Representation Matters: Training CPS students to become CPS teachers

Dear CPS Families,
The rich, cultural diversity of our students is one of our district’s greatest strengths, and we need more teachers who reflect the diversity of our city and the students we serve. Research shows that all students benefit cognitively, socially, and emotionally when they have teachers of color, but for students of color in particular, having a teacher of the same race or ethnicity also helps improve attendance, test scores, and graduation rates. Today, in partnership with the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and Illinois State University (ISU), we are launching a groundbreaking partnership to build a more diverse teacher workforce and creating a clear pathway for Black and Latinx CPS students to become CPS teachers.
Our most diverse pool of potential teacher talent is enrolled in our schools right now. About 10 percent of CPS high school students have expressed a serious interest in teaching, but not nearly enough are following through on that dream due to many of the barriers common to first-generation college students, including financial obstacles and an uncertainty about how to successfully navigate the path between high school graduation and a teaching career. As part of our district’s commitment to equity, Teach Chicago Tomorrow will support students who have an interest in teaching by providing them with a clear pathway through college and a job teaching students in a CPS school.
The program’s first cohort, which will include up to 100 CPS seniors from the Class of 2021, will attend enrichment programs next summer before enrolling at CCC for their first two years of college coursework. These students will then transfer to ISU and complete their bachelor’s degree in education at satellite classrooms in Chicago, and they will subsequently receive an early offer for a teaching position with CPS. We estimate that by 2025, Teach Chicago Tomorrow will graduate its first group of 100 new teachers, moving the district towards its long-term goal to triple the number of CPS grads hired to more than 500 annually.
If your high school senior has an interest in teaching and would like more information on applying for the first Teach Chicago Tomorrow cohort, please visit the Teach Chicago Tomorrow website for more information.
Janice K. Jackson, EdD       LaTanya D. McDade
Chief Executive Officer       Chief Education Officer
Chicago Public Schools       Chicago Public Schools