WBEZ and Catalyst Chicago bring a first-ever analysis of graduation rates for every public high school in the city. Half of all high schools hold on to less than 50 percent of the students who walk through the doors as freshmen.
When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised to double the number of dropouts CPS would serve, few guessed that he intended to look past existing alternative schools to out-of-town, for-profit companies to fix the problem.
Chicago Public Schools is contracting with for-profit companies to give teens a faster way to earn a high school diploma. Some worry the new, part-time, online alternative schools lower the bar and make a second chance more appealing than the first.