February 3, 2009

State School Board Member to Serve on National Dropout Task Force

Dr. Vinni Hall to Help Identify Innovative Policies and Solutions to Dropout Crisis

Springfield – Illinois State Board of Education Member Dr. Vinni M. Hall will serve on a national task force to address the devastating dropout rates facing many communities in the country. Dr. Hall was selected to serve on the National Association of State Boards of Education study group and will serve alongside 16 other state board members in the year-long study group to identify unique policy and community-state partnership solutions.

“We’re happy that Dr. Hall has been asked to play a role in addressing one of our most crucial education issues,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Vinni brings her real-world classroom and administrative experiences to the table for the important discussions on policies that will help keep students in school and increase their chances for success.’’

Dr. Hall brings more than 30 years of education experience, in both instruction and administration, to the task force. She has served as a member of the Illinois State Board of Education since her appointment in 2004.

As part of the study group, Dr. Hall will meet with other state policymakers, student dropout prevention experts, and education reform leaders over the course of the year to examine high school dropout issues with direct policy implications for State Boards of Education and other national, state, and local education policymakers.

Specifically, the NASBE study group will explore in-depth the various reasons students drop out of school, the unique and complementary roles of schools, families, communities, and businesses in supporting students to stay in school; and innovative state policies, initiatives, and strategies to effectively address the issue.

“It’s a great honor to join my peers from around the country on this important task force,’’ Dr. Hall said. “I look forward to addressing this pressing issue and coming up with policies that will include school, family and community partnerships.”

Hall most recently served as a consultant to Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois Center for Education and Rehabilitation. Previously, Dr. Hall was an Associate Professor at Chicago State University and Director of the Inclusive Schools Project for Chicago Public Schools.

She began her teaching career at CPS in 1967 where she taught Headstart, grades 2-12, adult education, special needs students, Library Science, Music and Drama.

In addition to serving as the State Board Secretary, Dr. Hall is a member of the Education Policy Planning Committee and the Board Operations Committee. She is serving her second term which will expire in January 2011.

Hall is a member of NASBE’s English Language Learners Study Group and participated in the NASBE Early Childhood Education Study Group.

The study group will issue a comprehensive report in October 2009 at the NASBE Annual Conference in Cincinnati, OH. Policy recommendations also will be distributed to all governors, state superintendents, other state and local education policymakers, national education groups, Congress, and federal officials.

“With a long track-record of state-based work on high school reform, the NASBE membership has recommitted itself to identifying ways to serve all students, including those most at risk of dropping out of school,” said Brenda Welburn, NASBE Executive Director. “It is vital to identify and implement state education policies that transform the conditions that contribute to dropping out of school and increase rates of student success.’’