January 28, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Unveils Innovative Partnership with the Starter League to Implement Web Development Course at CPS and CCC

Partnership Trains CPS and CCC Teachers and Designs Web Development Curriculum To Reach Thousands Chicago Students

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

As part of his commitment to ensuring that Chicago’s students are prepared to excel in the jobs and careers of tomorrow, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new partnership between Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and Chicago-based startup The Starter League to provide new web development courses that will reach thousands of Chicago students at the city’s five Early College STEM high schools, the city’s Technology Magnet Cluster high schools, and the City Colleges. The partnership includes detailed training for teachers and customized curricula for both high school and City Colleges students, increasing their access to the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the growing information technology field.

“This new partnership is an innovative way to ensure our high school and college students have the skills and education they need for the jobs of today and the careers of the future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “International companies and local startups alike look to Chicago as a city with top talent. Partnerships like this, as well as our expanding College to Careers program, work to help our students succeed and maintain our city’s status as a competitive destination.”

The Starter League is a Chicago-based startup that teaches beginners how to code, design, and ship web applications. It will work with CPS and CCC to build tailored web development courses ready for the 2013-2014 school year and will also craft a training program specially designed for teachers at CPS and CCC. Over the summer of 2013, The Starter League will train 10 CPS and 6 CCC teachers.

“Working with The Starter League will allow us to develop an exciting and rigorous curriculum that will further expand high-quality instructional options available to our students across our district,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “With this partnership, we can support our teachers in the expanding and ever-changing technology field, and also ensure that students are getting the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college, career and life.”

Because the information technology field continues to grow and evolve, The Starter League will also launch an online tool that provides trained CPS and CCC teachers access to continuously updated resources they can utilize in their classrooms. Additionally, CPS will evaluate the academic impact of this course over the next school year in order to consider expanding it from the city’s five Early College STEM high schools and Technology Magnet Cluster high schools to all CPS high school students in the coming years.

“This relationship will complement the cutting-edge technology programs we are developing in software engineering and web development; database and cloud management; and networking, technology and security to help ensure our students are ready to succeed in the 24,000 Chicago-area IT jobs expected over the next decade,” said Cheryl Hyman, Chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Mayor and the City of Chicago to bring beginner-focused software education to CPS and CCC.  The Starter League was founded on the idea that anyone, no matter their background, can realize their ideas through software development and design and solve meaningful problems through technology,” said Neal Sales-Griffin, co-founder and CEO of The Starter League. “We’ve proven this idea with hundreds of students in our own classrooms, and we can’t think of anything more important than sharing what we’ve learned about beginner-focused technology education with Chicago teachers. We value the opportunity to work with the Mayor, CPS, CCC and ultimately many more Chicagoans."

The partnership with The Starter League continues Mayor Emanuel’s commitment to providing Chicago students access to the skills, knowledge and training they need to excel in the careers of tomorrow. This past school year, five new Early College STEM Schools opened to CPS students that focus on the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and math. And in December 2011, Mayor Emanuel launched College to Careers, a nationally recognized initiative at CCC that partners industry experts with City Colleges faculty and staff to develop current and innovative curriculum, directly preparing students for careers in high-demand and high-growth fields and working to close the skills gap that often keeps people from filling currently available positions.


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