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Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago

Elementary and secondary education within the Chicago metropolitan area is provided by dozens of different school districts, of which by far the largest is the Chicago Public Schools with 400,000 students.[38] Numerous private and religious school systems are also found in the region, as well as a growing number of charter schools. Racial inequalities in education in the region remain widespread, often breaking along district boundaries;[39] for instance, educational prospects vary widely for students in the Chicago Public Schools compared to those in some neighboring suburban schools.[40]

Historically, the Chicago metropolitan area has been at the center of a number of national educati

Elementary and secondary education within the Chicago metropolitan area is provided by dozens of different school districts, of which by far the largest is the Chicago Public Schools with 400,000 students.[38] Numerous private and religious school systems are also found in the region, as well as a growing number of charter schools. Racial inequalities in education in the region remain widespread, often breaking along district boundaries;[39] for instance, educational prospects vary widely for students in the Chicago Public Schools compared to those in some neighboring suburban schools.[40]

Historically, the Chicago metropolitan area has been at the center of a number of national educational movements, from the free-flowing Winnetka Plan to the regimented Taylorism of the Gary Plan.[41] In higher education, University of Chicago founder William Rainey Harper was a leading early advocate of the junior college movement; Joliet Junior College is the nation's oldest continuously-operating junior college today.[42] Later U of C president Robert Maynard Hutchins was central to the Great Books movement, and programs of dialogic education arising from that legacy can be found today at the U of C, at Shimer College,[43] and in the Winnetka Plan to the regimented Taylorism of the Gary Plan.[41] In higher education, University of Chicago founder William Rainey Harper was a leading early advocate of the junior college movement; Joliet Junior College is the nation's oldest continuously-operating junior college today.[42] Later U of C president Robert Maynard Hutchins was central to the Great Books movement, and programs of dialogic education arising from that legacy can be found today at the U of C, at Shimer College,[43] and in the City Colleges of Chicago and Oakton Community College in the Northwest suburbs.[44]

From 1947 until 1988, the Illinois portion of the Chicago metro area was served by a single area code, 312, which abutted the 815 area code. In 1988 the 708 area code was introduced and the 312 area code became exclusive to the city of Chicago.

It became common to call suburbanites "708'ers", in reference to their area code.

The 708 area code was partitioned in 1996 into three area codes, serving different portions of the metro area: 630, 708, and 847.

At the same time that the 708 area code was running out of phone numbers, the 312 area code in Chicago was also exhausting its supply of available numbers. As a result, the city of Chicago was divided into two area codes, 312 and 773. Rather than divide the city by a north–south ar

It became common to call suburbanites "708'ers", in reference to their area code.

The 708 area code was partitioned in 1996 into three area codes, serving different portions of the metro area: 630, 708, and 847.

At the same time that the 708 area code was running out of phone numbers, the 312 area code in Chicago was also exhausting its supply of available numbers. As a result, the city of Chicago was divided into two area codes, 312 and 773. Rather than divide the city by a north–south area code, the central business district retained the 312 area code, while the remainder of the city took the new 773 code.

In 2002, the 847 area code was supplemented with the overlay area code 224. In February 2007, the 815 area code (serving outlying portions of the metro area) was supplemented with the overlay area code 779. In October 2007, the overlay area code 331 was implemented to supplement the 630 area with additional numbers.

Plans are in place for overlay codes in the 708, 773, and 312 regions as those area codes become exhausted in the future.