If a school district's graduation rate is an indicator of improvement, then Chicago Public Schools is improving.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and school officials announced Tuesday that 63 percent of high school seniors will graduate on time this year, marking CPS' highest graduation rate ever.
The rate has steadily climbed since the 2010-2011school year, when it was 58 percent. The rate climbed to 61 percent last year, and it is projected to be 63 percent this year, according to the mayor's office.
Attendance is slightly improving as well, CPS announced. It was at 91.7 percent in 2010-2011, 92.5 percent last year, and just under 93 percent this year.
“This year’s graduates are shining examples of the promise of Chicago’s future, and on behalf of the entire city I congratulate them on their success,” Emanuel said. “There is still more to do to ensure every child in this city has an education that helps them reach their full potential."
Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett vowed to continue the momentum, calling these numbers a testament to hard-working students and teachers.
“We are working to build a district that supports the success of every student, because as a city, we have a shared belief in the power of education to transform lives,” Byrd-Bennett said.
But Byrd-Bennett said there is still more work to be done.
While 63 percent is a record for Chicago, it's still well below the national average of 78 percent. It is, however, a couple points higher than New York City's most recent posted graduation rate.
The announcement comes on the heels of the school board's vote to close 50 schools.