Media alert: Elevate Teaching Summit Brings Together National, State Leaders for Dialogue on Teaching

Posted on June 21, 2018

June 2, 2018

WHO: More than 100 teachers, principals, advocates and policymakers will come together for a Summit aimed at informing Teach Illinois, a year of inquiry into the teaching profession launched by the Illinois State Board of Education. The event is presented by Advance Illinois and The Joyce Foundation. Speakers include: Ricky Castro (Illinois State Teacher of the Year 2017), Jason Helfer (Deputy Superintendent, Illinois State Board of Education), Lillian Lowery (VP, PreK-12 Policy, Research and Practice, The Education Trust), Audrey Soglin (Executive Director, Illinois Education Association), Julie Stephenson (Talent Pipeline Lead and University Liaison, Lincoln Parish Schools (Louisiana)), Matt Zediker (Chief Human Resources Officer, Rockford Public Schools).

WHAT: Speakers will address equity and teacher diversity from a national perspective, including efforts under way in Illinois and Louisiana to attract more teachers, and innovative career pathway models, such as those in Rockford Public Schools and District 214 (serving the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.) Following the speaking program, participants will break into small group discussions on topics related to the teaching profession and policy. We plan to share the ideas generated during the event with the Illinois State Board of Education’s Teach Illinois effort. The state board is working to create a set of policy goals that will help address teacher shortages, while also elevating and modernizing the profession.

WHEN: Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

WHERE: Irving Elementary School, 1125 Cuyler Ave., Oak Park, IL 60304

WHY: An effective teacher is the No. 1 predictor of student success in the classroom. However, Illinois is experiencing teacher shortages in some regions of the state and in specific subject areas. A recent survey from the Illinois State Board of Education reveals that communities of color and low-income school districts are most likely to see teacher shortages. Of the 1,006 unfilled teacher positions in the state, 74% are in majority-minority school districts while 81% are in districts where the majority of students are low-income. Over half of the state’s unfilled teacher positions are in bilingual and Special Education. Measures in this session of the General Assembly will ease access for out-of-state teachers, expand the pool of available substitute teachers and lengthen the number of days that retired teachers may work. However, more action is needed to ensure an effective educator is in every Illinois classroom.

Contact: Bob Dolgan,, 773-447-1980 cell

For more information on Advance Illinois, visit
For more information on The Joyce Foundation, visit