More On The CPS Graduation Report

Below is the CPS press release and study that is the basis for the news stories today on graduation and retention rates. 

More CPS Students
Enrolling in Four-Year Colleges

Minority Enrollment,
Overall Enrollment Up

percentage of Chicago public high school graduates enrolling in four-year
institutions has increased, CPS officials announced Thursday. An analysis
done by CPS Department of Postsecondary Education using data from
the National Student Clearinghouse showed that of the 8,130 graduates
in 2005 who enrolled in college, 5,207 or 64 percent enrolled
in four-year colleges and universities. That number represents an increase
from the class of 2004, when only 60.2 percent of CPS graduates who
enrolled in college enrolled in four-year institutions.

students who enroll in four-year institutions are more likely to complete
their degree. At Kelvyn Park High School, 4343 W. Wrightwood Ave., where
the announcement was made, 67.1 percent of the students who enrolled
in college chose four-year institutions an increase of 15 percentage
points from 2004.

study also showed an overall increase in college enrollment, with 8,130
students, or 46 percent of the class of 2005, enrolling in college by
November 2005 an increase of 2.5 percentage points over the class
of 2004.

increase held true across all racial/ethnic groups, with African-American
graduates showing the highest increase, from 42.8 percent of graduates
enrolling in college in 2004 to 46.7 percent in 2005. Hispanic students
increased from 34.4 percent in 2004 to 35.7 percent in 2005, driven
entirely by an increase in Hispanic male enrollment. In 2004, 29.8 percent
of Hispanic male graduates enrolled in college; in 2005 the percentage
rose to 32.8. The percentage African-American males enrolling in college
rose from 36.7 percent in 2004 to 41.7 percent in 2005; African-American
females rose from 47.2 percent to 50.3 percent.

Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan said the findings paint a more hopeful
picture than did a recently released study by the Consortium on Chicago
School Research, which looked primarily at students attending school
during the 1990s, before many of the new education reforms that were
put into place under Mayor Richard M. Daleys leadership took effect.

then, weve opened some of the citys top high schools and created
a Department of Postsecondary Education with the sole goal of getting
more of our kids into better colleges, Duncan said. Change takes
time, but were on the right track.


Department will be expanding the AVID program, a college preparatory
program for students who are performing in the academic middle tier,
to 42 high schools next year from 34 in 2005-06. According to this years
seniors who went through the AVID program, 96 percent were accepted
at four-year colleges.

it continues to track the 2004 graduates, the Department has found 70.3
percent of those students who enrolled by spring of 2005 were still
enrolled the following fall, including students who may have transferred
to a different institution. Students who enrolled at a four-year institution
were much more likely to remain in college, as only 18.7 percent dropped
out of postsecondary education. Of students who enrolled at two-year
institutions, 43.4 percent dropped out.

report also underscores the importance of helping seniors find the right
postsecondary option before they graduate. The data show that 70.9 percent
of 2005 graduates who had already been accepted by their college of
choice enrolled there that fall, compared to 41.8 percent of students
who graduated high school planning to continue their education but with
no plans to enroll in a specific college.

data is crucial for us, and for principals and guidance counselors as
they advise students about where to attend college, Duncan said,
adding that, like last years enrollment data, the one-year retention
data is a baseline. We cant control everything that happens once
a student graduates high school, but we want to make absolutely every
effort to make sure that our students are as well-prepared as possible
for college.

reported last spring that 46.9 percent of the class of 2004 had enrolled
in college. In the summer of 2005,
National Student Clearinghouse changed their reporting structure and
now do not report students who enroll but block their information. 
Because of this substantial change, and in order to track college enrollment
across time, CPS requested the enrollment data for the class of 2004
again in the fall of 2005 and reran the analyses without the blocked


Chicago Public Schools is the nation
third-largest school system. It includes more than 600 schools and serves
about 425,900 students.

Download major_findingsenroll06.pdf

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