Turnover at the Top: Chicago Public Schools CEOs

Oct. 14, 2019
Since the Chicago public school system was placed under the direct control of the city's mayor in 1995, eight people (not counting interim appointments) have served as district CEO.

The tenure for school district superintendents or chief executive officers is notoriously short, especially in large urban systems.

In the Chicago school system, the nation's third-largest public district, eight people have served as permanent CEOs since the schools were placed under direct control of the city's mayor in 1995. The tenure of those administrators ranged from less than two years to more than seven.

Pedro Martinez was named CEO in September 2021. A graduate of the Chicago Public Schools, Martinez returned to his hometown after working as superintendent of the San Antonio (Texas) Independent School District. He also served as superintendent in the Washoe County (Nev.) district and as a deputy superintendent in the Clark County (Nev.) district.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed Martinez to replace Janice Jackson, who resigned earlier in 2021 after a little more than three years as district CEO.

Jackson, who had been the district's chief education officer, was promoted to CEO in December 2017.

Here is a look at Martinez and his seven predecessors.