A total of 42 representatives from the Illinois Association of School Administrators’ 21 regions, along with two advisory members, gathered in Springfield on October 8 to continue their work to create a vision for the future of education in Illinois.

The initial Vision 20/20 Initiative subcommittee meeting on June 6, 2013, led to the following focal points for discussion:

  • The initiative focus is student‐centered.
  • The initiative is a forward‐thinking process designed to unite the Illinois education community around a vision to improve education in Illinois.
  • The initiative will document the consensus among Illinois educators for creating a desired future vision of education in Illinois.
  • The initiative will provide a common voice from the Illinois education community to guide state policy.

As a member of the Student Learning and Assessment Subcommittee, University Lab Schools have been part of the discussion on state standardized testing, one-to-one computing, and accountability measures. The consensus thus far on these issues is broken down to a rough draft of principles:

We believe:

  • Public education is responsible for preparing students for college and careers.
  • Quality education requires high standards and expectations.
  • Ultimate accountability for student learning rests in the local school district.
  • Partnerships between school districts, non‐profits, businesses, community colleges, and health and human service organizations will lead to healthier, better‐educated children.
  • Technology as a tool can enhance and augment the teaching and learning processes in our schools.
  • Technology is an integral component in providing high quality programs.

As such, Illinois must:

  • Report measures of district‐level college and career attainment in publicly available statewide education databases.
  • Revise the state assessment system to balance state‐level accountability with minimal interference with instructional programming.
  • Sponsor an examination, by a joint‐committee of educational leaders (including members of IASA, IPA, IASB, and IASBO), of current uses of technology. The joint‐committee will be tasked with documenting best practices as a road map for the use of technology in Illinois.

As such, local districts must:

  • Implement appropriate timelines for funding and acquiring digital resources.
  • Provide students with more diverse learning opportunities.

The Vision 20/20 Initiative will meet again in January when each subcommittee will review their guiding principles. More information regarding this initiative can be found at IllinoisVision2020.org.