Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city.  

FY 2015
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Mayor showcases our partnership's impact in education 

On Thursday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel described his future education agenda and highlighted the successes of the past four years. Civic Consulting Alliance and its partners have been central to many of the successes Mayor Emanuel described.


Thrive Chicago: Hundreds of Chicago-based organizations are collaborating and sharing best practices to increase the number of Chicago youth who graduate from high school, earn credentials of economic value, and go on to successful careers. Through Thrive, Chicago Public Schools and eight other organizations are piloting an effort to share data between schools and youth-serving organizations. These organizations will receive daily updates on student attendance, grades, and other information, allowing them to positively intervene in students' lives.


Pro bono partners: Deloitte, DLA Piper, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, KPMG, McKinsey & Company


City Colleges Reinvention: Since 2007, Civic Consulting Alliance and pro bono partners have supported Reinvention, the most ambitious transformation of a community college system in the nation. Under Reinvention, graduation rates have doubled - and are on track to double again - as the City Colleges prepare Chicagoans for the jobs of the future. Today, we are helping City Colleges students prepare for high-quality healthcare jobs by consolidating disparate healthcare programs into a new, $250 million, state-of-the art Malcolm X campus. 


Mayor Emanuel commented, "We have turned our City Colleges from teaching students what they should have learned in high school to preparing them for good-paying jobs and good careers."


Pro bono partners: Accenture, Bain and Company, The Boston Consulting Group, KPMG LLP, Lantern Partners, McKinsey & Company, Monitor Group, R. Kent Carson, Towers Watson


Early College STEM schools: To provide Chicago students with the skills they need to succeed in the modern workforce, Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago are working together to provide college-level Math and English courses to high school students at five Early College STEM Schools. Corporate partners are working with these schools to provide mentors, advise on curriculum design, and offer project-based learning experiences to students. Civic Consulting Alliance and partners developed an implementation plan for the initiative, which will allow participating students to graduate with both high school diplomas and associate degrees in four to six years.


Mayor Emanuel commented: "This is what led us to expand high-quality high school options through STEM schools."




STEM strategy: By 2018, one out of five jobs in Cook County is expected to be in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field, with the majority requiring a bachelor's degree. To help Chicago students prepare for these jobs, Civic Consulting Alliance and pro bono partners developed a citywide strategy to triple the number of students prepared to enter careers in STEM fields. Eleven priority areas for investment were identified by a team from the Mayor's Office, Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago, local universities, businesses and non-profits.


Mayor Emanuel commented, "In our first term, we launched a STEM strategy that will train 1,000 teachers in science, technology, engineering and math skills - and triple the number of students that receive STEM credentials by the year 2018."


Pro bono partners: Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company


Principal quality initiative: Of all the factors that lead to effective schools, a high-quality principal is an immutable necessity. Great leaders attract, develop, and retain great teachers, transforming educational outcomes for students. Civic Consulting Alliance supported Chicago Public Schools' goal of putting an effective, high quality principal in every school by establishing a program management office to oversee, coordinate, and support 16 strategic initiatives.


Mayor Emanuel commented: "We are now training 75 to 80 new principals each year, which is quadruple the number in the past."


Pro bono partners: Bain & Company, Ernst & Young, McKinsey & Company, Shaun Considine


Dual enrollment: To expose Chicago high school students to college and allow them to earn college credit, Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago have collaborated to offer college-level courses in high schools. Civic Consulting Alliance researched best practices from other districts and provided project management to support the collaboration.


Mayor Emanuel commented, "We will build upon our growing dual credit/dual enrollment program, which provides students with opportunities to earn City Colleges credit while still in high school."


Pro bono partner: Bain & Company


For more information, please contact Brian Battle.


In the news: Emanuel Unveils Second-Term Education Agenda


Shining a spotlight on youth success 

 will help youth-serving organizations hold themselves accountable. By consolidating measures of youth success in a single report, Thrive is bringing visibility to the state of Chicago's youth.

This report will help support students like Vanessa, a low-income, first-generation college student with exceptional high school grades. When Vanessa began to fail tests during her freshman year of college, she started questioning whether she really belonged on campus. In Chicago, thousands of academically promising students like Vanessa drop out of college every year.


Thrive's new report shines a spotlight on the challenge of college persistence and other educational milestones. The data reveal whether youth outcomes are improving and will inform collaborative youth-serving initiatives launched through Thrive Chicago.


"From cradle to career, we are working to ensure our children have the quality education they deserve," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Through this support and collaborative efforts like Thrive Chicago, Chicago students will remain on the track to college, career, and a successful future."

The release of the report marks the first of many periodic progress reports to come from Thrive as it brings together public and private sectors to help all Chicago youth succeed.

Click here to read the report. 

For more information, please contact Brian Battle.


Big changes expected from City Treasurer  

In October, Mayor Emanuel appointed Kurt Summers, Jr. as City Treasurer, with responsibility for managing the City's $7 billion investment portfolio. Civic Consulting Alliance convened pro bono experts from the legal, financial, and consulting sectors to prepare a transition plan to guide the office's strategy.


Over a few short weeks, the team identified tens of millions of dollars in potential savings for the City. The team also identified several initiatives that could greatly increase the number of residents served by the City and accelerate the flow of investment dollars into Chicago communities.

The team's work included: 

  • Determining the statutory requirements for the Treasurer's Office
  • Identifying best practices from other cities
  • Evaluating the Office's current investment policy
  • Assessing likely organizational needs
  • Testing promising policy initiatives for impact and feasibility

Additional details can be found in the 90-Day Action Plan the pro bono team helped create - click here to view.


For more information, please contact Rose Fealy. 


In other news...

  • An economic impact study of Chicago's parks, developed by Global Economics Group, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Zeno Group, and Civic Consulting Alliance was lauded by Mayor Emanuel and the Park District Superintendent and CEO in a recent press release.
  • Thrive Chicago, a collective impact initiative to ensure all Chicago youth succeed, recently launched a website with support from Civic Consulting Alliance. The website will help the hundreds of Chicagoans partnering through the initiative to remain abreast of the initiative's progress.

Questions? Comments? Interested in writing a guest article? Please email Wally Hilke with any newsletter feedback.