CHICAGO — A record 65 percent of high school seniors in Chicago public schools graduated in the last five years, CPS announced Wednesday.
Graduation rates are up from recent years, according to a statement from CPS officials. In 2012, about 61 percent of students finished high school. The year before, that rate sat at 58 percent.
Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the CPS CEO, said in a statement, that "this graduation rate is a testament to our hard-working students, educators, administrators and community, but we know there is more to do."
The district measures students who enter and graduate from high school in a five-year period. The most recent rate was based on students who entered ninth grade in the fall of 2008. In total, 19,905 seniors graduated, including students who attended summer school to finish their requirements.
Byrd-Bennett said CPS will continue "building on this momentum" with full school days for all students, early education investments and expanded STEM and IB programs.
“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," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.
According to CPS, the city's public school students were awarded $400 million in scholarships in 2013. That's a marked increase from the $133 million received in 2012.
The graduation news comes three months after CPS voted to shutter 50 schools in the largest public school closure in American history.