Lakeview High School (Guest Post)

January 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm 40 comments

A new high-school-related post from guest writer, HSObsessed:
North Side High School Initiative has posted on its Facebook site news from Alderman Waguespack’s office. (Full copy below.) It looks like he is responding to their pressure to increase resources for Lake View High School by getting funding for a STEM program to be put into LVHS. From what I could read, there is quite a bit of STEM  funding available at the federal level through the US Dept of Ed in an effort to lift American students’ achievements in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
From my limited research, it looks like only one other Illinois high school has this in place so far, Wheeling High School in the northwest ‘burbs. Their website seems to suggest it’s a program that is aimed at all students and is not an honors-type program, but provides offerings that range from AP Physics and AP Statistics to Medical Terminology and Machine Technology.
The question is whether this will be enough to satisfy northside parents whose children don’t get into selective enrollment schools. It seems that most people are looking for a “test in” program, and a general program like this — even with additional funds and classes — might not be enough. Or maybe it will be?
Here’s the NSHSI post:
Neighborhood high schools have not been well regarded on the north side and have been neglected by CPS for years.  Alderman Waguespack has been demanding that attention be paid to their improvement.  With Aldermen Tunney and Schulter, Alderman Waguespack is working towards making Lake View High School a top notch, highly desirable neighborhood option.  Together, they have pressured CPS to allocate more resources to LVHS beginning in 2011.  The current LVHS science and math program would be enhanced with the introduction of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program.  This would be the first STEM program within CPS and only the second in Illinois.  This highly desirable program would include upgrades to all LVHS science labs.  Enrollment in the STEM program would begin in September of 2012.  Many more capital improvements would take place over the next three to four years.  The opportunity to attend an enhanced LVHS will be a valuable option for 32nd Ward families.  Once the value of these changes has been demonstrated, Alderman Waguespack is confident that the model will be extended to other high schools serving 32nd Ward residents.

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New Decatur web site Free Breakfast in Class program approved

40 Comments Add your own

  • 1. copy editor  |  January 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Here’s my problem with Lake View: I’m not sure I want my kid to go to a school with classmates who tag the garage all the time. I’m not convinced it can be turned around, especially not when CPS is cutting programs left and right.

  • 2. Mayfair Dad  |  January 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Here is a question for the CPSO community: What is a better-than-average neighborhood high school that you would consider sending your child to as a general student and why?

  • 3. copy editor  |  January 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Honestly, I’m not sure any of them. Lake View is better than many CPS high schools, but it seems to me that the general schools have this idea that college is a dream that only a handful of students can achieve, and everyone else should just be happy with a diploma. College isn’t for everyone, but it’s not for an elite few either, and those who get in need to be prepared to do the work.

  • 4. mom2  |  January 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I do think that some parents have decided that Lincoln Park’s Double Honors program is a program they would be comfortable with. The reason, I think, is because it is thought to feed into the IB program if the student does well and because there is this IB program that is also part of the school with IB students. I think they belief is that the double honors kids will not be in class with the general neighborhood student body in classes other than sports, choir, etc. This separation for most classes makes it OK to be at the same school with kids that “tag garages” or that don’t care about education or would be disruptive, etc. (I know this isn’t just straight neighborhood, but it is closer to meeting that goal as the other test in options) The school is also located in a safe neighborhood which is also of the utmost importance.

  • 5. mom2  |  January 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Also, in regards to Lakeview High School, as long as they have the need for uniforms, I think it says something about the school that would turn off many parents. The SE schools seem to have so many more extra curricular opportunities, too (music, sports teams, clubs, etc. and all those facilities). Is that really a fact?

  • 6. Mayfair Dad  |  January 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    From the Lincoln Park HS website:

    “Approximately three-fourths of the 2200 students enrolled in the school entered through one of the three magnet programs.”

    So only 550 general population students.

    Von Steuben HS is 100% magnet, with the cut-off for admissions for general student at 5th Stanine. Not a terribly difficult hurdle academically for a motivated student, but just high enough to keep out the (majority of) gangbangers.

    Lake View needs to specialize and magnetize to get rid of the bad element and change the school culture. When that happens, Buffy and Jody will be beating a path to the front door.

  • 7. different perspective  |  January 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Hello Mr. W??? A souped up LakeView is not what is required. A fully fledged high caliber Selective Enrollment High School is what is needed. Look at the test scores of the students in your neighborhood. Why should they settle for 2nd best? Why are you trying to sell it to them. A NEW SE HIGH SCHOOL ON THE NORTH SIDE IS WHAT IS NEEDED. Hello Mr. W…………….

  • 8. CPSO Fan  |  January 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    At the risk of being politically incorrect…

    If the inequity of the amount of SE HSs on the south/west sides were flipped and we had the larger amount on the north side… the public outrage would be ridiculous! Every politician in town would be on that bandwagon.

    Why is it that CPS seems afraid to do more for the north side?

  • 9. HSObsessed  |  January 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    @8 – I don’t see how we figure that the north side has fewer SE HS. North has three: Northside, Lane and Payton. Central has one: Jones. West has two: Young and Westinghouse. South has three: Brooks, King and Lindblom. If you look at these on the map, it’s pretty fairly distributed right now.

    @5 – Neighborhood high schools have tons of clubs and sports, just like the SE HS do. You can go on any of the schools’ websites to look at what they’ve got.

    @2 – I’d definitely put LP HS into the running as an “acceptable” neighborhood high school, but as you point out, a large number of students there are from other parts of the city, and enter via admission to the IB program, AP/Honors program, or the Fine Arts program. So, the students are pretty motivated to be there, and have had their academic and attendance records scrutinized by school officials who are in charge of the admissions process.

  • 10. cps Mom  |  January 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Since the SE requirements changed last year admissions has become much more difficult if you live in places like Lincoln Park and much of the north side. I would imagine that the current freshman are of a very different academic level than the rest of the school. LP had a phenomenal number of acceptances last year for IB and DH. They have also stocked their regular program with kids outside of the neighborhood. I would further guess that this phenomena may be trickling into Lake View. If they did beef up the program enough (along with the perceived learning environment) they could conceivably be an alternate pick to Lane. There is no way that I could send my child to our school – Roosevelt. It would have made a difference to me, however, in choosing a home to have a default option that was at least do-able. I commend them for trying a turn-around. I hope they’re successful. Remember that Lane was not always the shining start that it is now. I say it’s possible and needed.

  • 11. CPSO Fan  |  January 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Is Payton north? I thought that was considered central …if it’s north than I stand corrected.
    The ACs are definitely not represented on the north side, but that’s a different subject.

  • 12. mom2  |  January 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I thought North Avenue was the dividing line between North and Central. I could be wrong, though.

    I still think that there are so many more students on the north side that meet the qualifications necessary to be admitted to the top SE schools, that it only makes sense that there be more SE schools near where they live.

  • 13. Dad  |  January 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    It seems to me the north side seems better supplied with SEHS than any other zone. Beyond the number of schools is the number of SEHS seats in each zone- looks like 6165 for north, 3349 central/west, 2399 south. I’m pretty sure the city’s population isn’t proportionally split that way, and I’m positive Chicago youth population isn’t.

    I wonder what the basis is for mom2’s statement that there are so many more students on the north side that meet SE admission requirements. At least now with the whole tier thing, it seems that the system is set up to have a similar number of “qualified” kids from every neighborhood. Sure, the definition of qualified is different for different tiers, but that’s another argument.

    There may be other areas in need, but we could really use a good HS here on the NW side. LVHS may not be a stellar school, but take a look at Schurz or Foreman for a nice scare. Without a car, NSCP and Lane would not be options for kids here.

  • 14. cpsobsessed  |  January 26, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Being a farther north sider, I’ve been talking with some parents about maybe seeing what could be done with Amundson (up at Damen and Foster.) I’ve been there once for LSC training and in the evening when no kids are around, it looks nice! I’ve heard the facility is decent. My son used to go to preK near there so I’d always see the hs kids going in/out every day. Didn’t look dangerous per se, but I probably can’t tell stylish kids from gangbangers at this point in my life. I didn’t like that there was a cop car there constantly, but perhaps that is a standard measure?

    I’m looking at the stats for Amundson on right now. Oh dear Lord. Depressing. Truly depressing. And it makes Lake View look decent (which for CPS high schools is not saying a lot.) Since we’re talking about LVHS, here’s some facts:
    -76% of kids graduate within 5 years (CPS avg is 56%)
    -2% drop out in a given year (CPS average is 8%)
    -29% Meet/Exceed state standards (right at CPS avg)
    -1% Exeeed state standards (4% CPS avg)
    -Avg ACT score 18 (CPS avg is 17, IL avg is 20)
    -Students scoring 20+ on ACT 26% (CPS avg is 25%)
    -Students scoring 3+ on AP exams 42% (CPS avg is 31%) (OK, C’mon…CPS is telling me that a third of the students are AP? What can that mean in CPS when only one third are meeting/exceeding state standards and 4% are exceeding. Something does not compute there. Or maybe AP is for the students who actually can do regular level work?)

    So LVHS is doing a much better job than the typical CPS neighborhood high school and also much better than Amundson, with very similar demographcis. So I think we’re back to the million dollar question: What will make the school “better?” I’m sure 70% of those kids come into high school at the meets/exceeds level. Can the teachers possibly be expected to get them caught up that late in the game? What would really attract the families from Bell, Blaine, Nettelhorst, Burley, etc?

    Being the first group of parents who decide to send their kids there during the “improvement process” is a risk proposition for multiple reasons. There’s going to have to be some out of the box thinking to make a big shift in a neighborhood HS if it doesn’t include some kind of screening or magnet process. In truth, given that LVHS is out-performing CPS so well, I bet that the staff might excel at taking in higher-performing kids. The challenge is getting them there.

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  January 26, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Looking back, I want to amend the statement that LVHS is doing a MUCH better job than CPS. I’d say they’re doing a decent job. And given the better graduation rate that CPS, it may be a reflection of the families that attend the school — parents who may place a higher priority on graduation than “typical” CPS parents. But compared to Amundson, where only 20% are meeting/exceeding state standards, LVHS looks pretty good.

  • 16. CPSO Fan  |  January 26, 2011 at 7:53 am

    It has always baffled me, that neighborhood HSs like Lake View, Mather and Taft’s, do not have higher performance statistics. The students are coming in from good neighborhood elementary schools.

    Even with “brain drain” to SE HSs, there aren’t enough spots for everyone in those programs, so why don’t neighborhood HSs have a better showing? I am always touting the opinion that more SE HSs are needed on the north side, but with all the statistics being told here, I am beginning to think that may not be the case…. the numbers at neighborhood programs will have to be significantly higher to show the NEED…for me, it’s looking more and more like a WANT….

    I agree that people are afraid to be the first generation to go to a school in progress, but if we want CPSs attention, I’m afraid that’s exactly what we’re going to have to do. In this economy maybe we’ll have less of a choice and the improvements will begin? I hope….

  • 17. cps Mom  |  January 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

    @16 – while I agree that this “brain drain” has been an issue for other programs that is changing fast. It will be interesting to see what the scores for tier 3 and 4 admissions will be this year. With the tier changes you are going to see a very high scoring tier 3 and 4 students accepted at Lane (which again I think is a great school so don’t get me wrong cps Dad went there). The scores for that school is going to go way up – especially with the addition of an AC. We all know that NS is not obtainable for many. There will be a large group of above average students that will need a school or will move (if they can). It is already difficult to get into LP – they “overbooked” last year and can be more selective.

    CPSO – that first group of pioneers is important. I think the city should partner up with some good colleges (like U of I) and guarantee acceptances for a certain level of performance then they will come. UIC charter started this last year guaranteeing acceptance to UIC upon graduation and that school has become unobtainable.

    I will put my crystal ball away for now.


  • 18. cps Mom  |  January 26, 2011 at 9:56 am

    sorry for grammar errors – oh brother

  • 19. mom2  |  January 26, 2011 at 10:17 am

    “I wonder what the basis is for mom2′s statement that there are so many more students on the north side that meet SE admission requirements. At least now with the whole tier thing, it seems that the system is set up to have a similar number of “qualified” kids from every neighborhood. Sure, the definition of qualified is different for different tiers, but that’s another argument. ” – I am actually basing the argument on the fact that Tier 4, which is mostly on the north side, had a higher cutoff score to get into the top 5 SE schools than all the other Tiers. What that means is that they ran out of spots for Tier 4 students sooner while they still had spots for other Tier students and, in a sense, lowered their cutoff to offer those spots to students from other areas. I am sure there are statistics to backup this claim. I am aware of many students from Tier 4 that did not get into any of the top 5 SE schools despite having a much higher score than those in the other tiers. They were all “qualified” to get into these SE schools, but there was no room for them due to the Tier policy.

    Anyway, despite this comment, I think people would be quite happy if someone could do something drastic with Amundson. It looks to be quite a large school and campus. If it has such poor results currently, maybe it is due for some sort of turn-around? Does anyone know if they have a capacity enrollment or if it is low or overcrowded or ??? It would be a fine location for a new SE school or school within a school or something (as long as it is safe).

  • 20. RL Julia  |  January 26, 2011 at 10:30 am

    From all these comments, it sounds like there are quite a few northside schools (Taft, Lakeview, Amundson, Senn, Mather….?) that have a significant amount of attractive programming already in place, are located in decent neighborhoods, and perhaps have some underutilized capacity in terms of teaching staff, space etc…

    @19 – where did the tier 4 kids who didn’t get into the SE’s end up?

  • 21. cps Mom  |  January 26, 2011 at 10:44 am

    At our school tier 3 and 4 kids missing cutoffs went primarily to LP because they could get into DH and H programing, some even went into the regular program because DH filled up. Others went to charters – UIC, Chi-arts. And a few to catholic school. Taft was also an option taken.

    @19 – don’t forget too that kids from the south side will go to Lane and there are tier 3 and 4 areas on the south side too – South Loop, Beverly, even Midway – whereas kids from the north side will not go to King or Lindblum.

  • 22. mom2  |  January 26, 2011 at 11:07 am

    @20 – The Tier 4 kids that I am aware of ended up in the same places mentioned by CPS Mom – LP IB or double honors or their drama program, Chi-arts, catholic schools and a few are at Lakeview.

    @21 – Yes, I am aware that some kids from the Tier 3 and 4 areas on the south side will travel to the central and north side SE schools while few from the north side want their children to travel south. You are quite right. Safety or safety getting there appears to be the main issue.

  • 23. cps Mom  |  January 26, 2011 at 11:40 am

    @22 – I meant it actually in a way to show that Lane may not be the fall back option that it once was. My school was centrally located and in past years many kids went to Whitney. That was not the case last year – very few got into Whitney or even Jones. Last year was the first year that a large number of kids chose Lane (from Bridgeport, Chinatown, South Loop, Midway, Englewood). I believe that this trend will grow with the new tier arrangement. I certainly see your point about tier 4.

  • 24. Mayfair Dad  |  January 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    At the risk of repeating an earlier rant, the goal of the Socio-Economic Tier policy is to export high-achieving white students from Tier 4 neighborhoods into SE high schools in predominantly black neighborhoods. The SE high schools in the North have become so hyper-competitive for Tier 4 students that families will be forced to consider Westinghouse, Lindblom, etc. As these schools become more diverse (currently 75%+ African American) they will become more attractive to affluent northside whites who want their children to matriculate in an urban, culturally diverse high school. Along with the high-achieving students come their college-educated, fund-raising, high expectation-loving parents who will run the LSC, PTA and Friends Of organizations. Also affluent southside whites, who as a general rule send their kids to Catholic high schools, will take a look at SE high schools. CPS can no longer afford to have “black” SE high schools on the southside, just as they have taken great pains to ensure that Northside does not become a “white” high school. Otherwise the feds get involved we have a consent decree problem all over again.

  • 25. cps Mom  |  January 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Do you think that’s what will happen?

  • 26. RL Julia  |  January 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    It hasn’t yet that I ever noticed and until you have a majority minority school full of rich kids with over the top scores, I doubt it would.

    Is it true that Obama is repealing No Child Left Behind? What will replace it?

  • 27. southside mom  |  January 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Anyone attending the New Schools Expo on Saturday at Soldier Field? Featuring charter and new schools…

  • 28. SE Teacher  |  January 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    There are so many great teachers at the neighborhood schools: Taft, Mather, LV…it’s sad that they can’t show the numbers that attract students. One problem I see are the dumbed down curricula that the Board has mandated at some of these schools. Without strong foundations, ACT scores can never go higher. I think what is more important than what the overall ACT scores are, or grad rate, (because neighborhood schools are very similar in those demographics) is to look at specific curricula. If your child is being provided with strong academic rigor, they will do well in any of these places. Meet with principals. Ask to see individual class yearly outlines. Ask what your children will be taught. Ask how they will be evaluated throughout the year to check for understanding. The principals at Mather and Taft want stronger programs. They need the support of parents like those that post on this blog.

  • 29. copy editor  |  January 27, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Well, now we’re going to take an already-short school day and make it shorter so that schools can serve breakfast in the classroom. Wow. And I’m supposed to trust CPS to turn around high schools when they seem more interested in catering contracts? This is ridiculous.

    This is why Catholic school is the second choice of so many kids applying to SE high schools.

  • 30. mom2  |  January 27, 2011 at 9:53 am

    @29 – tell us more about that. Is it mandatory for all schools or did they make it an option?

  • 31. copy editor  |  January 27, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Mandatory, beginning in September.

  • 32. copy editor  |  January 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Here’s the story from, the Trib:,0,1352037.story

  • 33. cps Mom  |  January 27, 2011 at 10:04 am

    This is not an issue for high school.

  • 34. Grace  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:32 am

    @ SE Teacher, could you explain more about the weakened h.s. curriculum at neighborhood high schools? Perhaps describe the CPS directive and when it was issued? Thanks

  • 35. cps Mom  |  January 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Yes – and to add to 34, what do you think this special programing can do for a school like Lakeview and how we can move forward

  • 36. HSObsessed  |  January 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Too many things happening in CPS to keep up!

    The passage of the mandatory breakfast item has drawn lots of attention, but a few very other significant things happened at yesterday’s board meeting that I wanted to make sure the CPSO community knows about them. Full details on the Catalyst Chicago’s blog, Notebook.

    The board approved the new magnet school for the west side/UIC/University Village area. This will replace the prior Jefferson School. It will be called STEM Magnet (that name seems to be all the rage lately), and it will begin this fall for K-3 grade, going up to 8th eventually. Special applications will be available. It will focus on science, technology, engineering and math. Admissions will be 40 percent for neighborhood and 60 percent split up by tier.

    In high school news, the board voted to approve the curriculum type and admissions method for the new South Shore International College Prep, which will begin in fall in a new, very beautiful modern building at 75th and Jeffrey. The students of the current South Shore high school (divided into four small high schools) thought they would be going to be in the new building next fall, but the board voted that the SSICP would start in fall with 300 freshman only, with 1/3 each from the neighborhood boundaries, a career and technical program, and an IB program, both of which require an application and accepts from citywide.

    My take on these developments:

    1/ Squeaky wheels get the grease on the STEM school. These parents and their alderman, Bob FIoretti, pushed hard for this and in a matter of months, it’s passed and will be up and running in 8 months. Wow.

    2/ If they are planning 60 K spots, then 24 of them are for “neighborhood” applicants, and even though people who live blocks away think they get some kind of priority, a 1.5 mile radius is huge, and I’ll bet there will be 150 applicants for those 24 spots.

    3/ On South Shore: This model is a new hybrid I see CPS using more often. It is not a true SE HS. It is a neighborhood school with selective programs available for outside applicants. I think it’s a good thing: Maybe a way to bring up the reputation and quality of the nabe HS programs while providing real academic challenges to kids who can handle the IB program. Will be interesting to watch.

  • 37. MarketingMom  |  January 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Mom2’s comment was very racially polarizing in making it seem as though north side students are more deserving of SE high schools. I live far west where Steinmetz and Prosser are the neighborhood schools and that is not an option for my children. There needs to be more SE options throughout all parts of the city, not just up north.

  • 38. mom2  |  January 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to be polarizing. I was thinking that there are only two SE high schools on the north side – Northside and Lane and I saw a huge need for more based on how few children with really great scores are able to get into them. I, too, want to see more of these schools everywhere. No child that has the scores, drive and abilities to attend these schools should be forced to go to school with those that don’t care about their education and are reading at 3rd grade levels, etc.

    If they could open up more SE high schools on the west side in what most people would consider a safe location, that would be great. Again, I apologize. I think we are a pretty good group here and don’t think we should be divided in our quest for a better education for our children – all our children.

  • 39. In the know  |  February 26, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I teach at Lake View. It is not a school I’d send my child to. The principal didn’t send his children there either. What’s needed is a culture change. Behavioral expectations are very low. Without high behavioral expectations, academics will continue to be sub-par. There are many excellent teachers at Lake View, but if you’ve got to constantly fight tardy, back-talking students who wander the hallways during classes and think it’s OK to arrive 20 minutes late for class (and there are no hard consequences for this stuff), the academic piece is going to remain stagnant. Time for new leadership if you ask me.

  • 40. cpsobsessed  |  February 27, 2011 at 6:56 am

    @39 Thanks Lakeview teacher. Definitely good info to know as parents start to consider this school. Thanks for reading and for the input.

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