Academic Decathlon 

CPS students participate in the 10-event scholastic competition.

April 27, 2009

The United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) is an annual, nationwide competition that promotes academic excellence through teamwork by students of all achievement levels. This is the 23rd year for the Chicago Public Schools Academic Decathlon. This year’s theme is Latin America.


The competition began with 49 CPS high schools in January. Thirty-three schools advanced. It was narrowed down to eight, and now there’s only one. Last week the Academic Decathlon team from Whitney Young competed at the USAD 2009 Nationals in Memphis, TN. The results? Whitney Young came in 4th place at Nationals. The school is now ranked 5th overall in the country.


A look back at a great year


Each year, the Chicago Public Schools Academic Decathlon organizes two citywide contests to advance teams to the state and national competitions. 


This year, 49 schools, with approximately 500 CPS high school students, prepared for the competition for several months. Students displayed extreme dedication as they independently studied during their summer vacations and throughout the school year with their teammates for the 10 events. 


Each high school enters a team of nine students: 3 "A" or Honor students, 3 "B" or Scholastic students, and 3 "C" or Varsity students.


The first round of the Academic Decathlon took place January 24 at the Chicago Vocational Career Academy. Thirty-three teams advanced and competed in the City Championships on February 21 at Whitney Young. The top eight CPS high schools competed in the state competition on March 19 and March 20:


  • Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W. 111th St.
  • Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory, 250 E. 111th St.
  • Jones College Preparatory High School, 606 S. State St.
  • Lane Technical College Preparatory, 2501 W. Addison St.
  • Morgan Park, 1744 W. Pryor Ave.
  • Schurz, 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave.
  • Walter Payton College Preparatory, 1034 N. Wells St.
  • Whitney Young Magnet, 211 S. Laflin St.


Students competed in the following subject areas: art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, social science, Super Quiz written, Super Quiz Oral Relay, speech, and interview and essay (City Championship only).


CPS has competed in the Academic Decathlon for more than 23 years.


Learn more about the Academic Decathlon.