CEC Selected as Lead Partner for Three School Improvement Grants


The Consortium for Educational Change (CEC) has been selected as the Lead Partner on three of the five School Improvement Grants (SIG) awarded by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) through the U.S. Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary Education Title I Act.

CEC will engage in a five-year partnership beginning this year with the following schools:

  • Matheny-Withrow Elementary School (Springfield Public Schools 186)
  • Kennedy Middle School (Rockford Public Schools 205)
  • Sandoval Senior High School (Sandoval School District 501)

The SIG program provides states with funds to transform persistently low-performing schools with the goal of substantially raising student achievement. SIG grants are given to districts and schools in collaboration with a strong Lead Partner. CEC is one of 15 approved Lead Partners in Illinois.

CEC is a national leader in supporting labor-management collaboration for school improvement, and its SIG work is based on a foundation of collaborative commitments from the “three anchors” of the school system: the school board, school district administration, and the teacher’s union. CEC works intensively with SIG schools and districts to implement effective, research-based strategies to transform school leadership, teaching and learning, student non-academic support, and family and community engagement. All of CEC’s work is rooted in the belief that sustainable change can only occur when local capacity is built to ensure the improvement continues after the grant ends.

“The importance of this work can’t be overstated,” says CEC Director of School Improvement Grants David Osta. “We are putting strategies in place to assist schools that are in the highest need across the State, and we are entrusted to be a partner to ensure dramatic results for students.”

“This is difficult work and CEC believes strongly in a partnership model where the school and CEC work closely to identify and implement the effective strategies that will support the school’s improvement,” Osta adds. “The basis for the CEC approach is a coaching model in order to improve instruction and learning for students. We believe this is some of the most important K-12 education work in Illinois and are proud to be a partner to help create change.”

This year, ISBE received 18 applicants from schools for the $20 million in grant funds available through the U.S. Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary Education Title I Act.  Just six of these schools were granted ISBE interviews and five of those schools were awarded grants. CEC was selected as the Lead Partner on three of those five awards.

The Consortium for Educational Change is a non-profit organization that positively impacts student learning through labor management collaboration, targeted support and school system transformation. CEC was established in 1987 and has offices in Lombard, Springfield and Carterville, supporting more than 100 Illinois school districts as well as school districts across the country.

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