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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced today that seven more high schools across the city have become authorized to offer International Baccalaureate (IB) diplomas beginning this fall, continuing the strategy to expand access to high-quality educational programming in neighborhoods across the city. With 43 authorized IB schools, CPS is home to the largest network of IB schools in the United States.
The following high schools will offer the IB Diploma Programme beginning this fall: Back of the Yards, Bronzeville, Clemente, Farragut, Juarez, Kennedy and Schurz.
IB schools have a track record of academic excellence. According to the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, CPS IB students are 40 percent more likely to attend a four-year college and have a college retention rate of nearly 90 percent.
“The International Baccalaureate curriculum is a passport to college and a brighter future, which is why we are working with communities all throughout Chicago to bring this high-quality option to more neighborhoods,” said Mayor Emanuel. “From reinvigorating our neighborhood high schools with high-quality educational models like IB, to reinventing our City Colleges – and making them free to every student willing to work for it – we are giving children in every neighborhood the education they need for college, career and beyond.”
Since the Mayor took office, total enrollment in IB programs is up by 77 percent, and participation in high school IB programs has quadrupled. This year alone, an additional 3,300 high school students are participating in IB coursework. The District's IB schools currently serve nearly 15,000 students and pending other authorizations, will reach nearly 16,500 students across the city by School Year 2017-2018.
"At CPS, we are committed to providing rigorous academic programs that will prepare our students for 21st century success," said Byrd-Bennett. "Investments in high quality programs like IB and STEM are central to our mission of strengthening neighborhood high schools. The authorization of these schools means expanded access of high quality programs for students and families, increasing college and career readiness for our graduates.”
The IB Programme also gives students the opportunity to earn an international diploma upon high school graduation, which is recognized by top universities around the world.
On average, CPS graduates who have completed the IB Diploma Programme are more likely to enroll and persist in college when compared with the rest of District. Furthermore, CPS IB diploma graduates have a college persistence rate of 90 percent, compared with the District’s average rate of 70 percent.
Schools that seek IB authorization participate in a thorough application process that takes approximately three years to complete. Upon authorization, students who attend the schools will be exposed to IB coursework, and will have the option to pursue the diploma pathway. IB investments include updated art, science and library facilities, along with IB-specific training for teachers and staff. These schools remain neighborhood schools, and accept students living within the boundaries.
CPS currently offers IB programmes at 22 high schools: Amundsen, Back of the Yards, Bogan, Bronzeville, Clemente, Curie, Farragut, Hubbard, Hyde Park, Juarez, Kelly, Kennedy, Lincoln Park, Morgan Park, Ogden International, Prosser, Senn, South Shore International, Schurz, Steinmetz, Taft, and Washington. A total of 21 elementary schools currently offer IB instruction, with 11 more in the process of applying for authorization.
Chicago Public Schools serves 396,000 students in 664 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.