Center for American Progress

EVENT ADVISORY: Unpacking Chicago’s Educational Gains: Lessons in Scaling
Press Advisory

EVENT ADVISORY: Unpacking Chicago’s Educational Gains: Lessons in Scaling

Washington, D.C. — On Friday, April 13, the Center for American Progress and the Education Trust, joined by Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools Dr. Janice K. Jackson, will bring together researchers, policy experts, and practitioners to explore what happened in Chicago that led to such significant gains in student outcomes.

Amid a lot of dreary education news, a quietly released study from leading education researcher Professor Sean Reardon revealed a surprising bright spot: From 2009 to 2014, Chicago Public School (CPS) students, on average, learned more between third and eighth grade than did their peers across 96 percent of all school districts across the United States. What’s more, this growth occurred across all racial and socioeconomic subgroups.

Chicago has also made monumental gains in its graduation rate and other key academic benchmarks. In 2011, slightly more than half of CPS students earned a high school diploma, and in 2017, 77.5 percent of CPS seniors graduated high school—far outpacing the national growth average overall and among African American and Hispanic students. And for the very first time, the rate of CPS graduates enrolling in four-year colleges has risen to meet the national average, increasing from 33 percent in 2006 to 44 percent in 2015.

While Chicago’s progress has gained some attention, both reporters and researchers have yet to uncover what has propelled this breakthrough. Join us on Friday, April 13 to learn more.

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Introductory remarks:

Neera Tanden, President and CEO, Center for American Progress

In conversation:

Dr. Janice J. Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Public Schools

Featured panelists:

Heather Anichini, President and CEO, The Chicago Public Education Fund

Rodolfo Rojas, Principal, Edward Everett Elementary School, Chicago Public Schools

Sara Ray Stoelinga, Sara Liston Spurlark Director, University of Chicago Urban Education Institute


Beth Swanson, former Deputy for Education to Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Vice President of Strategy and Programs, The Joyce Foundation

Closing remarks:

Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL)



April 13, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET


Center for American Progress

1333 H Street NW 10th Floor

Washington, D.C., 20005


A light breakfast will be served at 10:00 a.m.


For more information, please contact Colin Seeberger at [email protected] or 202-741-6292.