A Quiet Revolution is Happening at Chicago Public Schools

The district has made historic academic progress in the past decade and we're embarking on an ambitious five-year plan to build on our past achievements and set the course for future success.

Core Values
CPS Five-Year Vision
As a district, we will work to ensure that the following core values are adhered to in all of our planning and practices:
Student Centered
We place students at the center of everything we do.
Whole Child
We support our students so they are healthy, safe, engaged, and academically challenged.
We eliminate barriers to success and ensure equitable opportunities for all students.
Academic Excellence
We provide diverse curriculum and programs with high academic standards to prepare students for future success.
Community Partnership
We rely on families, communities, and partners in every neighborhood to shape and support our shared mission.
Continuous Learning
We promote an environment of continuous learning throughout CPS for students, teachers, leaders, and district staff.
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 each group expressed for shaping the school district they envision: one that is equitable, inclusive, supportive, responsive, and makes us all proud.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Vision Booklet

Vision Booklet Vision Booklet Vision Booklet
English Download
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Three-Year Vision, 2016 - 2019

Success Starts Here

CPS Vision Banner

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.


Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel
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.


Frank Clark
Frank Clark Signature

Frank Clark
President, Chicago
Board of Education

Janice Jackson
Janice Jackson Signature

Janice K. Jackson, EdD
CEO, Chicago
Public Schools

The Creation of the Vision
Your Voice Matters

The vision for CPS could not have been created without the input of its stakeholders—principals, teachers, students, parents, district leaders and partners. Throughout the year-long process, these voices have shaped the path forward for the district.



More than 300 teachers participated in 8 Teacher Listening Tour sessions across the city where CPS leadership listened to their concerns and perspectives on district priorities.

Academic and operations teams planned and aligned their strategic priorities and goals. This began with exercises around our core values to create the foundation for the Vision and led to the development of our three commitments: academic progress, financial stability and integrity.


Met with leaders of other school districts to share best practices.

More than 130 people — academic and operational leaders, network chiefs, principals and teachers — wrote and revised the Vision framework.

More than 30 interviews with district leaders were conducted to capture the strategic priorities for CPS.

Launched the Vision framework to guide School Year 2016-17, while continuing to build out the strategic plan.


More than 1,000 parents, students, teachers and community leaders participated in 8 community vision meetings to introduce the Vision framework and garner input.


Continued meeting with district teams to develop and refine strategic plans.



Released the full Vision report with strategic plans and goals for CPS.

Page Last Modified on Tuesday, March 26, 2019