6 Reasons to Attend the 113th Illinois PTA Convention

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 10.39.58 AMThe 113th Illinois PTA Convention will be held April 17-18, 2015 at the Embassy Suites East Peoria Hotel. Here are six great reasons to join us on the banks of the Illinois River:

  • Time-Saving Ideas: Workshop will offer leadership training and show start-to-finish ways of using successful packaged programs.
  • Engaging Families: Learn more ways to involve families and the community to accomplish your goals.
  • Putting a Smile on Administrators’ Faces: Take back programs which help implement the new Illinois Family Engagement Framework and Illinois Learning Standards. Learn about Vision 20/20, the new roadmap for improving education in Illinois that is supported by seven school administration groups, the Illinois PTA, and over 300 Illinois school districts.
  • Networking: Compare notes, ask questions, brag, and most of all share ideas with other local units and councils who have often already faced the same issues that you are going through. Why struggle on your own when you can come to convention and find proven ideas and programs that work?
  • Designed Around You: On evaluations of last year’s convention, you said you wanted more workshops and a longer weekend event. We listened.
  • Be a Part of the Decision-Making Process: It may not be the focus of convention, but the Illinois PTA can’t operate without you, the members, approving a budget and electing officers and members of the Board Development and Nominating Committee.

So plan now to attend the Illinois PTA Convention on April 17-18, 2015. Covering the cost of convention registration, travel, and accommodations are all legitimate PTA budget expenses. Online registration is open now, so don’t wait! Register today!

Illinois PTA Supports Vision 20/20

LogosIcons_Vision2020LogoTransparentA coalition of six statewide education organizations have joined forces behind Vision 20/20, including the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Principals Association (IPA), the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO), the Superintendents’ Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity (SCSDD), and the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools (IARSS). Vision 20/20 also has been endorsed by the Illinois PTA, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, and the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

“Illinois PTA has long supported equitable and adequate funding, highly qualified educators, local control, and educating the Whole Child.  We were please to collaborate with the other stakeholders to ensure family engagement was included as a vital piece of Vision 20/20. Engaging families in the educational process effectively increases student achievement as well as raising the graduation rate.  This is a win-win for children, families, business, and communities across the state.” Peg Staehlin, President, Illinois PTA

The uniting purpose shared across zip codes and political party lines in Illinois is the overwhelming belief that public education plays a defining role in ensuring equal opportunity. It is our collective duty to do all we can to guarantee every student, no matter his or her demographic or geographic identity, has equal access to a quality education. Public educators believe public education works. They reject the premise that education in Illinois has failed, but recognize its impact has not been equitably delivered to all student populations and that there are opportunities for continuous improvement. Now is the time to act.

Our vision forward is clear. We believe the key to continuous improvement in public education relies on the wisdom and innovation of public educators who work with students every day. This is a continuous process. Educators care about the future of each and every student and for the opportunity to teach and shape the next generation. Through the Vision 20/20 process, four areas for prioritization emerged: highly effective educators, 21st century learning, shared accountability, and equitable and adequate funding.

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HIGHLY EFFECTIVE EDUCATORS

The quality of teachers and school leaders is the greatest predictor of student achievement schools can influence. By attracting, developing, and retaining our state’s best educators, we can have a profound impact on student learning.

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21ST CENTURY LEARNING

For success in life, students need more than knowledge of math and reading. It is time to expand the definition of student learning, commit to the development of the “whole child,” and invest in policies proven to link all schools to 21st century learning tools.

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SHARED ACCOUNTABILITY

A quality education for all Illinois students cannot be ensured without the collaboration, compromise, and hard work of both educators and legislators. With that in mind, it is necessary to expand educator responsibility in the legislative process, create a
shared accountability model, and restructure mandates to allow more local district flexibility.

 

EQUITABLE AND ADEQUATE FUNDINGgreen

All students in Illinois are entitled to a quality education. It is our duty to ensure our students have access to all necessary resources by improving equity in the funding model, appropriating adequate dollars for education, and allowing local school districts the autonomy needed to increase efficiency.

 

Educators understand the importance of statewide education policy. However, that policy should be crafted to provide districts the flexibility and autonomy to best meet the needs of the students they serve. Statewide, process-specific mandates in education, similar to over-regulation in the business world, do not result in the innovation needed to improve education and do not recognize the state’s diversity. We believe educators should be held to the highest standards and be given the flexibility to apply their experience and knowledge to match local needs in order to best support each individual student.

The role of family engagement in Vision 20/20 can be found in detail in the Policy Brief.

For more information visit IllinoisVision2020.org.