Chicago schools chief stepping down, part of wave of exits in district leadership ranks

Janice Jackson, whose three-and-a-half year tenure was marked by record high graduation rates, a pandemic, and a tumultuous teachers strike, will step down as head of the nation’s third largest school district when her contract expires in June.

Jackson, who frequently called the CEO of Chicago Public Schools role her “dream job,” confirmed the news Monday in a letter to staff. She said she chose not to renew her contract after a challenging year full of issues that required round-the-clock attention and took her energy away from her school-age children.

Blinking back tears at a press conference, Jackson said that she was not leaving the district to run another and planned to stay active in public education – and in the short term, at least, spend more time with her family.

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