This week begins a new chapter in my CPS story, and I’m thrilled to be starting it with you as the district’s Acting Chief Executive Officer. I’ve been a CPS student, teacher, principal and senior administrator, but no experience has better informed my view of the district than becoming a CPS parent.
Having children in CPS has helped me better appreciate the importance of the district’s partnership with its families, and I want to make sure that connection is as strong as possible. I need to hear more from you about what is working well and how we can better support your children. To help strengthen our collaboration, I will be hosting community meetings beginning this spring and seeking out other opportunities for us to work together in support of our common goals.
As my team and I move forward, we will remain focused on our mission of providing every child in every neighborhood with a high quality education. We are also fully committed to the guiding principles of our three-year vision: academic progress, financial stability, and integrity. By holding true to these commitments, we will help ensure Chicago has the quality school system it deserves.
As a CPS educator and parent, I have ambitious goals for my children, and every child in Chicago, because I believe talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not – that core issue of equity is why I go to work every day to improve resources for our students. Whether it’s expanding access to full-day Pre-K, building on the nation’s largest network of International Baccalaureate schools, or investing in state-of-the-art facilities, I am deeply committed to creating new opportunities for our children so that they can all reach their potential. And by providing your children with the opportunities they deserve, there is no doubt we will reach our goals for improving college readiness, college enrollment and high school graduation for all students.
My goals for the district are ambitious and they will not be achieved overnight, but if recent progress is any indication, we are well on our way to creating a district that provides every child in Chicago with the high quality education they deserve.
In a short time, Chicago has emerged as the envy of school districts across the country. As the New York Times recently highlighted, our students receive six years of instruction in just five years of school and are improving at a faster rate than 96 percent of school districts in the U.S.
We are also on stronger financial footing than in recent years, which means we can provide our educators with the certainty that furlough days and mid-year cuts will not disrupt their exceptional progress.
CPS is truly a school district on the rise, and that’s because of you. Your partnership and commitment, along with the hard work of your children, have put us on a positive path, and I am committed to ensuring this trend continues so that every student – regardless of the neighborhood they live in or their unique needs – is provided the tools to succeed.
I thank you for your support, and I look forward to working with you to make our schools even stronger.
To learn more about my plans for the district and all of the amazing things happening in our schools, follow me on Twitter at @JaniceJackson.
Dr. Janice K. Jackson
Acting Chief Executive Officer