Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Analysis: Chicago Public Schools' students drop out at 10x rate of peer districts


By LGIS News Service | Oct 22, 2019

Shutterstock 154077749

Of the 27,733 freshmen who entered a Chicago Public Schools high school in 2015, 2,740, or about 10 percent, dropped out before graduating, according to an analysis of district filings by Chicago City Wire.

CPS' high school dropout rate-- 9.9 percent for the 2015-2018 period-- was the highest of 68 Chicago-area school districts analyzed, including 266 high schools and 100,758 students. And it wasn't close.

Of 3,609 high school dropouts tracked by the state from the incoming freshmen class of 2015, 76 percent of them were from CPS. 

Orr Academy High School on Chicago's West Side had the highest dropout rate among CPS schools with 40.45 percent of incoming freshmen from the class of 2015 dropping out. 

Only six other districts had dropout rates of 3 percent or higher. They include Aurora District 131 (6 percent dropout rate), Zion-Benton District 126 (5 percent), Joliet District 204 (4 percent), Morton District 201 (3 percent), Waukegan District 60 (3 percent) and Aurora District 129 (3 percent).

Of the 68 districts analyzed in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Will and Kendall counties, nine reported a 2 percent dropout rate, 31 reported 1 percent, and 21 reported no high school dropouts.

CPS' dropout rate was considerably higher than schools serving a similar demographic, as measured by the state.

Thornton Fractional District 215, which has high schools in Lansing and Calumet City, serves a student population poorer than CPS-- 97 percent low-income population to CPS' 83 percent, according to the Illinois State Board of Education. Its dropout rate for the would-be class of 2018 was 1 percent-- or 1/10 of CPS.

Rich Township High School District 227 (82 percent low-income population) and Bloom Township High School District 206 (83 percent) both reported 2 percent dropout rates for the same class.

The analysis comes as CPS teachers are on strike, demanding taxpayers raise the median teacher salary to more than $100,000; it currently is $75,000, or fourth-highest in the state, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.


CPS drop out rate is tops among Chicago Area high schools

Nearly 1 in 10 CPS freshmen who entered high school in 2015 dropped out before finishing in 2018.

School DistrictHigh Schools% Low-Income StudentsStarting 2015 FreshmenHigh School 


Drop out Rate
Chicago Public Schools14083%27,7332,7409.9%
Aurora 131172%1,376836.0%
Zion-Benton 126161%693355.0%
Joliet 204260%1,939784.0%
Morton 201288%2,275683.0%
Waukegan 60170%1,241373.0%
Aurora 129150%1,062323.0%
North Chicago 187192%25652.0%
Bloom 206283%1,083222.0%
Rich 227381%1,048212.0%
Round Lake 116167%539112.0%
Argo 217165%47192.0%
Elgin U-46559%3,392682.0%
Grant 124135%490102.0%
Bremen 228434%1,246252.0%
Wauconda 118132%33472.0%
Thornton Fractional 215297%87791.0%
Oak Lawn 218369%1,319131.0%
Crete-Monee 201169%48751.0%
Thornton 205358%1,925191.0%
Leyden 212256%94591.0%
Reavis 220151%45051.0%
Addison 88250%1,178121.0%
Algonquin 300342%1,732171.0%
Woodstock 200240%48551.0%
Evanston 202139%90291.0%
Oak Lawn 229136%44541.0%
Palatine 211536%3,058311.0%
Glenbard 87432%2,003201.0%
Niles 219231%1,111111.0%
Proviso 209230%1,702171.0%
West Chicago 94130%54651.0%
McHenry 156229%59061.0%
Wheaton 200228%1,130111.0%
Maine 207327%1,588161.0%
Evergreen Park 231126%22621.0%
Downers Grove 99222%1,317131.0%
OPRF 200122%83581.0%
Arlington Heights 214620%3,055311.0%
Crystal Lake 155420%1,610161.0%
Lockport 205118%91991.0%
Antioch 34218%67771.0%
Warren 121117%1,217121.0%
St. Charles 303216%1,118111.0%
Elmhurst 205116%72471.0%
Hinsdale 86214%1,087111.0%
Huntley 158111%74171.00%
Westmont 201135%13400.0%
Mundelein 120130%49800.0%
Oswego 308224%1,34300.0%
H-F 233122%66600.0%
Orland Park 230319%1,86800.0%
Barrington 220119%75500.0%
Yorkville 115118%41600.0%
Batavia 101117%50600.0%
Indian Prairie 204317%2,41200.0%
Naperville 203216%1,14600.0%
Northfield 225215%1,23600.0%
Lemont 210114%35000.0%
Lyons 204113%1,00400.0%
Lake Zurich 95112%50200.0%
Grayslake 127211%77200.0%
Highland Park 11329%87800.0%
Vernon Hills 12828%82100.0%
Lincoln-Way 21037%1,79400.0%
Geneva 30415%48800.0%
Stevenson 12515%1,01400.0%
New Trier 20314%97800.0%

CPS Dropout Rate by School

High School# of students / class# of dropouts# of graduatesDropout rateGraduation rate
Orr Academy HS89367740.45%86.52%
Harper HS70262637.14%37.14%
Team HS42154735.71%111.90%
Austin CCA HS24825433.33%1058.33%
Manley HS551829232.73%530.91%
Richards HS802639432.50%492.50%
Harlan HS130412331.54%17.69%
Kelvyn Park HS1002715827.00%158.00%
Fenger HS67185226.87%77.61%
Collins HS68186426.47%94.12%
Tilden HS80218326.25%103.75%
Marshall HS103263825.24%36.89%
Aspira-Early College HS100242224.00%22.00%
Dunbar HS1744014422.99%82.76%
Hirsch HS28637921.43%1353.57%
Corliss HS962015220.83%158.33%
Urban Prep-West HS1012124520.79%242.57%
Philips HS175369220.57%52.57%
Kelly HS64513129220.31%45.27%
Farragut HS2194315119.63%68.95%
Noble-Rowe Clark HS159307818.87%49.06%
Schurz HS407764518.67%11.06%
Wells HS81155818.52%71.60%
Sullivan HS196364418.37%22.45%
Air Force HS100188218.00%82.00%
Foreman HS2063718017.96%87.38%
Douglass HS4587217.78%160.00%
Hope HS51921117.65%413.73%
Bowen HS971710517.53%108.25%
Legal Prep HS79132916.46%36.71%
Roosevelt HS2504130416.40%121.60%
Uplift HS95158115.79%85.26%
Julian HS1722731015.70%180.23%
Juarez HS512808615.63%16.80%
Spry HS45756715.56%1260.00%
Chicago Virtual46717015.22%369.57%
Alcott HS99157015.15%70.71%
Steinmetz HS305455114.75%16.72%
Perspectives-Leadership HS1231810114.63%82.11%
Hyde Park HS2463514814.23%60.16%
Chicago Vocational HS240345014.17%20.83%
Noble-Hansberry HS2513523213.94%92.43%
Perspectives Tech HS1011431013.86%306.93%
Chicago Tech HS6591913.85%29.23%
Aspira-Business & Finance HS162226713.58%41.36%
CICS-Ellison HS133188913.53%66.92%
Mather HS4235515013.00%35.46%
Noble-DRW HS2252922912.89%101.78%
Noble-Baker HS1912416412.57%85.86%
North Lawndale-Collins HS1281623912.50%186.72%
Curie HS7889311111.80%14.09%
North-Grand HS275328611.64%31.27%
Multicultural HS70830211.43%431.43%
Urban Prep-Englewood HS1261434611.11%274.60%
Raby HS1271421411.02%168.50%
Instituto-Health 1922135510.94%184.90%
Noble-Johnson HS3113423810.93%76.53%
Morgan Park HS3834112010.70%31.33%
Kennedy HS4474729110.51%65.10%
Chicago Academy HS1471515410.20%104.76%
Chiarts HS1481511410.14%77.03%
Lincoln Park HS4554612110.11%26.59%
CICS - Chicagoquest HS4049010.00%225.00%
Noble-Golder HS181181729.94%95.03%
Noble-ITW Spear HS435421499.66%34.25%
Urban Prep-Bronzeville HS11611

Hubbard HS494461509.31%30.36%
Bogan HS22420328.93%14.29%
Clemente HS24121788.71%32.37%
Noble-Butler HS230201508.70%65.22%
CICS - Longwood 115101988.70%172.17%
Solorio HS29023427.93%14.48%
Intrinsic HS18314977.65%53.01%
Noble-Academy HS11991237.56%103.36%
Washington HS37628747.45%19.68%
Amundsen HS332232226.93%66.87%
Lake View HS336235176.85%153.87%
Chicago Military HS594726.78%122.03%
Bronzeville HS11981746.72%146.22%
Acero-Soto HS199131376.53%68.84%
Acero-De La Cruz634626.35%98.41%
Epic HS15910366.29%22.64%
Marine Leadership at Ames HS208133056.25%146.63%
Phoenix Military HS16310456.13%27.61%
Noble-Bulls HS34921826.02%23.50%
Clark HS15591705.81%109.68%
CICS - Northtown HS243141285.76%52.67%
Goode HS247141715.67%69.23%
Simeon HS306171205.56%39.22%
Taft HS73439915.31%12.40%
Noble-Muchin HS264141315.30%49.62%
Perspectives-Math & Sci HS13671375.15%100.74%
Crane Medical HS202106994.95%346.04%
Ogden HS1015444.95%43.56%
Rickover Military HS14272804.93%197.18%
Carver Military HS12261134.92%92.62%
Noble-Rauner HS1899774.76%40.74%
Disney II HS13361224.51%91.73%
Noble-UIC HS246111684.47%68.29%
South Shore Intl HS16872594.17%154.17%
U of C - Woodlawn HS1225924.10%75.41%
Noble-Pritzker HS274112344.01%85.40%
Chicago Agriculture HS1897813.70%42.86%
Chicago Math & Science HS8131063.70%130.86%
Von Steuben HS466172703.65%57.94%
Perspectives-Joslin HS572763.51%133.33%
Back of the Yards HS26091363.46%52.31%
Prosser HS360121653.33%45.83%
Acero-Garcia HS17751442.82%81.36%
Noble-Noble HS17751262.82%71.19%
Kenwood HS363109222.75%253.99%
Westinghouse HS30684292.61%140.20%
Infinity HS12234442.46%363.93%
King HS1733511.73%29.48%
Lane Tech HS1,155162481.39%21.47%
Williams HS761681.32%89.47%
Payton HS2313881.30%38.10%
Brooks HS23331271.29%54.51%
Lindblom HS3134811.28%25.88%
Hancock HS2072420.97%20.29%
Northside Prep HS29022170.69%74.83%
Jones HS43623050.46%69.95%
Young HS4382600.46%13.70%

Sources: Illinois State Board of Education; Chicago Public Schools.

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Organizations in this Story

Chicago Public SchoolsChicago Teachers UnionChicago Teacher's Pension Fund

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