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Education & Early Learning

public-educationThe Education and Early Learning program at BPI focuses on improving the quality of public education for all Chicago schoolchildren, particularly those living in low- and very low-income neighborhoods.

BPI is working to encourage more joint planning and cooperation between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Housing Authority to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for residents living in both CHA mixed-income and the traditional (100%) public housing communities.

The first 10 years of CHA’s Plan for Transformation proceeded without significant cooperation or joint planning between CHA and CPS. Research reveals that the elementary schools near CHA mixed-income communities and traditional public housing developments are among the most challenged and lowest performing in the CPS system.

BPI’s efforts in this area are currently focused on the Altgeld-Riverdale Early Learning Coalition, which it launched in 2012.   This partnership of more than two dozen organizations focuses on providing comprehensive support services to children from birth to age 8 and their families, and is committed to ensuring that every child in the community is on track to succeed by third grade, cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally.


  • 2014: The Altgeld-Riverdale Parenting Program, providing free doula and home visiting services to young mothers age 21 and under is launched by BPI and the Altgeld-Riverdale Early Learning Coalition.
  • 2013: The Altgeld-Riverdale Early Learning Coalition and BPI jointly develop and introduce a community-wide information portal called
  • 2012: BPI introduces an early childhood learning initiative in the Altgeld Gardens/Riverdale community designed to strengthen early learning opportunities for children pre-birth to eight.
  • 2010: In collaboration with pro bono partner Sidley Austin, BPI files a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Illinois’ school funding system on the grounds that it discriminates against taxpayers living in property-poor school districts.
  • 2008: BPI initiates the Partnership for Instructional Leadership in collaboration with Targeted Leadership Consulting and eleven elementary schools in Chicago’s Logan Square, Hermosa and West Humboldt Park neighborhoods.
  • 2000: BPI spearheads the formation of The Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago for middle- and high school girls seeking a superior public education in math, science, and technology.
  • 1998: BPI launches its annual Chicago School Policy Forum series, bringing advocates, educators, and the business and philanthropic communities together to consider pressing school reform topics.
  • 1995-96: BPI plays a key role in the adoption of a formal resolution supporting small schools by the Chicago Public Schools Reform Board of Trustees. Nineteen new small schools are established.


Recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions

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