Brizard taking questions on WBEZ Thursday 11/3 at 7pm

November 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm 13 comments

Just a reminder that you can submit questions about SE and magnet schools tonight.  **Sorry, I originally had it listed as Tuesday night.  I was almost forced to listen to world news, but I quickly turned it off so I can watch the Simpsons with my son.  See, THIS is why we’re a nation of softies – nothing to do with our schools….**

November’s ‘Schools on the Line’: Selective enrollment and magnet schools

(WBEZ/Linda Lutton)

Some Chicago Public Schools are the cream of the crop—among the best in the state. But getting into those schools can be harder than getting into college nowadays.

On the next Schools on the Line, we ask: How well is Chicago’s system for selective enrollment and magnet schools working—and do these schools come at a cost to others?

Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard returns to Schools on the Line this Thursday, November 3 from 7pm-8pm to take your questions and comments about Chicago’s selective enrollment and magnet schools.

Have questions on the selection process or thoughts on the impact these schools have in Chicago? Suggestions on what could work better?

Call 312-923-9239 during the live broadcast, or submit your questions ahead of time. Here’s how…

To participate:

-Email questions to:
-Leave a question or comment for Mr. Brizard ahead of time by calling 312-948-4886
-Join the live broadcast at 7pm by sending an email or by calling 312-923-9239
-Twitter: @AskBrizard

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Meeting with Brizard! Lindblom Selective Enrollment HS and Academic Center

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kate  |  November 1, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Really..?? Magnets & SE are the topic? Talking about/to the 1%. WHat about the 99%??

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  November 1, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    They do different topics each month with him.
    And if people didn’t like to talk about that stuff, this blog wouldn’t exist. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 3. Linda Lutton, Education Reporter, WBEZ  |  November 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    @kate–We want this to be a very broad discussion about magnet/selective enrollment programs. The effect selective enrollment schools have on the rest of the system would also fall under this topic.
    Almost 28,000 elementary students attend magnet/selective enrollment schools (that’s roughly 9 percent of elem students).

    More than 12,000 students attend the city’s nine selective enrollment high schools. Another 6,000 attend magnet schools like the Ag School. That’s roughly 18,500 students, about 18-19 percent of all high school students.

    Linda Lutton

  • 4. CPS momma  |  November 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    So, what did everyone think of the CPS people’s responses?

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  November 4, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I listened in last night. It was sorta interesting, but admittedly given the extent to which we discuss stuff on here, it felt like so many of the questions are somewhat ‘basic” if you know what I mean.

    Luckily they also had Katie Ellis, from OAE on the show to answer people’s more specific questions.

    One of the key themes that JCB stressed was the “portfolio approach” whereby they will look at the city neighborhood by neighborhood and get “granular” (a word I hate, but I think it makes sense for CPS) to figure out where new schools are needed and what changes need to be made.

    He is definitely pro-charter in that he wants to bring in schools that show potential for success in neighborhoods that are lacking. (I think one of my questions to him will be how we evaluate the success of charters, particularly new charters.)

    In regards to the Tier system, they acknowledge that it is not perfect but that there isn’t a better way so far. They will adjust the Tiers each year to keep them as accurate as possible.

    He DOES sound like he really supports the idea of a consistent grading scale for the city. Although he rightly acknowledges that this is never going to be perfectly administered either because humans are humans (my own words.) A parent who called expressed concern that his gifted child who is in elem and supposedly doing 10-11th grade work will be at a disadvantage with grades for high school. JCB pointed out that grades are only 1/3 and that kids who are working that far ahead have the advantage of probably getting better test scores because they’ve been challenged so much.

    In regards to the neighborhood schools, he says he feels they SHOULD be a choice for everyone, but that is the big challenge here that can take 5-10 years. It is like moving a mountain (his words.)

    So there does not seem to be plans to do away with SE and magnet schools, nor the Tier system for now.

    I do love the parent who calls to ask “why can’t every school be like Whitney Young?” It reminds me that while we (here) all are big on the notion that a school’s “success” reflects its student base, there are many people in the city who feel that the top schools are inherently better at teaching, have better resources, have better everything. As JCB pointed out “we’re not sending twice as many textbooks to Whitney Young.”

  • 6. mom2  |  November 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    @cpsobsessed – since you mentioned that JCB wants to get granular in looking at where we need new schools, I’d once again like to recommend that CPS look at the SE high school application data to make that decision. Take a look at the addresses of every student that applies and meets their published cut-off score of 650 points. Remove those that get into a SE school within (let’s say) 5 miles of their home. Those remaining – that either must travel more than 5 miles or didn’t get into an SE high school – are the number of students that would benefit from another SE high school within 5 miles of their home. Then use that data to determine by facts rather than emotions where there is a need for another SE high school. Keep politics out of it.
    So, if you agree with looking at data that way, please share with him. Thanks so much.

  • 7. parental unit  |  November 4, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Huh? We just got a letter from OAE telling us one of our kid’s 7th grade “academic performance” (ISAT scores?) makes him eligible to take the SE HS enrollment exam. This is a kid with significant disabilities. We’re also in Tier 4.

    What are we supposed to do with this information? The kid is now in 8th grade and we’ve not toured schools, done test prep, figured out what scores are really needed to successfully compete for a seat, much less move to a lower tier (ha ha).

    Before we make any (wasted) effort about SE HS, please point us to information that would indicate if he has any real chance of admissions into any of the SE high schools. I guess that would be some kind of “cut off” score or points.

    Any guidance would be so appreciated?

  • 8. There has to be a better way...  |  November 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    They are not interested in adding SE seats. South Loop just informed its parents that they are phasing out the RGC, and that “The RGC will not relocate to another site prior to the current kindergarten gifted students eighth grade year.” South Loop wants the space for the neighborhood kids (which is needed – I admit that), but CPS has no interest in finding somewhere else that will allow the RGC to continue, and South Loop doesn’t want to let go of the kids they already have. (It might make their test scores drop a little too quickly for the neighborhood’s liking.)

  • 9. BuenaParkMom  |  November 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    After listening my biggest question to him would be how CPS can help interested parents/community members move those mountains 🙂 But specifically related to the schools in my ward 🙂

  • 10. cpsobsessed  |  November 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Very good question BPM!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 11. ChicagoNewbie  |  November 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    “It reminds me that while we (here) all are big on the notion that a school’s “success” reflects its student base, there are many people in the city who feel that the top schools are inherently better at teaching, have better resources, have better everything.”

    This is a great blog, but really? Is the idea that schools with adequate (or more than adequate resources) will do a better job educating students that foreign here? I’m not sure I’ve picked this up from reading your blog–but then again, I’m newbie.

    Part of the problem is this very notion that some populations (and their children) are hopeless. The belief that the “student base” is the most important determinant of school success is very unhelpful from a public policy standpoint. Even when charter schools do a great job with disadvantaged students, there is still an effort to dismiss this success by saying ‘oh they’re selective’. This focus on the assumed cultural deficit of certain populations rationalizes and perpetuates the status quo.

    Why bother with any reform if the idea is that no matter how many resources some populations have, they will never succeed? We have to start the journey somewhere or nothing will change. The belief that some children and communities are beyond help is not the first step in that journey.

  • 12. cpsmama  |  November 7, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Parental Unit: Link to last year’s cutoffs is below. Good luck.

    Click to access SEHS%202011-2012%20–%20First-Round%20Scores.pdf

  • 13. parental unit  |  November 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

    @ 12. cpsmama

    Thanks so much for that link. I have to be a quick study, as we’re way behind in the learning curve for SEHS. A first blush, it appears that it might not be worth the work to attempt admissions. But first we need to get all the numbers that go into the calculation.

    Where does one find a student’s stanine on the ISAT score sheet for the student?

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