BCG performed a systematic analysis of the principal pipeline in Chicago, studying who entered various training programs, where they came from, how many stayed until graduation, how many were placed, and—of those who were placed—how many stayed in the system. The analysis showed that new principals didn’t achieve high-quality status until at least three or four years on the job and that low retention of top principals was a potentially expensive—yet solvable—problem.
As a result of BCG’s data gathering and analysis, The Chicago Public Education Fund created a comprehensive strategy to attract, train, and retain high-quality principals. The organization now places renewed emphasis on retaining principals who have been trained and placed. To help raise retention rates, The Chicago Public Education Fund connects principals across the city to one another and engages them in workshops and programs to improve their practice. The retention rates of high-quality principals are now higher than they’ve ever been, and the organization is well on its way to its goal of 350 exceptional principals in city schools by 2018.
When I think about the trajectory that Chicago’s public schools have experienced and the real gains that we've seen academically and from a personnel standpoint, I can really trace a lot of that to the work in the early 2000s and the kind of investment that BCG was making in the district at that time.
The Chicago Public Education Fund seeks out and invests in innovative school leaders and organizations working to provide a world-class public education for all Chicago students. BCG has helped the organization transform its strategy to attract, train, and place high-quality principals in city schools—improving retention rates, and accelerating the organization's initiatives.