Educational Attainment Online Appendix
Appendix A: Additional Figures
In this appendix, you can find more detail about how the Post-secondary Attainment Index (PAI) is calculated, and how the PAI and its components have changed over time. Additionally, this appendix provides the Bachelor’s Degree Attainment Index (BDAI), which was the focus of older PAI reports. Finally, breakdowns of the PAI and BDAI component rates by race/ethnicity and gender are also included here. In past versions of the annual PAI report, some of this information was included in the main body of the report; it is now included in the appendix in order to provide a concise and brief webpage for the main body of the report.
The 2021 PAI is calculated using 2021 high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates for 2021 high school graduates, and rates of college completion for 2014 high school graduates according to the calculation shown in Figure A.1.
For example, imagine a school district with the following rates:
|High School Graduation in 2021:||80%|
|Immediate Four-Year Enrollment among 2021 Graduates:||50%|
|Rate of Completion among 2014 Graduates who Immediately Enrolled in a Four-Year College:||40%|
|Immediate Two-Year Enrollment among 2021 Graduates:||30%|
|Rate of Completion among 2014 Graduates who Immediately Enrolled in a Two-Year College:||20%|
|Rate of Completion among 2014 Graduates who did Not Immediately Enroll in College:||10%|
This school district’s 2021 PAI would be calculated as:
80% * [(50% * 40%) + (30% * 20%) + (20% * 10%)] = 80% * (20% + 6% + 2%) = 80% * 28% = 22%
PAI Over Time
We track the PAI over time to assess year-over-year changes in the most recent available rates of high school and college attainment. Note that the PAI is not intended to predict attainment for any one cohort of students. It presents a starting place for thinking about why patterns of educational attainment exist and what can be done to improve these patterns.To calculate these historical rates, we applied the method that we used to calculate the 2021 PAI retroactively to all years of data, rather than using indices that were calculated in the past. For example, the 2021 PAI was calculated using the 2021 high school graduation rate, the 2021 college enrollment rates, and the college completion rates for 2014 high school graduates, so the 2011 PAI would be calculated using the 2011 high school graduation rate, the 2011 college enrollment rates, and the rates of completion for 2004 high school graduates. For rates of high school graduation, immediate college enrollment, and college completion used to calculate the PAI over time, see Table A.1.
Table A.1 shows the rates of high school graduation, immediate college enrollment, and college completion used to calculate comparable historical PAI rates over time.
|4-year HS grad rate||Immediate 4-year college enrollment rate||Immediate 2-year college enrollment rate||Delayed/
||Degree completion for immediate 4-year enrollees||Degree completion for immediate 2-year enrollees||Degree completion for delayed enrollees||Post-secondary Attainment Index|
PAI Disaggregated Component Rates
|2021 CPS Graduates||2014 CPS Graduates|
|4-Year HS grad rate||Immediate 4-year college enrollment rate||Immediate 2-year college enrollment rate||Delayed/
||Immediate 4-year college enrollment rate||Immediate 2-year college enrollment rate||Delayed/
||Post-secondary Attainment Index|
|Asian/Pacific Islander young women||94.7%||68.2%||12.3%||19.5%||86.7%||52.5%||28.3%||67.3%|
|Asian/Pacific Islander young men||89.2%||62.1%||17.7%||20.2%||80.3%||32.9%||24.0%||54.0%|
|Black young women||82.5%||49.7%||9.6%||40.6%||48.7%||18.4%||4.5%||23.0%|
|Black young men||72.8%||37.2%||9.3%||53.5%||34.4%||14.5%||3.5%||11.6%|
|Latina young women||86.8%||46.0%||21.2%||32.8%||62.2%||36.6%||12.5%||35.1%|
|Latino young men||78.1%||33.3%||21.4%||45.3%||52.1%||29.0%||6.1%||20.5%|
|White young women||91.4%||69.7%||10.6%||19.7%||81.4%||48.3%||22.0%||60.5%|
|White young men||85.2%||60.7%||13.8%||25.4%||71.4%||39.5%||12.9%||44.4%|
Bachelor’s Degree Attainment Index
For the past several years, in addition to calculating the annual PAI, the To&Through Project and the UChicago Consortium have calculated two bachelor’s degree attainment indices, which project the proportion of current CPS ninth-graders who will complete a bachelor’s degree within 10 years, if the district’s current rates of high school graduation, college enrollment, and bachelor’s degree completion do not change.
The first of these two attainment indices, the Direct Bachelor’s Degree Attainment Index (DBDAI), projects the proportion of current CPS ninth-graders that will go on to complete a bachelor’s degree through a direct pathway by graduating high school within four years, enrolling immediately in a four-year college in the fall after graduation, and then completing a bachelor’s degree within six years.
The second, the Bachelor’s Degree Attainment Index (BDAI), accounts for students who do not take a direct path, projecting the proportion of the current CPS ninth-graders that will go on to complete a bachelor’s degree within 10 years of their ninth-grade year of high school through any post-graduation pathway, including immediate enrollment in a two-year college or delayed entry into college.
Table A.3 shows the rates of bachelor’s degree completion for immediate four-year enrollees, immediate two-year enrollees, and delayed/non-enrollees that are used to calculate the BDAI for different race/ethnicity and gender groups. Only the rates for immediate four-year enrollees in Table A.3 are used to calculate the DBDAI.
|Bachelor's degree completion rate for immediate four-year enrollees (2014 graduates)||Bachelor’s degree completion rate for immediate two-year enrollees (2014 graduates)||Bachelor’s degree completion rate for delayed/
||Direct Bachelor’s Degree Attainment Index||Bachelor’s Degree Attainment Index|
|Asian/Pacific Islander young women||79.5%||16.4%||15.1%||50.4%||55.3%|
|Asian/Pacific Islander young men||71.2%||10.3%||12.2%||38.1%||42.1%|
|Black young women||43.5%||4.1%||1.2%||16.8%||17.6%|
|Black young men||31.0%||4.6%||1.2%||7.7%||8.5%|
|Latina young women||55.0%||9.5%||2.6%||20.9%||23.4%|
|Latino young men||46.2%||5.6%||1.2%||11.3%||12.7%|
|White young women||78.2%||18.1%||13.6%||48.3%||52.8%|
|White young men||67.8%||16.3%||7.3%||33.2%||36.9%|
Appendix B: Data Sources
Information on student demographics and high school graduation is from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) administrative records, which are shared with the UChicago Consortium through its Master Research Services agreement with the district. All data are available for charter school students. Data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) are used for all college enrollment and completion rates. NSC data has many limitations, including incomplete coverage at the student and institutional levels, but is the best available source of student-level data on college enrollment and completion data for CPS graduates.17 The NSC houses records on enrollment and post-secondary credentials for colleges throughout the United States, and covers 98 percent of all post-secondary enrollments nationally.
Throughout this report, the year refers to the spring of the school year (e.g., 2020 refers to the 2019–20 school year). We have suppressed rates for groups of fewer than 100 students to avoid reporting fluctuations in rates that do not reflect consistent trends in student outcomes.
- Ninth-Grade Cohorts
- Students were considered first-time ninth-graders and included in the ninth-grade cohort if they had never before been enrolled in a CPS high school and if they either 1) were actively enrolled as a ninth-grader on the 20th day of the school year or 2) enrolled as ninth-grader after the 20th day of the school year and remained enrolled long enough to receive course grades. Students who enrolled in a charter school after the 20th day were included in the first-time ninth-grade cohort, even though we do not know if they remained enrolled long enough to receive grades. For the calculation of high school graduation rates, students who transferred into CPS after ninth grade were retroactively included in the cohort in which they would have been a ninth-grader and were assigned to the first CPS high school they enrolled in.
- High School Graduation
- The four-year high school graduation rate is the proportion of students in an adjusted, first-time ninth-grade cohort who earned either a regular high school diploma or a diploma from an Options high school within four years, including the summer after their fourth year. For the calculation of high school graduation rates, students who transferred into CPS after ninth grade were retroactively included in the cohort in which they would have been a ninth-grader and were assigned to the first CPS high school they enrolled in. We calculate a six-year high school graduation rate for students who were ever enrolled in an Options school and students with disabilities.
- College Enrollment
- College enrollment refers to the proportion of graduates who enrolled directly in college in the fall following spring or summer high school graduation. Data on college enrollment come from the NSC, which houses enrollment and graduation records for colleges throughout the United States. This does not include students who delayed college entry. Enrollments from North Park University are missing from 2020 and 2021 rates. In 2019, North Park University enrollees comprised around 1% of all immediate enrollees from CPS.
- Two-year enrollee
- Students who enroll in a two-year college the fall after graduating from high school.
- Four-year enrollee
- Students who enroll in a four-year college the fall after graduating from high school.
- Students did not enroll in college the fall after graduating from high school. Delayed enrollees include students who delayed entry into college, but did enroll at some point within six years of high school graduation. Non-enrollees include students who did not enroll in college within six years of high school graduation.
- College Completion
- College completion refers to the proportion of two-year and four-year college enrollees who completed a degree or certificate within six years of high school graduation. Data on college completion comes from the NSC. Students who enrolled in a college that does not provide graduation records to the NSC, or whose records are suppressed due to FERPA or other reasons, were not included in these rates.
- College Types
- Two-year College
- Institutions classified in the IPEDs data as having only programs that are less than four years.
- Four-year College
- Institutions classified in the IPEDs data as having programs that are four years or higher.
- English Learners
While reporting data on active English Learners calls attention to students in need of the most support, excluding former English Learners obscures the success of students who reach English proficiency. Assessing the performance of the district in supporting English Learners across their educational trajectories requires understanding the average high school and college attainment for students who began as English Learners. Therefore, we disaggregate four-year high school graduation rates and immediate college enrollment rates by whether students began as English Learners or were never classified as English Learners.
We identify students as English Learners based on whether they took the ACCESS test of English proficiency and whether they reached proficiency on the test—not whether they were actually receiving services. Because ACCESS is required by the state for all English Learners, this allows us to include both English Learners who received services and those who did not.
This method of classification draws from the method of classification originally used by de la Torre, Blanchard, Allensworth, & Freire (2019). However, their analysis only includes students who were continuously enrolled in CPS from kindergarten through eighth grade, and defines “students who began as English Learners” as students who were designated as English Learners based on the ACCESS test when they entered CPS as kindergarteners. The method of classification used in our analysis differs insofar as we include students who entered CPS during or after kindergarten, and we define “students who began as English Learners” as those who took the ACCESS test at any point after their entry into CPS.
In the future, we hope to report on college completion outcomes for students who began as English Learners and track their high school and college attainment over time. We cannot currently report on rates of college completion for students who began as English Learners because the earliest CPS ninth-grade cohort for which kindergarten ACCESS test scores are available is the 2016 ninth-grade cohort, and we use a six-year time frame after high school graduation to track students’ college outcomes.
- ACCESS test
ACCESS assesses social and academic English proficiency and is administered to students as early as kindergarten. Students who are English Learners take the test once annually until they reach a score that meets the proficiency benchmark.The ACCESS test is different from the screener test used to determine if students are eligible for English Learner services. For more details, see: isbe.net/Pages/ACCESS-for-ELLs.aspx.
In the 2015–16 school year, ACCESS 2.0 replaced the existing ACCESS test. This new test was more aligned to standards of college and career readiness and therefore more rigorous. Further, the cut score used to determine proficiency also changed over the years. This means that ACCESS test scores prior to the 2015–16 school year should not be compared to scores on the ACCESS 2.0 test. These changes to the test may also result in trend lines that show a spike in the number of students identified as English Learners in the 2015–16 school year.
- Students who began as English Learners
- Students who took the ACCESS test of English proficiency at any point during their time in CPS. This category includes students who later became former English Learners by demonstrating English proficiency (scoring above the cut score) on the ACCESS test as well as students who remained as active English Learners throughout high school.
- Students who were never classified as English Learners
- Students who were never eligible to receive EL services, either because their native language was English or because they scored high enough on the English proficiency screener test—which is different from the ACCESS test—when they entered CPS to be considered proficient in English.
- Historically, data has been collected in a way that groups students into one of two categories: male and female. Starting in 2020–21 the gender categories in the CPS demographic questionnaire were: Male, Female, and Non-binary; however, we are not currently reporting data on non-binary students due to small group sizes. We hope in the future to be able to report data that more fully and accurately describes the identities of CPS students.
- Options Students
- CPS describes Options schools as “designed to offer a unique learning model for students who are not engaged in a traditional high school and seek an alternative pathway to graduation that leads to college and career success.” Options schools may be known as “alternative schools” in other districts. For more information about Options schools and students, see the report Seizing the opportunity to advance education equity: Data insights from Chicago’s Options school students published by the University of Chicago Urban Labs in 2017.
- Post-secondary Attainment Index
- The Post-secondary Attainment Index (PAI) provides an estimate of the proportion of ninth-graders who will earn any college degree or certificate within 10 years of starting high school. The PAI accounts for students who delay college entry or enroll in a two-year college; in addition, it accounts for students who do not earn a bachelor’s degree, but do earn an associate degree or certificate. The PAI uses current rates of high school graduation, any college enrollment, and any college completion.
- Reported data are grouped into four race/ethnicity categories: Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, Latinx, and White. The “Latinx” category is composed of people who self-identified as Hispanic or Latino, regardless of which race they selected. All other race/ethnicity categories are composed of people who identified as not Hispanic or Latino, and the category is based on the race they selected. CPS changed its race/ethnicity categories in 2010–11 to include a Multiracial option, and the Asian/Pacific Islander category was split into two categories: Pacific Islander/Hawaiian and Asian. Our groupings by race/ethnicity include Pacific Islander/Hawaiian students in one Asian/Pacific Islander category, due to the small number of CPS students who are Pacific Islander/Hawaiian. Native American/Alaskan Native and Multiracial students are not shown because fewer than 100 students identified their race/ethnicity in this category, making it difficult to reliably interpret rates. The racial categories available in our data are limited and therefore do not accurately reflect the full spectrum of races and ethnicities embodied by CPS students.
Appendix C: CPS Disability Categories Definitions
Thousands of students in each ninth-grade cohort have one or more documented disabilities. Students with disabilities are often treated as a single group, however, students’ disabilities vary widely in type and extent. As a result, their experiences in school and attainment rates are also far from homogeneous.
In this analysis, we disaggregate rates of six-year high school graduation based on whether students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) related to a disability.18 We report rates for three groups of students: students with IEPs related to a specific learning disability, students with other IEPs, and students without IEPs. After conversations with CPS’s Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services, we decided to report rates with these categories because students with learning disabilities represent a plurality of students with IEPs and because finer categorizations of IEPs have changed over time. The “students with other IEPs” category includes students with a wide range of disabilities, including physical, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities.
The definitions of the 16 categories of disability present in CPS administrative data are below. These definitions can be found in the CPS Procedural Manual: Guidance on Providing Special Education and Related Services to Students with Disabilities Pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) published in August 2021.19 Students with IEPs related to any disability other than Specific Learning Disability (SLD) are included in the Other IEP category.
- A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disability.
- The student exhibits concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes severe communication, developmental, and educational needs that cannot be accommodated by special education services designed solely for students with either deafness or children with blindness.
- A hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
- Emotional Disability
- (This includes schizophrenia but does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disability.)
A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:
- An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
- An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
- Inappropriate behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
- A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
- Hearing Impairment
- An impairment in hearing, permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness.
- Intellectual Disability
- (Mild, Moderate, Severe/Profound)
Cognitive development significantly below that of their typically developing peers, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
- Multiple Disabilities
- Concomitant impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness or intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes severe educational needs that cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. (Does not include deaf-blindness.)
- Other Health Impairment
- Limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), leukemia, diabetes, rheumatic fever, or Tourette syndrome, and adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
- Physical (Orthopedic) Impairment
- A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, disease or other cause (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputation, fractures, or burns).
- Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
- A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia.
- Speech or Language Impairment
- A communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- An acquired injury to the brain, caused by an external force. This injury results in total or partial functional disability, or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. This term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital, degenerative or induced by birth trauma.
- Visual Impairment
- An impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance (includes both partial sight and blindness).