Despite a tense school year that included the city’s first teachers strike in 25 years and the district threatening to close more than 100 of its schools before ultimately moving forward with their plan to shutter 50, Chicago Public Schools has hit a record high graduation rate. CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday morning the district is on track for a 63 percent five-year graduation rate — a two percentage point increase over last year’s record-setting rate and a 44 percent surge over just a decade ago, according to the Associated Press.

The district says attendance is also up: the district is on track for an attendance rate just under 93 percent this year, an increase over last year’s 92.5 percent and the 2010-2011 year’s rate of 91.7 percent, NBC Chicago reports. That’s more than 4,000 of the city’s children attending school regularly than two years ago.

“This graduation rate is a testament to our hard-working students, educators and administrators, but we know there is more to do,” Byrd-Bennett said in a statement.

Emanuel offered similar comments in a statement, describing CPS’s 2013 graduates as “shining examples of the promise of Chicago’s future” while also admitting “there is still more to do.”

While CPS noted the projected graduation rate is its highest ever, it also clarified that the numbers date back to only 1999, when the district changed how it tracked graduation data, according to ABC Chicago. And despite the improvement, CPS still trails the estimated national average graduation rate for incoming public school freshman of 78.2 percent, as of 2009-2010.

Read more at the Huffington Post

Photo: Getty Images.

(Read CPS’s news release on the graduation rate news.

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