Dr. Janice K. Jackson has been immersed in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the nation’s third-largest district, her entire life. She was a CPS student from Head Start through 12th grade, then began her teaching career at Chicago’s South Shore High School. Prior to becoming CEO, Jackson served as principal, network chief, and chief education officer for CPS. During her tenure as chief education officer, Jackson focused on building excellence, equity, and access across the district, especially with regard to CPS high schools. Through a comprehensive strategy, she raised the bar for these crucial academic years, working to ensure every student in Chicago has a quality high school option within three miles of their home. Jackson was also the driving force behind GoCPS, the first common application system for all district and charter high schools. Launched in October 2017, the system has dramatically simplified the application process while improving access and equity. These efforts played an important role in propelling CPS to a record-high graduation rate, and Jackson’s support of a new graduation requirement that all students have a solid postsecondary plan is helping to ensure Chicago’s youth leave the classroom fully prepared for what comes next.

Jackson is committed to providing all schools with a clear framework for excellence. This includes high-quality curricular options aimed at minimizing the achievement gap, especially among students of color. The results of her approach can be seen in rising standardized test scores—especially among CPS’ English learners, whose progress has outpaced their peers nationally. As a progressive, forward-thinking educator, Jackson believes in setting high expectations. Her Three-Year Vision for CPS, unveiled in 2016, is a comprehensive, research-based plan focused on promoting academic quality, building stakeholder trust and integrity, and achieving fiscal stability.

Jackson holds a master’s in leadership and administration and a doctorate in urban school leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was a member of the University of Chicago’s Network for College Success and has been honored by the National Council of Negro Women Chicago as a Woman Making History. Jackson is a member of the Chiefs for Change Board of Directors.