The Chicago Board of Education, founded in 1840, is responsible for the governance, organizational and financial oversight of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third largest school district in the United States of America. It establishes policies, standards, goals and initiatives to ensure accountability and provide a high quality, world-class education for the 21st century that prepares our students for success in college, work and life.
In 1987, Secretary of Education William Bennett declared Chicago Public Schools as “the worst in the nation.” In 1988, the Illinois General Assembly passed a school reform act which authorized Mayor Richard M. Daley to take control of Chicago’s crisis-riddled education system. The Chicago School Reform Act officially took effect on May 1, 1989 and one of the series of amendments created to effectuate change was the Amendatory Act. In 1995, it empowered Mayor Daley to appoint the five-member Reform Board of Trustees who embarked upon comprehensive reform measures to improve Chicago Public Schools.
In July 1999, the Amendatory Act restored the original title of the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, expanded the Board to seven members, and reinstated the position of Board Vice President. Today, Chicago Public Schools is regarded as a leading innovative model for public education around the nation.