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Vision, Mission, Commitments

Defining What We Want to Achieve

Chicago Public Schools is truly a district on the rise. The last five years have been an unprecedented success for CPS, and during that time, our district has emerged as a beacon of what is achievable for large urban school districts across the country.

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Our Mission

To provide a high-quality public education for every child, in every neighborhood, that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life.

Vision & Mission

This plan outlines our Vision for what we aspire to, our Mission to provide world-class educational programs for all students across the city; and the core Commitments we are making to our families and all Chicagoans as we pursue them with a focus on equity in all we do.

CPS Five-Year Vision

Core Values

As a district, we will work to ensure that the following core values are adhered to in all of our planning and practices:

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Student Centered

We place students at the center of everything we do.

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Whole Child

We support our students so they are healthy, safe, engaged, and academically challenged.

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We eliminate barriers to success and ensure equitable opportunities for all students.

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Academic Excellence

We provide diverse curriculum and programs with high academic standards to prepare students for future success.

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Community Partnership

We rely on families, communities, and partners in every neighborhood to shape and support our shared mission.

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Continuous Learning

We promote an environment of continuous learning throughout CPS for students, teachers, leaders, and district staff.

Five-Year Goals

Where we want to be in five years

We believe that CPS is just getting starting in our journey to the new heights our school district can achieve. So to prepare our students for success in a global economy, we are elevating instruction in every content area to emphasize deeper reasoning and creative problem-solving.


Increase in the number of incoming kindergartners meeting benchmarks across all developmental domains.


2nd grade students will be at or above national attainment for reading.


2nd grade students will be at or above national attainment for math.

Creating the Vision

CPS Five-Year Vision

Across Chicago, we met with students, parents, teachers, leaders, partners, and community members to learn about their vision for the future of CPS. Those ideas and insights are reflected in this plan and will guide us over the next five years. Below are the top three ideas of each group expressed for shaping the school district they envision: one that is equitable, inclusive, supportive, responsive, and makes us all proud.

Students Want

  • More student representation in school and district planning and decision-making
  • Opportunities to express their own viewpoints and feel supported and engaged by teachers, principals, and the district
  • Their needs placed before everything else
  • Over 2,000 students engaged through Student Voice Committees completing surveys and focus groups

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Educators Want

  • A stronger emphasis on engaging families, communities, and external partners in the school
  • More opportunities for teachers to develop their leadership skills and pursue clearer pathways to teacher leader and administrative roles
  • Equity in the distribution of school programs, such as fine arts, STEM, International Baccalaureate, and world language
  • Over 5,200 engaged through surveys and focus groups, including over 3,200 teachers and over 1,900 other school-based educators

Parents and Community Members Want

  • An increase in direct communication from district leadership, such as through more community town hall meetings
  • A clearer understanding of how schools are rated and how school programming and budget decisions are made
  • More opportunities to learn how to support students in high school selection, college and career options, and transitioning into life after high school graduation
  • Over 2,100 engaged through surveys in English and Spanish and focus groups

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Philanthropic, Business, Higher Education, Health, Cultural, and Community Partners Want

  • A clearly defined role in supporting CPS to achieve its vision to maximize impact and properly steward resources
  • A better understanding of equity issues and how they can support equity goals
  • A role in educating CPS students and families on the many pathways possible after graduating high school
  • Over 150 engaged through focus groups and partner meetings

Principals Want

  • Acknowledgement and celebration of school efforts and achievements
  • More support to attract and develop highly-qualified teachers, especially those with expertise in areas of high need
  • Greater emphasis on life and professional skills for students
  • Over 500 engaged through surveys and focus groups

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We All Want

  • Every school to be one of high-quality and opportunity
  • A shared belief in communities as the bedrock for school success
  • A shared excitement and pride in being a part of CPS


Access All of Our New Vision Documents