Press Release
March 2, 2012

Mayor Emanuel, CPS Announce $25,000 Signing Bonus for 50 Principals​, Partners for Principal Leadership Program

Chicago Leadership Collaborative and Increased Recruitment Efforts Will Ensure High-Performing Leaders in Every School
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Chicago - Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced a $25,000 signing bonus for up to 50 new principals and the recommended partners for CPS’ Chicago Leadership Collaborative (CLC) - a training and support program for principals that is designed to ensure that every school has a leader who can drive student achievement and graduate every student college and career ready. 

The signing bonus will help CPS recruit up to 50 principals to serve in low-performing schools.  CPS will conduct a nationwide search for principals and provide a $5,000 bonus to current CPS leaders who recruit high-performing principals.  The money to support this effort will be privately raised.

CPS also unveiled today its partners for the CLC initiative.  Loyola University Chicago, New Leaders, Teach for America/Harvard, and University of Illinois/Chicago will work with CPS in the coming months to begin preparing principal candidates for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. The recommended partners are subject to board approval. 

"Strong school leaders are the key to boosting student achievement as they set the bar for every student, teacher and parent at their school," said Mayor Emanuel, “A signing bonus will ensure that we attract the best principals from around the country, but we can also create the best principals by working with these organizations, which have the experience and expertise to develop a training program that will prepare the next generation of principals and provide our schools with effective leaders.” 

 Mayor Emanuel made the announcements at the “Education Now: Cities at the Forefront of Reform” forum in Washington D.C.  Mayor Emanuel was participating in a panel discussion with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as well as CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and Education Superintendents Dennis Walcott and John Deasy.

Partners chosen to help lead the CLC effort were selected for their successful track record in developing principal leaders, their rigorous system to recruit and select high potential candidates, and the program's alignment to the new CPS standards for principals.

“These partners will play a key role in giving aspiring principals the training and hands-on experience they need to enter a school ready to lead that school toward success on day one,” said Jean-Claude Brizard, CPS Chief Executive Officer. “And we need to prepare them for the unique challenges of our District in order to ensure that they are ready to lead change within their schools and drive student achievement.”

The CLC will offer aspiring principals coursework and experiences aligned with new leadership standards including:    

  • Creating power instructional systems
  • Championing teacher excellence
  • Building and nurturing a staff culture of excellence
  • Engineering and protecting a college and career ready culture
  • Empowering and motivating families and communities
  • Relentlessly pursuing self-disciplined thinking and action  

These standards work to help principals build a culture of learning within their schools that will drive student achievement.  

CLC will recruit, train, support and retain effective principals, creating a pipeline of highly qualified and high skilled leaders to meet the District’s growing needs.  Under the new program, CPS will triple the number of residency program seats available to aspiring school leaders from 32 to 100. Nearly 75 percent of current CPS principals come from within the CPS system and the mission of CLC is to provide them not only with real-world training, but also mentoring and development to help them be successful. A little over 1/2 of the internships will focus on the development of current assistant principals since nearly half of CPS’s new principals come from the assistant principal ranks.

During their year-long internships, aspiring principals will receive mentoring and coaching from high performing principals. By gaining real-world experience, candidates will also learn how to create a positive school culture by effectively engaging with key stakeholders. Through interacting with many different stakeholders - LSCs, parent groups, community organizations, teachers, staff, students and families - they will be better prepared to work with these groups as a new principal.

To ensure that CLC develops effective programs, CPS will conduct an ongoing monitoring of partner programs to ensure the RFP is being followed, an annual review of each program and participant outcomes and monitoring the student achievement results of program graduates who have earned principal positions.

“Our end goal is to improve student achievement by giving our new principals the tools they need to succeed and supporting our existing principals in ways that help them improve student performance year after year,” Brizard added. “The best gift we can give a child is a great teacher and the best gift we can give a teacher is a great principal.”

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