September 27, 2016

The Chicago Public Education Fund Expands Fellowships for Distinguished Principals in Chicago

Twenty-five principals chosen for local Northwestern University executive leadership program, and eight principals chosen for national Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals.

CHICAGO – September 27, 2016 – Today, The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) announced grants expanding two rigorous professional development opportunities for top Chicago principals. The third cohort of the Chicago Principals Fellowship at Northwestern University will expand from 20 to 25 principals, including five charter school principals. To date, 41 principals from Chicago’s public schools have participated in the Fellowship.

Additionally, spots for Chicago principals in the prestigious Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals at Teachers College, Columbia University (Cahn Fellows Program) will expand from two to eight. Before The Fund’s newest grant, no more than two Chicago principals were accepted into this national program’s annual cohort.

The Fund’s $500,000 three-year commitment made in 2014 for the Chicago Principals Fellowship, in addition to this year’s $126,000 grant for the Cahn Fellows Program, are connected to The Fund’s larger effort to increase principal quality citywide.

“High-quality principals have played a crucial role in the academic gains our students have made in recent years; providing principals with enriching professional development opportunities is crucial to keeping our top leaders,” said Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson, herself an alumna of the Cahn Program. “Last year, I met monthly with Principals Fellows to discuss critical issues facing the District and strategies to improve student success. These discussions have greatly impacted the work we do as a District. I look forward to collaborating with the new cohort of Fellows to keep creating new pathways to success for our children.”

The Chicago Principals Fellowship is a yearlong executive leadership program designed to support and retain top public school principals citywide. Made possible with support from The Fund and the Crown Family, the Chicago Principals Fellowship is developed and delivered by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and School of Education and Social Policy. Chicago Principal Fellows commit to continuing to lead within Chicago’s public schools for at least three years.

The Cahn Fellows Program is a national fellowship for distinguished principals from New York City, Chicago and Newark, NJ and focuses on enhancing the leadership of effective, experienced principals and their “allies” – teacher leaders and assistant principals who are interested in pursuing school leadership in the future. The Cahn Fellows, with their allies, complete capstone projects at their schools, often providing proof points that can lead to policy or practice changes in other schools.

“In our 2016 Principal Engagement Survey, 78 percent of principal respondents said they wanted to be involved in key policy decisions at the city level ,” said Heather Y. Anichini, President and CEO of The Fund. “Through these fellowships, our city’s top principals can help shape policies and programs that positively impact students and school communities. We believe that expanding opportunities like these will help keep Chicago’s top principals in the public schools that need them most.”

View the 2016-17 cohorts for the Chicago Principals Fellowship and Cahn Fellows Program.

Chicago Principals Fellowship

Cahn Fellows Program




About The Chicago Public Education Fund
The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) is a nonprofit organization working to increase the number of great public schools in Chicago by supporting talented principals and enabling effective educator teams to reinvent classroom learning. The Fund serves as a catalyst for accelerating positive learning and life outcomes for students in all of Chicago’s public schools and is a longstanding leader in identifying and scaling what works for teachers and principals, as well as for the students they serve. In 2013, The Fund launched a $20 million effort to more than double the number of top-performing principals in Chicago’s public schools by 2018. Since its founding in 2000, The Fund has provided professional development opportunities for more than 25 percent of Chicago’s public school principals and 10 percent of its teachers through its various grants and programs.

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