November 1, 2018

Chicago Principals Express Record High Job Satisfaction

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools joined the Chicago Public Education Fund today to release the results from its 2018 Principal Engagement Survey, The Fund’s annual measurement of principal satisfaction. According to the survey, principal job satisfaction is at a record high of 76 percent, and support for the district’s vision has nearly doubled in just two years, reaching 75 percent.

“Chicago has the best principals in the country, and they are more satisfied now than at any point in the past four years,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We are committed to investing in the programs and supports they need to continue their remarkable progress, and we are extremely grateful for their relentless commitment to our students.”

The survey response rate was the highest in Fund history – 82 percent of Chicago public school principals (531 individuals) took the survey representing schools across the city. Of those 531 principals, 76 percent say they are satisfied or very satisfied, an increase from 65 percent in 2017 and the highest ever in the history of the survey. Additionally, more principals than ever before stated they are motivated by the vision set forth by the district, increasing from 39 percent in 2016 to 75 percent this year.

“Our principals have been at the forefront of the unprecedented academic gains and national recognition Chicago’s schools have earned in recent years,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We are heartened to see that so many principals share our vision for the district, and we know that their unparalleled energy, dedication and expertise will help us reach our ultimate goal of providing every child in every school with a high quality education that prepares them for a successful future.”

65 percent of respondents stated they would recommend being a CPS principal to a qualified friend or family member, a nearly 20 percentage point increase from 47 percent last year. Over the years, Chicago has been nationally recognized by researchers and national education leaders for its innovative partnership structure that continues to expand opportunities to support principals through notable programs such as the Independent Schools Principals (ISP) program, the Cahn Fellows Program and the Chicago Principals Fellowship.

“These results are a signal that the broader education community is making progress in its efforts to make Chicago a great place for leading public schools,” said Fund CEO Heather Y. Anichini. “Of course, we can’t stop here. Chicago’s progress in schools relies on strong, supported principals. We need to continue to learn about what they need and how we can empower them to succeed.”

Principals also noted in the survey that direct learning and partnership with other principals were at the top of what made professional development effective, an aspect CPS and The Fund has been building on with the newly-formed Executive Principal Program. Launched last winter, the program provides a unique mentorship experience that pairs experienced principals with newer principals to provide hands-on support and guidance to help drive school improvement and provide experienced principals with additional leadership opportunities to support their peers.

“As former principals, Dr. Jackson and I understand the incredible effort put forward by our school leaders on a daily basis to help students reach their full potential,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. “Through our Principal Advisory Committee and regular visits to schools throughout the city, we have made principal engagement a high priority so that we can ensure they are supported and incorporate their unique insight into the policies and practices used to promote student success throughout the city.”

This year’s Principal Engagement Survey was conducted over a 10-week period from May through July 2018. Over the coming weeks, The Fund will launch focus groups to gain deeper insight into the survey results and determine priorities for improving the principal experience in Chicago.

Additional results can be found at www.ChicagoPrincipals.org.

Chicago Public Schools serves 361,000 students in 644 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.