*Photo credit: Christopher House Charter School

2015 Illinois Charter Schools Conference

On October 26, INCS hosted the 5  annual Illinois Charter Schools Conference. More than 600 educators, school leaders, and charter advocates flooded the Marriot Magnificent Mile to discuss pressing educational issues, engage with their peers, and be reinvigorated by the strides we’re making in public education reform.

The theme of the conference, All Means All, is an incredibly powerful ideal and one worth fighting for. The only way to push the bar higher on student achievement and create the schools we need now across the state is to work together. When we collaborate, we ensure all children are educated, all children reach their potential, and all children are free to live, free to pursue their dreams, and free to breathe.

Click here to review the 2015 Illinois Charter Schools Conference’s speakers and sessions.

Conference Highlights


Doug Lemov, a Managing Director of Uncommon Schools, Taxonomy Project and author of Teach Like a Champion, captivated the audience. He stressed the importance of recognizing great teachers and creating a culture of excellence. Doug is truly an inspiration and motivation for the charter community to continue pushing forward to improve teaching and quality schools for all students.

“Choice doesn’t matter if the choices aren’t great.”

“We have to build schools that are about growth for teachers and kids.”

—Doug Lemov

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Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, reflected on the story of the charter school movement and the progress our public education system has made to improve access to quality education for all students. He recognized the many faces of the charter school movement and why we collectively do this work and encouraged everyone to continue to fight for students and the schools we need now.

“We need the charter movement because justice demands it. We need the charter movement because low income communities still do not have consistent access to quality schools. We need the charter movement because parents should have a right to choose the best school for their child.”

“We cannot stop fighting because the battle for access to quality schools is far from over. Naysayers continue to protect the status quo by excusing low performance and limiting educational opportunity for children, even those who need it most. This is not acceptable. We must fight against this belief, even as we fight to ensure that charter schools live up to their promise to provide a quality education for every student they enroll. All means all.”

—Andrew Broy

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Cameron Barnes, a proud Urban Prep Academies alum, shared his charter school experience and how many opportunities he was afforded as a result.

“Urban Prep was always there for me. There was never a time I felt abandoned.”

—Cameron Barnes

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