Dear Fellow Chicagoans,
I want to applaud Chicago Public Schools’ students, teachers, principals, parents and staff for your relentless focus on academic success. This vision report will help continue to propel CPS forward and ensure every student in every community receives a world class education that will prepare them for success in college, a rewarding career, and life.
Together, our community has made incredible progress. We have provided a full day of kindergarten for all CPS students for the first time in Chicago’s history; guaranteed free Pre-K for all 25,000 four-year-olds from low-income families; and more than doubled full-day Pre-K opportunities citywide. We have successfully transitioned from one of the shortest school days and school years in the country to a full school day and year, resulting in a remarkable two and a half years of additional learning from kindergarten to 12th grade. This has allowed us to increase access to rigorous academic programs, invest in student supports like tutoring and mentoring, and empowered our school leaders.
We have created the largest network of IB schools in the country, and become the first city in the country to offer free tuition to community college for all high school graduates with a B average or better through the Chicago STAR scholarship. And starting with the class of 2020, we will ensure every student graduates with a postsecondary plan in hand, ensuring high school graduation is another milestone on the path to success and not a destination in and of itself.
By articulating a clear vision and setting tangible goals and metrics along the way Chicago Public Schools can continue to accelerate academic growth, break even more records and help even more students on the path to a brighter future. The City of Chicago is our home, the people of Chicago are our family, and every one of us is invested in and proud of our students’ success.
Mayor, City of Chicago
As the leaders of this district, we have a profound responsibility to the
children of Chicago. Their futures are in our hands. So if they are to become the thinkers, leaders and innovators we need them to be; we must provide them with equitable access to a high quality education. Their experience must be steeped in academic rigor, but it must also support the successful development of the whole child.
This work requires a clear and progressive vision. This vision acknowledges but does not allow the unique challenges facing many of our students to diminish expectations. It must inspire entire school communities — educators, parents and supporters — to place the potential of our children above everything else, including the financial challenges that continue to encroach upon our classrooms.
This report explores the details of that vision and provides an exciting roadmap for the future of Chicago Public Schools. It celebrates our successes, acknowledges those areas where we must do better and lays out a plan for placing all students on a path toward a bright and fulfilling life. We thank you for your interest in our vision and hope that you will continue using your gifts, talents and resources to advance the success of Chicago’s children.
Board of Education