Recent CPS Achievements as the New School Year Begins

Recent CPS Achievements as the New School Year Begins

Scott Ai

At the end of last month, on the 31st of August, CPS announced that the Graduating Class of 2017 had achieved a new milestone. They had received over 1.2 billion dollars in scholarship money. Since 2013, the school district has more than tripled this amount. This reflects the district’s continuously increasing efforts to make the scholarship process more accessible for students. “Year after year, Chicago’s students have raised the bar in scholarships earned for postsecondary success. Each dollar earned represents the hard work of the students, as well as the commitment shown by the parents, teachers and school leaders who support them,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “A college education should be based on a student’s merit and not on their family’s financial circumstances. We will continue to invest in our students so that tuition cost is not a barrier to entry.”


On Monday, September 4th, 2017, CPS announced another incredible achievement. Graduation rates had grown another four percent from the previous school year (2015-2016) to a record high of 77.5 percent, just five and a half percent away from meeting the national average. “Our record-high graduation rate makes it clear: Chicago’s students are more likely to succeed than ever before and Chicago has emerged as a national leader in urban education,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Chicago students are shattering barriers and redefining what our students can accomplish when given the opportunity and support to succeed. While this is cause for celebration, our progress is far from over and we’re working harder and smarter to build upon this success for future generations.”


Released on Thursday, September 7th, 2017, CPS released their “2017 CPS Academic Progress Report.” This report shows that every single facet of CPS education has been improving for the past few years, and the trend seems likely to continue with the current management. Beginning with the Safe Passage Expansion program providing safe transportation and routes for students to get to school and the millions of free breakfasts and lunches provided, CPS has made schools better environments for students to succeed and thrive in. This correlates with an increase in our district’s students’ NWEA-MAP Reading and Math scores compared to the national average, an increase in the percentage of high school freshmen on-track to graduate, and finally, an increase in the percentage of high school students that graduate within five years.



“These dramatic and rapid improvements provide a clear picture of how CPS has emerged as a national leader in urban education – by investing in proven efforts that pay dividends for student success today and into their futures,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said. “Principals, teachers, students and their families all share credit for these impressive gains – and our future as a city is brighter because of their accomplishments.”


Sources for the facts and figures presented in this article can be found on each of the individual CPS Press Releases. Click here for the August 31st press release, here for the September 4th press release, and here for the September 7th press release. To access all of CPS’s press releases from January 23rd, 2015 to present day, click here.