CPS Board Meeting this Week

October 25, 2010 at 2:22 pm 63 comments

Wednesday 10/27 is the October board meeting.  We’d been under the impression that the board would vote on the new admissions criteria at this meeting (and that potentially the Blue Ribbon Committee would present their recommendations?)

This link to the meeting agenda doesn’t seem to mention anything about it, but it might be alluded to?  Included somewhere that isn’t explicitly stated?  These agendas as kind of difficult (and boring) to interpret.

Having served on an LSC, the rules there are that the local school board cannot vote on anything unless it is stated in the agenda ahead of time.  Does this mean that it won’t be voted on?  I have not idea.  Hard to tell with CPS, although in theory we could object if they voted but hadn’t announced it.  I think.   Let me know your interpretation.

http://cps.edu/About_CPS/The_Board_of_Education/BoardAgenda/Documents/October%202010%20Notice%20Agenda.pdf

One thing that strikes me when I read these agendas is how much boring crap has to be dealt with in our school system.  I know that people make a stink that the CEO of CPS is not an educator.  But this is BUSINESS too.  Someone needs to deal trucking companies, real estate, contractors, contracts, worker’s compensation, etc.  I can’t see a life-long educator necessarily having the skills to deal with that stuff.  I kind of like having a business person and an educator working together (assuming they work toward a decent common goal.)

Unfortunately, in CPS, the minutes from one board meeting are not approved until the following meeting, so we cannot look at the SEPTEMBER minutes until after Oct 27.  October minutes will be ready in November.

Does anyone know a way to find out if the enrollment stuff was put to vote after the meeting this week (other than going which my job and need not to die from boredom prevent me from attending.)

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63 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Audubon High School  |  October 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I see there is a resolution in the agenda (10-177 Ex17) to expand Audubon and have a high school there. This is the first I’ve heard of this . . . . anyone have any insight?

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  October 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Yes, I’m losing track now whether someone mentioned it here or on Facebook, but I have heard something about this new high school, which gives me some hope.

    On Facebook, you can friend this group for updates (I see they did mention it last week.)

    North Side High School Initiative

    Audubon High School Program Public Meeting–Tomorrow, Friday, Oct 22nd

    Dear Parents, On Friday, October 22nd, the Office of New Schools for CPS will host a public meeting to accept public commentary on Audubon’s proposal to expand our school to include 9-12 grades. The publicity for the event and the management of the event on Friday are handled by the Office of New Schools. This public meeting is one step in this long process that is required of all new school proposals. Since our last public meeting on the high school in March of 2009, several important changes have been made to our proposal to the Board of Education. First, we are not proposing to build a new building. We plan to use existing school space off site. Second, proposed total enrollment has increased from 200 students to 500 students in order to serve more families. Also, we have secured private donations that will pay for 100% of the rehab and facility upgrade costs. No public funding for this project is being requested for the facility costs. Finally, just as this project will not pull funding away from any other school in the city, students will not lose any other high school option currently available. This will be an additional choice for students and does not hinder any students’ ability to attend any other high school program. The purpose of this project, though, has not changed. The proposal seeks to meet an unfulfilled need in this area of the city. This school will create a small, high quality, inclusive educational model that meets the needs of all students. The school will provide students with rigorous academic curriculum and authentic community based learning opportunities to further their education. The high school will prioritize students’ preparation for college and career. As stated in the public hearing announcement, the meeting will last for two hours, from 5pm to 7pm, and will be held at Audubon School. I will present a comprehensive outline of the high school proposal, and our next steps, at Audubon’s next LSC meeting, scheduled for November 15th, at 6:30 pm. John P. PricePrincipal, Audubon School
    A Commitment to Learning 773-534-5470 773-534-5470fax: 773-534-5785

  • 3. Mayfair Dad  |  October 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Similar to what Ogden International and Alcott did – both are now K thru 12.

  • 4. Hawthorne mom  |  October 25, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I really wish there was some way for Hawthorne to do this! (extend the school to be K-12) It would be like dying and going to heaven for my family! High school problem would be solved.

  • 5. Mayfair Dad  |  October 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I scoured the Board of Ed agenda for Wednesday, too.

    Maybe the Blue Ribbon Recommendations will be introduced as New Business in October, for deliberation and approval in November? Not sure if that is even procedurally correct.

    The secrecy is damn aggravating. And the cryptic blurb added to the CPSOAE site about how Tiers may have changed since last year has my radar up. Something is up. Maybe not a radical re-design, but my gut tells me they are tinkering…

  • 6. cps Mom  |  October 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    The site also stipulates that the current plan is subject to board approval. They have not released a new point rubric and specifically call the existing one “2010 – 2011”. They have said they are making changes but come on already. They should have had their act together way before this. We were told last year that any changes would be made by the beginning of the school year. The fact that there is working application out with no definite requirements is outrageous.

  • 7. mom2  |  October 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    #4 – Hawthorne Mom – maybe that is the answer for many fellow parents with kids currently enrolled at amazing schools. If each of the SE (gifted and classical) elementary schools, and each of the great magnet schools (Hawthorne, Disney, LaSalle, etc.) offered their own feeder high school to their current students (8th grade graduates get in automatically if they wish – with options for others if there is room), it would be heaven to thousands of concerned parents and it would open up many spots in the current SE high schools for kids that don’t go to one of these current elementary schools. I’m all for it! And how great that 8th graders wouldn’t have to split up from all their friends as most do now.

  • 8. still annoyed  |  October 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I called Office of Academic Enhancement today. The vote for the new/revised policy will not be addressed (whatever that means) until the November meeting. That is certainly disappointing.
    However, a rep from OAE said the new policy will be released this week on its website.
    I too am concerned as to why we don’t know something already. This may be part of some adjustment to the tiers. I wonder.

  • 9. cps Mom  |  October 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Great idea if you can get the funding. The Asia Society membership for Ogden was donated by Bill Gates – I believe and other heavy hitters. Private funding probably means significant grants, not school auctions. Nice gig if you can get it.

    Wow – what is going on over at CPS HQ? My guess is that whatever plan is put forth this week will in essence be the go plan. This process, or lack of it is not very reassuring.

  • 10. bevdad  |  October 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    The woman who handles the adminssions at WY Academic Center mentioned at the open house on Saturday that it would be decided. She also suggested that it would be similar as last year but slightly different. Done deal?

  • 11. Mom  |  October 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Sorry, but if you don’t know already, CPS sucks. They have no ability to plan things ahead of time, publicize them, and ensure that each group of interested parents/teachers/educators/politicians will have input. An example: Last year, CPS claimed complete surprise and dismay that the consent decree, which required certain percentages of certain races in certain schools, was eliminated by the courts. But, oh wait, CPS itself was the party that requested that the consent decree be lifted! Yet, they claimed “surprise” after the fact to justify that they had no alternate plan for admittance criteria for months and months and months. Since they were the ones asking, you’d of thought they’d be the ones planning in case the courts said yes. Oh yeah, it’s CPS! Never mind.

  • 12. smp  |  October 25, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Here is what I received in email from a CPS employee today when asked why the revised magnet policy was not going to be part of this week’s agenda at the School Board Meeting:

    The policy will be voted on in November — it is in the process of undergoing final review. Prior to the November meeting, the proposed policy will be posted on our website so we can ensure that the public will have ample time to review it and provide comments before it’s voted on.

  • 13. Christine  |  October 26, 2010 at 7:43 am

    All along CPS has said they’d need to wait for final enrollment numbers to determine how effective the new policy would be. That would give them time to really look at if the diversity they were seeking was really accomplished and look for ways to determine how to tweak the policies, check with attorneys to review the proposed policies, negotiate in the back room, prepare their presos, etc. As a parent ,yes it’s disappointing that information isn’t yet available. However, I believe that if we put our business hats on, we know it’s understandable.

  • 14. EJB  |  October 26, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Has anyone heard any rumblings or have any theories about what kinds of changes could be made to the tiers?

  • 15. RL Julia  |  October 26, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Aside from the usual arguments about having to compete to get your kid into a decent elementary/high school- am I the only who thinks that going to the same (small) school from K-12 would be dreadful? Yes its nice to have a safety but most of the kids I know are itching to move on to high school and meet new people and make new friends – even if they are a little nervous about it. All the schools mentioned are known as good elementary schools where I imagine the parents are interested in having a safety school but all secretly or not so secretly want/expect their kids to go SE.

    While I am sure these high schools at elementary schools will be great schools – it seems like CPS is just pandering to a vocal and well heeled minority here – instead of coming up with the $$ to open four (larger, more centrally located) SE schools that people who haven’t been there since kindergarten have an equal opportunity at getting into.

  • 16. RL Julia  |  October 26, 2010 at 9:39 am

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/index.php/entry/863/Chicago_slated_to_launch_new_North_Side_high_school

    Here’s a more comprehensive article about the proposed Audubon High School.

  • 17. cps Mom  |  October 26, 2010 at 9:59 am

    CPS is not pandering to a minority – these schools are privately funded. They are the right choice for some kids and not for others. For example, a large (larger?) % of kids that go to Ogden Elementary will go on to Lincoln Park instead of Ogden HS for exactly the reasons you state above. If a small school with a true IB and Asia Society membership (just like Walter Payton has) is an attractive option then that may be a choice for some. Ogden currently has about 1/3 of it’s students from its grade school because as mentioned with the Audubon plan, they want to have the ability to access all CPS programs.

    Someone mentioned in another post that many people are wary to take a chance on a neighborhood high school because the time period is too short to bring a school along with the educational risk being too high. I would agree with that and any efforts made now (and they need to be!) would be for the future. In my opinion, any choices available that would benefit the current 7th and 8th graders should be welcome. I don’t see 4 new schools being built with a projected increase in the funding deficit – even though I do agree with the need and that it is what everyone wants. I do see the feasibility of converting existing schools into selective programs.

  • 18. EDB  |  October 26, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I’m not from Chicago originally, but I went to school with the same ~100 classmates from K-12th grade. We got a little sick of each other, but 22 years later, we’re still close. It’s not the worst thing…

  • 19. 32nd street Mom  |  October 26, 2010 at 10:50 am

    If my memory serves all the way back to last fall, CPS came out with the tier system, which originally had 50% of seats going to Rank students and then they adjusted that in early Dec to 40% Rank after parent protests; They are doing the same thing now: they’ll reveal the Blue Ribbon suggestions and then when folks protest, they’ll adjust.

  • 20. Hawthorne mom  |  October 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

    @#13, CPS has known the final enrollment numbers for an entire YEAR now. A YEAR!!!! And they still are trying to get their act together. (or more likely, not really trying, they are being forced to). This is a system that is a train wreck by every measurable factor so no, I don’t buy the excuse that they’ve told us all along and they just need time to figure it out. As well, it is now the following year and parents have a deadline in December to apply for. Why can’t CPS have anything together before the last minute?
    It has been my experience as a teacher for CPS that often the central office doesn’t get information out to people until the very last second and many times, I got information for workshops AFTER they actually occurred because central office wouldn’t know its ears from its mouth.

  • 21. Christine  |  October 26, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    #20 Hawthorne Mom, I’m referring to the current enrollment information for the SEES and SEHS for the 2010-2011 school year. I’m sure they’re looking at their demographic/socioeconomic information and determining if it achieved the results they set out to achieve. Or more likely how far off the mark a result it produced. They’re making their hypothesis and crunching their numbers to see what tweaks they can give to the current selection processes to “improve it”.

  • 22. cps Mom  |  October 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    A CPS rep sent to our school to discuss the SE process and the issues surrounding it back in May 2010 said that CPS was reviewing the issues and the current process. Any changes needed to be in place before the school year started (in particular any changes to the grading aspect). She said that they would decide by July or August. The demographic information of students was well established by this time and adjusted for by adding 100 NCLB seats. Actual enrollment took place in August, again they already had their information with at least a 95% certainty factor. CPS has stated on multiple occasions that race cannot be and is not a factor. So, what more do they need to know about historics? Even or especially with my business hat on it looks like a lot of smoke and mirrors to me. Why couldn’t they follow through on that claim made back in May or even the more recent claim to make information available in September, finalized in October. I don’t know if any of you have ever walked through CPS offices but it’s an eye opening experience. When they give you info it changes so they are now taking the stance of saying nothing. This is where they lose it.

  • 23. Hawthorne mom  |  October 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    @21, But they’ve known the enrollment information for the 2010-11 school year since at least April when kids had to enroll. And maybe things changed slightly upon the actual attendance numbers. And since they had some idea that the minority-to-non-minority numbers were going to change, wouldn’t it make sense that they’d be planning and thinking about this since last fall.
    6-12 months is an awful long time to make this kind of decision. If I took that long to make an instructional decision for my students I’d be fired. Maybe I have to agree to disagree with you, but from my perspective, this is ineptitude, plain and simple. It sure appears as if they are making up the rules as they go along.

  • 24. mom2  |  October 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    #15 RL Julia – I actually agree that a small high school with only the same kids wouldn’t be the ideal situation. A large high school with all the activities, sports, clubs, and class options would be much better (keep your old friends, make some new friends). But the hell that tier 4 parents and kids go through to get into the limited SE schools near their tier 4 homes makes me totally understand Hawthorne Mom’s wish for her school. My secret wish is that all the north side magnet schools would feed into one high school and all the north side SE schools would feed into one high school (like they do with several middle schools into one high school in the burbs) or something like that. Again, not limiting the enrollment to just those students, but with some guarantee or priority for kids from those schools. I see it helping everyone (even those not from those schools) because I believe many parents would choose this for their child and that opens up many spaces at the current SE schools for others. I am making an assumption that these new high schools would end up being just as good as the current downtown and north side SE schools because of the education these kids received leading up to high school. Maybe this sounds selfish, it may very well be. But, the $’s aren’t there, so it is just a pipe dream anyway.

  • 25. RL Julia  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Mom2 – I understand the desire but what about smart kids who are coming from neighborhood schools? Would they be able to automatically get into this one high school? What I am hoping for is that some community group will take on a high school and make it a great place to go to school (a la Nettlehorst) and a place for kids who are just shy of the SE acceptance to go. You know – a place for the B student – who might just blossom in high school.

    Taft and Lakeview and Von Steuben might be good examples but I don’t know enough about those high schools to really say. Admunsen seems like it wants to be that sort of high school but isn’t…yet.

  • 26. adad  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I don’t suppose they’re waiting to vote on this until after the govenor position (and others) are determined? The education budget for next year could be very different from this year, no?

  • 27. mom2  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    RL Julia – I know you are right. It was a selfish wish. If/when I had/have a child in a neighborhood school, I would be unhappy that I didn’t have these other high schools as a guarantee. I just find it interesting that it isn’t an issue that students from Alcott and soon from Audubon can have a guarantee and it isn’t an issue of fairness but not students from some of the magnet schools. Why would that be? I assume it is because most people believe students from those schools help to make a high school a better place so there is almost a guarantee of the success of that school and therefore an assumption that everyone else would want their child to go there. Whereas with Alcott and Audubon, people don’t feel the guarantee of the high school’s success?

    It is exactly that assumption that explains why people are not eager to take on Lakeview, Taft, etc. The current student body doesn’t make it “the place everyone wants to go”, etc. etc. It is the whole chicken and egg thing, Catch 22, etc.

  • 28. cpsobsessed  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I think part of the answer as to why Alcott families have that guarantee is that a group of them busted their butts (and I mean BUSTED) to get this thing going. CPS didn’t approach them and say “hey, want a high school?!” Some parents put a polished proposal together, very detailed, and offered the support of the current principal and parents to help get it going. They opened the HS up to neighborhood and non-neighborhood kids too (via lottery.) And importantly, they set a model that other schools can follow and will likely help build credibility among parents and CPS on the idea. I really see it as a win-win. If even a few more like that open in the next few years, at the very least, there will be more options for all of us.

    I haven’t had time yet to read about Audubon and what the enrollment situation would be. However it certainly makes it seem like people will be angling to get kids into those schools in 7th and 8th grade to ensure their enrollment in high school, which will be an interesting dynamic.

    At Alcott, you’ve traditionally been able to get in to the elem school via Tuition Based PreK. So I’m sure there will be some kids who go to school from age 3 – 18 together!

  • 29. cps Mom  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    RL Julia post #34 under the selective enrollment tab addresses your concern/desire. Maybe it would be beneficial for people to respond.

  • 30. mom2  |  October 26, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    cpsobsessed – I didn’t realize that it was Alcott parents that made their high school happen. That is quite impressive. I knew they opened the school up to others, but don’t their kids get first choice? Good for those parents! I guess that is what it takes to get what is needed vs. counting on CPS to realize that and do something about it on their own. Thanks for the clarification.

  • 31. RL Julia  |  October 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Thanks cps mom. I didn’t even notice that you could click on the tab.

  • 32. cpscrazedmom  |  October 27, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Alcott is no longer able to take the tuition based pre-k parents into kindergarten. Everyone goes into either the sibling or general lottery. Parents are very upset with this recent news. These parents have traditionally been very active and supportive families (volunteer, lsc, and FOA).

  • 33. Mayfair Dad  |  October 28, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Hey Everybody:

    Go to http://www.cpsoae.org, and using the “contact us” app, demand that CPS make the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committee public – this was promised to us. If enough parents raise a stink, we might actually get to review them before we make ill-informed decisions about our kids’ education.

    Let’s raise a stink!

  • 34. cps Mom  |  October 28, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Done – from a standpoint that this is ridiculous. Everyone should keep on them whether they are applying this year or not.

  • 35. momof4  |  October 28, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I see OAE is adding a few new community presentations, including for SEHS. Check out the news under OAE website.

    Let’s put on the pressure. They need to tell us now what is going on.

  • 36. cps Mom  |  October 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Did anyone call to find out about all the cloak and dagger? I can’t bring myself to do it after the misinformation that I got last time.

  • 37. parent  |  October 28, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Anyone have an idea of how the sibling lottery is playing out this year? There is no place for sibling information on the application except for multiples. Is that the only consideration this year? Just wondering if there is any info out there!

  • 38. smp  |  October 28, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    @37 – I think where before you checked if you should be included in the sibling lottery – now where you enter the school codes if you have a sibling in the school you are applying for you enter their CPS Id number. IMO whatever sibling preference was given at a school in the past will probably still hold true in the new policy.

  • 39. EJB  |  October 29, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I suspect that something may be changed in the policy to account for multiples and non-entry grade siblings. While as a parent new to the system, I don’t like that this will further limit available spaces for non-siblings, I think it is the right thing to do.

  • 40. cps Mom  |  October 29, 2010 at 10:22 am

    A friend contacted CPS to ask when the SE policy will be released and was told “it will probably be posted within the next 2 weeks and decided on at the November meeting”. Another different response. No need to run to the site every 5 minutes for the promised “end of the month” or “October meeting” statements made earlier. How can they do this to people?

  • 41. cps Mom  |  October 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Am I reading this correctly or did CPS just slip one by us? The selective enrollment high school scoring rubric now reads “2011-2012” . Scores calculated identically to last year, not addressing the grade scale issue.

  • 42. what grade scale issue?  |  October 29, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    @41 why would cps address the grade scale issue just because some yuppie parents on this blog want to revisit the issue? It looks like the same exact scale used in years past–so there can’t be any claim of surprise. I think the only hint that there was going to be something different was tweeking the tiers and probably most of the people on this blog are tier 4 or gentrified tier 3.

  • 43. cps Mom  |  October 30, 2010 at 8:47 am

    It’s not about this blog at all. In case you haven’t noticed, several schools are effected by this and have gone to CPS with the issue. I for 1 am not a tier 3 or 4 yuppie. The people I know that will be hurt by this are also not tier 3 or 4. CPS stated that this would be addressed at community meetings and otherwise (which doesn’t sound like you attended). So yes, I’m surprised and dismayed. Anyone who can state that there is no problem with the way the grades are counted either has their head in the sand or a child that is benefiting from a school that will issue A’s for lower grades. Read the blogs here and elsewhere about kids not getting offers in selective enrollment because of grades in the 90’s that are considered B’s.

    I can only imagine, since a statement has not been issued at this time, that CPS has bigger issues attempting to “diversify” the population than in determining which of the very high scoring students get in. If this sits well with the parents that are and will be effected by policy then please excuse me for attempting to right something that was only wrong for my child.

    Again, I’m very discouraged by this news not only for my own people but for others in a similar situation. The only thing that I can suggest is that if this non-existent grading issue does exist for some to take it directly to the school. Our elementary school lowered the grade scale – too late for current 8th graders.

  • 44. Mayfair Dad  |  November 1, 2010 at 9:13 am

    @ 42: Don’t confuse consistent inconsistency with consistency. CPS should embrace one grading scale for all students, especially when $60K worth of superior high school education is at stake.

  • 45. EJB  |  November 1, 2010 at 9:20 am

    @42 – Are you familiar with the grade scale issue being discussed? Different schools have different scales for grades. At one school an A is 90-100, at others it’s 94-100. Since it is the letter grade, not the % that is used to calculate scores for admission, students at schools with stricter grading scales are at a disadvantage. All parents are looking for is a level playing field for all students for grading. I’m not sure what that could have to do with yuppie parents.
    -Signed Tier 2 mom

  • 46. what grade scale issue?  |  November 2, 2010 at 11:32 am

    let’s just give everyone A’s to render it as meaningless as it is at most colleges. I really doubt if there is a ton of grade grubbing done outside of the gifted programs. Parents schemed to get their kids in there and now want weighted grades. Please, just be happy with the better education.

  • 47. mom2  |  November 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

    #46, you are very confused. The majority of parents aren’t looking for weighted grades. They are wanting every single CPS school in the system to use the exact same grading scale – elementary, middle and high school. This is currently not the case and there is no reason why it cannot change right now. No grade grubbing, no scheming. Wow.

  • 48. EJB  |  November 2, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    @42/46 – I really don’t thinkyou get it. This has NOTHING to do with weigted grades, just the same scale.

    As a parent who is currently stressed about getting my kid into a decent K, not someone who is already worried about HS, I think the grade scales should be made consistent. I don’t think this has anything to do with money or race or anything other than an expectation that an A should be the same across all schools feeding into the selective enrollment HS sysstem.

    Also, not sure how you thing parents scheme to get their kids into gifted programs. I haven’t read/heard anything that leads me to believe that is happening. I believe there is an external audit done to ensure that the process is followed.

  • 49. what grade scale issue  |  November 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    so you are saying that a third grader should be on the same grading scale as a high school honors or AP physics class? With no discretion left to the high school science department?

  • 50. anothercpsparent  |  November 2, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Are you just trolling? Seriously, my neighborhood high school is Wells. There is no way I am sending my kids there. My children attend a great neighborhood school and it is important to all the children at our school that they are able to compete with children on equal footing. So an A at our school is the same as an A at Blaine or Burley or Burr. It has nothing to do with gifted programs or third graders being compared to honors physics students. It simply means that if my child gets an B for a 90%, yours does not get an A for that same 90%. High schools look at grades, not percentages. You are very ill-informed and clearly do not have a child that will be affected by this (which is any child trying to get into a decent non-neighborhood school).

  • 51. RL Julia  |  November 3, 2010 at 9:59 am

    How about if CPS just got rid of letter grades and went with the percentages. I think that would be better – more apples to apples. Currently both my kids get a number grade (thanks to whatever gradebook system populates the parent portal) which is then translated into a letter grade. Why not just leave it at the percentage stage. It would also help out with the SE admissions process where an A = 20 points and a B= 15 – allowing for more nuance.

  • 52. mom2  |  November 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

    RL Julia – not a bad suggestion for the SE admissions process, and I am surprised no one else mentioned that idea before. But it wouldn’t work for high schools that need the GPA for college applications (unless they start having 4.0, 3.8, 3.6, etc. GPAs based on your percentage. We still need a standard for everyone. It seems so simple to me. I don’t understand why there is any discussion on this at all.

  • 53. what grading scale issue  |  November 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    “You are very ill-informed and clearly do not have a child that will be affected by this (which is any child trying to get into a decent non-neighborhood school).”

    Actually, you are wrong. I’m just sick of parents who are obsessed with their kids and grades and people who believe that quantification can solve all life’s problems.

    Query–once you quantify this, assuming that all teachers objectively use the same point scale and don’t allow extra credit and retests that can change the grade, what will you do with the catholic school grading scales . . . .the home schoolers . . . the waldorf students?

    When colleges start seeing that there is a disproportionate amount of A’s in SE high schools, they are rendered meaningless and you had better pray that your kid tests well on the ACT because that really is the only objective measure.

  • 54. Mayfair Dad  |  November 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    @ 49 – yes, that is exactly what we are talking about. CPS needs to determine a numeric policy of what exactly constitutes an A, B, C, D and F, and apply it consistently to every school for every student. The advantage that a student might derive from having attended a gifted or classical school would be realized in higher ISAT and entrance exam scores. A consistently applied grading scale benefits all students because it eliminates “discretion from the science department” i.e. favoritism, political influence, bribery, gaming the system.

    BTW, you should do your homework before you start trolling.

  • 55. cpsobsessed  |  November 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    @53 – You have a valid point about the private schools, etc. but CPS is ONE school system. Does it not make sense to have one consistent grading scale in the same system?
    I don’t see how it would make a disproportionate number of A’s – it would just be the same from school to school. And surely CPS can’t be the only school system in the country with a 90%=A, 80%=B system. In fact I don’t think anyone cares WHAT the scale is, just that it’s consistent within one school system.

    Also, this invovles 7th grade scoring, so I don’t think colleges will care about it.

  • 56. mom2  |  November 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    @53 – “Query–once you quantify this, assuming that all teachers objectively use the same point scale and don’t allow extra credit and retests that can change the grade…” – That type of thing could go on now or could go on then. Making all CPS schools use the same grade scale based on % doesn’t cause this to happen more or less. This comment is irrelevant.

    “When colleges start seeing that there is a disproportionate amount of A’s in SE high schools, they are rendered meaningless…” – Why would you assume that there would suddenly be a disproportionate amount of A’s in SE high schools if all schools used the same grading scale? Again, I see no correlation. For example, Payton and Northside already use an A=90% or higher. Do they already have a disproportionate amount of A’s? If so, are those schools and students considered meaningless as far as grades?

    And, if your answer is yes to my above question, then a school with that issue should make the classes more difficult and challenging. Not make it harder to get an A based on percentage points. Students want to learn and be challenged, so this would be a win/win all around.

  • 57. what grading scale issue?  |  November 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    “BTW, you should do your homework before you start trolling.”

    Wow–politics in the high school science department! This is funny. BTW both my kids are already at SE high schools earning all A’s when A’s were 93% and above. I guess it would have been easier at the time if it was easier to get an A but at least it meant something. And I’m sure the A’s they earned were not equivalent to the A’s earned at other schools.

    And yes, if there are a lot of A’s at Payton and Northside, ACT scores become very important. It’s not that great to get an A–but if you get a B it is penalized because an A is not really an A. That’s what grade inflation does.

    In any event, stress and enjoy.

  • 58. catholic school mom  |  November 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    My son went to catholic school and there were no grades before third grade. Then, there was the 90-100% A scale until 6th grade. After 6th grade, it went to 94% and up for an A even in honors classes. So even in one K-8 school there are grading scale differences to address the development of different age students. Some parents were upset but it was the principal’s call.

    I think they should just do away with grades and have them test in.

  • 59. cps mom  |  November 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I agree about admissions being determined largely upon tests. The closest that CPS could have come to making the grade component consistent between all the different schools would have been to score grades as a percentage. Very curious to know why they decided against that for this year.

    CPS Obsessed, I would like to thank you for providing such an organized and thought provoking forum. It really helps provide awareness of many issues surrounding CPS and gives parents a chance to exchange views and experiences. I enjoy the opportunity to share a thought or opinion and know that a discussion of relevant issues effecting our children is an excellent way to network with parents facing the same issues. I know and appreciate that anyone has the option to participate and to even disagree with views presented. I would also like to point out that a person who states that they are “sick of parents obsessed with their kids” and revels in taunting negativity such as “stress and enjoy” has the very real option of tuning out while the rest can benefit from others.

  • 60. Mayfair Dad  |  November 4, 2010 at 9:39 am

    @ 57: I guess you missed the Chicago Tribune investigative report on kids “clouting” into SE high schools and U of I, using principals’ discretion and other forms of political influence to game the process. Not funny.

    This is exactly why we need a transparent and fair system, to curtail the typical Chicago shenanigans.

    Stressed? No, but I do enjoy the exchange of ideas on this blog. I enjoy them even more when people are well informed and have something worthwhile to share instead of glib argument-baiting.

  • 61. cpsobsessed  |  November 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Thanks everyone – for all the comments and discussion, even the arguement-baiting ones.
    It’s much more fun now than when I first started the blog a couple years ago and had 3 people reading… I agree, it’s great to be able to discuss these topics (even if it becomes obsessive at times, I think the ability to share information is a huge step forward in navigating our way through the process.

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