News

News

Why Do We Need a Longitudinal Data System?

Why does the State of Illinois need a longitudinal data system? Or to put it more precisely, how does longitudinal data help answer key policy questions? We address these questions in this third post of our Making the Case for the ILDS blog series.

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What Is in the ILDS? What Questions Can It Answer?

Understanding the potential of Illinois’ Longitudinal Data System (ILDS) to answer complex policy questions can help improve Illinois’ early childhood, education, and workforce systems and outcomes. This is the second post of our Making the Case for the ILDS blog series.

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News

New Report Highlights Recommendations for Supporting Justice-Impacted Students at Elgin Community College

In partnership with Elgin Community College (ECC), we investigated the unique needs of their justice-impacted students. Our research highlights the students’ heightened vulnerability to barriers and the college’s resources. In a new report, we release detailed findings and suggestions to ECC so they can take their next steps in serving justice-impacted students.

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Highlights from Governor Pritzker’s Proposed Budget

Governor JB Pritzker presented his proposed 2024–25 budget on February 21, which maintains largely stable funding for K-12 and higher education with notable increases for Career and Technical Education (CTE) and the Monetary Award Program (MAP), building on the past several years of progress and extending several impactful initiatives.

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Community Models for Essential Skill Development

Through the scaling of the GPEAK badging system, a growing number of communities are preparing students for productive lives and careers by developing innovative training programs aligned to Illinois’ essential employability competencies.

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New Success Network Policy Committee Memo Outlines Transportation-Related Barriers to Work-Based Learning Access

The Success Network Policy Committee convened a workgroup to explore work-based learning transportation challenges and is now publishing the first of two memos, which shed light on the significant transportation-related barriers students face in accessing work-based learning opportunities. This resource identifies and analyzes challenges impacting in-school youth at the school district, local, and system levels.

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Illinois Education and Career Success Network: 2023 In Review

In 2023, the Illinois Education and Career Success Network continued to expand its reach and impact through thoughtful convenings, growing the Network, engagement with students, new supports and funding opportunities for Leadership Communities, re-launching the data dashboard, and exploring policy and practice with the Policy Committee.

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Putting Principles Into Practice: The Launch of Our Youth Apprenticeship Program

At EdSystems, our commitment to advancing racial equity and preparing more learners for productive lives extends beyond providing guidance; it’s about embodying the principles we advocate. We recognize the importance of leading by example, which is why the launch of our Youth Apprenticeship program is more than just a new initiative—it’s a testament to our dedication to practicing what we preach.

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News

Math Badging Receives Illinois Educators’ Seal of Approval

The Illinois Math Badging Initiative (IMBI) is piloting an alternative credentialing in math that allows for equitable student outcomes and certifies student learning through a variety of methods. Teach Plus Illinois assembled a group of math educators to understand how IMBI will alter the delivery of math and to provide suggestions to schools for supporting teachers.

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EdSystems Releases an Initial Evaluation of Transitional Math Implementation in Illinois

In an era where mathematics forms the backbone of our society, Illinois has taken a significant step toward enhancing college readiness through the implementation of transitional math. Now, EdSystems is releasing a study conducted by researchers from Northern Illinois University which investigates initial implementation, along with a Quick Takes which highlights key findings.

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Assessing the Utilization of the Illinois Model Program of Study Guides

How are the Illinois Model Programs of Study Guides being utilized statewide by community colleges and their high school partners? Are the guides useful in helping regions design high-quality college and career pathways? What additional information and support do regions need to better align with the guides? EdSystems and the Illinois Community College Board seek to answer those questions through our new State of Illinois Model Programs of Study Guides: Utilization Report.

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Exponential Growth: New Data and Draft Rules Released for College and Career Pathway Endorsements

The number of school districts implementing College & Career Pathway Endorsements is increasing exponentially. To support statewide scaling, the Illinois State Board of Education has drafted a set of administrative rules that will soon be open for public comment. In this post, we examine the growth of the endorsement system and share our review of the pending rules, which point to a significant level of momentum in Illinois regarding college and career pathways.

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News

Unlocking Potential: Empowering Young Women in Manufacturing

Manufacturing has long been a male-dominated field, but the future of this industry depends on inclusivity and fresh perspectives. We gathered insights from manufacturing experts on supporting young women in manufacturing pathways. This collaborative effort has resulted in a resource that offers practical guidance for students at any stage of their career journey.

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Scaling Accelerated IT Pathways: Lessons Learned in Year One

To support the scaling of high-quality IT pathways in response to employer demand, collaborators in our Accelerated Model Pathways for Information Technology initiative designed a three-tier model giving students the potential to earn 30+ early college credits. Check out our blueprint, what we’ve learned, and how we are engaging student voices in the process.

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News

Kyle Westbrook Named Executive Director of EdSystems

Education Systems Center at NIU is pleased to announce the appointment of Kyle Westbrook as its new executive director. Kyle brings a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to educational equity, making him an excellent fit for the organization’s mission.

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Events

Performance-Based Assessment Showcase

Teachers in the performance-based assessment pilot shared their projects and the process of creating them, highlighting how performance-based assessments can be used across disciplines and with students from a range of backgrounds with a variety of characteristics.

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Executive Director Transition Announcement

Education Systems Center at NIU (EdSystems) today announces that Founder and Executive Director Jonathan Furr will be transitioning from his role as of June 2023 after nearly eleven years of building and leading the organization. Jon will be pursuing new professional opportunities, which he will share in the coming weeks.

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Advancing Racial Equity

Placing Our Big Bets Through 2025 and Beyond

EdSystems is coalescing around five new goals, which we call our Big Bets, to ensure that our state’s education and workforce systems truly lessen racial inequities and lead to tangible progress for our Black and Latinx students that have for far too long been underserved by these systems.

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Introducing Launch: Equitable and Accelerated Pathways for All

EdSystems is excited to announce our selection as one of 11 states participating in Launch: Equitable & Accelerated Pathways for All. Launch is a national college and career pathways initiative that strives for every learner to have access to and succeed in high-quality and equitable pathways.

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News

Governor Signs HB3296/Public Act 102-0917, Advancing on PWR Act

Governor Pritzker signed Public Act 102-0917 (HB3296) into law on May 27, 2022. HB3296 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. 

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EdSystems Joins Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Accelerate ED, Launches Accelerated Model Pathways for Information Technology

EdSystems is proud to announce our participation in Accelerate ED: Seamless Pathways to Degrees and Careers, an initiative that seeks to blur the lines between high school and higher education and career learning experiences, allowing students to earn a career-aligned credential or degree by the end of one additional year after high school.

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News

An Initial Analysis of Scaling Education Pathways in Illinois

An analysis of the initial implementation of the Scaling Education Pathways in Illinois initiative, with input from the first cohort of collaboratives. It was undertaken to understand how the components of the education pathway were being executed in practice and to collect promising practices and lessons learned.

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News

Working Toward a Thriving Illinois

EdSystems applauds the adoption of the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s new 10-year strategic plan, A Thriving Illinois: Higher Education Paths to Equity, Sustainability, and Growth.

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News

Expanding the Law and Public Safety Pathway in Rockford

The support Rockford Public Schools receives from Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University, thanks to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, is helping to drive aligned college and career pathways forward, including the Law and Public Safety pathway.

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News

Announcing the Chicago Equity-Centered Innovation Forum

In collaboration with leaders of Chicago Public Schools, school leaders of competency-based education (CBE) pilot schools, and other interested stakeholders, EdSystems will support the implementation of innovative instructional models as strategies for dismantling systemic inequities in traditional educational approaches.

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News

Expanding Supports for College and Career Readiness: State Adoption of Transitional English Course Parameters, Competencies, and Policies

To increase the number of high school graduates placed into college-level reading and communications courses without the need for remediation, the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Community College Board, and Illinois Board of Higher Education have adopted the Statewide Transitional English Course Parameters, Competencies, and Policies.

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Exterior of Ridgewood High School
News

Ridgewood H.S. First in IL to Award College & Career Pathway Endorsement

As students across the state return to school, many high school students are now working towards earning a College and Career Pathway Endorsement. Ridgewood High School, located in the Chicago suburbs and a leader in the pathways approach, was the first in Illinois to award the College and Career Pathway Endorsements to Class of 2020 graduates who successfully completed the Education and Manufacturing and Engineering pathways.

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CTE students learning electrical wiring
News

Guidance and Resources for Providing High-Quality Work-Based Learning

Through collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Education Systems Center has released a Career Development Experience Toolkit aligned to the frameworks established in the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act and embedded within Illinois’ broader strategies around scaling high-quality career pathways and work-based learning.

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