Answers to some comments/questions
Thanks for all the comments. It is great to find some fellow-obsessers out there. See, you’re not alone!
In response to some of the questions posed:
Q: What score do I need to get into a gifted program?
A: Well, based on group consensus, it looks like a score on the gifted portion of 130+ is the 98th percentile. Those of you with a high 130’s+ are probably in the 99th+ percentile. In the past, that would have gotten you a spot somewhere. This year it doesn’t seem as certain. My son got into one with a 127 last year so you can see the difference between last year and this year. (And yes, am I glad I gave birth in 2003 and not 2004.) I have to think that if you have a score in the 140’s that something will come your way. But I could be wrong.
Q: Why is CPS screwing our kids over with these big class sizes?
A: There isn’t enough money to hire more teachers. Illinois has a pathetic record for education funding. I really would like to know why some classes go up to 30+ while others max out at 28. I get the sense it is a school by school decision but I need to investigate that more. I do know that my son’s school has offered 28 spots for Kindergarten next year.
Q: My son scored a 144 on the ‘gifted’ portion and a 99.8 percentile ranking for the ‘classical’. He was accepted to a classical school but it’s somewhat far and was our lowest rated choice (out of 5). Do we accept by the 4/17 deadline or wait for something better?
A: That depends how badly you want him in a classical/gifted class and what your backup choices are. Only you can decide how far is too far. As I said above, with a score of 144 I’d have to think something will come your way if not this year then next year (Bell? Beaubien?) I *think* it is worth the risk of turning down the classical and waiting it out. Oh, and can you please sign a waiver saying you won’t sue me if it doesn’t work out?
Q: I was wondering if anyone has experience with siblings getting into a RGC? My son got into Edison this year and we really want our daughter to be in the same school when she is of age. If she were to get a good enough score to qualify, is there any preference for siblings?
A: The straight answer is “no.” Siblings get no preference at all. It is just straight test scores. However rumor has it that if you work the GEAP office and the principal, some of them might be willing to help work it out. Edison has always been the hardest to get into and therefore I suspect the least willing to negotiate.
Who has the authority to jack the gifted class sizes up? Is it the principal? GEAP? Or are they offering slots according to an internal rubric? With the 8000 number you are quoting, that would come out to about 160 kids testing in the top 2 percent. Divided by the available class spots, that leaves room for either smaller classes or a lower cutoff, even with the larger number of applicants…
But at what point do they say this child did not test high enough for us to increase the class size beyond our (completely ignored) limit of 28.
A: Again, no idea who decides the class size. Very good question indeed. In regards to the 2%, I know 2 things (or I suspect 2 things.) More than 2% of the kids will test as Top 2 %. I assume people who bring their kids in for the test figure they have a decent shot, so you are probably testing 8000 fairly smart kids. I bet at least 4% or more test as “Top 2%.” It is a national norm, not a Chicago CPS norm. I do know for a fact that kids get into gifted programs with lower than 98th percentile. Mine was 96th and I’m sure kids got in around town with lower than that last year. I have heard they don’t offer spots if the child is below 90th percentile.
So overall, my questions remains – what is up with the super high scores this year? More kids? Smarter kids? Different test?