Chicago Public School Students Accessing IB Coursework Graduate High School and Enroll In College at Higher Rate

District, home to nation’s largest network of IB programming, releases report detailing higher rates of high school graduation, college enrollment and persistence for those participating in IB coursework

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–June 13, 2016.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today released a new analysis revealing that students participating in International Baccalaureate (IB) coursework graduate from high school and enroll and remain in college at rates well above the city’s average. In fact, students participating in IB coursework graduate at a higher rate than that of the district average, and enroll in college at a rate of more than 80 percent, exceeding the rate for the entire district.

This latest analysis of SY 2014-15 data suggests that not only are district investments to expand the program paying off, but that these investments are supporting much of the district’s recent improvements in high school graduation rate and college enrollment rate.

“Today, Chicago’s students are making tremendous progress, graduating at a higher rate than ever before and breaking records with more than 40 percent of our students enrolling in college,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This report on our IB programming confirms what we have long known about the benefits of this program—that it provides students with access to the rigorous coursework necessary for success in college and career. Whether it’s in IB, STEM or technical education programming, we are making the critical investments to build the 21st century skills today that enable our students to succeed in college and to secure the jobs of tomorrow.”

In addition to the stronger graduate rates that IB programming produce, students across the District’s 15 IB schools enroll in college at a higher rate, and then persist at a higher rate. Other findings of the report demonstrate that specifically, the rigorous IB diploma and career programmes prepare students at a higher rate, with nearly 100 percent of IB diploma participants graduating from high school, with a college enrollment rate just shy of 100 percent, and a college persistence rate of 88 percent.

Due to the success of IB programmes to date, CPS will increase IB enrollment by more than 20 percent by SY 2017-18. The District will expand enrollment for existing IB schools next year from 13,310 students to 15,198 students, and continuing expansion to 16,338 students in SY18.

“Our key priority at CPS is ensuring that every student in Chicago receives the high-quality education that will prepare them today for college and career tomorrow, and this report affirms the IB is doing just that,” said Chief Education Officer Janice K. Jackson. “We are committed to making investments in programs that work for our students and families in Chicago, and we hope that we will soon see a solution by the Governor and the state of Illinois that will allow us to continue building on the academic gains by our children.”

IB schools have a track record of academic excellence. According to the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, CPS IB students are 40 percent more likely to attend a selective four-year college.

Since the Mayor took office, total enrollment in IB programs is up by 370 percent, and participation in high school IB programs has quadrupled. In the last five years, CPS has added the IB programme to 8 high schools and in 10 elementary schools, while targeting areas of investment to create a continuum of programming between elementary and high schools so that families across the city have access to this proven program.

Today Mayor Emanuel delivered commencement remarks at Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School, one of the city’s 22 high schools to offer the IB and IB diploma programme. Chicago is home to the largest network of IB schools in the nation, with 43 schools (22 high schools and 21 elementary schools) authorized to provide the programme. There are currently approximately 13,300 students enrolled in IB coursework citywide, with some schools pending authorization to serve more students in the program.

Over the past five years, CPS has raised its graduation rate by more than 11 percentage points.
These and other improvements are attributed to a long list of investments to strengthen high schools in CPS under Mayor Emanuel, including the expansion of opportunities to earn early college credits and career credential courses, through AP coursework, Early College STEM programming, CTE and Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment courses through a partnership with the City Colleges of Chicago. By expanding the IB program and making other investments to strengthen high schools across the city, the district is working to prepare students to graduate high school ready to succeed in college, career and in life. This year, the class of 2016 is on-pace to break records yet again with a more than 70 percent graduation rate.

Chicago Public Schools serves 392,000 students in 660 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.