Policy Overview

Education policy

What is education policy?

Education policies are the decisions made by the governor, legislators, education agencies, superintendents, principals, teachers, and school board members that shape the experience students have from cradle to career. Education policies run the gamut from how we fund and structure schools, to how we prepare teachers for the classroom, to what we expect students to learn in any given grade. Ensuring that Illinois’ students are ready for college, career, and democratic citizenship means advocating for policies that support students in developing the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful in our ever-changing global economy.

What does it mean to be world ready?

To be truly prepared for college, career and citizenship, students today need more than book learning.  They require:

  • Knowledge of content that acts as a foundation for further learning;
  • Skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration that allow them to apply their knowledge to novel situations;
  • Mindsets meaning setting goals for success based on a belief in their ability  to contribute to a larger purpose;
  • Behaviors such as intentionality, self-regulation, and reflectiveness that allows them to engage in and contribute to the larger world.

a healthy system


What is Advance Illinois’ policy role?

To prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. We must always strive to do better, and education policies must evolve along with our changing world. We focus on monitoring and evaluating education policies in Illinois, across the United States, and abroad.  We then advocate for those evidence-based policies that will improve the quality of schooling for all students in our state.

In order to climb from pre-K to postsecondary success, students have to be prepared to advance step by step. Advance Illinois reports on student performance at key points in the education system and on critical factors like educator quality, school climate, and achievement gaps to understand how well we are doing and to identify areas for improvement. Closing achievement and attainment gaps at each of these stages means better outcomes for thousands of Illinois students.

Which education policy areas does Advance Illinois currently focus on?

With help from community partners, practitioners, and research, we focus on the policy issues we believe will best improve outcomes for Illinois students. Currently, our main areas for policy research, engagement, and advocacy center on:

A Healthy System

Quality + Equity = Student Success

Improving education requires systemic change.