Lake View High School to select a new principal

June 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm 163 comments

I heard about this a couple weeks ago – that LVHS will be choosing a new principal very soon.  Got this today from the North Side HS Initiative:

The Lake View High School Principal Forum is scheduled for the evening of Monday, June 6 at Lake View High School.  The three candidates for principal will attend the “meet and greet” from 6:00-7:00 and the forum will begin at 7:00.  Please share this information.  Hope to see you there.

I think this is really exciting. Nothing against the current admin, who I know absolutely nothing about, but since I suspect I am a bit of Reformer at heart, I like the idea of the school getting reinvigorated.  Or maybe it is the corporate drone in me who buys into the idea of “new management signals a change in strategy” as a way to build interest in the company (uh, or school.)

I’m trying to find out whether the current Asst Principal is on the short list, as well as who else might be.  I’ve heard there might be interest in getting some new blood in the place (from a current teacher) but it can be difficult for an LSC to NOT choose an existing staff member unless there is a real commitment to change.

I still haven’t gotten filled in on the last meeting (although I offered a friend a beer if he would write up some notes – the offer stands for any of you who attend a meeting!)  He did tell me that he feels the school may be at the tipping point.

The Trib also ran this article today.  That is some good PR for a neighborhood HS for a change.

‘Best kept secret on the North Side’

Lake View High seeks prestigious science, math program

(by Erin Calandriello, Special to the Tribune)

Mark Morgan, a junior at Lake View High School on Chicago’s North Side, does not come from a wealthy background. So his parents didn’t have the money to pay for private school.

Initially, Morgan, 17, didn’t think a neighborhood school would be challenging or rewarding. But after attending Lake View, he found otherwise. “After attending Lake View, I realized that neighborhood schools are just as good as private schools and magnet schools,” he said. Morgan cited extracurricular activities including band, mock trial, art club and sports teams along with the wide selection of Advanced Placement courses that Lake View offers students.

Now, administrators and teachers hope to enrich the 1,550-student school’s offerings by starting a STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — program. The advanced program, which is offered at other high schools in the Chicago area and across the nation, engages students in projects and independent research on a large scale, said Vyjayanti Joshi, who has been a biology teacher at Lake View for seven years and is the chairwoman of the science department.

Assistant Principal Carolyn Eggert and her colleagues said that if they could improve their science labs and add the STEM program to the curriculum, the school’s reputation would improve; mentors from the neighborhood would take students under their wings; companies would donate money and time to the school; the caliber of students would increase; and more neighborhood parents would view Lake View as a good choice for their children.

The school’s administration is asking Chicago Public Schools to match the $2 million raised with the help of a local alderman to pay for the STEM program and improve laboratories, Eggert said. “We need millions of dollars in capital improvement funds,” she said, noting that selective enrollment schools such as Walter Payton College Prep have received strong financial support for new facilities.

CPS has yet to release its budget to Lake View for the coming academic year.

Strengthening the offerings at Lake View High School would improve the quality of life in the neighborhood, Eggert said. “We are the best kept secret on the North Side of Chicago, but we are limited in what we can do,” she said.

Eight out of the nine science labs at Lake View are below CPS standards, Eggert said. The lab desks are nailed to the floor, and the school doesn’t have the money to provide necessary safety equipment like eye flushes and goggles.

Basic science supplies such as Bunsen burners, petri dishes, flasks and cylinders are in short supply, Eggert said.

Students said they are frustrated by the limited science options. They said they have had to skip labs because of a lack of equipment. The lack of resources also means they have had to share new pieces of equipment and computers, which means lessons that should take one day to finish are stretched over two days, the students said.

“There is such a limitation on what we can do,” Joshi said. “So many parents don’t want to send their kids to a magnet school, but we need to expand our rigor to keep them here. … We need the space and tools so we can better prepare them for postsecondary education.”

Eggert agreed. “We cannot advertise the STEM program if we don’t have a state-of-the-art science lab, where students can engage in expansive research. We cannot analyze data if we cannot collect it,” she said.

But despite these problems, students and teachers said they are proud of their school.  “There is no reason to pay too much money to get a good education because you can get a great education at a local neighborhood school,” said senior William Bazan, 18, who is from the Belmont Cragin neighborhood on the city’s Northwest Side and who has been enrolled in Lake View’s Math Science and Technology Academy throughout his high school career.

“Before I came here, I was just interested in mechanical work, and now I’m interested in mechanical and electrical engineering,” said Bazan, who plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “It opened up my mind to what I could do.”

The teachers work hard to help students, said Melissa Lara, 17, a junior who is interested in the arts.  “The teachers are great. They actually care — and that’s what matters the most,” Lara said.

The school opens its doors Saturdays to provide ACT tutoring, Eggert said. The average ACT score at Lake View is about a 20, which is “in line” with schools like Lane Tech College Prep High School, she said. About 41 percent of those who took an Advanced Placement test for college credit in 2010 passed it with a score of 3 or higher, Eggert said.

“It’s OK to go to your neighborhood school,” said Melissa Zagorski, a 15-year veteran physics teacher at Lake View. “I think magnet schools purposely put us down to build themselves up and make neighborhood schools seem like a last resort, but we’re not.”

Morgan agreed.  “When you’re in grade school, everyone says make sure you apply to magnet schools like Lane Tech because you don’t want to end up at schools like Lake View,” he said. “But the bad reputation they have — it’s not true. They might not have the best equipment or laptops for every student, but the kids care and the teachers want you to learn. If I could advertise, I would say, come here.”

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School Hours Across CPS – New Lane Tech AC Hours: Early!! Budget time — where is the money coming from?

163 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cpsobsessed  |  June 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Copying this comment from HSObsessed from another post:

    That’s great for Lake View High School to get this coverage by the Tribune. Hopefully it will get some people to start considering it. Don’t forget to “Like” North Side High School Initiative on Facebook if you’d like to receive notice of events related to improving Lake View HS.

    But more thoughts on the article:

    “the school doesn’t have the money to provide necessary safety equipment like eye flushes and goggles”

    That’s pretty sad, if it’s true. It’s one thing to have four students dissecting a pig instead of two (I would have preferred more, personally), but not having $3 safety goggles for everyone? That STEM funding cannot come soon enough.

    “ ‘The average ACT score at Lake View is about a 20, which is “in line” with schools like Lane Tech College Prep High School,’ [Assistant Principal Carol Eggert] said.”

    While 20 is respectable average score for a high school with high numbers of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, I think Ms. Eggert is stretching it a little to say that it’s “in line” with Lane Tech. The last results officially published by CPS show Lake View’s average ACT score was at 18.2 and Lane’s at 22.9. A difference of 4.7 points in this context is pretty significant. I’d love to see the newest numbers for all the high schools.

  • 2. educator  |  June 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Ditto on the last comment – Eggert is stretching the average ACT score for Lake View. I also found it interesting that the reporter did not talk to any teachers or students who have concerns about Lake View. The article read like a press release to me.

    Also, neither she nor the other AP, Gail Cannova, are on the list of principal candidates. The three candidates are Lilith Werner, Susann Olapido and D’Andre Weaver. Werner taught at Lake View for 7 years, according to her bio on

  • 3. copyeditor  |  June 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I keep hearing that Lake View is coming up, but the tidbit about not having enough glasses for lab work really, really bothered me. On the one hand, they are doing amazing things with very few resources. On the other hand, don’s most of us want better for our kids?

    This is a tough one.

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  June 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    @2 – I agree, it had a very positive spin. It’s like they tapped Nettelhorst’s PR dept. Kidding. 🙂 Everyone should figure out how to work PR like that.

    I am very glad that the kids have a good feelings about the teachers etc and compared to most neighborhood schools, clearly they are doing SOMETHING right. But the test scores still make me cringe a little bit.

    So the STEM program isn’t test-in, stanine-based, or magnet, is it?

  • 5. RL Julia  |  June 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    While generally I am all about the neighborhood, non-select option just on prinicipal – I don’t know. Why would I send my kid to super-under resourced Lakeview when I could send my kid to Lane or Von Steuben or even Taft (where I am pretty sure they have eye protection)?

  • 6. 2ndtimearound  |  June 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    At least LVHS is in a somewhat safer neighborhood than some of the others. I think it is on the right track. Change just takes time and vested parties.

  • 7. WERNER??  |  June 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    If you have ANY interest in improving Lakeview, make sure you get there and make sure Lilith Werner does not get anywhere near that school again. I taught at LV when she was there and she was one of the most hateful, condescending people I’ve ever met in my life, both to other staff and to the kids. One of those teachers for whom fear=respect, and keeping your mouth shut=being a good student. Wicked smart, but rude and downright mean.

  • 8. Hawthorne mom  |  June 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    From my experience, it is pretty standard for schools not to have basics, particularly when it comes to science supplies. I can say that probably most of us on this board attend schools where parents make sure all those “little things” are bought and paid for, but 90% of the system doesn’t have much of anything it needs. When teaching on the west side, I literally bought every. single. science. supply. for my room. Every single one.

  • 9. HSObsessed  |  June 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    @4 – I would think the STEM program would have an application process similar to the current Lake View Science program that is open to applicants citywide, but the app is pretty basic. It asks for the kid’s race (why?) and then ISAT stanines (must be higher than 50th percentile), “average grade” for 7th and 8th grade, and whether the kid is recommended or not by the elementary school. (This form is to be filled out by the elementary school counselor.) Unless the STEM program became instantly popular, which I don’t foresee, I don’t think it would be hard to get in, for kids whose orignal plan was a SE HS, especially those in higher tiers with decent scores, since tiers don’t factor in to admissions to these programs.

  • 10. Mayfair Dad  |  June 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    The principal candidates are: Susan Oladipo, Lilith Werner and D’Andre Weaver.

    An average ACT score of 18.2 really blows. Most selective colleges and universities are looking for 25+. Another example of how CPS high schools fail to adequately prepare students for college and beyond. (I don’t need safety goggles to see this is a big problem.)

    I hope Lakeview can elevate their game. New principal, with no ties whatsoever to the current regime, would be a good start.

  • 11. cps Mom  |  June 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    The ACT scores are higher than other neighborhood schools. Let’s face it, a neighborhood school is going to have multiple kids that score really low so it wouldn’t surprise me if there were some very high scorers here. They need to market like Von does – separate scores between the regular program and the scholars program. I do like that Lakeview seems to want to address the total population and not just the top. I agree that supplies are an issue at most schools. Not every school has parents donating and fund raising. Sounds like they are on the right track and already have some financial supporters.

  • 12. mom2  |  June 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    You know how Bell always shows the school scores as one score for the whole school rather than separating the gifted program from the regular program? Lakeview will need to do the opposite in order to attract neighborhood parents to the school. Show how their special stem or whatever program is performing above or really “in line” with schools like Lane and that might help. I agree that as long as their scores are that low and they don’t have funding or parents to supply kids with things like safety glasses, they will never turns things around.

    I greatly want Lakeview to become a great choice for kids in the neighborhood. But, as I have said before, they need facilities that compare with the top 5 SE schools and programs and classes and supplies, etc. that also match other choices. Most parents in the Lakeview neighborhood have students that can get into those top 5 SE schools. Why would they give Lakeview a chance without those things? It is such a catch 22.

  • 13. Neighbor  |  June 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    @ Mom2: Most parents in the Lakeview neighborhood have students that can get into those top 5 SE schools. Why would they give Lakeview a chance without those things?

    How is that? How do most these Lakeview families have children that can gain entrance into the top SE schools?

  • 14. cpsobsessed  |  June 1, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    I also don’t believe that most parent in Lake View have the SE option. Certainly many do. But based on my unscientific poll of talking to a parent with an 8th grader at Bell neighborhood, I think she said less than half the kids got into an SE high school. Maybe it was like a third….
    Some got into charters, I’m sure some are headed to private high schools. But you could have 1/4 of the kids from Blaine, Nettelhorst, and many other well regarded north side elem schools that don’t have a good HS option. if you add it up, it would likely fill a freshman class at LV. Plus, most of LV is probably what – Tier 3/4? I’ll have to check the map. That alone guarantees that a decent number of kids will be shut out from the SEs.

    But it is true – one of the struggles of turning around LV (or any high school) is that you know most of the parents are still hoping their kid gets into an SE and they’ll potentially bail on the efforts once that get that gold ring (unless they have a slacker younger child.)

  • 15. hmom  |  June 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Hawthorne said that 73% of its 2010-11 graduating class received Selective Enrollment High School placements compared to 56% the year before. Any idea what the stats are for other elementary schools?

  • 16. copyeditor  |  June 2, 2011 at 6:29 am

    I live in the Lake View neighborhood. I wouldn’t say most kids can get into the top 5 SE high schools. I know a lot of kids in private school, as well as a lot of families that move to the suburbs in middle school. We’re Tier 4 here, which makes the SE schools very competitive.

    I know a lot of kids who are at Lake View, and they are trying to make the best of it. None of them were happy to have to go there, although they seem to like it now.

    The ACT is an average, and that bothers me less than the lack of supplies and the idea that the college-bound kids are special, not the norm, there.

  • 17. HSObsessed  |  June 2, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I agree with those questioning the statement that “most” Lake View students can get into the top five SE HS.

    @15 – I think placement stats are hard to read and compare from school to school due to the effects of the tier system on admissions. Also, other factors come in to play when a school like Bell has a gifted program within it, so those kids obviously have better placement rates. Also, schools like LIncoln have a large number of kids who elect not to apply for SEHS because they are planning for private school, or LPHS is their first choice.

    However, keeping in mind all that, roughly half of this year’s graduating 8th graders at Lincoln were offered a spot at a “top five” SEHS.

    So unless grades and test scores are much higher for the kids graduating from Nettelhorst, Blaine, and Burley in the next few years, having Lake View HS as a viable alternative would be really valuable.

  • 18. cps Mom  |  June 2, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Another poster mentioned that Lane is taking fewer students. Not sure what the agenda is at Lane but in my mind that leaves Lakeview as an important fall back in need of a boost. I think that putting the effort and resources into LV would be of value to many.

    I do, however, think that “college bound” would be a smaller group at a school that is not college prep. Many suburban schools (albeit not New Trier) have a large % of kids who are not college bound. I think a neighborhood school needs to have a broader appeal and offer tech and vocational classes as well to better serve the general population. I would think that a goal of the school would be to strengthen and expand it’s college prep curriculum.

  • 19. Mom2  |  June 2, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Sorry about my statement that “most parents in the Lakeview neighborhood have students that can get into those top 5 SE schools”. After re-reading it, I realize that was not exactly what I meant. My experience and knowledge of students at places like Burley, Blaine, Bell, Nettlehorst and Hawthorne is that a large group of those students (and the ones that Lakeview would love to attract) either go to a SE school, IB/double honors at Lincoln Park or their parents can afford private school. I was just trying to say that it is a difficult task to try to attract those students but I greatly want Lakeview to be able to attract and keep them. It would be a win/win for everyone in the city if there could be another cps high school that college bound students want to attend rather than seeing it as a fall back.

  • 20. cpsobsessed  |  June 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

    That’s good point cps mom – I think we saw this year that Lane is not necessarily a guaranteed fallback for tier 3 and 4 kids.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 21. MacK  |  June 2, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Regardless of what tier you are in, SE application process is competitive. I’m not sure why so many think that Tier 3 or 4 is more competitive than Tier 1 or 2. There are probably more kids in Tier 1 or 2 who don’t get into an SE high school.

  • 22. Mayfair Dad  |  June 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

    LVHS will struggle to attract top echelon, college-bound high achieving kids until it has something distinctive to offer top echelon, college bound high achieving kids.

    Lincoln Park has widely respected IB, double honors, and performing arts programs. Von Steuben has its scholars program. Taft has its academic center that feeds into an IB program.

    LVHS needs to implement and market their own distinctive program or programs. The parent and community want this, now they need to hire a principal who can deliver.

  • 23. copyeditor  |  June 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I say that Tier 4 is more competitive because the cutoff scores are higher and because for all sorts of reasons, a greater percentage of the children probably apply to SE high schools. The tragedy is that there aren’t enough good high schools for all kids in the city, and it’s created this weird send of competition that there should not be.

    Obviously, the kids who are in SE high schools should be in them. Unfortunately, a lot of kids who should be in them are forced to go to schools that are a lot worse the Lake View.

  • 24. klm  |  June 2, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I would invite people considering a CPS high school (or ANY CPS school) to simply show up at dismissal time at observe the behavior of the kids leaving. Are they “well behaved”, scarry, loud-but-having-fun-regular kids,….?, etc. Could you imagine (or do you WANT to imagine) your kids being friends with them? Having them for a boyfriend? Girlfriend? Having them at your home to hang out? I live near LPHS –talk about a school with kids on divergent paths! Some LPHS students are involved in all the pathologies we all fear as parents –gangs, teenage parenthood, low-achievement, foul-mouth screaming, etc… One of my friend’s mom is a part-time substitute teacher for CPS, but she’s afraid to accept an assignment at LPHS –she says it really can be that bad. Then there’s the IB kids –sadly, it’s so obvious who they are. They’re the ones that arean’t screaming, their pants aren’t sagging down to their knees, their language is is what any parent wants to hear, etc. Yes, they may be discussing sex, drugs or whatever, but they’re not doing it by beginning every utterance with” M-F” at the top of their lungs. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m from a “multicultural”, mixed-marriage background and I am not afraid of “minority kids” –I HAVE some, for God’s sake! I’m all for people loving and expressing their A-A, Latino or WHATEVER heritage ..hey, we’re in 2011 America, right? What I’m talking about is more “class related”. I know it’s sad, and there are people reading this tisk-tisking and rolling their eyes, but let’s call a spade a spade. I don’t want my daughter going to baby showers for her HS girlfriends and I don’t want my son hanging out with guys that dress and talk like thugs and gangbangers and start the whole “baby mama drama” thing while still in HS. I feel like I’m being a good parent by getting them away from all that. And isn’t this what we’re all afraid of –the dysfunctional behavior and violent crime that’s not necessarily “typical”, but still frighteningly still too common at many “regular” CPS HSs? I have had enough experience with extended family to know that even the most loving of parents and seemingly “good upbringing” and childhood cannot always overcome the dysfunctional social norms too often found in many urban peers. I have several nieces and nephews that were such wonderful kids, great potential, etc. —cut to several years later and they’re pregnant at 15 or 16 (one was 13!) or alreading starting an arrest record or worse (yes, I had to go to funerals of a 17-year-old nephew shot while hanging with his gang friends). So, yes by all means explore CPS HSs, but put your kids best interests first and foremost and don’t be afraid to avoid certains schools just because you feel guilty for judging, etc. If a school LOOKS and FEELS creepy, bad, etc., then there’s a good chance that it IS that way.

  • 25. cps Mom  |  June 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I have to say that you cannot tell about a school by the clothing! Maybe the dialogue – but just maybe. While waiting to speak to a teacher at the start of the day at our SE school and witnessing the parade of students coming to school I saw everything – pants so low both butt cheeks stuck out, many girls wearing pants that look like panty hose to me (no long shirts over) which was better than those who chose the skirt/dress option ending just under the butt. How does anyone bend over or even walk these days? Can’t be too much different than the average kid at any other school. I did not see any obvious pregnancies. Drugs exist and are openly talked about. Big difference would be the gangs. There are none at this school. I’m guessing that any high school looking to do a turn around would incorporate a plan for dealing with gang activity and affiliations and bullying as a priority.

  • 26. HSObsessed  |  June 2, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Your standards about what behavior and “look” is acceptable v. normal may change as your own child ages and becomes one of scary ones! Some of you may remember having a 2 yo at the playground and shooting dirty looks at the “big and rowdy” 5 year olds! And then a couple years later, you bring your sweet little 5 yo to school for kindergarten and you marvel at how huge and ape-like the 6th, 7th and 8th graders seem! Also, fashions in clothing, hair and bodily markings change, and you have to roll with it. Don’t you think our parents thought that our feathered hair, heavy eyeliner and parachute pants in the 80s were inappropriate? Or that the sloppy grunge look in the 90s was a sign of the end of civilization? But of course in general, I agree that you have to check out the overall culture of a school to make sure it’s within your standards.

  • 27. educator  |  June 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Per the comment about observing the behavior of the students at LVHS, I think it’s valid. But rather than judge what you see going on outside the school, spend a day inside the school. You would be appalled at the number of students roaming the hallways during class time, dozens of students arriving an hour or more late in the morning on a regular basis, students fraternizing with security guards (whose job it is to make sure they’re in class), mouthing off to teachers who tell them to get to class, as well as the arbitrary and sometimes nonexistent consequences for these behaviors…I could go on. What’s sad is that these kids have been taught implicitly that this behavior is OK.

    I would never send my child to Lake View for this reason alone. And yes, there are kids who know how to behave, as well as some very effective teachers who are dedicated to the students. But that alone won’t improve the academics. Neither will a STEM program or an IB program unless behavior is also held to higher standards. You can add all the bells and whistles you want to attract college-bound kids, but they won’t matter until the school culture changes via a strong administration to a culture where behavior is as important as academics. Kids, regardless of socioeconomic background, will rise up to meet the bars you set for them. Yes, more parental involvement is needed, too. But strong examples of schools that have had success with kids from lower-class backgrounds do exist here in Chicago. If you ask them about their philosophies, the one they have in common is to focus on the minor misbehaviors to prevent the major ones from happening. Granted, the ones I’m thinking of are charters (Noble Street, Urban Prep), but that doesn’t mean they don’t have best practices that “regular” schools can adopt.

  • 28. Mom2  |  June 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I’m actually very curious about the behavior topic. Are there any parents of students from Jones, Young, Payton or Northside here? I ask because I wonder if there is much emphasis on behavior and consequences at those schools. Or, is the vast majority of the student body so well behaved (having been taught proper school behavior long ago and that is why they are in these schools) that they don’t really have to focus on this topic?

    I ask that because I was a bit bothered when my child started at Lane that they placed such a huge emphasis on consequences of improper behavior. Mention of poor behavior and consequences was brought up at the first freshman meetings, at the next meetings, at parent open houses and as a hand-out at the start of the school year from almost every teacher. I kept thinking that Lane must have a ton of bad kids and worried that we made the wrong choice for schools. However, almost the exact opposite appears to be the case. I rarely if ever hear about anyone doing anything more wrong than talking in class. I’m sure they exist (fights or too short skirts or smoking, etc.), but they do appear rare. Maybe it is because they made their expectations so clear at the start of school or they really hold kids to those rules.

    I am wondering also how Lakeview staff can allow students to just wonder the halls, talk back to staff or be consistently late for school. Why would they not want to stop that?

  • 29. Mayfair Dad  |  June 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    When the LPHS local school council went shopping for a new principal a few years ago, they ended up hiring the A/P from Kenwood Academy. I am told discipline and school culture were the two top concerns. The previous principal had been there for 15+ years. Maybe these principals just run out of gas. What an incredibly stressful job (although the pension is pretty sweet.)

  • 30. RL Julia  |  June 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    There are drugs in every high school – in fact I wonder if the SE’s don’t have a bigger issue with them since there are more kids with more money to spend. Any kid who has sex without using birth control can get pregnant and plenty of really bright kids have gotten pregnant. Perhaps the SE kids don’t scream at their friends- but trust me – they certainly know how to swear. I agree with all of you about the clothing – if I personally never see another pair of flip flops outside my house again, I’d be o.k. with it but I know I am old.

    As for gangs – well I haven’t heard of gangs at the SEHS’s but there’s always a first….. Where there are drugs there are often gangs.

  • 31. educator  |  June 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    @28: If you’re a teacher in a school where behavioral standards are low, yet you try to raise the bar, you are often working alone or with only a few other people. If the administration isn’t backing you up, you constantly have to struggle to be one of the only adults in the building to stay on top of misbehavior. And you get tired. You run out of gas. It’s a hugely tall order to remain true to your moral compass when you’re in the minority.

    I’ll give you an example of how this plays out at any school where this problem exists: Say you’re a teacher walking down the hallway to the restroom during your preparation period. On the way there, you hear at least 5 students utter cuss words. Can you possibly stop every one of them to find out their names so you can then report their misbehavior? Can you possibly stop every one of them to even give a verbal warning? No. And if you choose to stop one, it’s a crapshoot as to what that kid’s response will be. If you’re lucky, the student will apologize, and you will send him/her off to class if it’s the first time you’ve had to warn him/her. More common is that you’ll get anything from refusal to give up name or student ID to backtalk to, as one student said to me a few weeks ago, “Who are you? I wasn’t talking to YOU. You’re not my mother.” So once that happens, you now have to take the time to write up the misbehavior on a form and, if the student won’t give you his/her name, follow the student to class to find out his/her name from a teacher. Or walk the student down to the discipline office IF he/she agrees to go with you. By now, you’ve spent 15 minutes on something that you should not be focusing on during your preparation period, when instead you should be grading papers, meeting with colleagues, making copies, planning lessons, etc.

    This can wear down even the most vigilant of teachers.

  • 32. Mom2  |  June 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    @31 – thank you for an example. I feel defeated just reading about the experience.

  • 33. MarketingMom  |  June 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    The reality is that Lakeview may not be your first choice. But when your child doesn’t get accepted to a SE next year or the year after that, you will wish that you would have supported having more resources dedicated to Lakeview.

  • 34. copyeditor  |  June 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    MarketingMom: I agree. Also, no matter where your kids go, you should care about where other kids are going if you care about the city where you live. None of us is better off if most kids in Chicago get a sub-standard education.

  • 35. Mom2  |  June 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    @33 – I think everyone here would certainly support having more resources dedicated to Lakeview. Is there someone here that thinks it would be a waste of time and money or that it isn’t in the best interest of everyone to make Lakeview a fantastic high school that everyone wants to attend? What am I missing here?

  • 36. cpsobsessed  |  June 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    @35Mom2 – I suspect everyone would AGREE that making LVHS a great neighborhood high school is a good idea, but I think to make that really happen will require a lot of parent power – that will have to come BEFORE their kids actually attend the school. Also, importantly, there will need to be a group of parents who commit to sending their kids there (families who may have not considered it an option in the past) much as the first group of families did at Nettelhorst (and many other elem schools) several years ago. And THAT is the part that is harder for people to committ to. Parents within the North Side HS Initiative are getting it started, but it can’t happen with just a few parents. I’d like to think a new principal with new ideas can help make it much more acceptable choice, but so far it seems that in CPS, the parent factor has been key.

  • 37. HSObsessed  |  June 2, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    There have been two recent news articles on the topic of school “culture” in CPS high schools.

    One article in the Trib profiled the new principal at Marshall, a very troubled CPS HS, one of the so-called “drop out factories” in the system. They brought in Kenyatta Stansberry as the principal, and in one year, she has turned the culture of the school around 180 degrees. The article below is full of fantastic examples of how she did it, by cracking down on little offenses and big offenses, being consistent but firm. She has a no-nonsense style and is affectionately called “the Marine” because she’s not cowed by anyone, but she always has a sense of fairness and a soft touch when it’s needed. If only we could replicate her and put one of her in every school — whatever Ms. Stansberry’s salary is, CPS needs to double it.,0,1768165.story

    This one is about a successful Culture of Calm coordinator at Clemente HS. COC is a program CPS started two years ago to reduce violence and increase safety. The COC coordinator at Clemente is apparently highly valued by the staff and has great results. Unfortunately, budget cuts are threatening to end the COC program completely. Here’s a link to that article (great photos as well):

  • 38. cps parent  |  June 2, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Lakeview will get a new principal. That’s nice. What is needed is another SE high school — on the north side — where most of the high scoring students live.

  • 39. cps Mom  |  June 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    @28 I know things get out of hand at some of these schools but I don’t understand why school halls can’t be kept clear either. At Jones there is exactly 4 mins. to get to class otherwise a system of detentions. There is no time to even stop at the locker, kids carry their books and all supplies needed for the day in their backpack stopping possibly at lunch time. Like Lane, the rules of conduct were made clear and signed down on by parents and students emphasizing the sequence of consequences. Do kids make out in the halls – yes – do they congregate in noisy groups blocking passages – yes – do they get to class in 4 minutes – yes. Classes are very serious, not something you want to walk in on late. Since most kids ride the bus or take the L there is not a big commotion after school. The school is also located downtown so a bit of a different scenario all the way around. Most students stay till 4 or 5 with clubs and sports. Absences are not a big problem because it is hard on the student to miss even one day of class.

    Given the opportunity of too much time on their hands and a casual attitude about class, these kids would be no different than anyone else.

    I think that LV should separate the freshman from the others and start a regiment similar to other successful schools. Maybe thats why LP has a separate freshman building – so that they can mold the students early on without influence of upper class men.

  • 40. cps Mom  |  June 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    @31 – educator – I want to add that the value of education amongst the kids promotes respect for the teachers. I would be surprised if a student talked back as you describe (or at least think that this is the exception). When the kids feel pride for their school then the rest is easy. I think that this could happen for Lakeview. Some already have it (according to the article). I’d even bet that some of those “trouble makers” would want to work on making their school a better place.

  • 41. HSObsessed  |  June 3, 2011 at 7:59 am

    “I would be surprised if a student talked back as you describe (or at least think that this is the exception). When the kids feel pride for their school then the rest is easy.”

    I’m sorry, but this is a somewhat naive statement to make. Teenagers in general are rude and mouthy when they’re in groups, even in the best of circumstances, and when you have high schools with thousands of kids who haven’t come from a culture of orderliness, and only dozens of staff to impose order, it takes huge amounts of organization and will to change the situation. Which is not to say it can’t be done, and is probably why it is constantly talked about at Lane, as described @28 mom2.

    There have been two recent news articles on the topic of school “culture” in CPS high schools.

    One article on the Trib website profiled the new principal at Marshall, a very troubled CPS HS, one of the so-called “drop out factories” in the system. They brought in Kenyatta Stansberry as the principal, and in one year, she has turned the culture of the school around 180 degrees. The article is full of fantastic examples of how she did it, by cracking down on little offenses and big offenses, being consistent but firm. She has a no-nonsense style and is affectionately called “the Marine” because she’s not cowed by anyone, but she always has a sense of fairness and a soft touch when it’s needed. If only we could replicate her and put one of her in every school — whatever Ms. Stansberry’s salary is, CPS needs to double it.

    Another article on the Chicago News Cooperative website is about a successful Culture of Calm coordinator at Clemente HS. COC is a program CPS started two years ago to reduce violence and increase safety. The COC coordinator at Clemente is apparently also highly valued by the staff and has had great results. Unfortunately, budget cuts are threatening to end the COC program completely.

  • 42. copyeditor  |  June 3, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Lake View might not be everyone’s first choice, but let’s face it: a lot of parents know right now that their child isn’t in the 90th percentile, or even the 80th, so selective enrollment is not an option. Right now, these people either move or sent their kids to private school. If Lake View were a better school, they would consider it.

    In fact, if Lake View turns around, the losers will be Gordon Tech and St. Ben’s.

  • 43. cps Mom  |  June 3, 2011 at 8:05 am

    @40 did not make myself clear, I was talking about Jones – they are not mouthy to the teachers they are respectful. All teachers deserve respect.

  • 44. Hawthorne mom  |  June 3, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I agree…it is not easy to create a culture of respect, particularly at the high school level. It is one thing, when out of 100 kids, you have one or two that need to learn to be respectful. That is a manageable thing. It is totally another thing when 50/100 kids are being rude, disrespectful, violent, or otherwise out of control. I also know, from experience, to stop a 15 year old student in the hallway and call them out on being late can quickly become a scary situation. I used to sub in an elementary building where several 7th and 8th graders had been held back. One boy was 15 years old. (I believe they no longer allow this) When called out on his bad behavior, he got in my face and threatened to “get me” after school. This was not an empty threat. I was lucky to be in a school where the administration took this seriously and suspended him. Some administrations would do NOTHING. I’ve seen cocaine flushed down the toilet by an admin who didn’t want to deal with the problem by reporting it to the police (brought in by a 5th grader, btw). I was teaching in CPS the year an elementary girl was raped in the bathroom of her school. Seriously, I really wish every parent in Chicago could go spend some time in what I’d describe as a typical CPS elementary or high school. It makes the series The Wire make a lot of sense.

  • 45. HSObsessed  |  June 3, 2011 at 8:55 am

    @42 – Oh, I see now, you meant you’d be surprised if a Jones student mouthed off. I thought you meant HS students in general, LOL.

    The situation that educator @31 describes is so common, not just in dealing with high school students, but our own children, employees who we manage, and for cops fighting crime on the streets. Sure, we have rules and standards, but it’s so hard to consistently enforce them, and it take so much mental energy and time. I can barely manage my own one child and a few employees, so my hat is way, way off to anyone who has to deal with unruly high school kids all day long.

  • 46. cps Mom  |  June 3, 2011 at 9:21 am

    educator, 43, 44 I agree with you all. It just seems to me that at a school were kids are looking toward college the behavior toward teachers and outlook on high school in general is so much more elevated. In order to make things better at a neighborhood school you need to have more kids looking at college and those that don’t need to have a goal that inspires them. This is the hard part. I do think, hopefully not unrealistically, that what follows is just the detailing. A school with a strong curriculum and students/parents on board will succeed with an aggressive plan, good principal, security, funding for supplies etc. Lakeview is the one school that can pull it off.

    Sadly, criminal activity is present at many schools. The current system allows an in school suspension for offenses such as possession or use of drugs – the same punishment for multiple tardys. Seems like a revision of the CPS code of conduct could benefit many schools. Dangerous children must be separated from the rest. The current system is too lenient with serious crimes.

  • 47. teachergal  |  June 3, 2011 at 9:49 am

    If neighborhood parents are interested in turning Lake View around, Dr Werner is the person to do it.

    Change requires difficult decisions and hard choices that will ultimately benefit students…some teachers simply aren’t willing to change the status quo because then they will be required to be innovative and work hard.

    Werner has a proven track record as a principal, and as even as her detractor in an earlier comment mentioned, she is wicked smart. Local parents should hear what she has to say.

  • 48. chgoteach  |  June 3, 2011 at 9:54 am

    No current Lake View Assistant Principals made the finalist list – definitely an unusual move by LSC.

    Sussan Oladipo was fired as the director of an UNO school in the middle of the school year. Not promising.

  • 49. educator  |  June 3, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Regarding the mention of Stansberry and her successes in improving school culture, it really has to come from the top, and what she’s done at Marshall is an excellent example. If the principal doesn’t focus on behavior and have concrete ideas for how to establish a culture of learning and respect, it’s not going to happen. It takes a heck of a lot of energy and consistency.

    I also just want to add that I really appreciate the thoughtful tone and comments on this blog. It’s a refreshing change from some of the other CPS-oriented blogs I’ve read. Thanks, CPSObsessed, for facilitating thoughtful dialogue.

  • 50. Mayfair Dad  |  June 3, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I hope the LVHS local school council is receiving sound advise in this process, either from the CAO or one of the many school reform advocacy groups. There are steps you can take, such as requesting a detailed state-of-the-school report and action plan for improvement from each of the finalists (in a concise PowerPoint presentation) prior to making the decision. Also the LSC can craft an addendum to the standard principal contract and stipulate that unless the finalists are willing to sign it, no job offer will be forthcoming. We also encouraged the teachers to hold a closed door caucus after the town hall meeting to express their opinions and conduct a non-binding strawman vote. The results of the closed door caucus were communicated to the principal selection committee through the teacher reps on the LSC. Ultimately it is the duty of the LSC principal selection committee to extend an offer to the chosen candidate, but this way the teachers felt their voice was heard and were less combative and more open to change.

    Hiring the right principal is the single most important step toward taking a school to the next level. Good luck LVHS Local School Council.

  • 51. RL Julia  |  June 3, 2011 at 11:51 am

    46 – unfortunately, all kids aren’t college material – too bad CPS (and most other high schools across the country) pretty much dismantled their voc-ed departments. Does anyone know what CPS has to offer the non-college bound high school student?

  • 52. cpsobsessed  |  June 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Well, thanks for the thanks, but I just feel lucky that my blog has a good core of readers who can discuss things civilly and intelliegently.:)

    I guess one thing that surprises me about the lack of discipline at LVHS is that I believe 3/4 of the kids are from outside the neighborhood. At the very least it seems like the threat of requesting they no longer attend (aka “kicking out”.) I’d have to think that would be allowed. Maybe it’s just not part of the CPS culture?

    I guess on a positive note, if back-talk and students wandering the halls is the main discipline problem at the school (as opposed to shootings, gangs, etc) that is better than most CPS high schools.

  • 53. cpsobsessed  |  June 3, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    @Mayfair Dad, I like that idea of letting the teachers indicate their vote. I’m trying to find a contact on the LSC but may need to wait until Monday at the meeting. Not like they’ll necessarily give a care what I think! But I’d love to stay up on their goals/progress.

  • 54. cpsobsessed  |  June 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    @HSObsessed: I am still laughing at your suggestion that our parents thought we dressed abhorently. I’m quite certain my mother thought I left the house looking downright trampy, many a day in high school (until the preppy era kicked in.)

  • 55. cps Mom  |  June 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    51 RLJ – agree that’s why I mentioned that kids not looking at college need an inspiring goal. Other HS’s are doing it. Westinghouse has a program for broadcasting and the health care sector (not everyone needs to be a doctor to get a good career option). UIC Nobel also has a health care program. Several high schools offer computer tech specialties and I’ve even seen culinary training on the agenda of some. If non-college training already exists at LV – they need to work on marketing and enhancing those programs. The idea would be that students will behave better and maybe actually even enjoy school more if they had promising options. If school is only about discipline, it will be viewed as a prison sentence.

  • 56. Hawthorne mom  |  June 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Mike Rowe, the guy who does the show Dirty Jobs, just testified before congress about the shortages in the trades… like mechanics, heating and AC repair, plumbers, etc….all who make very good, solid middle class livings. Given the massive costs of college, and the fact that we will ALWAYS need carpenters and plumbers and the like, I’d be totally proud if either of my kids wanted to do that for a living.

  • 57. local parent  |  June 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I have a friend who teaches at Lake View…the outgoing principal is pressuring teachers to rebel against the candidates that the LSC has chosen and vote in one of the current APs. Very toxic over there right now apparently. How can an outgoing principal exert that kind of influence?

    The current administration is obviously trying to hang on, but it is clearly time for a change at Lake View. It would be nice if I could send my kids there in a few years since it is our neighborhood school. We could send our kids to Catholic h.s., but the cost concerns me, and I have no guarantee that they would make it in to a selective enrollment. Parents need more choices, and a quality neighborhood high school is one of them.

    I am planning on attending the Principal Forum on Monday to see what the three candidates have to offer.

  • 58. Hawthorne mom  |  June 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Principals certainly can give any teacher a bad “rating” for virtually any reason, made up or true. With the new legislation that passed indicating that any teacher who gets an unsatisfactory rating more than twice in a 7 year period can be banned from teaching in CPS, many teachers are afraid to do or say anything that might earn them a bad rating. And even a principal who is leaving can give you a bad rating before they leave or they can ask their friends (for example, if an AP of theirs becomes principal) to do the same when they are principal.
    I currently have a friend who works at a CPS high school, one of the better ones, who is being targeted by his principal and given bad ratings that he does not deserve. (and believe me, I am all for bad ratings for bad teachers) If his principal is successful, he will be out of a job and not be able to work in CPS again. I can’t say the reason he feels like he is being targeted because it might out him.
    In a perfect world, principals would be fair and give ratings teachers deserve. And many do. But it is not a perfect world, principals carry weight long after they retire, and all kinds of crap happens. So it might be hard to imagine how a principal could have that kind of power, but it happens a lot in CPS.
    At our neighborhood school, teachers were terrified of the old principal. A friend of mine who worked there told me that the principal let it be known that if you messed with her (meaning, asked a question in a meeting that somehow made her look bad or if you did anything she didn’t like) she’d make it impossible for you to teach in CPS ever again. Who knows if she truly had that kind of power, but her teachers were scared to death of her.

  • 59. OB  |  June 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    @ educator: “It’s a refreshing change from some of the other CPS-oriented blogs I’ve read.”

    What are the other blogs that deal with CPS? I’d like to check them out. Thanks.

  • 60. educator  |  June 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    @CPSobsessed – The argument that we should be glad student behavior at Lake View isn’t as bad as some other schools makes me cringe. Why shouldn’t we expect more from our students? I’ve taught at another CPS high school where students wouldn’t have dreamed of behaving that way. And while I hate to burst your bubble, there are gang members at Lake View. And fights. This year alone I recall four fights, all involving girls. And a student was just arrested for threatening to physically harm a teacher.

    @CPSMom – I’m not at all suggesting that discipline be the sole focus of improving the school. But it’s definitely one area that needs major improvement.

  • 61. mom2  |  June 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    @educator – do you happen to know if the gang members and/or girls that have been fighting at Lakeview are students that live within the actual boundaries of Lakeview high school?

  • 62. Concerned Mom  |  June 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I’m just saying & moms of girls don’t get upset but is it me or are the girls getting meaner than the boys. At one of my son’s schools the girls are the bulleys…

  • 63. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

    the District299 blog has attracted a lot of teachers who seem to enjoy the current ways of the union and seem opposed to any changes and very critical of the cps admin, board, etc. I have even seen a post from the blog host, trying to solicit a wider range of opinions.

    I’ve tried (as have others) a few times to state an opposing pov and gotten slammed down very quickly (by the readers, not the host.) It just gets tiresome. But the blog IS a great way to keep up on the current news about CPS (and read some viewpoints that whether you agree with or not, are probably worth a read once in a while.) Lots of people read the blog, but the ones who comment often have similar viewpoints (kind of like we do here, a bit.)

  • 64. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I think I’ve mentioned before that my mom has substituted in the CPS high schools – many of the “worst of the worst” so she has seen it all. She says that Lake View was like heaven compared to some of them. She felt the kids were relatively well-behaved, a decent number of smart kids, most seemed willing to learn.

    I mean the test scores prove out that LVHS is the best of the neighborhood schools, so knowing nothing else about the place, I’ll give the current admin that. (although if lots of kids come from outside the ‘hood, is it a bit of a pseudo-magnet? Parents who want their child to travel to school each day must have a reason for doing so.)

    I am planning to go Monday night. Shocked? I KNOW – it takes a lot to get me out of the house!, but I’m just really interested to see the candidates and the topics discussed, as I think a big change at the school would make a great impact on the north side.

  • 65. cpsobsessed  |  June 4, 2011 at 9:59 am

    HSObsessed remembered a letter that was posted on the NSHSI Facebook page last year, addressing some of the questions that parents had raised about security problems in the school. I’ve copied the contents below.

    I understand that you are acting on behalf of the North Side High School Initiative and have concerns about the local public high schools, including LVHS. I am writing to you as a parent and LSC member of LVHS.

    I will first tell you a little about myself for your information. LVHS is my local school. I have been a parent there for five years and have been an LSC member for most of that time. My oldest daughter graduated last year and now attends Illinois Institute of Technology. My younger daughter is a Junior at LVHS, although she did attend Lane Tech the first semester of freshman year and decided Lane was too big and did not like it there. My son is currently a 7th grader at Blaine School and will most likely attend LVHS. I have lived my life in the general vicinity of this area growing up at Damen & Addison, moving to Lincoln & Wilson, and now raising my kids on Belle Plaine near Ravenswood. I have seen LVHS transform from a school my parents would not allow me to attend to being a school which I am proud to say my children attend.

    I saw the post concerning the meeting in January and the lack of follow-up of information. I agree that LVHS does suffer from poor public relations. Unfortunately, most parents focus on their children getting into the selective enrollment schools and do not look at the local neighborhood school until the rejection letters come from the first-choice schools. I appreciate that there are parents such as you who want to know about the local schools before facing the prospect of “needing” to know about the local schools.

    Enclosed are the questions which were posed by your group as well as the answers that were provided by LVHS Administration with current numbers as of May 20. It is my understanding that this information was also given to Melissa Megliola-Zaikos.

    1. How long does it take to get all the students through the entrance when arriving at school? Are there multiple entrances?

    Classes begin at 8:32 a.m. For students who arrive on time-before 8:20-there is no wait. For students who arrive after 8:20 it takes approximately 3 minutes for students to enter.

    Although there are 10 doors in the building, all students enter through our Main Entrance door which is located on our back campus.

    2. Is there a staggered start/end time to the school day?

    No. All classes begin at the same time which is 8:32 a.m. and end at 3:01 p.m.

    3. What is the actual number of security incidents per week/month/semester?

    Not sure what they mean by security incidents. So we will construe a security incident as a major act of misconduct as defined in the Student Code of Conduct. These would be Group 3, 4, 5 and 6 Acts of Misconduct. According to the Student Code of Conduct, these acts “seriously disrupt the orderly educational process” of the school. For the First Semester there were 156 Group 3, 4, 5, and/or 6 Acts of Misconduct. In September there were 36; in October there were 44; in November there were 20; in December there were 19; and in January there were 37. (Source of information is IMPACT & the Lake View Disciplinarian)

    4. What is the range of severity of security incidents? Are there any considered severe or violent?

    Let me address the second question first. The acts of misconduct that we would consider severe or violent are those that require notification of police under the Student Code of Conduct. 80 acts of misconduct required police notification since the beginning of the current school year.

    Now the first question. The range of severity is as follows: 4 disorderly conducts; 6 assaults;

    4 gang activity; 4 thefts; 31 batteries; 1 robbery and 30 drugs and alcohol. (Source of information is IMPACT and Lake View Disciplinarian)

    5. How many suspensions and expulsions occur during an average school year? What threshold exists for suspensions and expulsions?

    During the 2008-09 school year there were 530 suspensions at Lake View . As of today, May 20, 2010 there have been 292 suspensions. (Source of information is IMPACT) During the 2008-09 school year there were 2 expulsions. As of today there has been one expulsion and 11 referrals for expulsion. (Source of information is Lake View Disciplinarian)

    The threshold for suspensions and expulsions is defined in the Student Code of Conduct which can be accessed on the CPS website.

    My own short summary of those five questions is: as a long-time parent of LVHS, I can confidently say that I feel the students of LVHS are safe. I understand that someone could look at the numbers and disagree, but as a parent who actively participates at school, I do not hesitate to send my children there.

    In thinking about writing this e-mail over the last week, I have been asking my kids and their friends how they feel about LVHS. They have reported to me that they also feel safe, even joking that the school is “boring” since there aren’t any fights at school. Please don’t take that last statement the wrong way — like they are wishing for more fights – it’s just that they are used to hearing from friends at other schools how there are fights, sometimes daily, at the friends’ schools yet they do not routinely see that at Lake View . Of course, the kids know that is a good thing. Some of the kids at LVHS come here from different parts of the city because they worry about attending their home school. One girl I know lives directly across the street from Mather and another, who I recently drove home after a softball game, lives directly across from Sullivan. Both of these girls said they came to LVHS because they heard that Lake View had a good reputation. Other students I know also bypass their local high school to attend LVHS.

    Since my girls were in separate academic programs – one in Math, Science, and Technology Academy and one in International Language and Career Academy – I have had the opportunity to meet different teachers rather than working with the same ones year after year. I have also worked with other teachers who my children do not have in class as well as school staff on many different occasions in different capacities. I believe that most – nearly all – of the staff work their hardest to do what is best for the students. I think they are good role models for the students and encourage the students to be involved in their education and to always try their best. They also work hard with the students on extra-curricular activities and encourage the students to be involved in these activities.

    One last (long) thought I have is concerning a comment which was made on your group’s Facebook page by Greg Sarchet. I am not sure if he was commenting as a “former pupil” or if he was submitting a comment on behalf of a “former pupil” but some of the information he wrote is not true. I’m not sure what he meant by “violent” fights but I think that might be a bit of an exaggeration. “All 1400ish students” do enter through one door which is for safety purposes but “all students” do not go through the metal detectors. There is a random number of students who go through the metal detectors. For instance, one day it may be every 7th student and the next day it may be every 10th student who needs to go through the metal detector. The students do not get a detention for one missed “start bell,” but they do get a detention for multiple tardies. The students do have power over missing the start bell by arriving on time. (I understand that is not always possible.) Finally, I do not believe the school is “hostile to visitors.” I have always known that the school encourages parents to contact the teachers and administration and come to school to meet with them as well. I don’t know what is meant by the statement that visitors are directed “out the door.” (Since my younger daughter attended Lane Tech for a short period, I asked her what the entrance policy was when she attended there. She said Lane also picked a random number for students who needed to go through the metal detector and that there were 3 entrance doors open for the 4100ish students who attend Lane. Those numbers are pretty comparable when you compare the number of students.)

    I am sorry this message is so long. I just feel strongly that LVHS is a good school with staff who is trying to do the best for all of the students with their limited budget. You have to remember that LVHS is a local school which does have students who may not want to be there. There are also students who have parents who either choose not to or are unable to be involved in their children’s education the way we choose to be. Of course, there is always room for improvement. That is why I choose to be involved, not just to help my kids, but to help Lake View be the best school for all of the students who attend.

  • 66. magnet mom  |  June 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Catalyst also has a nice little blog
    They get mentioned here often too.

  • 67. Morgan Park  |  June 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    With all this talk of new principals, does anyone know who will be taking over at Morgan Park HS and what needs to happen there to make it a school to which all local regisdents will send their children?

  • 68. magnet mom  |  June 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    ooops that’s chicago

  • 69. cps Mom  |  June 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    @65 very good perspective. Thanks for educating me. I must say that this description matches my own perception of the school without having much direct knowledge. To add to the above, I believe the entrance requirements are the same throughout the system – through one door, ID’s scanned for attendance, random metal detector checks. Even schools like Payton have locker checks and drug sniffing dogs on occasion.

    Educator – I intended only a general statement by mentioning discipline as not being the focus. I believe, like you, that gang activity needs to be the primary target before all the “good” stuff can take root. When I compare the list of offenses to a school like Jones certainly the gang related offenses are not there and also the multiple battery charges. I also don’t believe that it is OK for the trouble makers to beat each other up but the other kids not to have to worry. The physical stuff has got to end period in order to move forward.

    As far as the general tone that LV is better able to do a turn around more so than other schools – that may or may not be true but LV certainly has the potential. Other models exist – some of the schools mentioned above and many here are familiar with LP. Like LP the neighborhood of LV is mixed with a large % of upper income families creating a naturally diverse demographic – highly desirable trait for a school. The size is relatively small and more manageable. Although some think the scores low they are actually pretty good considering the wide range of students attending.

    My own son has attended magnet and now selective school and I would have loved to have sent him to the local schools – neither of which are anywhere close to being as good as LV or Blaine, Bell, Waters, Burling, etc. If I had to do it over, I might do things differently given what’s available elementary school wise. I’m sure that we would still try for the “golden ring” selective school but he certainly would have not had the same pressure if we had a school to depend on and maybe even opt for. I would like to see others have that option.

  • 70. Act score  |  June 5, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Many of you commented on the act score.
    I just wanted to let you know that there is a huge difference in the composite act score for honors and regular students. There are about 50%of students are in honors class and their scores are really really good.

  • 71. Hawthorne mom  |  June 5, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Any idea what the average ACT score is for the honors kids?

  • 72. educator  |  June 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    @CPSmom/61 – I only know that one of the girls who was suspended for fighting does not live in the neighborhood. I am not sure about the rest or about kids who are in gangs.

    I would love to see Lake View become a more attractive option. I live within its boundaries and know a lot of parents of young children in its surrounding neighborhoods who are hoping the same. It will be interesting to see what happens if they do indeed bring in someone from the outside as the new principal.

  • 73. Yuppie Mom  |  June 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    If you think a STEM program is what it takes to rebuild, restructure, and reform a school, then you have never set foot inside a CPS neighborhood school. Staff, security, administration, and students need to be on the same page and of the same understanding of what the school’s culture is about. Lake View has no definitive culture at all right now with a mission statement of, “An Adventure in Learning.” Gut the place like a fish saving those willing to work until 3:30 at least. That means the current Security Personnel will have already left during lunch.

  • 74. Researcher  |  June 5, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I am a concerned parent and I have been researching about the potential candidates of Lake View’s next principal. I think the current AP, Carolyn Eggert’s resume is most impressive. From the three candidates, one of them has only 3 years of teaching experience. Another one got fired in the mid-year. Eggert graduated from Harvard and attended Stevenson high school and was a national merit scholar. I do not understand why Lake View wants to bring someone from outside when it is only her second year at Lake View. I think she deserves more time at Lake View. Ill be at the forum to see why LSC refuse give her another year.

  • 75. Mayfair Dad  |  June 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I am not intimately familiar with the situation at LVHS but have been formally involved with two principal searches and informally involved with two others. Here goes:

    Seems like there are at least two factions stirring the pot. The faction that is making the most noise right now is the “We Need Major Change” faction, and they have gained control of the LSC, thus the current A/P with ties to the retiring (by choice, or was he told his contract would not be extended?) principal did not make the cut. Clean slate. New start. OK, maybe a good idea.

    An earlier poster mentioned that there was alot of playground spin against the short list of candidates and complaints how the LSC was managing the process. Typical. As a general statement, teachers don’t embrace wholesale change. Remember the school is where they earn their living – think about how you would feel if the management team at your work was changing overnight, after having the same boss for 15 years.

    My hunch is the candidate who was a former teacher at LVHS is the front runner, but I have seen a front runner lay an egg at the town hall meeting and lose the advantage. Stage fright, poor public speaking skills, whatever.

    If none of the three candidates is particularly impressive at the town hall meeting or if a consensus can not be reached, the LSC does not have to offer any of the 3 finalists the position. Instead, the CAO will name an interim principal and the process will begin anew or CPS will put their own person in, at their discretion. LSCs are loathe to forfeit the power of naming a principal, but it is an option and happens more often than you think.

    We learned the hard way it was better to involve the CAO in the process and end up with a principal that enjoyed the full confidence and support of CPS hierarchy vs. going it alone and hiring an outsider. There are some really talented APs out there ready to advance to the next level. What about the APs at Northside, Payton, Jones, WY, Lane? Were any of these considered?

  • 76. Grace  |  June 6, 2011 at 10:58 am

    A good friend said to me, “In high school, peers are everything.
    So pick the high school where the students have the behaviors and values you want for your kids.”

  • 77. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

    @75 Mayfair Dad, I agree – seems like the typical scenario at schools in transition. Perhaps it was kind of harsh to at least not include the AP on the short list so she could talk about how she might do things differently. On the other hand, sometimes a group feels like they need to truly signal a change, and a new leader can be a good way to do that (as long as the LSC does due diligence in selecting the person.)

    For selecting possible principals, a person has to put themselves into the pool of applicants and I believe it requires a bit of time/effort to meet all the requirements. An LSC cannot just contact an AP to see if they’re interested. They have to be on that candidate list. The LSC at my school implied that they were not generally impressed with the selection (or perhaps said that to help justify hiring the AP.) I know that InterAmerican took their selection process very seriously a few years ago and hired someone from outside the city.

    I like your idea of adding stuff to the principal contract before it is signed. It takes a strong, organized, LSC to do so.

  • 78. Mayfair Dad  |  June 6, 2011 at 11:50 am

    @ CPSO and others:

    During the most successful principal placement I was involved with, the CAO handpicked three candidates to add to our pool of candidates obtained through the usual channels. Two of the three handpicked candidates made it to the final round.

    Initially we were concerned we would be forced to hire some HQ deadwood who was in imminent danger of being fired due to budget cuts, but instead we saw a significantly higher quality of candidate. All three are currently successful principals on the Northwest side, including the candidate we hired.

    Sometimes “insider information” can be extremely helpful. Not all LSCs trust their CAO however, many for good reason.

  • 79. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Does the CAO cover elem and high schools for the same area? Or are there different HS CAO’s. I think part of the problem is the CAOs are fairly scarce unless the LSC makes a big effort to get to know them, so it’s hard to know whether you trust their input or not, you know?

  • 80. Mom2  |  June 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    @Grace – your friend is exactly right. That is why I think it may be difficult to get parents on board with sending their kids to Lakeview without significant change in the programs and therefore the students. As I may have said before, I believe Lincoln Park is able to attract some students because of the IB and Double Honors programs giving them some or a lot of separation from the rest of the group. It may sound snobbish, but when it comes to your child, and specifically in high school, those that they end up with in class will be their friends and will influence them. I would love for Lakeview to find a way to do the same!

  • 81. educator  |  June 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    @Researcher. You are incorrect. Lilith Werner has 7 years of teaching experience (which I believe is more than Carolyn Eggert has) and three years as a principal.

  • 82. Act score  |  June 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    The average of the composite ACT score for honors class is 20.7 (about 50% of the school population)

  • 83. Researcher  |  June 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I was commenting on D’Andre W
    Not carolyn eggert

  • 84. klm  |  June 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    @76 AMEN TO THAT! I know, having grown up in a low-income-large-American-city environment with public schools that were corresponding to every negative stereotype out there (teachers that read newspapers instead of teaching,fellow ‘students’ that were there to ‘chill’ rather than learn, etc. –it really WAS that bad) how much of a disadvantage it is to the psyche, not just the academic-side of well-being. I believe that ALL of the people of this blog mean well and are trying to “change things” so that they’ll be able to stay where they live now (i.e., the house or condo that they bought during the pre-2008 housing bubble or a hip urban locale that they love). I’m not being cynical –I genuinely believe that most Chicagoans HONESTLY want Chicago’s kids to all have a quality education. I also know that many of the friends and people I’ve come to know in Chicago (both ‘transplants’ from elsewhere in America and those that grew up in suburban Chicago) are truly naive in terms of their thinking. Yes, if you grew up in Libertyville, Bloomfield Hills, Northbrook, Scarsdale, (or wherever was ‘boring’ and ‘NOT diverse’, “white-bread’ community) it’s easy or cool to think that you’re doing your kids a favor by sending them to “diverse” public schools –since you’re a ‘good’ parent it’ll all work out, right? But what about them having to compete with kids from New Trier or Naperville Central when they’re taking Organic Chemistry 101 at the University of Illinois/U-C? Or even trying to get into Jones, WY, Payton, etc. Or falling into the trap of “My local CPS school’s not SO bad…I’ll stick it out or at least try to make things work, etc…”. Well, let me tell you, going to school with approximately 30-40% of kids who were determined to ‘Act out’ and do nothing, etc., not to mention the 5-15% (depending on which school) of kids that were truly DYSFUNCTIONAL on every level (violence-wise –beat up somebody for whatever made-up reason is the norm, education-wise –[the more ‘uneducated’ the better–yeah!—keepin’ real, y’all!]), etc. I can’t tell you how many ‘R.I.P. -respect-type’ sites there are about kids I went to school with, not to mention all those that are in prison or are on parole and living with their mothers, etc. Do NOT! NOT! NOT! put your kids in that position, because believe-you-me 99% of the time you’ll be so sorry. If 90-99% of the kids at a certain high school are not meeting the “ACT college rediness” score on the ACT on all 4 core subjects (as is the case at LVHS) , then why are you even considering putting your child in that position? Using your own children a social experiment is NOT in his/her self-interest. ON the other hand… if there’s a genuinely good CPS school out there that you can utilize (sadly this seems to guaranteed more in the K-8 schools [Lincoln, Blaine, Bell, not to mention the RGCs and Classical schools that are among the best in the state] more often), then by all means use it. Don’t confuse your own vanity as a “good, diversity-loving, urban hipster ” with what is best for your child –education is just too important. .

  • 85. LV Teacher  |  June 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    The word from inside Lake View is that Carolyn Eggert’s qualifications and leadership had nothing to do with her being left off the panel. The reason was that over the past two years, she closely aligned herself with Gail Cannova, the other Assistant Principal, who most people here want to see replaced. Apparently, there was a fear among the faculty and the LSC that if Carolyn was chosen as the principal, she would keep Gail on as AP, and even expand Gail’s power and influence, something that no one wanted.

  • 86. Mom  |  June 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Wow!!! I’m surprise at the negative comments. Last I checked all students should have the resources needed to succeed. That all students are college bond. Of course not all will be doctors but they should have a chance to attend college. If we, the adults, speak in such a negative aspect the students will never learn. I’m sure the process to select a new principal is not a walk in the park but from what I have read none of these blogs are any help. How about some positive feed back!!! How about coming together this evening to be mature, educated adults, that will listen to what the candidates have to offer.

  • 87. copyeditor  |  June 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Lake View’s HONORS students have an average ACT of 20.7? That’s disturbing, because the national average ACT score is 21. ( I’d expect honors students to be better than average – maybe not a lot, but at least a little.

    That’s the worst news I’ve heard about Lake View.

  • 88. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I’m not sure I interpret what the “negative comments” are. It seems to be a conversation based in some factual input and a lot of speculation. and it seems worth discussing before meeting the candidates, no? I, for one, am very glad for all the discussion we’ve had here, given that many of us don’t have a high-school age child.
    And the fact that LVHS is even entering parent’s consideration set is a pretty positive step.

  • 89. ACT score  |  June 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    @copyeditor, ill average is 20.5 and lane tech’s average is 22.9 (according to There are many students who scored above 20 at Lake View as well, but we have a large group of students in honors class (MSTA, ILCA, AVID) with mixed abilities.

  • 90. Mayfair Dad  |  June 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    klm hits the nail on the head (thanks for a sobering shot of reality) but I believe there is enough of a groundswell of support and parents already galvanized to turn LVHS around that it stands a good chance of succeeding. The next essential element is choosing the right principal, which is why we “obsessees” are chiming in. Not negativity, just a robust exchange of ideas, pointers and OK maybe a little gossip. Its what we do.

  • 91. Mayfair Dad  |  June 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    @87 copyeditor – thanks for the ACT chart. Makes me regret not moving to Boston when I had the chance.

  • 92. RL Julia  |  June 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks Mayfair Dad – enjoyed the comments.

    Sounds like the problem that Lakeview has is such – it doesn’t have a stand out (established) academic program (like Lincoln Park or Von Steuben) to attract the sort of top notch students in the numbers it needs to – plus those students/parents/ families are going to treat it like a safety school – after Lincoln Park, Von Steuben, Taft etc…

    While there is plenty of discussion on this blog about the need for another SE high school on the Northside, unless Lakeview BECOMES as SE high school and offers parents the cache and perception of safety of an SEHS, people are going to have a hard time committing in the numbers that are necessary to raise the school’s reputation. Since I am not sure if the northside really does need another SEHS, I am not sure if there really are the number of parents who are willing to commit to a school while their kids are in 7/8 grade at another school (hmmmm, maybe Lakeview should start its betterment campaign by starting an AC) in order to make it a place that they’d be happy to send their kids to…. if their kids doesn’t make it into an SEHS, Lincoln Park, Taft or Von Steuben or Alcott or Ogden or Audubon (if they ever find a place to open the school) or,or,or….

    I am with klm on this – plenty of people are willing to put up with a certain amount of disorganization in an up and coming elementary school – few people are interested in this experience for a high school if they have another option that is better (read more established).

    Do I think you can get a good enough education at LVHS to get into a college? Yes, but I am pretty confident that if you are absolutely determined, you can pretty much do that from ANY high school (even the super dysfunctional ones).

    Does that mean I am going to send my kids there if I have another option (and serious kudos to the NSHSI Facebook who does) ? NO.

    If there is a choice – why wouldn’t one send their kid to the better of two schools? Everytime. Because of that reality, parents aren’t going to invest in bettering their second choice, they are spend their time hustling to get their kid into their first choice.

  • 93. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    @Mayfair Dad: LOL. thanks, well put. 🙂

    On a positive-ish note, regarding the ACT scores for honors I would have to guess that compared to the IL average there are likely more lower-socio-economic kids in a CPS high school. The same teachers could likely drive a lot higher scores with a different student base. The kids who buckle down and work hard at LVHS should get to be called honors, right? Even if they’re not as successful as the state average. I mean, you gotta promote a committment to academics somehow?

    I have still never set foot in a CPS high school during school hours. I wonder if I’ll have the same reaction I did visiting Alcott when my son was just 2 years old. I got all choked up imagining him in that boisterous setting. Sniff, sniff.

  • 94. RL Julia  |  June 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Ohhh – such a long post. Sorry to be so rant-y.

  • 95. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    @RL Julia: Don’t worry, that’s why I started the blog in the first place, to rant. the positive stuff just kind of came up later….

  • 96. Mom2  |  June 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    FYI, since people are posting numbers…from many sources such as the selective prep web site and Lane’s own information: “From 2005 to 2009, Lane Tech’s composite ACT score has moved up slightly from 22.0 or 62nd percentile in 2005 to 23.2 or 69th percentile in 2009.”

  • 97. Grace  |  June 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I hope you won’t all hate me for posting this, but I thought it might be pertinent. It’s from PURE, parent united to reform education, Julie Woesthof, and it’s about the feature they did on a h.s. principal recently.

    Houston math teacher + internet = Chicago “miracle” cure
    May 31st, 2011

    It only took Houston high school math teacher Gary Rubenstein a few minutes on the internet to bust the latest Chicago Public School myth – the “triumph” of a “dramatic turnaround” specialist principal now working her magic at Marshall High School, as described by a recent Tribune article.

    Gary writes:

    “I’m not an education reporter. I’m just a guy with a computer and a healthy amount of skepticism and internet access. I also am someone whose been in education for twenty years and am fearful about the direction it has been taking.

    “So when I learn about a new miracle school I get worried since whatever statistics are being used to praise that school are also being used to shut down and fire the staff of another school.”

    It turns out that Gary’s skepticism is well-founded. The new principal at Marshall, whom the Tribune sets up as a miracle worker, comes from a four-year stint at another CPS turnaround, Harper High School. Gary’s internet research on Harper finds that a third of the students left, while test scores barely budged over the past four years.

    The Trib reports that “the state poured in millions of dollars to turn (Marshall) around.” So far, all they seem to have to show for it is a drop in enrollment – the school “lost” 161 students out of an enrollment of about 1000 – and stricter discipline.

    Yet the school is made to sound like an absolutely fabulous place where “school officials expect significant gains over 2010″ test scores. Yeah, that’s what we call a school miracle in Chicago – a place of rapturous expectation. We learned that from Arne Duncan’s “dramatically better” promises.

    Media outlets like the Tribune are still using this sort of empty cheerleading to prop up Fed Ed Head Duncan’s demand, funded by millions in Race to the Top money, that we must move fast to fire experienced teachers and replace them with, well, other people.

    But turnarounds aren’t really making a difference. You don’t have to take my word on this. The conservative Fordham Foundation released a report a few months ago saying that regular schools and charter schools (gasp – charter schools?) simply haven’t changed much even after being turned around:

    After identifying more than 2,000 low-performing charter and district schools across ten states, analyst David Stuit tracked them from 2003-04 through 2008-09 to determine how many were turned around, shut down, or remained low-performing. Results were generally dismal. Seventy-two percent of the original low-performing charters remained in operation—and remained low-performing—five years later. So did 80 percent of district schools.

    But it’s the false rhetoric of success that’s fueling the propaganda machine which has successfully convinced a lot of policy makers to get on board with the drive to dismantle teachers’ unions, privatize public schools, and turn teaching into testing.

    more on PURE web site.

  • 98. cps Mom  |  June 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Of course HS parents are going to try and get the best possible position for their child given their individual talent. I do know of and have seen posted here plenty of smart, college bound kids that are not able to get into selective schools for a variety of reasons. As reported earlier many selective schools (including Lane) did not have a second round. Where are all these kids going – LP and Von? Sounds like many going private, which has been the traditional “fall back” option.

    Take a look at the stats for the Northside CPS HS’s. Most have average ACT’s in the 15’s. I only see 3 above 18 – LV being one of those. is it not possible that the right push (OK, shove) in the right direction with a go-getter principal and staff and an infusion in the curriculum can get the school on track within a relatively short period of time?

    Wasn’t Lincoln Park in a similar position until they were able to attract the top students in the city with their IB program?
    It’s not naivety or a “white bread” upbringing that makes us want this unrealistic diversity – please, many of us have been raised in this city. It’s that we’ve seen change and there is reason to continue.

    I consider the mom who grew up in the neighborhood, went to LV and now her kids are at LV by choice to have a realistic assessment of the situation at LV.

  • 99. RL Julia  |  June 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    What Lakeview HS needs about 20-30 more LV mom’s committing six years of their good work investing in the school and an administration open to it. However, until you can actually deliver something to get the parent’s with the kids who are bright but for whom the SEHS’s (and LP, Taft, VonSteuben, Alcott and Odgen) are a definite long shot and/or just a hideous commute, dead in the water.

    If in the end of it all, this is a “branding” issue – not necessarily a quality of education issue – is STEM going to ring any bells/enough bells with folks?

    However, back to your comment (cps mom) about the kids who didn’t get into the SE’s – Can people write in and tell where their kids or their neighbors and friends kids who didn’t get into an SEHS are going? I am sure such kids exist – I just haven’t met any of them yet – or if I have, they are all at LPIB/double honors. I do know of kids who are going to have really long commutes to an SEHS or who didn’t get into their first (or second or third) choice SEHS – but again, I haven’t heard about tons of kids who thought that they had a decent shot at getting into an SEHS who didn’t – but then again, I might be living in a bubble in the sky….

  • 100. copyeditor  |  June 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    In my neighborhood (Lake View attendance area), there are two kids at Whitney Young and one at Lane Tech. Also: two at St. Ignatius, one at St. Ben’s, and two at St. Pat’s.

    I don’t know anyone on the block who has ever gone to Lake View. The old-timers sent their kids to St. Ben’s or Lane Tech.

  • 101. Mayfair Dad  |  June 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    My hunch is enrollment is up at St. Ben’s, Gordon Tech, St. Pat’s, Notre Dame, Luther North and Resurrection. The parochial high schools in/near the predominantly Tier 4 Northwest side are having a banner year.

  • 102. klm  |  June 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    @86. I didn’t mean to come off as “negative” as much as I did “realistic”. Yes, obviously, we all want kids to have access to a great school (and if kids are really ‘smart’ they can get a great education in CPS –lots of kidsfrom Northside, Payton, etc. get into the colleges in the U.S.), but there has been a media buzz about the dysfunctional state of most non-SE Urban high schools (since at least as far as I can remember and I’m in my 40s) for a reason –they really ARE that bad. The kids that go them really are NOT prepared to compete with kids from the American suburbs, never mind the rest of the world’s best and brightest (think Singapore, Taiwan, Isreal, etc.). Sometimes the sky really is falling and all I’m trying to do (from personal experience) is shed some light on the subject. Just because we want things to be a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s so. I know on this blog we’ve discussed how sad it is that the “success stories” like Urban College Prep have average ACT scores of 15. Fifteen??? Isn’t that like the bottom 15% nationally? But, YES really UrbanCollege Prep is somehow a “model” of urban education! Huh? Not for my kids –not because I’m a anti-inner-city snob, but because I know better. I wonder if even the “learning disabled” kids at New Trier or Glenbrook North-type high schools average that low on the ACT. And somehow I’m “negative” for pointing this sort of thing out. So, yes, everybody go ahead and enroll yout child at a school that most middle-class people intuitively know (not because they’re snooty or prejudiced, but because they’re cognisant of what it takes to get ahead in a competetive, globalized economy and burned-out teachers and low average ACT scores don’t seem to cut it). Also, I went to “urban public schools” for most of my k12 education (thank God for Catholic high schools and generous financial aid, otherwise I hate to imagine how ill-prepared I’d have been for college –I’m not Catholic, but I’m grateful to the Catholic church to this day). Let’s hope that LVHS works out, but I’m not about to send my kids there BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT A GOOD HIGH SCHOOL IS –one with good average ACT scores, a low drop-out rate, no gang problems, etc. My wife volunteers with an Adult Lieracy program Downtown. Her first student graduated from a CPS high school (with a real diploma and everything), but I SWEAR TO GOD, was not able to read or spell the word “the”. I could go on and on about similar stories, including from people I know that graduated from LVHS –is it any wonder I’m a bit jaded? If somebody wants to send their kids to a HS where only 1-9% of the kids meet the (minimum) ACT college readiness scores, then do it and feel good about yourself. The fact that the rest of us don’t want to do it doesn’t meant we’re “bad people” or anti-urban-public-high jerks, we’re simply looking out for our kids’ best interests.

  • 103. klm  |  June 6, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Sorry to “dominate” this conversation –I don’t mean to, really. But, as people have mentioned before LVHS needs a good “high school witthin a high school”, like Lincoln Park HS does. Remember that in the 1970s LPHS was a “non-issue” type HS. It took the IB program to get some “locals” even to consider the school for their kids, such was its scarry reputation back then. Eventually, things “turned around”. Note to urban high school “turn around” professionals: Get a few kids into Ivy League schools (especially the “NEON H” one) and you’ll get middle class locals interested. I know that I can come off as an a**hole when it comes to schools, but it’s mainly because I’m kinda’ gun-shy, given my previous (very negative) experience with urban public schools and considering all the bad things I’ve heard from friends and relative about their experiences in similar schools. Provide an education that’s good enough to get a few non-Affirmative Action candidates into a school like Swarthmore or Yale and believe me, people will start enolling their kids.

  • 104. local parent  |  June 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I attended the forum tonight at Lake View – very informative. My opinion is that Ms. Oladipo was too brief and spoke in very general terms. She didn’t make much of an impression on me. Mr. Weaver was very charismatic but I don’t like that he has not had any experience with a CPS budget. I also felt that he didn’t offer any concrete plans, but spoke in very general terms. Dr. Werner was confident and I liked that she talked about learning how to be a leader in Bensenville. She also has experience with CPS budget, which is a plus. I like that she also has established relationships with businesses and foundations for her current school.

    My opinion is that Dr. Werner would be a great principal to lead Lake View.

  • 105. HSObsessed  |  June 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    @99 RL Julia —
    For 2010 Lincoln elementary 8th graders, 39 enrolled in LPHS, 26 enrolled in Jones/Lane/Northside/Payton/Young, and the remainder 15 went to Von Steuben, Alcott, Ogden, Phillips, Rickover Naval Academy, St. Ignatius, Latin, St. Scholastica or U of C Lab. I also know of others from other years who went to St. Ben’s and Parker.

  • 106. ChicagoIs  |  June 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    As a Chicagoan born, bred and educated, I hear accuracy in klm’s words. I’ve even seen Ivy-educated parents take their kids out of CPS’s RGCs and put them into private schools because of the relatively lesser education their children were getting at the RGC. One does what one can in Chicago.

  • 107. wildcatpride  |  June 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I am also a teacher at LVHS. I would like to set the record on a few things: 1. Mr. Feaman was not “forced out,” nor did he pressure anyone to talk to the LSC about their decisions. 2. The notion that one of our APs has “power and influence” is false. All our administrators want for the school is the best for everyone, especially our students. 3. Yes, we have our problems with students talking back and in the hall, but what school doesn’t? That is the behavior of a teenager. The comments from educator are GREATLY exagerated.

    Enough is enough… time to be truthful. Lake View is a great school. We have an AMAZING faculty. A child would be lucky and benefit greatly if he/she came to our school. What the people here don’t want to acknowledge is that we have a major obstacle – a poverty rate of 88%. We are doing the best with which we are dealt. Do you realize what this means? The goggles that you can’t believe we don’t have cannot be paid for by parents. Students can’t stay for after school programs or for enrichment because they have to help support their families. This is not a the norm for many of us, but it’s their reality. And yet, we have an average ACT score which beats the district average. Taft HS has been mentioned above. They have a much lower average poverty rate of 63%, yet only have an average ACT score of 19.1, just 1/2 of a point more than us. We also have an AP success rate which far exceeds the norm in the district. That alone should speak for itself.
    I strongly believe that there is not much that needs to be “fixed” at LVHS. There simply needs to be a trust in us from parents. We have the talent in our faculy. We have the desire. We are on the same page as you… I truly believe that if you were to send your children to our school that you would have wonderful results.

  • 108. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    @107: Thanks for taking the time to write and give your opinion.

    I had a good conversation tonight with a mom in the crowd who’s child graduated from LVHS in the honors program (which your child tests into before starting freshman year.) She too said very good things about the school but did acknowledge that the school needs to learn to market itself better. ( a common situation for many CPS schools.) She sent her child there begrudgingly when there were no other options and was utterly unimpressed on the tour, but persevered, met with the principal and as she learned more became more and more impressed with the place. A well-organized group of parents would work wonders to help “sell” the school to neighborhood parents. As we’ve discussed before, the benefits of the school need to be well presented and the school leaders need to be good at articulating a school vision.

  • 109. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Regarding tonight’s meeting, I generally agree with 104, although I feel a little nervous about Dr. Werner’s management style.

    At the meeting, there was a meet and greet, followed by a short session for each candidate, where they each answered the same several questions from the audience/LSC and did a short speech about themselves.

    Ms. Olapido articulated some good thought, but generally lacked strong vision.

    Mr. Weaver was a great presence. He’s a young (!) man who was raised in poverty in the city and clearly has risen above that to get a great education. He’s well spoken and extremely enthusiastic. He’s set his sights very high for LVHS, with the goal of competing against the top SE schools. It’s hard not to want his energy brought to the school, but he’s in his 20’s. I have to believe that to lead a large urban high school, especially during a key turnaround time, would take more life experience. I wrote on the LSC input form that if has been able to convince them that he has the actual ideas to back up his goals, he could be worth a shot. He supports “shared leadership with the teachers.

    Dr. Werner is also very well spoken. She acknowledged during her speech that when she started working as an administrator several years ago that she had a top-down, my way or the highway management style. She says she got feedback from her teachers that helped guide her style and she learned some techniques to work more collaboratively. (fyi, this style of working with people was mentioned in a post above.) She says she wants to work with the local feeder schools, staff, and parents to see “where they want to go” with the school. Between her maturity and good communication skills (meaning in a meeting — not sure about personal one-on-one contact) she would probably be the best to help “market” the school to new families. Notably, I found out that she was the runner-up for the principal spot at Bell last year, which was given to the existing AP. I think that’s a good vote of confidence.

    I believe the LSC will be deciding this week.

  • 110. Mayfair Dad  |  June 7, 2011 at 8:43 am

    It sounds like Werner will be offered the job. She should immediately offer Weaver an Assistant Principal spot. APs are selected by the principal, and no guarantee current APs will be asked to stay.

  • 111. cps Mom  |  June 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

    @107 – thank you for your grounded perspective of LVHS. I think to many of us play into the stereotype because of bad experience but things change.

    @99 RLJ – Not sure about “tons” but there are many who thought they had a shot at SE and did not make it. Some because they turned down schools like Westinghouse, King, Lindbloom and others did not qualify for Lane this year. You’re right, maybe an AC at Lakeview INSTEAD of Lane would have been a better arrangement. I would feel much more comfortable getting involved with bringing a viable CPS school along rather than having to rely on financial aid from the catholic church (with their overflowing coffers).

    KLM – it amazes me how parents with 5th and 6th graders evaluate a school based upon Ivy admissions. These schools take only the very top and they have a way of finding the “prodigy” candidate. It’s not something you can prep into or even pay for these days so parents that put their “smart but not quite smart enough” kid into Latin or St. Ignatius or even Lab school in hopes of Ivy league are not assured a thing. I know a recruiter at Brown. They may Interview just 1 kid from Payton and 1 from Latin in any given year. One does not have a better chance based upon CPS vs private education but neither will get it if they are not qualified. At the top SE’s the very top kids will get into schools like U of C, Northwestern, maybe one kid to Yale or Brown. The majority of kids at Northside go to U of I with the larger % of that being students that go to UIC. The kid in the story above is doing better than most SE kids by getting into U of I. Who do you think stands a better chance of getting into U of I – the middle of the pack at Northside or the top kids at Lakeview?

  • 112. Mayfair Dad  |  June 7, 2011 at 9:33 am

    @ 111 CPS Mom:

    All of the SE high schools (and LPIB, and Von Steuben) tout the colleges their graduates go on to attend. I’m sure Ignatius does the same. For LPIB, the list of Ivies, almost-Ivies and very selective colleges is impressive, and very much part of the marketing.

    Maybe a project for the LSC — gather all the marketing materials from these high schools and make sure the LVHS materials are up to snuff. One poster mentioned being underwhelmed during the orientation. The most impressive orientation I attended was at Whitney Young – find out what they are doing and “borrow” their best ideas.

    If STEM is going to be the hook you hang your hat on, find out what Fed money is available, it seems to be the big push nationally these days. Also grant writing — there must be funders out there who are willing to support this initiative.

    I read somewhere the government of China will fund Mandarin language instruction at the high school level. A nice enhancement.

    An earlier poster mentioned career training. What about forming a partnership with Kendall College to prepare LVHS graduates for a career in the hospitality industry (largest industry in the city and state). Maybe a work-study tie in with Hyatt corporation (headquartered in Chicago, Pritzger family heavily involved in liberal politics and philanthropy).

    Just throwing ideas out there. Maybe helpful to the LVHS community.

  • 113. copyeditor  |  June 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

    As far as I know, all the Catholic schools publish lists of where their graduates go, and they are honest: you’ll see Notre Dame and Northeastern both.

    One of the big concerns for parents that has to be addressed is the high stakes of high school. People will take chances in Kindergarten because they feel as though they can transfer to a different school if it doesn’t work out, or that they can move to the suburbs. CPS limits high school transfers (except maybe for basketball players), a lot of private schools will only accept transfers from relocating families, and it’s a lot harder to move a kid to the suburbs junior year of high school than in third grade.

  • 114. Kmb  |  June 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Someone asked if anyone knew someone who sent their kid to Lakeview. My neighbor’s son went there. He is graduated now and goes to North Park University. He’s a good kid was on the football team. It is our neighborhood high school. He went to cathi

  • 115. Kmb  |  June 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Hit send too soon. Meant to say he went to catholic school for elementary.

  • 116. Grace  |  June 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I appreciate the range of opinions in this forum and KLM, thanks for expressing yours.

  • 117. RL Julia  |  June 7, 2011 at 11:51 am

    @108 I agree with you – it is in a large part all about the marketing – and selling. Getting a certain number of kids who actively CHOOSE LVHS – as opposed to just going there because they had too. One thing about Taft ‘s AC program is that they seem pretty comfortable with the idea that their top students are going to use the HS IB program as a safety net – and that they’ll get some good students that way.

    @107 – thanks for writing in. I understand that LVHS has many things going for it – however, I am afraid that quoting the poverty rate while it might explain the LVHS results cannot excuse the results entirely.

    I understand that teaching a higher poverty population makes things difficult – but that cannot be an excuse as to why the school isn’t succeeding. Basically what you said is, send your kids to LVHS and you’ll be pleased – but if my kids are poor kids – then what? Will I still be pleased or will I have to accept that my kid isn’t at a school capable of teaching them to get into college and/or getting a 36 on the ACTs?

    Talking to a friend who works at a city college running their remedial programs – says that kids from Urban Prep (and St. Pat’s and Ignatius) show up in the program all the time needing to do remedial work.

  • 118. wildcatpride  |  June 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    @117 – I am not using our poverty rate as an excuse whatsoever. It’s simply one factor that we deal with. But to be honest, it does impact learning. The students that come to our school make great progress. Many enter reading below grade level, and our staff works collaboratively on reading skills. Our administration greatly funds intructional time and support services for students who are behind. These students make significant gains. Is it the result of a 36 on the ACT? Maybe not, but there is true improvement. LVHS is capable of getting your child into college and getting a remarkable score on the ACT. We have seen graduates with a 30 and higher.
    We also need improvements with our parental involvement. Based on what I’ve read from most parents on this blog, I can assume that this would improve greatly if you were to send your children to LVHS.
    We could all be a true TEAM in this effort. Lake View is worthy of it.

  • 119. previously somewhat anti-Werner  |  June 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I was the one who mentioned Werner was condescending and rude when I was at LVHS, but I am a big believer in people actually DO grow/learn/change. I work with teachers. Some come in REALLY rough around the edges, and they just need some experience, some mentoring, and some solid professional development to grow into amazing, incredible teachers. Werner certainly has the brains to grow/learn/change.

    And “kim”-I LOVED reading what you have to say-you are dead on with a variety of points.

    I DO hate to see all the focus on marketing. While I do NOT believe the quantifiable data (ie: ACT scores) is the be all end all determinant, I do want substance they can back up. How about the grants teachers have gotten? The actual AP test scores? The connections to the community? The programs that have developed there?

    And what does the school FEEL like? Especially after school. Are there clubs going on? Do the teachers stay after? Or are the security guards barking orders to leave, all the “good” kids getting away on the busses as fast as possible, and most of the classrooms dark?

    I knew EXCELLENT teachers at LVHS. If Steve Starr is still there, he is incredible. Drama teacher=absolute magic. But the special ed teacher who was assigned to my classes balanced his checkbook during class and the “veteran” English teachers would often get the AP and honors classes and use their lessons from 20 years ago. NOT ACCEPTABLE.

    Plenty of great teachers and kids at LVHS. Show us! And aggressively go after the bad seeds-they RUIN it for everyone. Seriously, there were probably a dozen there when I was. Had they been shown the door, the entire climate would have changed.

  • 120. klm  |  June 8, 2011 at 10:07 am


    Great point! I should have given a better explanation of what I meant. I know how crazy difficult and seemingly impossible for even the “best” students to get into certain colleges. The NYT has followed some HS kids through their college admissions path and one young woman (for example) was accepted to Princeton, Brown and Dartmouth, but NOT the University of Chicago or Grinnell College –whatever, it’s so seemingly arbitraryand kida’ crazy. No HS is going to mold a “regular” student into a Yalie, no matter how great a school it is. I know that the small fraction of colleges that are the “most competetive” look to the candidate, not the HS they went to (if anything, going to an urban public high school is an advantage given that many elite college admissions offices are kinda’ P.C.-anti-elitist places from what I have read). What I meant was, if there are a few kids that a school (like LVHS) can point to and say, “Hey, we sent graduates to Harvard, Stanford, Brown and a few to Northwestern and the University of Chicago”., lots of education-minded parents might think, “Hey maybe that school’s not so bad after all…Maybe I should think twice. OK, maybe the school’s average ACT score not so high, but SOME kids oviously sure are doing great. And, sure, maybe my kid won’t be going to the Ivy League but it seems like with this tack record the school’s not half-bad academically and maybe my son or daughter might actually be prepared to do OK at the the University of Illinois or Michigan State, UIC, Northern Illinois or wherever”. For me, nothing sets off alarm bells more that a school bragging about things that it’s SUPPOSED to be doing like graduating a decent percentage of students, sending some graduates to COLLEGE. (Wow). As a parent I want to shout, “Show me the money!”.

  • 121. klm  |  June 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm


    I also want to point out that a kid “in the middle of the pack” at Northside (which by the way, does not ‘rank’ students, so colleges don’t have that info., althoug I’m sure that they can get a pretty good idea) averages 29.5 on the ACT, while at LVHS only 6% of kids are meeting the “college readiness” minimum on the sciece portion of the ACT, for example. So, to be honest I would personally MUCH rather have a kid that’s “average/middle-of-the-class” at Northside (meaning 29 or 30 on the ACT) certainly with 4 or more AP Exams graded 3 or higher, surrounded by other high-achieving, education-minded kids, a challenging environment, asked to think critically, expected to write college-level answers on exams and writing assignments, etc. than a kid who’s considered an academic “rock star” for getting an ACT score that would be below-average at a suburban school like New Trier and who has never really been challenged or had to work hard in order to get good grades. Which one do you think is in for more of a rude awakeing during their first semester in college? Again, I KNOW I sound like kinda’ an a**hole and like a “negative nelly”, but I have relatives (including my own sister) who graduated near the top of their classes at regular non-SE urban schools (including CPS ones) and to say that they were not well prepared for REAL college-level work (meaning the University of Illinois,etc., NOT online classes at the University of No Stands for Admission) is an understatment. I recall a sort of expose in one of the local papers how many CPS (non-SE) HS grads were graduating with GPAs over 4.0, but were not able to handle the University of Illinois/U-C, so they had to come back, take REMEDIAL classes at comunnity college, etc. I wish these kinds of stories were not true or at least rare, but in my experience they’re heartbreakingly all too common and I’m just as upset about it as anybody. BUT THATS REALITY. I have a 14-year-old niece (through marriage) that’s convinced that her South Side high school is academically great, she wants to be a pediatrician, etc. Well in 2010 only 1% (as in 1 in 100!) of the students at her school met the ACT college readiness score in science (which was better than 2009 when it was 0%). Again, that’s the MINIMUM to be ready for “regular” college-level work, not to be a physician or nuclear physicist, etc. It makes me want to cry. Tell me she wouldn’t being better off being “average” at Northside rather than attending the more “regular” CPS HS she’s attending now.

  • 122. JD  |  June 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    From ISBE:

    St. Patrick HS
    2002-03: 955
    2003-04: 990
    2004-05: 1,022
    2005-06: 1,015
    2006-07: (couldn’t find)
    2007-08: 961
    2008-09: 914
    2009-10: 848

    Gordon Tech HS
    2002-03: 695
    2003-04: 638
    2004-05: 586
    2005-06: 563
    2006-07: (couldn’t find)
    2007-08: 550
    2008-09: 501
    2009-10: 496

    St. Gregory HS
    2002-03: 281
    2003-04: 263
    2004-05: 200
    2005-06: (couldn’t find)
    2006-07: (couldn’t find)
    2007-08: 113
    2008-09: 166
    2009-10: 106

    Luther North HS
    2002-03: 336
    2003-04: 269
    2004-05: 241
    2005-06: 260
    2006-07: (coudn’t find)
    2007-08: 229
    2008-09: 185
    2009-10: 215

    Notre Dame HS
    2002-03: 470
    2003-04: 382
    2004-05: 364
    2005-06: 314
    2006-07: (couldn’t find)
    2007-08: 247
    2008-09: 212
    2009-10: 140

    Resurrection HS
    2002-03: 905
    2003-04: 920
    2004-05: 922
    2005-06: 895
    2006-07: (couldn’t find)
    2007-08: 750
    2008-09: 765
    2009-10: 697

    St. Ben’s HS
    2002-03: 385
    2003-04: 332
    2004-05: 278
    2005-06: 249
    2006-07: (couldn’t find)
    2007-08: 223
    2008-09: 226
    2009-10: 184

  • 123. HSObsessed  |  June 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    JD/122, are those numbers total enrollment numbers at those schools, in response to @101 Mayfair Dad? And did you compile them yourself? If so, thanks!

    If these are total enrollment numbers, they actually point to a decreasing trend, which is consistent with the anecdotal evidence that the economy is forcing many parents to pull their kids from private schools and go public.

    It also reflects how timy some of these high schools are. I knew St. Ben’s HS only had about 50 kids per class a year or two ago, and looks like it’s gone down even more. My personal concern with small high schools (private and public) is whether they have the population and resources to offer a broad enough range of classes and activities. It’s one thing for a K-8 school to have a limited interscholastic sports program, but by high school, I personally feel that having a really wide range of choices in sports, arts, special-interest clubs is really important. Sorry to get off topic.

  • 124. RL Julia  |  June 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    So what’s going on here? Does this mean there are more (CPS) options and/ or that people don’t want to/can no longer pay for private school?

  • 125. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks JD – very interesting! I’d like to know what the deal is too? If those schools have space, there seems to be no shortage of private options in the city (well, catholic options.)
    Unless something changed a lot in the past 2 years (which could be possible, given the Tier system) I wouldn’t say these schools are having the rush of applicants that someone hypothesized about.

  • 126. copyeditor  |  June 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I know that Gordon Tech has been a tough sell because of rumors that it is going to lease some or even all of its building to CPS. Parents have a different trust issue there than they do with Lake View!

  • 127. HSObsessed  |  June 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    My theory is it’s a combination of having more acceptable public high school options than there were 5 years ago, and the economy keeping families from affording private school tuition. I’m not talking about a Lincoln Park family taking their kids out of Latin and sending them to Payton. I think the numbers are driven more by families like, for example, a Polish or Mexican immigrant family in Galewood or Cragin who would otherwise do what they could to pay the tuition to send their two sons to St. Patrick’s, but because of job losses, enroll them at Steinmetz instead, or look into charters and find that Chicago Academy High School is a good (tuition-free) opportunity that is close by.

  • 128. Mayfair Dad  |  June 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    @ JD 122: Nice research. It would be interesting to see if there was an uptick in parochial HS enrollment for the 2010-11 school year during a soft economy.

    @ copywriter 126: The Audubon High School “takeover” rumors have been put to rest, and I anticipate Gordon Tech will continue to hold their ground as a viable option. They named a principal a year or two ago and I thought he was making excellent progress. Not the case?

    @ HSO 127: You are correct, my hypothesis did not consider the impact of charter high schools. Does anybody have an insight into their enrollment numbers?

  • 129. HSObsessed  |  June 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I don’t know the numbers they’re enrolling, but there are probably 30 CPS HS that have been in existence less than five years, including many charters but also contract schools and military academies, which all draw from similar pools of applicants. If you look at the CPS table of ACT scores you can see more than 20 schools that have three years or less of ACT history, since they weren’t in existence before then. This includes Noble Street Pritzker, NS Rauner, NS Golder, Marine Military. Then, there are probably a dozen more schools that are up and running but didn’t have juniors last year taking the ACT, so they aren’t on the ACT table yet at all. I can think of Alcott, Ogden, Westinghouse, Noble Street UIC and Noble Street Bulls off the top of my head. Charters often sell themselves as free public schools, and with their uniforms and strict rules, I don’t think it’s far off the mark.

  • 130. cps Mom  |  June 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks for expanding on that college discussion KLM. I’m sure that anyone that qualifies for and gets an offer to Northside would be in a very nice position for high school all the way around. My understanding of the college process, not having gone through it yet, is that the upper tier colleges only look at a certain % of the class – and I don’t know what those %’s are. For example, Northwestern might only look at the top 10% of the kids at NS (even though they are unranked, like other schools) so a kid with a 27 or 28 ACT score getting C’s and B’s will not be on the radar. U of I may look at the top 50% but you also need a B average. That same kid at LV with a 25 ACT and A’s could get into U of I even if they only looked at the top 5%. I agree, if Lakeview has some good schools recruiting their studentsor any kind of referral system, now’s the time to blow your horn. Lets hear about it. If I’m a parent touring LV I’d love to hear about those kids scoring 30’s (mentioned above) and the potential opportunities. They may have an attractive niche. They have a silver medal in college readiness US news so they must have some AP going on etc. Come on …….marketing is everything.

    Mayfair Dad – It would be interesting to see if there is a blip in admissions for 2011 given what happened with selective schools. The specialty Charters and schools like Ogden and Alcott seem to be expanding but reasons (other than academics of course) I’ve heard from multiple families is that they chose schools like LP for the sports and larger school aspect – more events, more recognition, more programs, more course options etc. Again, this is something LV could capitalize on.

  • 131. JD  |  June 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    The non-public high school numbers I posted are from the ISBE website, but the numbers are formatted differently and I think they may have removed historical files. []. They’ll publish 2010-11 enrollment date in August of 2011.

    I think HSObsessed’s logic is correct. Non-public high school enrollments throughout Chicago are going down almost without exception. Some are so low one wonders how they can be sustained.

    The number of public school 8th graders residing in the LVHS attendance boundary has increased from approx. 230 in 2003 to 267 in 2010 (+16%); and

    The number of those neighborhood 8th grade students who chose LVHS’s 9th grade the following year decreased from 100 in 2003 to 76 in 2010 (-24%); and

    Importantly, given the plethora of new public school options reasonably nearby, the anomaly above doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on the quality of LVHS. It’s just a reflection of what has increasinly become an unconcentrated, wide-open, free-market public high school landscape, with more high-quality options than before.

    The familier public high school options are Lane Tech, Lincoln Park, Payton, Northside, and Von Steuben. Roughly the same number of LVHS area 8th graders are choosing those schools today as they were in 2003 (~ 40 to Lane, ~ 22 to Lincoln Park, ~ 20 to Payton, ~15 to Northside, and ~ 10 to Von Steuben).

    Three times as many LVHS area 8th graders are getting into Whitney Young today, 9 in 2003 vs. 27 in 2010.

    But the follwing high schools represent the long-tail. Mostly, new-ish public high schools that either weren’t established in 2003 or didn’t attract any LVHS area 8th graders, now attracting some:

    Alcott HS: none in 2003 (didn’t exist), 19 in 2010
    Amundsen: none in 2003, 7 in 2010
    ChiArts HS (Bronzeville): none in 2003 (didn’t exist), 5 in 2010
    Rickover Naval: none in 2003 (didn’t exist), 4 in 2010
    CICS-Northtown: none in 2003, 2 in 2010
    Noble St-UIC: none in 2003 (didn’t exist), 2 in 2010
    Approx. 20 additional public high schools that drew none in 2003, draw 1 each now.

  • 132. cpsobsessed  |  June 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Very interesting. I love the numbers on the 8th grades in LV district. Where do you get those.
    I think LVHS is sometime like 1200-1400. So the school could easily accomodate the neighborhood kids (say half who attend = 100 plus an extra 300+ for other programs, such as selective-but-not-as-selective as the SE high schools. Which I guess is the Lincoln Park model. And also still have room for some of the kids who are travelling now to get to LV because their neighborhood school is unacceptable.

    The mom I talked to at the meeting (who had a daughter in the honors program) claimed that kids from honors got into “top schools” as did some kids from the non-honors classes. I don’t know if she meant top ivy league or if she meant U of I – didn’t clarify, but she said the school had an amazing counselor who really seemed to help get college placements.

  • 133. copyeditor  |  June 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Well, I know several families who had kids in places like Near North Montessori or Anshe Emet who would have moved to the suburbs or paid big bucks for Latin or Chicagoland Jewish but who are willing to send their kids to Payton or Northside, changing the math a little.

    Right now, the Catholic schools only allow students to apply to one, which is a nice idea to reduce competition and find out who is really committed. However, my suspicion is that in years past, a family might have made a child go to Gordon Tech to ensure he got in, but now they’ll have him apply to St. Ignatius and use Whitney Young/ Jones/Lane Tech as the safety schools. I’ve heard that the diocese is considering allowing applicants to rank preferences, so that someone who didn’t get into Ignatius would go to Gordon Tech instead of CPS, but I don’t know where that’s going.

    Gordon Tech has had a lot of principal turnover in the last ten years, and then there was the whole shut it down/rent out part/keep it going situation. My sense is that people are really unsure if the diocese is committed to it.. I’ve also heard a lot of rumors about a merger between Gordon Tech and St. Ben’s. it seems really unsettled.

  • 134. RL Julia  |  June 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you !! I am loving these stats – if only because it provides a pretty good counter argument to the “northside needs another SEHS”, “everything is way more competitive than its ever been in the history of mankind” types of arguments/feelings.

    As someone with kids who will start 8th and 6th grades next year, I am looking for counter arguments to my own personal tape loop about there not being enough slots, options, etc… These stats sort of prove (to me at least) – that there are options, that there are (enough – until your own child doesn’t get in anywhere) slots and that while more people might be applying to the SEHS’s it might not be because there are more qualified kids -it might be because more about more families are chosing CPS for financial (and improved perception) reasons and/or more kids are putting their hats in the ring so to speak. I’d love to get my hands on the SEHS test cohort data – not the data about the admittance scores – the data about all the kids who took the test and what the average total score of those 15K kids were.

  • 135. Grace  |  June 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    RL – It would be great data to have and share. Possible to FOIA?

  • 136. Mom2  |  June 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    RL – not sure I agree with you that the statistics that show more north side kids going to CPS schools indicates that the north side doesn’t need another SE high school. I must be missing something. More are going to CPS vs. private because of the economy. Those that are going to these other “new” options may be doing so but I don’t see how that shows that these are quality choices and in any way take the place of what an SE high school would offer.
    Now, I am all for hoping that they do offer as much or more and that parents will all send their kids to these other choices and therefore, the schools become better, etc. But, I don’t see any relationship between these stats and the number of kids on the north side that are more than qualified for SE high schools but cannot get in because of the tier system. Help me understand.

  • 137. cps Mom  |  June 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    @136 – I was thinking the same thing. I’m all for options but SE seems to be the holy grail of high schools. I have mentioned before that some existing programs need to be converted to “selective enrollment” if for branding purposes only. Not everyone agrees with me. Most people do agree however that not getting the “right” SE offer is a major disappointment.

  • 138. Mayfair Dad  |  June 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    @ 133 copywriter

    I did not realize the Catholic high schools employed a “one choice” application policy. Pretty much pushing disappointed kids into the arms of CPS. They will have to fix this to compete successfully against CPS SE high schools.

    Are there other Catholic high schools that have a reputation (academically) equal to St. Ignatius? I am aware of the more popular South side schools – Mt. Carmel, Brother Rice, Marist, Mother McAuley. Could you make a case for selective enrollment Catholic High Schools with some version of pecking order / degree of selectivity?

  • 139. RL Julia  |  June 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I guess my logic here is that if people were really that desperate and their kids weren’t getting into some other acceptable non-SEHS alternative than the parochial high school admissions would not have of declined because people would have been forced to go parochial. Well, either that or this blog would be chock full of people talking about how they are moving out of the city. I’d say antedotally, most of the people I’ve read of on this blog hightailing it out of the 606 zip codes are upset about their kindergarten placements – not high school.

    This would indicate to me (at least) that most people are finding some sort of acceptable (good-enough) second choice for high school within the CPS system since the parochial school applications are declining, no one on this blog has been avidly discussing home schooling their teen and /or how they have to move.

    Let me be clear – I am not saying that these folks are happy or thrilled to death with their choice but I am saying that apparently they are o.k. enough with the quality of the education to not apply to parochial schools/figure out how they are going to afford one or move out of Chicago. This also means an untapped market of cps-obsessed parents who are perhaps floating around their child’s third choice high school waiting to be inspired and/or directed on how to make another school a great place….

  • 140. klm  |  June 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm


    From what I understand, St. Ignatious really stands out as THE top choice Chicago Catholic HS, but De la Salle is supposed to be great, too. Loyola (in Wilmette) and Fenwick (Oak Park) also have great reputations, but they’re in the susburbs –albeit in really close ones. A friend works at Loyola (which was actually in Chicago in the past) and says that they get “lots” (his word) of great North Side kids that weren’t able to get into Payton or Northside, depsite good grade and high test scores.

  • 141. Esmom  |  June 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    139: For what it’s worth I’m one of those who threw in the towel and moved to the burbs last year solely because of the high school issue. We loved our neighborhood, which we had lived in for 15 years, and our neighborhood school (Bell).

    But as our kids approached middle school age, I came to the realization that we just could not go through the stress of the whole high school process. So after tossing and turning about it for a couple of years, we put our house on the market (and somehow, luckily, managed to sell it) and fled for a suburb bordering the city. The adjustment has been far easier then I ever expected. My kids are in heaven. And I’m sleeping again 🙂

    Obviously, as I’m still reading this blog, I’m still interested in what’s going on with CPS. We invested so much time and energy (and money) into our years in CPS that I guess it’s somewhat hard to let go.

  • 142. Grace  |  June 10, 2011 at 8:06 am

    @138 Also in the suburbs, but might be worth a mention. A couple weeks back a tutor mentioned that Nazarene is an undiscovered gem with great teachers and small classes.

  • 143. cps Mom  |  June 10, 2011 at 8:42 am

    FYI 138 – My understanding is that when you take the catholic school test in 8th grade, you take it at the school that you want to attend. They pretty much try to get you to commit to a school up front. There may be financial incentives – a discount at the school that you’re testing at. If you decide later on another catholic school they’ll let you change if you’re willing to pay full tuition.

  • 144. Grace  |  June 10, 2011 at 10:01 am

    @ 143 I have never heard of a financial incentive to encourage prospective students to commit to a popular Catholic h.s. like SICP, Marist, MacAuley, etc.
    What school are you thinking of?

  • 145. RL Julia  |  June 10, 2011 at 10:06 am

    @141 -thanks for sharing. Just curious – how does Bell compare to the suburban school(s?) your kids currently attend. What do your kids like about living in the burbs? Were they feeling pressured too?

  • 146. JKR  |  June 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

    #144-De la Salle (boys campus) and Mt. Carmel ( all boys) both offer attractive scholarships for higher achieving students. My son looked at both when he was applying to high school. De la Salle’s girls campus probably also offers some good tuition reduction.

  • 147. Mayfair Dad  |  June 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    My neighbors received discounts at St. Pat’s and Loyola for things like good grades in 8th grade, high entrance test scores, participation in team sports, volunteerism. I am told this is common practice, similar to private colleges: the sticker price isn’t what you really pay.

  • 148. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I hear that LVSH is due to announce the new principal tomorrow morning. I’ll post if I hear anything.

  • 149. cpsobsessed  |  June 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I’m really surprised to hear about the Catholic school application process allowing for only one choice. It seems like an odd way to handle it, especially when they show dwindling enrollment!

  • 150. Grace  |  June 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    @ 149 There are nearly twice as many test takers as seats at SICP, and if you are not accepted there, they will ask if you want your child’s scores sent to another Catholic school. Marist, for example, uses the same HSPT exam as SICP.

  • 151. cpsobsessed  |  June 11, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Dr. Werner had been elected as the new Lake View High School principal.
    I think she’ll be a good selling point for the school going forward.
    And let’s hope she keeps her promise to maintain a collaborative leadership style. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 152. Esmom  |  June 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    @RL Julia re145…it almost pains me to report that our new school pretty much blows Bell away when it comes to resources. My kids loved Bell and had to be dragged kicking and screaming away from it. But they were literally agog for weeks at all that their new school had to offer, from PE 4 days a week to technology to extracurricular activities like band. And overall a more peaceful, relaxed vibe. I didn’t realize how chaotic our lives were when it came to school and after school until we literally moved away.

    Another thing, as strong as the Bell community is, the sense of community they have now is even greater. Everyone from school lives within a half mile radius and everyone feeds into the same community activities like sports, recreation, the library, etc.

    And in the same vein, I do think they were feeling the looming high school pressure. Now they know where they will be attending middle school and high school and that their friends will be with them every step of the way. I drastically underestimated how attractive and important that aspect would be to them.

    Back to comparing schools…I will say that the teachers are comparable — mostly phenomenally dedicated. It was heartening to see that my kids had been very well prepared academically (my mom was worried they might not be) so the transition in that respect was a breeze. And the level of parent involvement is also similar. The access to resources (including special ed, which one of my sons needs, which is a separate issue altogether) is just so far above and beyond what we encountered in CPS. It’s just such a relief not to have to fight tooth and nail for every single thing, which is how I’d been feeling with CPS.

  • 153. RL Julia  |  June 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Esmom – thanks for your comments. I always secretly wondered how these things compared. It sounds like your life is a lot less complicated for moving. I think you hit the nail on the head about the hidden stresses of life in Chicago. If people aren’t jockeying around for schools, then they can use their time and energy for other more community oriented types of things (or not).

  • 154. Mayfair Dad  |  June 14, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Find out what’s going on at the school that’s building community interest, is featured in a great article in the Chicago Tribune, and has potential new programming. Join Bob Guercio, former Bell principal, and a group of parents who are working hard to make Lakeview High School a desirable option for all of us. Learn what you can do to help make your local high school a place you’d like to send your children.

    When: Thursday, June 23 at 7pm

    Place: Smarty Party, 1846 W. Belmont

    – Proposed curricular enhancements
    – Capital improvement priorities
    – Fundraising

    RSVP: Rachel at

    Looking forward to seeing you on June 23rd.

    North Side High School Initiative

  • 155. Hawthorne mom  |  June 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Werner was hired as the new principal at Lakeview.

  • 156. Stressed by CPS  |  June 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Very successful people can come from non SE schools or just average neighborhood schools. Mather High School on the northside has produced the founder of Paypal, a key person in the creation/launching of You Tube, an Alderman, CPS Administrators, Harvard Law graduates, actors, designers, just to name a few. The way the system lists all the top schools makes us think we should only enroll our children in the Top 5-10 city schools. And when they don’t get accepted for whatever reason, we thinking fleeing to the burbs or selling our right arm to pay for private school is the only option. But students who have the ability to thrive will do so wherever they go. We just have to stay supportive, stay on top of what they are doing, and allow the kids to find their way.

    Not every kid at Northside is a straight A student. Northside has had issues with kids drinking at school events, WY has had similar alcohol issues, there was something I read about Jones having drugs in the school, etc. We cannot think these SE are so perfect all the time. You may not hear everything or the problems may not be an everyday issue or the problems may lie only within a small perecentage of kids. But the bottom line is that we should continue to do our research as parents and share our knowledge with our kids and both parties should visit campuses. These kids have been made to feel as though they are not good enough if an SEHS rejects them.

    Of course there are some schools I would not send my child to. But we cannot put only SEHS or even SEES on our radar. And trust me when I say that there are many top schools that have horrible teachers and average schools that have teachers who will be the one who your child will be truly inspired by.

  • 157. Esmom  |  June 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

    @156 I hear you, and I absolutely agree that successful people have come from mediocre schools. My cousin, for example, went to Senn, then onto a small private college via full scholarship and then also got a full ride to Northwestern for his MBA at Kellogg. The fact is, though, is that many kids attend mediocre schools because they have no choice or their family doesn’t have the means to send them anywhere else.

    What finally pushed me over the edge was realizing that if I have the means and the opportunity to offer my kids the best resources available, why wouldn’t I? And I realized there just aren’t enough decent options. I didn’t want them to have to thrive in less then ideal circumstances, even though they probably could.

    Selfishly, I also realized I didn’t have the energy to help “build” a decent option. We “took a chance” on a brand-new TBPK program in an “up and coming school” when my kids were little and it was a fantastic experience, one that helped instill a lifelong love of learning in my kids. And we had continued good experiences in elementary school. But as high school approached, I felt like the risks were too great and the stress was just too much. Believe me it was an agonizing decision to leave the city.

  • 158. VC  |  August 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    There’s a rumor that Lake View HS is becoming a Selective Enrollment HS. Is this rumor true?

  • 159. cpsobsessed  |  August 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    There are no valid indications to support that rumor.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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