School & District Management

Janice Jackson Named Permanent CEO of Chicago Public Schools

By Denisa R. Superville — January 24, 2018 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Chicago’s school board on Wednesday officially named Janice Jackson, a longtime educator in the city who has been serving as interim district leader for the last month, as its permanent CEO.

Jackson, 40, replaces Forrest Claypool, who stepped down in December after the district’s inspector general released a report accusing him of repeatedly lying during an ethic probe. The IG recommended Claypool’s termination.

Jackson is the third permanent CEO—Chicago uses the term CEO, not superintendent, for its K-12 top official—to lead the nation’s third-largest school district in the last three years and the fourth to do so since 2009 when Arne Duncan left the position to become the U.S. secretary of education. The last three schools’ chiefs—Jean Claude Brizard, Barbara Byrd Bennett, and Claypool—were appointed by current Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Claypool succeeded Byrd-Bennett in 2015 after she resigned in connection to a kickback scheme. The government accused her of conspiring with the owners of a leadership development company to receive financial kickbacks in return for steering district contracts their way. Byrd-Bennett is now serving a four and a half-year prison sentence in connection to the bribery scheme.

Jackson rose up through the ranks, starting as a history teacher at South Shore High school, and later becoming a principal, principal supervisor, and chief education officer.

In a video message to the district earlier this month, Jackson said she wanted to ensure that CPS students have the quality schools that they deserve, that they will thrive in their schools and that teachers and principals will have the resources they need to educate students.

Jackson said she was speaking to the community, not as the interim school leader, but as a parent whose child attends district schools. The role of a parent, she said, has better informed her view of the district. She promised to focus on parental engagement, which she said would be a top priority for her. And she committed to a series of community meetings in the spring to discuss the district’s needs.

“I want to know what’s working and what isn’t,” she said. “I want to understand how we’re helping your kids thrive, but also where we need to do better.”

Jackson said that the recent change in leadership has not altered the district’s core mission to continue its academic progress—including improving its high school graduation rates and college readiness rates—and ensure financial stability and integrity districtwide.

Emanuel made note of Jackson’s long connection to CPS in a statement on her appointment.

“Janice brings a lifetime of experience, knowledge and leadership to Chicago Public Schools,” Emanuel said. “As a CPS alumni, parent, teacher, principal, network chief, and Chief Education Officer, Janice’s passion for public education, commitment to Chicago’s students and strong leadership skills have earned her the respect and admiration of the entire CPS community. As Chicago’s students continue to shatter national academic records and make unprecedented progress in and out of the classroom, nobody is more qualified or capable to continue to support their success and lead the district into the future than Janice.”

Image caption: Janice Jackson, was named the permanent CEO of the Chicago school system, on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Photo courtesy Chicago Public School. (File photo)

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion Best Ways for Schools to Prepare for the Next Pandemic
Being better connected to families and the community and diversifying the education workforce are some of the ways to be ready.
14 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School & District Management From Our Research Center Educators' Support for COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates Is Rising Dramatically
Nearly 60 percent of educators say students who are old enough to receive COVID vaccines should be required to get them to attend school.

4 min read
Mariah Vaughn, a 15-year-old Highland Park student, prepares to receive a COVID-19 vaccine during the vaccine clinic at Topeka High School on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021.
Mariah Vaughn, 15, a student at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kan., prepares to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at her school in August.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP
School & District Management 10 Ways to Tackle Education's Urgent Challenges
As the school year gets underway, we ask hard questions about education’s biggest challenges and offer some solutions.
2 min read
Conceptual Image of schools preparing for the pandemic
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Reported Essay Principals Need Social-Emotional Support, Too
By overlooking the well-being of their school leaders, districts could limit how much their schools can flourish.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week