October 27, 2016

The Fund Releases Update on Recommendations to Keep Chicago’s Top Principals

A Look Back, The Path Forward was released last night at an event with more than 100 Chicago principals. It is the first in a series that details results from The Fund’s 2016 Principal Engagement Survey.

CHICAGO – October 27, 2016 – Yesterday, The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) released A Look Back, The Path Forward. The interactive, web-based progress report highlights ongoing efforts to keep top talent in Chicago based on the four recommendations The Fund outlined in its 2015 report, Chicago’s Fight to Keep Top Principals. The progress report utilizes topline data from The Fund’s third annual Principal Engagement Survey, completed by 482 public school principals in Chicago, an overall response rate of 73 percent.

“This past year, 545 principals in Chicago’s 664 public schools chose to stay when we needed them most,” said Heather Y. Anichini, Chief Executive Officer of The Fund. “This was an important achievement in the face of real challenges, and we have to build on these successes to keep even more great principals in the year ahead. This will require creative commitments from many partners working together to make Chicago the best city in the country to lead a public school.”

Among its findings, the progress report notes that 78 percent of principal respondents want to shape citywide policies that impact their daily work. “Principals want experiences that allow us to positively impact issues that matter in our schools,” said July Cyrwus, principal at Lorca Elementary School and secretary of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. “I’ve worked with Chicago Public Schools leadership around policy changes before they are implemented and participated in focus groups on a variety of topics. Each of these experiences helped me represent the voices of my colleagues in a way that improves outcomes for all of Chicago’s students.”

To address this feedback, and in honor of Principal Appreciation Month, The Fund hosted an event for nearly 50 Chicago principals last night at Wells Fargo. The event honored principals in The Fund’s network, including those highlighted in the video and profiles included in the progress report. The event featured remarks from Dr. Janice K. Jackson, chief education officer at Chicago Public Schools. Kedra Newsom-Reeves, principal at the Boston Consulting Group, moderated a panel of principals with experience shaping citywide policy to prompt new ideas for how partners across the city can more fully leverage principal expertise in decision-making.

As a next step, The Fund will release its 2016 School Leadership Report and additional findings from this year’s principal survey during a presentation at the City Club of Chicago on Monday, November 14. The report will connect principal retention challenges and principal hiring practices to build upon current work and ensure a strong principal in each of Chicago’s public schools.

Access the interactive report.

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.

Visit www.thefundchicago.org or www.Facebook.com/TheFundChicago for more information.