Posts filed under ‘High school’

High School Letter Post 2014

album-various-artists-rock-n-roll-high-school

3 years away and counting…. for my son.  Man, it goes fast!

High school letters will be mailed out on Friday, February 21.  Students will have until March 7th to choose their 1 school.

Cutoff scores will be posted next week (week of 2/24.)
Here are OAE’s FAQs on the letters with info on the process and Principal Discretion.

http://cpsmagnet.org/FAQs%20–%202014-2015%20Notification%20Process.pdf

For now, those of you with 8th graders can start the final countdown to knowing WHERE your child will be attending high school.  What a big fork in the road, leaving most of their elementary classmates and heading to bigger buildings in new locations.  Sniff, sniff, I get a little teary-eyed thinking about it.

On a bright note, it’s a chance to branch out, meet new kids from all across the city and exert some independence, breaking free from schools where they are still housed with Kindergarteners.

I hear the private school letters have gone out already.  Any news on those?

Good luck to everyone.  May your wide net casted pay off now.

February 20, 2014 at 8:18 pm 1,266 comments

Change in test scores allowed from private schools for SEHS

test-cartoon-picture20testanxiety1

Ok, this is going to be a lot of “I heard” and “my understanding is” because I don’t know exactly what has gone down or why this bubbled to the surface lately.  But…

My understanding is that some Chicago private schools have been administering their 7th grade standardized test (most privates do not use the ISATs) twice during the same year to students.  The school then allowed the student to submit the higher test score to CPS for their selective enrollment calculation.   I believe the tests were spaces several months apart, possibly one in Fall and one in Spring.

Private school kids have also always been allowed to take the ISAT and submit those scores if they’re preferable (the ISAT having a reputation as being easier than the private school tests, although anecdotely I know someone who score better on the private test.)

In any case, this past week, CPS decided to limit these schools from allowing kids to submit the higher of the test scores and CPS has contacted the schools to let them know that current 7th graders (and I assume 5th graders for AC?) would be allowed to submit only one score, and it would be one that CPS determined.  I keep hearing different things, but most recently heard that it would be the Fall test (first test taken?)  So a student who thought they had until Spring to prepare has now learned that they will be “stuck” with a test already taken, potentially as practice/warm-up.

Again, I could be wrong about which test they can submit, as I hear different things.  In addition, I’ve heard that it *may* also affect current 8th graders, but that isn’t confirmed (actually none of this is “confirmed” but rather told to me by parents.)

Similarly, CPS students don’t know as of now, which 7th/5th grade test scores will be used next year.

It’s a tough situation.  It seems to make sense that OAE has cracked down, but a drag if you have a kid caught in the 7th grade (maybe 8th grade?) class when the change was made.   I suppose in fairness, once the public school test is announced, then everyone can take that, including private school kids, and they’ll all be on a level playing field.

What do you think? Was it fair to the private school 7th graders to change the rules on them at this point?  Or was it just a given that taking the same test twice shouldn’t be allowed and therefore the timing doesn’t matter?

December 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm 508 comments

High School “Hidden Gems” School Fair Sunday 9/22

Hidden Gems Fair

Chicago School GPS is holding a high school “hidden gems” fair this weekend.  http://www.chischoolgps.com/Home_Page.html

Follow the link to register.  Admission is $20/family at the door or $10 if you register in advance.

As of today, there will be 27 high schools at the fair.  What a great chance to find out about a lot of schools in one place!

Gordon Tech
Chicago HS for the Arts(ChiArts)
Chicago Academy for the Arts
Holy Trinity High School
Alcott High School
Senn High School
Chicago Waldorf School
St. Benedict’s Prep
Queen of Peace High School
Global Citizenship Experience
Wolcott School
Luther North
Resurrection College Prep
Beacon Academy (Montessori)
Intrinsic School
Providence St. Mel
Lycee Francais
Disney II
Regina Dominica
Notre Dame College Prep
Westinghouse College Prep
Willows Academy
Chicago Hope Academy
Notre Dame for Girls
ASPIRA Early College Prep
British School
Lindblom Math & Science

September 18, 2013 at 12:28 am 405 comments

2013 SEHS Application and Acceptance Rates

Sorry it took me so long to run these numbers.  I’m finally having a true lazy weekend (and am using it for fun stuff like this as well as tackling the final storage locker frontier from my move a year ago.)

This show the 3 of acceptances by Tier compared to the # of applications by Tier for each school.  I made an assumption that each student applied to 5 schools to estimate the number of unique applicants.  For Tier 4, I assume kids applied to only 4.5 schools because… well, we know how Tier 4 people based on what has been written here in the past.  I’ll see if CPS will give me the # of applicants by Tier.

As you can see, Tier 4 kids have the best shot at admission, likely due to the Rank seats being filled by their higher scores.  If my estimates about 3 of applicants is correct, then nearly half of Tier 4 kids who apply get a spot somewhere.  (I did the calculation for the 4 “top” schools that Tier 4 parents seem to desire and the odds of getting in at one of NSCP, WY, Payton, Jones is 26%.)  Tier 1 and 2 kids have the worst odds of getting in overall.

You can see that Westinghouse or South Shore would be a pretty good place for tier 4 kids to land, given the much higher odds of entry there.

Lane was the school that had the most Tier 4 applicants, while W Young had the most from all the other tiers.

Updated with # of students from OAE.

Updated with # of students from OAE.

 

July 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm 134 comments

Disney II High School (and other schools still open)

Disney2

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…)

http://www.disneyiimagnet.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=194329&type=d&pREC_ID=391864

FROM CPS.

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!

Elementary School Charter Options

High School Charter Options

April 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm 123 comments

SEHS news and numbers from OAE

Here is the other news from OAE:

Woman_Using_Monroe_Adding_Machine

Application Stats

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.)

February 22, 2013 at 6:09 pm 329 comments

2013 High School Letters being mailed this week

CORBIN BLEU, ASHLEY TISDALE, MONIQUE COLEMAN, VANESSA HUDGENS, LUCAS GRABEEL, ZAC EFRON

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?

http://www.chischoolgps.com/

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

February 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm 1,453 comments

NYTimes Article: For Asians, School Tests Are Vital Steppingstones

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.

October 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm 199 comments

Figuring out the High School thing

Lake View HS 1957

Senn HS 1957

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.

Any thoughts?

(Photo credit: http://chuckmancollectionvolume15.blogspot.com/ )

October 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm 663 comments

South Loop community interested in using Jones building for a new High School (guest post)

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.)

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B1EhAcy8TtneNUt5ZEtHSE9iWDA

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.

July 27, 2012 at 9:33 am 81 comments

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