It's probably not surprising that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson, who leads the nation's third-largest school district, shares a similar homegrown career background to former New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Jackson attended the city's schools before becoming a teacher and working her way to the top leadership position, and she still lives in the predominantly African-American community of Bronzeville.
"It's not about just making decisions and then I go back somewhere and nobody sees me," she told Education Dive during a recent visit to CPS' headquarters in downtown Chicago. "I see the same people who I'm making decisions for in the grocery store, at the park, at the rec center. I think being a part of the community is really important and it holds you accountable in a way that maybe I wouldn't be as accountable if I didn't have to look at the people every day who I'm making decisions for."