Lane Tech Academic Center Approved/News on other ACs

March 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm 154 comments


OPEN HOUSE at Lane for the AC on Sunday, March 27 from 1-3pm



Info here:

Big changes coming on the north side, as Lane Tech adds an Academic Center, starting in 7th grade for the upcoming school year.

Kids who applied for 7th grade admission can re-rank their choices knowing the Lane will exist.

I guess the questions are:
Where will they pull from?
Is it fair that new kids can’t test/apply?
Will this “up” Lane’s reputation over time?
PLUS: A million other logistical details I’m not thinking of that we can dissect…

Does someone owe Terry M (interim CEO) a thank-you note?

Here are the new AC cutoff scores btw (thanks to Alejandro!)

Here’s an interesting explanation on the scores from Selective Prep:

The major reason why Academic Center admissions scores are lower is that points are awarded differently for the Academic Center Admissions Test than for the Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam. Any student who gets a 99% on the Selective Enrollment Exam gets a full 300 points – and a sizable number of 8th graders did exactly that. However, a 6th grader who gets a 99.0% (raw score of 135) on the Academic Center Admissions Test only receives 255 points – 45 points less than a perfect 300. The highest admission score such a student could receive would be 855. To get the full 300 points on the Academic Center Admissions Test, a student must get 99.957% (raw score of 150) – and only .043% or fewer than 1 in 2,000 students are able to score this high.

Also, here is a nicely summarized chart from Selective Prep with the average  scores by school:

Here is Selective Prep’s full article and POV on the scores:

Entry filed under: Academic Centers. Tags: .

STEM Magnet School News Info on ChicagoQuest (aka “The Video Game Charter School”)

154 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Patty  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    My belief is that Lane “rank” will improve from being known as a second choice to being a first choice school for many parents and their children. My belief is that the same thing will happen for Jones, once its new facility is built.

    I just wonder how Lane will be able to accomodate 200 more students (7 & 8 graders). The school is already over 4000 students. Despite that, I really like the idea that Lane has added an AC and believe that i will be very beneficial to many families.

  • 2. Patty  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    My belief is that Lane “rank” will improve from being known as a second choice to being a first choice school for many parents and their children. My belief is that the same thing will happen for Jones, once its new facility is built.

    I just wonder how Lane will be able to accomodate 200 more students (7 & 8 graders). The school is already over 4000 students. Despite that, I really like the idea that Lane has added an AC and believe that it will be very beneficial to many families.

  • 3. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    So happy….
    Doing a happy dance now….can’t ya just picture it.

  • 4. macK  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I was told they aren’t adding 200 students–they will reduce the other grades by 200 slots. So there is no net increase in seats available at a good school.

    My guess is that a lot of these kids will come from Decatur and will transfer to other schools for high school. Not sure it will improve Lane’s rank any–though I think it is a good school right now.

  • 5. Stressed by CPS  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Many moons ago, Lane had about 6000 kids! They have the space but I doubt they would ever want that many kids again. Now there is about 4200-ish. Adding 200 more probably won’t even be that noticeable in terms of the school feeling crowded. They also accepted 1250-ish freshman this year as opposed to 1100 last year. But I’m sure some will turn it down for whatever reason.

    I support the AC and know it will be helpful for many students. I can’t wait to see the results…who got in, what cutoff scores were, did kids rerank it over WY or Taft? What happens if they got in and gave up their spot at another AC? Did any kids who didn’t get a previous AC offer get one to Lane or other AC’s if spots were given up? Pressing questions!!!

  • 6. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Thank you for posting. I have been googling all day to see if it was approved. I am so excited. Not sure if my daughter will get in, but I am really excited it is approved no matter what. I think we needed this on the north side!

  • 7. Stressed by CPS  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    #6. your daughter got into Taft, right?

  • 8. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    And by the way nice work Alejandro. You impress us more and more everyday!

  • 9. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    @7 – She did. And she is finally getting excited about it (finding classmates who got in as well, looking at the class offerings, etc), but I would really love for her to go to Lane. Ultimately it will be her choice (if she does get accepted), but I will try to sway her to Lane so we can stick it out all 6 years there. I will keep everyone posted.

    Though I am happy with what I have been researching about the Taft AC, it mostly boils down to where I want her to attend in high school and Lane is now #1in my book (for her not necessarily for everyone).

    I think they will be having their open house this weekend so we will definitely attend!

  • 10. Stressed by CPS  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    cpsobsessed: can you add in your intro paragraph that there is an open house at Lane for the AC on Sunday, March 27 from 1-3pm. Thanks!

  • 11. Stressed by CPS  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    IB&RGC…I can’t wait to hear about the results and how the whole process will end up. Good luck!! If it doesn’t go your way, Taft AC is still a good option.

  • 12. mom2  |  March 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    @4 – I think you will be surprised at the number of students that decide to stay at Lane once they discovered how amazing it is. I think it has been a hidden gem on the north side and I actually fear that it will become so much more popular that it may be more difficult to get in when my family needs it again!

  • 13. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    It will be 90 students this year with no loss of SEHS spots and then 120 the subsequent years with a loss of 120 SEHS seats. It’s really just early admissions for some kids that went to Taft before. I think they will probably be the real losers in this story.

    Perhaps they should petition to become a SEHS? (Did I say that out loud? LOL)

  • 14. Patty  |  March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    @13. Tattoo Mom (JM)- You are hillarious!!! I can feel your excitement.

    @5. Stressed by CPS – I can’t believe Lane once had 6000 students…yikes! That must have been in the 1950’s or 60’s.

    @IB&RGC Mom – I hope your daughter is able to attend Lane for AC & HS. You could finally relax until its your son turn.

    To all northside parents, do you guys have a desire to have one more AC on the north side? Or are you content with Taft & Lane? I know some northside students are accepted into Young AC, however, Young is located in the West Loop.

  • 15. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    My son goes to WY AC and it’s really convenient for us because we live close to the blue line. It’s a 15 minute el ride and you’re dropped off at the back door.

    PS. Thanks Patty.

  • 16. no go  |  March 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I am amazed at the cut-offs for Whitney Young this year. For tier three it went from 805 to 823 and tier four 831 to 840. I thought the scores would be lower, same as the HS. Wow was I wrong.

    Not really sure about the Lane odds.

  • 17. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks Stressed and Patty! 🙂

    Patty, my second child is a daughter also. I really dread the day that I have to do this all over! Hey maybe by then we will have better neighborhood schools to fall back on! A girl could dream or maybe I need to move (out of my supposedly tier 4 neighborhood that feeds into Shurz).

    mom2 – The more and more I hear about Lane (as well as see for myself as I attended the meeting in support of the AC) the more I realize it shouldn’t be a 3rd or 4th choice, it should be a a 1st choice for our kids. I am sure you are right that once kids get in, they won’t want to leave! But isn’t that the point! 🙂

    Jill – I think you’re right and Taft will be the real loser in this, especially this year, but hopefully it will have them get their high school on par with their academic center and then everyone will be winners because in the end there will be more spots for bright kids to be challenged the way they should be.

  • 18. Chewls  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Can someone please explain how the cutoff scores are determined for the Academic Centers? I’m only familiar with the 900 scores for the SEHS’s based on ISAT, grades and the SEHS test scores.

  • 19. Stressed by CPS  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    #18. The same guidelines are used for AC’s. Here are this year’s first round cut off scores for AC’s.–%20Round%20One.pdf

  • 20. 6th grade mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    18- there is a good article at selective prep’s website on how the scores are determined. It is a 900 point scale like the SEHS’s but the difference is that the entrance exam is scored differently and this leads to lower average scores on the middle school test. For the HS test any result in the 99th % will earn you 300 points, but the middle school test is scored like an IQ test (tho it maxes out at 150) and a kid who scores 150 will get the full 300 points but will lose 3 points on their final score for each point below that they are on the test, so a result of 135 (99.0%) will lead to a 45 point loss in the final score, so there end up being many more perfect or near perfect scores on the HS exam. Hope that makes sense, otherwise check out the selective prep website for a fuller explanation.

    Now for my question, my kid got into WY (yeah!) but this new Lane option is sorely tempting due to its proximity to our home (3 miles away vs. 8). Any advice/thoughts? Thanks!

  • 21. Gayfair Dad  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    @20 Stick with the developed country, that is, WY, since they have trained, experienced instructors and admin.

  • 22. Stressed by CPS  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    #20: WY is obviously a great option, congrats! But if you live close to Lane, I could see how it is tempting for you. Just for kicks, go to Lane’s AC open house this Sunday from 1-3.

  • 23. ackie mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    @ #20 – I’m sure that Lane AC will do fine in its first year and beyond. However, you have secured a spot at the #1 middle school in the state of IL. The WYAC program is awesome and has been in existence for over 25 years. My child loves it and has chosen to remain for high school in the fall. The AC sports and activities really picked up this year also. WYAC won the city championship for the girl and boys teams last fall.

    I can understand being tempted by the proximity of Lane to your home, but you have to ultimately decide what’s the best fit for your child. I’ve been in that position before – I chose a RGC that was 8 miles away versus the one that was within walking distance. The farthest RGC was the better fit for my child. Hope this helps!

  • 24. 6th grade mom  |  March 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks for the responses. I will go to the Lane open house this weekend, but my son so far is really set on WY, so that’s probably what we’ll do. One kid down, two to go!

  • 25. the heckler  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:55 am

    @ 20, thanks for the heads up on the Selec. Prep article. It wasn’t making any sense to me the lower scores of AC’s verses SE. Now I get it. Here is the link to that article:

  • 26. Pablo  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I am a little frustrated by the fact that if we lived south or east 1/2 block[!] my youngster would have been accepted to the AC of her choice. Is there anything I can do to appeal or have CPS reconsider?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  • 27. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I am surprised there are not more people posting about Lane opening an AC. I wonder how many people are going to apply. I was thinking it was going to be a lot, but there doesn’t seem to be as much excitement as I expected. I can see people who got into WY happy with that since it is the #1 middle school, and an established program, etc., but are there any people who would pick Lane over WY? Are a lot of the people that got into Taft going to apply as that would be my assumption? Are there people that didn’t get into any of the AC’s that will try for Lane now?

    I also wonder if people who didn’t get selected to any AC’s will add AC’s they didn’t have on there originally to qualify in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. It seems like that is an option since they listed all of the AC’s on the re-ranking form.

    I was talking to someone who lives in the suburbs today and they think it is crazy what we have to go through and while they are right, I think the fact that we have so many options is awesome. I just hope everyone ends up in the best school they can get in and they do something to turn around some of our neighborhood schools so those are good options as well.

  • 28. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Pablo, if I was in your position I would be calling the OAE to see if there is anything they can do. I could not imagine how upsetting it is to have them open this, have a child who will be entering 7th grade, and live a 1/2 block away only to find out you cannot apply. Do you have any kids at Lane? If so I would also try to speak to the principle to see if there is any principle discretion options. I don’t think there are with AC’s, but since this one is just getting off of the ground, who knows.

    I do feel badly. I am posting about how excited I am and the next post I see is yours. I didn’t see your post before I hit post comment.

    The other thing I would do is try for next year. Yes there probably won’t be many spots in 8th, but there may be people who leave, and who knows they may even add spots if it is successful.

  • 29. Lane Parent  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    I am totally thrilled about the new Lane AC! My older daughter is already a freshman there, and my 6th grader was just accepted to the Taft AC, so we immediately reranked with Lane first. Taft was a great experience for my older daughter, but we live much closer to Lane and being at the bus stop at 6:30 am every day for Taft was brutal. There was no chance of her doing any after school sports or extracurriculars because she was always exhausted from the early start and long bus rides. Plus, having two kids in the same school in Chicago these days is like winning the lottery. Sad, but true. Never having to go through the whole SE process again seals the deal for me. I’m hopeful that my daughter gets in, and very hopeful that they get it off to a good start.

    I think it’s crazy that Chicago is trying to be a “green” city, yet so many parents and kids are wasting gas, resources and time criss crossing the city every day to get to a better school. On non attendance days the traffic is a breeze! Chicago will never be a true contender as a “green” city until they get this whole insane education system straightened out!

  • 30. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 25, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Ugh Pablo! Sorry, that’s an awful situation to be in.

  • 31. red lining  |  March 25, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Pablo & others left out by their Tier,
    You could sue.

  • 32. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 25, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I don’t think Pablo was left out by Tier, I think he just didn’t go through the application process by the Dec. deadline… is that correct Pablo?

    Besides, a law suit would take years and years to settle and probably wouldn’t go your way. CPS looks at everything they do in terms of defending a law suit.

    IMO…While this system is not perfect, it’s better than the old days of 65% minority/35% non-minority. At least now we get 40 % on pure test score…then 60 % divided by Tier (I think those figures are the latest). You still still have a more equitable chance of getting into a SEES school if you are non-minority than you did before.

  • 33. hopingforround2  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Does anyone know anything about principal discretion for AC’s? ? I thought I saw something about it in the other post (you know the one with over 1000 comments so I can’t go through and look for it) ? I doubt it but if it is a possibility I would like to know about it.

    Also, I am assuming that Lane will be filled with students who got first round accepts and re-ranked for it. I don’t think there is much hope for a kid that didn’t make Taft for Lane. I figure between the kids that didn’t even put down Taft and the kids that got into Taft with scores in the 800’s, Lane’s 90 spots will fill up quickly.

    I dropped off my application at Board of Ed yesterday with the re-rankings. All they would say is they have received well over 90 of them !

  • 34. red lining  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

    it’s 30% rank — best scores across the city, 70% by tier

  • 35. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I had called the OAE just before the AC letters went out because the high school principle discretion was due the same day the letters were finally mailed. They told me there was no principle discretion for AC.

    Some how it came up in a conversation today at Taft and they pretty much said the same thing.

  • 36. cpsobsessed  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Thanks @35, interesting.

    I was wondering whether there might be “informal” principal discretion (such as I think the magnet/neighborhood schools have) but as I think about it, the test-in schools don’t have anything like that. It is all score-based and run by OAE. SE high schools are the one exception.


  • 37. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 25, 2011 at 11:09 am

    April 1st

  • 38. Stressed by CPS  |  March 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Lane’s AC website has posted their curriculum. Very interesting! Varies slightly from Taft and WY. Offers H Biology in 7th grade and H Chemistry in 8th.

  • 39. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks for the update Stressed.

  • 40. Stressed by CPS  |  March 25, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    ALL eligilble 6th graders who did not test for an AC CAN NOW DO SO!! From OAE:

    All sixth grade students who did not apply to Academic Centers during the regular application process may submit an application at this time. Testing will be held on Friday, April 1st at Lane Tech. This is the only available test date.

    Students who applied and tested for a Regional Gifted Center or International Gifted Program, but not an Academic Center, do not need to retest. These students will only need to submit the application for the Lane Tech Academic Center. The application deadline is April 1st.

    Students who have already applied and tested for an Academic Center may not retest. These students will only need to submit the amended Lane Tech application that they received with their notification letter.

    To register for the April 1st test, interested students must call the Office of Academic Enhancement at (773) 553-2508, from 9 am to 5 pm. Calls will not be taken after 2 pm on Thursday. WALK-INS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

    **Check the website for the rest of the story!

  • 41. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:03 am


    NEW AC TESTING DATE. (not for those who already took the test for an AC.)

    The minimum requirements for testing apply. Students must have minimum scores on their previous year’s ISAT (or another accepted standardized test) at the 70th percentile in both reading comprehension and total math (or, for students with an IEP/504 Plan, a minimum of 70% in either reading comprehension or total math and 60% in the other subject). Acceptable standardized tests outside of the ISAT are listed on our website (see Programs/Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools/Acceptable Standardized Tests).

    Students who have an IEP or 504 Plan must fax the IEP or 504 to the Office of Academic Enhancement (773-553-2061) by end of day on Wednesday, March 30th to ensure that appropriate accommodations for testing are provided.

    Testers will be required to bring all supportive documents to the test site: (1) ISAT/standardized test scores from the 2009-2010 school year, and (2) the final report card from the 2009-2010 school year. WITHOUT THESE DOCUMENTS, STUDENTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO TEST.

    **good job to the parents who expressed their feelings about this at the Lane AC open forum or who emailed OAE.

  • 42. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:12 am

    The LANE TECH AC course load is very rigorous. Please see the link I posted on #38. Good luck to all esp. those who are going to take the test on April 1st!

  • 43. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Sorry it’s past midnight and I’m kinda sleepy so I think new testing date only applies if you want to apply to Lane Tech AC-not to Whiney or Taft or Lindblom, etc. The app for Lane’s AC is also on the website.

  • 44. Pablo  |  March 26, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Thanks for the advice and kind words from everyone. @32-We did make the deadline, and I agree with you that a lawsuit is definitely a non starter. My frustration with the tier system is that if we lived on the next block my child would have, I believe, gained acceptance to the AC of her choice. The Tier system leaves a lot to be desired. We’ll be At Lane Tech this Sunday-maybe this is a blessing in disguise.

  • 45. momof3boys  |  March 26, 2011 at 7:50 am

    @Tattoo mom… Why would you assume Pablo did not go through the app process correctly? You sounded super condescending.. His post pretty implied that he did.

  • 46. momof3boys  |  March 26, 2011 at 7:54 am

    well, im just curious, what about extracurriculars? can the kids join the sports, clubs, etc? i would consider LTAC if youngest would be able to join the sports teams.

  • 47. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2011 at 8:53 am

    #46 Lane’s AC website has not posted that but I am sure they will have sports. If you can go to the open house tomorrow, I am sure they will address that.

  • 48. new testing  |  March 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

    This new testing option is very interesting. Was it the result of OAE being sensitive to parent pressure? Or did Taft lobby for it as it saw many of its applicants now choosing LT? And will Taft lobby to become a SE school so it can attract high quality students?
    The story continues?

  • 49. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 26, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I hope that everyone interested knows about it (of course the people on this blog do which is great). Hopefully they are notifying those who attended the meeting and spoke up about how unfair it was that they could not apply. I don’t see an email. I didn’t speak, but I had signed in with my name and email address so they did not notify everyone who they know attended. Also I had set up a google alert with Lane Tech Academic Center a few months back and I don’t think I ever discontinued it and nothing came up about it in the news. Thank goodness for this site so that people know it is an option. Stressed you are awesome. I bet a lot of people would not have attended the open house or known it was an option to apply if not for your post!

    So I actually logged on this morning because on the Lane re-rank application there is a place for applicant ID. Anyone know what this is? It is not log enough to be their CPS ID, and I don’t see it on the letter anywhere. If not, I will confirm with the OAE on Monday. Just figured I would check with here first.

  • 50. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 26, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Pablo, I misread your post also. For some reason I was thinking you lived 1/2 block away from Lane, but didn’t apply and would have picked Lane. That really does suck! I understand that CPS is trying to diversify student bodies, but I don’t see how these tiers could be accurate or the best way. Especially when you are that close to another tier. Neighborhoods I could not afford to buy a house in are lower tiers then the neighborhood I did buy a house in. It makes me consider moving otherwise my tier 4 children are going to have some high pressure on them. Also it is the first time in my life that I understood why people left the city for the suburbs. I have lived in the city all my life and never could understand why people would leave!

  • 51. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 26, 2011 at 10:28 am

    @45…I misread his post! LIke IB&RGC I thought he did not apply to ACs and only lived a half a block from Lane.
    SORRY PABLO didn’t mean to sound condescending if I did.

    There were plenty of people in that situation at the Lane open hearing on St. Patty’s Day…CPS listened and IS opening up a new testing process for them… I AM SHOCKED, but glad they will now have an opportunity to apply to Lane.

  • 52. anon  |  March 26, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Some people live right across the street (tier 4 me tier1 across the street)

  • 53. No go  |  March 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Wow. Incredible news. I can’t even imagine the number of students who are applying for 90 spots. I assume 27 are for rank and 16 each tier. The odds are incredible. Does anyone know how many applied for ACs this year?

  • 54. Stressed by CPS  |  March 26, 2011 at 11:43 am

    IB&RGC MOM: Thanks!! I was up last night and obviously bored. I saw it on OAE website but didn’t see it earlier in the day so I guess someone who does the site updates was also up late!! I know most people won’t know but I hope some people on here will tell others. (or maybe they won’t! HA HA!) Applicant ID # should be on your previous results letter. Good luck and I know you will update us!

  • 55. EC  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Parents of kids taking the selective admissions test should beware that the administrators are telling kids that there’s no penalty for not finishing the test — a total distortion of the truth. Make sure your kids know that no matter what the test administrator says, they need to finish the test. And if they’re approaching the end of test time, they should guess on the remainder of questions. My daughter — who had the full 600 points going in before testing for selective enrollment — did not fair as well on the selective test because even though she had heard differently in Selective Prep classes — her class was told by instructor that unanswered questions would not weigh against them. I’m appealing — and trying to get the ‘script’ that administrators are supposed to use when administering tests. But MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS KNOW THAT UNANSWERED QUESTIONS WILL WEIGH AGAINST THEM.

  • 56. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Wow, good find CPS Stressed! It’s not even on the main page yet…

    I do wonder if they responded to parent outcry about opening a new test day. I like that they feel compelled to respond (if that had anything to do with it) and reinforces the need for parents to speak up about stuff.

  • 57. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    @55 EC: Ok, so are you saying that it’s better to just guess if you’re not done (i.e. fill in all “B”s or whaterver all the way down?) I thought on some standardized tests it’s better not to guess because you’re penalized for wrong answers? (Or maybe I’m making that up.)
    So it sounds like there is not a PENALTY to leave questions blank, but I’m doubting that CPS is going to encourage kids to just guess on any open questions, don’t you think? I can sort of see how what they’re saying is true…. the unanswered won’t weigh against them, true, but it won’t help them in any way. Whereas if they guess a few right, it can only help….

    Good information.

  • 58. EC  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Yes, if kids are approaching end of test, they need to just fill in the blanks randomly. At our school two classes were given the test and there is now there is concern that the two groups received different directions on the test which had a direct bearing on the success rate on test for admission to WY. It’s very disconcerting if the test was administered differently in the rooms and the acceptance rate differs from one room to the other.

  • 59. cpsobsessed  |  March 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    @58 EC, who administers that test?

  • 60. EC  |  March 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Still trying to find out. Typically this test is administered by IIT to students but the Office of Academic Enhancement visits some schools to administer test. In this case, representatives from that office did so. Still don’t have all the answers but have filed a FOI request for details about that day and the test results.

  • 61. new testing  |  March 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Blank questions are counted the same as incorrect ones — no explicit penalty per se, but it does not make sense to leave any blank on this test.

  • 62. EC  |  March 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Yes, now we know. But the test administrator told the kids there was no need to finish the test becaue you would only be judged on the ones they got right. That makes sense on the face of it, but a lot of the kids had taken Selective Prep. And even though they had heard that they ought to not leave blank answers, these kids were strongly influenced by test administrators that they did not need to. Several of the kids mentioned this variation in the message to their parents that same day. I was one but did not panic assuming that the test administrators would not provide inaccurate information. One mom even called the OAE back in November after the test to complain that the message the kids got was deceptive. Anybody got the name of a great lawyer?

  • 63. Tier 4 mom  |  March 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    @49 applicant ID number was issued when you originally applied, as it was not needed after applying, I deleted from my email. i did post-it note that on my revised application.

    @53, at the Lane meeting I spoke to Abigayil Joseph afterwards and she said “1,500 students applied for AC this year.”

    @55, I feel slightly better, as I have been kicking myself for not telling my daughter to fill in at the end of the test. You make me feel slightly better, knowing she was told not to do so.

    Based on the cut scores I have seen for WY, even with her high score, Tier 4 struck again and will most likely keep her out of Lane also. Taft AC is a very good option and did well by my son. But the frustration of it all…
    I am still happy that they made the chance to apply to Lane AC equitable to all 6th graders.

    i am new to this site but have been on it every day for the past 2 weeks. – Love it.

  • 64. NorthCenter Mom  |  March 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    @40, can you please post a link to this announcement? I admit to not knowing how to navigate the CPS and OAE website well enough, but I cannot find this news myself.

  • 65. mom2  |  March 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm
    That is the link that takes you to the full announcement.

  • 66. Larry Walkley  |  March 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    With regard to OAE testing 6th grade students at the classical schools. OAE at one time had 7 or 8 school psychologists who administered admission’s tests. OAE got rid of them due to their budget and now only has one certified school psychologist. Certified school psychologists are trained in standardized test administration and are certified by the State of Ilinois. They also used to check scores before they are entered into the data base when they come back from the publisher. Now they depend on interns to administer tests and check scores. There is no transparency in the test administration process or in checking the scores. It doesn’t surprise me that the class rooms have different results. All directions should have been the same because they are standardized. The publishers have examiner qualfications of who can administer the test. Find out who administered the tests and if they are certified school psycholgists. Also many of the inters hired by OAE are undergraduate college students who are not in school psychology programs. They have little or no experience but they are cheap sources of labor. This is not going to change unless parents take a stance.

  • 67. EC  |  March 27, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Larry Walkley, thank you for your information. We have asked for the names of test administrators who administered that day, any scripts they used, any private emails, etc, test scores from both rooms to review differences in testing results. We’ll see what they say. Please send any other information you feel relevant.

  • 68. WYAC Offered  |  March 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Regarding the “fill in/don’t fill in debate”, my daughter took the test on Jan 3 and was told NOT to randomly fill in any unanswered questions b/c wrong answers are penalized but skipped answers are not, similar to the SAT, I believe.

    In the end, she ran out of time and didn’t answer the last 3 questions and her friends who were taking it later on were given the heads up about pacing themselves and finished the test (with minutes to spare) but she scored the highest among her peers even though she was the only one who didn’t finish all the questions. Leads me to believe that you DO get penalized for wrong answers but no penalty for skipped answers.

  • 69. momof3boys  |  March 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    @51 sorry!

  • 70. No go  |  March 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Went to the open house today. Anyone have any impressions?

    I think there were 200 plus kids but a lot of people walked in later so there could have been more I tried to count the number of people who had not taken the test but I couldn’t really see since we were in front.

  • 71. CPSDad  |  March 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    My daughter also informed me of the “do not guess” instructions issued prior to the AC test. Surprisingly enough, CPS seems to be somewhat sensitive right now to organized parent feedback regarding this process (i.e. the new admissions exam for Lane). If there were inconsistencies in the testing protocol, perhaps we should collectively inquire about a re-test opportunity ?

  • 72. 11-12  |  March 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    This is my first post, hello everyone. One of the first things our child said after the test was over was the fact that the instructors told them, that unanswered questions wouldn’t be held against them.
    I wonder how all of this is going to work, now that the new Lane testers have more information than our children did.

    We too were at the Open House today, there were several students that haven’t tested. Do you all feel this is fair/unfair, that they be allowed to test? Why or why not?

    There was also some confusion when it came to when we should register our child (if accepted to a AC) to the AC school they were accepted to.

  • 73. CPSDad  |  March 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    The only reason not to accept a previous offer (other than wanting to stay at your current school) is if you think you have a legitimate shot at another AC program besides Lane in the second round of selections. I would assume that some spots at other schools will be made available as their students shift to Lane. If that’s not a consideration for you, than you have nothing to lose by accepting the original offer. However, don’t register until you’ve heard from Lane. That way you’ll at least have a choice between the two.

  • 74. Tier 4 mom  |  March 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I also attended the Lane Open House. My child tested in January. Has “accepted” Taft, but awaits the reranking results for Lane.

    Regarding fairness:
    I do feel it is fair that all students get to test for Lane. For many the other AC’s were not an option. Information is good and I don’t hold it against anyone to have that information if it helps their child. I am confused by the conflicting blogs, what is the definitive answer fill in or leave blank?

    Regarding registration:
    I will say accept (hold your spot) but do not REGISTER at any school until you make the final decision – of course by the deadlines given. Your former school does have the right to refuse to take you back. That message was a little confused at the open house.

  • 75. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Tier 4 mom, were you the one who asked the question about that?

    They also mentioned that if you were to register you can talk to your school counselor and ask them not to release your child yet.

    Later I asked a question (pretty much everyone left the auditorium for the tours at that point) about having registered for Taft and still sending in the reranking application. Basically the OAE letter made me think that we should accept Taft and send the rerank in. Then the letters from Taft made me think that we would have to register either at the open house they had on Friday or on April 1st which is the official registration day. Either way this would be before they even began to look at the Lane acceptances so my daughter wanted to get the language and art elective of her choice so we did register (I should have known better and waited, but I figured we were supposed to go through the motions until we were told otherwise about Lane). I am actually sending out the acceptance letter and re-ranked amended application tomorrow so I know they couldn’t have done all that they need to do to have her enrolled, but still my daughter was worried about this so I asked what would happen if they already registered. Dr. LoBosco said the other AC’s were aware that they may be losing kids to Lane and basically because they are aware it wouldn’t be an issue. But I would agree with Tier 4 mom, if you haven’t registered, DON’T! I wish I hadn’t. Not that she will necessarily get in, but I don’t want to take her out of the running.

    I am going to call the school my daughter attends now and make sure they don’t release her right away anyway, but just figured I would share. I also will call the OAE tomorrow as well to mention this as when it was time for me to ask the question, the representative for the OAE was no longer in the auditorium.

  • 76. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    A couple other things that were mentioned…

    They would have the first round offers out by the 11th and acceptances will be due on the 18th of April.

    Also, they are going to do a summer program which I believe will be similar to the one offered at WY and Taft for the new AC students.

    Once the offers or acceptances are made they will be holding another open house type event with tours etc.

    The math for 7th grade will be Honors Algebra and if they need more instruction in Algebra they will repeat it in 8th instead of moving on to Honors Geometry. – Math was something that kept coming up in the question and answer period because it didn’t resonate well with some that they were not going to have the math divided by skill level etc. Even though they did mention giving placement tests. I think the placement tests may be more looked at for languages, etc.

    Majority of their classes will not be with high school students, but if there are not enough students taking a particular elective to have a full class they may be taking it with high school students.

    They will be offering most of all of the sports that other grade schools offer.

    That is all that I can think of at the moment, but if anything else comes to mind, I will post it. I probably should have taken notes!

  • 77. in attendance  |  March 28, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Hi. I was there yesterday as well. The LT Principal did say that there was no differentiation in math — something that I & other parents asked about. This did trouble me since I notice in my son’s current accelerated program there are some very dramatic differences in skill levels among a class of about 30. I could only imagine that there will be an even larger difference in skill level in a class of 93. Does anyone know whether WY offers differentiation?
    The grading scale is being discussed — with a potential change to come in several weeks. It is my understanding that the current LT scale is 93-100 for an A in an honors program.

  • 78. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I spoke to parents that were not happy about the same thing. Hey maybe I was talking to you! If so I didn’t get a chance to mention that my daughters class in her RGC is also set up the same way. It would be interesting to know how WYAC does it.

    Tattoo mom, anyone else, any input on WYAC math (especially in 7th) would be appreciated.

    Hopefully once they do give placement testing they will see more of a need to structure math a bit differently. Especially if other AC’s do. It seems like they are modeling their AC after the other AC’s for the most part.

  • 79. mom2  |  March 28, 2011 at 9:59 am

    @77 – The current grading scale at Lane is an A=95 and up. However, the LSC and the teachers voted for the standard 90/80/70 scale a few weeks ago and the principal said she would make the final decision regarding changing this scale sometime April. The 95=A scale was the recommended CPS scale but only Lane and a few other schools still follow that recommendation.

    I bet that you are correct that Lane will make the necessary adjustments (should they be necessary) in order to best teach and accommodate their AC students. So, if something isn’t working with their math program or any other program, they will make changes.

  • 80. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    At WY all 7th Graders take Algebra I and the CPS test to get into Geometry I in 8th. I suppose a child would have to repeat Algebra I if they don’t pass the test…. I’ve never heard anything about that happening tho.

    During the summer orientation, they took several test that I assumed were placement tests to divide the kids up on levels, but from what I can tell from my son’s and his friends homework conversations, they seem to all be working on the same things at the same time. He isn’t in class with anyone he knew prior to entering the school. So who knows what those tests were….

    Sorry I’m sure that isn’t helpful at all. LOL One thing I can tell you for sure is that I cannot help my son with his math homework. It’s way over my head. Good thing they don’t test parents!

  • 81. RL Julia  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Did they say when the school day starts and ends? Do the other AC’s push the kids two years ahead in Math? I know at Taft they push them one – so kids are doing Geometry in 9th grade (provided they pass the placement test given over the summer).

    Taft’s summer program last year consisted of a bus trip – the budget was cut for anything more than just one day. Maybe it will be more this summer….

    Anyone mention summer reading requirements?

  • 82. CPSmama  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

    There is no differentiation in math at WYAC- lowest math offered to AC students is Honors Algebra. Some test into higher Math. And there 7th graders at WY who do not pass Algebra or the Algebra exit exam and are required to re-take it in 8th grade. a year or two ago, there were 25-30 kids who didn’t pass Algebra (as in they got an “F” in the class one or both semesters)

    At Taft’s AC, they take Pre-Algebra in 7th & Algebra in 8th and both of those Math teachers are very strong based on my child’s experience.

  • 83. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:40 am

    RL Julia, they haven’t decided when the school day starts or ends, but it will probably be a bit different from the high school kids as they have 1 less period and I think they probably will start them after and let them out before the high schoolers. AT least that is what it sounded like to me. Also, they are doing the Honors Algebra in 7th and Honor Geometry in 8th so they are doing the Math 2 years ahead which looks like that is the same thing that they do at WY. If they don’t pass Algebra, they repeat it in 8th.

    Taft and WY worked together for a grant to get a 3 week summer program. It will be half days, but every week day for 3 weeks.

    I don’t remember hearing any talk of summer reading requirements at Lane, but I know Taft is going to put out a suggested summer reading list on their website.

  • 84. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Thanks for the info CPSmama!

    Wow that is a lot of kids that didn’t pass it in 7th grade! More reason to have different levels.

  • 85. Mayfair Dad  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm


    They heard us! Power to the people!

    Thank you everyone who spoke up at the town meeting and who sent an email to CPS OAE. I wonder if Ron Huberman would have been equally responsive to community concerns? On second thought, who cares – he’s gone.

  • 86. Paula W  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Just a quick f/u question? I am sure it has already been answered BUT, My child was accepted to Taft we now want to apply for Lane Tech, on my amended application should lane tech be the 1st choice and then taft the 2nd choice?

  • 87. mom2  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Mayfair Dad, it is great to finally be heard about something. Now, what else do we need to get done and how quickly can we make it happen?

  • 88. bagg  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    @83 IB&RGC Mom, I’m confused. Don’t all CPS 8th graders take algebra and thus WYAC is only one year ahead? If no, what is the typical CPS 8th grade math? pre-algebra?

    I’ve heard of 6th graders (non-CPS, non-gifted) private school kids taking Algebra (5th grade take pre-Algebra).

  • 89. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Paula, I did not put Taft on the amended application as we were accepting Taft so we didn’t need to be in any later rounds for selection. I think that was just to re-rank for any future rounds of selections and probably more applies to people who either didn’t receive offers or were not going to accept the offer they received.

    Also, the letter stated you can accept the offer you have and then if you receive an offer from Lane you will be able to choose which offer to accept so I don’t think you have to rank Lane vs. Taft until it comes down to having offers for both.

    When it doubt you can always call the OAE and ask the question. I called there early this morning to ask about having registered for Taft already. I think we should all have them on speed dial!

  • 90. bagg  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Sorry, one more question. What’s the difference between Honors vs Regular Algebra?

  • 91. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Bagg, I am actually not sure. My daughter is in an RGC and they mix it up with some pre-algebra, some algebra, even geometry in 6th, but they are also ranked so are taking it at the appropriate skill level. They do not even have a set text book that they work out of, but they have an excellent Math teacher.

    The Algebra they are taking at WY and LT in 7th will be for high school credit which is why I assumed it would be 2 years ahead.

  • 92. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    It is just at the high school honors level.

  • 93. Mayfair Dad  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    @ mom2: I was thinking about this over the weekend, did you see the article on Rahm Emanuel’s transition teams in the Tribune?

    I’m tempted to go back to the recommendations I sent to the Blue Ribbon Committee and re-send them to the Education transition team. Issues of fairness (or lack of), inconsistent grading scales, reliance on imprecise census tract info – the usual stuff I rant about. Maybe if we put these ideas in front of the transition team advising the Mayor-elect, something might actually happen.

    Worth a shot, right? I’m thinking the system is about to get “tinkered” with again, after the dust settles from this year’s CPS March Madness.

  • 94. mom2  |  March 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Mayfair Dad, if there was ever a time for CPS to get “tinkered with” again, it would be right after we have a new mayor. And, a mayor that lives on the North side and near Lakeview High School is likely to be hearing things regarding CPS even from neighbors. I’d say anyone that is willing to put themselves out there with thoughtful recommendations for changes should go to his web site form for suggestions and list out everything. If he gets enough of the same ideas, maybe something will stick like this change in policy for an extra testing day for Lane’s AC. It is certainly worth a try! Thanks in advance.

  • 95. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Mayfair Dad and Mom2, I am sure a lot of people would be in support of rallying together behind these issues.

    Mom2, was it you that posted the link to the web site form before? If so, or even if not, can you post it so that we know where to go? I think if we have time to put our comments here, we should all take a moment to pass them on (in a more formal manner of course) to the Mayor-elect and his transition team.

  • 96. mom2  |  March 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I didn’t post the link. It wasn’t me, but I’ll see if I can track that down.

  • 97. mom2  |  March 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I see two places where someone can comment. A place for short comments at:
    And a place for a longer suggestion at

    The first location is quite similar to this site, but they don’t have a lot of people commenting yet. I wonder what will happen if we unleash all the cpsobsessed people 🙂

  • 98. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  March 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    CPS Mama…are you sure about that? 25-30 kids that didn’t pass Algebra at WYAC??? Can you elaborate on what you heard or saw please… I’ve never heard about anything like that. Usually word of that sort would pass quickly thru the Decatur grapevine. Thanks.

  • 99. cpsobsessed  |  March 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    @97: I like that Submit Proposals option.

    I was just talking with a friend who’s wife works with govt offices and he said that NOW is the time to give input to these transition teams — that they are truly looking for ideas and input. They may all be experts on given topics, but we probably know more about the pulse of CPS parents (or at least a biased sample of CPS parents.)

    What if we start a new thread to focus on some issues we think are key? Once we get the input, I can try to write them up with rationale and supporting information (if we have it) and we could submit it on behalf of the “CPS Obsessed Thinktank” or something like that. I don’t think the ideas.

    If people would like to contribute, I’ll start a new thread….

  • 100. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks mom2! 🙂

  • 101. mom2  |  March 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    cpsobsessed, that would be wonderful. Of course, now that the pressure will be on to be thoughtful rather than just spilling out your feelings, you may not get as many posts. I know I will need to be more careful with my words.

  • 102. cps Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    @98- I heard the same. This was 2 years ago – kids taking advanced programs in math had to go to summer school. I do believe that the program was changed after that.

  • 103. HSObsessed  |  March 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    @99 – I could write a summary of Rahm’s stated education agenda, which was posted on his Rahm For Chicago election website, but is now gone. Luckily I downloaded it. There were some great ideas in there, and now is the time to let him know that we are going to hold him to his plan. I know pre-election statements are not “promises” but if Rahm can achieve a third of what he laid out, it would be pretty great.

  • 104. Mayfair Dad  |  March 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I was taking a closer look at Rahm’s education transition team – a few charter school heavies, some community organizers, U of C education policy wonks, foundation big wigs with Wall Street ties, thankfully a few principals and teachers – but no PARENTS.

    I will write Mayor-elect Emanuel today and offer my services. I will keep everybody posted on his reply.

  • 105. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    @101 Agreed!

    Actually I was just having a conversation with some co-workers about schools (one from the burbs and one with a baby so she doesn’t know all the CPS in’s and outs YET) as someone mentioned how kids today (not specifically CPS kids) do not know many of the basics and write in text speak, etc. So I went on about how they are teaching to the test. Then I went on to explain how they have to cram so much in in our short school days, with no time for socializing because there is no recess and just a 20 minute lunch where the kids have to scarf down their food once they get down to the lunch room and have waited in line with only a fraction of the time left to actually eat! Those are some of the rants I haven’t really thought about in a while because we have been concentrating on getting into an Academic Center (in tier 4 no less). I think it would be great to start a new thread. I am sure we can get all of our thoughts together in a more formal written communication.

    OR we can do it in text speak to really try to get the point across. Kidding!

  • 106. cpsmama  |  March 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    #98 – yes it was 2 yrs ago, those kids are now 9th graders. I assumed itwas due to a bad math teacher, but I don’t know the specific teacher. Several parents with kids in that class confirmed it.

  • 107. no go  |  March 29, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Called to find out about Reg Number since it is not on our result form. Was told not to worry. (Which of course makes me worry!!!)

  • 108. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 29, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I called yesterday and they told me the same thing. I included a post it note that said that as well (idea from tier 4 mom @63), and on the post it note gave my child’s CPS ID.

  • 109. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I was at a party this weekend and since I open every conversation with a question about school, I met a woman who got 2 twins into Ogden Intl Gifted’s program.
    She’s considering taking them out of a well-regarded neighborhood program because she said she wanted them to have more of a middle school educational experience.

    My wine consumption prevented me from following up with appropriate questions. Does anyone know what this means? Moving to different classes for different subjects?

  • 110. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    @109 I am assuming at Ogden they must continue to stay in the same class with the same teacher for the majority of their subjects. At my daughters RGC they start switching classes in 5th grade. They have different teachers for the majority of their subjects so teachers are more specialized. They switch actual classrooms similar to high school, but on a smaller scale and all of the kids go from class to class together.

  • 111. NMAMom  |  March 30, 2011 at 7:48 am

    This is directed to Mayfair Dad

    I apologize in advance because it is off topic. Mayfair Dad, approximately how much homework per night do the Ogden IG kids have (how long does it take)?


  • 112. Mom2Three  |  March 30, 2011 at 8:54 am

    My fifth grader was accepted into the International Gifted program at Ogden and I attended the Open House yesterday. The program is a soon-to-be fully accredited IB Middle Years Program (grades 6-10). The philosophy is that all students in the program do the same thing. So, neighborhood kids are integrated with the kids who tested in as IG and everyone together tests for level placement. Testing 3x a year guards against being stuck in a track. All this to say that the IG designation is a little bit random. It is not recognized internationally by the IB program, but is a good way for the school to draw higher level kids from outside the neighborhood. A high school started two years ago and adds a grade each year, with the intent to have it one day incorporate a fully accredited IB Diploma Program (grades 11-12) on par with Lincoln Park’s. Bussing is provided for all IG kids, regardless of where they live in the city. The new Gold Coast building will be ready for fall and the 6th grade will likely (but there is no guarantee) be housed in the new building starting at that time, with the 7th/8th still in the Erie location. The Middle Years Program is structured so that the children change classes per subject and will have a different mix of classmates in each classes based on placement tests. There is a “special” class daily (rotating art/music/PE/Intl Studies..) and a language (Spanish/French/Chinese) which is taught daily. It is a highly respected program. I learned all of this yesterday and am still processing the information to determine if it is the best move for us. I have very little time left to make the decision.

  • 113. Mayfair Dad  |  March 30, 2011 at 8:56 am

    @ 109 – 111

    The kids enrolled in the IG program at Ogden rotate classrooms just like high school. They start each morning in a homeroom. For core subjects they block schedule, so not the same agenda each day. It gets tricky but kids pick it up pretty quickly.

    Homework: 2+ hours per night. Mix of stuff that needs to be turned in the following day plus longer-term research papers and other fun projects. PowerPoint slide shows set to music, videos, short films – you name it. For Language Arts they read stuff I read in high school.

    We had a very positive experience here. Two drawbacks: long
    commute (although we fought to add a bus pick-up at our neighborhood school 100 yards away from our house) and the timeframe my son was there coincided with the construction of the new school, acquisition of Carpenter…it was alot of change to digest and pretty much killed the after-school scene. This will be much improved now that the new building opens in September. I envy the kids who get to enjoy the new facility.

  • 114. Mayfair Dad  |  March 30, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Also should add the CHOICE program at Ogden is really cool. Mayfair Son leaves for Lyon, France this Thursday to stay with a family for two weeks and attend school in France. Lyon Son will visit us for two weeks later this Spring.

    It will be interesting to find out how his American Skateboard Slacker routine goes over in France.

  • 115. Mayfair Dad  |  March 30, 2011 at 9:32 am

    @ 112: You did a very nice job describing the program.

    My son was at a good (not great) neighborhood school bored out of his mind because there was no accelerated program for college-bound students. He was getting straight As and I never saw him crack a book at home. When I asked him about this he told me he did his homework in class while the teacher was busy helping the slower students and kids who couldn’t speak English. He routinely aced his ISATs so no reason to expend any extra energy on a kid who wasn’t broken. Leaving was an easy decision. God smiled on us that year because his younger siblings were accepted into Disney II and we never looked back.

    I don’t know what school situation your child is considering leaving but Ogden was a great choice for us.

  • 116. NMAMom  |  March 30, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Mom2Three – Thank you for that great low-down of the Open House!

    Mayfair Dad – It is so helpful to get a parent’s view. What books did your son read this year in 8th grade? Is his class doing anything special for 8th grade graduation, i.e. class trip?

    I am so thankful for this blog and the opportunity to access parent’s views and perceptions! CPS parents need this to help work through all the options.

  • 117. cpsobsessed  |  March 30, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Mayfair Dad: How on earth did you get a slacker to do 2 hours of homework a night?

    Your son reminds me of a conversation I just had with my 2nd grade son on his French:

    Me: How do you keep getting A’s in French when you don’t seem to actually know any French?
    Son: I don’t know. It’s confusing.
    Me: Yeah, French IS confusing.
    Son: No, it’s confusing how I keep getting the A’s.

    The kid is a good test taker.

  • 118. Waitingmom  |  March 30, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Do we know if Lane will offer bussing for the AC. I know bussing is always iffy but have they mentioned it?

  • 119. RL Julia  |  March 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    What are the impressions on the proposed AC curriculum. It seems a lot more rigorous than what is offered at the AC’s currently – Basically 8th grade is 9th grade at the Lane AC. Opinions?

  • 120. cpsobsessed  |  March 30, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    So the 8ths graders at Lane AC will be taught a 9th grade curriculum? That pretty much fits with the gifted/classical model, doesn’t it (which are supposedly 2 grades ahead by 8th grade.)

    It certainly sounds challenging to me though!

  • 121. JP  |  March 30, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Actually, as far as math and science are concerned, Lane’s AC will be 2 years ahead. 7th will have Honors Algebra I and Honors Biology which are traditionally freshman honors courses. 8th will be Honors Geometry and Honors Chemistry, sophomore honors courses. Science is where Lane is more rigorous than Whitney.

  • 122. Stressed by CPS  |  March 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Adding to JP: Social studies is also a little different at Lane vs. WY. (AC) They will be taking World Studies as 8th graders at Lane whereas WY offers it in 9th grade. Both curriculums are much, much, more advanced than Taft’s.

  • 123. magnet mom  |  March 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    So I guess reading above about Ogden I am confused. Is it that if you live in Ogden’s neighborhood boundary that you child goes through the international Ib alongside the out of neighborhood kids who test in and take classes together but are technically in a different track depending on testing? Can someone explain? Does this mean one could move into the boundary if a child doesn’t test in and they will go through Ogden’s Ib through h.s.?

  • 124. JP  |  April 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Any word on yesterday’s testing for Lane? I’m curious whether the turnout was close to the number at the open house. Was it organized well considering the last minute decision?

  • 125. mom2  |  April 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I’d like to know about the turn-out for both the open house and the testing, too. Did anyone here have their child tested on April 1st?

  • 126. dizzy1991  |  April 4, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Oh how I wish I was more on top of things. I knew nothing of Academic Centers, prior to this last week … Thursday to be precise. I am not sure who I want to be mad at – myself for not knowing or the counselor for not mentioning it to the students until Thursday morning. Perhaps a bit of both. I must say I am impressed how everyone here seems to be on top of everything. Glad I stumbled onto this site.

  • 127. Reesa On  |  April 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I was at the Lane Tech AC testing. It’s hard to say what the numbers were but the turn-out was strong. There apparently were three testing sessions: 9 am, 10:30 am and noon. Everything seemed well-organized. Testers were instructed to arrive an hour before. Parents and kids were seated at tables in the cafeteria as school officials confirmed the paper work. They even provided coffee and doughnuts for parents.

  • 128. mom2  |  April 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    @127 – did your child test for Lane or were you there for some other reason? Thanks so much for the information.

  • 129. Reesa On  |  April 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Mom 2, you’re welcome! My child was testing for the Lane AC. Parents were encouraged to stay. (Hence, the coffee and doughnuts!) The second group of students and parents began coming in while the first group was still testing so that’s how we learned there were three groups.

  • 130. cpsobsessed  |  April 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Some cool pics here of the Lane Tech building.

  • 131. More Informed  |  April 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    CPSmama – I need to respond to your comment “There is no differentiation in math at WYAC- lowest math offered to AC students is Honors Algebra.

    This is highly inaccurate. My child is currently in 7th grade at WYAC and they offer BOTH the regular level and the honors level of Algebra 1 to the 7th graders. They even had an assessment early in the process to help guide their instruction over the 3 week summer orientation! I think it’s genius! Also, I would like to disagree with you on the 25-30 failures. If that was the case, their state ranking would surely go down! Let’s check the facts before we post!

  • 132. JP  |  April 7, 2011 at 7:00 am

    The state ranking of schools has nothing to do with student performance in school, it is based on ISAT scores. 7th graders taking the ISAT at every school, including WYAC, are given the same test which, in 7th grade, consists of 7th grade math, reading (and science?), not high school level algebra. So, a student in an academic center could have a difficult time with Algebra I and still score very high on the ISAT since that material had been mastered by the student 1 to 2 years before the test.

  • 133. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  April 12, 2011 at 9:53 am

    @131 I was told my Ms. Chinn that the Algebra I that 7th graders take is Honors for 7th graders but not for 9th graders who take it coming in from outside the AC…so there is only one choice at WYAC.

  • 134. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  April 12, 2011 at 9:54 am

    PS. Any news on letters? Did they mail on time yesterday?

  • 135. Chewls  |  April 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    A friend whose daughter took the Lane AC test said she was told they’d be notified by email on Monday the 11th. She hadn’t received an email as of last night. Anyone else?

  • 136. IB&RGC Mom  |  April 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I had called the OAE yesterday because I never received my self addressed stamped post card back with my amended application though I did receive it for the Taft Acceptance mailed the same day. They had received it so I asked when letters were going out and at first said they would be mailed by Wednesday so I asked if the acceptances were still due back on the 18th and she said that hadn’t changed. She put me on hold then came back and said she thought the letters would be mailed by today. I am assuming we will see them in the next day or two. I am not really anxiously awaiting as we might be sticking with Taft, but want to see if she did get in to really decide what is the best option for her.

  • 137. Tattoo Mom (JM)  |  April 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm


  • 138. Reesa On  |  April 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Lane Tech AC letter is here! DD accepted, tier 3, score of 825.

  • 139. 11-12  |  April 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Was she one of the original testers? Or did she test at Lane Tech?
    Do you remember how many open spots there were available at LTAC?

  • 140. Reesa On  |  April 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you! DD was not one of the original testers but rather one who tested a couple weeks ago at Lane Tech. A great big thank you to all who petitioned for the additional day of testing! I believe they said there were 93 spots available–3 classes worth of students.

  • 142. IB&RGC Mom  |  April 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for posting the cut off scores!! We had decided together that my daughter was going to stick with Taft due to Lane’s curriculum, grading scale (I know they are working on getting that changed), and not being sure if that is going to be her #1 choice for high school, but I still felt anxious waiting for the letter. I guess because if she did get in we would have to be sure we were making the right decision. We are in tier 4 and her score would not have made the cut. I am at work and won’t get the mail until later so I am glad I found out now. Pressure is off! That is until next year! Next year she will be focused and test prep here we come!

  • 143. Mom2  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:11 am

    @142 – just in staying on that topic, I believe the principal at Lane is supposed to announce her decision on the grading scale at their LSC meeting tonight. LSC, teachers and parents have all recommended 90/80/70 scale, but she has the final word on this.

  • 144. IB&RGC Mom  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:37 am

    That is soooo much better then a 95% A. We are used to the 93% A scale and when my daughter gets B’s they are usually 91 or 92’s which sucks since at some schools that would still be an A, but her A’s are sometimes 93’s or 94’s. Good luck for anyone attending! That would be great change for Lane! Now if only all of CPS could get on the same scale.

    If you or anyone attends, please post the outcome. I think there is a good chance my daughter does attend Lane for High School. Right now her first choice is WY and Lane is second, but we haven’t really looked into too many other schools. Lots of open houses to attend next year!

  • 145. mom2  |  April 15, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Word on the street is that Dr. Lobosco announced yesterday at the LSC meeting that starting next year, the Lane grading scale will be 90/80/70 for all grades and grade levels. I assume this means the AC, too, but I don’t know if that was specifically stated. The teachers, parents and LSC all voted for this scale. Great job by all those involved in helping them all see the light on this one. Now if CPS could just make this the rule everywhere instead of just most places.

  • 146. CPSmama  |  April 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Yes, the Lane scale has been changed to 90/80/70/60.

    @131- “more informed” Although you would “like to disagree with me” about the high number of WYAC students who failed Honors Algebra two years ago, that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. You weren’t a parent of a WY AC student back then so I’m not sure how you would know.

    It doesn’t sound like WYAC really has Regular Algebra, but if they do 9or if just your child does) perhaps they changed it to include Regular after so many failed Honors a couple of years ago.

  • 147. cpsobsessed  |  April 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    So it looks like the Lane AC entry scores are below Whitney Young’s AC and above Taft’s AC. So how will that play out? Lane will possibly become the #2 choice for Decatur kids before Taft, so I guess it nets out as more overall spots for 7th and 8th grade given the new program. So who will be the kids entering Taft going forward? KIds who need more challenge than their current neighborhood school?

  • 148. KIKI  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    It is good to get accepted in high ranking schools but all the schools that are being mentioned are pretty good schools and I believe it’s what your child do with their education, is what’s going to make them stand out, If you go to a low performing school but get good grades and score high on your test. You would stand out just the same as if you were at a high ranking school. So dont get a headache. If you got a good school near you, take it. I bet having your child getting up early and coming home later would probably put more of strain on them and their academics.

  • 149. LOLA63  |  May 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I reslly loved the perspective of the last post. We’ve been accepted into a CPS aci-center, and our kid has thier heart set on staying where he is, we are at one of the most sought after elementary schools in Chicago very close to WY. The issue is that although it’s a very good school with a proven record, all the top students successfully test out at 6th grade. This impacts the 7 & 8th grade middle school experience there.I.Can anyone share

  • 150. cps Mom  |  May 20, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Lola – we went to Jackson. You need to seriously consider WY before passing that up.

  • 151. RL Julia  |  October 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Hate to say it, but son went to Taft AC from our neighborhood school and I can’t say that he was academically challenged – really what he got was more- language and computer classes every day. Arts and gym more often. More middle school/independent atmosphere, more rules to be followed. Not a bad trade off but not necessarily better – more like just different.

    Since Lane is now open, Taft has made their 8th grade classes all high school level but given that it doesn’t feed into an SEHS I think they are going to lose student applicants. I also have to say that while I think of Taft as being “safe” (some don’t), I do think that it is less tolerant of difference than our neighborhood school is or than the SEHS’s are (at least I am hoping). It is not a particularly diverse student body in my opinion nor would I say that it is particularly welcoming of diversity. Despite a very stringent anti-bullying policy, there seems to be a certain amount of teasing that goes on that crosses a line in my (overly sensitive) mind. While I understand my son’s saying that it is all in good fun, I still don’t appreciate that his nickname at school is Jewboy (others are called out for being Indian heritage, having red hair, really anything that makes them less mainstream white as far as I can tell. I would hate to be a gay student in this school). This wouldn’t have been tolerated at the neighborhood school.

  • 152. John  |  October 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    My daugher’s at Taft AC now and is really enjoying it. She says it’s fun and that “all the kids are really nice.” There is teasing but so far it sounds like normal middle school stuff (and believe me, I listen very closely for evidence to the contrary.) She went to a classical school and the load does not seem hard for her, but she is enjoying the teachers and I’ve heard other parents disagree about its ease. Someone she went to school with told me that he prefers Taft because you’re not treated like a child there as opposed to the classical school he attended. The school is diverse — many Latinos, Polish children and immigrants’ children though there is obviously (as in naked to the eye) a smaller number of African American kids than at Lane. I presume that’s because of location?
    As far as Taft getting fewer students in the future, perhaps. But with the shortage of slots at quality programs, I doubt very much that the school won’t still drawing students from neighborhood schools.

  • 153. Taft mom  |  October 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I have a 7th grade daughter at Taft who loves it; mostly because of the middle school experience. She has made tons of new friends from all over the City and even some neighborhood friends from her bus that she didn’t know before since she was at a magnet school. John is right on point about the diversity. In fact my daughter’s French class is full of Spanish speakers.

    My husband and I are of the opinion, however, that there is not a lot of room for creative thinking. They are very good about handing out rubrics for projects but if you don’t respond to the rubric EXACTLY your grade will be compromised. I guess this is part of the process but in the all-important 7th grade year it is unnerving

    That being said the teachers are responsive to questions from the parents and there is tutoring available during the 40 minute lunch for the AC students. Even though it is not our neighborhood school we may end up staying there for high school, as it is a better program than our local high school.

    The AC kids have most of their classes by themselves in one wing of the school and only leave that area for electives, gym, and language. They all eat lunch together and the only HS students that eat with them are freshman. I feel safe there, but then again I live in Rogers Park so my threshold may be higher than some.

    There are a lot of Decatur kids at Taft and frankly I think they must be bored. The math right now is review for my kid; I can’t imagine what it would be like for those guys. The other schools that are heavily represented are Edgebrook and Faulkner (a K-6 school on the NW side that I had never heard of).

    For our situation it is almost a perfect fit. I think she would struggle at Lane or Whitney. A year ago when she began talking about attending (even back then she wanted to go to Taft and not Whitney) I tried to dissuade her but her then 11 year old self knew what was right for her.

  • 154. 6thgradegirl  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I have applied to Whitney Young, Lane Tech, and Taft as my top 3 for academic centers. I am SOOOO nervous for the results!

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