Strategizing And Planning To Increase The Impact Of The Teach For America Program In The Chicago Public School District: A Strategic Management Exercise Of The 7-S Framework

Ashley Olinger, School for International Training in Brattleboro


The following study is a description and analysis of a strategic management exercise of Teach For America-Chicago, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to end educational inequity. The purpose of the study is to describe the organization’s current strategic management through the application of the McKinsey 7-S Framework so that recommendations can be made to determine how to strengthen the regional organization and increase its ability to have a positive impact on creating equity in the Chicago Public School system. The analysis is the result of the author’s personal experience, observations, and reflections in having worked as a staff member for Teach For America- Chicago. The study results in specific recommendations and suggestions for the improvement of the organization’s strategic management and overall effectiveness as a social justice movement. It is found that the Chicago region of Teach For America will likely increase its effectiveness if it chooses to take specific steps to better align its structure, staff, and management style. In order for the organization to increase its effectiveness, the structure must become more robust so that it can adequately carry out its operational mission. Additionally, it is suggested that the organization is more likely to improve the retention of its staff if it prioritizes professional development. It is also found that a diversification of the style of upper management is likely to have a positive impact on the organization’s overall effectiveness. Through the use of the 7-S Framework, such recommendations for better alignment provide the region with a more holistic and thorough approach to how it can better strategize and plan to increase the effectiveness of the Teach For America program in the Chicago Public School District.