CEO Byrd-Bennett Announces 5-Year Action Plan for CPS 

New and enhanced initiatives will improve education experience for Chicago’s next generation

June 11, 2013

This week, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett unveiled her 5-Year Action Plan for the District – a comprehensive approach to providing every child from every neighborhood in Chicago with a rigorous, well-rounded curriculum that will prepare them for success in college, career and life.


“Every child in every community deserves a high-quality education in a safe learning environment with rich and robust investments that will give them all the tools they need to be successful in school and throughout life,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “While the District has made steady progress over the last few years, this plan will put every child on a path toward a 21st century high-quality education.”


Called “The Next Generation: Chicago’s Children”, this 5-year roadmap was developed with the feedback of parents, educators and community leaders, all of whom have a common goal – improved educational opportunities for children throughout the city. CEO Byrd-Bennett announced the plan in a policy address to Chicago-based education advocates gathered at George Westinghouse College Prep, all of them representing the spectrum of policies and initiatives put forth in the plan.


The Action Plan is anchored by five strategic pillars:


  • Pillar 1: High standards, rigorous curriculum and powerful instruction – By transitioning to Common Core State Standards and raising expectations, CPS will provide all students with a well-rounded curriculum that includes not only rigorous instruction in core subjects, but a rich experience in the arts, health and physical education, and extracurricular activities.  
  • Pillar 2: Systems of Supports that Meet All Students’ Needs – Every student is unique, therefore CPS must create a holistic approach to support their diverse needs. This plan will place a greater emphasis on helping all schools create a safe learning environment while increasing social and emotional learning and using reliable data to drive their decision-making process. The District is also committed to further increasing graduation rates and ensuring that every high school graduate develops a strong post-graduation plan prior to finishing school.
  • Pillar 3: Engaged and Empowered Families and Communities – By increasing outreach to school communities, the District will help create an army of believers who are invested in our students’ ability and potential to succeed. To make it easier for partners to become involved, the District will provide accessible, transparent information about performance, programs and the many opportunities partners have to engage with students and schools.
  • Pillar 4: Committed and Effective Teachers, Leaders and Staff – Through improved recruitment, evaluations, professional development and recognition programs, the District will work to fill every classroom and office with talented professionals whose gifts and commitment  will benefit our children every day.
  • Pillar 5: Sound Fiscal, Operational and Accountability Systems – Each CPS expenditure will be an investment in providing every child in every neighborhood with a high-quality education. The District will release an annual scorecard that incorporates feedback from parents, students and staff and measures such key factors as graduation rates, college enrollment, student attendance, academic growth, and the retention rates of high-performing teachers and staff.


The 5-Year Action Plan builds on a foundation that has already been put in place to help children thrive. Through increased investments in early-childhood education and full-day kindergarten to a full school day and single-calendar school year, CPS has shown a commitment to providing all students with the resources and learning environments they need to be critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers, all while supporting their diverse learning needs.


“As a city, the most important thing we can do is make sure we offer a bright future for the next generation, and a critical component is ensuring that every child in this city has an education that matches their full potential,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This comprehensive action plan provides a strategic roadmap for achieving this goal, grounded in the idea that with teachers and principals, engaged parents and supportive communities working together, our children can succeed.”


To read CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s full 5-Year Action Plan, visit