State and University Leaders Meet with Members of the P-20 Council to Discuss the Future of Education in Illinois

President Easter and Governor Quinn
Illinois President Robert Easter (left) and Governor Pat Quinn joined the P-20 Council meeting at NCSA.

October 25, 2012

Governor Pat Quinn joined Chancellor Phyllis Wise, President Robert Easter, and leaders in education policy from across the state for a meeting of the Illinois P-20 Council at the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) on October 24.

The P-20 Council is dedicated to improving the state’s education system for residents from birth to beyond college. The council members are appointed by the Governor and represent government agencies, universities and schools, non-profit organizations, and other groups from across Illinois. Dr. Lizanne DeStefano, Director of I-STEM and P-20 Council Coordinator, hosted the meeting, which takes place quarterly at locations throughout the state.

Chancellor Wise speaking at P-20 Council meeting Chancellor Phyllis Wise speaks to the P-20 Council about Illinois' involvement in the Coursera project.

Holding the meeting at NCSA was fitting, as technology as a tool for improving education was a focus of the group’s discussion. Chancellor Wise spoke about the University’s ongoing work on integrating technology into higher education, specifically with regard to Illinois’ involvement in the Coursera MOOC (massive open online course) project, which offers free online courses to students around the world. Governor Quinn discussed the importance of improving and broadening access to online learning as a way to improve education in the state.

The meeting also included reports from several P-20 committees, such as the Family, Youth, and Community Engagement Committee and the School, College, and Career Readiness working group. Representatives from Illinois’ State Board of Education, Board of Higher Education, Community College Board, and Student Assistance Commission reported to the Council as well.

Visitors to NCSA's Advanced Visualization Lab watch visualizations of scientific phenomena on earth and in space Visitors to NCSA's Advanced Visualization Lab watch visualizations of scientific phenomena on earth and in space.


Council members and guests had the opportunity to see first-hand a bit of what Illinois has to offer its students and visitors. Some attendees experienced NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory, while others toured part of campus, including the recently-renovated Lincoln Hall. Several attendees, including Governor Quinn, visited the LED 50th Anniversary Symposium at the I Hotel and Conference Center. Governor Quinn introduced Illinois alum and professor Nick Holonyak, Jr, at the symposium, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of Holonyak’s invention of the light-emitting diode (LED).

Author/photographer: Christy Glaze, I-STEM Education Initiative

Photo of Advanced Visualization Lab courtesy of NCSA.
More: Policy, 2012