Foundation.

A longitudinal data system is one of the four reforms targeted in the Race to the Top program, and Illinois has already begun to develop the system, said state Supt. of Education Chris Koch. The other reform areas are turning around the lowest-achieving schools; improving teacher quality, and adopting rigorous learning standards to prepare students to succeed in a global economy.

Educators met in August to begin laying the groundwork for the state’s application. The first of two deadlines is January 2010. Illinois intends to apply in the first phase, said Koch. The council will convene for their first meeting next week.