Janice Jackson, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the nation’s third-largest school district, announced on Monday that she will be resigning, according to The Associated Press. Jackson’s resignation is the third in a string of high-profile school leadership resignations within the last several months.
Jackson has led CPS since 2018. During her tenure, she has led a 2019 strike and directed the school system during the pandemic that left more than 360,000 students learning from home.
The CEO had been attacked by Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) for making the return to in-person learning difficult.
“While I feel there is still more work to be done in CPS, I also believe it is time to pass the torch to new leadership for the next chapter,” Jackson wrote in a letter, according to the AP.
Jackson is not alone in her departure from CPS. The AP also noted LaTanya McDade, the next in leadership in the school system, will leave following the school year for a new role in Virginia.
The resignation marks a concerning trend of high-ranking school officials leaving office this year. Breitbart News reported Wednesday, “The chiefs of America’s three largest public school districts have resigned within two months of each other.”
The report noted the changes took place “following a tumultuous year marked by school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, the introduction of remote learning, and battles with teachers’ unions over resuming in-person learning.”
As students expect to return to more normal school schedules in the fall of 2021, many will find new leaders seeking a fresh start following a turbulent academic year.