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CPS Announces Record Graduation Rates In 2016

By Alex Nitkin | September 6, 2016 5:31am
 A graduation ceremony for Harlan Community Academy held at Chicago State University in 2013.
A graduation ceremony for Harlan Community Academy held at Chicago State University in 2013.
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DNAinfo/Wendell Hutson

CHICAGO — Attendance and graduation rates continued their slow but consistent climb this year, reaching a new city record, according to an announcement from Chicago Public Schools officials.

A total of 20,438 seniors graduated from the city's public high schools this year, or 73.5 percent of the students who enrolled in 2012. That's compared to a 58 percent graduation rate in 2011, officials said.

Alex Nitkin discusses CPS attendance and graduation numbers.

Overall attendance hit also hit 93.4 percent, up about two points from five years ago, according to the announcement. And 42 percent of 2016 graduates are headed to a four-year college or university, "quickly approaching" the national average of 44 percent.

Last year, the district revised its recorded graduation rate after WBEZ reported that it had been inflating its numbers. But even with the new metric, district attendance and graduation rates have been on a steady upward trajectory.

“The remarkable thing about Chicago students is that no matter what is going on around them, and no matter what financial challenges the District may face, they continue to do better and better," CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said. "And that is a testament not only to the strength of their character, but the commitment of their principals, teachers and families."

In July, district officials announced about $140 million in budget cuts, continuing a trend from previous years.

And with contract negotiations reaching an apparent impasse, the Chicago Teachers Union has once again threatened to strike this fall.

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