A Decade of Academic Progress: 2019 Academic Report Card
DISTRICT | September 23, 2019
A Decade of Academic Progress: 2019 Academic Report Card

The 2019-20 school year has commenced, and we’re ready to start another exciting chapter of exploration and discovery! The district is committed to helping our students reach their potential by building on their remarkable academic gains—and part of this commitment lies with keeping track of how far we’ve come so we can see where we need to go next. 

We are excited to share that the 2019 Academic Report Card shows that students from across Chicago are continuing to make progress in the classroom. This is a team effort, and we’re proud of the hard work that our students, families, and teachers have put in to raise the bar of what CPS can do.

Our students, across every demographic subgroup, continue to show growth and progress. From rising graduation rates and record-high elementary math and reading scores to $1.47 billion in scholarships, Chicago students and educators have earned their reputation as national leaders in urban education—and this report card demonstrates how far they’ve come in the past decade.

“As the district prioritizes investments in schools across the city, CPS students are once again reaching new academic heights and showcasing their vast potential,” said CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “By expanding academic programs, creating a more rigorous and inclusive curriculum, and prioritizing equity, we are working to support continued student achievement and ensure every CPS student has access to the high-quality education they deserve.”

Here are our progress report highlights:

  • Record High Graduation Rate: Students earned diplomas at an all-time record high of 78.9 percent this year, propelled by African American students. We’ve seen our graduation rate rise steadily over the past eight years, growing more than 22 percent since 2011.
  • Most-Ever College and Career Credentials Earned: A record-high 48.6 percent of 2019 graduates earned at least one early college and career credential, a two percentage point increase from 2018.
  • Most-Ever Scholarship Dollars Earned: We’re so proud of our students—the class of 2019 earned more than $1.47 billion in scholarship offers. We credit this increase to the district’s expansion of postsecondary initiatives and college-level programming such as IB, STEM, AP, dual credit, and dual enrollment in schools across the city.
  • Record High Elementary Math and Reading Scores: A higher percentage of elementary CPS students are meeting or exceeding national standards in reading and math than ever before—growing by over 16 percentage points in reading and nearly 12 percentage points in math since 2013.
  • Lowest-Ever Dropout Rate: The district’s one-year dropout rate has reached an all-time low of 6 percent, which was driven by progress made by African American and Latino males. Since 2011, the percent of students  who drop out over the course of a year has fallen nearly 50 percent. 
  • Keeping Students Safe: As part of our commitment to keeping students safe during their daily commute, we’ve expanded our successful Safe Passage program to support 162 schools. This year, we are serving more than 75,000 students thanks to 1,300 dedicated Safe Passage workers and 19 partnerships with community-based organizations.
  • Meeting Students’ Social and Emotional Needs: CPS has made major investments in social and emotional learning programming, training, and initiatives in recent years to better support the needs of our students. As part of these efforts, CPS created the Supportive Schools Certification to recognize the schools that have prioritized supportive school environments. This year, the number of schools that received a Supportive Schools Certification rose from 447 to 524.

While our schools have made tremendous progress, we are committed to helping them reach even greater heights. To learn about our plan to build on the district’s progress, please check out our Five-Year Vision.