Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, a Republican, and ex-U.S. Commerce Secretary William Daley, a Democrat, are spearheading a new effort to make Illinois' public school system better.
They're co-chairing Advance Illinois, which bills itself as a "statewide and independent nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that our state's public schools prepare every child to compete in the global economy."
The state's educational system has various problems, according to a report that Advance Illinois is releasing today at a morning news conference in Chicago and an afternoon news conference in Springfield. For example, the report says, Illinois student performance on national tests is "mediocre at best," too many students don't finish high school, and the ones who do finish often aren't prepared for post-secondary education or the workforce.
The report offers no specific solutions. Advance Illinois plans to conduct research and listen to the ideas of parents, educators and other people as it crafts strategies. It will host a series of "community conversations" to solicit input.
The organization has set up a Web site at http://www.advanceillinois.org/.