After Teacher Strike Wins Improvements, Chicago Students Have Record Graduation Rate

AP PhotoLate last year, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) held a seven day strike that won more money for arts and music education, more compensation, funding for supplies and textbooks, among other concessions.

As the CTU strike was occurring, some commentators and Mayor Rahm Emanuel claimed that it would harm kids because it reduced the number of days they were in school. But if students were harmed, it certainly isn’t showing in graduation rates released today. Chicago Public Schools announced that it had record graduation rates this year, with 63 percent of high school students graduating. That’s up five percent from the 2010-2011 school year.

Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett vowed to continue the momentum, calling these numbers a testament to hard-working students and teachers.  

“We are working to build a district that supports the success of every student, because as a city, we have a shared belief in the power of education to transform lives,” Byrd-Bennett said.

Unfortunately public education continues to face hurdles in Chicago — as the city moves ahead with plans to close almost fifty public schools. Check out our friends at Progress Illinois for updates on the continuing movement against the school closures.

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