June 14, 2010
BIG GOAL/BIG PUBLIC AGENDA
Lumina exec to brief IBHE on ways the Illinois Public Agenda fits with the
Foundation’s effort to raise education attainment
SPRINGFIELD – A former first grade teacher from Taos, New Mexico, will visit with the Illinois Board of Higher Education to explain why at least 60 percent of Americans need to have high-quality degrees and other college credentials.
Dewayne Matthews, whose career began in a first grade classroom and who now is vice president for policy and strategy at the Lumina Foundation for Education, will brief the Board at its June 21 st meeting at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Lumina is a major national foundation that has put millions of dollars behind its Big Goal strategic plan – to dramatically increase the level of educational attainment in the United States.
Just like the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success.
“We are fortunate to have such a distinguished and prominent education leader as Dewayne Matthews help place the Illinois Public Agenda and the challenges facing our education system in a national context,” Carrie J. Hightman, IBHE Chairwoman, said. “Lumina has been in the forefront of the debate over education reform, and Dr. Matthews has been on the front line of this reform movement. We anticipate his discussion with Board members will be both informative and thought-provoking.”
Matthews may well find himself preaching to the choir.
Three of the four goals of the Illinois Public Agenda are aimed at smoothing the path for more Illinoisans to gain more education – Goal 1 to eliminate the achievement gap, Goal 2 to make college affordable, and Goal 3 to increase the number of Illinoisans holding degrees and certificates to meet workforce needs.
“The Public Agenda is now a year-and-a-half old,” Hightman said, “and while we are making significant strides in implementing its broad mandate, we can always profit from national perspectives that will inform and guide our efforts in Illinois.”
Hightman noted that the Board is engaged in several initiatives aimed at raising educational attainment, including many that have been the focus of Lumina’s efforts in its Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina estimates the U.S. will need to produce 23 million more college graduates to meet that goal just 15 years hence.
Through the Public Agenda, Illinois is trying to do its part. Among the efforts cited by the Chairwoman are:
“This is an impressive roster of strategies and action steps that, by helping to implement the Illinois Public Agenda, will contribute to Lumina’s ‘Big Goal,’ which is our goal as well,” Hightman said. “We look forward to an edifying presentation by Dr. Matthews and to a lively discussion of these critically important issues by members of the Board of Higher Education.”
On the Board’s action agenda June 21 st is the approval of final rules to govern the distribution of $300 million in bond proceeds to fund capital projects at private colleges and universities. The Board is designated as the agency responsible for oversight and disbursement of the capital dollars to the independent institutions.
“The capital improvement program is an important force for the state’s economic recovery,” Chairwoman Hightman noted. “And we are pleased to have this mechanism in place to advance this needed and valuable endeavor.”