Looking Back
CPS-Shifting-the-Narrative
Well Wishes
MSPC
Milestones
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Celebrating 10 Years as Education Systems Center

When I founded EdSystems 10 years ago, there was important emerging work happening in Illinois to develop college and career pathways, postsecondary readiness systems, and the Illinois Longitudinal Data System. However, there wasn't any organization in place holding a long-term vision for these areas, positioned to serve as the engine to drive progress and the glue to keep together the many partners and stakeholders necessary for success. I was fortunate enough that Northern Illinois University provided EdSystems its institutional home to tackle complex policy and program efforts across these areas, which allows us to connect to the related expertise throughout the university. Over the past decade, I’ve been honored to have so many talented and dedicated professionals join our team. My colleagues and I have been able to grow our impact with State policies and initiatives, while building and strengthening partnerships with an array of communities, from Chicago to deep Southern Illinois and all points in between. In addition, we’ve shifted our emphasis from not simply passing policies and building systems, but focusing on how these policies and systems advance racial equity in the State and communities we serve. At this important milestone for our organization, we're proud of the accomplishments we've achieved to date but the work is unfinished. We have so much left to do as we strive to ensure that all young people, and particularly those furthest from opportunity, are prepared for success in college, career, and life. Thank you for your partnership and we look forward to our continued work together on this journey.
Portrait of Jon Furr
Jonathan Furr
Founder and Executive Director

Well Wishes

Milestones

These milestones include key advancements for our organization, as well as policy and program accomplishments where EdSystems played a leading role.

2012
EdSystems Launch

Education Systems Center launches as a mission-driven policy development and program implementation center based within Northern Illinois University’s Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development. 

2013
Illinois 60 by 25 Network

Recognizing the emergence of local initiatives across Illinois to increase postsecondary attainment and the lack of a statewide support infrastructure, Advance Illinois, EdSystems, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) create the Illinois 60 by 25 Network.

2013
Illinois Longitudinal Data System

An intergovernmental agreement founds the new Illinois Longitudinal Data System (ILDS) as a collaborative body to facilitate the linkage of records across state education and workforce agencies over time.

2013
CCR Committee

The P-20 Council forms the College and Career Readiness Committee, staffed by EdSystems, to ensure that all Illinois learners are prepared for life after high school and have access to multiple quality college and career pathway options.

2015
HR 477

The Illinois House of Representatives adopts House Resolution 477, calling for the establishment of advisory committees to address areas identified by the CCR Committee as key to the promotion of successful student transitions from high school into postsecondary education and careers.

2015
Leadership Community Designation

The Illinois 60 by 25 Network begins to formally recognize collaboratives with systems in place to drive meaningful and equitable postsecondary attainment as Leadership Communities. To date, 18 communities have applied for and received this designation from the Network Organizers.

2015
Centralized Demographic Data Administrator

To oversee data record linkage, the ILDS selects Northern Illinois University as the Centralized Demographic Dataset Administrator (CDDA). The ILDS is a federated model for the data system that allows each agency to maintain its own data and policies regarding use of that data, while allowing the CDDA to use data from the state agencies to match records and maintain a Master Client Index (MCI). Contained in the MCI are a select number of fields and the CDDA-IDs, which provide the basis for supporting research involving records from across ILDS agencies.

2016
PWR Act

The Postsecondary and Workfroce Readines (PWR) Act passes unanimously. The Act takes a student-based and competency-based approach to helping students achieve college and career readiness through four integrated strategies: the Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) Framework, Transitional Instruction, College and Career Pathway Endorsements, and the Competency-Based Education Pilot for high school graduation requirements.

2016
Great Lakes College and Career Pathways Partnership

Funded by The Joyce Foundation, EdSystems partners with JFF and ConnectED to deliver supports to four Great Lakes regions implementing college and career pathways systems: Central Ohio/Greater Columbus; the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago; Madison, WI; and Rockford, IL.

2016
Cradle to Career Community Dashboard

The Illinois 60 by 25 Network launches its Cradle to Career Community Dashboard, which helps Leadership Communities to analyze regional information on education and workforce system characteristics, track progress on postsecondary education attainment and education-to-career objectives, and benchmark community efforts against state averages.

2017
EdSystems Adopts Equity Focus

EdSystems adopts an equity-focus statement to how we characterize our work, naming that “we prioritize eliminating disparities in education and employment outcomes for young people from underserved and underrepresented populations.”

2017
PaCE Framework

The Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission adopts the Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) framework.

2018
College and Career Readiness Indicator

Under teh Every Student Success Act (ESSA), Illinois' accountability system includes a College and Career Readiness Indicator as one of multiple measures of how well a high school serves its students.

2018
Career Pathways Dictionary

The Office of the Governor, six state agencies, and three state boards adoptthe Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary, which includes the overarching Illinois State definition for career pathways, for apprenticeship programs, and for the State's work-based learning continuum.

2018
Unduplicated Counts Project Report

Funded by a federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five grant, the Unduplicated Counts Project links data across state agency systems to establish unduplicated counts of children ages birth through five receiving selected publicly funded early childhood services administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services and State Board of Education. The project released reports in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Today, continued unduplicated count analyses are incorporated in the Illinois Longitudinal Data System's Early Childhood project.

2018
Recommended Technical and Essential Employability Competencies for College and Career Pathway Endorsements
The Recommended Technical and Essential Employability Competencies for College and Career Pathway Endorsements report is developed through an iterative process involving public-private, industry-based steering committees established to define core technical and essential employability competencies for College and Career Pathway Endorsements through the PWR Act. EdSystems and JFF together led the process, with generous support from JPMorgan Chase & Co.
2018
Statewide Transitional Math

The ,Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Community College Board, and Illinois Board of Higher Education releases the Statewide Transitional Math Competencies and Policies. This document, updated in January 2021, includes an overview of the three transitional math pathways and includes the competencies adopted by the Statewide Panel for Transitional Math.

2019
Scaling Education Pathways in Illinois

The Illinois P20 Council, The Joyce Foundation, and EdSystems partnered in establishing Scaling Education Pathways in Illinois (SEPI), funding communities to build streamlined teacher career pathways that begin in high school, extend into postsecondary, and allow students to get on a strong path to a teaching license. SEPI has a special focus on helping students from diverse backgrounds become educators and has supported 18 collaboratives to date.

2019
Dual Credit Partnership Agreement

State statute directs ISBE and ICCB to appoint a Dual Credit Committee to develop a Model Partnership Agreement addressing the parameters of local school district-community college partnerships to offer dual credit. EdSystems led and facilitated the committee that developed the Model Partnership Agreement, which guides local partnerships between high schools and colleges necessary for the successful implementation of quality dual credit courses and related student supports.

2019
High School Internship Program

Working with Urban Alliance, EdSystems welcomes its first high school intern. Since then, EdSystems has annually hosted high school and college interns and is currently exploring a partnership with Chicago Public Schools to offer a youth apprenticeship program.

2019
ILDS 2.0

The ILDS 2.0 project was launched with all ILDS agencies, following the P-20 Council's adoption of recommendations from its Education and Data Task Force. The new project builds from the strong foundation of ILDS 1.0 to create a more comprehensive ILDS system.

2020
IL Perkins V Plan

Illinois adopts its state plan for the federal Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (also known as Perkins V), which aligns with other statewide efforts, including the Postsecondary and Career Expectations framework, College and Career Pathway Endorsements, and transitional instruction initiatives.

2020
Advancing Racial Equity Goals

EdSystems deepens its commitment to equity by defining three external goals: advancing racial equity in our community networks, more strongly emphasizing racial equity in our state policy work, and modeling and leading for racial equity.

2020
Model Programs of Study Guides

The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) sponsors the development of Model Programs of Study Guides in crucial industry areas as part of the Illinois Perkins V Plan. Developed in consultation and collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education, EdSystems leads the process which involved extensive research into labor market information and credential programs, and dialogue across secondary, postsecondary, and employer stakeholders. To date, ten guides have been released.

2020
Student Advisory Council

Together with Advance Illinois and ISAC, EdSystems launches a new Student Advisory Council to gather feedback on how students experience various initiatives that the Illinois 60 by 25 Network supports.

2020
Illinois WBL Innovation Network

First convening in October 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois WBL Innovation Network (I-WIN) is designed to help employers, educators, and students leverage innovative models for scaling high-quality work-based learning opportunities in school districts and community colleges across the State. 

2020
1st College and Career Pathway Endorsements Awarded

Ridgewood High School District 234 becomes the first Illinois school district to award the College and Career Pathway Endorsement under the PWR Act, in the first year endorsements could be awarded.

2021
Statewide Transitional English

ISBE, ICCB, and IBHE jointly release the Statewide Transitional English Course Parameters, Competencies, and Policies resource in January 2021. These course parameters, competencies, and related policies guide local partnerships between high schools and colleges necessary for the successful implementation of Transitional English instruction.

2021
ILDS 2.0 Intergovernmental Agreement

Under EdSystems' leadership, a new version of the ILDS Intergovernmental Governance Agreement is executed with state agencies, creating the legal and governance framework for ILDS 2.0 and new centralized data technologies.

2022
Success Network Rebranding
The Illinois 60 by 25 Network updates its name to the Illinois Education and Career Success Network, to express our purpose and vision for 2025 and beyond.
2022
Chicago Early Childhood Integrated Data System

The Chicago Early Childhood Integrated Data System (CECIDS) begins integrating data across Chicago's early childhood systems and programs to enable creation of more timely and actionable data analyses and products that serve families, program administrators, funders, advocates and policymakers. CECIDS brings greater visibility into the needs and experiences of all 175,000 children from birth through age five in Chicago.

2022
Scaling Transformative Advanced Manufacturing Pathways

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association and EdSystems partner to launch Scaling Transformative Advanced Manufacturing Pathways (STAMP), to help meet the demand for skilled manufacturing workers in Illinois while advancing equity.

2022
HB 3296/Public Act 102-0917

Governor Pritzker signed Public Act 102-0917 (HB 3296) into law on May 27, 2022. HB 3296 builds from the 2016 Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act and many years of dedicated work by communities statewide to develop and implement high-quality college and career pathways systems that ensure students are prepared for whatever comes after high school.