Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson today announced a $75 million investment in high schools throughout the City of Chicago to add, upgrade or renovate science labs and ensure all students receive a robust science education that prepares them to excel in 21st Century careers. In 2017, CPS announced a realignment of its high school science curriculum and graduation requirements to provide a more comprehensive science education that aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This $75 million investment will support new or renovated labs at 82 high schools over the next three years, which will help students meet the new graduation requirement and prepare them for rigorous college coursework.
“Every student in Chicago deserves equitable access to resources that make learning come to life,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago’s students are leading the country in academic gains, and this investment in state-of-the-art science labs in high schools across Chicago will accelerate that unprecedented progress and inspire the next generation of scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs in our city.”
This investment will ensure every high school has state-of-the-art science equipment and a lab layout that’s designed to facilitate learning in the same location as the experiments, which encourages collaborative laboratory activities that support student learning. Additionally, CPS science teachers will be trained to implement the new science curriculum through workshops with Northwestern’s Baxter Center for Science Education, in addition to other professional learning opportunities.
“Labs are designed for experimentation, learning and inspiration, and when students are given state-of-the-art labs, along with quality instruction, the possibilities are endless,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “In today’s economy, providing students with a high quality STEM education is more important than ever, and CPS and the City of Chicago are working together to ensure that every student in every neighborhood has a state-of-the-art science lab to prepare them for success in the 21st Century.”
In 2017, CPS announced a new high school science curriculum to prepare students for STEM careers and provide a more comprehensive and consistent curriculum. Currently, all high school students are required to earn 3 credits in science, including 1 credit in biology and 2 credits in other lab sciences. By 2022, students will earn at least 1 credit in biology, 1 credit in chemistry and 1 credit in physics, which will align CPS with state-wide NGSS and better prepare students for the SAT and college courses.
By investing in state-of-the-art science labs, CPS and the City of Chicago will help high school students achieve the science credits they need to graduate, and better prepare them for opportunities in STEM fields.
Ensuring every high school in Chicago has access to a state-of-the-art science lab will support Mayor Emanuel’s ambitious Learn.Plan.Succeed. graduation initiative to help promote postsecondary success for students by ensuring all CPS students develop plans for life after graduation. Through this investment and new science curriculum, more students will be better prepared to explore a variety of professional opportunities and explore in rigorous college coursework.
CPS is the first large urban district in the country to implement Learn.Plan.Succeed., which many CPS schools have successfully implemented on their own.
Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.