Friday, August 23, 2019

CPS dropout rate at an all-time low....

According to this recent Sun-Times article:
A smaller percentage of Chicago high school students dropped out last year than ever before, the city announced Thursday.

The all-time low 6% dropout rate touted by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson happened during the 2018-19 school year, under former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration. Students last year dropped out of school at almost half the rate they did in 2011.

“Through expanding access to rigorous academic programs, increasing staffing to support student needs and magnifying our focus on equity, social and emotional learning and restorative justice, CPS is keeping more students in the classroom year after year and creating strong, student-centered schools in every neighborhood across the city,” Jackson said in a press release.

Lightfoot attributed the lower rates — down .4% from last year’s 6.4% — to teachers and staff members “transforming the lives of our young people.”
I think the public would like to hear the examples of the exemplary work of CPS teachers and staff with regards to the young people at CPS.

On the other hand this was from back in March of this year:
But a WBEZ analysis found some troubling trends behind those improved numbers. Significantly fewer black boys — 2,600 fewer — are starting as freshmen now than five years ago. And an increasing number of graduates are getting their degrees from alternative second-chance schools, which are less demanding than traditional schools, but count toward the graduation rate.

Finally, there is an increase in the number of black boys who transfer out or die after starting as freshman in CPS. Black male high school students die at a higher rate than any other student racial and gender demographic group, according to CPS data.

After accounting for all these factors, just 48 percent boys at CPS ultimately earned a diploma from a traditional or charter Chicago high school in 2018. That’s only a six percentage point improvement from five years ago.

Experts say school district officials should be paying attention to trends behind the numbers.

Keisha Davis-Johnson is executive director of the Greater West Town Community Development Project, which runs an alternative school and a jobs training program that mostly serves men. She sees no reason to celebrate.

“We have a lot of work to do with our young people,” Davis-Johnson said.

She said she still sees many young men who have gone to under-resourced elementary schools, who struggle with the basics and feel disconnected from school.
So as far as the lower dropout rate, how many of them are Black males?