CPS Freshmen See Highest “On-Track” to Graduate Percentage on Record 

This is the Fifth Consecutive Year of Increasing Freshmen On-Track Percentage; 2011-2012 School Year Dropout Rate is Lowest on Record


October 5, 2012


Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced that the rate for freshmen on-track to graduate for School Year (SY) 2011-2012 is the highest on record at 74.8 percent, up 2.2 percentage points from 2011. This is the fifth consecutive year of growth for the freshmen on-track rate, for a total increase of 17.7 percentage points since 2007. Additionally, the one-year dropout rate for SY 2011-2012 is the lowest on record, at 7.6 percent. This is the fourth consecutive year of a decrease in the dropout rate; in 2008, the dropout rate was 12 percent, and CPS has had approximately 5,000 fewer dropouts since that year.


“The highest on-track rates and the lowest dropout rates we have seen in recent years are another encouraging sign of the progress our students are making, thanks to the great work and remarkable things our teachers do every day in the classroom,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “We’ve seen record ISAT and ACT scores for our students as well, but we know more can and must be done. This year’s implementation of the Full School Day and year provide additional tools and resources for teachers and principals to support our students and the opportunity to continue this momentum.”

According to the Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR), freshmen who are on-track are three and a half times more likely to graduate from high school in four years than students who are off-track. The measurement looks at course grades and credits in the first year of high school and students are considered on-track at the end of their freshman year if they accumulated at least five course credits and failed no more than one semester course in a core subject (English, math, social science, or science) during the school year. For SY 2011-2012, the freshman on-track rate increased across the board for white, African-American, and Hispanic students.


The one-year dropout rate is the percent of students enrolled in grades nine through twelve at any time during a school year who dropped out during that year. For SY 2011-2012, the dropout rate went down across the board among white, African American and Hispanic students.


In addition to an increase of freshman on-track to graduate, CPS also recently announced that students in the District are scoring higher than ever before on the ACT, suggesting that students are not only more likely to stay on-track to graduate, but they are also performing better. Students recorded the highest average ACT score on record at 17.6, with an increase of 0.4 scale score points over 2011. This is the largest one-year growth that students have recorded since 2004. The 2012 ACT data also indicated that 8.9 percent of CPS students met college readiness bench marks in all four tests (reading, math, science, and English), an increase of 1.0 percentage point from last year.

Last month, CPS announced that CPS students also recorded the highest project graduation rate on record: 60.6 percent. Additionally, college enrollment hit an all-time record and was up for the seventh consecutive year: 59.5 percent of CPS graduates from the class of 2011 having enrolled in college. This reflects an increase of 3.8 percentage points over the class of 2010.


About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


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Page Last Modified on Friday, October 05, 2012