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October 12, 2009 at 10:39 pm 1 comment

Computer virus is finally gone.  Thanks to the reader for the suggestion – that did the trick but I still had to have someone come look at it to fix my email.

So….the big news among CPS parents and potential parents is the end of the consent decree, which means the end of using race to assign spots in magnet, gifted, and classical programs.   For decades, CPS has balanced these classes by race (Caucasian vs Non-Caucasian) to ensure that minority students (who are actually in the majority in CPS) get spots in the desirable schools/programs.

One could argue for hours (or years) about the social implications of this decision but for now what it comes down to is: “What does it mean for my kid.”

The problem seems to be that despite knowing that this change was possibly coming down the pike, CPS seems to have no idea WHAT criteria, if any, will be used to balance the classes.

And this is resulting in chaos out on the front lines.  From what I’ve been reading on the NPN message boards, the schools themselves don’t know whether parents should fill in the race bubble on the application form.  In typical CPS bureacracy, the exact policy (if it exists) hasn’t been communicated to the school offices, nor to parents.  I’m thinking that if I fill something out this year (I probably will not, but then again that’s what I thought last year) I will fill in the race bubble just in case.

The scary thing for the parents with kids entering K next year (or trying for a spot in a higher grade) is that it is a total unknown.  In the past you kind of had an idea of where you stood in terms of odds.  Now it’s anybody’s guess.  And THAT is torture for an obsessed parent.

What the new policy will be, when it will be communicated, and HOW it’ll be communicated is all up in the air. This oughta be interesting…..

Entry filed under: Applying to schools.

Computer Virus agony Race Information from CPS

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mayfair Dad  |  October 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Abigayil Joseph, Officer

    Fall 2009

    Dear Parent and/or Guardian:

    On September 24, 2009, a federal court decision vacated the Desegregation Consent Decree that has governed the student selection process in the Chicago Public Schools for nearly 30 years.

    As a result, race-based admission criteria will no longer be used to make admissions decisions. The Board remains committed to creating diverse
    learning environments for our students. We are currently considering alternate admission procedures which will utilize selection factors other than race. We anticipate the new procedures will be presented to the Board of Education at its regular meeting on November 18, 2009.

    It is likely that sibling and proximity considerations will be maintained, as well as the current status of our magnet schools and programs. Parents and guardians and other members of the public will have an opportunity to provide input into the new procedures; please check our website ( for information related to the
    development of the new policy and how you can provide your thoughts on this process.

    The enclosed Options for Knowledge guide contains information on all our programs, schools, and processes, as well as Standard and GEAP applications. The Options guide identifies schools by school type and by program, includes helpful tips for applying, and outlines new application submission procedures for GEAP schools and Selective Enrollment High Schools. We encourage you to apply to as many schools as you would be satisfied to have your child attend.

    Please note: Because the Options guide and applications were printed before the federal
    court decision was handed down, they still contain language related to the use of race in the selection process. Any information regarding racial/ethnic selection guidelines or minority transfer programs that were governed by the Consent Decree is now obsolete and should be disregarded.

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