CPS Charter High School Graduates 20% More Likely to Enroll in College Than Traditional CPS Graduates

3/8/2017, noon | Updated on 3/8/2017, noon

CPS Charter High School Graduates 20% More Likely to

Enroll in College Than Traditional CPS Graduates

CHICAGO - Twenty years after the first charter

public high school opened in Chicago, a new report released recently by the Illinois Network of Charter Schools found that charter high school seniors are 20 percent more likely to enroll in college than other CPS seniors -- and that charter schools are dramatically increasing college access for historically underserved students.

“Chicago’s charter high schools sent 73 percent

of their graduates to college last year -- 20 percent more than students who graduated from other Chicago public high schools,” said Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS). “These results clearly indicate that charter high schools are providing a path to success for thousands of Chicago kids who might otherwise not have that chance.”

Half of Chicago’s top 20 public high schools for college enrollment were charter schools in 2017. While almost all of the district-run schools in the top 20 were one of Chicago’s exclusive, selective enrollment high schools, each of the top tier charter schools were open to all students, with no admissions exam. Charter school students attending top 20 schools were more than twice as likely to be students with special needs, twice as likely to be low-income students, four times as likely to be bilingual, and 64 percent more likely to be Black or Latino than district school students in

the top 20.

“Charter high schools are proving that no matter your race, your zip code, your country of origin, or the language you speak at home, you can go to a public school in Chicago and get a great education that prepares you for college,” said Michael Milkie, CEO and superintendent of the

Noble Network of Charter Schools, Milkie also noted that in 83 percent of the neighborhoods served by charter schools, a charter high school was the best school in the neighborhood for getting students into college.

“A college degree has never been more important for succeeding in today’s society,” said Constance Brewer, chief external affairs officer for Noble schools. “College graduates have more professional opportunities during the course of their lifetime than those with only a high school

diploma; that’s why it’s so important that all kids in

our city have the opportunity to go to college.”

The results of the INCS study were released at a press conference announcing the formation of Elevate Chicago -- a newly formed coalition of Chicago charter schools and community organizations united on behalf of pro-charter

public policy and to give thousands of charter

school parents a voice in policy debates impacting

their children.

“A charter public high school made sure

that my daughter got into college,” said Carmela

Pointer, who has a child attending Ralph Ellison

on Chicago’s south side. “Every child in Chicago

deserves the opportunity to go to college, and

Elevate Chicago will help us reach that goal.”

“Charter public schools have given parents in

my community the opportunity to choose great

public schools for our kids,” said Albert Mendez,

who has children enrolled in both Irving Park

School and Northtown Academy.

“We’re proud to work hand in hand with

families to make sure that every student has an

opportunity to attend college,” said Elizabeth Shaw,

CEO of Chicago International Charter Schools.