Use this thread to ask questions, post news about open houses (any type of high school) and share testing info.
I’ll try to get more open house dates from the other (non-SEHS high schools) to post.
In the meantime, SEHS Open House dates are above.
Man, that can take up a LOT of time! Choosing the early test option (that allows your child to know their score early) can help make the touring process more efficient as you may be able to eliminate certain schools from your repertoire (and may want to include others to widen your net.)
Which reminds of me of the CPSObsessed reader High School Mantra: CAST A WIDE NET
As a quick review, Academic Centers are for 7-8th grade (apply in 6th grade.) Entry into an AC guarantees you a high school spot in that school (and you can still apply to other schools for high school if you wish.) Students can earn up to 8 HS credits while in an AC.
International Gifted Programs are for grades 6-8 (apply in 5th grade.) The program includes intensive study of English, French, social studies, laboratory science, mathematics, technology, arts, physical education, library science, and advanced research. The International Gifted Program is designed to allow intellectually able students to be schooled in their least restrictive environment and to mature at an accelerated pace.
OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE
(No dates listed for Taft, Morgan Park yet)
Harlan Academic Center
9652 S. Michigan Ave
Oct 18 10-11:30 am
Nov 15 10-11:30 am
Kenwood Academic Center
5015 S. Blackstone Ave.
Nov 8 10am- 12 noon
Lane Tech Academic Center
2501 W. Addison St.
Nov 2 10am – 12 noon
Lindblom Academic Center
6130 S. Wolcott St.
Nov 1 10am – 11:30am
Young Academic Center
211 S. Laflin St.
Oct 19 10 a.m. to 12 noon
International Gifted Programs
Lincoln International Gifted Program
615 W. Kemper Pl.
Nov 4 9:15 am
Ogden International Gifted Program
1250 W. Erie St.
Oct 23 6-8pm
Interesting discussion started in the elem thread about test prep.
As I see it:
What can it hurt?
Kid gets extra learning time
Helps a child feel more comfortable taking the test as it will feel a bit familiar
Can potentially give your child an edge in testing (my assumption is that this is truer the older the student is, say middle school, high school test prep versus Kindergarten test prep)
Teaches kids that if you want something, you should work hard/prepare for it
Costs money if you pay someone (I feel did some informal “test prep” with my son when he was little, but I could also call it “teaching him stuff he needed to know anyhow.”)
Gives some kids in the system a possible unfair edge over others (typically meaning that higher socio-economic kids get an advantage)
Feel free to continue the discussion here:
That time of year is coming up… the time to start lookin’ at schools! Yeah!
I don’t know what’s better than a fair with rides and corndogs, than a school fair with tables, flyers, and Principals!
Truly though, these school fairs are a great way to meet a lot of the leaders of some of the “off the radar” high schools.
Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that the key theme for parents when applying to high schools is “cast a wide net.” That net will feel much more strategic and comfortable if you really get to know some of the high school options in the city. I had a lot of great one on one conversations there last year. The list ranges from neighborhood high schools to private, so take you pick.
I have more high school open house info, as soon as I get organized and find it. If you know of other events parents should know about to tour the high schools, feel free to post in the comments.
“Hidden Gems” Chicago High School Fair presented by Chicago School GPS
Sunday, September 28, 2014 @ 2-5 p.m.
St. Benedict College Preparatory High School, 3900 N. Leavitt (enter on Bell, south of Irving Park Road)
RSVP online for reduced admission and a chance to win raffle prizes
Join Chicago School GPS at our 3rd Annual Hidden Gems High School Fair where we will introduce you to “hidden gem” public and private Chicago high school options. This event is geared to middle school parents and students. In addition to hearing from “hidden gem” high schools in a forum setting, parents can attend planned seminars on:
High school admissions process
Private school scholarships
Executive functioning for middle schoolers
“Mini boot camp” on entrance essays
Entrance test strategies, and
Peer to peer info sessions for middle schoolers.
Come learn how to “widen your net” and find multiple Chicago high schools to meet your family’s needs!
|St. Benedict’s Prep|
|Chicago Academy for the Arts|
|Chicago Hope Academy|
|Chicago HS for the Arts(ChiArts)|
|Harbridge College Prep Academy|
|Westinghouse College Prep|
|DePaul College Prep (Gordon Tech)|
|Disney II Magnet|
|Resurrection College Prep|
|Alcott College Prep|
|Chicago Waldorf School|
|Rickover Naval Academy|
|Global Citizenship Experience|
|Senn High School|
|GEMS World Academy|
|St. Patrick High School|
|Lake View High School|
|Chicago Virtual Charter School|
|La Lumiere School|
|De La Salle Institute|
|British School of Chicago|
|Amundsen High School|
|Notre Dame for Girls|
|Scattergood Friends School|
|Von Steuben (Scholars)|
|Notre Dame College Prep|
A very compelling piece was published in the Sun Times today (coinciding with the first eve of school starting) where the current Blaine principal (who has been outspoken about the system) reports some results from an analysis of MAP test that shows that neighborhood schools greatly outpace Charters in GROWTH over the past year. this is different from attainment as it actually shows how much students improved compared to where they started the year. Math growth is around the same and attainment levels are around the same. (Not surprisingly selectives and magnets are better than other schools.) The Sun Times has corroborated his data.
Take a read and see what you think of his analysis. Is this a reason to stop expansion of charters? Some charters? All charters?
The data is certainly compelling. I ranked the charters and found that they break out to roughly 1/3 in the top 33% of growth nationally, 1/3 middle. 1/3 lower. Perhaps the top 1/3 of charters are worth maintaining? For students in some neighborhoods, even having the chance to attend a school with average growth is an improvement, right?
My questions: Why isn’t math growth on track with reading? Will this trend continue with neighborhood schools showing really strong reading growth? What’s going on at some of these schools with low attainment (ie low scores) but huge growth? Hopefully someone is CPS is finding out what’s happening there to see if its replicatable.
All in all, you have to admire someone who is willing to step up to speak publicly critiquing CPS from inside, using data to support the argument.
ARTICLE AND LINK TO DATA
For original CPS MAP data, charts, graphs, and other data files, please visit http://schoolscomparison.blogspot.com/
By Troy A. LaRaviere
When mayor Rahm Emanuel recently heralded a small gain on the average Chicago Public Schools elementary “MAP” test results, I knew something wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t what he said; it was what he didn’t say. You see, this is the first year the MAP scores can provide a more decisive apples-to-apples comparison of charter schools and traditional public schools.
The result? Public school students learned far more in one year than charter school students did.
Until now, schools were judged on student attainment scores, not student growth. This is important because — like magnet schools — charter schools lean heavily on their ability to enroll students who are more likely to have higher attainment than their neighborhood peers by virtue of the degree of parent involvement needed to enter a child into a charter school lottery. Chicago’s charter schools also expel students at more than 12 times the rate of our public schools, which calls into question their own confidence in their ability to effectively teach the most difficult to reach children. When you consider those factors, the attainment of charter school students could be more a result of their admissions and expulsion policies than their teaching.
This is where the MAP assessment comes in. The MAP is designed to measure teaching and learning. In fact, CPS trusts it so much that it uses the results to determine teacher and principal evaluation ratings. It’s also used to rate schools on CPS’s five-level rating system.
If CPS can use MAP growth results so broadly to rate teachers, principals, and schools, one would expect CPS to use those same results to rate its school reform strategy, which is dominated by the proliferation of privatized charter and turnaround schools, where a private operator replaces all or nearly all of a school’s staff. How did Emanuel’s reform schools do? What kind of learning growth did they foster? Why didn’t Mr. Emanuel say anything about it? Surely he knew.
So I downloaded the publicly available MAP results and conducted a preliminary analysis. For the sake of consistency I am deferring to the Sun-Times results, which were similar to mine. The MAP report lists the “growth percentile” assigned to each school based on student results. If a school gets a growth percentile of 99, then the average growth of the students in that school is greater than the average growth of 99 percent of schools in the United States that took the MAP assessment.
In terms of assessing the effectiveness of charter schools I believe the most accurate comparison is to public magnet schools since both charters and magnets have lottery admissions processes that increase the likelihood of enrolling students with involved parents. In essence, charters are privately-run magnet schools and therefore should be measured against publicly-run magnet schools. I believe that turnaround schools should be compared to neighborhood schools since they both must accept students within their attendance boundaries. Using the Sun-Times results, the comparisons are as follows:
* The most dramatic performance gaps are in reading, where the public magnet school growth percentile is 83, while the charter score is 48.
* The public neighborhood percentile is at 75, while turnarounds are at 51.
* Although neighborhood schools must enroll any student in their attendance boundary, their students’ reading growth percentile is 27 points higher than that of lottery-driven charters schools. Neighborhood schools are at 75 and charters are at 48.
* In math, the public magnet school growth percentile is 67, while the lottery-driven charter schools are at 49.5 — over 17 points lower.
* The neighborhood school growth percentile is at 55 while the turnaround school percentile is at 43 — 12 points lower.
* Even with their admissions limitations, public neighborhood schools outperformed the growth in lottery-driven charter schools by more than five percentile points, with neighborhood and charter schools at 54.9 and 49.5 respectively.
A simple look at a list of the schools reveals even more. Of the 490 Chicago schools for which elementary grade MAP data was available, 60 of those schools are charter (12 percent), 24 are turnaround (5 percent), and 406 (83 percent) are traditional public schools. When sorted by growth percentile rank, I found the following:
* Although charters and turnarounds make up 17 percent of district schools, they account for none of the 60 schools with the highest growth percentiles.
* Of the 30 lowest performing schools in CPS more than half are charters or turnarounds.
* Of the 10 lowest performing schools in CPS, seven are charters or turnarounds.
* Nearly nine out of 10 charter/turnaround schools are in the bottom half of CPS performance.
In summary, charters and turnarounds are overrepresented among the schools with the lowest student growth, and not represented at all among schools with the highest student growth.
CPS testing and accountability officials told me their numbers looked similar to mine and that any minor differences may have been the result of the inclusion of one or two schools not included in the data available at the time of my analysis. This led to another striking revelation. Eight of the city’s charter schools — including five Learn Charter Schools — had no MAP growth data at all. When I asked how this was possible I was told these charters had not “opted in” to the MAP assessment. You read that correctly; CPS allows some charter schools not to participate in the assessment used to hold regular public schools accountable.
The 50th percentile represents the “average” for U.S. schools. The reading growth percentile scores of 83 and 75 for students in Chicago’s public magnet and neighborhood schools stands in stark contrast to the often-promoted picture of traditional Chicago public schools as “failing.” On the contrary, the 51st and 48th respective growth percentiles of turnarounds and charters clearly indicate that it is these reforms that are failing Chicago’s students. There may be a few exceptions, but exceptions don’t create good schools systems; critical mass does. Our public schools have developed this critical mass while charter schools have fallen short.
This situation sets up an inexcusably dire situation when considered in the context of the racial achievement gap. As large numbers of African American and Hispanic students are funneled into the low-growth charter/turnaround system, the high-growth public system is becoming increasingly Caucasian and Asian. The students on the low end of the achievement gap — the students who need the most growth — are being fed to a system that produces the least. In December, the Sun-Times reported that the achievement gap between white and black students was widening. It now appears we have identified a cause.
In the face of these results, the mayor’s next press conference on schools should be much different than his last. He should announce that CPS will cease its effort to divert funding from public neighborhood schools into his failed charter experiment. An immediate surge of investment in public neighborhood schools should follow. He should also announce an immediate publicity campaign to inform parents who made the charter “choice” of the learning growth disparity between these different types of schools so those parents can then make a more informed choice about where to send their children. Unfortunately many of the schools in those parents’ neighborhoods have been shut down. It is a tragic irony that a so-called “choice” system has left thousands of families with no choice at all.
In the past, when public school advocates have mentioned the difficulties of teaching in schools in low-income minority neighborhoods, charter and “choice” advocates have had a “no excuses” response. “Hold the public schools accountable!” has been the battle cry. Will the mayor now hold his charter schools accountable? Let’s hope Mr. Emanuel remains consistent with that “no excuses” mantra now that his own reforms have failed.
Looking forward to that next press conference.
Troy A. LaRaviere is principal at Blaine Elementary School, a parent at Kellogg Elementary School, a graduate of Chicago Public Schools and Chairperson of the Administrators Alliance for Proven Policy and Legislation in Education (AAPPLE).
Okay, that was a seriously cheesy headline but I couldn’t resist.
The PARRC test is coming to replace the ISATs as the standard test taken in all Illinois public elementary schools.
The assumption is that at some point, the PARRC scores will be used as the entry criteria standardized test component for selective enrollment schools. For now, CPS is still going with NWEA MAP scores for admission.
Some parents on Facebook have taken some of the practice tests and shared their feedback. Take a look and let us know what you think. I personally have a hard time with computer-administered tests. I don’t know if I was conditioned that was from growing up with Scantrons and a nice #2 pencil, or if it’s the way my brain works. I tried the 6-8th grade math. I could certainly have completed all the answers (correctly, I’m quite certain) but frankly I didn’t have the brain power to do it.. Oh… I am so happy I’m not taking middle school math right now. I love me some math, but long laborious word problems make me turn into a 7th grader saying “when will I ever use this stuff????” (For the record, I do use some of it my job.)
I found the “explain how you know this/show your work” portion to be challenging. The software is difficult to use and my computer moves slowly. I have no idea how the CPS computers work, but I feel bad if you’re the kid who gets the dud computer in the room.
I’m going to try an easier math year to see how the interface works when I’m not wincing about the problems I have to solve.