December 03, 2009

Poshard named to educational coordinating panel

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard to the P-20 Council, a key statewide advisory panel that will make recommendations to the governor about strengthening the state’s education system. The P-20 (pre-school through graduate school) Council will play an instrumental role in Illinois’ quest to win approximately $400 million in federal “Race to the Top” discretionary funds.

Poshard, who will serve as the council’s public university representative, was one of 23 members appointed to the group on Monday by Quinn.

“I am honored to accept the governor’s request to serve on the P-20 Council,” Poshard said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the state’s entire educational system to come together and make fundamental and lasting improvements on behalf of our children.”

The council will study and review education programs at all levels -- from early childhood to graduate programs. It will be charged with finding ways to improve teaching and learning; to assure readiness and smooth transitions for students at each level of their education; and to cultivate and demonstrate accountability and efficiency in all school programs from pre-school to college.

“With these appointments, Illinois is sending a strong signal to Washington that a top-notch education for all students is a foremost priority,” Quinn said. “This council will recommend improvements that will make our education system the best it can be, while ensuring Illinois is at the head of the class when it comes to winning those important ‘Race to the Top’ funds.”

The U.S. Department of Education “Race to the Top” is a $4.35 billion competitive grant process focused on innovative approaches to education. Illinois could receive approximately $400 million in discretionary funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The 23 appointments made by the governor include business leaders, teachers, parents, civic groups, university, community colleges and school officials. There are four legislative members on the council and six ex-officio members from state agencies.

Quinn’s appointments to the Illinois P-20 Council include: Miguel del Valle, chair, Joshua Anderson, Perry Buckley, Ron Bullock, Sharon Thomas Parrot, Debra Strauss, Glenn Poshard, Ray Hancock, Ron Huberman, Dr. Erika Hunt, Debra Kasperski, Maggie Laslo, John Luczak, Dea Meyer, Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, Jeff Owens, Cynthia Plouche, Laurel Prussing, John Rico, Kathy Ryg, Audrey Soglin, Robin Steans and Rick Stephens.