Alain Locke Charter School serves as a demonstration for urban schools exemplifying excellence in academics, the arts, personal, and social development, and producing students who are globally competitive. The school was named in honor of Alain Locke,the first African-American Rhodes Scholar, who set the standard for what is possible, especially for those oppressed by poverty and discrimination, by achieving absolute excellence in a time of segregation. Alain Locke is located in Chicago's historically underserved neighborhood of East Garfield Park, and serves a population of 583 students in pre-K-8, which is 100% African-American and 95% low-income.
In 1999, Alain Locke opened its doors to provide an education of absolute excellence for children in high-poverty neighborhoods. One of Chicago’s first charter schools, Alain Locke serves as a beacon of hope for the West Side of Chicago and continues to achieve remarkable results. Alain Locke is one of country’s most successful charter schools and was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as 1 of 7 schools in the United States "Best Closing the Achievement Gap." This recognition was earned by having the Alain Locke students achieve the greatest test score gains in the history of the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT).Alain Locke has continued to sustain its success and has become a proof point for high-poverty, high-performing schools across the country.