Keeping Illinois Competitive

Illinois Status Report on
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

Illinois’ future success in the global marketplace is linked directly to our educational system.  For the first time, this report measures how Illinois is doing on key indicators of economic competitiveness in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.  Keeping Illinois Competitive identifies five challenges:

  1. Academic achievement in the STEM subjects does not prepare all students for college success or living-wage jobs.
  2. Curricula are not aligned to 21st century knowledge and skills.
  3. Many math and science teachers lack qualifications in their subject areas.
  4. Investment in research and retaining STEM professionals has declined.
  5. All citizens and workers need stronger skills in the STEM subjects.

Our state has a proud history in the four STEM fields.  Its businesses, industries, research institutions, and schools have continuously been at the forefront of scientific, economic and human development.  When challenged in the past, Illinois has mustered the leadership, the resources, and the strength to build a world-class economic and technological powerhouse. We hope that Keeping Illinois Competitive will create a sense of urgency about STEM education issues among our colleagues and a willingness to benchmark an Illinois action plan against not just national, but international standards. 


Northern Illinois University P-20 Task Force
This report is an initiative of Northern Illinois University’s P-20 Task Force. At NIU “P-20” refers to the educational continuum from pre-school through graduate school. For 2005-2007, the P-20 Task Force’s top priority is improvement of mathematics and science education.

Illinois Business Roundtable
The Illinois Business Roundtable generously provided funding for this report.

Keeping Illinois Competitive Report Team
Northern Illinois University Outreach
Penny Billman
Marilyn McConachie
Lee Patton
Rachel Turner