CPS high school students in need of non-traditional high school settings can choose among more than 40 Options Schools. Learn more about these schools and why CPS has expanded the number of seats available. 

Since launching the Student Outreach and Re-engagement centers, or SOAR, Chicago Public Schools has helped 170 former high school dropouts earn their diplomas. Find out how the program works and what students are saying about it.

Chicago’s high school dropout rate – about 35 percent – is at the heart of the city’s problems with poverty, violence and unemployment. We delve deeper on a special episode of Chicago Tonight.

Extended Conversation on Chicago’s Dropout Crisis

Is Chicago on the right path in fighting its chronic high school dropout problem? Our panelists – young people, educators at challenging schools, researchers and thought leaders – answer candid questions from members of our studio audience and viewers at home in a 30-minute web-exclusive conversation.

With a high school dropout rate around 35 percent, Chicago is a city full of out-of-school teenagers. Educators, activists, reformers, and district officials have competing ideas on how to reverse this trend. Yet students’ perspectives are often missing from the conversation on dropout prevention. We talk with young people – two who left CPS without a high school diploma, and one who decided to stay in school – about their ideas to change the system.

Students who are truant in their K-8 years are much more likely to drop out of high school later down the road. Elizabeth Brackett reports on one elementary school’s hands-on approach to combat the truancy crisis.

Communities across Chicago are concerned with the city’s alarming high school dropout rate. But what would a comprehensive, district-wide dropout prevention campaign actually look like? And is CPS on the right path to unraveling this problem? We evaluate the big picture with University of Chicago researcher Elaine Allensworth and alternative schools leader Jack Wuest.

Courtesy John Walker

Native American children struggle with traditional public education; their dropout rate is close to 40 percent. We look at one program that's trying to change that.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard

WTTW11 Kicks Off "American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen"

Nearly 40 percent of Chicago Public School students drop out. Why are they dropping out and what can be done to get them back on track to graduate? Elizabeth Brackett looks at two programs with some answers. Then, we talk with Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard about the dropout epidemic and how CPS is working to change it.