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By Dania Herrera ‘19
Chicago Public Schools has been a system led by seven different chief education officers and, Janice Jackson has been declared the new face of CPS.
Who is Janice Jackson?
Janice Jackson has become the first of seven CEO’s that has attended and taught a CPS school and now she is leading CPS as a whole. The previous chief executive producer, Forrest Claypool, have had no background in education whatsoever compared to Jackson, who was a committed individual, because she spent almost her entire life in CPS classrooms.
Visions for CPS?
According to cps.edu, “Her 3-Year Vision for CPS, which was unveiled in 2016, is a comprehensive, research-based strategy that will launch CPS to even higher levels of student achievement. The vision focuses on promoting academic quality, building stakeholder trust and integrity, and achieving fiscal stability, and is a carefully crafted plan for guiding work across the District.” The fact that Jackson is so determined to improve the education system gives her an advantage because people support her. Every family would like to see their children succeed and that is no lie.
Life in a CPS classroom: Making her way to the top
At South Shore High School, she began her career in 1999, she worked as a social studies teacher and debate team coach. Later on, “she became principal at Al Raby High School, then moved… to Westinghouse. After five years there, she entered her first central office position, overseeing 26 schools and more than 14,000 students as district network chief.” Clearly, obtaining the position of a CEO requires a lot of time, but in the end it seems worth it. Even though it took her a long time to get where she is, she never gave up because she knew her life was dedicated to improving the lives of students through education.
Achievements and education:
“Dr. Jackson holds a Masters in Leadership and Administration and a Doctorate in Education in Policy Studies… from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was a member of the University of Chicago’s Network for College Success, and is a past board member of the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. She was also honored by the National Council of Negro Women Chicago as a Woman Making History.” stated the cps.edu website. It is evident that Jackson is a driven person who is truly passionate when it comes to education for children in Chicago.
Influence and empowerment
This role model has become someone that young people look up to. As an African American woman, Jackson gives hope to society that the position of a CEO does not necessarily mean it belongs to a man. The fact that she is one of the few women who has been the leader of CPS creates change in today’s patriarchal world. The impact of her leadership in the education system provides an insight on how women can run things differently and so far it has been effective.