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Section 1: What should school look like after the pandemic?

Our students deserve healthy, welcoming school facilities that center safety and support in the era of COVID — including both aid for trauma and the practical mitigations that helped tamp down COVID incidence once we returned to school buildings in 2021. Our safety...

1E: Allocating technology equitably

COVID was the impetus for a variety of new, flexible work and social interactions facilitated by technology. At the same time, the pandemic exposed the totally inadequate and inequitable technology resources available to Chicago’s public school students. While CPS...

Section Three: The Legacy of Segregation: A Stable Home Means a Stable School

While some think of school segregation as a thing of the past, segregation remains an ongoing issue for Chicago public school students, Black and Latinx students. School segregation in Chicago today plays a fundamental and active role in restricting educational...

Section Four: Conclusion

The years following the March 2020 school shutdowns were the hardest any teacher or student has experienced in recent memory. Students dealt with being isolated from friends and support networks, being unable to communicate in person with their teachers, and...

Introduction

The promise of public education is one of access and opportunity for millions regardless of background, origin, or ability. The reality, even before the COVID pandemic, falls far short of that vision. Despite these challenges, educators are expert at teaching courage,...

1D: The curriculum our students deserve

The summer of 2020’s anti-racist protests, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, empowered many students and gave them hope for a better future. And from an inclusive curriculum perspective, Illinois has been a national leader, including passing legislation in the...

1B: Addressing student trauma

Many Chicago students have had to face the unthinkable during the pandemic — serious illness or even death of a parent, grandparent, or other close family member. Normal routines have been disrupted. Some had to take on jobs or shoulder other responsibilities because...

Section Two: How do we fund the schools we need?

School funding, as CPS will readily admit, falls far short of the need. The pandemic has only exacerbated that need, at the same time that our schools do not exist in a vacuum. Our most profoundly underfunded schools also are in our most historically neglected...

1F: Facilities planning for accessibility and environment

The pandemic has made abundantly clear the need for school facilities that are safe and well ventilated. Chicago is behind the curve in this area. As outlined in the two previous editions of this report, we described in detail the challenging conditions of many school...

1C: Staffing for stability and success

Educators are the most important determinant of students’ success in school. Yet, in both the public narrative and the hard data, schools across the country face a steep educator shortage that the pandemic has exacerbated. According to a National Education Association...