Graduation and Dropout Trends in Chicago

Publication Date: January 2005

Publisher: Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago

Author(s): Elaine Allensworth

Research Area: Education

Keywords: public schools; graduation rates; students

Type: Report

Coverage: Illinois


This report is one of a number of reports the Consortium has produced on graduation and dropout rates in Chicago’s public schools. It provides a thorough look at graduation rates during the 1990s, based on data that come very close to the gold standard—individually tracked longitudinal records that follow students across all public schools within the district. It devotes an entire chapter to methodological issues, focusing particularly on the measure currently being used by the Illinois State Board of Education and one other measure developed at the Urban Institute. It gives an in-depth look at trends over time in the graduation rates of students from the Chicago Public Schools. Finally, it disaggregates the results by race/ethnicity, gender, community, and school and provides an in-depth description of each of these types of variations.

This report also makes at least two important contributions to the general area of research on graduation rates. First, it looks at value-added measures of high school graduation rates, rather than just level measures. Second, it investigates the importance of considering graduation rates base on age cohorts rather than just ninth-grade cohorts.