Illinois Joins Network of States Committed to Better Preparing Students for College and Careers

Wednesday, October 15, 2008Printer-friendly version


Sandy Boyd, Achieve, (202) 419-1542,

WASHINGTON – October 15, 2008 – Illinois has become the 34th state to join Achieve's America Diploma Project (ADP) Network, an ambitious initiative that challenges states to reform education so that all students can graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and the workplace. The ADP Network now covers 41 million students, nearly 85 percent of all public school students in the United States.

By joining the ADP Network, Illinois has committed to ensuring that its standards, graduation requirements, assessments and accountability systems are rigorous, relevant and aligned with the expectations that high school graduates will face in college and/or the workforce. Illinois joins an ADP class that includes California and Florida in reviewing and revising what students need to know and should be able to do in order to be successful in both college and their careers. In recognition of the increasingly global marketplace for talent, Illinois, California and Florida will be among the first group of ADP states to use international benchmarks to set expectations for their students.

"We applaud Governor Rod Blagojevich for making the future of all students in Illinois a priority," said Mike Cohen, President of Achieve. "By bringing Illinois into the ADP Network, the Governor has recognized the critical importance of preparing all students for the challenges of college and careers in the 21st century. We look forward to working with the Governor and other state stakeholders on this important goal."

Cohen also commended Dr. Christopher Koch, State Superintendent, Illinois State Board of Education; Geoffrey Obrzut, President, and Elaine Johnson, Vice President, Illinois Community College Board; Judy Erwin, Executive Director, Illinois Board of Higher Education; and Jeff Mays, President, Illinois Business Roundtable for their strong support and commitment.

Achieve has been helping states align state education policies with real-world demands since its founding in 1996 by the nation's governors and business leaders. The ADP Network was launched at the 2005 National Education Summit on High Schools.

To learn more about Achieve and the ADP Network, visit

Created by the nation's governors and business leaders, Achieve, is a bipartisan, non-profit organization that helps states raise academic standards, improve assessments and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for postsecondary success. At the 2005 National Education Summit, Achieve launched the American Diploma Project (ADP) Network, a coalition that has grown to 34 states, educating nearly 84 percent of public school students in the United States. The ADP Network is committed to aligning high school expectations with the demands of college, career and life.

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