Press release: State, national leaders to talk equity, degree completion at 60 by 25 Conference

Posted on February 02, 2018

SPRINGFIELD (Feb. 2, 2018) – Dr. Tony Smith, State Superintendent of Schools, and other state and national education leaders will speak at “Scaling for Impact,” the Fifth Annual 60 by 25 Network Conference on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at the DoubleTree in Bloomington. Dr. Smith will deliver his thoughts on how Illinois can expand equity among its public schools to an audience of 200 business and community leaders, advocates and early childhood, K12 and higher education practitioners who are working toward degree completion in their local communities.

The 60 by 25 Network, formed in 2013, supports communities to increase meaningful and equitable postsecondary attainment and civic engagement. The state’s goal is to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025. This year’s conference will highlight the programs in local communities that are helping our state achieve its goal.

Now in its fifth year, the Network has achieved many accomplishments including building and strengthening partnerships among high schools, postsecondary institutions and businesses. For example, East St. Louis, where only 9% of adults have a college degree, concluded its first “Running Start” program. This program enables high school students to earn an associate’s degree and high school diploma simultaneously, significantly cutting the cost of higher education for families. East St. Louis is one of the 13 communities that will be sharing best practices for fostering degree completion through collective impact efforts.

Other conference speakers include Dr. Al Bowman, Executive Director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, Executive Director of the Illinois Community College Board. The keynote address “The Equity Imperative,” will be presented by Alex Fralin, Chief of Schools, Madison (Wis.) Metropolitan School District. Dr. Landon Mascarenaz of A Plus Colorado and Achieve Inc. will speak during a breakout session on parent-teacher home visits to improve student outcomes. See the full agenda for more.

What: Fifth Annual 60 by 25 Network Conference

When: Feb. 6-7 (Supt. Smith speaks 10:10-10:25 a.m. on the 6th)

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton, 10 Brickyard Drive, Bloomington, IL 61701

Registration still open: Click here for more information.

About the Illinois 60 by 25 Network

Powered by Advance Illinois, Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University, and Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the 60 by 25 Network supports communities to increase meaningful and equitable postsecondary attainment and civic engagement.