More than a year ago, Walter H. Annenberg announced his intention to give half a billion dollars to support urban public school reform. Recently, Ambassador Annenberg pledged $49.2 million over five years to further reform efforts in Chicago's schools.
The Chicago Challenge is the work of the Chicago School Reform Collaborative, a broad-based group of parents, teachers, citizens and reformers. The theme of the challenge rests on four legs: the professional development and empowerment of teachers; the reorganization of schools into smaller learning environments; community-school partnerships; and system-wide change.
The Annenberg Challenge is designed so that money goes directly to schools working with community partners. The reinvented schools we envision will be places that provide a personalized, more intense and flexible learning experience for students. They will be sites where teachers have the time, authority and encouragement to think and reflect, in essence where they are expected to take risks and get smart.