Nearly 7,000 More Students Each Year in Chicago are Staying On-Track to Graduate.

New research shows that improvements in 9th grade On-Track rates were sustained academically in 10th and 11th grades, followed by large increases in graduation rates. See Background Data >

Between 2007 and 2013, the On-Track rate in Chicago rose from 57 to 82 percent. That represents 6,900 additional students on-track to graduate each year.

Definition of On-Track

A student is considered “On-Track” to graduate if he or she earns at least five full-year course credits (10 semester credits) and no more than one semester F in a core course (English, math, science, or social science) in their first year of high school.

On-Track Focuses Attention on What Matters:
Grades and Attendance in 9th Grade

High schools that experienced sustained success approached On-Track with four underlying principles.

  • Student Data:

    District provides data on students most at risk of going off track, to the right people within schools, in a timely way.

  • Leadership:

    Principal prioritizes on-track and ensures buy-in among teachers, counselors and larger school community.

  • Collaboration:

    9th grade teachers collaborate and share strategies within a school, and across schools.

  • Personalization:

    Interventions are tailored to each child’s specific needs based on deep knowledge of their individual course performance.

On-Track Freshmen are Almost Four Times More Likely to Graduate High School Than Their Off-Track Peers

Hear researchers talk about the promise of On-Track, and read previous groundbreaking research that ignited systemwide school improvement.

View Reports:

The On-Track Indicator as a Predictor of High School Graduation >

This report clearly defined the on-track indicator and demonstrated its relationship to high school graduation.

What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public High Schools >

This report analyzed the school characteristics and the patterns in student behavior that contribute to keeping freshmen on track.

What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools: A Focus on English Language Learners >

What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools: A Focus on Students with Disabilities >

New Research Confirms Ninth Grade is Key to Solving the Dropout Crisis

Preventable Failure: Improvements in Long-Term Outcomes when High Schools Focused on the Ninth Grade Year, shows that the right interventions, to the right kids, at the right time are making an impact on achievement and graduation.

See “Preventable Failure” Report >

For more information about published and ongoing research about the On-Track approach contact: >