Policy and Reports

Our policy work aims to improve the conditions under which school leaders operate, enabling Chicago to be the best city in which to lead a public school.

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For more than two decades, our team has invested significant resources
in advancing policy goals that matter to school leaders.

From eligibility to accountability to compensation, our model is simple:
We assemble a diverse group of principals, aspiring principals, and other stakeholders;
we facilitate a process for clarifying needs on all sides;
we leverage the available data; and we work toward collective action.

We start with school leaders.

In addition to principals and aspiring principals engaged in our programs, we gather insights from an annual Principal Engagement and AP Survey and publish the results through The Chicago Principal Partnership. We also engage educators through our Educator Advisory Council (EAC). Since 2013, we have gathered council members four to eight times annually to shape The Fund’s program and policy work. These educators are valuable members of our team, and have a direct impact on our work.

We support principal managers.

Locally, we also engage Local School Council (LSC) Members. These elected officials play a critical role in principal performance and leadership stability at the local level. We develop resources and create space for LSC members to learn from one another through bilingual workshops and focus groups. 

And we convene national partners.

Nationally, we launched a Community of Practice (CoP) in 2019. With 19 member organizations, the CoP gathers quarterly to share data, reflect on promising practice, and elevate principal voice.

See more about CoP collaborations here.

Reports

Four or five times a year, our policy work and data use informs results in public reports.
Our reports dive deep on the impact of our programs, the potential for policy change, and
the stories of our school leaders. You can read them all below.

Report categories

Type

Behind every one of Chicago’s excellent schools is a dedicated principal. Learn more about our five-year investment in principal leadership as a critical lever to improving schools.

The 2018-19 Chicago Principals Overview is our third annual report on the state of our city’s principals. We look at both charter and district-operated schools to measure the considerable impact of public school principals in Chicago.

In the 2018-19 school year, The Fund is providing tailored supports to 283 principals across almost every neighborhood in the city, representing over 150,000 students. Each year, we refine our flagship programming to be responsive to principal need. We also utilize pilot programs to test new approaches to principal support. This report includes a chart summarizing our programs, a map showing the location of participants and a narrative description of each program we offer.

The 2017 Progress Report is an interactive analysis that profiles Chicago’s public school principals, with an emphasis on details about new principals. This report allows you to easily explore demographics of principals; principal history and engagement in Fund programs; plus school demographics, governance, enrollment and performance.

Strong school leaders have proven to be a driving force behind student academic achievement in Chicago Public Schools. In fact, our public school students are improving more quickly than their peers nationwide. This progress is important, but there is more work to do. If Chicago hopes to accelerate these gains, we must understand the state of leadership in our public schools by taking a closer look at Chicago’s new principals.

Across Chicago, educators are designing and implementing solutions to help students reach their fullest potential and are leveraging new tools beyond traditional academic models, including hundreds of educators now implementing elements of personalized learning. This report features three case studies of Breakthrough Schools: Chicago Cohort One principals and their teams as they transform their schools’ instructional models. As other school leaders look to pursue personalized learning or school-based innovation more broadly, we are confident that they will learn from these pioneering school leaders.

This report identifies four promising practices related to implementing the Common Core State Standards, and profiles four principals who are using these practices to set a higher academic bar for students.

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