While students look a week or two ahead for summer break to start, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools is looking ahead several years to ensure high-quality education.
Barbara Byrd-Bennett on Monday announced her five-year plan for the district, which has seen its fair share of controversy this year alone.
“While the District has made steady progress over the last few years, this plan will put every child on a path toward a 21st high-quality education,” Byrd-Bennett said.
The school year started with a teacher strike in September that ended with some changes, including a longer school day for CPS students. The district then announced plans to close dozens of schools, triggering months of protests.
In the end 50 schools will close at the end of the year and once that's done, CPS has promised a five-year moratorium on closings for five years.
Some of the highlights of Byrd-Bennett's plan include strengthened partnerships with parents and communities that include more parent centers and a citywide mentorship initiative.
An annual district report card that aims to keep the public informed is also new. It will include important stats like attendance numbers, graduation rates and college enrollment numbers.
As part of a post-secondary strategy, Byrd-Bennett says all high school students will have a post-graduation plan to prepare them for a "bright future in college, career, and life."
“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,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “This comprehensive action plan provides a strategic roadmap for achieving this goal."
Officials from the Chicago Teachers Union blasted the plan, saying it was made without any teacher input and calling it "old win in a new bottle."