Events / Calendar

10th Anniversary Luncheon

Advance Illinois is celebrating the champions who have made our work possible since 2008. On Dec. 3, we will be unveiling the plan for our next 10 years of work toward a healthy public education system that prepares every student to achieve success in college, career and civic life. We will honor our Founding Executive Director, Robin Steans, for her many contributions toward our mission, and we will hear from former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Join us!

Monday, Dec. 3, 2018
11 a.m. – Reception
Noon – Luncheon

Fairmont Hotel Chicago, International Ballroom
200 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL

Click here for more information on the Luncheon

The Elevate Teaching Summit: Ensuring an Effective Educator in Every Illinois Classroom

National and state PreK-12 teachers, principals, advocates, and policymakers came together for a dialog on teacher quality in Illinois on Saturday, June 2, 2018. Summit attendees left with new objectives and refreshed momentum toward elevating the teaching profession in Illinois.

Speakers included:
Ricky Castro, Illinois State Teacher of the Year 2017
Jason Helfer, Illinois State Board of Education
Lillian Lowery, The Education Trust
Audrey Soglin, Illinois Education Association
Julie Stephenson, Lincoln Parish (La.)
Matt Zediker, Rockford Public Schools

For more information, contact Jim O’Connor
at 312-235-4537 or


Annual events

Legislator Forum







This annual event brings together education advocacy organizations, state legislators and other education leaders for a conversation about pressing topics in the education sector. The most recent Legislator Forum took place April 11, 2018, in Springfield and featured Rev. Dr. K. Edward Copeland, Founding Governing Board Chairman, Alignment Rockford, and Board Member, Advance Illinois, Anisha Grimmett, Executive Director, Alignment Rockford, and Dr. Ehren Jarrett, Rockford Public Schools superintendent as panelists. Dr. Nancy Zimpher, former Chancellor of State University of New York, delivered the keynote address. The next Legislator Forum will take place in Spring 2019.

2018 event – Blog | Event video | Event photos

2017 eventBlog | Event video | Event photos

Illinois 60 by 25 Network Conference

Career pathways and aligning the education system were among the topics at the 5th Annual Illinois 60 by 25 Network Conference, which took place February 6-7, 2018, in Bloomington. More than 200 attendees representing all corners of Illinois came together for two days of learning, resource sharing and inspiration. The Illinois P-20 Council’s 60 by 25 goal is to ensure 60% of Illinois adults have a postsecondary degree or credential by the year 2025 (Illinois currently stands at 50.1%). This year’s conference’s theme was Scaling for Impact, with an eye toward expanding cross-sector collaborations and furthering innovation in local communities. Conference speakers emphasized equity and providing educational opportunities that will lead to ongoing success in careers and life for all students. Read more | Event photos | Humans of 60 by 25 video

Educator Leadership Institute

The Educator Leadership Institute, or ECET2, brings teachers together to focus on advocacy and how teachers can use their voices to change the education policy conversation in Illinois. ECET2 offers a depth of skill-based sessions for teachers to partake in to improve and practice their advocacy expertise. The most recent event took place in October 2016 in Springfield. Read more

Event recap 11/30/16: Advance Illinois presented the findings of Every Student Counts: The State We’re In 2016-2017 at the City Club of Chicago. Presenters included Ginger Ostro, Executive Director, and Board Members Bill Daley, John Edwardson and Sylvia Puente. View the video