Focus on ninth grade increases Chicago high school graduation rates

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A second report released today by UChicago CCSR helps explain why ninth grade is such a key leverage point for reducing dropouts. The results were presented at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center in an April 24 event that included Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett; Dean Neil Guterman of UChicago’s School of Social Service Administration (SSA); Tim Knowles, the John Dewey Director of the Urban Education Institute; Prof. Melissa Roderick, Senior Director at CCSR; and Elaine Allensworth, the Lewis-Sebring Director of CCSR.

In 2007, CPS launched a major effort, centered on keeping more ninth-graders on track to graduation. Freshmen are considered on track if they have enough credits to be promoted to tenth grade and have earned no more than one semester F in a core course. The effort was a response to research from UChicago CCSR showing that students who end their ninth-grade year on track are almost four times more likely to graduate from high school than those who are off track.

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