As the school year comes to an end for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), people are beginning to speculate about the impact of their longer school day and other reforms they put in place this year. Of course, it takes time for a reform strategy to take hold, but some positive indicators have started to emerge.

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and TSC Signatory Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that CPS is on track to set the city’s highest graduation rate ever, with 63 percent of high school seniors projected to graduate this year. The momentum has been building over the past three years in Chicago.


At the City Club of Chicago Public Policy Luncheon, CEO Byrd-Bennett said, “This graduation rate is a testament to our hard-working students, educators and administrators, but we know there is more to do. With a full school day, a full day of kindergarten, a rigorous curriculum tied to Common Core standards and increasing STEM and IB programs, and working with parents and our communities, we will keep this momentum going on behalf of every child in every neighborhood across the city.”

The full school day in CPS launched district-wide this fall. While it is only a part of the strategy that is enabling these promising outcomes, we are excited that, with the additional time, Chicago students have more opportunities for both academics and enrichments. We are looking forward to seeing what next year brings!