High School Principal Discretion Period Now Open 2011

March 5, 2011 at 9:27 am 49 comments

CPS has opened the principal discretion process so parents can make one final push to get their child into the school of their choice.
There is an application and even a handbook on how to complete the process:

http://cpsmagnet.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=72698&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=121674&hideMenu=1

Applications are due March 18.

From cpsmagnet.org:
The Magnet and Selective Enrollment Schools and Programs Admissions Policy allows principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to exercise a five percent discretion in the selection of incoming freshmen students through a centralized process. The Principal Discretion process allows principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to select these students through an application process that takes into consideration such areas as student awards and honors, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement written by the student.

I was surprise this year to see parents discussing making an appeal to their child’s top choice school (over the 2nd or 3rd choice where they gained admission.) I used to assume that the appeal was geared to kids who didn’t get in anywhere, but I suppose it makes sense to vie for the school you really want. I assume there are two types of appeal: A child who is otherwise academically successful but blew one of the tests, and a child who may not be an academic superstar but has shown commitment in some other area (sports, music, etc.)

Feel free to share stories/questions/updates here.

I know this link was included in a comment in another post, but it’s pretty interesting to see that some of the principals are trying to keep the SE high schools more “elite” in terms of admission scores. I have to wonder if they’re concerned about having to teach a broader range of student skill sets and/or if they’re worried about seeing a decline in their test scores (which seems more important now than ever.)

Sun Times story:
The window to apply for “principal picks’’ at the city’s nine elite public high schools opens Friday amid a new agreement that principals weigh in on any overhaul of admissions at their schools.

Whitney Young Principal Joyce Kenner last week led a contingent of principals who convinced Interim Schools CEO Terry Mazany to include them early on in any talk of altering a new selection process tied to census tracts and socio-economic factors, rather than race. As a result, principals have been asked to give Mazany recommendations on better ways to admit kids to the city’s most selective high schools by mid-May.

Under the current system, now in its second year, Kenner said, “Our African-American numbers are way down, but they are way down across all schools. It has drastically affected diversity….

“It’s a flawed system. We have to come up with a different way to do things.’’

So far this season, Kenner also said, Young applicants in the richest census tracts have been “penalized’’ while “students with much lower scores are getting in.’’

All nine elite college preps saw lower first-round test scores accepted from kids in the poorest census tracts this year, with Northside College Prep seeing the biggest drop among that group — from a mimimum 850 test score accepted last year to 792 this year. A perfect score is 900. Meanwhile, overall, the highest first-round scores accepted increased at eight of nine college preps.

That led to huge score variations. Lane, Lindblom and King saw more than 200-point differences among the lowest and highest scores accepted. The spread at Brooks was 350 points.

However, CPS officials cautioned that several tweaks to this year’s processs — including 1,000 more first-round offers — could have produced wider score disparities in the first round. The real test, they said, will be how scores and diversity shake out at the conclusion of all rounds of offers. Some schools had four rounds last year.

Even if more lower-scoring students are admitted, “We have complete confidence in these schools’ ability to help these kids succeed,’’ said Katie Ellis, the system’s elite-admission pointperson.

At King College Prep, fewer African Americans were offered first-round seats this year, but in the 95-percent black school, that means diversity should increase, said Principal Jeff Wright.

However, principals want to see how test scores, race and socio-economic factors shake out at all nine college preps — not just their schools. Said Wright: “Just going ahead with a policy because we have a policy is not something we endorse.”

Friday is the deadline for students to act on first-round offers as well as the first day rejected students can apply to college preps as “principal picks,’’ based on artistic talent, civic work or other factors. “Principal pick” applications are due March 18.

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49 Comments

  • 1. Grace  |  March 5, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I can understand the principals’ concerns. What are the percentages by race compared against last year?
    Last year, African-Americans lost 4% of seats system-wide.

  • 2. RL Julia  |  March 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    While I have some concerns about the declining African American enrollment at Whitney Young and Northside, I would love to know about what the plan is to improve the diversity at King – an SEHS that is 95% any one race is a little disturbing.

  • 3. King -Mommy  |  March 5, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    @Julia, King College Prep (KCP) demographics is changing fast. It once was 95% Black but no longer. As each year passes, Latino and Caucasian, Biracial/Multiracial and many Asian students are being accepted and attending the school. Many African Americans parents aren’t happy with it but it is happening. They are drwaing their new diverse population from Hyde Park, Bridgeport, Chinatown, South Loop, Bronzeville/IIT area (which have gone through gentrification) Back of the Yards neighborhood, Kenwood, far east side, etc.. The school is now 80% African American and area non-minority families are choosing to attend. My child is a sophmore and we see and welcome the change! If you would like to read the article, I have found it for you, below.

    http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/south-side-top-high-school-waits-diversity

    I hope this helps.

  • 4. Mich  |  March 5, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Of course this new “census tract” system just encourages gaming where you’re able. I might not be able to afford private tutors (high census tract does NOT equal all residents with high incomes) but I CAN move two blocks south,
    Though I am encouraged to see parents who are not African-American wanting to attend King. The more schools that are seen as truly selective, the better for our kids overall.

  • 5. wondering  |  March 6, 2011 at 10:27 am

    How can we call African Americans ‘minority’ when they actually comprise 80% of the population?

  • 6. Here's an idea  |  March 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Of course you’d have to play with these numbers because I don’t know how many students apply have these types of grades/scores but you’ll get the idea. What if we have 1/3 of the highschools be SE with a very rigorous curriculum: these schools would be where the “A” students with a 90% (or above) on SE Exam and ISAT would go; another 1/3 of the schools would be for A/B students with 80%-89% on SE exam and ISAT; the the other 1/3 of highschools for students who don’t meet either criteria. Have half of the latter of 1/3 of schools become vocational ed (i.e. auto shop, carpentry, culinary arts, woodworking, plumbing etc.) so that maybe students who don’t plan to attend college can become gainfully employed. However, I know that the half of the 1/3 that is not vocational ed would be the students whose households don’t value education and would be hard to staff. Maybe those could be alternative schools.

    All four types of schools could be scattered around the east, west, south and north sides. then, we all would be happy. I am still not sure how diversity would play into this or would the schools become more segregated than ever.

    It just seems to me that no matter what race you are most of us care about our child’s education. There are students that are smart and have to work hard and they still deserve a great education.

    I think if the schools were divided like this we would all be happy, especially the middle class. We all want a safe place that our children can thrive and learn. Some learn quicker than others and can move at a faster rate while others are smart but have to work at it.

    Hey, its just an idea but I think you all can understand what I mean…

  • 7. RL Julia  |  March 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    @3 King Mommy – thanks that was really helpful.
    @ wondering – African Americans comprise about a third of Chicago and 43% of CPS’s student population. King HS has 80% African American population -much the way that Northside is 41% white – which is more than appalling considering that white students make up a mere 9% of the CPS population.
    @6 – here’s an idea – you would need more than just three schools for all the kids who were A students with those ISATs and etc…. The other issue would become that since school use different grading scales – (a=93-100, A=90-100 etc…) it wouldn’t really be comparing apples to apples. Just because a student’s family doesn’t “value education” does not automatically mean that said student should automatically be tossed into a terrible school – that’s pretty much the (de facto) system we have now and I don’t think that anyone thinks it really works. In the end of it all, school/education remains cheaper than incarceration.

  • 8. Here's an idea  |  March 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I agree about the grading scale and think they should use the average of the 4 quarters in reading, math, science and social studies to score that portion like they do the ISAT percentiles. BTW an A at my son’s elementary school is 95-100 is an A and I diligently bugging the LSC and the principal to change the grading scale for next school (my oldest son will be in 7th grade :-o )

    Here is what I meant about the “latter” schools, my sons absolutely CANNOT go to our neighborhod school because of safety issues. I don’t think the “latter school’s students” should be tossed into a terrible school either maybe they can be saved if those schools have the necessary supports for children who have family issues.

    I am sure that my children can learn anywhere but I will not have them scared to walk down the halls, or being approached by gang members everywhere they turn to join or simply not able to learn because two or three students want to disrupt the class because they are not there to learn.

    I have seen many posts that indicate parents want there children around peers (and families) who value education. I read somewhere that at some age (I think it was 7th grade or maybe HS) peers have more of an effect than parents. I’m not saying that every child in an SE school has the same values as I do but one thing is for sure.. the student and their parents VALUE education if they went through CPS’ SE process!

  • 9. King -Mommy  |  March 7, 2011 at 3:21 am

    @wondering (and everyone else), I am apart of the LSC at KCP and we are trying extremely hard to make the school diverse as possible. We want and welcome anyone that want to attend! Did you even read the article? The principal at KCP (who was apart of the team which made NSCP & Jones a reality) is trying very hard to break down many people’s “stereotypical” and preceived opinion about King and its area. It is hard with the City being so segregated and most people don’t want to go into different areas of the city. None of our students have ever been involved in any violent acts on OR off campus (trust me, or my child would not be there). The principal, Mr. Jeffrey Wright, goes to every elementary school that invites us (both public and private) in order to recruit students of various ethnic backgrounds. I have assisted him with attending schools from as far as the northside of Chicago (Disney Magnet, Pritzker, Franklin Fine Arts, Skinner, Jackson, Sheridan, Newberry, South Loop, Lincoln, NS Catholic Schools, Catherine Cook School, Montessori,etc), southwest (Midway/Bridgeport/Chinatown/Back of the Yards,etc), Eastside schools (Hegweisch) and so on, just so that we can diversify our school. Our plan is working as our once 100% Black student population has dwindled to 80%. It sometimes takes time to see a huge change, especially when race is involved. However, we are trying (and will continue to try) but I think parents must have an open mind and rid their mind of “yesteryear” thoughts. The area where King is located has changed significantly. We boast middle income single family homes, upper income homes with million dollar mansions (just a few blocks from KCP) and newly built condos, lofts and townhomes mixed in throughout the neighborhood.

    Furthermore, our students have received millions of dollars in scholarships and have gone on to attend elite colleges; Dartmouth, U Berkeley, Grinnell, Northwestern, Duke, Princeton, Illinois Weslyan, Purdue, Michigan, U of Chicago etc. As well as some selective State and all Black colleges such as; ISU, U of I Urbana-Champaign, NIU, Howard, Spelman, Morehouse, Hampton. Despite all of these great facts about King, my belief is that King might always have a somewhat larger Black population, that is until some “other” parents and students change their thoughts and apply. We are a small school with only 850 students and we welcome all students who are interested in attending KCP.

  • 10. CPSmama  |  March 7, 2011 at 10:25 am

    King-Mommy:

    Thank you for your very thoughtful posts about KCP. I read the article and was pleasantly surprised to learn of KCP’s increasing diversity. As someone who lives on the north side of Chicago, I don’t get down that way often. However, I happened to be in the neighborhood of KCP over the weekend so I drove by to check it out. It is a lovely facility and the neighborhood just north of 43rd seemed diverse and affluent. I think there is a huge misperception about schools like KCP and Westinghouse in terms of quality and safety.- I will say that the same misperception was true for WY among north side families as recently as 6-7 years ago(they felt WY was too “urban” for their kids). Now, those families are flocking to WY in droves leading to a different problem- WY’s diversity is declining.

  • 11. cps Mom  |  March 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

    @9 – I did read your article and thought that it illustrated the anxiety of family’s that are looking to chose “outside of the box” very well. I think that your school is a prime example of one that is set for change. It is located in the middle of a very mixed neighborhood – Latino, black, white and Asian. I hope to see more progress. I can only assume that this will come as the school climbs academically.

  • 12. Imagine  |  March 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Imagine! We regular folks have to go thru the Principal’s Discretion Application Process.When a certain alderman can just pick up the phone & call WY principal & say hey,my kid needs an equal education like her sibling.Imagine if it where that easy for us regular folks..IMAGINE !!!

  • 13. Tier system  |  March 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    My understanding is that the published scores are actually higher than reality. Kenner wants the principals more involved which is exactly what brought the question of fairness and change to the system. WY will take a big hit this year score wise since it is the largest (second to Lane that will not be affected much by a diversity of scores). Is there any quick fix (due by May) to racial diversification that will fairly treat all groups? Consider too that the highest scoring minorities, regardless of tier are being accepted at Ignatius, Latin, Parker. Would CPS care to involve the public in this restructure, as before, instead of handing down a proclamation as they did in November? Seems to me if SE programs were added and seats were awarded by merit we would have many excellent programs that are diverse. Only then will the number of “top schools” in Chicago climb on those lists.

  • 14. confusedparent  |  March 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Any word on when second round SEHS letters will be mailed?

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  March 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    @14: the letters are due to mail 2 weeks after the end of the first round acceptance, which puts it at March 18th.

  • 16. glad it is over  |  March 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    @13 ” the published scores are actually higher than reality”

    What do you mean? Are there different scores than what was published? How do you know this? My son scored an 882 (tier 4) and was not accepted to Northside.

  • 17. inaccurate report?  |  March 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    There are students admitted to the top schools that have scores lower than those published for tier 1 and 2. The “contingent of principals” aren’t happy with the process, as stated in the article. Maybe someone from OAE visiting this site could comment.

  • 18. Grace  |  March 10, 2011 at 9:27 am

    @ 17 how so?

  • 19. mom2  |  March 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

    @13 and @17 – How do you know that students with scores lower than the published “cut-off” minimums have been offered spots at the SE schools? Where is the proof of this and if it is true, why would CPS published their original first round list with already lower cut-off scores (for at least tier 1) and not list the truth?
    And, @13, why would much lower minimums at Lane (lower than the already published 48 points lower) not be an issue at Lane, but would be other places? I know Lane has both AP, Honors and Regular level classes. Is that why? You think that a student would do fine in a regular level class at Lane? Not sure I agree with that considering their current level of students in the regular level classes are for the most part students that scored in the 820’s to 730’s last year (honors/AP level usually being those between the 820’s and 900 with some variation here and there). It isn’t like the regular level classes at Lane are similar to classes at non-SE schools.

  • 20. Tier system  |  March 10, 2011 at 9:54 am

    In previous posts someone offered a lower score than published. You should believe them – there are others. The principals have acknowledged this as well. Lane does not necessarily have this problem because they have lower scores overall (this is only an assumption, I could be wrong on that). Another assumption would be that WY may be affected more by an increase in lower scores than the other top 3 schools because they have a larger number of students and historically high scores overall. I believe that this would be why the principal at Whitney might take the lead on this “contingency” to change policy.

  • 21. James  |  March 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Sheer speculation. We are asked to believe that the published cutoff scores for SE high schools are simply fabricated and that kids admitted through the regular admissions process (not through an IEP or principal discretion or NCLB transfers) have scores that are lower than the published scores. The proof? None whatsoever, but dark hints that we “should believe them” and claims that there “are others.” Also, no principal has “acknowledged” this at all. Point to one place in that article where the principal of Whitney Young acknowledged that the published cutoff scores are fiction.

    I know this whole process is stressful and that CPS has done some shady things in the past regarding SE admissions. But let’s stick to reality on this point. If the cutoff scores are made up and kids are being admitted through the regular admissions process with lower scores, please show at least a shred of proof of this before making such a charged allegation.

  • 22. SE Mom of 2  |  March 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Perhaps what the poster of #13 & 17 means is that he/she thinks the NCLB students’ scores are not included in the published scores. This was definitely the case last year because the NCLB students were added in AFTER the cutoffs were established and the racial balance was not what CPS wanted. They then sought out the NCLB students, most of whom did not take the SE admissions test, and their scores were not included in the published cutoffs. This year, SE principals established a cutoff of 650 points for the NCLB students, so it seems that they ARE included in the reported cutoffs (several of which have a cutoff of 650 in the lower tiers)

  • 23. Tier system  |  March 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    This will be my last post on this because I am not trying to be argumentative and understand that there is a bigger picture here other than the scores of a few.

    PP have come forward with exact score and school. Without revealing names and scores that are not mine to reveal, there are some lower than posted – nothing to do with NCLB. If there is proof required other than your own letter, I certainly cannot supply that either. The SE principals are forthcoming about differences in published vs. admitted scores. Do you think that there is exactly a 1 point difference between Whitney and Jones? Either way there may be a legitimate reason for editing the information released and the final rounds have not been flushed out. But it looks like the principals are concerned – according to the article.

    I did find this article of interest and feel that it warrants further discussion. My take on the article is that after rearranging tiers and % of merit the scores are going lower and they still have not captured the desired diversification. Offers have not been finalized but look solid based upon the extra 1000 letters and probably on acceptances in hand.

  • 24. mom2  |  March 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    @23 – I did see the article about principals being concerned about the lower scores, but I thought they were concerned about the published lower scores (not something lower than that). They are published lower than last year because some schools were not allowed to have their high cut-offs that they were allowed to have last year. By forcing them to take the lower scores in order to make equal offers in all the tiers, they ended up with lowering scores everywhere. That is true and I certainly believe some of the principals are worried about that.

    I can also believe that they still aren’t getting their “desired” racial balance. But that is a whole other subject. I don’t even understand how they are allowed to “say” they are trying to be racially balanced when that was said to be against the law.

  • 25. magnet mom  |  March 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I think that Principals used to a more mixed population at their schools see a dip in that mix as a loss for their students, and for the culture of their school.
    I don’t think saying that you are losing diversity is against the law it’s just a fact that they are pointing out. If they are faced with a slate of equally qualified students in their pool of principal selection applicants they may wish to act to maintain what little ” diversity ” they can.

  • 26. cps Mom  |  March 13, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    @6 – now that you’ve got me thinking about this again.

    What about:
    300 points – 7th grade ISAT including written portion

  • 27. cps Mom  |  March 14, 2011 at 8:19 am

    @6 – OK, now that you have me thinking, what about this?
    – 300 pts 7th grade ISATs including the written portion (this adds a written component that is already administered and graded)
    – 300 pts uniform test on core subjects – given at the end of 7th grade. Test to be at standard 8th grade level. This would standardize grades and demand that candidates be a little bit ahead
    – 300 pts SE exam – Exam should be geared to the level of the top CPS elementary school.
    – all students admitted by rank
    – add or convert (1) school northeast (Rodgers Park area)
    – add or convert (1) school southwest (Midway airport area)

    What does this do to diversity? Not certain, but I wonder if OAE is missing the boat by lowering scores to achieve diversity. There are plenty of racially diverse elementary schools – Skinner, Lenart, Kellar, the magnets – that are putting out excellent candidates for SE. Many of these kids are being recruited by private schools or missing 3rd and 4th cut-offs like everyone else. Since it’s quickly becoming apparent that tiers do not generate racial diversity why don’t we see what happens when students are admitted by merit? This may be a discussion for after the 18th after round 2 but I’m guessing that you will not see any movement in those lower tiers. I would also wonder if upper tier students reject offers for private, will those seats be filled by excess offers already extended to lower tier students?

    With a more than 100 point advantage from tier 1 to tier 4, I can’t see how this can continue.

  • 28. Politico  |  March 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    @13 @17 @ 19….F.Y.I….My daughter ranked Lane as her 1st choice and missed the cut-off by 6 points and did not get selected.Instead we got an offer from Westinghouse and we rejected it.Hopefully she’ll get pick in the second round?? If,not it’s off to LP/DH Program…

  • 29. Stressed by CPS  |  March 15, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I have heard of a student who was accepted into Payton last year (their 2nd choice) through principal discretion. Main reason…the child was good at sports. The child did come from a good elementary school and scored well from what I was told but obviously missed the cutoff for tier 4 for Payton. I guess they thought the child’s athleticism would help some of their teams win.

  • 30. Smart mom  |  March 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Sent in principal discretion.. now need to keep my fingers crossed. This whole tier thing is just ridiculous ; something needs to change someway and somehow.. this is no way for are kids have to live worrying if they have an opportunity to get in the best high schools around. If they are into school and have the grades to prove it that should count along with looking where the kids went to school. Very upset that gifted as well as classical kids are missing great opportunities because they may have recvd one “B” and there goes their chance.

  • 31. cps Mom  |  March 16, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I posted under Lane Tech meeting – Principals looking to make some changes to better capture high scoring tier 4 students. They want to add other CPS programs like Lincoln Park to SE.

    I hear you – I think the whole tier thing needs to change or removed altogether since it is not accomplishing what they set out to do and penalizing very deserving kids.

  • 32. Mayfair Dad  |  March 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    We all know the Tier system is a plan to desegregate public education in one of the most segregated cities in America, so naturally academic integrity will suffer as less fortunate — and less academically advanced — minority students are mainstreamed into the top echelon schools, by design. How will the schools respond to the challenge of making these new students college-ready by the time they graduate? Are the supports already in place? (tutoring, mentoring, added enrichment programs). Moan all you want about the “dumbing down” of a Northside education, but this is reality, folks.

  • 33. mom2  |  March 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    @30 – Wouldn’t making LP a SE possibly have the opposite effect for LP? In other words, right now, many tier 4 people I know keep LP IB or double honors as their alternative/safety net program in case (because of being in tier 4) their child doesn’t have the point totals to get into the top 5 SE schools. If they add LP to the SE tier and point rules, won’t less tier 4 kids end up at LP and more kids from other tiers take their place? This doesn’t make sense to me.

  • 34. cps Mom  |  March 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    It will force LP to market themselves a bit differently. I think that just calling the school “selective” will increase demand for the program. As it stands, their problem is that they gear up for all those that have accepted and turn others away only to be dropped once the student gets the selective offer. Last year the process went on for months. Wouldn’t it be easier/better if a student interested in LP IB second to Northside or Payton was able to list LP as their 3rd choice. Right now there’s this gaming going on using LP or Von as a way to jockey positioning in SE. It’s a gamble. When a student turns down an SE position (especially tier 4) they have prevented the school from choosing a high scoring kid who will probably accept one of his/her lower choices in SE due to uncertainty. They are trying to streamline the process so that there is ideally only 1 round.

    Maybe CPS will now take a serious look at the facility and upgrade the regular program to include tech programs. This would be a very exciting improvement by CPS. But what do I know, CPS doesn’t listen to me either.

  • 35. mom2  |  March 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I re-read your original post about making Lincoln Park SE. You are saying that Lincoln Park wants to get more of the highest scoring Tier 4 students into their school. They don’t care if they end up taking less Tier 4 students overall, though. Because, the way I see it, by changing the IB and Double Honors programs to follow the SE rules, they might gain a few higher scoring (as far as points go) tier 4 students, but they will end up with a lot less of the “near the top, but just missing the cut off” tier 4 students. They will, instead, get Tier 1 and Tier 2 students with lower scores than their current Tier 4’s (because they can only take X amount from each tier. Is that overall something that would be better? Better for whom? Worse for Tier 4 parents from what I can see. Maybe better for the IB program.

  • 36. cps Mom  |  March 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Lincoln Park is already taking lower scoring students in double honors. What tier or score those students currently have is unknown because they don’t operate that way. From the selective school point of view they are losing students that make cut-offs but turn down the seat for Lincoln Park hoping to re-enter the pool in round 2 and gain acceptance to a different SE school. At this point, the rejected school must go back to pool to fill that spot probably with a student scoring lower than the initial applicants that were turned away and wanted the SE school as their 1st choice.

    From LP point of view – they have always overbooked expecting a loss to SE. Now they have many more acceptances but also many more late in the game rejections creating an enrollment nightmare overall. Overall a lose/lose situation and not really an advantage for the applicant either. I guess they are just looking for applicants to lay their cards on the table and select from the various CPS programs by order of preference then paired with ability/tier.

    I’m guessing that LP’s program would need to be more like Lane where X amount of kids are admitted to the selective program as a whole and then only certain kids would qualify for IB. Much like the reorganization of the SEES.

    This is all on the table right now.

    Mayfair Dad – although a score does not say everything, it does say something. As we see an increase in the % of lower scores, the impact is noticeable. The selectives are missing an important segment of kids and they know it. If this continues over the next 2 years, the schools will lose ground.

  • 37. Mayfair Dad  |  March 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I think there is already plenty of demand for Lincoln Park IB and double-honors programs. Yes, many families use the independent application process as an insurance policy against possible SE disappointment, but many other families view LPIB as a first choice particularly for a student currently enrolled in an IB program who desires the IB diploma (i.e. catnip for elite college recruiters). In spite of the inefficient admissions gamesmanship, the students who end up at LPIB are diverse, motivated, independent and, well…cool.
    I hope LPIB steers clear of the SE tier nonsense and stays the quirky, respected, beloved urban school experience that has set the benchmark for accelerated high school programs nationally for the past twenty years.

  • 38. cps Mom  |  March 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    36 – good point and I agree with your observation. That certainly has been their strong suit. Wouldn’t it be just as easy for the student that views LP as their first choice just to simply put LP as their #1 option? I guess then that this would make the program subject to the ridiculous tier restrictions. That may be one of the issues.

  • 39. Mayfair Dad  |  March 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    @ 35. The Tier system has nothing to do with promoting and sustaining academic excellence. That’s too elitist! The Tier system is a social engineering experiment designed to desegregate Chicgo’s public schools. The goal is diversity.

    At the end of the day, does Chicago really need 4 Super High Schools or dozens of really good high schools? I don’t think the CPS brain trust is too bothered by reducing the achievement gap between Northside and Brooks, even if that means allowing Northside to slip. All part of the plan.

  • 40. cps Mom  |  March 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Very interesting Mayfair Dad – and just when I think I have it all figured out. So how do they get the diversity? Maybe adding programs like LP and Von to the selective mix – there’s also an agricultural school on the southside attracting attention. The new fall back plan becomes Taft and Lakeview and selective enrollment becomes more diverse just by adding additional seats. The top scoring students are spread out further taking away from the 4 putting those schools in less demand. We don’t need tiers because everyone is not trying to get into the same 2 or 4 schools. OK, I’m beginning to get it.

  • 41. Mayfair Dad  |  March 17, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Statistically speaking, let’s assume Tier 4 has a very high percentage of white students and Tier 1 has a very high percentage of black students. Tiers 2 & 3 fall somewhere along the continuum and include varying percentages of hispanic and asian students. CPS has already factored these assumptions into the plan, so by drawing an equal number of students from each of the four buckets, over time SE high schools will reach an optimal blend. The rank seats are a little trickier. I maintain the rank seats are in response to the political reality that the white middle class who would flee from the city if these seats were ever eliminated. We’ve already seen this number trimmed from 40% to 30%, and it may be trimmed again if Northside/Payton/Jones continue to skew white.

    As the Elite 4 SE high schools continue down the path of hyper-competitive exclusivity and thus unobtainable for a large number of Tier 4 whites on the north side of town, programs like Von Steuben Scholars and Lincoln Park IB will become even more desireable. Neighborhood high schools like Lakeview and Taft are already elevating their game to absorb the overflow of disappointed Tier 4 kids, who will choose these options over traveling to Lindblom, Westinghouse and King. However, expect to see more diversity in these schools also as white, hispanic and asian families from various tiers get slotted into the student body mix.

    Right now VS and LP are not hamstrung by the requirements of the Tier process and able to build up the lustre of their programs by being very selective about who gets in. Probably not in the best interest of these schools to get added to the Tier process, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

  • 42. Hype  |  March 17, 2011 at 11:20 am

    That’s why it’s better to apply to more than 1-high school.Because alot of parents get caught up in the SEHS hype.That they forget they need a plan B,just in case the rejection notice comes in the mail..It’s better to have a few choices than none at all…

  • 43. CPSmomof3  |  March 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Thank you, Mayfair Dad, for your refreshing viewpoints. We are also headed to LP and not by default, by choice! It actually feels pretty good to be out of the SE hype, and my daughter and I are BOTH looking forward to being a part of the ‘ quirky, respected and beloved’ urban school you describe!

  • 44. cps Mom  |  March 17, 2011 at 11:39 am

    41 – thanks for that in-sight. We’ll soon see how things progress.

  • 45. LeaveLPHSalone  |  March 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Leave LPHS alone!! Let us have one good neighborhood school (well, hopefully more than one with Lakeview and others). It’s not all about SE.

    Let LP have its IB and DH programs that keep attracting some of the brightest, but let us keep our neighborhood component, for god’s sake. Some of us believe in the idea of walking to school with other kids from the neighborhood. Some of those kids may veer off into the honors programs when they get inside the doors and others (potentially my own) may simply do the best they can in a respected, safe school. That’s all I’m looking forward to.

    I would fight it (and would not be alone) if CPS tried to turn LPHS into exclusively an SE school.

  • 46. Nope  |  March 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Taft is definitely not an answer.

  • 47. so sick and tired  |  September 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I know this is late to the game, but my child just started high school and mentioned to me that they met someone whose commute begins at 5:00 am to get to school. How can that be beneficial for any child? They have a similar commute home, any chance of afterschool activity goes out the window because, when do you do homework? When do you sleep? Eat? How is this good for anyone? The child who does not get into a school closer to home because that spot has been given to someone in a lower tier and the lower tier child who has an incredibly difficult life because of the commute into the farthest tier from their home for a quality, safe education. Selective enrollment should be just that. If you don’t get in, your neighborhood school should be a safe, quality and good option for education. We spend so much money to practice test taking for funding. Can’t we use some of that money to help all of our kids? It’s not politics, it’s all of our futures!

  • 48. Tier 4 Mom  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Taft Academic Center…defintely an option. Taft HS, not so much.

  • 49. 1900new  |  March 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Anybody have thoughts on Ogden IB High School versus Lincoln Park Honors High School?


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