Posts filed under ‘High school’
The application period for Disney II Magnet High School is opened. I didn’t realize it will require Stanine 5 in Reading and Math (although now I think I recall some of you mentioning this. True, it’s not a SE level cut-off but it certainly should set the school apart in that every student will be average or above.
Will there be a proximity lottery and tiers as with other magnets? I assume so… And we’ve heard that Disney II elem kids will get automatic entry to this school, regardless of stanine, correct?
Who do you think the school will initially attract? I feel like most kids have made peace with their high school decision so this is probably a good year to get in… when other people have already made up their minds about other schools.
I noticed that there are charters that are still taking students. I guess they can’t pull any off the 10,000 kid waiting list? (or whatever that number was…)
Disney II Magnet High School
Disney II Magnet School will expand to the high school level in fall 2013. The program will offer a college prep curriculum with an emphasis on fine
arts and technology integration. Located at 3900 N. Lawndale Ave., Disney II Magnet’s high school campus will open at the ninth grade and add one grade each year until it serves grades 9-12.
Students will be selected through a computerized lottery; to be eligible for the lottery, students must have minimum stanines of 5 in both reading comprehension and total math on their seventh grade ISAT (or another acceptable standardized test). Students with an IEP or 504 Plan must have seventh grade reading and math stanines that equal at least 10.
Click here for an application. Applications must be mailed or hand-delivered to the Office of Access and Enrollment, 125 S. Clark St., 10th floor, Chicago, IL 60603, and must be received no later than June 7, 2013, at 5 p.m. (If you mail your application, it is strongly recommended that you enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard/envelope with your application. The postcard/envelope will be returned to you as a receipt.)
CTE-College and Career Academies
Several CTE-College and Career Academies are still accepting applications. Programs offered by the schools include Early Childhood Education, Business, Pre-Engineering, Culinary Arts, Game Programming and Web Design, and many others! Click here for a list of schools still accepting applications. Call the schools directly for more information.
Nobel Charter Schools
Four campuses in the Nobel Charter School network are still accepting incoming ninth graders:
Auburn Gresham College Prep: 8748 S. Aberdeen St.
Contact Ms. Ayala at 773-729-3400
DRW Trading College Prep: 931 S. Homan Ave.
Contact Ms. Loving at 773-893-4500
Johnson College Prep: 6350 S. Stewart Ave.
Contact Ms. Delgado at 312-348-1888
Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy: 3645 W. Chicago Ave.
Contact Ms. DeJesus at 773-242-2212
For additional Noble campus enrollment information, contact 773-278-6895.
Other Charter Schools
A limited number of additional charter and contract elementary and high schools throughout the city are still accepting applications. Click the links below for more information!
Here is the other news from OAE:
There were 17,496 kids who applied for SEHS
15.206 qualified for the SE test
14,393 took the test
4,340 (30%) got an SE offer.
Of those who got an offer:
41% got their 1st choice
19% got their 2nd choice
12% got their 3rd choice
11% got their 4th choice
8% got their 5th choice
8% got their 6th choice
There are not any second rounds planned for this year as CPS has gotten progressively better about estimating the response rate for the schools. It’s not utterly impossible, but unlikely.
The scores this year “nudged down slightly” for the most part. So for a change, no increases in the cutoffs, likely due to adding 300+ extra seats. There are a few tiers within a few schools that went up but we likely won’t see the big leaps we saw the past 2 years.
Cutoffs will be posted on Monday 2/25.
The IB schools will continue to call down their own waitlist as spots are turned down there (which there likely will be due to kids getting multiple spots.)
HIGH SCHOOL LOOKS AWESOME!
Info from our friends at ChicagoSchoolGPS on high school letters. I get the sense that parents want to start obsessing already. Any speculations on how things will go down this year? Can the cutoffs for the top schools possibly get any higher? Will any previously off-the-radar schools be at the top of people’s lists this year? Will we have the threat of a fist fight like we did last year between readers?
ChicagoSchoolGPS emailed CPS and was told the letters will be “sent” by Feb. 22, which means that they may not arrive until this weekend at the earliest. I know they added an additional week of SEHS testing on Jan 26 and there were 2 testing sessions per day at some locations so the numbers of applicants was pretty high.
There will be a separate notification letter for each centralized program that your child applied to, ie. one for SEHS, one for IB, one for Magnets, one for CTE, etc. The SEHS & Military Academies will indicate zero or one offer, and the IB, CTE & Magnets will indicate zero, one or multiple offers.
Schools with their own applications (Lake View, Alcott, Lincoln Park Fine Arts & Double Honors- now changed to some form of IB, etc) are supposed to notify this week as well.
First round CPS acceptances are due by March 12.
For those interested in learning what to do next, and what’s available should their choices not pan out, as well as Principal’s Discretion for SEHS, we invite you to join us for our “What’s Next? Decisions After Notifications” seminar at Alcott HS on Thursday, 2/28 at 7PM. We will also talk about private and parochial school options and next steps. http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_What_s_Next_.html
I can’t post every NYTimes education article because there are so many great ones, but this one today got my attention about high school admissions testing and the test prep culture in the Asian community. Obviously this test prep/admissions stuff is an odd obsessions of mine, but I also always wonder if I should be channeling Tiger-Mom a bit more often. The occasional instances where I “put my foot down” about homework or math practice (probably 1 percent of what Tiger Mom did) I feel somehow empowered knowing that another parent out there was strict about homework and the results were a daughter in Harvard. The “meanness” that my 9 yo son accuses me of falls against deaf ears when I channel Tiger Mom (instead of usual Lax Permissive Hippy Mom.)
I KNEW that the NYC selective enrollment high school admission process was strictly score-based (no tier, no race.) What I didn’t realize about the NYC high school admissions process is that ALL based on the 95-questions admission test. No grades, no annual ISAT-like test, no reco letters. Just that test. Talk about high stakes.
And the discussion about the test prep focus and the Asian culture is very interesting. As we read last year, Asian students make up something like 75% of students at the city’s top HS, and there are something like 6 African American students out a few thousand. So hard to believe that for all the moaning that goes on here about Tiers that NYC uses none of that. Now there is a lawsuit being filed by the NAACP saying the process is unfair to black and hispanic students. The comments are interesting, many people in support of using the test score as the sole admissions criteria, and supporting the idea of test prep as a way to show your dedication to passing this important test.
Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times
Ting Shi said his first two years in the United States were wretched. He slept in a bunk bed in the same room with his grandparents and a cousin in Chinatown, while his parents lived on East 89th Street, near a laundromat where they endured 12-hour shifts. He saw them only on Sundays.
Even after they found an apartment together, his father often talked about taking the family back to China. So, following the advice of friends and relatives from Fuzhou, where he is from, Ting spent more than two years poring over dog-eared test prep books, attending summer and after-school classes, even going over math formulas on the walk home from school.
The afternoon his acceptance letter to Stuyvesant High School arrived in the mail, he and his parents gathered at the laundromat, the smell of detergent and the whirl of the washing machines filling the air. “Everyone was excited,” Ting recalled.
Ting’s father said he felt rejuvenated, and now dismissed the idea of returning: “I thought: the next generation will have a good future,” he said.
On Saturday, more than 15,000 students are expected to file into classrooms to take a grueling 95-question test for admission to New York City’s elite public high schools. (The exam on Sunday, for about 14,000 students, was postponed until Nov. 18 because of Hurricane Sandy.)
No one will be surprised if Asian students, who make up 14 percent of the city’s public school students, once again win most of the seats, and if black and Hispanic students win few. Last school year, of the 14,415 students enrolled in the eight specialized high schools that require a test for admissions, 8,549 were Asian.
Because of the disparity, some have begun calling for an end to the policy of using the test as the sole basis of admission to the schools, and last month, civil rights groups filed a complaint with the federal government, contending that the policy discriminated against students, many of whom are black or Hispanic, who cannot afford the score-raising tutoring that other students can. The Shis, like other Asian families who spoke about the exam in interviews in the past month, did not deny engaging in extensive test preparation. To the contrary, they seemed to discuss their efforts with pride.
They also said they were puzzled about having to defend a process they viewed as a vital steppingstone for immigrants. And more than a few saw the criticism of the test as an attack on their cultures, as troubling to them as grumblings about the growing Asian presence in these schools and the prestigious colleges they feed into. “You know: ‘You’re Asian, you must be smart,’ ” said Jan Michael Vicencio, an immigrant from Manila and a junior at Brooklyn Tech, one of the eight schools that use the test for admission. “And you’re not sure it’s a compliment or an insult. We get that a lot.”
Almost universally, the Asian students described themselves on one edge of a deep cultural chasm.
They cited their parents’ observance of ancient belief systems like Confucianism, a set of moral principles that emphasizes scholarship and reverence for elders, as well as their rejection of child-rearing philosophies more common in the United States that emphasize confidence and general well-being.
Several students said their parents did not shy away from corporal punishment as a means of motivating them. And they said that rigorous testing was generally an accepted practice in their home countries, with the tests viewed not so much as measures of intelligence, but of industriousness.
“Most of our parents don’t believe in ‘gifted,’ ” said Riyan Iqbal, 15, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, as he and his friends — of Bengali, Korean and Indian descent — meandered toward the subway from the Bronx High School of Science one recent afternoon. “It’s all about hard work.”
No student, they said, was off the hook. Riyan, the son of a taxi driver and a Duane Reade cashier, and his schoolmates said their parents routinely plied them with motivational tales about the trials they endured back home, walking to school barefoot, struggling with hunger, being set back by floods and political unrest. “You try to make up for their hardships,” Riyan said.
The summer after sixth grade, Riyan spent most days at a small storefront “cram school,” memorizing surface area and volume formulas. In seventh grade, he was back there on Saturday and Sundays, unscrambling paragraphs and plowing through reading passages. The classes cost his parents $200 a month.
“I knew my parents would still love me if I didn’t get into Bronx Science,” he said. “But they would be very disappointed.”
Jerome Krase, a professor emeritus in sociology at Brooklyn College, and one of the editors of “Race and Ethnicity in New York City,”said that a growing number of Asian immigrants in recent years had experienced serious adversity in their home countries. “The children hold the honor of the family in their hands,” Professor Krase said. “If they succeed, the fComplaints about the test and its effect on the racial makeup of the top schools date back at least to the civil rights era. When school officials began openly discussing changing the admissions policy in the early 1970s, white parents persuaded the State Legislature to pass a law cementing the test as the only basis of admission to the specialized high schools. At the time, according to an article in The New York Times in 1971, Stuyvesant High School was mostly white, 10 percent black, 4 percent Puerto Rican or “other Spanish surnamed,” and 6 percent Asian.
This year at Stuyvesant, 72 percent are Asian and less than 4 percent are black or Hispanic.
Melissa Potter, a spokeswoman for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, one of the groups that filed the complaint with the United States Department of Education in September, said that though some of the city’s poorest Asian immigrants had found their way into these schools, many were still being left out, for the same reason that poor blacks and Hispanics were: they do not have access to the grueling, expensive and time-consuming test preparation for the exam. The complaint argued that other factors, like school grades, teacher recommendations and personal experience should also be taken into account.
City education officials, as well as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, have rejected the idea that the one-test entry system should be rethought. “You pass the test,” the mayor said last month, “you get the highest score, you get into the school — no matter what your ethnicity, no matter what your economic background is.”
The city began offering a free test-prep program several years ago for black and Hispanic students, but after a legal challenge, other ethnic groups were granted the same access to the course. Today, 43 percent of the students in the program are Asian. Three years ago, Ting Shi was one of them.
The filing of the complaint has led to some uncomfortable discussions about race, aided by the anonymity of the Internet. On the elite schools’ alumni Web sites, discussions can veer into “dangerous territory,” as one commenter from Brooklyn Tech recently noted during a heated exchange. The discussion included a post about how the N.A.A.C.P. ought to be pushing parents to get “more involved in their children’s education.”
Meanwhile, a parent on a popular education e-mail list referred to the “Asian-ification” of the elite schools, and a post on Urban Baby grumbled about “Asian kids taking all the spots because they prep excessively.”
Criticizing Asians’ success on the test is “like a defense mechanism,” said Faria Kabir, a sophomore at Brooklyn Tech, who emigrated from Bangladesh when she was 6. “It’s like someone is blaming you for something that isn’t actually your fault.”
Beyond issues of race, those who favor a broader admissions policy say the reliance on one test for admission, one that has spawned an industry of tutoring programs, has distorted what it means to be a top student.
Sharon Chambers, the owner of a karate studio in Queens, whose son, Kyle, was scheduled to take the test on Saturday, said students should be able to demonstrate their abilities in a more well-rounded way, one that might not cost so much. “A test like this is not a full indicator of a child’s potential,” Ms. Chambers, who is black, said.
Others take issue with the exam on philosophical grounds. “You shouldn’t have to prep Sunday to Sunday, to get into a good high school,” said Melissa Santana, a legal secretary whose daughter Dejanellie Falette has been prepping this fall for the exam. “That’s extreme.”
But a Bensonhurst resident, Emmie Cheng, who is of Chinese descent but emigrated here as a child from Cambodia, was not sure she agreed.
This fall, her daughter Kassidi has spent every Tuesday afternoon and all of Saturday at the Horizon Program, a tutoring program near her house, reviewing work she has done over the past three years. Kassidi also takes a prep class on Sundays.
Still, Ms. Cheng, a director at a shoe importing company, said guiding her daughter through this process — which cost her about $2,000 this year alone — paled in comparison to what she had experienced earlier in her life. Her father and four brothers died of starvation during Cambodia’s civil war. And once here, she said, she watched her mother struggle in a garment factory.
“This is the easy part,” Ms. Cheng said.
So as some of the north side High Schools (maybe other sides too… if so, please fill me in) are being considered by more Tier3-4 parents (Amundsen, Senn, Lake View) I’m finding parents with youngish kids wondering how to chart these waters.
I have sort of come to grips with the fact that if my son goes to a neighborhood high school he will likely be in school alongside some undesirable kids – namely gang members. I think most other high school ills tend to be universal across suburbs and cities and small towns. Drugs, sex, the usual. And I think many of us feel prepared to help our kids deal with that stuff. So I’m thinking I’d put “gang kids” on that same list. As long as I can feel the school is safe and he isn’t likely to be shived or shot then I will probably be okay.
These schools have fairly impressive (though a bit dingy) facilities. Most were build around the turn of the century, I’m guessing? I would SO love to be able to see some of these schools when they were new. They’re such impressive structures. Having owned a giant house that was build in the 20′s, I can only imagine the cost of upkeeping these buildings. But like my house was, you get a sense of “they don’t build ‘em like they used to.” They seem so solid and majestic
The schools all have an impressive amount of activities. I know Lake View has several languages kids can take. Amundsen has an awesome band and band leader. All the clubs galore. WAY more than I expected of neighborhood schools, given their reputation.
So for me, the final frontier is academics. How do we determine whether our kids can truly get a good education in these schools? The new principal at Amundsen is forthcoming about their data — they get kids coming in with lowish scores and they are making strides in raising these scores. But it’s hard to take kids who may not have great reading and math skills and turn them out in 4 years with ACT scores of 25. I sense the teachers at Amundsen and Lake View (the 2 I’ve visited, and obviously we know how Todd is at Senn) are certainly capable of teaching/engaging/challenging students.
But how can we as parents assess whether a high school can make our kids truly “college-ready” as they say. Capable of holding their own against the New Trier kids. Well, at least the New Trier kids who go to state schools.
Can we trust the schools to make it happen? Do we need to push them? Do we need to request something (more AP classes? something else?)
I’m hoping that as high schools gets closer in 4 years it’ll be more obvious, but I think parents realized that it could take a few years to convince parents that the neighborhood schools are viable options. I think the IB programs are going to be an easy sell, as is the Senn Arts program (or any other selective program – God knows we parents eat that stuff up.) But if my dream of having my son walk to high school is to come true, I think I’m going to need some kind of academic reassurance. I just don’t know what that is yet.
(Photo credit: http://chuckmancollectionvolume15.blogspot.com/ )
Here’s a guest post from HSObsessed, who btw, has a child in 8th grade this year, and if we butter her up, will hopefully keep us posted of their search process.
I learned on Alderman Bob Fioretti’s Twitter feed that there’s a new group in the south Loop working to try to establish a new neighborhood high school for kids living in and near the south Loop, to be housed in the current Jones College Prep building. JCP is getting a new facility nearby, which will be completed and ready for that school’s selectively enrolled freshmen in fall 2013.
The “Reuse Jones” group seems to have Ald. Fioretti’s support and they print his letter to Mayor Emanuel on their website www.reusejones.org
The website contains a few links to articles but doesn’t have a good statement of purpose of exactly what they want and why. From what I can surmise, they believe that there are enough families in the south and west Loop who would like to send their kids to CPS high schools, but they’re not thrilled with the current options of Phillips and Crane.
Here’s a link to the maps showing the boundaries of the neighborhood high schools that serve the Loop area currently, one for Streeterville. (Red schools are neighborhood schools; all the blue schools are high schools that have enrollment by application, lottery, etc.)
It looks like like Phillips is the neighborhood high school for nearly all the Loop south and east of the Chicago River, with a huge boundary, some of which goes all the way down to 59th Street. Phillips can hold up to 2100 students but only has 663 enrolled, with 91% low income. The average ACT score is 13.4. Only 2.5% of graduates are considered eligible to enroll in selective colleges. (This is determined by a metric using each student’s GPA combined with their ACT. If a student has a 3.0 GPA and scores 18 or higher on the ACT, they are considered eligible to enroll in a selective college, so in my opinion, the bar is set pretty low.)
Crane is the neighborhood high school for those in the west loop, west of the Chicago River, between 1800 south and Kinzie on the north. Crane was going to be shut down by CPS earlier this year but community members rallied to keep it open, and it will now be a health sciences high school. It has space for up to 2300 students with 2000 ideal, but currently enrolls 638 students, 94% low income. They post a 14.0 average ACT score, and 3.7% of graduates are considered eligible for selective colleges.
Since we’re looking at the Loop area, Wells is the high school for the “new East Side”, which is northeast of Michigan and Randolph, as well as for kids in Streeterville and RIver North. Wells ideally enrolls 1400 but has 630 students, 94% low income, posting average ACTs of 14.9, and 7.2% are eligible for selective colleges.
So what do you think about the group’s argument that a new neighborhood high school is needed in the Loop? None of the existing nabe high schools is doing spectacular in terms of test scores, but they’re likely enrolling kids from lower performing K-8 schools. Those “college eligible” scores are pretty dismal. (To give you a comparison, 36.6% of Lake View High School’s graduates are considered to be college eligible.) None of the existing high schools are very close to the Loop itself, with Phillips in particular at 3900 south, meaning a potential commute of more than five miles for a kid to get to his “neighborhood” high school.
However, I’m wondering whether there truly enough kids currently in 7th/6th grade who not only live in the theoretical boundaries of this new school, but who would in 2-3 years actually attend it. It’s one thing to “think” your kid will go to a certain school, but then another reality to turn down an offer from a more-established school and commit to the new school. Given the very, very low usage rates of the current high schools, I’m sure CPS is loathe to pay for yet another set of salaries for a principal, AVP, teachers, etc. in addition to the various operational costs of the facility. I think the SaveJones group will have to come up with hard demographic data about where current high schoolers within the boundary attend to convince CPS.
Well, this sure is interesting. And you have to hand it to the Jones HS students for putting old JCB on the spot and protesting in favor of their fellow CPS students! You know I have mixed feelings about this – I’d rather see the neighborhood schools “get good” but maybe both those things can happen. We know there are plenty of “best and brighest” kids who scored really well and didn’t get their top choice school. This still aint gonna get them into Northside, but hopefully by offering more seats, there will be less fierce competition at each school.
Brizard: Chicago will open more selective enrollment high schools
April 5, 2012
Chicago schools CEO Jean Claude Brizard said Thursday evening the city will create more selective enrollment high schools.
“Short answer is yes. We have demand,” Brizard said, when students from Jones College Prep High School asked whether the city would expand the number of selective enrollment high schools. Brizard made his comments on WBEZ’s monthly Schools on the Line program.
“The city cannot only have selectives, but at the same time, when you look at 24,000, 25,000, 30,000 people applying for 5,000 seats across the city, clearly there is a need and there is a want and there is a demand for that kind of school,” Brizard said.
In late January, Brizard said at a school fair that Chicago was “a bit too obsessed with selective enrollment.” Both he and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have emphasized expansion of other types of schools, including charter schools, International Baccalaureate programs and STEM schools focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.
Brizard said the district was responding to demands from parents to open more selective schools. This year, competition to get into the city’s selective high schools ramped up, with near-perfect scores required for admission to some.
Brizard reiterated his commitment to neighborhood schools as the city’s primary education strategy, saying the city needs a “huge focus” on improving them.
Jones College Prep is one of nine selective enrollment high schools in Chicago. The students who asked Brizard the question said it seems unfair to have so few selective enrollment schools in a district with 400,000 students.
The CPSObsessed switchboard is lighting up with the news!
I did NOT see this one coming. I’ve been wanting to do a post on the IB programs lately as I’m not all that familiar with them and the CPS admissions information confused me a little bit. Also, we continuously hear how rigorous these programs are (with a substantial attrition rate.) Thanks to everyone who sent me the info as it was breaking and to HSObsessed for writing the info below. She also says the video is “sweet.” Rahm? Really. I better take a look…
During a lunch time announcement at Curie, Rahm Emanuel announced that CPS will expand its high school IB program from serving 3,500 currently to serving 6,000 to 7,000 students, including five “wall-to-wall” IB high schools, and five new programs within other schools as well, all by “early 2013″. Emanuel said this is the first expansion of IB in Chicago in 15 years. He spoke about how parents are taking their families to the suburbs instead of staying in the city for high school due to the perceived lack of options, and that this will serve that need. He spoke about how the new all-IB high schools will be another option in addition to charters, the STEM programs, and the SE high schools.
Lots of questions remain: They didn’t say where the high schools will be, and it may not be determined yet, because they said they would work with aldermen and principals to see where the need is greatest. Not sure if they will phase out the neighborhood programs and phase in all-IB. Not sure if entry will be all-competitive, or if neighborhood kids have automatic entry but must be in the IB program. Not sure if these 10 initiatives are in addition to or instead of the existing programs.
Hopefully CPS will post documents with details soon.
Video of the news conference is here.
Sun Times story:
New research paper on CPS IB programs. Beware, it’s 72 pages. I am going to try to read it as it came to me, recommended by a CPS IB teacher.
The PD handbook was supposed to have posted last night on cpsmagnet.org. The application period will run March 9-23.
Continue to post high school admission info and questions here.
Please put any comments about the Tier debate here: http://cpsobsessed.com/2012/03/06/the-great-tier-debate/
FYI: Lake View High School is still taking applications this week and is having a community info session Weds 3/7 at 6:30.
Ok, here is my write-up of the interview. Some of the comments are paraphrased, based on my recollection and messy notes.
Feel free to comment or share your conspiracy theories.
The chart above (thanks to the Sun Times!) shows the change in scores versus last year. I highlighted differences of 20+ points in the Min and Mean scores. I don’t know how to un-fuzzy it. The actual scores are listed here: http://cpsmagnet.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=235713&id=0
Interview with Katie Ellis
Director of the Office of Access and Enrollment
How would you explain the goal of the Tier system?
The goal is to promote socio-economic diversity in the schools. There are certain neighborhoods “in isolation” within the city, both poor and wealthy. The goal is to promote diversity, to bridge the gap, and bring students together.
The factors that go into the Tier definitions correlate with educational achievement.
Starting 29 years ago CPS used race to support diversity. We build great, racially diverse schools. Then the consent decree reversed that policy. So the question was, should turn back on the success of these schools that were created for diversity?
The city of Chicago says “no,” that diversity is still important to use. We’ve looked at what would happen without the impact of the tiers and it looks a lot like NYC does.
We understand that kids are disappointed when they don’t get their first choice but the goal of diversity is something that CPS really believes in. We’re trying to strike a balance between social diversity AND giving the top kids a seat. We’re striving to successfully balance that.
What was the reaction to the higher cutoff scores this year within the OAE office?
We immediately noticed that the scores when up across the Tiers. That was very apparent.
Why do you think that happened? I first thought it was the Tier 4 cutoffs, but when all the cutoffs were posted I saw that it was across Tiers.
There were more applications this year. Around 14,000. More competition.
FYI, there are around 30-35K kids per class. Around 9-12% of the applications are from private school students.
There were also fewer seats this year. This was based on the numbers to replace the current graduating class.
What is the story with 2nd round offers?
The goal is not to make second round offers. We make more offers than there are seats, so we try to anticipate how many kids will turn down offers.
The SE test seems to allow for a lot of kids to get 300 points which ends up with a lot of kids having very high scores (which leads to frustration.) Can’t we have a test that discriminates better?
**REVISED: To clarify, CPS gives points based on the percentile. The percentile tells a prospective student where he or she fared based on everyone else who took the test. When we look at the actual scaled scores, we see a large range of scores. Therefore, just because a student scored better than 99% of people taking the test, that doesn’t mean he or she got a perfect score on the test. Also, this doesn’t mean that we are not grading the full test.
Three hundred points does not necessarily equal a perfect score on the test, and when we look at the actual scale scores, you can see that. It’s harder to give points based on a scale score because every year, depending on the competition level, the number of points you would give would have to change. Percentiles are an easier way to convey to parents how students are actually doing.
Why can’t the SE test happen earlier so kids can know their whole 900 point score BEFORE applying to schools? This would help frame their expectations and be more efficient for touring schools.
We have to allow time in the fall for kids to take the ISATs if they missed them. These scores are used to see who qualifies for the SE test. So once it is all scheduled, we end up with the SE test happening when it does. The other option would be to allow everyone to take the test earlier, but this is a big expense for the district (since all kids could take the test, but roughly only half would qualify for application to the SE schools based on their ISAT scores.)
Why do the letter mail out late every year?!
We do the best we can, trying to make sure everything is accurate. We worked that weekend to get them out on Monday.
Why does it take the whole week to post the cutoff scores?
There are a few kids who experience calculation errors each year. We work to resolve those and post only the final cutoffs. We don’t want to post anything inaccurate so we wait until those issues are resolved.
What is the story about birthdate being used as a tiebreaker?
That is the 6th criteria after other test-based criteria and has never actually been used. But it exists, just in case.
What are parents supposed to do who have kids who have very good scores, but not good enough to place into an SE high school? Where does CPS see as a place for these kids? The neighborhood schools still look pretty scary.
The portfolio office is analyzing this. The goal is to have a good option for everyone. We know we’re not there yet, but that is the goal. We encourage parents to be open minded about their options and be thorough about seeking options.
What is the selection process for out-of-neighborhood kids at neighborhood high schools such as Lake View?
It is lottery based, with no Tier impact. Last year LVHS had 1200 applicants outside of their area.
Is there a department or person in CPS who can help parents who are trying to improve their neighborhood high school?
(Sounds like not really.) The portfolio office might be a place to start.