CPS one-year dropout rate at all-time low, says officials

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago public school are seeing more students finishing the school year.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday that the CPS district's one-year dropout rate reached an all-time low.

Improvements show six percent of students dropped out in 2019, compared with 11.2 percent in 2011.

"CPS' teachers, support staff and principals are transforming the lives of our young people, helping them to recognize their potential and inspire more opportunities for their future," said Mayor Lightfoot. "The record-low one-year dropout rate is a reflection of our collective commitment to ensure that every student, regardless of zip code or household income is on a pathway not only to graduation, but also to a viable future post-graduation."

The one-year dropout rate measures the percent of students who drop out over the course of a given year, as opposed to the cohort dropout rate which reflects multiple years and aligns with the annual cohort graduation rate.

The mayor and CPS credit programs that help African-American and Latino males stay in school.

"Through expanding access to rigorous academic programs, increasing staffing to support student needs and magnifying our focus on equity, social and emotional learning and restorative justice, CPS is keeping more students in the classroom year after year and creating strong, student-centered schools in every neighborhood across the city," said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson.

The district said they have taken steps to prioritize academic equality through programs such as their curriculum equity initiative that creates a standards-aligned, culturally relevant library of teacher resources; Equity grants to ensure students who attend schools with low and declining enrollment receive the same benefits students at larger school receive; Largest-ever program expansion that focuses on new academic programs to benefit nearly 17,000 CPS students at 32 schools across the city.

CPS also recently established a partnership with the University of Chicago Education Labs to evaluate how Option Schools can provide the best possible educational experience and social-emotional support to the city's most vulnerable students.

It's not just during the school year the district has focused on either. The City of Chicago and CPS have also partnered together to launch a new initiative called Summer for Change. The six-week program aims to provide students who are at the highest risk of being impacted by gun violence access to individual mentoring, group-based therapy, educational opportunities, enrichment activities and more. The collaboration has also made a commitment to add at least 200 social worker positions to CPS schools over the next five years.
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