Is it too early to start sucking up to High School principals?

March 14, 2009 at 11:05 am 2 comments

I noticed that the CPS website has a posting about the new policy on principals’ dicretionary spots in the Selective Enrollment High Schools (also known as the high school in which your child is less likely to be shot.)

A principal can give out up to 5% of the spots.  So for example, at Northside College Prep, that is about 12-13 spots per year.   The spots can be doled out based on:

  -Achievement-Based Extra-Curricular Activities

  -Activities demonstrating Leadership Skills

  -Extenuating circumstances (scores grades don’t reflect true abilities)

  -Demonstrated ability to overcome hardship

  -Siblings (have older sibling in the school who is doing well)

I have no idea if these are currently being given out?  I know most magnet elementary schools try to get siblings in, but it doesn’t quite seem as fair when it comes to high school.  High schools usually get themselves to school so it’s not quite as imperative to have siblings together.

But ech, the pressure!  So if I can steer my child into all the Future-Type-A activities during his middle school, I can possibly weasel him into a good highschool by touting his achievements to the principal?  It’s just so much sense and yet is so repulsive at the same time.   The guidelines say that the goal is to get kids in the school who are “uniquely suited to the school’s defined educational mission.”  Well that makes sense.  And it’s great that kids who may not score super-high on the required tests but are good, active leaders get have a chance to get in these schools.  But remember, these are 8th graders applying.  I can see over-zealous parents “selling” their kids to the high schools in a way that might be worthy of a reality TV show.  I hope I’m wrong.  I hope the kids who truly should get those spots get them.  Then again, that probably precludes my future slacker son who doesn’t want to be involved in anything right now. 

And jeez, they don’t even care about how much a parent busted their butt at the elementary school collecting box tops, organizing social events, and stuffing envelopes?  What is this world coming to?

You can read more here:

Entry filed under: Applying to schools, High school. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cpsmom  |  March 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Magnet (non selective) elementary school principal’s have the same discretion. I’m hoping that my child’s acheivements will free him from the neighborhood school and into a magnet!

  • 2. Jone  |  May 9, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Very few students from my sons elementary school got into the selective enrollment high schools through the legitimate test in method. Suddenly after the principal discretion lists came out all the children of “connected” parents are touting their acceptance. This concerns me because it lowers the quality of the program for the more academically bright students. My son did no prep for the admissions tests, goes to an average elementary school and is a borderline highly invested student. I am proud of him for his ability to get in without additional props. I hope that he is not in the minority in terms of type of student admitted.

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