The Gifted/Classical selection process

March 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm 16 comments

I’ve been writing a page that will be a FAQ for the Gifted/Classical program, but in the meantime, here’s what I’ve written about the selection process for those who don’t know.

I would pay good money to get to be in the GEAP office during this whole process. (Hey, there’s a CPS fundraiser idea!)

As a disclaimer, this is my interpretation.  Please add any information or other interpretations you may have…

How does GEAP select who gets in?

Once all the kids have tested, they rank the kids in test score order.  They start at the top and see what school those kids picked and assign them their top choices.   They keep moving down the list of test scores, assigning kids, trying to get you into your highest choice.

In the past, there were 2 lists of kids: Caucasian and Non-Caucasian.  Caucasian kids could get up to 35% of the spots in a class (they make up about 9% of CPS overall.)  So the GEAP office worked its way down the 2 lists separately.

For the 2010/2011 school year, CPS is using a 4-Tier system that assigns kids to schools based on the socio-economics of their census tract.  40% of gifted/classical spots will be assigned based on test score alone, and the remaining 60% of spots will be evenly divided by Tier.   There is no gender balancing in the gifted/classical program.

Once the first round of spots are offered and some families turn spots down, GEAP will continue to call to fill the spots, moving down the list (by Tier) until each class is filled.  You could even be called the week before school starts.

If your child scores really high, they’ll probably get a spot in your top choice.  If they scored well, but not super-great, they may get in your 3rd or 4th (or last) choice.

As note on strategy:  If you accept your #4 choice, you won’t get to move up to your #1 if a spot opens.  That is the tricky part – do you take #4 or take the chance of turning it down in hopes of a better (or closer) position being offered.

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Entry filed under: Gifted / Classical Testing, Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Those letter are coming soon… Da budget

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. two cents  |  March 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    But, I imagine that there is a minimum cutoff for the gifted (130) and classical (95%) schools. What if NONE of the students in a particular tier are able to hit the low benchmark? Do they still have to let 4 in even if none score higher than, say, the 80th percentile? * the parentheses are my guess at recommended levels*

  • 2. Y  |  March 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    If there are not enough students in a specific tier that meets the cutoff score, the remaining unfilled seats from that tier are re-distributed to the other tiers. The threshold is probably around the 90% mark.

  • 3. KCK  |  March 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    What if there’s only 1 spot left, which tier is going to get this last one?

  • 4. LR  |  March 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I don’t know if this is still the case, but last year when we started looking at gifted/classical schools, I was told the minimum score for classical schools was 80th percentile and for gifted schools 90th percentile (which is confusing, because we did not get a percentile score for gifted schools last year). As we all know, your child needs to generally score much higher to actually get in. Also, I’m not sure that if your child scores well, but not super great, they will probably get their 3rd or 4th choice. I would say my child scored very well last year, and we did not get any of our choices. Even with the new system in place, I don’t see this changing real drastically. I hope I can look back in a week and say I was wrong about that.

  • 5. 37 kids in a class  |  March 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Check out the budget powepoint. No bus service, 37 kids in a room and cuts to magnet/gifted/classical programs. I guess more slots may open up sooner than everyone thinks. http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/district-299/FY2011%20Budget%20Briefing.pdf

  • 6. Oh I forgot one thing  |  March 15, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Half day Kindergarten and they are not just talking about neighborhood schools either.

  • 7. chicago taxpayer  |  March 15, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    This makes me sick. You’ll notice the slide with the 4% COLA adjustment. This was awarded on a year with -4% inflation!!!!!! and amounts to approximately $80 million dollars. How can anyone possibly justify doing this??? The inmates are definitely running the asylym. Cutting kindergarden! Gutting the few academically enhanced programs — which are rounding items in the budget. Increasing class sizes!! No bus service. The big items are $300 M in additional teacher pensions contributions. Gifted programs are about 1/2 of 1% of the budget.

  • 8. not so hopeful anymore  |  March 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    This is sickening. Those cuts are huge. I am pretty sure parents at our magnet will vote to pay out of pocket for full day kinder, but classes of 37 (or more since that is simply the number they use to fund teachers….1 teacher for every 37 kids in the whole school. Meaning, if one grade level has 35 in each class, another grade level might have 39-40 in each class).
    I am not sure I am willing to send my kids to a classroom with nearly 40 kids in it.

  • 9. cpsobsessed  |  March 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    @KCK – that is a good question that I was just wondering about last week. To use the tiers, they’d need to profile each kid in the current class, which I don’t think they’re doing.
    Maybe the principal will have discretion to ballpark it? In my son’s class it is blatantly clear that there’s a lack of Tier 1. It would be an easy call. Probably not as clear in other schools.
    Will be interesting to see….

  • 10. KCK  |  March 15, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    @cpsobsessed-according to the OAE office, magnet schools, magnet cluster schools, and open enrollment schools no longer have a principal discretion allowance this year, not sure about the Gifted/Classical program!

  • 11. cpsobsessed  |  March 15, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Well, this would be discretion about Tier, not child. But yeah, I suspect principal discretion is on the outs right now.

  • 12. not so hopeful anymore  |  March 16, 2010 at 7:41 am

    I wonder, if class sizes go up to 37, if schools will then combine grade levels to get those numbers (as in 28 Kindergarteners and 9 1st graders) or if they will just add slots or if they will achieve that ratio by eliminating art, music, library, gym and tech?
    I also wonder, if full day kindergarten is done across the board, how many schools will offer the option of parent funded full day?
    My husband and I were up talking until the wee hours of the night trying to figure out if we will allow our kids in schools with these cuts, if we’d homeschool (something I have never wanted to do) or if we’d short sale our place to get out and move to the suburbs (we are trying to sell now for other reasons, but if not…..)
    I can’t imagine teaching 37-40 in a class. Especially not in most schools where parent support in zero. This kept me up most of the night. The reality is frightening. I know years ago teachers did it, but scores will plummet, behavior problems will rise and stress will be rampant.

  • 13. dave4118  |  March 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    My neighborhood elementary school is huge, 1,000 students. That means that they have 3, sometimes 4 classes per grade. This allows them to have 1 or 2 ESL classes(english-as-a-second language), one regular track, and one comprehensive gifted track; what will be cut in the upcoming scenario? I suspect that the bulk of any aditional funds they receive arrive because of the low-income/language barrier problems of the student population( I know the school has a huge percentage of low-income families that apply for the state/federal lunch money funds). Will the school decide that they need to serve the largest constituency by cutting the comprehensive gifted in order to preserve the ESL?.

  • 14. not so hopeful anymore  |  March 16, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    The comprehensive gifted track receives no extra money. It is funded no differently than a regular classroom. The only thing a CGP would lose would be quality due to larger class sizes. So, it could happen that the school, in order to create a larger sized classroom, to meet budget constraints, will allow in more students and less qualified ones, in order to have that 37:1 ratio. ESL services are being cut radically. This is bad for ESL kids and bad for kids who speak English as a first language. Instead of receiving pull out services, many ESL kids will now simply flounder in classrooms and pull the whole room down with them. I was an ESL teacher and without small ratios, ESL kids won’t make it.

  • 15. Raj Ganesan  |  May 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Hello,
    Can someone explain what happended to my case. I applied to GEAP 2010 for my son entering to 6th grade. He appeared for the test and scored 130 standard score, in percentile ranking it is 98. But he did not get selected for any of the 4 choices I indicated in the ranking. I am not sure whether the second tier selection went through or not. Was wondering what is really the cut off score and who really got selected. Why CPS is so screative and why dont they make this public. please email if you know any.. Thanks,

  • 16. Y  |  May 10, 2010 at 12:54 am

    @Raj- Keep in mind that your son is applying to enter existing classes at the four schools you selected. In order to be offered a spot in a program, an existing student has to be leaving the program. It is likely that no or very few spots were available at the schools you selected.

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