Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett will announce the new numbers Thursday morning. The Mayor's Office said in a statement that the increasing graduation rate is a result of the district's new strategy to target ninth graders who are in danger of failing their classes and get them back on track.
"Chicago Public School students are continually raising the standard of academic excellence," Emanuel said in the statement. "We must remain focused on successfully transitioning students from eighth to ninth grade to ensure all students from every neighborhood in Chicago are 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound."
Since 2007, the overall CPS graduation rate has jumped 10 percent from 55 percent to 65 percent. The University of Chicago Consortium of Chicago School Research study found that students who enter the program are four times more likely to graduate. Their graduation rate jumped 25 percent over the same time period.
Benito Juarez Community Academy in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood is one example of a school where CPS' "on-track" program has helped students reach graduation day. Less than half of Juarez's seniors graduated in 2007. This year, the number of 12th graders on-track to graduate is up 69 percent. Juarez credits the district's program with the increase. The study found 19 other neighborhood high schools seeing similar results.