Mission & History Founded in 2008, Advance Illinois believes all kids deserve a quality education. We are an independent policy and advocacy organization that works toward a healthy public education system that prepares students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. We are committed to an aligned education system that strives for equity, stresses college and career readiness and completion, and supports the whole child from the earliest years through adulthood. History Motivated by the urgency that Illinois was not preparing its students to compete in a global marketplace, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, and the Boston Consulting Group collaborated to launch a nonpartisan education policy advocacy organization for the state, modeled on successful efforts elsewhere. Leaders from more than a dozen civic, philanthropic, business and education organizations from across the state came together to found Advance Illinois.