December 6, 2011

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Applauds Chicago Public Education Fund for Its Support of Innovation and Transformation of Chicago Public Schools

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with leaders and partners of the Chicago Public Education Fund this evening and applauded the organization’s new investments, which are aligned with the Mayor’s key priorities around creating new school models, improving leadership and developing teacher talent through stronger evaluation.

“I’m grateful to the Public Education Fund for it support of our efforts to transform public education in Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “With their help, we will achieve our goal of providing every child in every community throughout the city with a world-class education.”

The Mayor and Fund Chairman Brian Simmons also announced that Beth Swanson, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Education to the Mayor, will join the Fund board in a non-voting role to ensure ongoing communication, support and alignment with the City.

"Mayor Emanuel’s incredible vision and JC Brizard’s leadership of CPS affords us an incredible opportunity to rethink our own strategy and start anew with a fresh approach and a higher bar," said Brian Simmons, chairman of the Chicago Public Education Fund and a managing partner of CHS Capital, LLC. “From the start, our Mayor has made improving education a top priority.  Together, we are going to work toward this singular goal: creating the best urban school system in America.”

Created in 2001, the Chicago Public Education Fund was the first private venture philanthropy in the city devoted to education and one of the first in the nation to bet on talent as the most powerful lever of change in schools. The Fund’s Board of Directors is comprised of prominent Chicago corporate and civic leaders, who invest a significant amount of time and personal dollars in these priorities.

“We are excited about the partnership between the Fund and CPS, which will help us ensure that our children receive the quality education they need and deserve,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “Our children need every tool available to be able to compete and win.”

At the Fund’s “Our Path Forward” event, Simmons outlined $3 million of new investments in three key areas:

  • Pioneering the nation’s first district-based academy for schools chiefs, who are a critical layer of management at CPS. This program will be modeled on the Broad Superintendent’s Academy, a nationally renowned training ground that identifies and prepares prominent leaders.
  • Investing approximately $1 million around effective teachers, which builds on the Fund’s history of embedding quality teaching talent throughout CPS. This investment will focus on the two components required to implement a successful new teacher evaluation system:  measuring student growth and gauging effective practice through teacher observation.
  • Investing in the re-invention of classrooms with technology, so teachers can personalize instruction, maximize learning and improve student engagement. Models of instruction such as School of One, Rocketship, and Carpe Diem represent the type of innovative options the Fund plans to bring to Chicago.


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