Bureaucracy Rant – Gifted Classes

November 1, 2009 at 8:14 am 7 comments

I have a series of CPS bureaucracy rants queued up in my head, so I’ll start with a short one:

I found out this school year, that if a child drops out of a gifted (and I assume classical) class during the school year, CPS doesn’t fill the spot.  Even if it happens during the first week of school when plenty of families would be eager to get that spot.

A boy in my son’s 1st grade class dropped out right at the beginning of school this year due to transportation issues (never attended, and I’m sure had notified the school.)  When I inquired about the spot being filled, I was told that CPS doesn’t do that.  So that one spot still sits empty.

In fact, this past week (7 weeks into school) the school added some bus routes so the family inquired about getting their son back in the class, but CPS (GEAP) said no.  Policy says no.

* Bureaucracy rant over.*

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Am I Raising Cain? Elementary School Rankings

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. KevinG.  |  November 2, 2009 at 10:39 am

    My son goes to Edison Regional Gifted. In his class, 2 students just didn’t show up on th 1st day of school. Another student has left because her family move to another state. I guess I should be happy that there are fewer kids in his class, but I can’t help but think of all the Chicago parents out there that would kill for their son/daughter to go to Edison. I guess the issues of buses/transportation, “taking” a student from another school (along with consequent funding issues, etc.), making the proper minority/non-minorit fit (although the end of the Consent Decree has rendered this moot, so CPS most likely doesn’t even know how to handle this issue yet, since socioeconomic guidelines are still in the works), not to mention other logistical headaches, of which I’m sure there are many, all make things too cumbersome to enroll new students after the start of the new year, but still…. –what a waste of a much sought after educational opportunity!!

  • 2. turn it positive  |  November 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Hey, perhaps folks could let you know when there is an opening in their child’s school and what grade it is. That way when parents are ranking their choices, they can put the ones that they know have an opening first.

    Edison just had one kindergartener move. That means at least one 1st grade opening in the Fall.

  • 3. no can do  |  November 3, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Here is the dirty little secret. If a parent with a student from a private school or a parent with a student just moving into the city of Chicago has a child that could be in that grade (and for gifted/classical, brings the test scores to prove it)…Guess what? That new parent gets to enroll that new kid into that SE school—yes, they do. So no ‘opening’ is held by the SE school, for the next year. There is a slice of reality.

  • 4. Y  |  November 3, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Supposedly, CPS used to fill the spots unclaimed at the beginning of the year. This policy seems to have changed in the recent past. I received this information from an informed parent of an 8th grader at a RGC.

  • 5. RGC mom  |  November 4, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    As recently as two years ago they were offering spots at RGC’s and Classical schools in September. And at my daughter’s magnet families have enrolled mid year on at least 2 occasions. This leads me to speculate that if this parent had clout or knew who to talk to she could make this happen.

  • 6. Mayfair Dad  |  November 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Typical CPS. If managing a waitlist properly and filling sudden opportunistic openings with qualified applicants means extra work for some CPS paper-pusher, it aint gonna happen. But if you are in-the-know or have clout, you can muscle your way in.

    I’m sure the consent decree fallout muddies an already murky situation.

  • 7. adam  |  May 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    May 19, 2011

    Chicago Public Schools – Office of Superintendent
    Attn: Terry Mazany
    125 S Clark St
    Chicago IL 60603

    Dear Terry Mazany,

    Our daughter tested for RGC schools back last year and scored a 142. We thought we wouldn’t have much of an issue getting into one of the schools we selected since this put her into the top 0.2% and everything we read said that she should get an offer. After the first round and no offer we called OAE jus to make sure our mail wasn‘t lost. We talked with a Trudy Wallace, who we were told was “in charge of the selection process.”. We were told by Trudy not to worry and that looking at our application that Pritzker was our best shot, but that Edison was tough and that she wasn’t sure about our third choice.

    We didn’t get an offer in the second round. Someone we know, that also is in Tier 3 with a 142, got an offer to Pritzker we called back up the OAE and again were directed to Trudy Wallace. Trudy said that she remembered our last conversation but that it didn’t appear that Pritzker was on the application. But, since Trudy remembered our conversation and remembered Pritzker being there the last time we talked that she would file the adjustment. She also promised to get back to us and let us know what our chances of getting in during the third round would be. I was seriously worried at this point…it really scared me that anyone could make adjustments. How could someone have adjusted our application in the first place? How come we weren’t notified that the application had been changed?

    After weeks of not hearing from her, we called back. This time Trudy was apologetic. She didn’t remember telling me that she would call me back. But she did say that she ran into a snag when trying to fix her mistake. I asked “What mistake?” and then she got scared. Trudy stopped talking about anything and would only transfer me Brian Pool who is “in charge of the selection process.” Brian is the second person that we are talking with who is in charge of the process. And only Mr. Pool’s voicemail would be available. I left a message, but Brian did not return my phone call. After six calls to his office I finally got in touch with him.

    Brian looked at our application, but didn’t see the same information that Trudy did. He didn’t see Pritzker in our selections. He said that he had talked with Trudy about this, and that Trudy had tried to fix the error, but that there was no process that would allow for it to be fixed. I asked “What error?” He said he would have to talk with Trudy. He also said that he couldn’t find any notes that Trudy made; and, that he found it odd that after the extensive conversations that he had with Trudy about this specific issue that there would be no notes in the system. Brian said he would follow-up with Trudy but offered no resolution.

    I have serious concerns with OAE. How was our application changed the first time? What mistake is Trudy talking about? How come the problem can’t be fixed even when senior people in the organization see the mistake?

    We need this resolved and need to find out what is going on. We will need to move out of town if we are unable to get our daughter into an appropriate school for which she should have gotten an offer weeks ago.

    Kind Regards,

    Adam Faust
    2336 N Damen Ave #2S
    Chicago IL 60647

    Cc. Abigayil Joseph
    Dr. Joenil Albert-Reese
    Brian Pool
    Trudy Walace
    Mary Richardson-Lowry
    Clare Munana
    Mayor’s Office
    Scott Waguespack
    Jean-Claude Brizard

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