Finding your socio-economic tier

January 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm 59 comments

This is from CPSMagnet.org:

How to Determine Your Tier
You can determine your tier by clicking here to access the census tract map. The tiers are color coded. Use the legend on the lower right corner of the map to see which color corresponds to the tier.

You can also calculate your current tier by following the steps below:

 

1. Click here to go to the U.S. census website.

 

2. Enter your address and click ‘go.’

 

3. Scroll down to the table entitled “Geography Results.” Under the column “Geography Name,” look in the sixth row for your census tract number, followed by the county and state.

 

4. Click here to access the “Census Tract to Tier for Chicago” document. The census tracts are sorted in numeric order; the number in the “short tract” column corresponds to the census tract number you obtained on the U.S. census website. Click “Control F” and type in your census tract number. The number in the third column is your tier.

 

Summary of Census Tract Data

 

Click here for a summary of the census tract data for the city of Chicago. You can use this document to view the socio-economic data for your census tract and tier.

 

 

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Figure out what Magnet Schools you are in-neighborhood for (uh, if any) Keller Regional Gifted Center news

59 Comments Add your own

  • 1. KS  |  January 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Ugh, we are in Tier 3 too. (And less than a block from Tier 2!) Unfortunately, I have a son who will be in K next fall, so we will be guinea pigs for CPS.

    I am curious though, whether this new plan will be better or worse for him (as a caucasian). I am curious, for instance how many GEAP applications CPS got last year in the majority/minority buckets vs the spaces allocated to each group. I know that my kid have more seats available to him this year, but will the acceptance rates be lower? And will the minimum scores needed to get into the top schools (Edison/Decatur/Coonley/etc) be lower, higher or comparable to previous years? So many questions and no answers….

    As always, thanks for this! Your blog is an awesome resource for us wary CPS parents!

  • 2. CPSnewbie  |  January 24, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    How can they consider Ravenswood Gardens Tier 3, seriously?

  • 3. AW  |  January 24, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Is this used for selective enrollment high schools too?

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  January 25, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Yes, used for high schools too.
    The sun times page says something like this is 10 year old census data with updates made. So I suppose Ravenswood Garden used to have a lower average when there were more super-low-income families living in all those apartments over there that are now condos.
    Also, as I compare that section to ones like Lincoln Square or North Center, etc where the million dollar homes are wall to wall, I supposed it might make sense.

  • 5. Mayfair Dad  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

    We are the proud parents of a seventh grader in a Tier 4 neighborhood. Like many of the caucasian, college educated parents who still send their kids to public schools (albeit magnet and selective enrollment), we think this new system is far superior to a system based on skin color. Tier 4 kids will compete both citywide and within their socio-economic tier, getting “two bites at the apple” for coveted spots at Northside, Payton, Young, etc. Competition will be intense as many Catholic kids will try their luck getting into SE high schools now that race is not a determining factor. Is the new system perfect? Hell no, but certainly an improvement over the reverse discrimination of the past.

  • 6. Christine  |  January 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I wouldn’t be so quick to make the connection that those children in lower income brackets will consistnetly be beaten out by the higher income kids. I grew up poor but my family believed in education. I’m well educated and make a lot of money.

    I’d also like to point out, that I’m a tier 4 family on the high income scale and my son will be going to public school. Although he’s only 3 yo, he’s been told from the beginning that if he wants me to pay for college that he’ll have to go to public school because I’m not doing both.

    On another note. We moved here from NYC where we lived for 4 years just west of Times Square. I can honestly say, the Chicago families are just as intense as the NYC families. Although I haven’t heard about test prep here. I do enjoy your blog and have learned a lot.

  • 7. Christine  |  January 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    You can also use this site to figure out what track you’re in. http://www.cpsoae.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=118406&id=0&rn=4654477

  • 8. hopeful  |  January 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I agree with Christine. There are poor children in my neighborhood who will give anyone a run for their money! We are in Rogers Park, and in Tier 1. Our family of four makes about 50K a year. We are in the high end of what most families make in our area, though, of course, there are 3/4 million dollar homes here too, and those families exist here. Since I have personally worked with some of the lower income families, I know what those kids are capable of and honestly, I am rooting for them! We are already in a great magnet and my son has guaranteed admission there to follow his sibling next year. But, even if that weren’t the case, I know we would have many many competitors among other Rogers Park families and not just the ones making 6 figures. I would LOVE to see kids with no advantages defy the odds. Even if that meant giving up “our spot” (and really, I hate that term, we don’t “own” the spot” at a great school. Really.
    I am really kind of tired of the angling for position or the posturing about who gets what. It feels so self seeking. I have tried the whole “improve your neighborhood school” thing….worked for 3 years to do it and it ended very badly with a principal who really did a number on our group. But I still believe it is families, regular families who can make a difference in their low performing neighborhood schools so that all kids can get a good education. I am not sure how, especially when administrators have the power to make or break that process, but I still believe in it. I personally don’t want to give in to the idea that we are at the mercy of “the system”, or that we have to compete with eachother through a random lottery, or that poor families and rich families are pitted against eachother (or minority and non-minority). Sorry, this has been bothering me for months now. I really get how parents worry about having a good school for their child and I don’t want to judge anyone about that, and at the same time, there has to be a better way, you know?

  • 9. LR  |  January 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I enjoyed looking at that map way too much! Anyway, we are also in Tier 3 and not to be pessimistic, but I don’t really think the odds matter all that much when we are talking about so few spots. Let’s think about this for a second: in a class of 30 kids, 40% or 12 spots go to high scorers. That leaves 18 spots for tiers (let’s just say 4 spots per tier to make it easy). Given that, does it really make a difference whether you are in tier 3 or 4? Even if there are 200 or 500 more kids in tier 3, does it really matter when we are talking about only 4 spots? Are the odds really that much worse?

    This brings me back to the point I’ve been making all along: CPS needs to fix the real problem which is that there aren’t enough spots to accommodate every kid that qualifies. If CPS can figure out a way to deliver gifted or classical programs to all the children who test well enough to handle them, then we aren’t even having this conversation. I need to write Ron Huberman because I’m curious to hear his answer to my question.

  • 10. C  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:33 am

    LR I’ll go one further and say that CPS needs to uniformly increase the quality of all of its schools across the board. It isn’t fair that a select few have the privilege to receive a quality education and schools in low socioeconomic areas are of poor quality. That only perpetuates the social issues that those communities face. You have to organically empower a community from within and what better way to do that than through education of its children.

    BTW, I am Tier 1 and have a child in a selective enrollment school. Neither system for admission is ideal. People prefer the system that most benefits them. As a minority, I prefer the old system. No matter the system, what unfortunately matters is knowing how to play the system. Again, its unfortunate that a system exists in which we are turning children away from a quality education; that just seems un-American to me…or typical American.

  • 11. Tier 4  |  January 26, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I was in a discussion about this on NPN. Some have argued that those who can afford it should send their kids to private school. CPS, in particular, the SE and RGC/classical schools, should only be for those who cannot afford private school. Some have also argued that minorities should, across the board, have preference over whites in the CPS system.
    This forum is a bit different than NPN in that there are clearly some Tier 4 families here that are unapologetic about competing for, and winning, these prized spots.

  • 12. hopeful  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Sorry this is so off topic, but I wonder if you wanted to address the rumors that are flying in CPS. There is quite a lot of talk that Daley is going to break the teacher’s union contract to reduce the raises or reduce pay. Supposedly due to the nature of the budget crisis and that it is in basically emergency status, this is possible. Do you know anything about this?
    I have heard this from several teachers and administrators that I know in the system. I also read about it in a thread linked in catalyst chicago in a piece written by Alexander Russo. He seems to know a lot about what is happening in the system, and usually when he says something, a few weeks later, it comes out publicly as true or partly true.
    This is shocking to me, and I hope it is just rumor and never happens.

  • 13. CPS Gawker  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I’m curious to know if there really will be a cut-off score for the elementary gifted programs. Will students be selected from each tier simply in order to have each tier equally represented? The official word is that when there are not enough from one tier that meet the score, they will move on and select from the next tier. However, I know that under the old system, students were accepted into classical and gifted programs that did not meet the requirements. Eg. a student of supposedly Hispanic ethnicity (1 grandfather had a Spanish surname) that scored in the 80s and was accepted to a classical school. My own dd scored a 114 on the gifted and was invited to a gifted program. I am all for everyone getting a shot at these programs, but also concerned about the integrity of these programs as advanced academics.

  • 14. James  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I’m curious about the data you saw that suggested that Tier Three families would be the most screwed. As I understand it, each of the four tiers is made up of roughly the same number of school age children. Granted, it might be reasonable to assume that fewer of the school age kids in Tier Four would be applying to CPS schools because of the private school influence, but I haven’t seen anything that demonstrates that with hard data or anything that shows that school age kids in Tier Three apply to CPS at a higher rate than the other tiers.

    Yes, I’m in Tier Three too and, before I read this, was actually happy that I was in that tier and not in Tier Four…

  • 15. hopeful  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I saw a spread sheet somewhere indicating how many of each tier currently gets into magnet schools and how many will in the future to balance out what is currently skewed in favor of tier 3 kids. (Because tier 3 families disproportionately apply to magnets, they disproportionately get spots and the new system aims to include more of the other tiers) Though, since most of the magnets are located in Lincoln Park and Lakeview, it seems to me that those kids, most of whom are tier 3 and 4, will secure some spots through proximity. Remember, the board of ed did state that folks will NOT get two bites of the apple. Kids will only get one shot, through proximity or through tiers, not both.

  • 16. keenerobserver  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I live in a tier 4 and believe me, the neighborhood is not upscale. Tier 4 people apply to private AND public.

  • 17. CPSnewbie  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    What happens if there are say, 4 open spots for 1st grade at Edison in 2010? There aren’t even enough spots to cover the top score percentage and then the percentage requirement for each tier. So how will they determine which tiers get those remaining spots? Is this where Humberman’s “gut check” policy will come into play? Will they favor tier 1 or 2 over the others? Just wondering what your thoughts are on this…

  • 18. Mayfair Dad  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    “Some have argued that those who can afford it should send their kids to private school. CPS, in particular, the SE and RGC/classical schools, should only be for those who cannot afford private school. Some have also argued that minorities should, across the board, have preference over whites in the CPS system.”

    Let me get this straight. I should be paying over $30K/year in private school tuition so that the seats my freckled kids currently occupy at magnet/selective enrollment schools can be given to other kids with darker skin pigmentation?

    What a load of entitlement cr*p.

    Here’s a better idea. Why don’t the taxpaying voters in this town rise up and demand a high quality education be available to every child in every neighborhood?

  • 19. cpsobsessed  |  January 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    @James – finding the same thing twice on the CPS site is like winning the lottery. One in a millions chance.
    I’m kicking myself for not saving that link. I’ll look again.
    It wasn’t a huge disadvantage for Tier 3, but it was the one where the ratio was the most off. I *think* Tiers 1 and 4 had a slight advantage.

  • 20. hopeful  |  January 26, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Mayfair dad,
    I agree. We all need to require better schools for everyone. That will take money and lots of it. That will take the very best teachers in the nation. That will take parents in low performing schools to pick up some very, very serious slack. (My kid is at Hawthorne and while the teachers are the best of the best and I am not kidding, they also have some of the best talent and the most involved and highest income families to work with, like nearly every other high performing school in Chicago. The families make sure the kids get up and stay up to and above par)

    It would take something like Harlem’s Children Zone (essentially a birth to college support program costing millions and unending man hours) to ensure Englewood, Austin and Pilsen schools are as good as Lincoln Park magnets. I believe it can be done, I just don’t believe we as citizens care enough to make the sacrifice involved to do our part in making sure “all children” get a quality education. How many people are going to pay more taxes, give their own time to tutor, spend time lobbying for other people’s children? It would be awesome to see. But thinking that the chicago system can just “create better schools” is not a good solution. The system can’t do it. We all would have to be involved. Personally.

  • 21. Tier 4  |  January 26, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Mayfair Dad,
    The argument is that in a school system that is supposed to be for the public good, a poor minority kid would benefit much more from going to a selective enrollment school than your kids would. Given your obvious iinterest in your kids’ education (as well as being white), your children would probably do well anywhere. Having them at a top-performing school could thus be seen as a misallocation of public resources.
    I am not saying that I agree with that line of reasoning. In fact, I’m pretty much against it. But there are quite a few people who believe that the recent changes are just about middle class white people who don’t want to pay for private schools.

  • 22. Mayfair Dad  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Middle class white people pay taxes, too. Actually more taxes since we tend to be home owners, not renters. So the “public good” doesn’t apply to us?

    Being born into poverty is an accident of birth – no child chooses to be poor. We need a more comprehensive policy that addresses the disparity of the quality of education offered in poor neighborhoods vs. more affluent neighborhoods. In a perfect school system, there would be no disparity. Focusing on the magnet approach as the only viable solution is a big part of the problem. All children have a right to a high quality public education, not just lottery winners or children of color.

  • 23. LR  |  January 31, 2010 at 1:01 am

    “Some have argued that those who can afford it should send their kids to private school. CPS, in particular, the SE and RGC/classical schools, should only be for those who cannot afford private school.”

    I would like to comment on this thinking, because I think it is totally misguided. In fact, we have a real-world example of this and it is South Carolina. All the middle to upper class families send their kids to private schools, and the public schools are basically for the poorest families. Since the more affluent families do not send their children to public schools, they have no reason to support them through tax revenue and they are starved. As a result, the private schools in SC keep getting better, while the public schools are among the worst in the nation.

    So eliminating middle to upper class families from CPS could really backfire.

    The other issue is a philosophical one. When there are things that are publicly funded (e.g. schools, park district, libraries, etc.) they are for EVERYONE to use. Rich, poor, or otherwise. Maybe some middle to upper class people believe in public education and want to send their kids to public school. That should be their choice.

    One more thing…while I think it is the ultimate goal to offer every child a good education, that is a much more difficult goal to reach than to provide children with appropriate subject material to match their ability. What I am talking about doesn’t require hiring any new teachers or investing tons of money or mobilizing neighborhoods. I am only suggesting that kids who have high enough scores, but can’t be accommodated into Gifted or Classical schools, should be guaranteed a “higher track” curriculum within their neighborhood class. Correct me if I’m wrong, but to my knowledge, CPS doesn’t really do this. If they did, I think we might start to see some improvement in the neighborhood schools that are just kind of middle of the pack right now.

  • 24. hopeful  |  January 31, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    LR, cps is starting to offer accelerated programs in some schools. It is called the comprehensive gifted program (even though I consider the term gifted to be misguided in this case, but that is another post). Disney has this program as do a whole bunch of other schools. I actually agree with you. I think all schools should have an accelerated track. It would certainly help prevent the mass exodus from cps that we currently see.
    I think the other side of the coin, in that publicly funded schools are for everyone, is that the public as a whole has a responsibility to work towards the success of the system. The system has a responsibility to our children, but we also have a responsibility towards it and towards the future of all children, not just our own. I think that can take on a lot of different forms.

  • 25. Somos americanos  |  February 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    For all of you in Tier 3 noting wistfully that you have the most competition, let me ask you some questions:

    The median annual income for tier 3 is $44,500. Does your household make more than that?

    And if so, by how much?

    Once you answer this question, I think it will be more evident who is getting the most screwed by the new plan. And it’s not you.

    Why do you assume Tier 3 has the most competition?

    Remember, tier numbers are assigned to neighborhoods. Not to individual household incomes. And, four other factors come into play. Low income families can live in what is considered an upper income tier and vice versa.

    Whomever is best served by this scenario based on information culled a decade ago depends on the number of people and ages of children in the four different geographies that apply. We don’t know in advance who will apply. A test of this system would be to review how many people from each bucket participate. Even so, then you’re making assumptions– mostly about the income level of who is applying — based SOLELY ON WHERE THEY LIVE.

  • 26. CPSnewbie  |  February 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    “For all of you in Tier 3 noting wistfully that you have the most competition, let me ask you some questions:

    The median annual income for tier 3 is $44,500. Does your household make more than that?

    And if so, by how much?

    Once you answer this question, I think it will be more evident who is getting the most screwed by the new plan. And it’s not you.

    Why do you assume Tier 3 has the most competition?”

    The schools I have chosen are closest to Tier 3 and 4 neighborhoods, so most likely members of those areas will apply there as well due to proximity. That makes it harder for my family to get a spot since we are in the Tier 3 group and possibly competing with more applicants for those particular schools.

    I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you are assuming what participants on this blog from Tier 3 are like. Our household does not even come close to making that the median income of $44,500. So sometimes it does feel evident who is getting screwed by the new plan, and forgive me if I feel it just might be me.

  • 27. KS  |  February 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Somos americanos –

    We are not merely guessing that children who living in Tier 3 will be at a disadvantage under the new application procedures. We know for a fact that they will be. CPS came out with facts and figures which prove that with the new procedures, there will be fewer children selected from Tier 3 than in previous years. Please look at the attached:

    http://cpsmagnet.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=109719&id=0&rn=8627480

    From that CPS website, select the document titled –
    Histograms by Selective Enrollment School – with Rank vs Tier – 50 Pct Tier – Cutoff – PopStats – 2009 12 02.pdf

    You can see for yourself how Tier 3 will lose spaces in Magnet Schools. This is all about geography and has nothing to do with income.

  • 28. Curt  |  February 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I live in a tier 4 neighborhood on the far southwest (yes beverly/morgan park) but what’s disconcerting is the operational definition of what “rich” is. I can tell you that 80% of my neighbors have middle class incomes (40K – 80K) and have “normal” professions like city jobs (teaching, policemen, firemen). only 20% make 90K or higher (the lawyers, doctors, engineers). The majority of us feel like Tier 3 instead of Tier 4. Of course this is a problem a lot of us on the far southside have (ashburn, mt. greenwood as well). it feels nice to be told that your “upper” class but its a kick in the gut when you learn that geography might hurt your chances of getting into top schools…

  • 29. Tessa  |  November 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I am in tier four.

  • 30. Brigitte  |  March 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Does anyone know what percentage is given to each individual tier? Do they give 10% to each tier? If so, that would mean that each tier is given 6 spots. However, that is the number i got, taking 10% of 64 (amount of kids in the two grades). I did hear that 40% goes to the siblings, which would make that number 4 instead of 6 spots, because 25 spots would automatically go to the siblings.
    Thoughts anyone?

  • 31. O_o  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I really don’t think this new system is fair for people in tier 3 and 4. I am in Tier 4 and it really affects your chances of getting into a selective enrollment school. The score differences are getting larger and people from poorer backgrounds have an advantage over the others. It doesn’t make sense for us to be separated by tiers and lose opportunities like this.

  • 32. OpenEyes  |  July 30, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I laugh when I hear about white people complain about reverse descrimination. I want you to do the research and see who is sitting in those gifted magnet schools. What is the racial and social economic make up of those children? It is a shame we have to compete for best schools when all our schools should be afforded great gifted programs and accessible to all who qualify. However, you should know that descrimnation does indeed still exist. Minority children (this includes children of lower socioeconomic levels) are still riding the back of the bus when it comes to education. I had to fight to have my child accepted into a gifted program at their school despite having top scores and grades and teacher recommendation. The only thing they did not have was affluent white family name. They thought I was going to let them get away with not including my child in thier program until I started to ask for the scores of all sitting in those classrooms. Mind you we are Hispanic (Tier 4) and the gifted classroom is all primarily white. Even this would not bother me if all those students were more brillant than my child, but I know there has to be children in there by connections and not by thier ability. I would challenge all of you to use the FOIA and find out what are the scores of those children in those gifted classrooms. If you want to be pissed off about who is taking your children seats at the best schools, you should know it is not minorities. Plus, you should go to the communities and schools of those other tiers which you think have more of an advantage. Stop being so selfish and realize if a kid who is dodging bullets and gangs can still be a great student despite their scarry surroundings— they deserve it more than even my kid who I am sure I will always find a way to put on the right track to academic success.

  • 33. Isabel Liss  |  October 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Is it true that there’s some restructuring ot the tiers this year? I think I read that when I tried to find out what mine is. Supposed to be available for review in late November?

  • 34. ranree  |  October 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    @Mayfair Dad, I’m curious as to how you can say “fair” when you state that “your” kid gets “two bites at the apple”… seriously, how is that fair. Also, I do think the plan is out of line with the current census information, but I don’t think it is, or has been “discriminatory”.

    But you seem to be okay with discrimination if/when it benefits you … I’m just saying, that’s pretty messed up don’t ya think?…

  • 35. cps lifer  |  November 13, 2011 at 9:42 am

    According to CPS, the tier system is no longer in effect for high schools. Can someone help confirm this????

  • 36. B. Lou  |  November 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I would be curious to know if the tier system has indeed been discontinued. During an SEHS open house last weekend, a parent from the suburbs asked the school administrator who was trying to explain the admissions process, if it would be OK to list his suburban address on the SEHS application. I was astonished to hear that the response was “yes”. And the school person added: you will need to change that address by the time school starts. How on earth are they going to calculate this person’s tier, if the student is offered admission based on a suburban address?

  • 37. cpsobsessed  |  November 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    If you apply from the suburbs you can only get in via rank, which is a big disadvantage. (40 percent of seats.)
    They would have to prove city residence when asked.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 38. Navigator  |  November 30, 2011 at 9:27 am

    CPS has now posted that new tier information will be available by mid-December. It had previously stated that it would be available by the end of November.

  • 39. Matt Kelley  |  December 11, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I have a chart on my site too, not sure if it is more, or less up to date? Also have a document on enrolled students by Socioeconomic tier… crazy…

    http://www.cpsmagnet.com/#!selective-enrollment-documents

  • 40. James  |  December 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Now the OAE site says tier information won’t be available until January 8th. So every kid has to apply (the deadline is this week) without knowing who he or she is competing against or where CPS deems him or her to be socio-economically. Pretty outrageous.

  • 41. cps Mom  |  December 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Outrageous – yesss. What are the safeguards in place to insure that tiers aren’t manipulated in any way (I mean other than the manipulation that already exists) since they will have all the application information before deciding tiers.

  • 42. Other Mom  |  December 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    @41 cps Mom, you make a great point, I bet we can be assured they will manipulate it based on applications in some way we’ll never find out about.

  • 43. IB&RGC Mom  |  December 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Ok, seriously!! I kept checking in November since it just said late November. Now it is January? I guess we will find out in April or so. Silly me, I don’t know why I would think CPS could actually hit a deadline.

    They will probably take so long that they have to use the tiers as they currently stand for this application period. Who knows….

  • 44. James  |  January 9, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Still no update, even though the site continues to say that the information is expected to be updated by January 8th — which was yesterday. I bet we will see a line later today that the information is expected to be updated “by the end of January.”

  • 45. ard  |  January 9, 2012 at 11:38 am

    i called the OAE this morning. i was on hold for 40 minutes–frankly, i was convinced that they just took the phone off the hook…a gentleman finally answered. he was not aware of the tier update’s missed deadline, (he had to look it up on the web while we spoke) and he just sounded weary. he said that the OAE was focused on getting the testing done (and accomodating changes in testing by parents–sometimes too accomodating, he opined) and that it was likely to be done by march. (!) i expressed frustration at the office’s policy of setting dates for the update that were clearly not meant to be honored. he listened politely. i wondered if they would use last year’s tier info and he said probably not. i asked for someone to speak with, a name i could get to find out why this going on so long. he deflected the question. my last, flailing attempt was to ask him to please let someone know that it was a bad policy to post deadline dates that they had no intention of keeping, that parents tend to mistrust any information dissmenated. i swear i heard crickets chirping in the background…i said goodbye.

  • 46. James  |  January 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    #45 (ard) —

    Pretty unbelievable call you had with OAE. Although it sounds like OAE is just overwhelmed and that that is the cause of the delay, by repeatedly delaying this significant update, you almost can’t help but wonder whether something more nefarious is going on. Are they waiting to set the Tiers until after all the applications are in and after all the testing has happened — so that they can manipulate the Tiers to make sure they get the diversity they want? One hopes not, but the repeated misrepresentations about when the new data would be out (and without any explanation for the missed deadlines) makes you wonder.

    Hopefully this is just the anxiety of a 7th grade parent talking, but it does capture how frustrating it can be dealing with CPS and the mind-boggling lack of transparency in this process.

  • 47. cpsobsessed  |  January 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks very much for keeping us up to date on this stuff. It has GOT to be nerve-wracking for kids applying to HS this year…

    I think the typical situation in CPS is that the person on the phone doesn’t know anything about what’s going on at a level above them. I think even principals in CPS feel this way a lot of the time!

  • 48. Navigator  |  January 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    The date on the website is now Jan 31st.

  • 49. mom2eli  |  January 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    : ( Jan 31st.

  • 50. Navigator  |  January 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    You can use this website to determine your tier.
    http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml

  • 51. ard  |  January 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    james–i almost felt sorry for the guy on the phone. you could tell that he was the guy at the bottom of the totem pole that gets to answer the hard questions that he has no answer for. i have to admit–i’m not subscribing to the “conspiracy theory” of OAE purposely waiting for applications to come in to determine the tiers. i think it is just ineptness, disorganization and having a general “doing things by the seat of our pants” sort of attitude that permeates a lot of what goes on there. i don’t know which assessment is harsher, but it doesn’t matter.
    i do take some small consolation in the fact that they changed the date. i don’t put any credence in it, but there it is.

    btw, sorry about the typos in my last post. my eight grader caught one and one was a slip of my fingers on the keyboard. guess i’d better go back to school myself…ha!

  • 52. Mom  |  January 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I feel like I’m missing the boat – why is everyone concerned about tiers right now at this point in the application process?

  • 53. RL Julia  |  January 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Its just annoying to have them change stuff mid stream. On the other hand, who knows when they’ll decide to revamp the application system again. I don’t think that my neighborhood’s tier is going to change one way or another. Too many foreclosed on houses to be tier 4, too many people making their mortgages to be tier 2. Tier 3 it is….
    While I too have experienced long wait times when I have had to call OAE this year, the people I worked with to reschedule my daughter’s testing date were really, really nice. The gentleman I talked to also went out of the way to find out when my son was taking the HS test and answer all of my questions about why went my daughter took the test for 7th grade, she was in a room of kids a year older than her.
    I imagine that by this time in the process, they are tired of dealing with hysterical parents. I personally felt bad about having to change my test date and sort of wondered why they just didn’t give parents a randge of dates to commit too rather than just randomly assigning a date. Whatever, I am sure that managing this process is a completely thankless task.

  • 54. James  |  January 10, 2012 at 10:43 am

    The reason we’re concerned about the tiers is that the tier group you are placed into determines who your child is competing against to get into the SE high schools — and thus how hard it will be for him or her to get into those schools. For example, in my case, when my older daughter applied two years ago, we were in a Tier 3 neighborhood. Last year, when I didn’t have a child applying, I saw that we were moved into the Tier 4 group (without any appreciable change in the neighborhood, I might add). Although it is difficult to get into the most competitive SE high schools from either Tier 3 or Tier 4, it’s marginally easier to get in from Tier 3 — and I’d like to know just where my census tract will be placed this year as my second daughter is going through this horrible process.

    Beyond that, however, I find it ridiculous that just weeks away from the completion of the application process, CPS claims it doesn’t have updated socio-economic information and sorted tiers. This entire new system is build on just that — seeking socio-economic diversity through tiers that are individually examined and carefully constructed based a basket of specified socio-economic factors. It’s 2012. The census was completed in 2010. And yet we have no information available — information so critical that the entire admissions system is built on it? Why wasn’t this made a priority?

    I don’t yet subscribe to the conspiracy theory either, ard. But with the games that were played a couple years with Ron Huberman’s last-minute “gut check” and the insertion of the NCLB kids into the top four SE high schools, it certainly isn’t beyond CPS to jigger the system at the last second to attain the level of diversity it wants if its publicly-announced system has been determined to have failed. Would CPS adjust a couple census tracts from 3 to 4 if it kept otherwise “over-represented” kids out of some of the top schools? Would CPS adjust a couple census tracts from 2 to 1 if it got some otherwise “under-represented” kids into those schools? I’d like to think no. But CPS, through incompetence or lack of transparency, forces me to wonder a little. And on some days, more than a little…

  • 55. WRP Mom  |  January 18, 2012 at 7:38 am

    When the website wasn’t updated last week, I sent an email to the OAE. I finally received a reply yesterday (so it took 8 days to reply):

    “We are still awaiting information on one of the five characteristics used to determine to the tiers; we now expect the tiers to be updated by the end of the month.”

    It was signed by Karen Burroughs Hannsberry, Communications Manager, Office of Academic Enhancement

    …I thought there were 6 criteria used to determine tiers, not 5. I wonder what information they could still be waiting on, since the census was in 2010.

  • 56. Isabel Liss  |  February 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    any word here? Anyone know if the new tiers have been made public? (I’m guessing that for some reason they were waiting for the new ward map to be released — even though that doesn’t – or shouldn’t — affect anyone for 5 more years) — curious to see what out ‘new’ tier maybe.

    Also, does anyone know where to find information about what kinds of scores were required for each SE high school for each tier in years past?

  • 57. cpsobsessed  |  February 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Here are the cutoff scores from last year. Note that these are first round….

    http://cpsmagnet.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=177470&id=0

  • 58. don't panic  |  February 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    The new tier map is up at the OAE website. We are still in tier 4 in Morgan Park, but I did not expect that to change. Now the waiting begins for high school selection process for our 8th grader. Good luck.

  • 59. spam  |  July 15, 2014 at 2:41 am

    **

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