How can 84% of Chicago Public Schools students graduate when only 26% of 11th graders are proficient in reading, math?

It’s shameful. Chicago Public School officials want to celebrate a record graduation rate when much of the other data shows they are failing Chicago’s children.

Only 26 percent of CPS 11th-graders can read and do math at grade level, according to the latest Illinois Report Card data, and yet last week the district proudly announced that 84 percent of students graduated from CPS in 2021 – a new record high.

First of all, color us skeptical about that record high rate. Everyone knows that the city’s children were underserved by remote learning – the failures were reported ad nauseum by the press. Announcing record graduation rates is a way for district officials to sweep those failures under the rug.

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But there’s a more fundamental problem: the graduation rate distracts from the fact that CPS officials are pushing out poorly educated children.

Only 26 of Chicago 11th-graders are proficient in English Language Arts and only 27 percent proficient in math according to 2019 Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) data.


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