Students Earn More Capstone Diplomas than any Other District
DISTRICT | January 9, 2019
Students Earn More Capstone Diplomas than any Other District

Our students have earned more Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Diplomas than any other district in the nation and we are continuing to expand access to the rigorous diploma program.

We announced on Jan. 7, along with Mayor Emanuel, that we are expanding the AP Capstone program to six additional high schools in the 2019-2020 school year. The program is an intensive diploma program that’s designed to challenge students to excel in college-level courses.

Currently, 15 CPS high schools offer the AP Capstone program, but in the 2019-2020 school year, six more will be added to that list:

  • Back of the Yards College Preparatory High School
  • CICS – ChicagoQuest High School
  • Hubbard High School
  • Kelly High School
  • Lake View High School
  • Mather High School

Last year, CPS students earned more Capstone Diplomas than any other district in the nation. The percent of CPS students who earned a 3 or higher on an AP exam, according to newly released data for the 2017-2018 school year, has reached and exceeded 50 percent for the first time. This is an increase of nearly 17 percentage points since 2011, when only 34 percent of CPS students earned a 3 or higher on the AP exam.

“CPS students continue to raise the bar for academic success and lead the nation in AP achievements as more students are taking exams, earning credit, and jump-starting their future while still in high school,” said CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Every student in Chicago has the ability to succeed far beyond our doors and we will continue to invest in AP and college-level programming so that more and more students are able to make the college dream a reality.”

Not only are we leading the nation in AP Capstone diplomas, but the district has also reached record high levels for increasing AP access and attainment during the 2017-2018 school year. More than 24,000 students took at least one AP exam. Each year since 2011, the number and percentage of unique students taking and passing AP exams has risen, even as the district’s enrollment has declined.

“Our students are reaching key milestones for AP participation and attainment – demonstrating that they are more prepared for college than ever before,” said Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. “By raising expectations, expanding college readiness initiatives, and providing more opportunities for students to earn the college credits that help make higher education accessible, we are working to ensure all of our students can reach their vast potential.”

Students who pass AP exams with a score of 3 or higher are eligible for college credit while still in high school, making college more affordable while preparing students to succeed in rigorous postsecondary courses.