August 14, 2013
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced a record 65.4 percent graduation rate. This rate measures the percentage of students who entered ninth grade in fall 2008 and graduated by the spring and summer 2013, a total of 19,905 students. Including new students graduating after summer courses, this year’s graduation rate exceeds the 63 percent projected graduation rate announced last spring.
“As a city, we all have a shared responsibility to empower our children through education, and this graduation rate is a testament to our hard-working students, educators, administrators and community, but we know there is more to do,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “With a full school day for all students, investments in early education, a full day of kindergarten, a rigorous curriculum tied to Common Core State Standards and increasing investments in STEM and IB programs, we will keep building on this momentum to ensure every child in every neighborhood has access to a 21st Century education that prepares them for success in college, career and in life.”
The SY12-13 65.4 percent graduation rate improved on last year’s rate of 61.2 percent. In SY 10-11, the graduation rate was 58 percent and a decade ago it was 44 percent. CPS began tracking graduation rates in 1995 under a new, streamlined system that more accurately reflected district-wide rates.
“This year’s high school graduation rate is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our students, teachers, principals and parents who stayed focused, engaged, and energized around the importance of finishing high school for a brighter future,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “We will continue to make critical investments in our students and their learning, because while these results are good, we still have a ways to go to ensure every child has access to a quality education that will maximize his or her unlimited potential.”
The record high graduation rate comes on the heels of $400 million awarded in scholarships to CPS students, an increase of $133 million from SY11-12. The district will be able to build upon this progress with investments in early education funds, a full day, seven hour day of Kindergarten available for every single CPS student, and increasing access to new IB and STEM Schools all over the City.
“While we are encouraged by this year’s graduation rate, CPS will continue to work in partnership with parents and school communities to increase attendance and create safe, positive learning environments for every child regardless of where they live,” added CEO Byrd-Bennett.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.