Chicago Public School students score big results

Chronicle Media

Chicago Public Schools’ students have had recording-setting achievements, according to the district’s 2018 Academic Progress Report.

The annual comprehensive overview of students’ accomplishments noted that across every demographic subgroup CPS students continued to display unprecedented growth and progress.

City and school district officials pointed out that from improved graduation rates to record-high elementary and math scores to a record $1.3 billion in scholarships, Chicago students and educators have come a long way since 2011.

“Chicago students are working hard, achieving record results and making our whole city proud,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The CPS report card shows how far Chicago students have come as our city continues to lead the country in academic gains.”

“Chicago’s record-breaking gains show that our students, educators, principals and parents have made huge strides and are working together to build on this momentous academic success across the city,” said CPS CEO Janice Jackson. “As a district, we are committed to building upon this progress by continuing to invest in strong academic programs and increasing equity and access to ensure every student in every neighborhood has the high-quality education they deserve.”

Highlights from the Progress Report are:

  • Graduation rate: Students earning a diploma from a CPS school hit an all-time high of 78.2 percent this year — with the biggest improvements coming from African-American and Hispanic males. The graduation rate has risen over the past seven years, growing more than 20 percentage points since 2011, when just more than half of CPS students earned a high school diploma.
  • Freshmen on track: In 2018, the percentage of freshmen considered on track to graduate is at the highest measure on CPS record at 89.4 percent, a more than 20 percentage point improvement since 2011. The freshmen-on-track rate is a research-based measurement seen as the single-best indicator of whether or not a student will graduate. It has risen for seven years in a row in CPS.
  • Math and reading scores: More Chicago elementary students than ever before are meeting or exceeding national attainment standards for math; and reading scores have held steady at their previous record high. In 2018, a record 56.6 percent of students met or exceeded the national average in math scores, and 61.4 percent of students met or exceeded the average in reading scores on the 2017-18 NWEA MAP assessment.
  • College and career credentials: This year, more CPS graduates earned college and career credentials than ever previously. Credential attainment jumped 3.2 percentage points, with 46.6 percent of 2018 grads earning at least one early college and career credential. Credentials can reduce college and career training costs.
  • Scholarship dollars: The class of 2018 earned more than $1.3 billion in scholarship offers, $90 million more than 2016 and five times more than 2012, when CPS students earned $266 million in scholarship offers. CPS officials said the increase is consistent with the district’s expansion of postsecondary initiatives and college-level programming such as International Baccalaureate; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; Advanced Placement; and dual credit and dual enrollment in schools across the city.

CPS’ plan to build on its progress can be found in the district’s vision statement at




— Chicago Public School students score big results —-