What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools: A Focus on English Language Learners

A report from the National High School Center at AIR and the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) found that ninth grade course performance is more predictive of high school graduation for English language learners (ELLs) in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) than other ELL-specific indicators, including English language proficiency level and whether students experienced interruptions in their education. Study authors included Julia Gwynne, Amber Stitziel Pareja, Stacy B. Ehrlich, and Elaine Allensworth of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research in collaboration with the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research. The study also found that ELL students who were newcomers to CPS after age 12 were less likely to graduate than other students with the same grades and attendance. The most important factor associated with these lower graduation rates was the quality of schools these students attended, suggesting that ELLs who arrive in CPS after elementary school may struggle to navigate CPS’s system of high school choice. Read the complete press release.