Comparing SEHS Admission Systems in Chicago, NYC, and Boston

Blog1122

Chart Source: Gotham Gazette, Map Source: Princeton University Press

 

This interesting article in the Gotham Gazette compared the selective enrollment entry systems of NYC, Boston, and Chicago and the resulting racial balance of students within those schools.

Of the three, NYC SEHSs are the least racial balanced to population due to their one-score entry process.  Chicago is considered the best balanced (only one to use the Tier system.)  The article also points out that we have the most SE highs schools (and the highest % of students enrolled in SEHSs.)  Boston has only 3 SEHSs and is pretty well balanced, despite the lack of using race/socio-economic status.  Perhaps having fewer schools impacts this in some way?

http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5430-remaining-elite-ensuring-diversity-boston-chicago-a-new-york-wrestle-with-admissions-to-special-high-schools

About NYC:

The city admit students to their selective high schools via a one-test-score system.  No Tiers, no grades, no standardized test.  It all comes down to how well you do that one day on that one test.

This article points out: “Tweaking the exam is about all the power that the City can exercise over the admissions policy to its specialized high schools. The test-only mandate for entry has been enshrined in state law since 1972. De Blasio, though, spoke about altering the admissions process to these schools as a mayoral candidate and has followed up similarly since taking office. He has expressed a belief that a single multiple choice test can not adequately measure a young person’s potential and a vision for more diverse student bodies at these elite schools.”

We’ve discussed Stuyvesant HS in NYC before, which has a very high percentage of Asian students (something like 70%?!?).  According to this chart, Asian students dominate the entire NYC selective high school system, comprising 60% of students vs. 15% of the population.  Impressive!  Conversely, Af-Am and Hispanic students are getting very few SEHS seats in NYC.   I’d be curious to see how racial makeup would look in Chicago if we just used the one admission test.

The article has a very good/simple/accurate description of the progress of the admission system in Chicago.  If you’ve ever wondered about that, check out the link.

November 22, 2014 at 10:08 am 50 comments

Petition for Illinois to delay the launch of the PARCC test

You may have seen posts from Raise Your Hand already, but I’d urge people to consider signing this petition to ask the Illinois State Board of Education to delay the launch of the PARCC as the high stakes test in IL until some issues with the methodology are refined.

CPS itself is also in favor of a delay (which indicates the mess that this test is in.)

CPS and BBB alone don’t have the authority to delay the test launch since it’s a state decision.  To let ISBE know that both CPS and parents support delay, more signatures are needed on the petition.

Try the sample test here:   (I’ve tried it and it’s horribly, horribly clunky and cumbersome to use, particularly for math. As a research person, I see multiple ways that this methodology will contort the scores as a way to represent how much a child knows.)

http://parcc.pearson.com/practice-tests/

PETITION LINK IS HERE:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/isbe-acquire-a-waiver-1.fb51?source=s.fb&r_by=11469139

November 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm 31 comments

Fall 2014: Applying to High School

SEHS Open House Dates 2014

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

September 28, 2014 at 10:50 am 610 comments

Fall 2014: Applying to Academic Centers and Intl Gifted Programs

ACs

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

Academic Centers

(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

September 27, 2014 at 7:15 pm 161 comments

Test Prep: Pros and Cons

Testprep

Interesting discussion started in the elem thread about test prep.

As I see it:

Pros:

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

Cons:

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:

September 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm 132 comments

Fall 2014 – Applying to Kindergarten / Elementary School

Bye mommy! Now you can look at Facebook all day long!

Bye mommy! Now you can look at Facebook all day long!

Kindergarten/Elementary application time here!

Welcome! After the long wait from infanthood, it is now time to being charting the waters of CPS elementary school.  

Applying has never been easier, now that it’s all online.

You can apply for a PIN (needed for online enrollment) now.  It will be mailed to your home within a week.

Applications will be accepted starting October 1st.

Details are here and the OAE site now covers almost everything you need to know, very well organized:

http://cpsmagnet.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=72695&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=121683

When entering Kindergarten (and older grades as well) you have several options:

Gifted and Classical schools – these schools require a test for entry.  For Kindergarten, the tests are given at the same time and kids are tested one-on-one.  For older grades, the kids test in a large group and the gifted and classical tests are on different days.   There is often debate about whether to apply early so your child gets and early test date (benefit: avoid blizzards, get it out of the way) or wait until the end of the application period to apply (benefit: kids may hit that magical reading breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.)  The test scores are normed by age, so it shouldn’t really matter when you do the testing.

Magnet schools – these admit kids via a lottery process.  People who live within 1.5 miles of a school get preference in a proximity lottery.  Others are also admitted, based on Socio-Economic Tier.

Neighborhood schools (also includes Magnet Cluster school, which are just neighborhood schools) – these are schools that admit kids from te neighborhood that surrounds a school.  If you don’t want to attend your own neighbohood school, you can apply to others who have room to spare.  This can only be done through the online application process.  Not every school has space, so it’s wise to fine some ‘up-and-coming’ schools that are growing and have seats to fill.  Or give you local school another look, with some other parents.   Building up parent interest is often a great way to build community and create/uncover a good local school.

One factor that can influence your chance of selection at a school is your Socio-Economic Tier.  Your address determines your Tier (Tier 4, highest socio-economic level, Tier 1, lowest.) NOTE: the tiers for the current application process have not been update yet, so current Tier information may be out of date!!

These are explained here, very cleary by OAE:

http://www.cpsoae.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=184188

Feel free to post questions, comments, or suggestions below.

I don’t see open house dates posted yet, but ideally you’ll tour the schools you’re most interested in.  It’s possible to get a call very late in the application season or even over the summer and have 24 hours to make a decision, which may or may not allow for touring a school at that point.

 

 

September 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm 257 comments

Hidden Gems High School Fair Sept 28th

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!

Participating Schools include public, charter, independent, parochial, and boarding schools.  The list so far:
St. Benedict’s Prep
Beacon Academy
Wolcott School
Chicago Academy for the Arts
Intrinsic School
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
Luther North
GEMS World Academy
St. Patrick High School
Willows Academy
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
Noble Network
Scattergood Friends School
Von Steuben (Scholars)
Notre Dame College Prep

 

 

September 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm 110 comments

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