Academic Progress

In young people, a high-quality education develops not only strong academic skills, but also a love of learning, the ability to work with others, the motivation to take initiative, the experience to solve problems creatively, the knowledge to live healthy lives, and the desire to become active citizens in their communities. We will design instruction and learning environments that provide for individual needs and help prepare all of our students for a successful adulthood.

High-Quality Rigorous Instruction

We are committed to sending every CPS graduate into the world with a clear plan for their future. Our plan for academic progress encompasses all education levels, beginning with pre-kindergarten enrollment and ending with college completion. To provide the education required for a global economy, schools will be equipped with high-quality curriculum, lessons, assessments, and intervention systems. Classroom instruction will be designed to challenge, support, and inspire.

Strategies to Meet Five-Year Goals:
  • Provide universal full-day pre-kindergarten.
  • Support common, high-quality assessments for early literacy and math.
  • Strengthen every school’s system for providing educational equity
  • Establish school interventions to prevent chronic absence and truancy.
  • Design a rigorous Pre-K-12 curriculum that is uniquely Chicago’s.
  • Create student assessment systems to guide teaching.
  • Strengthen supports for English learners.
  • Increase the number of schools with dual language programs.
  • Support more schools to adopt “Personalized Learning.”
  • Expand opportunities for civic learning.
Five-Year Goals
50% increase in the number of incoming kindergarten students meeting readiness benchmarks across all developmental domains.
70% of students will be at or above national attainment for math.*
65% of students will attain national average growth for reading.
65% of students will attain national average growth for math.
65% of second-grade students will be at or above national attainment for reading.*
65% of second-grade students will be at or above national attainment for math.*
Elevating Instruction

We’re focused on strengthening instruction district-wide in every major subject area. Our goal is to train our students to think deeply about challenging content and to solve problems creatively. Improving instruction district-wide is part of our commitment to equity.

English Language Arts

In 2019-2020, our early literacy initiative CPS P-3 will expand to pre-kindergarten through third grade classrooms districtwide and by 2024 every CPS elementary school will have an early literacy program aligned to the P-3 initiative. Over the next five years, we will work to strengthen English language arts instruction to promote deeper thinking, more in-depth writing and research, and more challenging and relevant content.


CPS is training its students to think like mathematicians by challenging students to solve real-world scenarios through math. Within five years, problem-solving will be at the heart of math instruction at every CPS school. We are also increasing the availability of high school algebra for 8th graders across the city and we will ensure that every CPS elementary school has at least one algebra class taught by a credentialed teacher.


Over the next five years, all CPS elementary schools will use a high-quality science curriculum and provide daily science lessons to K-8 students. High school students will take rigorous year-long courses in biology, chemist, and physics, preparing them well for college coursework and careers. CPS plans on investing $75 million in state-of-the-art science labs at 82 high schools over the next three years.

Social Science

CPS is developing a new K-12 social science curriculum, aligned to the new Illinois Social Science Standards, that teaches students to be critical thinkers and communicators who know how to analyze the past and its impact on the present and take meaningful action for the greater good. Students will learn to understand how governments and economic systems have adapted to a constantly changing world and how individuals and groups have informed and influenced these systems.

Financial Education

Within the next five years, CPS will launch a financial education initiative for grades K-8 that will include a framework for age-appropriate classroom instruction, curriculum, teacher training, and experiential learning opportunities for real-life application. The goal is to equip our students and families with the knowledge, skills, habits, and tools that promote their long-term financial health and wellness.


To support CPS art teachers in adopting the new Illinois Arts Learning Standards, exemplary art teachers will open their classrooms as demonstration sites that colleagues from other schools can learn from. Students will get familiar with the creative process that can be applied to music, drama, dance, and visual and media arts. While learning and practicing new artistic techniques, students will get the opportunity to brainstorm and play to discover many possibilities for what they might create.

Health & Phyiscal Education

CPS will offer new a high school health curriculum beginning in fall 2018; Pre-K-8 schools will be able to adopt a similar one in the 2019-2020 school year. Students will learn important health content while practicing skills that keep them healthy. Skills include making informed decisions, judging the reliability of online health content, and advocating for themselves in the face of peer pressure.

Computer Science

CPS leads the nation in K-12 computer science education. Its innovative Computer Science for All (CS4ALL) curriculum now requires one credit of computer science for high school graduation. Students will learn computer science skills through projects such as programming robots, or creating an app to address a community issue, and teaches students critical thinking and creative-problem solving. Over the next five years, 75 elementary schools will adopt a computer science curriculum.

World Language

CPS students can now graduate high school prepared for college-level coursework in English and another world language and earn a CPS “Seal of Biliteracy” on their transcripts. This seal certifies for colleges and employers a student’s mastery of two or more languages. CPS will expand world language programs in the West Side and the South Side through the Academic Program Request for Proposal, to ensure equity in program placement and course offerings.

Five-Year Goals
50% of students will meet college readiness benchmarks on the SAT.
90% of students will graduate high school within five years.
90% of freshmen will be on track to graduate high school.
60% of graduates will earn an Early College and Career Credential.
78% of graduates will enroll in college.
Supporting Student Success in High School and Beyond

CPS is committed to setting our high school students on a path toward a rewarding future by providing more equitable access to IB, AP, and college-level coursework in high school, while bolstering African American and Latinx enrollment in these courses. By working closely with colleges and universities we will support their postsecondary success. We will focus on finding innovative ways to support our most vulnerable students and ensure they complete high school.

Strategies to Meet Five-Year Goals:
  • Ensure every CPS graduate has a postsecondary plan.
  • Provide students with on-the-job learning.
  • Increase equity of opportunity for college credit:
    • Early College STEM
    • Dual Credit and Dual Enrollment
    • Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Strengthen supports for students in Options Schools.
  • Increase the number of schools with dual language programs.
  • Hold ourselves accountable to student success beyond high school.
  • Bolster collaboration between CPS and City Colleges of Chicago to improve college completion and credential attainment.
Janice K. Jackson
Talented & Empowered Educators

We will recruit, develop, support, and retain high-quality educators and leaders.

Strategies to Meet Five-Year Goals for Teacher Recruitment and Development:
  • Support teacher recruitment and retention at high-need schools.
  • Expand teacher residency programs.
  • Inspire CPS students to become CPS teachers.
  • Expand teacher preparation partnerships and targeted recruiting.
  • Provide mentoring and induction for new teachers.
  • Invest in teacher leadership that improves student learning.
Strategies to Meet Five-Year Goals for Leadership Recruitment and Development:
  • Create clear pathways for leadership growth.
  • Maintain and strengthen our investment in school leadership.
  • Refine the principal eligibility system.
  • Minimize the impact of principal transitions of students.
  • Mentor promising leaders to increase the diversity of district leadership.
Five-Year Goals
Hire an additional 3,000 African American and Latinx teachers by 2024.
Promote teacher retention at Opportunity Schools so it is on par with the district average.
Retain highly-effective school leaders while capping the principal departure rate at 9%.
Increase the percentage of CPS employees who report high levels of engagement at work.
Janice K. Jackson
Five-Year Goals
100% of schools will earn the Supportive School Certification.
100% of schools will earn the Safe School Certification.
100% of schools will achieve Health CPS Certification.
10% annual decline in suspensions and expulsions due to the use of restorative practices.
Safety & Support

CPS will ensure the health and safety of every student.

Strategies to Meet Five-Year Goals:
  • Expand the Safe Passage Program.
  • Strengthen our comprehensive approach to school safety.
  • Ensure that youth of all sexual and gender orientations are safe and supported.
  • Create a comprehensive system to prevent sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination.
  • Support school cultures that enhance learning.
  • Increase access to student health services.
  • Ensure that eligible families receive public benefits.
  • Create a Student Bill of Rights.
  • Enhance support to newly immigrated students.
Continue to the next section
Financial Stability

Page Last Modified on Friday, June 21, 2019