SE High School Enrollment by Elementary School *exclusive data!

January 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm 449 comments

Lane Tech Auto Shop 1940

I have some very very interesting data that HSObsessed was kind enough to pursue via a CPS contact.  This has been blessed by them for external distribution, but unfortunately was somewhat time-consuming to create so it’s not an every-year thing.

This will show which Elementary Schools feed into the SE High Schools (and flipped flopped – where kids from some “prime” elem schools end up for High School.

As 2 fellow data lovers, we sat down together to look at the results to see what popped out as interesting.  Some kid points:

-Geography plays a huge role.  Even though kids CAN go anywhere in the city, there seem to be limits on how far they’ll travel daily for school.

*Northside pulls from Bell, Taft, Edison (not many south side students are attending NSCP, despite the   Tier system)
*Jones from South Loop, Sutherland, Healy, Keller

-I was struck by how each school is a total “melting pot” of kids from so so so many different schools.  We really matrix them up for high school. (not saying the schools are diverse, just that very few kids are going to high school with many kids they know from elem.)

-Many kids at the Academic Centers stay on for High School (most notably at Whitney Young.)  If WY takes 550 kids each year, 110 are from the AC.  Many of the Taft kids (41) went to Lane.  And the Lane dynamic will like switch now that they have an AC.

-The Magnet Elem Schools show a strong presence in SE high schools.  Not sure if this is because the kids have better scores (well, by nature, I guess they must) or if they have parents more willing to haul them around town.

-Lane Tech, so far, has been drawing more from Magnet and “high test score” schools throughout the city.

-Lincoln Park HS seems to be drawing kids from the “top” north side Elem Schools (obviously they have the IB program which causes some of that.)

-Lake View (included since we’ve been discussing it) is pulling from a wide range of schools, with maybe 8-10 kids from its actual feeder elem schools.  Interestingly, the top feeder schools at LVHS are kids coming from west of the district (but still may have bus access to the school) which indicated the schools status as a sort-of-magnet, pulling kids out of districts that parents may consider unacceptable.

-Hawthorne Elem: Nice showing, looks like at least half the kids go into SE high schools.

Some examples:

North Side College Prep freshmen came from:


Payton freshmen from:


Whitney Young from:


Brooks from:


The links are below.  Feel free to offer up any other interesting examples or insights.  I was left feelings kind of sad about high school: kids being dispersed across the city, friends being split up.  I guess I’ve heard a number of times that by 8th grade, kids are ready to move on to a different crowd of kids since many will be coming from smallish elem schools and have been with the same kids since Kindergarten!

*please see a clarification on Bell from a parent there in the comment section.

SE High Schools’ Incoming Freshmen by Elementary School:

Where SE/Magnet Elem Students went to HS:

Thank you HSObsessed for getting this interesting data!

Entry filed under: High school.

Rahm’s Education Town Hall 1/23 via Facebook Longer School Day

449 Comments Add your own

  • 1. anonymous  |  January 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Just checking, was that all the elementary schools represented at those high schools or were there others? I am guessing it was too difficult to figure out where Decatur kids go because of the 6th grade thing. But, I was looking for my neighborhood schools and it appeared as if virtually NONE of the kids got into good high schools.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  January 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Very good questions.

    Decatur will not show up since it doesn’t feed into any freshman classes.

    CPS did not include data for schools that sent 1 child to a school (for privacy reasons) so only 2+ are included.

    In theory, your local schools may have sent 1 child to each SE high school and they won’t show up anywhere.

    But that means so many high schools have a huge range of 1-2 kids from a ton of different elem schools.

    Such a difference from the suburbs…

  • 3. another cps mom  |  January 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Where do Mount Greenwood, Kellogg, and Clissold graduates attend, I wonder. Ag School? Jones, WMY, southside SE HSs? Morgan Park? Privates?

  • 4. xchicagoteacher  |  January 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    This data represent kids who graduated in 2010 when Huberman implemented the tier system and special exceptions for WY, NS, and WP.

  • 5. the heckler  |  January 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    What year(s) is this for? I don’t see my neighborhood school on here at all and I know more than 1 kid went to some of these last year. And, no private school numbers made available as in how many freshmen were from private schools?

  • 6. MarketingMom  |  January 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks for getting this data! This has been something I have been interested in seeing for a long time!

  • 7. anotherchicagoparent  |  January 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    3 children from Bell also went on to Payton from the 2010 graduating class.It is natural to feel sad about the children who spent so much time with each other being dispersed, but yes most children are definitely ready to move onto other friendships by the end of 8th grade. Through social networking it is easier for children to stay in touch. From my own experience my child has learned so much from meeting teens from other parts of the city.

  • 8. Anon  |  January 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    @1 While we can’t track Decatur students directly, traditionally they flow into the academic centers at Whitney Young and Taft. It would seem to me that Taft HS kids feeding into Northside are most likely predominately Decatur students who chose Taft.

  • 9. HSObsessed  |  January 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    This data is for 2011, that is, 8th graders graduating a CPS school in June 2011 and enrolling as freshmen in these CPS high schools in September 2011. My source was kind enough to provide the data for nine high schools that I asked for: Jones, Lane Tech, Lindblom, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Northside, Payton, Von Steuben, and Whitney Young. As CPSO said, the data only includes CPS schools that send two or more 8th graders to the high school’s freshmen class. So, a CPS elementary school that doesn’t show up on the list of one of these high schools means that it sent either one or no graduates. I don’t have any data on private school graduates.

  • 10. TwinMom  |  January 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Interesting! So the ENTIRE Bell class went to either NSCP or WY? Wow.

    As for breaking up the kids: FWIW, my Catholic grade school (also K-8) sent the 40 of us to about 7 different high schools (this was not in Chicago), both Catholic and public (there were no “private, non-parochial” high schools at the time in the city I grew up in), all over the city. We didn’t have cell phones or facebook back then, obviously, and still we never gave it a second thought (in fact, I had the choice to attend the school my two best 8th grade friends attended, and I opted to go elsewhere because I liked the school better). Maybe it’s because I had a true choice (unlike the kids applying for SE schools, who are at the mercy of their scores/principals)….but it wasn’t a big deal to me to that most of us went our separate ways after elementary school. And one of my two best 8th grade friends is still a friend today, despite the fact that we attended different high schools in an era without the nearly “constant contact” that kids can have today if they choose.

  • 11. cpsobsessed  |  January 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Regarding Bell, it may not nec be alll the gifted kids in those spots. Given the strong showing of other neighborhood schools, I bet some non-gifted kids got in too.
    I feel like a neighbor told me that something like 30-50 percent of the neighborhood kids got in SE high schools.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 12. HSObsessed  |  January 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Whoops, sorry, it was 10 high schools. Brooks is on the list as well.

  • 13. HSObsessed  |  January 15, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    @10 – I see that 16 from Bell went to NorthSide, and 15 went to Whitney Young. The entire class has about 100 kids.

  • 14. HS Mom was cps Mom  |  January 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    @4 yes, good point, 2010 was the first year of the tier system. Some schools also had lower grade scales. 2011 and 2012 will likely show different pictures with schools lowering their grading scales, redefinition of tiers and removal of special exceptions.

    It’s also interesting that only around 10 to 20% of SE HS population comes form magnet/SE grade schools.

    Any data on Westinghouse?

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  January 15, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Please see this clarification on Bell from a parent there: More interesting stuff! If only all schools could report this level of detail. Freedom of Information!!

    The 2011 graduates from Bell had 2 or more students attend the
    following CPS schools:
    Alcott: 2
    Amundsen: 2
    Illinois School for the Deaf: 5
    Jones: 3
    Lakeview: 11
    Lane: 10
    Lincoln Park: 10
    Northside: 13
    Von Steuben: 8
    Payton: 11
    Young: 8

    Bell also had the following 7th grade Academic Center attendees:
    Young: 4
    Lane: 5
    It looks like the Lane and Young numbers from the blog post included
    these AC kids in the totals.

    Bell is a big school with a diverse population including neighborhood,
    gifted and deaf kids so it tends to send students to a wide range of

  • 16. cpsobsessed  |  January 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    For anyone interested, this link has several old photos of CPS high schools, as well as St. Ignatius. Kinda cool…

  • 17. HS Mom  |  January 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    @9 – the numbers listed for A. Jackson are for 2010. 2011 had more students going to WY and Payton and 1 student to Northside, Most kids from Jackson opt for Whitney Young with the majority of those entering at 7th grade.

  • 18. cps alum  |  January 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I’m just wondering where this data came from. Is this 2010 or 2011 data? My local paper publishes this information every Sring for the all neighborhood schools nearby. Last spring they said that the 30 of 8th graders at Edgebrook, 3 were going to NSCP, 7 Lane, 1 Jones, 1 Lincoln Park, and 5 Taft (all others were private or other). On your spreadsheet I found 5 at NSCP, but I couldn’t find any at Lane. I know that kids change their minds, but I don’t think that all 7 kids intent on Lane will end up somewhere else.

    It would be interesting to see which tiers those kids from Bell, Edison, and Hawthorn come from. According to in 2006 Edgebrook (tier 4 neighborhood school) had 9 of 20 eighth graders go to NSCP. Last year they sent 3 of 30.

  • 19. anonymous  |  January 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    The numbers listed for Bell in the blog also look like 2010’s graduating class.2010’s class had more kids attending Whitney Young than Payton, as Payton accepted fewer freshman in 2010 than they did in 2011.

  • 20. TwinMom  |  January 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Ah, stupid me. I was counting the 31 kids in the RGC only. My bad. I don’t know how I could’ve forgotten about the neighborhood program, considering we live across the street from its attendance boundary (and therefore some of our neighbor/friends’ kids go to the neighborhood program). That makes more sense then.

  • 21. chicagodads  |  January 16, 2012 at 3:24 am

    In the second document, the list of SE/magnet schools seems incomplete. Where are, for example, Disney, Suder, Sabin, Mayer, and Inter-American? All of them are magnet schools, right? They appear in the first document so why not in the second one?

  • 22. HSObsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I’m double checking whether the data’s from 2011 or 2010. I had understood it was 2011, but perhaps it isn’t. I’ll let you know.

  • 23. HSObsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 8:48 am

    @21 – The second grid was reverse-engineered by me manually, by simply selecting the K-8 schools that seemed to have the largest numbers of kids going to these high schools. I could add others, but they would have very low numbers.

  • 24. Coldout  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

    This data can’t be from last year – this year’s hs freshman class. At least 10 kids from Wildwood IB (tier 4) went to Lincoln Park. They are not even on the list.

  • 25. also obsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Hmm, I am wondering how accurate the information is. Waters had 6 or 7 go to one of the SEs (lane) and 3-4 go to Lincoln. 1 went to Northside so I understand why that is not published, but I know there were others beside only
    the Von Stuben this list shows.

    Just sayin…..

  • 26. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I think a key question I have (assuming HSObsessed can find this out from her source) is whether the elem info is self-reported, or if CPS tracks it via student number (which would explain why they do not have private school data.)

    Self-reporting of elem school could lead to more inconsistencies. I also wonder about kids who got in through late rounds of offers?

    Only one way to know, which is to see if the data person will give more details….

  • 27. Chicagodads  |  January 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

    HSObsessed, it might be good to clearly state that then in the document. Otherwise it appears that only those schools you list had students who went to SE high schools.

  • 28. HS Mom  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:03 am

    @26 – the numbers listed for A. Jackson agree with 2010 after all late rounds, principals discretion and accepted offers. My guess is that this is 2010-2011 enrollment.

    Which, by the way, is some very useful information. It would be interesting to see how this compares to 2011 and really 2012 (being the only year of no change).

  • 29. mom  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

    lots of catholic school grads at lane.

  • 30. anonymous  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Like HS Mom said about Jackson, the numbers listed for Bell also match 2010 after all late rounds and PD and after kids turned down schools to go to others.I would love to see the private and parochial numbers sometimes it seems like more than a third of the children are from private, parochial schools in SE high schools.

    Thanks so much for compiling this list for the data heads and sharing.

  • 31. anonymous  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Love to see private and parochial numbers, too.

  • 32. goingtogermany0693  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

    @21 Dad, Suder is a relatively new school. I don’t know if they are to capacity (8th grade) as of yet. They opened in the Fall of 2006. I have a friend with children in grades 1st and K and she is active in the school. Perhaps I could ask her if she has info.

  • 33. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Before I got excited about analytics, I see the data is suspect or incomplete – my daughter’s Lincoln Elementary class sent 8 to Payton (but it was right about the 8 going to Northside) this Fall.

  • 34. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

    So seems like it may represents last year’s freshmen class. HSO has inquired.
    So one “take-away” would be that results can differ a lot year to year….

    Possibly as a result of the tier system, possibly as the result of the range of possible outcomes in a giant matrix system like this.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 35. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    It would be awesome if this indeed were 2010 (Tier system year 0) and we could then get 2011 as well, as the tiers are adapted to. I think NSCP did have to reach farther to diversify this year. Also, Payton has a weird little “dip year” cycle owing to overenrollment and then compensatory underenrollment at its inception – there are about 250 kids in each class this year, .except. 150 in the class of 2014.

  • 36. anonymous  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Regardless of whether these are 2010 or 2011 numbers, the data appears to show that there are a very limited number of elementary schools sending large percentages of kids to good high schools. When a school has only 1 kid getting into Lane or Payton or whatever, that is shocking. I know there is only a certain number of spots, but it doesn’t bode well for families who didn’t win a ticket to the best performing schools.
    I was surprised though to see how few kids from Disney 1 get into SEHS. They graduate around 200 (maybe a little more, maybe a little less) kids each year, right? But their numbers on the list provided are incredibly small.

  • 37. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I agree! It is sort of disheartening to feel like a kid at each school has a long shot at an SE high school. On the other hand, it shows that kids from almost any school seem to have a shot at it, which is encouraging.
    Ultimately, it depends a lot on the kid and a bit on the school, I suspect.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 38. Angie  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    FYI, Whitney Young has a deaf program, so the Bell acceptance numbers probably include some of the kids who came from their deaf elementary classes.

    I’m curious about the 32 Ogden students who got into Lincoln Park HS. Ogden used to be a feeder school for LP, which would explain these numbers for previous years. However, in 2011 they already had their own HS. Did so many of the Ogden kids really apply and were accepted to LP SE program instead of staying where they are, or is this a mistake?

  • 39. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    That is all of lincoln park high school, not just the selective portion – that may help explain it?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 40. anonymous  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hey northsiders!

    Do you have numbers for Lindblom, King, etc.?

  • 41. Angie  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    @39. cpsobsessed: yes, but my point is that Ogden kids don’t get into LP automatically any more. They have to apply and be accepted to get in.

  • 42. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    But is it not likely that many may get in via the neighborhood program? (I have no idea as I’m not really familiar with that area…)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 43. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you HSO! This is great to see. And a little scary at the same time.

  • 44. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Lindblom is in there.

  • 45. RLJulia  |  January 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    @37 – Here’s a story that might explain the low enrollment numbers from neighborhood schools – my neighborhood school recently rolled up to include 7th and 8th grade resulting in their now getting ready to graduate the first 8th grade class in decades. Of a class of 66 or so kids, 63 were eligible to take the SEHS exam. Since the school is committed to the kids going to the best high school they can get into, they actively took an initiative to provide kid-specific high school counseling which took about an hour per family (which they did at night and on weekends). Thus all the kids at this school have applied to all the schools people want their kids to go to. While there are plenty of parents savvy enough to manage the multiple application process – there are plenty of test-eligible kids whose family’s do not have the time, information, support etc… to pursue the sehs/ib/etc… application process in a way that would garner results (especially for the schools who require essays interviews etc…). If you look at the tables posted, only a few kids from the school my neighborhood school used to feed to for middle school are represented – but this middle school didn’t provide this sort of in depth support and the parent group wasn’t going to be able to manage the system on their own – even if their kids were test-eilgible. I can’t wait to hear the results – of who goes where and who gets in where.

  • 46. Angie  |  January 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    @ 42. cpsobsessed: I take it back. Just double-checked the attendance area, and there is still a part of Ogden elementary boundary that has LP as their neighborhood high school. So that would explain it.

  • 47. HSObsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    No word yet from my source…will keep you updated. I suspect that I misunderstood and it’s data from 2010 8th graders, but I’ll find out.

    @46 – Yes, part of Ogden K-8’s boundary is within Lincoln Park HS’s enrollment boundary. That combined with the fact that the Ogden 6-8 International Gifted program (formerly “Pre-IB”) basically preps kids for the IB program at LPHS makes it unsurprising that so many Ogden kids go to LPHS. I’d love to know the number of Ogden 8th graders who enroll at Ogden HS. Maybe MFD knows?

    Speaking of LPHS, I read this weekend on the LPHS website that they enroll about 2300 students total, about 75% admitted through their citywide magnet programs (which is about 431 spots per freshman year), and was surprised to see that they got exactly 5,161 applicants last year for those freshman spots.

  • 48. RainToday  |  January 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    47 – Don’t be surprised. Lots of Tier 4 kids go to LP for the IB and double honors – because their chances of getting into other Good SE high schools is bad.

  • 49. anon  |  January 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    @Angie I know 1 of the 15 entering Whitney from Bell’s 2010 class was from the deaf department

  • 50. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    The timing on this is great, because I have been struggling with if I should or shouldn’t sign my daughter up for selective prep. If we weren’t in tier 4 she wouldn’t need it as she always gets in the 90’s (even 99’s in the math section some years), but I feel like due to the tiers I have to. If she didn’t need a near perfect score in tier 4 for many of the top SEHS’s I wouldn’t even consider it. She will do well on the ISAT’s no matter what, but unfortunately that may not be good enough.

  • 51. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    A friend of mine with a daughter in private school said that since ALL the parents were going to do SelectPrep, they hired them to come do the classes at the school. Just part of the edge of the privates….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 52. xCPS  |  January 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    51 – Groups of students have done that in the past in CPS schools. They each pay but the prep goes on in 1 place at 1 time for all intersted (paying) students.

  • 53. RL Julia  |  January 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    so much for a fair and equitable selection system.

  • 54. Rain  |  January 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    53 – there is nothing fair about the system. The test prep doesn’t guarantee admission into anything. Tier and lots of other factors that are getting really boring here. If the City stopped paying pensions to underserving people, there might be money to put towards a few more decent, safe high schools.

  • 55. Inquiring minds  |  January 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    What I would love to see on this is the # of graduating 8th graders per class. Remember Taft has around 120 graduates a year so their numbers are not as impressive as they seem at first blush.

  • 56. Mumof2  |  January 16, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I too am going to add that I think that this is data from 2010. As I know that in 2011 at least 4 (maybe more) students went to Payton from O.A. Thorp, and that in 2010 although 2 students were accepted to Payton they moved out of the CPS system, and hence did not enroll.

  • 57. RLJulia  |  January 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Rain – thanks. As a city employee who doesn’t expect to see her pension (as it will have gone bust long before I will be able to retire), I appreciate your thoughtful, timely solution to the City’s high school quality issues. The CIty’s municipal pension and the teacher’s pension (never mind the police and fireman’s pension and county pension) funds are all completely separate funds governed by their own archaic rules, but, that’s a minor concern- the city could solve all sorts of problem by throwing this money at it.

    Yeah, you are right, test prep doesn’t guarantee anything but apparently it must mean something since it is viable, profitable business in Chicago that if nothing else apparently gives people some peace of mind…. that is apparently worth paying for.

    On a nicer note – Taft does graduate about 120 eighth graders but quite a few of them stay at Taft for the IB program. The sense I get is that if they don’t feel like they have a shot at the SEHS’s they just stay for the IB program at Taft. You’d really have to see what schools Taft’s IB program was pulling from to see for sure.

  • 58. HSObsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve just now added into the reverse-engineered grid the numbers for Disney and Healy. Healy is a neighborhood/magnet cluster school in the Chinatown-ish/Bridgeport area, and it jumped out at me because it sends large numbers of kids to Whitney Young, LPHS, and Lake View. If you have any K-8 schools you’re dying to have me add, you can put in your request.

    I also added a column with the approximate number of 8th grade graduates from each school in 2010, based on the number of 8th graders taking the ISATs in 2010 (no definitive word yet, but I’m going with the assumption this is 2010 data).

  • 59. CuriousGirl  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I too believe that data is 2010, not 2011. NS has 6 Beaubien kids this year, not 8.
    Right too about the Edgebrook comment. Only 2 kids went to NS this year and 0 to Payton, WY or Jones. The numbers to SE schools near Edgebrook, like NS, have been going down dramatically but I don’t know why.
    Thank you for your hard work to pull this together. It’s very informative.

  • 60. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Oh yeah, I forgot about the discussion on the chinatown schools. Those tigermoms are clearly directing their kids to certain high schools. If that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is…..

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 61. HSObsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I had to refresh my memory on the changes from the spring 2010 to the spring 2011 SEHS admissions: For both years, the tier system was in effect. However, the changes that were put in place for the 2011 admissions were that a sixth tier criteria was added (this changed almost nothing, IMHO), the 5% principal discretion was abolished, and the percentage of kids selected by scores alone was reduced from 40% to 30%. Just sharing in case anyone else couldn’t remember the details.

  • 62. HSObsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    @60 – Yeah, the other one that caught my eye is Haines, the neighborhood school for Chinatown. They have approximately 63 8th graders, and send double digits to certain schools: 10 to LPHS, 14 to Lake View.

  • 63. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 16, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    HSO, I would love to see where all the Wildwood kids go.

  • 64. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    @57 I believe I remember the Taft AC Coordinator telling me that about 40 kids stay.

  • 65. HSObsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    @63, I added Wildwood.

    However, I’m signing off for now.

  • 66. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks very much HSO.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 67. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Thank you! 🙂

  • 68. KCK  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    @58, Healy is a neighborhood/magnet cluster school and it offers a comprehensive gifted program in Grades 1 -8. If kids are from the neighborhood, most likely they are from Tier 2.

  • 69. Curious2011  |  January 17, 2012 at 8:20 am

    @cpsobsessed & HSObsessed, What schools send the majority of students to Westinghouse College Prep? Sabin? Pulaski? Ames Middle School??? Any data on Westinghouse???

  • 70. HSObsessed  |  January 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

    OK, I have confirmation from my friend that this is indeed data for freshmen enrolled during the 2010-2011 school year. My friend did this by matching the student numbers from the Explore tests taken by freshmen at these high schools that academic year to the ISAT student numbers associated with 8th graders the prior year of 2009-2010. A student here or there might not be captured by this data if for some reason they didn’t take the 8th gr ISAT or the Explore exam, or transferred from the school, etc. But for the most part, this should be correct. A big thank you to my friend for doing this! I’m personally just used to downloading ready made Excel files, and don’t ever think about the work necessary to create the spreadsheets.

  • 71. HSObsessed  |  January 17, 2012 at 8:36 am

    @69 — I’m sorry but I had to limit my request, so I’ve published all the HS data I have.

  • 72. Mayfair Dad  |  January 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Wow, if I’m running the Taft AC I don’t know if I’m proud or pissed. Proud that Taft AC students do so well at SE high school acceptance, pissed that they don’t stay at Taft HS. Maybe with a dynamic new principal this will change.

    The Ogden > LPHS numbers don’t surprise me. The Ogden HS is unproven, LPHS IB and double-honors has a track record. Many Ogden families chose LPHS over Ogden HS.

  • 73. Rain2  |  January 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

    63 – Wildwood class of 2011 – 3 Northside (1 was PD), 1 Jones, 2 or 3 Peyton, Lane 9?, Lincoln Park 10?, Taft 8?, 10 Notre Dame 10?, etc. Class of 2011 was 55 kids, 1/3 were outside neighborhood attendance so they went to schools like Shurz, Westinghouse, Senn, etc. The numbers for SE schools have been falling in recent years. 5 SMOW went to NS.

  • 74. PTA Southside Mom  |  January 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

    It would be nice if CPS published this data so that parents could make a full informed choice when selecting schools.

  • 75. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  January 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Hawthorne is my outlier of choice. If I’m not mistaken, this is a lottery-based admission school, so I’d expect their admissions to NSCP and Payton to be in line with gen. pop. or at least with peers like lottery magnets LaSalle and Disney. They have the second highest “Payton+NSCP” placement rate (22%) next to Edison’s unsurprising first (57%)

    This demonstrates, to me, either:
    (a) they’re not really a random lottery magnet – something else is going on.
    (b) they’ve latched on to some kind of secret sauce (perhaps grade inflation + intensive prep for ISAT and SEHS exam)
    (c) there is a disproportionate and huge number of applicants who would otherwise test into gifted or pre-IB

  • 76. ChicagoGawker  |  January 17, 2012 at 11:45 am

    HS Obsessed, Is the number of admissions from which privates/parochials even public information? Is it possible to get this info from your sources?

  • 77. CraZy  |  January 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    75 what tiers are the students from?

  • 78. Unhinged22  |  January 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    76 – Not public info — just like their test scores

  • 79. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  January 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    77 – Well, it’s in West Lakeview so I’m guessing the proximity lottery is bringing in mostly tier 4’s. The % of low income students is 13% (a lower percent than Lincoln Elementary in Lincoln Park)

  • 80. cpsobsessed  |  January 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    @75 regarding Hawthorne, my guess is a combo of good students (educated, involved parents) + good admin/teachers (I remember seeing something on their site about recruiting parents for special math tutoring which I thought was great) + it’s possible that in the years when principal discretion was still allowed the school may have chosen to fill open spots with more “motivated” parents and/or students who had proven to be good students elsewhere. This option was open to any school, really, but I think a school like Hawthorne probably had educated parents beating down their door more often than other schools. I have known someone who was highly motivated and seemed to weasel her child in for K several years ago, bypassing the waiting list. My understanding is that with the elimination of princ discretion that this wouldn’t happen any more.

  • 81. northsider  |  January 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    For @76 or anyone interested:

    From Queen of Angels on the northside, 2011 graduating class:

    Jones College Prep – 1
    Lane Tech – 5
    Northside College Prep – 2
    Payton – 1
    Von Steuben – 1

    Nine remaining students – two to Gordon Tech, two to Loyola Academy, one to Resurrection and four to St. Ignatius College Prep.

    Can you imagine having a graduating class with 19 students? Unreal!

  • 82. James  |  January 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for getting the data, HSObsessed. It’s limited, but interesting nevertheless.

    On the changes that were made from Year 1 of the tier system to Year 2 of the tier system (your post #61), I’m not sure you got all the changes correct. You are right that they added a sixth factor to the mix when determining which tier a particular census tract went into. But, unlike you, I don’t think that was a trivial changes. It certainly had an effect on my tier, for example. You are also correct that they reduced the percentage of kids admitted by pure rank from 40% to 30%. But you’re mistaken that they eliminated principal discretion. It still existed last year. I know of several kids who took a shot at it.

    One other factor that changed that you didn’t mention is that CPS prohibited individual SE HSs from setting a school-specific cutoff in Year 2 of the tier system. In other words, they had to fill 17.5% of the their class from Tier 1 no matter how low the scores were (assuming they were at least over the 650 basic SE cutoff). This had two effects. First, it meant that Tier 1 kids were admitted to schools like Northside and Payton with dramatically lower scores than the year before. Northside’s drop was particularly extreme. In Year 1 of the tier system, its lowest scoring Tier 1 kid scored 850, the school-specific cutoff that Northside had established. In Year 2 of the tier system, after that cutoff had been eliminated, its lowest scoring Tier 1 kid was at 792, a drop of nearly 60 points. The other effect this elimination of cutoff scores had was that it reduced the number of kids from the other three tiers that could be admitted. In Year 1 of the tier system, the spots originally allotted to Tier 1 kids that could not be filled because there weren’t enough Tier 1 kids who scored over the school-specific cutoff were distributed among the other three tiers. This may have amounted to only an additional spot or two, but every spot counts with the stakes like this.

  • 83. Chicagodads  |  January 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Could everybody just acknowledge the obvious correlation here between income level and outcomes? Of course a school like Hawthorne with a 13% low income population and whose parent association raises $250K/year largely via parent contributions is going to do better than a school with 50% or higher rate. Is there really any contention about that?

    Also I realize this data gathering is well intentioned, but all this does is set back the nascent neighborhood school revitalization that I am seeing develop and drive parents back into the zero sum game of getting their kid into one of these top performing feeder schools. It is a race to nowhere.

  • 84. cpsobsessed  |  January 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    @83: I don’t think anyone has every felt it was a secret that income and outcome is correlated. Despite the fact that I keep saying that you can find data on education to prove and point, I believe that data is all consistent.
    Anecdotely, I have heard about Hawthorne’s rigor, test-based teaching (whether good or bad) and other academic efforts that I frankly don’t see in other schools.

    I think a question I am left with is why magnets like LaSalle and Hawthorne have managed to skew so incredibly low on the low-income thing. I suppose the Tier system will help balance this out (while the neighborhood factor in magnets simultaneously unbalances it…..

  • 85. 2 great kids  |  January 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    My physician’s kids go to Hawthorne. Trust me–he’s not hurting financially. He and his wife are big donors of time and money to the school, as well. We’re talking about some well-off people here, like Tiers 5-10! LOL. Do many low-income families really want to send their kids to a predominately rich school? Sure, their kids test well and could do the work, but let’s think about the peer pressure factor for a second. And let’s think about the commute. You want your kid to “fit in” as best they can and have friends they can hang with afterschool sometimes. Also a long drive or public transit haul can be deal-breakers–not worth the aggravation. This translates to kids in that fairly well-off area applying to that school and others staying closer to home. Mystery solved.

  • 86. C'mon  |  January 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    85 – It’s free and if it’s safe most people will find a way to send the kids there. Lots of people like freebies and/or they aren’t religious enough to send kids to religious / private schools.

  • 87. in the neighborhood  |  January 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    “Northside CPS Obsessed” for this post.

  • 88. cpsobsessed  |  January 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Hard to write about what I don’t know, eh?
    But I welcome guest posts and of course shared info on any parts of the vast city of close to 700 schools.

    WordPress is free. I encourage a Southside parent to start a relevant blog and I’m happy to share links if one already exists. Knowledge is power.

    Rock on.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 89. anonymous  |  January 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    @75, there may be something to the whole idea of Hawthorne having a lot of kids who did or would test into gifted or classical schools. I know many families who turned down gifted schools so as to ensure their entire family could attend Hawthorne instead of shleping them around to multiple schools.
    Hawthorne also spends a ton of time investing in reading and writing, has a ton of extra staff devoted to reducing class sizes in those subjects and has very, very few ESL kids. There is also an attitude that, I believe is right on, that kids and parents are going to work every bit as hard as school staff. I am sure there are other schools like it, and I believe these are the reasons for its success rate. That and the sheer number of families making six figures or more.

  • 90. HSObsessed  |  January 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    @82 James, Thanks, I had forgotten the school-specific cut off change as well.

    Re: the sixth criteria being added in to determine tier level: I would love to know how many census tracts actually changed from one tier to another. I eyeballed the two maps in color showing the tracts before and after the sixth criteria was added, and the changes seemed very few, but I recognize that’s a pretty crude measure.

    In any case, though, because an equal number of students are put into each tier, it doesn’t matter if one tract is reassigned, because another one changes in counterbalance. That is, your tract may have gone from 3 to 4, but another one elsewhere then went up from 4 to 3. Therefore, although individual students may have been affected by a different tier assignment, as a whole, there are still the same number of students in each tier.

  • 91. jill  |  January 18, 2012 at 8:16 am

    @84 The tier system cannot work, and this was obvious from the start. Tiers are based on census areas, not verified individual household data. So in northside affluent magnet schools, you get mostly white, affluent families in Tier 4, and almost as many white affluent families from Tiers 2 and 3. These are “gentrifiers” who have moved into neighborhoods like Logan Square or Uptown. As a dataset, more of them apply from these Tiers than the low-income families (to whom the policy is ostensibly directed). More upper income families apply to magnets and SES. Finally, my guess is that few children from Tier 1 apply to these schools because of the distance, and the schools then fill the remainder of the spots with applicants from the other Tiers. In SE, I would venture that Tier 4 kids get almost twice as many spots as other Tiers: first the kids who get in on scores alone are probably mostly Tier 4, then same as above…shampoo, rinse and repeat.

  • 92. HS Mom  |  January 18, 2012 at 9:58 am

    @90 – the tiers may have equal number of students but I wonder how this compares to the number of students qualified to apply for selective enrollment. It seems that tier 3 and 4 would have a larger pool of kids to compete with.

  • 93. chicago mom  |  January 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I am a parent of an 8th grader in a neighborhood school. I am a wreck about this HS thing. My son is a top student and is taking the SE HS test this weekend. We as parents need to do something to help this system. It is unfair to all. It is nuts that we need to apply to High Schools before we have taken the test for admissions. That leaves 33% out of the equation even before we apply! There is too much pressure for students and parents. This website is great for info but we need to do more. How do you even explain to your child they are a great kid, great student, great person but it just isnt enough. What a sad lesson!

  • 94. anon7777777  |  January 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    93 – you are so right. It’s especially sad because private schools kids going to private hs (for the most part) and suburban public school kids to not have entrance pressure like city kids do. They get it for college admission.

  • 95. JD  |  January 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    While I am glad CPSObsessed was able to create these files based on the data provided from CPS, there seems to be (at least on this blog) a much larger appetite for a more comprehensive, historical, and data visualization-friendly view at the varying rates of 8th-to-9th grade progression.

    If you haven’t seen this site yet (, check it out. The guys behind this site take readily available structured data sets from the City of Chicago and built a simple, visually effective app that allows for easy navigation.

    Imagine if the public could view not just one year’s 8th-to-9th progression data but the last 5 years, or 10 years.

    That would be something.

  • 96. RL Julia  |  January 19, 2012 at 8:01 am

    72- Mayfair Dad, I think Taft is just as conflicted about this as you. While I have been generally happy and impressed with Taft’s AC program, my son very quickly picked up the idea from other students at the AC (I am hoping this is just in his class) that Taft was regarded as a distant second to Whitney and pretty much a holding tank until they could go somewhere better (read SEHS).

    We sent him to Taft thinking that he would/could go to high school there but it was clear early in 7th grade that my son got more ambitious. I am not sure why there is this morale -we actually chose Taft as his first choice because we thought it would be a better fit for him and because the curriculum was a little different – kids take an art elective, a language and a computer instead of choosing two out of the three. According to him, aside from the kids in the neighborhood, just about everyone else at Taft is there because they didn’t get into Whitney. I doubt this is completely true -although the high transfer numbers to other high schools do bear this idea out. I just hope that this way of thinking doesn’t get worse for Taft now that they have to compete with Lane as well.

  • 97. cpsmama  |  January 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Re: Hawthorne’s SEHS success: There is a neighborhood & sibling preference at Hawthorne that allows them to maintain their high test scores & low income rates. They probably only take a handful of true lottery students each year.

    Re: Taft AC: unfortunately, RL Julia, your son is correct. Most attend Taft AC b/c they didn’t get into WY or Lane AC. In my opinion, that is b/c Taft is not an SEHS and WY & Lane are. Also, there is a stark difference b/w some of Taft HS’s neighborhood students and a typical AC or SEHS student. I’m sure students are a bit wary of some of the rougher Taft HS students. As a parent, I was happy that my child didn’t want to stay at Taft for the IB program (even though it is a solid program) b/c there was too much negativity (fights, smoking, cutting school) going on in the HS population. .Plus the “uniform” which is a small but annoying requirement at Taft.

    Like Mayfair Dad, I wonder if a new prinicipal will be able to change Taft’s lstatus for its AC grads.

  • 98. RL Julia  |  January 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I totally concur with you about the uniform requirements and the negativity – Its too bad, the school had more going for it than not but it loses students on the not. Maybe if there was more autonomy (like there is at SEHS’s or Lincoln/Ogden etc…) the students would be prouder to go there.

  • 99. KD  |  January 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    HSO. Thanks much for sharing. Can you add Keller? I think the data looks like this:

    WY 5
    Payton 4
    Jones 4
    Lindblom 2
    Linc Pk 3
    Lane 2

    Approx # 2010 grads = 28.

    I heard Keller had 9 kids go to the WY Academic Center. Anyway to get data on who gets into WYAC?

  • 100. HSObsessed  |  January 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    @99 – I have added Keller. Those are some long commutes, like to Lane Tech! For those who don’t know Keller, it’s a regional gifted center near 108th and Kedzie, in Mt. Greenwood.

    I don’t have any data for the ACs, and I’ve never seen it posted anywhere, unfortunately.

  • 101. Neighborhood Mama  |  January 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Re: Hawthorne’s success, I think it’s worth pointing out that out of 12 CPS schools that I toured, the administration there was the only one that actually talked about standardized tests during the tour. In fact, the tests (DIBELS, ISAT, Scantron, Common Core) were the focus of their own slide during the slideshow. Hawthorne is also very organized about breaking the classes into ability-based groups early on.

  • 102. Anon62606  |  January 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you HSObsessed & CPS Obsessed for sharing the information and for the work you’ve put in those spreadsheets (the reverse engineered one especially). Might not be 100 % accurate, but at least it gives me an idea of how historically (for one year) the Elem Schools fed into these SE High Schools.

  • 103. CPSDepressed  |  January 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Okay, we’re Tier 4, my son had 3 As and a B last year, 98/90 percentiles on his ISATs, and we just got notice that he has been rejected by the Lincoln Park IB program.

    I think we’re moving to the suburbs.

  • 104. Debi  |  January 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    We are all in the same boat. We need to have a march in order to get the system changed!

  • 105. HS Mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    @103 hang in there. Don’t rule out the selective enrollment schools yet. Got my fingers crossed for you.

    @104 unfortunately, people don’t get on board with this until 7th or 8th grade. I’ll join your march though 😉

  • 106. 8th gr mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    @103 What kind of notice did you get from LP? I didn’t know they sent out “rejections”….

  • 107. chicago mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    You dont get rejection letter you just dont get interview to that school. We as parents need to help make change without moving to burbs!!!!

  • 108. CPSDepressed  |  January 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Yeah, Chicago Mom is right. It was a letter saying he would not get an interview.

    It’s so odd, this idea that only kids in the 99th percentile deserve a good education. I considered fighting with the teacher over the B, but I didn’t want to be That Parent. Now I wish I had been.

    He also took the Catholic test. That’s looking like the best option, because I’m wondering if his scores are even high enough for Lane Tech now.

  • 109. chicago mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    The entire thing stinks. Tiers, grades etc!!!!!

  • 110. 8th gr mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    The reason I ask is that we have received two notices re:IB interviews. The first listed the other programs but did not include LP and I assumed we were “out of the running” for LP; the second letter (rec’d Friday) did include LP and we rec’d letter specific to LP interview same day. Go figure….

  • 111. chicago mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    You got it!! Doesn’t make sense. Nothing does except we all want the best or our kids!!! Let’s MARCH!!!

  • 112. mom2  |  January 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    cpsdepressed – don’t give up hope. My child had all A’s, but did slightly worse than your son on the ISATs and got into Lane near the bottom of tier 4 during first round. We love Lane!!!
    Also, several friends didn’t get into the IB program at Lincoln Park, but did get into double honors and I believe they are all pretty happy there.
    This is why I am praying that Lakeview High School offers a similar approach (IB and double honors) like they do at Lincoln Park. The IB attracts the families that care about education and that snowballs into a better school because they end up staying for the double honors (which is still quite a step up from the regular neighborhood program).

  • 113. HSObsessed  |  January 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    @103 – I agree that you shouldn’t give up hope for the SEHS.

    Also, did your son also apply for the LP double honors/AP program? The admission criteria are lower but MANY very bright students attend and are happy there. (That’s my personal plan for my kid: double honors/AP at LPHS.) I that there used to be separate applications for the IB v. the other LP HS programs, but I I recall the AVP saying at the open house that it’s now one consolidated application. If that’s true, then your son could also still get an acceptance from LPHS HH/AP. Good luck.

  • 114. HSObsessed  |  January 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    ^^^ should read “I THINK that there used to be a separate application… I THINK I recall the AVP saying it’s now one consolidated app…”

  • 115. BeenThere2  |  January 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    108 – Considering all the CPS nonsense (which will only get worse) investigate the private school option. Many of those schools offer scholarships, advanced classes, etc. Well worth looking into. Hang in there.

  • 116. chicago mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    We also applied to private and spaces also limited! Does anyone know anything about Odgen or Senn IB HS?

  • 117. anonymous  |  January 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Senn has a good, newish principal who is working her rear off. She got rid of the “achievement academy” which housed kids who aged out of 7th and 8th grade, but who couldn’t graduate. Those kids caused a lot of problems. Still, Senn has a lot of gang kids and there are many issues there. Even with the IB program, I wouldn’t send my kid. Maybe in 5 years, but now, no way. Ogden is likely to be better.

  • 118. chicago mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks for info.

  • 119. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    CPSdepressed, I cannot get your situation out of my head. Make sure your child knows they did awesome! I am sure you have told them, but let them know others feel the same. Those are scores to be proud of as well as grades to be proud of! Damn CPS. It is so sad that because of the neighborhood you live in you will have a hard time with SE schools.

    My daughter is in the AC at Taft and I have heard and read great things about their IB program. I am happy with the AC so far. Not sure if Taft is an option, but check out the info at…

    Click to access Why%20Taft%20IB%20Flyer.pdf

    I have read many times on this site it is not where you go, but what you do once you get there! Good luck!

  • 120. susan  |  January 24, 2012 at 2:07 am

    #54 Rain. comment about pensions going to undeserving people pretty offensive. people working in the school systems and other government systems pay into a pension fund INSTEAD of social security. pension payments aren’t a merit plan, they are a retirement plan. I don’t believe any of us are denied social security because we are “undeserving” — the only test is whether we paid in enough to qualify, not whether we were really good little worker bees.

  • 121. chicago mom  |  January 24, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Do any AC Taft kids stay for HS?

  • 122. 2day  |  January 24, 2012 at 9:16 am

    121 – Not too many. They usually go to Lane, private or SE. If Taft IB is your only option, you will be fine. It’s the general classes you don’t want your kid in.

  • 123. HS Mom  |  January 24, 2012 at 9:28 am

    @120 – have you read a newspaper lately about the abuses in pension funds, double dipping was considered SOP. These pensions are also funded by taxpayers – you know, the funding that everyone is worried about for our kids education. Not everyone is doing this of course but the abuses are significant.

  • 124. cpsobsessed  |  January 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Does anyone know why they can’t switch public employees over to social security?
    It seems like that would pacify the masses.

    Pensions have been pretty much phased out in the private sector.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 125. CPSDepressed  |  January 24, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Because of the separation of powers between the states and the federal government, state and municipal employees cannot be required to pay into social security. Some have opted in, but others figured that they could offer their employees better benefits for less money by staying out of social security. We all know how well that’s worked! On top of that, employers are required to pay their FICA contributions, but a lot of states and municipalities wanted the ability to defer their pension contributions in bad times, and again, we all know how well that worked.

    And the double-dipping, featherbedding, etc., hasn’t helped.

    All that aside, it’s good to know that so many neighborhood high schools are trying to beef up their programs. The bad news is that they won’t be ready this year. But soon, soon. Right?

  • 126. Debi  |  January 24, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Thanks for Taft info

  • 127. anonymous  |  January 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    HSObsessed, while I’m pleased to see many of the southside SEHS included on this list, I was surprised and disappointed to see King omitted. I know that King is sometimes overlooked, but it can be a great option for strong students who might not be able to get into the most selective SEHS. It has a good variety of programs, many excellent teachers, and a very caring principal.

    Even if it’s too late to add a column for King, can you make sure it gets included in future posts? The increased support for Lindblom on this blog is great and well-deserved, but King deserves a second look, too.

  • 128. HSObsessed  |  January 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    @127, I will note that for next time, thanks.

  • 129. Urban Mommy  |  January 27, 2012 at 9:57 am

    CPS Obsessed – Do you have data regarding which private schools feed to the selective enrollment high schools? I think this is just as interesting and important for parents to know. I assume you got info on all students admitted to SEHS and therefore could backwards engineer this info too.

  • 130. cpsobsessed  |  January 27, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I don’t believe that CPS would have this info. They can track CPS students by their student number but they have no way to track private school students. For example, each private school would need to be assigned a tracking number, etc. And frankly, I don’t think that’s on CPS’ radar.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 131. Chicago mom  |  January 27, 2012 at 10:10 am

    There is a very high number of anshe meet students getting into Payton. Very high!

  • 132. msg  |  January 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Taft’s IB program blows. Taft’s AC program blows too. The only thing both these programs have going for them are the STUDENTS they get who are 95% ISATers. That the AC even gets to “lay claim” to those 14 kids who got into NS is bs. I’ll find out from my kid-a Taft AC alum and now at NS-where they went to elementary school. $100 says most, if not all, came from Decatur. (My kid did not but it’s a long story).

    “What does she mean ‘blows’?” you may ask? Their teachers aren’t trained to work with bright kids. The assumption is-in the AC at least-that simply letting their regular high school teachers teach their freshman or sophomore curriculum to younger kids is enough. Now that in and of itself isn’t a bad move, and my kid earned hs credit which allows her to take advanced classes sooner in hs. And she was-admittedly-with hard working, bright, motivated peers (truly why this program is successful at all).

    But it’s not like the teachers are teaching more creatively, or even particularly well (same old, one-size-fits-all approach, emphasis on comprehension rather than analysis or evaluation, the whole Pink Floyd, another brick in the wall vibe). I got the very distinct feeling that the teachers there-regular old, over-burdened CPS teachers-actually didn’t like the AC kids much. Whether that is because these kids can be a pain in the ass to teach (which they can be) or because these kids can have that entitled vibe (and some can) or because they were just poor teachers (and several of them were), I don’t know, but I was unimpressed. BOTH years.

    And their IB program-meh. A few of the AC kids I know that are there are…unimpressed to say the least. In fact, one kid has been told NOT to raise his hand anymore to “give the other kids a chance”. Taft’s principal could care less-believe me. These kids run for student council, aren’t tagging the building, and buoy their test scores-in other words, they don’t need immediate attention, if any. They’ll do fine, right?

    I’ll share one last rant with you. NS is beautiful and has some really great teachers and really great opportunities and some really amazing kids…but holy hell, to hear some of the parents, it’s the pinnacle of their existence (I wrote THEIR, not their kid’s existence). Yes, school is important. Being ready for college is important. Being around like minded kids is important. But the very real, therapist-inducing angst my kid-and my family-went through in 7th grade when a goddamned B came home…is ridiculously out of whack.

  • 133. RL Julia  |  January 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Taft AC might blow but it still offers more than many/most elementary schools do in terms of access to more/higher level/better. The teachers have expectations that the kids can do higher level work and there are enough kids to warrant the expectation. At our neighborhood school – as much as I love it, my son wouldn’t have been able to take a language every day, taken Algebra every day or done science experiements in an actual lab.

    Having gone to both Whitney and Lane AC open houses this year, I can assure you that the curriculum is all about accelerated learning – basically your 7th grader can now be in 9th (or at least 8th) grade – its nothing about developmentally appropriate or more creative or deeper its basically just skipping a grade and/or cramming two years into one for the kids who test as being able to handle it.

    As for the NS -Decatur connection – it still seems to be alive and well. My son’s non-Decatur alum friends are all much more interested in Whitney or Lane but all the Decatur kids (who were crushed to have to go to Taft in the first place apparently) seem to prefer NS overall. I don’t know if its because of geography or what but its there.

  • 134. EDB  |  January 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    @132, I just want to make sure I understand (no snark intended)…Are you saying that of the NS kids from Taft, almost all went to Decatur for elementary? You are not that most of the kids going to NS went to Decatur, right?

  • 135. Patricia Haase  |  January 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Having went through the asinine dog and pony show for Decatur (the tester argued with me about my own child’s name) and not getting accepted (surprise! although my child has excelled in everything ever since—hmmm…), and footing the bill for Catholic grade school, we just took the SE exam for HS. Reading here is making me horribly nervous, but I also wonder, as I did eight years ago if I really want to deal with this incompetent corrupt, skewed system anyway. TIERS? Seriously, who was the masochist who thought this crazy nonsense up and how many of my tax dollars did they pilfer? After essentially paying TWICE for eight years, when am I going to get my due?

  • 136. chicago mom  |  January 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    WE NEED TO MARCH!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 137. CPSDepressed  |  January 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    @135, I had another of my favorite discussions today with well-intentioned people. “Why aren’t you considering North Side?” they say, “It’s so great! Or Payton! My grandkids loved Payton!”

    Yeah. Well, my kid got a B in 7th grade.

    If the Catholics will take us, we’re crossing over. There’s more good in CPS than many people realize, but the system is so screwed up in so many ways.

  • 138. Patricia Haase  |  January 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    @137 Okay, CPSDepressed, then I guess here’s the good news: We also talked to Gordon and St. Scholastica (don’t know if you have a boy or a girl) and there IS (self- administered and contained) scholarship money and Gordon let my daughter, who missed the test dates (including today, which was the last day of CPS so we had no choice) both shadow and do a make up test the same day (yesterday–so it has been quite a week!). SO–there are options that may not be as painful as you think. In many ways the Catholic system was a great experience. Small communities and classes, easier 1 on 1 with teachers if need be. Although there is no Utopia. We are considering it as a second option because my daughter wants a more mainstream experience and I don’t want to pay ANYTHING, ANYMORE.

    That said, many of these places’ logistics and locations simply don’t work for me, e.g.- Whitney and Jones What? and Brooks Where? and I am having a big problem in general with having to jump through hoops (again) to send my kid to a decent school. They should all be decent, PLUS. Why are the resources expended to benefit the “smart kids” when the kids that need the help slip through the cracks? And, at the risk of sounding all namby-pamby, i think this does increase social problems, including crime down the road. The “smart kids’ are going to figure it out, yet I want mine to have the best advantages–as do all of you–and I go through the hoop jumping.

    Or MOVE.

  • 139. anonymous  |  January 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    CPS has the s.e. system dole out so few seats. I’ve never understood why NSCP, WP and Jones have such a low enrollments, have you? I’m sure there is no lack of bright, worthy kids to fill those schools two or three times.

    Why not build them larger?

  • 140. anonymous  |  January 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Also, there is an interesting post by Seth Lavin and an interesting comment by U of C.’s Charles Payne to be found on district 299,

  • 141. anonymous  |  January 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    @139 – You are correct that there are many more bright, worthy kids than there are seats at the schools you mentioned, but I don’t think increasing the student body is the answer. While some students strive at large schools like Lane, many more benefit from the attention, support, and sense of community smaller schools offer.

    I wish I knew what the answer was. You could certainly create more selective enrollment high schools, but I’m not sure that’s the solution. In fact, I think the creation of SEHS and their relatives has contributed significantly to the problem of education inequality in Chicago. They’re great schools — I’ve enjoyed working in one for several years — but I wonder whether they may cause more problems (e.g., sucking the life out of neighborhood schools, creating undue stress for students/families, etc.) than they solve.

  • 142. mom2  |  January 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    What cps is doing with SE schools right now is certainly not the answer. I agree that they either need many more SE high schools or larger ones like Lane, or they need to get rid of all of them. Either of these options would ultimately improve things. I hate saying this because we love Lane and I have another child in the system that needs a great school to go to in the near future. But I agree with 141 in questioning this whole system right now.

  • 143. WasThere2  |  January 30, 2012 at 11:37 am

    137 – We went through all this and more last year. After really thinking through the whole SE nonsense, we opted for private. It is a breath of fresh air. No more waiting for the budget ax to fall on just about everything. Imagine – actual books and equipment for everyone! I still hear all the stuff you do, “why didn’t he go to NS, Lane, Payton, etc.? Blah blah blah

  • 144. CPSDepressed  |  January 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    CPS has high schools that are almost but not quite there, like Lake View and Mather, that need some love and attention to be real contenders for kids. It would be nice if they could find a way to get that going.

    They are the Charlie Brown Christmas Trees of CPS!

  • 145. RL Julia  |  January 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I think they should dismantle the whole select everything but only if they are then willing to offer and support acceleration to those kids who could benefit from and handle it system-wide. The current system is just a big band aid imo.

  • 146. CPSDepressed  |  January 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    My concern is that if they dismantle the SEHS, then there will be no resources for college-bound students.

    I don’t think every kid should go to college, certainly not at 18, but far more kids have the skills to succeed in college than just the fortunate few that get into the SEHS. This is so damn stressful.

  • 147. mom2  |  January 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    144, 145 and 146 – I agree! I didn’t mean to imply they should scrap SEHS and not offer rigorous honors level and AP classes at neighborhood high schools. They have to have those programs or most parents I know would leave CPS and the city in a heart beat.

    But, if they did offer those programs and there were no SEHS’s anywhere to be found, those parents that don’t want their children at religious based schools or cannot afford private would send their wonderful kids to their neighborhood school. In the blink of an eye, the neighborhood schools would show vast improvement in test scores.

    Of course, as mentioned before, along with the honors level classes, the schools might need to do something about safety, kids that misbehave that could cause disruptions in learning, etc. They most likely wouldn’t be able to offer spots at places like Lakeview HS to kids from outside of the neighborhood due to overcrowding, etc. It might be too much to ask for.

  • 148. northie  |  January 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    @145, 147
    I understand the premise of what you are saying, but what happens when you only have a handful of students in a neighborhood highschool who want (or can handle) AP Physics, AP Calculus, etc.? Then the class cannot (or would not) be offered, which would result in some neighborhood schools offering certain classes and others unable to. We’d be right back at the same problem that currently plagues the CPS system and the inequity among neighborhood schools. You coudn’t possibly offer all types of classes, to all students at all highschools.

  • 149. anonymouseteacher  |  January 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I actually don’t believe families would send their kids to neighborhood high schools if no SEHS were available nor do I believe neighborhood schools would show improvement in the blink of an eye. I think one or two high schools (like maybe Lakeview or Mather–though Mather is sort of SE anyways), over a very, very long period of time, might slowly improve and attract better students. But overall, I believe families who don’t want to or can’t afford to go private would either sell or rent their places, or if neither were possible, would choose bankruptcy over staying in 99% of neighborhood high schools. Or maybe I am incorrect and am simply thinking of what I’d do. My neighborhood high school has regular police activity, arrests, gang activity, open air drug dealing, shootings, etc, on a regular basis outside and sometimes inside of its wall. Nothing on earth could persuade me to send my children there unless they kicked out all or nearly all of the current students.

  • 150. Yep  |  January 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    149 you are right. The only schools that offer eveything to everyone are in the suburbs. They also have more high earners and taxpayers.

  • 151. mom2  |  January 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    149, I guess you are right for many neighborhood high schools. I was sort of speaking from my little world on the north side of the city. I see so many of the neighborhood elementary schools around here being places people actually want to send their kids, that I figured the same would apply to the neighborhood high schools around here. But, my neighborhood high school in Lakeview and so I was thinking in terms of that school. So sad about all of this. It makes me want to scream. I don’t understand why CPS doesn’t feel the need to address this mess.

  • 152. Chicago Gawker  |  January 30, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    @149, Can you please elaborate on Mather close to being an SE in terms of quality? I have considered buying in the Mather boundaries, but their test scores are dismal, I mean really low. What am I not seeing?

  • 153. Chris  |  January 31, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    ” I don’t understand why CPS doesn’t feel the need to address this mess.”

    Pretend you’re the CPS dictator, with powers exceeding those of any king in history, but a benevolent dictator, concerned about not completely screwing any particular area of the city. What, even in general terms, would you do to “address this mess”? Assume that you can make all of those changes effective day one of next school year, but that you have to live reasonably within current budgets (ie, you can’t decide to build 1000 new schools and hire 10,000 new teachers).

    Now, even if you have a great idea to fix everything, step back from the dictator role and tell us how long it would take to implement that plan in the real world–considering union contracts, political realities, etc, etc.

  • 154. ChicagoGawker  |  January 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Hey, the new Tier calculator based on updated census info was due “by January 31, 2012” per OAE website as linked here. Surprise! The old one is still there. I will call OAE tomorrow for status on the new one. There could be some interesting Tier shifting.

  • 155. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Wow, not only have they managed to wait until all applications were in until they determined tier changes but now they have all test scores in.

  • 156. J  |  February 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

    @153 I like the way you think. There is very little if that (thinking) here in the comments.

    This is all very thorny and is made much worse by a large swath of people who either are not involved in the conversation because they are spending their time just trying to keep the lights on or just don’t care. If everyone cared as much as the people here, we’re involved, etc, the problem would be much less severe.

    I am curious to know what people would do? My own thought is to try to bring back the neighborhood school. There is no reason everybody in town should be leaving their neighborhood to go to someone else’s. It is not the full answer – what do you do if your neighborhood school still sucks- but that’s my starting point.

    What say you folks?

  • 157. RL Julia  |  February 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I agree.

  • 158. Gwen  |  February 8, 2012 at 12:06 am

    At the Jones open house, one of the things the Principal highlighted was that Jones has a diverse student body, in many ways, but also that it’s someone unique in that typically they almost never have two freshmen from the same elementary school, the vast majority of the students are the only ones attending Jones from their school.

  • 159. Gwen  |  February 8, 2012 at 12:06 am

    that would be somewhat unique, I better get some sleep.

  • 160. Chris  |  February 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    J @156: “My own thought is to try to bring back the neighborhood school. There is no reason everybody in town should be leaving their neighborhood to go to someone else’s. It is not the full answer – what do you do if your neighborhood school still sucks- but that’s my starting point.”

    I think it’s a good starting point, too. But even bringing back the neighborhood school wouldn’t really allow (budgetarily) for the total elimination of non-neighborhood schools–there simply isn’t the critical mass in any one school to provide the best education to the top and bottom X% in *every* school. But even that can be accomplished more regionally within the city than it is now–perhaps with added AC-type programs for older elem kids (on both the accelerated *and* remedial ends).

    yeahyeah, mainstreaming, etc,etc, and the reality that virtually anyone with a special needs kid and the means (even if just barely) to move to the burbs does move and would continue to do so. [btw, I think that that fact is at least partly intentional/institutional by CPS–have crap services for special needs kids, get the parents to move, reduce costs of providing services for special needs kids, lather, rinse, repeat]

  • 161. mom  |  February 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I’m really surprised that there were zero Waters Elementary kids accepted to Lane Tech. I know the younger grades have higher test scores than the older grades, but still – Zero? (I suppose there was an invisible “one” student accepted).

  • 162. cpsobsessed  |  February 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    That’s the thing. Waters or any school could have gotten one kid into each SE school and it wouldn’t show up on this list.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 163. HS Mom  |  February 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    @161 the list would also not reflect if a student received an offer from an SE school but went private or to Lincoln Park or any other host of options that are not SE. The list is based upon enrollment.

  • 164. CPS parent  |  February 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Incomplete data. Doesn’t mention Alcott, which sent 18 of its #44 8th graders to SEHS/IB, including 6 kids who were accepted and attend Payton. Wonder how many other schools it ignores.

  • 165. LenartParent  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Is anyone aware of Lenart RGC acceptances to High Schools for the second chart?


  • 166. smadness  |  March 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Where are the stats for Brooks and King? These are both SE schools also! Also would be intereseted to see how the kids from k-6 classical schools (McDade, Poe,..) fare. Where are they ending up for 7th?

  • 167. John B.  |  April 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Once accepted to, lets say, Whitney Young, how do they verify address?

  • 168. cps alum  |  May 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Edgebrook school just posted a list of where the current 8th graders will attend school next year on their website. Does anyone else have similar data from their schools?

    Northside 5
    Lane 5
    Jones 2
    Walter Payton 2
    Whitney Young 1
    Rickover 1
    Taft IB &AVID 3
    Taft 4
    Northtown 2
    DelaSalle 1
    Lincoln Park Performing Arts 1
    Private/other 13

  • 169. HS data  |  May 29, 2012 at 8:55 am

    @ 168. Thanks. Bell just put 2012 high school placement data on its website — There are 23 schools total (for 102 students) so I won’t list them all here, but here are a few highlights:

    Northside 19
    Lakeview 15
    Lane 11
    Lincoln Park 11 (doesn’t indicate which programs)
    Whitney Young 8
    Von Steuben 7
    Walter Payton 6
    Jones 2

  • 170. IB obsessed  |  May 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I’m wondering if the number going to Lakeview this year from Bell is significantly higher this year compared to other years? Did the new STEM program there draw student who wouldn’t have considered LV HS previously?

  • 171. HS data  |  May 29, 2012 at 9:07 am

    It is definitely higher — Based on post 15 above, there were 11 Bell students who went to LV HS last year.

  • 172. cpsobsessed  |  May 29, 2012 at 9:41 am

    That’s pretty amazing placement for NSCP.
    Is lake view the neighborhood hs for the whole bell zone?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 173. mom2  |  May 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

    That Bell number is the gifted program and regular combined – not just neighborhood school – just like all their stats.

    I do believe Bell’s neighborhood high school is Lakeview.

  • 174. anotherchicagoparent  |  May 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

    The number of kids at Bell going to private, religious or suburban schools is also pretty high this year, If I counted right 11.

  • 175. Ana  |  January 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I have a question actually, I have a freshman in high school right now and we are moving into the 60607 zip code which is within the Young Magnet HS area. Can my child attend Young because that is the neighborhood school or does he have to attend Crane? Thanks for any response!

  • 176. Skinner North Mom  |  January 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    #175, No. Whitney Young is a Selective Enrollment school. Here is their info:

  • 177. cpsobsessed  |  January 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    @ana, your child will/can attend the neighborhood school unless you find something else. The application period is over for selective enrollment and magnet schools, but I believe most charter schools are still taking applications.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 178. AC IB mom  |  January 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    So a little off topic here, but this is the most recent SE HS thread I found, does anyone know how the entrance exam is scored? I see from the calculator that if my daughter scores a perfect 300 she may still have a chance to get into Lane with her 1 (90%) B and lowest scores on her ISAT’s ever (91% and 84%). I know the cut offs can go up or down, but originally I didn’t think she had any chance going into this with 60 points off and living in tier 4. Now I see there is a small chance so since so many kids got perfect scores last year I was wondering if that meant every question was answered correctly or if the scoring is similar to the ISAT’s. She felt the test was really easy, but didn’t prep at all. There were a 2 vocab words she didn’t know. If anyone knows please post. I am getting anxious. I thought her only way in to SE HS would be principle discretion. And actually if you know about how that is done please post. I want to be prepared to apply. What is the essay about and is that the same every year?

  • 179. RL Julia  |  January 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I think that you can answer a few questions wrong (or skip them) and still get a perfect 300 on the SEHS entrance exam but I don’t know that for 100% certainty.

    Principal discretion is a tricky thing based on how many kids accept slots and etc… It seems like every year Lane has it, not so sure abou the other schools. Know that NSCP and Payton didn’t last year. I think the essay is about why the kid didn’t score well enough to get in – basically what were the extenuating circumstances leading to the low ISATs or the B’s or both as well as what remarkable characteristics does the candidate possess moving the principal to look beyond the extenuating circumstance. I don’t think it changes from year to year. Hope this helps.

  • 180. cpsobsessed  |  January 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    My impression was that every SEHS used the principal discretion process for up to 5% of their spots. I am certain the Whitney Young does. Postings in the past from parents who’ve used PD have shown a lot of variance as to who gets in. I recall one parent whose child wrote the essay on their own with no parent input that that worked. I think it really ends up being a personal thing and depends on the needs of the school at that time (do they need a certain sports, music, leadership role filled and your child has just the skills? bingo.) I believe some schools give siblings and edge their too. It really varies.

    I’ll check some olds posts about guessing on the SE exam. I think it was discussed in the past but I can’t recall where.

  • 181. HS parent  |  January 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Principal discretion is a crap shoot at best. You may want to stay at your current HS if your neighborhood option is Crane. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Of course, maybe Alderman Fioretti will make WY take neighborhood kids too like he did at Jones.

  • 182. question67+68  |  January 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    181 what? I know 1 kid who got into Lane’s alpha program by PD (still not doing homework!!!) and another who got into NS by PD. The NS student should have gotten in without PD.

  • 183. beentheredonethat  |  January 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    word to the wise: only apply for PD to the school you ranked #1.
    Otherwise, it won’t matter how great your child is, he/she won’t get picked for PD.

  • 184. HSObsessed  |  January 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    @178 – The 300 points are determined by the percentile the kid falls in once all tests are scored. Therefore, he/she could miss 5 questions and be in the 99th percentile one year, but be in the 79th percentile the next, depending on how all the other kids did. So I know that’s no help to you, and it’s nerve wracking not to know that final piece of the puzzle until you have the offer letter in hand. Funny enough, my daughter said the exact same thing about the SEHS exam this year: There were two vocab words she wasn’t sure about (one was obsolescence and she couldn’t remember the other one) but the rest seemed easy. All we can do is wait. Good luck to you and hoping for good news for everyone on this board!

  • 185. Smadness  |  January 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Yes Good Luck everyone !! I heard a rumor that next year for SE you will apply AFTER you get your test results. Makes way more sense as you will know based on past averages if you stand a chance if selection at your chosen schools.

  • 186. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    #185~Thanks~I hope that rumor becomes a reality bc it does make more sense!

  • 187. bystander this year  |  January 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    @183 Actually, not true. I do know of someone who ranked Payton first last year and, when only getting his third choice of Whitney Young, applied through principal discretion to Northside who DID get in.

  • 188. 2cents9  |  January 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    188 more CPS nonsense….who knows how PD really works?

  • 189. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I don’t think there’s a way that PD “works.” The admin can choose whoever they want, but there are certain guidelines they need to follow in that a kid can’t just be the mayor’s son or whatever. I don’t know that a school would be able to know how the child ranked the school as that data is housed at central CPS.

  • 190. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Also, just a note that OAE confirmed that ISATs from this year will be the test that counts towards SEHS scores for next year, but whether that will be the case after that is still unknown (at least for public purposes.) So it’s unknown when the switch to the Common Core testing will happen.

  • 191. HS Mom  |  January 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I think you have better luck applying for PD to the school on your list that is closest to your score.

  • 192. anotherchicagoparent  |  January 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    About 20% of the 2013 ISAT math and reading sections will contain items written to Common Core Standards.Just not sure if it is the standardized part used for percentiles? Scroll to yellow section..
    New assessment system should be in place by 2014-2015 it says.

  • 193. anotherchicagoparent  |  January 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Jones likes to select kids who just missed the school’s cutoff . Whitney seems to pick siblings and or athletes..Lane chooses a mixture as they accept more kids for PD.

  • 194. AC IB mom  |  January 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    @180 Thanks, that does make me feel better. I had a feeling it was something like that, but wasn’t sure. With some additional seats at Jones, my daughter has a better chance getting into Lane. S

    @193 I heard Dr. Powers say that too. It was at the open house and Jones would be my daughters first choice, but we knew at that time she would not get in with the points off she has already. I asked him there what he looked for when choosing for PD. She did pick it as first, but I would be extremely happy if she got into Lane. Though I am glad she has Taft IB if nothing else! She really wants to get into Lane at this point, but knows not to have her hopes up.

  • 195. AC IB mom  |  January 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    CPSO, I do remember that PD letter and loved that his mom posted it. I remember he was a swimmer and just really wanted to go to Lane and got in.

  • 196. Former SEHS Admissions  |  January 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    @189 You’re correct that principals’ approaches to PD can vary widely. As someone who used to work in admissions at one of the SEHS, I can tell you they do actually have access to students’ rankings of schools (as well as to the rest of the info in OAE’s database), and many principals take that information into consideration.

  • 197. AC IB mom  |  January 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    @196 good to know. I really can’t blame them for taking that into consideration and I had my daughter rank schools accordingly. If Principal’s get to hand pick a few students than I can see wanting to pick students who really want to go to that school. 5% sounds like a lot, but when you only have so many seats to begin with it really is not.

    I think it will be helpful when they do give the Selective Enrollment test first. Expectations on where they will get in will be more realistic as you can judge somewhat based on prior years cut off scores scores. At least it will be better then now not knowing what they got out of that that last 300pt value.

  • 198. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    How will the ISATs change the admission into SEHS

  • 199. chicago mom  |  January 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I am already a wreck about my kid getting into a great High School. Now we need to hear our scores will be lowered. I want a well adjusted, smart, loving and responsibly child. I dont want a kid who will now have anxiety because of this crazy system. Lets have a RALLY until the neighborhood school are great!

  • 200. Gobemouche  |  January 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I have been trying to get to the bottom of the end of ISAT issue all year. We had been told last year that this year was the final year for ISATs. Then I see that there is actually an ISAT schedule for next year (2013-14). Also there was a reference to the PARCC test on the BOE newsletter for 2014-15.

    I am so irritated with CPS right now. Yeah, you bet my kid will be a 7th grader next year and I am not happy that this hasn’t been hammered out yet.

    We were told at our school last year by our principal to get ready for the shock of lower test scores. For example, She was told that kids’ scores could (would likely) drop from 99% to the 70s. She said best case scenario was a drop from 99 to low 90s.

    This would be fine, except…ya know, the whole high school thing. What really irritates me is that private school kids will continue to use their Terra Nova scores. Great.

    Everybody should have to take the same exact tests to get in. Everybody. CPS should be planning on offering the same (new) ISAT or PARCC to everyone who wants to apply, along with the entrance exam. But, I’m sure, they’ll say that can’t afford to do that. Ggrrrrrr.

  • 201. Chicago mom  |  January 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Private school kids get the advantage. Not fair. Everyone lets call the mayor about this.

  • 202. Chicago mom  |  January 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    We as CPS parents need to do something about private schools taking terra nova test. That is NOT FAIR. Lets call the news stations.

  • 203. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    #200~we were told that this yr would be the last yr for ISATs but didn’t realize that it would be aligned w/cc so our scores will plummet and you are correct: Catholic schools will use Terr Nova. The only kids that take the ISATs outside of CPS are homeschooled children~CPS would never pay ~they don’t have the money to pay for all the kids that would have to take the ISATs~all of the Catholic schools by our house apply to SEHS and the ones who don’t get in go to Catholic HS~that would be too costly for CPS.

  • 204. anonymouse teacher  |  January 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    @200, I thought private school applicants had to pay to take ISATs on their own. Am I incorrect about that? You are correct in understanding the expectation that the Common Core test will show that instead of around 75% of CPS students meeting or exceeding standards, only around 25% will meet or exceed. The expected drop will be precipitous.

  • 205. anonymouse teacher  |  January 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I am referring to when ISATs are gone, not the newly created ISAT. I’ve always found it very curious that CPS and the Archdiocese use different tests. Makes it awfully easy to not compare the two, on both fronts. CPS doesn’t have to look worse compared to private schools and private schools don’t have to truly prove they offer a better education.

  • 206. cpsobsessed  |  January 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    But while the cutoff for meets/exceeds will change the test won’t change, correct? So kids will still rank in the same order of percentile as before. (Unless I’m not understanding something here.). Your score is your score and your percentile is your percentile. It’s just harder now for a kids/school/district to meet/exceed the benchmark they’ve set.

    Also, my understanding was that the Terra Nova is harder. So more kids who take the ISATs from privates means more kids getting into SEHS – from what I’ve been told. That’s why private school kids take the isats.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 207. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    #206~CPSO~The tests will change~they will be aligned w/Common Core~didn’t you get the email from CPS? ISATs will drop but I’m ranking will be in order of percentile.

    Terra Nova is NOT harder…just a dif test~my nephews/nieces took it for yrs~just different.

  • 208. anonymouse teacher  |  January 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    @206, Are you asking if the Common Core test will be the same as ISATs or are you asking if this year’s ISAT will be harder than normal? The first answer is definitely yes, no comparison, the second answer I do not know.

  • 209. Smadness  |  January 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    “Where there is a will…” Skip the ISATs and have your child take the Terra Nova instead.

  • 210. Gobemouche  |  January 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Good question, CPSO. Our principal made it sound to us that the scores would be lower and would correlate to lower % for each kid. I wish I would have taped that conversation because I can’t remember the exact explanation. Curse my aging memory!

  • 211. Gobemouche  |  January 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Smadness – You can do that?

  • 212. IB obsessed  |  January 23, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Really, how common is it for private school kids applying to SEHSs to take the ISAT? It is unheard of at our private and the counselors do not even bring it up. There may be a private school or 2 that unethically informs parents of this option, but realistically, I don’t think it explains why private school kids have such a high rate of admissions to the SEHS. Small class sizes, Leonardo Da Vinci presentations by 2nd graders, Reading of Homer in 6th grade, no instructional time wasted on test prep-these are more likely explanations. EVERY child should have this kind of school experience and it should be FREE. That is what is worth being ticked off about, not a few private school kids taking ISATs.

  • 213. Smadness  |  January 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Don’t see why not. If you are sick/ on vaca during testing and you need a test score to apply. You would have to pay for it yourself though.

  • 214. AE  |  January 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I had always heard that the PARCC assessment would be officially replacing the ISAT in 2014-2015 and this has been confirmed several times by my school’s administrators (I remember so well b/c my child will be in 7th grade that year). The next two year, if my understanding is correct, will be sort of weird hybrid years where schools are moving towards a common core curriculum but still giving the ISAT test.

    @206 Like you, I would assume the ISAT test itself will stay the same (how can you re-write and re-norm a test that will be given in just a few week). It must be the scoring that will change — making it harder to get a meets or exceeds. But even in that case, the percentile ranking (comparison among peers nationally) should stay the same.

    Assuming the test itself stays the same, I wonder how much harder the scoring can really get…. For example, last year, one of my kids received a 97 in math. When I looked at the multiple choice results in detail, he received 63 out of a 65 questions correct. (He also missed a few pts in extended response, but I don’t believe those questions count towards the national percentile rank). In any event, I was surprised that missing only 2 multiple choice questions could drop a score to 97….

    Finally, regarding SEHS admissions, I have heard (unsubstantiated) rumors that CPS is at least considering removing the ISAT/PARCC component to admissions criteria during this transition period. Has anyone else heard this rumor??

    So much to stress about…

  • 215. Gobemouche  |  January 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    IBobsessed – No one is mad about private school kids taking the ISAT. Where did you get that idea?

    What I’m saying is that CPS kids may or may not be taking PARCC, or they may or may not be taking an altered version of the ISAT. That the whole thing is in some kind of limbo. Meanwhile, privates will continue with their Terras or IOWAS or whatever. The point being, that CPS students will face a possible CPS boondangle (the unknown), while privates will continue with their standard (the known).

  • 216. Chicago mom  |  January 23, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    How can you take terra nova if you go to CPS school

  • 217. Gobemouche  |  January 23, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you, AE. Looks like you’re getting better info from your school. Ours continues to say that this is the last year for the ISAT, and I keep trying to tell them that is not right. Even the person I talked to at OAE seemed confused. Sigh.

    I hope (I think) that you’re right about the ISAT component being removed for the two transition years. But, jeez, that will make differentiating between kids with straight As and perfect entrance exam awfully hard I think. Or maybe not. Who knows? Maybe CPS will change the entrance exam, too, just to watch us all squirm.

  • 218. Gobemouche  |  January 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    This is odd. I just looked at my email and there is a message from CPS about the ISATs. Weird.

    I swear, they are reading this blog.

  • 219. IB obsessed  |  January 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Gobemouche, I was addressing cpo’s remark in @206 about the ISAT supposedly being easier (not sure that’s so, eg. the IOWA has NO extended response questions), so private school kids take it to have an edge in SEHSs admissions.

  • 220. Psmom  |  January 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    FYI- the terra nova test also evolves and has a common core test.

    Also why is it unethical for my child to take the Isats if the go to private school?

  • 221. IB obsessed  |  January 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    @218 good. They should be reading this blog.

  • 222. IB obsessed  |  January 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    220, the reasoning for it being unethcal goes like this: your child is getting 2 chances to take a nationally normed standardized test. You can submit the best of the 2 scores. CPS kids have one shot.

  • 223. Chicago mom  |  January 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    We really need to gets news coverage on this. The system is a mess! Lets all write letters.

  • 224. cpsobsessed  |  January 24, 2013 at 12:06 am

    @sox: I don’t understand how the isat can change. Cps doesn’t make it up, right? The isat (illinois standard aptitude test?) is the isat…correct? I need to read the memos, which I have not…..
    I though the “grading scale” was changing but that a 92 percent was still a 92. But in the past it was maybe an A, now a B.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 225. cpsobsessed  |  January 24, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Okay, so the emails say “scores may drop.” But will everyone drop the same so the ranking distribution stays the same?? Unclear…..

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 226. Chicago mom  |  January 24, 2013 at 12:10 am

    No private school kids take test that isn’t changing

  • 227. Gobemouche  |  January 24, 2013 at 12:27 am

    The ISAT is changing because they are adding elements from the Commom Core goals to it. Since the state is adopting the Core, I guess the state is changing the test.

    I see that Terra Nova is adding common core elements, too. However, I don’t know if privates have to use terra nova 3, or if they can choose terra nova 2. Especially, since you can buy them yourself online.

    Another thing I just learned is that you can purchase the Terra Nova or IOWAS online and administer them yourself. From a testing company (not the maker of the tests), who will also grade them for you. I guess this is how homeschoolers can get testing done. But! It might make for an informative experiment if a couple CPS kids took it, just for a comparison. Since the ISAT is an Illlinos test, while Terra Nova is a national test, it might be informative to see how we really stack up.

  • 228. Gobemouche  |  January 24, 2013 at 12:46 am

    If I had a 7th grader this year, I think my head would explode!

    Here is the email:

    Dear Parents,

    As Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), my primary goal is to make sure all of children are capable of success. We must hold high expectations for each of them. It is our responsibility to ensure they receive the supports needed to succeed in college, career and life.

    To prepare our students for higher learning, all public schools in the State of Illinois, including CPS, recently began implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These standards were adopted by 45 states and they describe what students are expected to learn at every grade level to be prepared for college.

    Based on these new standards, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will raise the performance levels of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) for elementary and middle school students (grades 3-8) beginning this school year. These new performance levels will align with the more rigorous CCSS in English, language arts and math.

    What does this mean for your child? By raising the bar on the ISAT, it is likely that scores for students may decrease. In many cases, some students who previously met or exceeded standards on the ISAT will instead show the need for improvement.

    However, even if scores do drop for your child, it does not mean they know less than they did before or are less capable than they were in previous years. ISBE is simply raising the bar on the ISAT in order to align it more closely with standards that better indicate if students are on a path for college and career-readiness.

    ISAT testing begins March 4, 2013. As we receive the results of the revised statewide tests, your school staff will be able to provide the appropriate support and help for your child based on the new learning standards, if necessary.

    Though ISAT testing may be more challenging this year than in the past, the new higher standards will better position all CPS students for a successful future in college and career.

    These changes also pave the way for the state to replace the ISAT tests in math and English language arts with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. The PARCC exams will line up with the Common Core State Standards and provide better information about students’ abilities to master the critical thinking skills needed for college. The new PARCC tests are scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 school year.

    Throughout the coming weeks and leading up to this year’s ISAT testing, CPS will be providing parents with information on what this means for your children and how to best prepare for this change in expectations and scoring. For more information on the Common Core, please visit or


    Barbara Byrd-Bennett
    Chief Executive Officer

    Chicago Public Schools

  • 229. Smadness  |  January 24, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Re grading.. It’s always been a thorn that all grades are not created equal across CPS schools. An A at an IB or gifted program is harder to come by than at some other schools and not all schools use the same grading scale to begin with. I can’t see that dropping the test score. could even be an option. If do there should be a revolt.

  • 230. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 24, 2013 at 8:27 am

    #224~CPSO~the test is being aligned w/CC Read #227. The percentiles will stay the same.

    #228~Smadness~our neighborhood school is 93% = A, many traditional elementary schools 90%=A. WY is 93%=A, I heard some other SEHS are lower. I don’t understand why all grades are not equal.

  • 231. Gobemouche  |  January 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I removed the links from the CPS email, to avoid moderation.

    From CPS:

    Dear Parents,

    As Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), my primary goal is to make sure all of children are capable of success. We must hold high expectations for each of them. It is our responsibility to ensure they receive the supports needed to succeed in college, career and life.

    To prepare our students for higher learning, all public schools in the State of Illinois, including CPS, recently began implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These standards were adopted by 45 states and they describe what students are expected to learn at every grade level to be prepared for college.

    Based on these new standards, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will raise the performance levels of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) for elementary and middle school students (grades 3-8) beginning this school year. These new performance levels will align with the more rigorous CCSS in English, language arts and math.

    What does this mean for your child? By raising the bar on the ISAT, it is likely that scores for students may decrease. In many cases, some students who previously met or exceeded standards on the ISAT will instead show the need for improvement.

    However, even if scores do drop for your child, it does not mean they know less than they did before or are less capable than they were in previous years. ISBE is simply raising the bar on the ISAT in order to align it more closely with standards that better indicate if students are on a path for college and career-readiness.

    ISAT testing begins March 4, 2013. As we receive the results of the revised statewide tests, your school staff will be able to provide the appropriate support and help for your child based on the new learning standards, if necessary.

    Though ISAT testing may be more challenging this year than in the past, the new higher standards will better position all CPS students for a successful future in college and career.

    These changes also pave the way for the state to replace the ISAT tests in math and English language arts with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. The PARCC exams will line up with the Common Core State Standards and provide better information about students’ abilities to master the critical thinking skills needed for college. The new PARCC tests are scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 school year.

    Throughout the coming weeks and leading up to this year’s ISAT testing, CPS will be providing parents with information on what this means for your children and how to best prepare for this change in expectations and scoring. For more information on the Common Core, please visit


    Barbara Byrd-Bennett
    Chief Executive Officer

    Chicago Public Schools

  • 232. ca  |  January 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    From the ISBE web site link sent in BBB’s 2nd letter last night —

    “As Illinois transitions to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA), moving from the final administration of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in 2013‐2014 to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) Assessments in 2014‐2015, this document has been created to help stakeholders address changes in assessment…

    The document outlines what ELA CCSS will be assessed on the ISAT in 2013. The CCSS will make up 20% of the operational ISAT in 2013. The roadmap is intended to assist educational leaders as they consider learning progressions, instructional shifts, and rigor of the CCSS. Attention to this roadmap will assist in a seamless transition to the PARCC Assessment in 2014‐2015.”

    Read the whole thing at

  • 233. mom2  |  January 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I was wondering when standards for grades was going to come up again. Mayfair Dad and I had many conversations about this in the past. It only made sense that all schools should have the same criteria for an A since they use that to determine points for admission to SEHS. Those grades also greatly influence college admissions and opportunities for scholarships. You would think it would be in the best interest of the schools to give students the higher grade when the decision could go either way, but for some reason, the schools don’t all think that makes sense.

    If school X has # kids that get into SEHS or top colleges or # number of scholoships awarded, wouldn’t the higher number look better for that school? I would think so!

    Since those conversations, Lane has changed their grading scale (thank you!) while I think WY stayed the same. I have a child at Lane with many friends at WY. I’d like to share some things I didn’t think about before. Making the grading scale standard doesn’t make things equal by any measure.

    Even when you have a 90%=A compared with a 93%=A, that alone doesn’t make the 90% easier to achieve or the 93% harder to achieve. There are such vast differences in expectations, assignments and weight of tests, projects, homework and labs between classes, teachers, class levels (honors, regular, AP). Even between teachers of the same subject and level, there are huge differences in the way they teach and their assignments. It is crazy.

    I’ve heard numerous times now that when Lane had a 93% or even some classes had a 95%=A, some teachers would offer extra credit to students to bring them up to an A from a B or a B from a C. Some teachers never did this which made things very inequitable. Some Lane teachers say they will no longer do that because they think an 89% is a B – they actually think a 92% is a B still and hate the grading scale change. Other Lane teachers may still do this. Other Lane teachers never did this even with the 95% = A. Our friends have confirmed there are some teachers at WY that do offer extra credit to bring them up.

    I see the value in allowing a teacher to offer extra credit when they realize a student was on the cusp and maybe had one terrible assignment or test that brought them down. That’s very appropriate to offer and don’t want that removed. But I just thought it important for people to realize that just because school X has a different or higher grading scale, it doesn’t necessarily mean those kids have a harder time getting into a school. It could mean the opposite or not. That’s another reason why they use many methods to determine admission.

    I think out of all the methods, the way Lincoln Park IB did it was best – their own test and an interview.

    Too bad it doesn’t work that way for college. If you get all B’s in honors and AP classes, that is a B average for scholarship searches, etc. A kid with A’s and B’s in regular level classes have a better “unweighted” GPA. Crazy.

    Sorry, just rambling.

  • 234. Chicago mom  |  January 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I have 7th grader. I am writing letters to very news station, politician etc. please let’s stop this !!!

  • 235. lawmom  |  January 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Don’t forget that Bell has a gifted or “choice” track, as well as a regular neighborhood track. I know a regular track child tested into the Academic Center at WY, but her sibs were both at Edison and then went on to WY high school.

  • 236. spain980wtf  |  January 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    235 it is incomprehensible to me how messed up CPS is, especially high schools.

  • 237. Family Friend  |  January 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Jumping in a little late . . . getting your kid into a good high school is a challenge, and you need to start early, plan your schedule months in advance, and devote an inordinate amount of time. Good-bye, fall weekends! However, it can be done. If you apply to EVERY good school within a reasonable geographic range — and I include good charter schools in that group — your kid will probably have a choice when you reach the end of the process.

    As an example, my protege was admitted to Senn IB, Rickover, Ogden IB, three Noble Street schools, and, her eventual choice, a unique “school-within-a-school” program that is a collaboration between CICS and Global Citizenship Experience. Any of them, with the possible exception of Rickover, would have presented the kind of academic challenge I wanted for her. I talked to everyone personally, and I asked hard questions. And I loved Rickover — it’s one of the most caring, best-organized, schools in the system. The principal is AMAZING. They give each student a great deal of individual attention, they ensure that everyone learns to write well, and they have high expectations. If your kid is willing to give Rickover a try, I think you will be pleased. I would especially recommend it for underachievers ready to turn over a new leaf.

    Second, one of my kids went to high school with a dozen of her classmates, including two of her best friends. She stayed close with just one of them. The other was the only student from her school at Payton. She kept touch with her best friend from grade school outside of class, and they are still very close. Otherwise, she never looked back. Parents who went through K-12 with the same group worry about what will happen if their kids don’t. But people who didn’t, with the possible exception of those who changed schools every year or so, don’t miss it.

    Finally, high school grades don’t count the same way for admissions and scholarship purposes as elementary school grades do. Colleges know which schools grade hard and which grade easy; they know how different schools calculate GPAs; and they have standardized test scores as a leveler. Your best friend for college admissions is a good college counselor, who has built relationships with admissions officers. One of my daughter’s friends was a great student but she got mono in the second semester of her senior year and her grades plummeted. Her first choice, Occidental, withdrew its offer of admission, but Carleton did not because her college counselor talked to his contact there, explained the situation, and assured the admissions guy that she would do well. At that time Carleton was one of the top 5 small colleges in the country — it’s always near the top — and a better school than Occidental. So she went to the cold north instead of LA. She got an amazing education and last I heard was working for Google in Beijing.

  • 238. smadness  |  January 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I would like to hear more about the CICS and Global Citizenship Experience school..thx

  • 239. lawmom  |  January 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    @232 – I am very concerned about the lack of level playing field that the grading system brings and if any one has any contacts within CPS I am happy to help bark up the tree about it. Below is a link to a Sun Times article showing the disparity in the CPS grading scales across high schools from 2009. I couldn’t find any thing more recent. Why should my daughter at WY be given a “C” at 84% when it is a “B” at Payton and Northside. It does matter for college.

    Likewise, my son is in a choice program and is subject to the same 93% and above scale with no “weight” given to the fact that he is working a year ahead of his classmates. He could have stayed at Nettelhorst where the scale is 90% and above. Come selective enrollment time, this may matter to him as well if he doesn’t pull straight “A’s”. This is a serious issue of disparity and I am happy to join any one’s bandwagon to get this corrected.

  • 240. chicago mom  |  January 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I hear ya! Why would nay principle keep that scale? I would bring that up at an LSC meeting. Start with your own school first and then deal with CPS. It is wrong. The entire system is a mess.

  • 241. anonymouse teacher  |  January 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I actually disagree with the idea of RGC’s or classicals or any kind of accelerated program grades being weighted to account for the courses being harder. Every child, imo, should be taught at their instructional level, some being above or below level, and graded accordingly. If a child is intelligent enough to test into an accelerated program, they are totally capable of getting A’s in that kind of a program. They may have to put more work into it. It isn’t reasonable to expect an age group of kids to all be at the same instructional level. But all kids should be taught and graded at their instructional level, meaning, they need to be graded according to a rubric at their level, not their age/grade level. Just my opinion though. This is part of true differentiation. Differentiation is not only getting instruction at one’s level, it is also being graded at one’s level. Does that make sense?

  • 242. Gobemouche  |  January 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    241 – So by that logic…high school kids should not get weighted scores for AP classes. How is that any different? Would you call that “differentiation”?

    A high school kid taking an AP course, is basically taking a course that is 2-3 years above grade level. Its the same thing in an RGC, a middle school kid is taking a course that is 2 years above grade level. Why is it acceptable to get a weighted score for high school, but not middle school? So…its “differentiation” unless you are in high school?

  • 243. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    #237~FF~True~students need good counselors. If the student doesn’t have a good counselor~that child could miss a great opportunity~and not just for college.

    #239~lawmom~That website is a little old, To receive an A is now 93%. I agree w/you standard scores for every school! WY and my n’hood school is 93% = A, but other n’hood schools in my area and other SEHS have 90%=A and one ~WP~ is even lower~it will make a difference getting in to college.

  • 244. local  |  January 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    College recruiters/admissions folks tend to know how the grades and rankings are done at their favorite schools (which would include any “high-testing” HSs in CPS).

  • 245. local  |  January 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Anyone can book a one-on-one with any Board of Ed member now. Why not take this grading issue to some of them?

  • 246. anonymouse teacher  |  January 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    @242, actually, I don’t think kids should get weighted scores for AP courses no. I see your point, I just don’t agree. But we place far too much emphasis on grades and scores to “get into” a good school when we should be placing much more value on what those scores tell us about what kids need instructionally from us. But CPS doesn’t really use scores (or anything that matter) the way it should be used.
    As an example, my daughter is in her school’s gifted program for reading. She reads at a 10th grade level. The gifted program operates one grade level ahead. She skates through with little effort and all A’s. How is that meeting her needs? I’d be impressed with an A if she was being given 10th grade level reading work. That A is not a reflection of her ability at all. Grades and scores should be used to determine instruction and not much more. We place far too much emphasis on scores and far too little on actual learning.
    But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have sympathy for the hell parents go through when the only options they have are “Perfect=SEHS and less than that=sucky high school”. I think it is a terrible place to be in.

  • 247. anon  |  January 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    246 teacher – Good God, so even the CPS teachers think that anything outside of selective enrollment is “sucky”. Nice job supporting your peers in STEM, IB, Fine arts, and professional/technical programs. Your pessimism needs a bridle.

  • 248. HS Counselor  |  January 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    @239 (and others) — I understand and respect the concern about different grading scales at the elementary school level since the SEHS admissions process doesn’t take this into account, but I wouldn’t worry too much about its effect on college admissions. Your child’s counselor should send a copy of the high school’s profile, which provides background about the school including its grading scale, to the admissions office of any college a student applies to. Most application forms (including the Common App) require counselors to include information about the high school’s grading scale, as well. Why CPS doesn’t think this is important info for SEHS admissions is another matter, but at least the colleges get it.

  • 249. Family Friend  |  January 26, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Global Citizenship Experience: GCE High School is a tiny, tiny school. Its curriculum is based on the common core and the U.N.’s millennium goals. Courses are project-based. There are three terms per year plus a “citizenship” short term just before winter break. Last term my protege had courses on Water, incorporating science and math, and World, incorporating language arts and social studies. She took art, which focused on kinetic sculpture, and an elective. She chose an intensive P.E. class. This term it’s Fuel, Self, and I don’t know what else (term is still young), plus everyone in the school is taking yoga. In each course, each student must complete three “action projects.” This can range from making a sculpture to making a film. There is a great deal of writing required in the English/Social Studies curriculum, and the students have to follow rubrics for each project, on which their work is graded. They also have to write in Science/Math class. Classes are small, and are held sitting around a table with the teacher. They are inquiry-based, rather than lectures. Students help one another. Each student has a blog, on which projects are posted, with students identified only by initials. Kids range from really bright to struggling. At least one Senior received a Posse scholarship this year.

    GCE is basically a private school, and CICS has worked out an agreement, with CPS approval, to place a few students in the current small school. My protege was offered a spot because she was high on the waiting list for CICS Northtown. I was looking for a place that would recognize her outstanding potential and give her the kind of attention she needs to fulfill it, and that’s what I found. There are some social issues because the school is so small, but we are working on getting her involved in some outside activities, and she has kept in touch with her best friend from grade school. She is also a little immature for her age, and I think she will come to see the closeness as a benefit.

    CICS wants to expand its participation in the program, which will increase the school’s size (a good thing, to a point). They may be thinking about starting a school following the GCE program but I am not privy to that information. GCE considers the school a lab school, and they are active training teachers in their methods.

    I should mention that the facility is not that great — new furniture would do a lot — but it doesn’t really matter.

    Overall, however, I am very happy. My son-in-law and I went to the info session — I wanted his input — and as we walked out, I said, “I want to be 14 again so I can go to that school.” He said, “I hope that school is still there when we have kids and they’re old enough for high school.”

    The work is challenging, and I work with her as much as I can, but it’s tough because she doesn’t live with me. But we have mastered document-sharing and long phone calls, so I can “help with homework.” Still worth it.

  • 250. cpsobsessed  |  January 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    I’m not quite sure how to set up a meeting with a board member, but here is the info on speaking at a board meeting and there is a link for contacting the board via their site.
    I imagine if someone made the effort to send a parent to complain about the grading scale issue to every meeting this year, it may move up the ranks of consideration.

  • 251. Gobemouche  |  January 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    249-Family Friend- thank you for sharing info about GCE. I’m confused about the CICS/CPS agreement with GCE. The tuition for GCE is $20,000. So it is a private school, yes? Are you saying that your protege was given a scholarship? What exactly does it mean that CICS “has an arrangement” with GCE?

  • 252. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  January 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    @184 HSO, I somehow missed your comment before,but thank you. My daughter was very stressed all through 7th grade especially with the ISAT’s and knowing how they would affect her, but I am hoping that our more relaxed whatever happens happens attitude that we had before she took the entrance exam (since we didn’t think there was much of a chance anyway) will have helped her be more relaxed and do well. If she gets the 99% she will just meet Lane’s cut off for last year. Obviously I am hoping those high cut offs will go down if even only ever so slightly. Last year I had thought with the high cut off there must have been a second round but just recently asked the OAE and there was not, so this may definitely come down to principal discretion for us and we will see what happens.

    @239 Thanks for the link. That is interesting, but it is out of date now. I didn’t see when it was from, but I know Lane’s and Taft’s grading scales have changed. I think they both went to the 90% A. Ironically enough my daughter is at Taft AC and got a 90% B last year in 7th.

    The situation we are in often makes me feel like the grade should be weighted for the more difficult material she had done in the SE grade school and AC, but what about truly advanced or gifted children who didn’t know about the SE schools at the K and 1st grade level so couldn’t get them into one of the very few spots? And what about schools that do teach at an advanced level but aren’t SE? I don’t know how they could weight it. I do wish there was a better path to continue at an SE school because I do believe they were meant for the academically advanced, but at the same time I wish all schools were good options for all kids and that is really what this comes down to. Everyone fighting for a few spots at a good high school. It is really sad!

  • 253. Levski  |  January 26, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Question to the host and all others I guess. How do you explain the lack of students graduating from Coonley and Pritzker gifted/options classes grads feeding into NSCP/WY/Payton (per posted charts did not see much of these two schools, why send my kid there if no SEHS acceptance)?

  • 254. cpsobsessed  |  January 26, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Well, Coonley current goes up to 5th grade for options if that explains anything. I wouldn’t necessarily base a decision on SEHS enrollment on that information – it depends what your other choices are and whether you feel a particular SE elem school would be a good fit for your child. Different kids excel in different environments.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 255. Levski  |  January 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Coonley total sense, what about Pritzker?

  • 256. WorkingMommyof2  |  January 26, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    I’m not sure when Pritzker’s program began, but Coonley’s options program hasn’t been around long enough to have a graduating class yet. They will add 6th grade next year, so it will be a couple more years until their first class goes to high school.

  • 257. HSObsessed  |  January 26, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    @252 IB&AC Mom – You’re welcome. There’s always hope re: cut off scores going down. You just never know: maybe there will be fewer 8th graders this year, or maybe the presence of other new HS programs will “spread out” the applicants. Again, I’m hoping it’s all good news next month.

    Re: grade scale– Did it ever change to a standardized system? I remember a hubbub about the issue but can’t remember the outcome. If those 2009 scales remain the same as in the article lawmom linked to, that is pretty crazy. I thought there were a handful of schools that didn’t use the 100/90/80/70/60 system, but it’s actually only a handful that do. It’s crazy that a 76 is a solid C in some schools, but an F in others.

    @255 — Good question about Pritzker. I think it has been a gifted center for a long time, but I know it was not a popular choice many years ago, like 9-10 years ago (when I was going through the application process for my kid). At that time, people tried to test into Edison or Decatur for K or Bell for 1st, or they tried for lottery admission to get into LaSalle or Hawthorne, and that was pretty much it.

  • 258. cpsobsessed  |  January 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I see Pritzker kids on that list for Jone, Young, and Lane. Keep in mind that if 1 child is on the list for an SEHS, it’s not listed so there may be more than that. Edison has traditionally taken the highest scoring kids in the RGC programs while Pritzker has taken kids with lower scores so that is likely reflected in the distribution of kids. Edison is at the top of this list for North Side and Payton. Does that mean that Pritzker isn’t as good or that their output reflects their input. Higher scoring kids probably continue to be higher scoring kids…

  • 259. HS Mom  |  January 27, 2013 at 12:12 am

    @257 HSO and others – CPS did standardize the grade scale but left it at the discretion of the principal. Grade scale is determined by the individual schools. Many of them lowered their scale according to CPS recommendations and others did not. You can try the LSC, but good luck with that.

  • 260. Gobemouche  |  January 27, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I think that it’s just all around harder to get into SEHS. I assume that’s because more and more kids are applying. Either that or they are all getting better at the tests. What was the tier 4 point jump for Lane last year…50 or 60 points? Even for RGC kids, getting in is less of a sure thing than it used to be. Nail biting all around.

  • 261. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  January 27, 2013 at 12:35 am

    @253 Also remember that some of these kids go into Academic Centers in 7th so they wouldn’t show on that list at all. The year my daughter left her RGC I believe 9 other kids left as well with all but one going into an AC.

  • 262. Gobemouche  |  January 27, 2013 at 1:58 am

    From Chicago Magazine, back in September:

    ” Katie Ellis, CPS’s executive director of access and enrollment, says that the number of student applications for the system’s magnet, selective enrollment, and other opt-in schools has been rising for the past several years. Although total CPS enrollment is down 4 percent since 2005, the number of applications for the selective-enrollment schools has gone up by 26 percent since the 2009-10 school year”

  • 263. mayfairAM  |  January 27, 2013 at 6:32 am

    @262 that may explain the decision about opening more seats at Jones.

  • 264. local  |  January 27, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Isn’t there some kind of actuary, futurist, economist, demographer or statistician who can forecast where all this is heading (test-in, lottery-in, charter, sped, neighborhood, private school demand)? Like, maybe one employed by CPS? (I think they let their demographer go.)

  • 265. local  |  January 27, 2013 at 11:40 am

    But that might result in a long-range plan, right?

  • 266. lawmom  |  January 28, 2013 at 11:58 am

    As I stated in my earlier post, the Sun Times grading information was from 2009 and I know some of those percentages have changed. Whitney Young is now 93% (not 95%), but NS and Payton are at 90%. It was the most comprehensive and most recent list I was able to find — just as an FYI. I know Jesse Ruiz and have emailed him about this. Does any one know who has responsibility for this issue within CPS? Perhaps I could invite that person to the LSC meeting to give a presentation about this issue.

    Secondly, as to Pritzker RGC, a number of Pritzker students test out to the academic centers (WY and Lane or IB) in 7th grade, so, the class numbers are smaller in 7th and 8th. My son is there now and I love the teachers. It is a diverse community with a core group of dedicated parents, largely parents of the “choice” program kids. The school is improving steadily but not perfect. I understand some years ago there was a lot of teacher turnover, but that has stabilized. The school can be a bit challenging as it is a neighborhood school, a magnet school and has one class per grade of gifted. It has a fantastic fine arts program. The music teacher just completed her Ph.D. at Northwestern and the dance presentation that I saw at the holiday program was outstanding. There is also a branch of the Chicago Children’s Choir there and Spanish is offered. The LSC has gotten stronger and is making great strides in making the school a stronger one. It would be great if the principal would be more of a visionary and less of a “manager”, but hopefully this will change soon.

    Can I say that the school is as good as Bell, Edison, etc? No I can not because I don’t know those schools intimately. However, I can say that I am largely pleased with Pritzker and my son is very happy there. In another 2-3 years, I think the school will not be under the radar any more.

  • 267. HS Mom  |  January 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Law Mom – CPS changed it’s guidelines for the grading scale for the years starting 2010. The CPS guidelines are now the traditional 10 point scale but it is up to the individual school as to whether they want to adopt it. I do like the fact that CPS allows schools to determine the grading of their own curriculum because schools vary greatly. You will have greater success taking the case to your school. Now that grades are points oriented through Impact, the situation of a near miss in 7th grade will be an issue and something that you need to work with your teachers on. This would apply no matter what the grade scale. I can also tell you that once grades are entered they are final unless you can prove an error. Schools cannot change grade scale mid year, only prior to commencement of the year. I know because we’ve “been there, done that” and this was our experience.

  • 268. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    #266~Lawmom~I’ve heard really good things regarding Pritzker.

  • 269. lawmom  |  January 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    HS Mom – is there someone who can come to the LSC from CPS to talk about the grading scale recommendations?

  • 270. mom2  |  January 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    For those of you that know more about college admissions, I have some questions. I realize that many universities are aware of the SE high schools and their rigor and may take that into account when looking at grades for those students (if they get past the initial round that just looks at numbers). However, if you look at some of the college web sites and scholarship searches, they ask for the unweighted GPA as the criteria for even being allowed to apply or to gain admission. So, if the cut-off for an unweighted GPA is, let’s say, 3.5, and a student has a 3.2 unweighted GPA at a SEHS taking mostly honors and AP courses, what do they do? Their weighted GPA is high enough with A’s, B’s and a few C’s, but not the unweighted which makes it look like they only get B’s and C’s. I’m confused on all that.

  • 271. HS Mom  |  January 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    @269 – funny you should ask. Over a parent uproar, our school had someone from CPS admin come out only to tell us that the higher scale was not a CPS mandate. They pretty much told us that CPS does not mandate the grade scale, basically throwing the Principal (who was trying to justify the higher grade scale) under the bus. This also exposed to parents that the school was empowered to have their own grading. The teachers basically felt that the higher scale would “maintain our standards”. As it happened to be, 3 of the 4 parent reps happened to have 6th graders. They held it over the principal with the evaluation.

    I have also heard that many Pritzker kids go to Lincoln Park IB and Fine arts program……good luck!

  • 272. AC IB mom  |  January 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    @270, I remember KLM knows a good deal about college admissions (I think she previously worked in college admissions). I see she is on another thread so I will post something over there to see if she can come over here to enlighten us because that is a good question.

    I am assuming gender here so apologize if I am incorrect KLM!!

  • 273. HSObsessed  |  January 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    FYI that I added Pritzker into the “reverse engineered” grid of where various K-8 schools’ graduates went, to reflect that the spring 2010 Pritzker graduates had 2 go to Jones, 8 to Lane, 2 to Lincoln Park, and 2 to Whitney Young. (Remember that there may have been “singletons” going to other schools, but they’re not reflected on this grid for student privacy reasons.) I’d love to get the updated data for all these high schools, for the spring 2012 graduates… Gotta ruminate on whether I can impose again on my source yet…

  • 274. mom2  |  January 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    @272 – thank you. I hope KLM stops by!

  • 275. mom2  |  January 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I’d still love to get some feedback from anyone that understands college admissions and scholarships in relationship to unweighted GPA. See @270 if anyone knows… Thanks in advance.

  • 276. momof3boys  |  January 30, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    @275 almost all the scholarships we looked at only used the unweighted GPA.

  • 277. averagemom  |  January 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    From what my high school Junior’s college night presentation said, the whole college application thing is very subjective. A kid with lower GPA and test scores from the same high school can be accepted over a student with a higher score and grades. The colleges know which schools are rigorous and prepare the kids for college and take that into account The colleges are trying to get a diverse group of kids, from different geographic areas, with different interests. The college essay also has an effect. The colleges also look to see that you challenged yourself. If there’s an AP and regular class in the same subject, they’d like to see that you tried the harder option. Taking an easier course and getting an A could be worse than getting a B in an AP class. Not all schools have AP or honors courses, so some kids can’t get a weighted GPA over 4. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know in advance what will or will not get you into any particular college. The counselors know generally how likely you are to be accepted.

  • 278. momof3boys  |  January 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    i agree. college admissions is subjective. but the scholarships are not. the good ones (national, ie natl Hispanic foundation scholarships, etc) require a min unweighted GPA of 3.0. my ds had a 2.997 (unweighted) at the end of junior year and i was told he would have to wait til next fall to apply for scholarship, which means he wouldnt get the scholarship until his soph yr of college.

    BTW, that was my middle son’s PD essay CPSO was talking about earlier in the blog, i think.

  • 279. mom2  |  January 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you, 277 and 278 – that’s what I am finding and feel that is crazy. In one breath, they tell you to take the harder class even if you get a lower grade as a result because it looks good that you challenged yourself and then in the next breath, they tell you that you don’t qualify to even apply for a scholarship because of your lower grades. Insane and very unfair.

  • 280. local  |  January 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    The joke in selective college admissions when a student ask if he/she should take an AP for a B or a regular course for an A: Take the AP for an A.

  • 281. local  |  January 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm


  • 282. HS Mom  |  January 30, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Yes, that is funny.

    Thanks for the info everyone. I too was wondering how the weighted thing worked out. Still a bit foggy. Next time we hear from KLM I will jump in regardless of topic.

  • 283. AC IB mom  |  January 30, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I finally found the comment I was thinking of from KLM, but it doesn’t address Scholarships. It was from…

    mom2 it looks to be in reference to a question you asked assuming you are still the same mom2. 🙂 I obviously found it interesting to remember all this time.

    22. mom2 | October 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    While we are on this subject, has anyone ever asked a college admissions person the following question? If they had one slot and two applicants with the same ACT score, but one has a class rank in the top 10% from a Chicago neighborhood high school such as Lakeview (and a GPA of 3.9) and the other has a class rank in the top 30% from a SE high school such as Lane (with a GPA of 3.2), who would they pick? I am curious about the value placed on the SE schools and how much they believe that the top 30% (or even the top 60%) at one SE school may be stronger students than one in the top 10% at non-selective schools (even with a lower GPA due to the rigor at those schools).

    32. klm | October 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    @22 –there are so many ways to answer this question, depending on the type of school: is it a megabig public school, private, unselective, selective, highly selective?

    I’ve worked in undergrad college admissions for several years and eventually practiced law with some experience in education law (although it was not my primary focus).

    Big public schools with tons of applicants will generally use a fairly rigid formula (e.g. GPA+class rank+ACT composite score), unless there’s some reason to look twice (e.g., the basketball coach picks, the grandson of the guy who gave $7m for the new science gbuilding, etc.). In this case, the Lakeview applicant with a 3.9 would prevail.

    However, I worked at an undergraduate admissions office of a state school where GPA were tweaked to adjust to the rigor of the high school the applicant attended by anywhere from 0.1 to 0.5 points on a 4.0 scale, if the school was considered above-average in rigor. So for example a 3.0 from a New Trier applicant maybe adjusted up to a 3.2 or 3.3, a Lab School applicant a 3.4, the toughest prep school in America a 3.5, maybe a 3.1 from Lane Tech, etc . Also, at the same school all self-identified (even part) Black, Hispanic and Native American applicants had an autmatic 0.5 points added to their GPA (on a 4.0 scaled GPA). So, for example, a Hispanic applicant from Lab with a 3.0 would have their GPA adjusted up to a 3.9, in the above example.

    More selective private schools will look at a “whole picture” of the applicant and see where he/she fits in its goal to create a “well rounded” student body (ethnic, academic, class, geographic diversity, etc.).

    There are so many factors to consider here: race, parents’ education (college grads or will this be a 1st generation college student?), special talent.

    So much depends on which school one’s applying, but all things being equal (same race, ACT scores, etc.) I’d say the Lakeview applicant would win this particular race for admissions.

  • 284. Family Friend  |  January 30, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    @251 Gobemouche: The arrangement between CICS and GCE is complicated, and I don’t have all the details. For CICS, GCE is a “school within a school” – specialized program for some CICS students. GCE accepts what CPS pays for each student as tuition, and raises funds from outside donors or uses money it earns from consulting with schools on its program to make up the difference.

  • 285. anonymouse teacher  |  January 30, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Is GCE a therapeutic school for students with severe behavioral disabilities? I get that vibe from your descriptions, but perhaps I am reading it incorrectly.

  • 286. mom2  |  January 31, 2013 at 10:07 am

    @283 – Thanks for finding the old post. Yes, I’m the same mom2 and still having a hard time understanding this topic and the logic used for things related to college admission and now scholarships. Obviously, I have a child at Lane that takes mostly honors and some AP courses but only gets a few A’s, mostly B’s and the occasional C. The classes at Lane are very rigorous and some of the teachers actually told the students that “no one in the class will score above a 75 on the final” (and things like this). So, with some teachers actually proud of the fact that their class is difficult (and ridiculously proud of the fact that many students will not get an A in their class), it makes question the logic of a university that sees an A student from a neighborhood school in the city as being more capable of succeeding at their school than a B or C honors and AP student at a SEHS. Are there any studies that confirm this thinking? It makes me want to tell every student I know to stop taking the difficult classes and stick to regular level easy stuff. Despite the fact that some of the private schools might think they took the easy way out, it sounds like they would be better off for larger universities such as the big 10 schools around here.

  • 287. averagemom  |  January 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    If you have an idea what colleges you are interested in, Lane’s counselor can show you a chart of what kinds of grades and scores would be likely to get accepted . Assuming they use Naviance, it can make a scatter plot showing what kids from Lane were accepted and rejected by ACT or SAT and weighted or unweighted GPA. For example, at my son’s SE school you can see for Urbana, a bunch of kids accepted with an ACT of 30 and unweighted GPAs of 2.6-4.0, and a rejection with an unweighted GPS of 3.6. When I switch to weighted GPA, the rejected point at ACT 30 is a weighted GPA of 3.6, so I assume they didn’t take AP courses, so it looks like they were hurt by taking easier classes.
    It’s hard to know for sure, I’m sure it depends on your major too.

  • 288. mom2  |  January 31, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    @287 averagemom – thank you. I didn’t know that Naviance had that kind of information. I will set up an appointment with the counselor. Nice to see that an unweighted GPA of 2.6 could still be accepted to U of I. Doesn’t help with scholarships, but still something more positive.

  • 289. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Someone (maybe mayfair dad) once mentioned a national message board about college admissions that takes obsession to a new level. If you can find that I bet you could find a thread about GPAs….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 290. mom2  |  January 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you cpsobsessed. I remember that. I thought he mentioned places like collegeconfidential. It seems like those places are hang-outs for people with kids trying to get into the very top schools with ACT scores around 30-36 and 3.9 unweighted GPA’s. Not really the right place for someone with a child that doesn’t test well but does well at projects, homework assignments, etc.
    Wow, I guess I’ve been hanging out here a long time! So glad you have this forum. I’ve got another one to deal with that is still in elementary school so I’ll be around for quite a while longer!

  • 291. anotherchicagoparent  |  January 31, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I found this chart last year,it is from 2008 pg 18. It gives data for access to types of colleges based on GPA’s, ACT scores, plus class types taken.

  • 292. Family Friend  |  January 31, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    @285: GCE is not a therapeutic school. It’s project-based learning derived from the Common Core and the United Nations Millennium Goals. GCE wants students to be aware of the entire world and to understand how they fit in, and how their education makes them better citizens of that world. One project focused on sex education in developing countries. They had to research, prepare a chart or graph, and write an essay. The idea was to see whether countries are making progress to the U.N. goal of ensuring that everyone knows how AIDS is spread.

    Students at GCE come from a wide spectrum of ability, from a North Shore kid who didn’t find education in Switzerland sufficiently meaningful, to kids struggling academically whose parents appreciate the small size and individual attention, to my protege who is blazingly bright but has been in the country only three years and whose education prior to that was sketchy. They like international students because their mission focuses on the world.

  • 293. lawmom  |  January 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    What does GCE stand for?

  • 294. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    @291 – great info! Thanks. Interesting reading. The document is several pages long so I will point to the chart on page 22. According to the write up, the unweighted GPA used incorporates some honors and 2 AP classes

  • 295. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    That would be College Confidential. See it at Required reading?

  • 296. mom2  |  January 31, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Yes, Mayfair Dad mentioned it back in March of 2011 – “Also seek out the blog College Confidential which is like cpsobsessed but national and really, really obsessive.” I like it but again I think the people on that site seem to obsess more about the difference between a 35 and a 36 on the ACT or a 3.9 vs. a 4.0 GPA. We are not anywhere close to that right now 😦

  • 297. mom2  |  January 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    @291 – thank you for the info.

  • 298. HS Counselor  |  January 31, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Mom2 – While yes, there are scholarship organizations and some schools that only look at a student’s unweighted GPA (a pet peeve of mine), I think it’s far more important to remember that the best predictor of college success is the rigor of the student’s high school curriculum. Finding the right degree of challenge is, of course, key. Just as it would be unwise for students to take courses that are too easy in hopes of boosting their unweighted GPA’s, it is also a bad idea to overload on courses beyond what a student can manage. You know your children well and can help them figure out the just right challenge. As hard as it is (and I’m a mom, too, so I know this all too well), focusing on what will help your children be academically successful over how to game the college admissions process will actually serve them better in the long run.

    I would also second the recommendation to talk to your child’s counselor (shocker, I know!) and agree that Naviance is a fantastic resource, especially if your school enters information about students’ application outcomes. The scatter plots are candy for nerdy counselors and involved parents!

  • 299. mom2  |  January 31, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    @298 – thank you so much for jumping in. We will contact the school counselor.
    I appreciate everyone on this forum. It is just so scary to be in a position where your child wants to go to a certain school or schools but they struggle with grades, ACT scores and the family struggles with how on earth to pay for it (without being in debt for 30 years). You just want to do whatever you can to make their wishes a reality and have no idea how to make that happen. I know it is ultimately up to them but when you are an obsessed parent like many of us here, well…

  • 300. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    One more way for HS kids to “get ahead”… MOOC:

  • 301. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    BTW, please remember that the world is run by C students. 😉

    Actually, most colleges are “good” and it’s more about the fit for a student. To be successful in college, the student should attend class, get the work done on time (school takes 40 hours/week of effort/attendance), and not over-stress. They should also understand college costs/aid inside and out and not just pass the bill to you.

    HS students shouldn’t be slaves to college branding/marketing. There’s so many options out there, especially if the kid isn’t latched onto the whole H/P/Y thing.

  • 302. lawmom  |  January 31, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    On a totally different subject, would any one know where to go to find recommended math tutors? I am looking for a new one and besides asking math teachers, don’t know where to look other than “googling”. Thanks.

  • 303. mom2  |  January 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you, Local. Your branding/marketing comment makes me wonder…

    Curious about anyone’s opinion here – If you had three offers from colleges and were financially strapped – one offer from University of Illinois with no financial aid (most debt over time), one offer from University of Nebraska, Kansas, or Missouri (some debt over time) with some aid, and one from Northern Illinois/Illinois State/Western with tons of aid (little to no debt), which one would you select? Is it more important to go to the “good” school (and assume you will somehow get a better job or look better to society and therefore could pay back the debt) or a pretty good school or the lesser school (my ranking is based entirely on branding/marketing/public perception)?

  • 304. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Is Uof I the good school in that scenario? I didn’t grow up in Illinois and I know it’s hard to get into these days but I consider all major state schools the same (this is based on fairly limited knowledge…)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 305. lawmom  |  January 31, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I would say it depends on what your child will be majoring in. Illinois has top rated engineering and business programs. If they do well in those programs, they will have great job offers coming out and I would say it is worth the investment. If they want to be an occupational therapist — I’d go with the school with the best program for that, which might be Kansas. If they want to pursue a JD, MD, Ph.D. or an MBA, they could get into a top school provided they do very well at the undergraduate level — so it matters less where they attend undergrad than where they attend for grad school — which should be the best one they can get into.

  • 306. lawmom  |  January 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Not all state schools are the same. U of Virginia, Michigan and U of California (Berkley and LA) are in a league of their own and extremely competitive. University of Illinois’ business and engineering programs are ranked one of the best in the country. The engineering program just received a $100 million gift. 32% of their graduates are recruited to California to silicon valley, etc.

  • 307. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    What lawmom says seems to make a lot of sense.

    I was given a choice of IU or Purdue and didn’t like the Purdue campus – so that was that.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 308. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I did just see in the trib at UofI full cost is now like 98k for 4 years. I imagine going out of state to other schools is even more?
    So where does UofI I general rank in the state univs? If you’re not in one of those key majors…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 309. AC IB mom  |  January 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    mom2, I have always appreciated your questions because it makes me think about these things early on. My daughter is in 8th, but it is never too soon to think about college.

  • 310. mom2  |  January 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Thank you, AC IB mom. I think a lot 🙂

    I guess I did have U of I as the top school in that scenario because of what I’ve been told and their “selectivity”. When speaking with other parents, they talk about University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan and University of Illinois as being the best public schools in the Midwest. And when comparing University of Illinois to any of the other Illinois state schools, I’ve never met anyone that says there is even a comparison – its U of I all the way. Again, it could just be talk, but that’s what I hear. Maybe someone else knows more here.

    From the research I’ve done, U of I is so expensive that several out of state schools end up being less costly or about the same in the long run. People in other states have it so much better than we do in Illinois. The in-state tuition at other big 10 schools is so much better than U of I in-state tuition. I’m sure there could be a whole forum just talking about why tuition is so outrageous compared to the rest of the economy.

    I agree that picking a school based on what they offer for a particular major would make sense. If my child had a major in mind, this would be much easier. I guess we will pick based on money and the campus and the overall feel. I picked my school based on the weather.

  • 311. lawmom  |  January 31, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    In that case, I would, again, talk to your school counselor. If your child has no major in mind, then it might be the most important thing to have him/her graduate with as little debt as possible because the likelihood of having a high paying job right out of college will be pretty low. As a person who paid their own way through undergrad and law school, I can say student loans are no fun and a struggle to pay when you aren’t earning a decent salary. Encourage him/her to do well in undergrad so in case down the line they decide to go to a grad program, they have a good chance of getting into a good one.

  • 312. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    According to the document posted in 291 U of I is considered to be “highly selective”

    Yes – thanks Mom2 you do bring up great questions and interesting views.

  • 313. Smadness  |  January 31, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    FYI. Some bordering states (Indiana, Wisconsin?) offer Illinois students in state tuition rates.

  • 314. lawmom  |  January 31, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    See also Appendix A starting at page 109 for a little more meat on the bone — they are lumping together the two top “Barron’s” ranked colleges — so my take is they are talking U of I, not Harvard in the grid they show on page 18. This doesn’t make me feel good.

  • 315. Family Friend  |  January 31, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I agree that college is about the best fit for each child. Having a “brand name” degree is not a guarantee of employment, and it’s especially not a guarantee of happiness. When I went to law school (not to a name brand school), I learned — not directly, but through osmosis — that the only definition of success is partnership in a major law firm. It took me years, and partnership in a major law firm, to learn that I wanted something else. I hated it. But I love the law, so I’m not sorry I went to law school. Just sorry that I didn’t learn earlier not to let other people tell me what I want.

  • 316. anonymouse teacher  |  January 31, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    @303, I’d go to the school which was the least expensive long term. There is no guarantee of a job upon graduation for anyone anymore in most fields. It would be awful to try and pay off a 100-200K loan in any job, let alone as a part time waiter.

    It is hard for me to understand why people care about a university’s selectivity. Can someone explain it to me? How many professions truly require the “best” universities to get hired or get the highest pay? Very few of my friends went to big name schools and virtually all of them have decent jobs.

  • 317. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    When I worked in advertising, they were very selective about which school you went to and they were able to get (what considered to be) the cream of the crop. There no way someone from illinois state would be working there. As an IU grad I was an exception and the client service area I’d never have gotten a job.
    In my current field of marketing research it doesn’t matter at all.
    We just interviewed 2 recent grads who went to schools that I’d consider a step below UofI and I asked myself what I’d have thought if someone from harvard applied for the job. I’d have thought “what are you doing here?”.
    I think there are certain industries where it matters quite a bit. At the very least, having a degree from an average school puts you at a disadvantage.
    Other professions it doesn’t matter at all.
    So I guess depending what your child aspires to should help you decide how much it’s worth paying for college.
    As a note, this may have evolved in the past decade given how the job market and the price of school has changed…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 318. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 31, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    #317~CPSO~I agree with you. Depending on your field~where one goes to school does matter. A girl from my neighborhood who is a senior at WY just accepted a full ride to Harvard. I doubt my son will get a full ride anywhere~but I don’t want him (or my husband and myself) to come out of school w/a huge loan either~hopefully, a happy medium for all of us.

  • 319. lawmom  |  January 31, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Graduate schools matter a lot — law school, MBA and med school and Ph.D. Obviously if you go to an Ivy league or other highly selective school you will be on better footing. My advice is go to the best school you get into. However, if you are a liberal arts major undergrad and get a full ride to a less competitive college – I would go there unless you have a defined plan. Law school has become overly competitive and if you are not in the top 10 to 25% of your class from the best schools, forget going to the top law firms. As someone pointed out earlier, this is not utopia for everyone. A lot of “C” students opened up their own shops and are now richer than the top students! MBA’s are the same. The better schools such as Wharton, U of C and Kellogg, Stanford, Harvard, etc. get the best pick. But yes, if someone is applying for a job and has Yale or Harvard on their resume, it does stand out and they will likely be hired over the Case Western or U of I grad.

    Personally I feel that if a person comes out of undergrad overwhelmed by debt and wants to be a social worker or teacher, it is such a burden. There are movements afoot in the legal community to assist public interest attorneys — but it is an ongoing struggle because their college debt is so high and their salaries, that of a legal secretary in a top law firm.

  • 320. lawmom  |  January 31, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    @316anonymouse teacher — the jobs we are talking about are the 6 figure and up jobs out of undergrad and grad school. We are talking about wall street investment firms and law firms. There is a list of schools and yes, the Ivies matter. If you are not in the top 10 and 10 20% of the graduating class — forget it.

    My law school roomate graduated Harvard in 3 years to save on tuition and was accepted into the 2 year apprentice program at Goldman Sachs. Her only concern about doing a JD/MBA was that she would come out making less than what she did before entering grad school. In the upper echelons, schools matter. Same with my husband who works for a Wall Street firm and graduated summa from Michigan Law School (top 10). His firm doesn’t interview outside of the top 15 firms in the nation. So it is all about aspirations and what your personal dreams are.

  • 321. HS Mom  |  January 31, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    316/317 – I think the school can matter initially for your first job. Later when switching jobs not so much especially if you have a proven track record. I worked for a company once that was all about hiring MBA’s no matter what the college. Didn’t make much of an impact, lots of smart people that didn’t necessarily have practical skills. When budget cuts came, that was the first requirement to go.

  • 322. anonymouse teacher  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    So, it must just really depend on the typical fields people around you are in. My friends (and family) are all teachers, cops, nurses, machinists, mechanics, business, etc. None went to big name schools. Most have decent jobs. Most in the 50-80K a year range. (funny, but the mechanic makes more than ALL of my group of friends! I’d be thrilled if either of my children went into any kind of trade.)
    Anyone know off hand what a 100K student loan would be in monthly payments over 20 years? 200K?

  • 323. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    And we all know the good Wall Street and its ilk did recently. 😉

  • 324. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Saw this today (link to NYT story) re law school apps:

  • 325. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Do you know where your primary care physician got his/her MD? I don’t.

  • 326. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I concur about those top jobs mostly requiring top school degrees to get your foot in the door. So the question now is – if you DO get a top degree are you guaranteed of getting in somewhere? That’s what appears to be getting more uncertain. In the past if you paid for the top schools you could be almost assured of getting a high paying job to even it out and now that isn’t guaranteed, right? I have a friend who just finished an MBA at Northwestern – used to be a guarantee for a high paying job… wonder if his classmates all have jobs yet?

  • 327. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    “It is hard for me to understand why people care about a university’s selectivity. Can someone explain it to me? How many professions truly require the ‘best’ universities to get hired or get the highest pay? Very few of my friends went to big name schools and virtually all of them have decent jobs.”

    That’s an excellent question I really hope high schoolers (and families) are asking. An interesting book on this is The Price of Admission, although the author does not question what a “best” school needs to be:

  • 328. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    “I have a friend who just finished an MBA at Northwestern – used to be a guarantee for a high paying job… wonder if his classmates all have jobs yet?” Kellogg’s careers office works its butt off to get ALL its grads jobs. Therewas even someone who had the caseload of the “hard-to-get-hired” grads. If the “placement” (a misnomer) stats suck, the value of the brand sinks.

  • 329. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Say, what is the best way to help an American teen pick a career track?

  • 330. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    So Northwestern is to jobs what Urban Prep is to college…. ?
    Yeah, you’re right about that. In a sense, that’s part of what you’re paying for there. An almost-guarantee of getting a good job. But that’s like one of THE top biz schools. What about say… the #5-6 school. #10? I suppose it just all trickles down from the top.

    Last time I had a plumber here I really thought I should push my son into that for a range of reasons (then he reminded me that you have to look at a lot of poop coming back up.) In a moment of fantasy I thought about quitting MY job and becoming a plumber! Not that I have any skills but it seems so lucrative and you make your own hours!

  • 331. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    @ 302. lawmom | January 31, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    On a totally different subject, would any one know where to go to find recommended math tutors? I am looking for a new one and besides asking math teachers, don’t know where to look other than “googling”. Thanks.

    Check UofC, and be prepared for sticker shock.

  • 332. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Didn’t the Car Guys go to MIT? 😉

  • 333. local  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    @ mom2

    The sticker price of tuition is VERY misleading. You have to find out the likely out-of-pocket costs your family would have at a school (it’s usually not the stated full-time tuition). So, don’t rule out private and or specialty schools. Of course, if your kid NEEDs major football and a huge student population…

    Picking a school based on weather or proximity to a surfing beach is a fine tradition, too.

  • 334. cpsobsessed  |  January 31, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    @local – for what grade of math?

    I got some recos last year but they’re all expensive! Because they’re geared for older grades when the math gets hard…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 335. momof3boys  |  January 31, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    my kid is going to the school who gives him the most $. my mom’s friend’s grandson went to harvard because that was his dream school. now he works at starbucks with over$100K in debt….

  • 336. mom2  |  February 1, 2013 at 10:54 am

    As far as a math tutor, I’ve heard of and MyGuru Edge but I don’t have any personal experience with the tutoring or know the ages they tutor.

  • 337. mom2  |  February 1, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Thanks everyone for the great conversation about picking a college. I know it isn’t “cps” but it is certainly related. I guess we will need to see what offers we get next year (I am one year ahead in worrying about this). I’ll keep all the advice in mind.

  • 338. mom2  |  February 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

    One more comment – as far as the selectivity of a college goes – I sort of think of it like I did back when we were dealing with the SEHS selections or even back finding an elementary school. I hear someone say in a very negative tone – “Oh, that child ONLY got into Iowa” or “Oh, that child ONLY got into Lakeview” or “Oh, that child is ONLY going to Disney Magnet” or things like that. It really makes me furious inside. Just because THEIR child goes to Michigan or NSCP or Edison (or wherever) does not guarantee their child is or will be a superstar in life. And if my amazing child doesn’t go there, that doesn’t make them any less fabulous.

    I wish that attitude didn’t bother me so much because it makes me wonder if they are right in some way which is why I asked about the top universities. It sounds like it might matter if your child wants to be a doctor or a lawyer but maybe not for other careers.

  • 339. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2013 at 11:15 am

    @335 LOL – my sister-in-law went to Brown. Her biggest claim to fame was a stint on Jeopardy. A friend that pieced together a degree at night at various community colleges makes well into the 6 figures with a hedge fund company. It’s all what you make of it.

  • 340. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Mom2 I agree – What made my friend stand out is that she is a “mover and a shaker” in her area of expertise. Her annual bonus is larger that my salary. Ability can prevail over “name brand”. I guess for me, the trick is figuring out what my kids strengths are and then building on that. This seems to be where the school counselor can come in handy. We plan on applying to at least 7 schools and will pick the school that we think he can be most successful in. We don’t want to start a career in debt (or at least keep it to a comfortable minimum) so that will likely influence our decision.

  • 341. lawmom  |  February 1, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I agree — many of the “C” students at my law school started their own firms as personal injury attorneys and are making millions. We used to joke that the “A” students would be professors and judges. That hasn’t been entirely true, but it truly is what you make of it to some extent. However, certain places have their “List” and won’t look beyond that for new graduates.

  • 342. southie  |  February 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Our Chicago neighbor cops and firemen (in their late 40’s and 50’s) make between $80K and &100K with early retirement age and (for now) good pension, FWIW.

  • 343. AC IB mom  |  February 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I agree. I went to community college and after a number of years going part time and supporting myself I received my Associates. I had met my husband there, had my first daughter, and eventually wanted to go back to school. I went to the only convenient/affordable 4 year school I could to take a couple of additional classes hoping to work towards a bachelors degree. I then ended up pregnant with my second child. Unfortunately with having to work full time and raise 2 kids I did not continue after that. I can say I feel like I had a good elementary and high school education here in Chicago (Catholic) but, I am also very hard working. I am a Project Manager and make a decent salary (maybe not 6 figures, but…) and my counter parts almost all have degrees, some from reputable schools, and some even have post graduates. They are not making more money because of it.

    I also have friends who are very intelligent and received a fabulous education, but are lazy so only go so far in their careers. So while I do think a large part is your education, I think it is more what you do with it. I can say because I was never pushed to be my best in school, I do try to push my kids. I want them to have opportunities that I didn’t and I want them to know they are going to have to work for them.

  • 344. RL Julia  |  February 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I guess the selectivity of the undergraduate institution you attend sort of depends on what kind of degree you want and if you anticipate going on to graduate school. My only observation about H/P/Y grads is that they do seem to know a higher percentage of very successful people. With the exception of Ronald Regan every president since Eisenhower has gone to at least one highly selective university…. however many of us don’t aspire to be president so I am not so sure if it really matter in the day to day.

  • 345. mom2  |  February 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I do think that going to highly selective universities might help in getting a job just because of the other people you may meet, the connections you may have. But, I wonder if that fact drops off when you move past H/P/Y and start talking more about the differences between Michigan and Iowa or University of Illinois and Illinois State. No clue. Again, it may depend on your field of study.

    Do you think it is true that a smaller college might better help a student that doesn’t have a career path in mind because they could devote more energy in helping them (not just a number) or do you think a larger university could help more because they have so many resources and opportunities and staff focused on this?

  • 346. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    #345~ Many times~it’s who you know. My friend went to Northern IL. I can’t even remember what his original major was. He roomed w/a guy who wanted him to work w/him at his dad’s CPA firm downtown over the summer b4 sophomore yr. My friend did and realized that he wanted to be a CPA~changed majors (had to go 1/2 yr longer) and worked for that CPA firm during summers/breaks until he graduated NIU. Afterward that father got my friend the interview w/a very major company as the comptroller of the whole company~he oversees all of their branches~he’s still there 30 yrs later and making oodles of money~6 figures w/a lot of perks!

  • 347. mom2  |  February 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Thank you @346 – I think you are right.

  • 348. anon  |  February 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    most ceo’s went to state schools.

  • 349. Ivana  |  February 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I went to Olive Harvey College, one of the City Colleges in Chicago. Last year made $100k as a peds nurse, have no debt and love my job 🙂

  • 350. cpsobsessed  |  February 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    @ivana – that sounds like a great school/career plan (and you get to be around babies!).

    I have 3 friends who’ve just gotten their nursing degrees in their 40’s and it sounded so challenging.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 351. HS Mom  |  February 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    @349 – perfect! Great example. One point made in the college document listed above is that you need to go to a college that is your match.

  • 352. anon  |  February 2, 2013 at 3:07 am

    I have a feeling that the most sucessful people didn’t have their parents planning their lives . . .

  • 353. CarolA  |  February 2, 2013 at 7:48 am

    @352: I agree! As a parent, you can guide, you can suggest, but in the end, it should be the child/young adult’s choice. Even as a first grade teacher, I see parents doing too many things for their child. These are the least successful students in my room. Just two days ago I came across a homework assignment where the parent wrote the child’s name. Really????? It’s January/February of first grade! They CAN do it themselves!

  • 354. averagemom  |  February 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I recommend the book Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents. (That title really jumped out at me at the library) It’s written by a college student. One of the things he talks about is that studies show your success doesn’t always depend on going to an ivy league school. I had my son read it so he knows it’s not just me thinking that.

  • 355. CarolA  |  February 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Anyone watch Shark Tank? I’ve seen several college students who’ve had great ideas, dropped out of college to work full-time on it and become very successful. Sometimes it’s about the inner-drive!

  • 356. CarolA  |  February 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Speaking of inner-drive…I believe it’s either there or it’s not. This year I have two very bright first graders. One continues to grow by leaps and bounds (MAP score proven) because she is constantly challenging herself and asking probing questions. The other barely moved at all on his scores because he knows he’s naturally smart and thinks he can sit back and relax. He likes to brag about how everything is so easy, yet refuses to do challenging work I offer. He often doesn’t solve deep-thinking math problems because he isn’t able to think “outside the box” while the other student does. It’s interesting to watch at this early stage. I’d be curious how they fair out later in life.

  • 357. lawmom  |  February 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Here’s another option for college — the 10k degree.

  • 358. HSObsessed  |  February 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Here’s a really great article by Sarah Karp of Catalyst, following up on the 100 kids at Northside/Payton/Young/Jones who were placed there after the court struck down the provision allowing race as a criteria for admittance to the selective enrollment high schools (and other schools). I had wondered whether CPS had only done that one year, but I see they’ve quietly continued it each year. Some nice details on how the kids have managed over the years, and lots of insight as to the support they’ve received.

  • 359. RL Julia  |  February 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    This a great article – it’s a little disappointing that this program primarily targets African American kids – not including Latino kids who might also benefit. It’s also disappointing to have it so starkly pointed out that the elementary schools these kids are coming from are not preparing kids capable of doing SEHS level work to do so…. more disappointing is that parents and schools in low income neighborhoods don’t seem to consisently have high enough expectations for their students to allow them to dream the big dreams

  • 360. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    @358 HSO – Thank you! Finally an explanation in plain terms that points out that the elaborate tier system is not doing much for diversity. Great discussion of what is really going on and what happens to the kids.

    @359 RLJ – Latinos are already majority at Jones and Lane and significant at the others.

  • 361. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Regarding “dreaming big dreams” – I think there would be much consternation involved in a decision like this. The article mentions but does not elaborate on those that did not succeed. Seems too that different schools would provide varying levels of support. This comment struck me as one reason to hold back.

    “Principal Joyce Kenner says this put her school at a disadvantage compared to Payton and Northside, which got fewer of these students. “Whitney Young should not be punished for doing a good job,” she says”

    As a parent, I don’t know that I would consider a Metra commute along with a bus ride from the southside to Nortside Prep. With the required “catching up” and then “keeping up” little social life or sports.

    Overall seems like an excellent opportunity for a certain type of kid.

  • 362. RL Julia  |  February 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    But not at the other schools in question – Payton, Whitney, Lindblom and Northside…

  • 363. smadness  |  February 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Dr Kenner’s comment struck me as elitist and insensitve. “Punished”? Really? for giving kids a chance ? I hope they got more support than her comment would lead me to believe.

  • 364. 3scents  |  February 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    361 Whitney Young should not be punished for doing a good job,” she says
    how interesting…Tier 4 parents are punished everyday for doing a good job and that is not news…..It’s time to stop the handouts. Those SE spots should go to the highest scoring students across the board without all the funny stuff and number playing. How are you helping these students by giving them easy access and handholding?

  • 365. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    #363~smadness~Dr. Kenner is a ROCK STAR principal. One could not ask for a more supportive principal. WY is punished bc it does such a gr8 job and just like #365~3scents said~’Tier 4 parents are punished everyday for doing a good job and that is not news’.

  • 366. Smadness  |  February 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    You’re helping them by giving a few students an opportunity at a great education that shouldn’t be reserved for the fortunate few. I think we can all agree that the selection process is far from perfect but I can’t begrudge these students a shot at what us probably a life changing experience for them.

  • 367. NotToday9  |  February 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    366 since i work my can off for my kids, i can certainly begrudge kids of slugs. sorry

  • 368. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    #366~smadness~I don’t begrudge these students~it just shudn’t be on WY~it should be on ALL of the SEHS. When one school keeps taking more than their share, it affects the school/students. I was speaking of fairness~CPS really isn’t fair in their way of ‘punishing’ WY.

  • 369. ChiGirl0  |  February 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    368 – CPS is not fair especially high school admittance. I would prefer testing in by scores only, abolish this tier stuff already.

  • 370. Smadness  |  February 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    SSIrish- Got it. Thx for clarifying w/o the name calling!

  • 371. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    SSI – I see your point. Does Whitney consider the program an opportunity for some kids or “punishment” for the school? I don’t understand, weren’t all the top schools required to equally take on kids from this program? From the article my understanding is that equal numbers of kids got original offers and subsequently Lane and Lindblom were added and the list of qualifying students went down. Having a larger general population at Whitney, wouldn’t the impact be minimal compared to a smaller school. How is Whitney singled out in all this – just asking because I don’t see it.

  • 372. cpsobsessed  |  February 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    @nottoday – wow, that sounds really amazing all the work you do to make your kids so smart. Can you share your secrets with those of us who are striving to do the same? Heck, or write a book about it! I’m sure if other parents could unlock these secrets then more kids in the city could excel.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 373. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 5, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I can’t speak for Dr Kenner or WY. But my understanding would be that many kids didn’t go to the other SEHS but many went to Young~that changes things in an unfair way~after the first year~ALL the money is gone, but you still need ALL the resources to help the kids get and stay current w/the other kids~not just learning but also being a part of the school. That is a HUGE problem w/no more money from CPS. But I’m sure CPS doesn’t care~they have many initiatives they start~don’t fund and then forget abt.

  • 374. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    @373 – but what about the 3 other schools that are roughly half the size of Whitney. Even if only half accepted, students would be equally dispersed as a ratio of the total population. Isn’t that mostly how the money is allocated?

    I know that you can’t speak for Dr. Kenner and I have heard great things.

    What would be interesting to know is how many of those who did accept offers (75 1st year, fewer second year, 85 third year) stay and have positive experiences/outcomes. To me the success stories are worth it. I just hope that there was some kind of placement plan for kids that couldn’t handle it.

  • 375. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    #374~HS MOM~CPS’ plan is to go back to n’hood school~that’s their standard placement for everything…and no funding.

  • 376. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Yes? – figures. As much as this program could be a god send for some I am totally against the potential of wreaking havoc without a plan B. Upon mutual agreement the child should have guaranteed admission to a magnet or charter of their choosing. If they are going to have a program of this nature, they need to go all the way with it and think it through.

  • 377. local  |  February 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    About $10,000 support funds/yr for a school? Couldn’t SEHS attract grant funding for an academic/social support program like this (to take it beyond the first year)?

  • 378. HS Mom  |  February 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    @377 that was $10,000 per student

  • 379. cpsobsessed  |  February 5, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Wow, I was just able to read the Catalyst article. Fascinating! I had not idea this was going on and I have kind of mixed feelings about it. I support it conceptually, but I agree… it would be great to provide an option like a magnet or charter that didn’t prove so stressful to some of the kids. I think it highlights the weird nature of our high schools that the only “really good” high schools are 4 SEs. Or i suppose they’re giving some kids an in to the schools that are considered “the best” (although we know their best-est ranking comes from getting the best kids.)

    I also was expecting to see the WY principal’s “punishment” comment in context and have it make more sense, but… uh, no. Not at all. I’m assuming it’s taken out of context (since there is no context around it) so it’s hard to tell what she’s referring to as WY’s punishment. But certainly a weird choice of words. I once met one of the WY admin informally and got the impression that they really care about and work to help any kids who fall behind at the school, so this was a surprising comment.

  • 380. cpsobsessed  |  February 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I was talking with someone this weekend who told me about the Posse program which selects kids who are non-white (?) (the site doesn’t really specific, just implies) who are really outstanding and helps them select and gain admission to top colleges with full scholarships. I was asking if they kids are able to adapt well in college (given what we’ve been told about CPS and charters now preparing kids well.) She stressed that these are really the cream of the crop (and mentioned them coming from the top SEHS and some Noble St. Charters.)

  • 381. Taft IB Mom  |  February 6, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Posse is a wonderful program. In the past four years since it has been introduced to Taft we have had multiple recipients of Posse scholarships which are “free rides” to terrific schools. Our Posse Scholarship winners who are all VERY accomplished have been of all backgrounds including some very bright Polish and Irish students who were not minorities.

    Whoever said they are the “cream of the crop” is correct however, we all should be careful about thinking only the cream of the crop exist at SEHS and Noble St. Charters – they exist at neighborhood schools too as we know MANY students who are bright are excluded from SEHS schools. Thankfully the Posse Foundation is not short sighted and realizes that there are “cream of the crop” students beyond SEHS.

    Taft’s Classes of 2010, 2011, 2012 and now 2013 have had numerous students that have earned totally “free rides” to terrific colleges based upon their merits via, Posse and a few other programs. Taft Alumni from these classes also include University of Chicago Scholars, Chicago Scholars, World Sports Chicago Scholars, ITT Boeing Scholars, Evans Scholars, Fishkin Recipients and military school cadets. All the “cream of the crop” using various criteria and definitely representing a rainbow of backgrounds.

  • 382. CPC4Chicago  |  February 6, 2013 at 8:56 am

    While deemed insensitive to some, I understand where the Whitney Young principal is coming from. The fact of the matter is schools are primarily ranked on matters such as test scores and these kids were admitted with scores averaging 200 (!) points lower than not just the average kid admitted that year but the average Tier 1 kid. While it’s nice to say things like “I’d rather error on the side of inclusion” with only a fixed number of spots in the system, these kids were included at the expense of others being excluded; and not just “privileged” kids with other options but several significantly higher scoring Tier 1 kids.

    Using current enrollment data for the four original schools and assuming an equal distribution in the grades, there were roughly 1250 SEHS places open that year. We all knew about the 5% principal discretion, now we’re finding out that an additional 8% of the seats were essentially “reserved” for kids who were the right color but couldn’t meet Tier 1 admittance criteria. Granted, with the addition of Lindblom and especially Lane, these kids are now a smaller percentage of the overall SEHS system, but nonetheless still reduce the number of seats available to those who are trying to qualify via a system that seemed largely transparent.

    Sidenote, I found it interesting that it was a provision of the Federal No Child Left Behind Act that provided the legal backstop for this behind the scenes bit of social engineering.

  • 383. cpsobsessed  |  February 6, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I’d imagine the lower test scores are the “punishment” she’s referring to (although it’d sound better to say “we took a hit on scores” or something like that.)

    I find it puzzling though – yikes, does cps really compare the SEHS principals on the nuances of test scores and somehow chastise her for not doing as well as the others? If so, that’s a little too “high stakes” for me. Not that I’d put it past them — I’ve heard a neighborhood school principal say that her area leader repeatedly compared her test scores to those of Decatur which makes no sense.

    Also, for a principal who gets the top scoring students to complain that the lower scoring kids are making her schools scores look lower – well, she’s also getting a bonus of the top scoring kids make her look good which none of the neighborhood schools have the benefit of…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 384. smadness  |  February 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

    And let’s not even get into Fioretti’s Jone’s “boundary” preference speaking of unfairly reserved spots in SEHSs.

  • 385. Nogradestosend  |  February 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Attention parents of CPS seniors waiting for college acceptances: “Midwest liberal arts” college just took a pass on my son’s early decision request – reason given – none except that CPS could not submit grades when requested. Why? No grades avaibale to send. Are theses seniors at a general disadvantage at competitive schools? What are other parents hearing?

  • 386. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 6, 2013 at 10:02 am

    #385~Nogradestosend~each individual high school is responsible for submitting grades to universities. I would call your hs and find out the answer as to why the delay and then have them fax or overnight the grades immediately.

  • 387. Nogradestosend  |  February 6, 2013 at 10:51 am

    My point was that a consequence of the CPS late start this year is that grades are not available until weeks after ofther schools. I have no quarrel with the guidance counselors who have no grades to send. College admissions is a competitive process. And we’ve been scooped by our inability to compete.

  • 388. CPSAppalled  |  February 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    As for tutors: I’ve used Club Z and I heard that Sitter City has lists of tutors. Don’t know how the latter screens tutors…

  • 389. RL Julia  |  February 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    @379 – it wasn’t that the only “really good” schools were targeted for the add-in program – it was that the four original schools were the schools which were predominantly white where it was projected (in this case correctly) that the lifting of the consent decree would cause a rapid decrease in non-white students attending the school.

  • 390. HS Mom  |  February 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    @382 – “While deemed insensitive to some, I understand where the Whitney Young principal is coming from. The fact of the matter is schools are primarily ranked on matters such as test scores and these kids were admitted with scores averaging 200 (!) points lower than not just the average kid admitted that year but the average Tier 1 kid”

    I do see where you’re coming from here. On the flip side, Whitney does have a “lock” on the best gifted talent through it’s academic center so should that advantage outweigh its “punishment”? No doubt Whitney is doing some good things and hopefully something for these kids too. In the 2010 year I believe that the 100 kids were added after admissions on top of seats offered. If all 25 accepted at Whitney and all 25 made it to Junior year ACT (which is unlikely) it would still have a miniscule effect on scores but make a larger than life impact to the kids that made it. What this article points out is that it really takes a special kid to make it and they are out there and deserve a chance. They aren’t taking anything away from anyone. They are not a blemish to the school – if anything something the school should feel accomplished about.

  • 391. CPC4Chicago  |  February 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    @389, the original four schools were predominantly white three years ago? Even Whitney Young, really? I thought in response to the original 1980 consent decree that CPS capped white admissions at 35%

    According to the article the original four weren’t “targeted for the add-in program” because they were majority white but rather they were the only four schools that met the No Child Left Behind criteria for “Adequate Yearly Progress.” At least that was the quasi-legal justification for the program.

  • 392. averagemom  |  February 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    The principal at Lincoln Park seems to have the same attitude. They seem more concerned about the test scores than giving kids the best education they can. Lincoln Park’s addition of the IB middle years program is not letting any more neighborhood kids take the IB diploma program than before, despite studies showing kids who try the program but don’t get the diploma still do much better in college. The principal said he didn’t want to ‘water it down’. Apparently, Lincoln Park doesn’t want to see the percent of kids getting the diploma drop by letting more kids do it. We can only do parts of it.

  • 393. RL Julia  |  February 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Apparently having high expectations for all kids is too much to ask – or maybe just too much to pay for…. Almost anyone can be college ready – but if you are starting from a deficit or have a lot of barriers (like poverty etc…) it takes a lot of money (look at what it took for that kid in the movie the Blind Side to make it to college (and stay there) for example) -hence school’s tendancy to cream. Principals don’t want to water down their curriculums to include kids that might benefit from the educational opportunities at hand – because they won’t get credit for it -at the central office or ultimately with parents.

    There are some amazing schools in the CPS system whose value added scores are astounding – in terms of consistently teaching kid one or two grades worth of stuff a year – but they are generally teaching kids who are entering schools any number of grades behind so they aren’t considered valuable by many parents – and they aren’t necessarily making NCLB AYP either…. Those schools have nothing to lose under this scenario – but the “gems” of the CPS system – they have nothing to gain (and perhaps quite a bit to lose) by giving kids who are not academic sure things more opportunities -the benefit of which might not be realized until post high school graduation…

  • 394. RL Julia  |  February 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Of course, none of the above comment really has anything remotely to do with actually providing an education….

  • 395. lawmom  |  February 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I agree with 393. I think a better investment would be to start at the beginning. Get the target population in school for a full day at age 3 and start reading to them, teaching them ABC’s and numbers so when they do enter 1st grade they are not behind more privileged peers. I would rather give minority kids who just missed the cut off score the seats rather invest in kids who are most likely to fail. I sent the Catalyst article to my daughter who is a sophomore at WY and her comment was “We still don’t need kids here who are failing classes.” I can tell you, the work is intense — I have heard more intense than Northside or Payton from parents who have had kids in both places.

    Two girls (probably from this program) were in my daughter’s honors English course last year. She came home aghast saying that they didn’t know basic grammar, spelling, etc. and were pulling “F’s”. She offered to help them during their lunch period on their papers. One accepted the help, the other didn’t, but neither did well. The kids who are failing are “counseled” to return to their neighborhood schools. One WY teacher informed me that Dr. Kenner won’t keep the kids long who are failing. Maybe they the freshman year and if they aren’t making it — they go out. Don’t know for sure. My teacher source didn’t like this program, and it doesn’t seem popular with Dr. Kenner (judging from the quote). However, Dr. Kenner was told this was how it was going to be and didn’t have a choice.

  • 396. HSObsessed  |  February 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    @391 – I had forgotten about that quasi-legal basis given for the four schools. Pretty much everyone involved knew (and I think it was openly admitted at the time) that the “normal route” acceptances that went out in 2010 were so far skewed away from African American kids that it was felt that action was needed to keep a better racial balance going forward in those high schools. I personally think it’s a good program to have in place and feel Kenner’s remarks were very unfortunate. There are about 550 kids per Whitney Young freshman class, so making room for 25 more students, who came with an additional $250,000 in resources, shouldn’t be considered a punishment.

  • 397. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    #396~HSOBsessed~the # of Freshman at WY is abt 450 and that’s not including some that have left. As for the additional $10,000 per child, that resource was just for one year. If CPS really wanted that initiative to work, they would have funded it. Just another unfunded failed plan by CPS.

  • 398. RL Julia  |  February 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    The fact is, that by high school, even a motivated student from an elementary school with lower expectations/achievement is going to have to work unimaginably hard to make up the stuff they didn’t get. Whitney Young is a really hard school and like 395 mentioned-doesn’t tolerate students pulling F’s very well – at least on paper.

    My daughter is in the AC and part of the acceptance packet was a long, scary list of what kind of students DON’T do well in the program and how if you weren’t really, really ready not to feel obliged to enroll – wait until 9th grade. I think there was something in there basically saying that kids with below a C average would be counselled to leave the program and return to their neighborhood school because they weren’t ready. That being said, all the teachers I have met seem to feel the exact opposite and really bend over backwards to get the kids any sort of help they need.

  • 399. HSObsessed  |  February 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    @397 – the CPS data page shows that there were 536 freshmen at WY on the day of school this year (probably fell in October 2012, with the strike). Have 80ish kids dropped out already? That seems huge.

  • 400. HSObsessed  |  February 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    ^^^on the 20th day of school

  • 401. HS Mom  |  February 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    To the Whitney Young folks – your stories cause concern. The boy in the article working his but off for a bunch of C’s maybe a B and a D is hardly a failure factory. Please don’t tell me that these selective schools are only for the gifted because there are a range of talents. They’re smart kids, especially the ones who make it against the odds. How exactly is the program a “failure”?

  • 402. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    #399~HBObsessed~NO your # is more accurate~I believe there were around 539 kids. I misread some #s~. I’m sorry to give out bad data.

  • 403. really8  |  February 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    401 “a bunch of C’s maybe a B and a D is hardly a failure” but not exactly stellar. I wouldn’t be too excited about this report card, how about u? mediocure at best

  • 404. lawmom  |  February 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Not saying everyone in the program is a failure. I would be interested in seeing what the success percentages are. I only have anecdotal information, what my child observed in class and saw on papers. The girls were ill prepared. Perhaps the article focused on someone who is “making it work”. And I am happy for these kids. However, I am a firm believer that getting them while they are young is a lot easier than doing the “remedial catch up” at the back end with just a very few.

  • 405. HS Mom  |  February 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    @403 – Not sure about your point of reference. I think it would be a fair statement to say that many do not get A’s and B’s at these schools and I’m talking about high scoring kids from good schools. My reference was to a boy interviewed in the article above who came in never having been exposed to this level of work. Someone who was freaked out and pulled himself together. I would say that it’s a exemplary performance. I wish my own kid worked as hard as these kids do.

  • 406. cpsobsessed  |  February 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I did like in the article that OAE is doing more proactive outreach. I think that’s great.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 407. CPS Parent  |  February 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    399. HSObsessed – given the track record of the principal at WY I wouldn’t be surprised if there are shenanigans going on with the number of enrolled students there.

  • 408. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    #407~CPS Parent~what track record are do you know of~please share….

  • 409. RL Julia  |  February 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Well for starters she and the (now retired) principal were the target of a proposed ban for principal discretion picks. search for the SunTimes article…. I think there have been other …. infractions….. along the way. She’s been a principal for a long time.

  • 410. anonymouse teacher  |  February 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Regarding whether or not to put our efforts in at the beginning or at the later part of a child’s educational career, I’d say both. Early intervention helps, but most kids living in poverty (both monetary and educational poverty) need help their entire educations. It isn’t like you can just catch them up at the start and they’ll do okay. They need resourceful, targeted, intensive help their entire school lives in order to get and stay on level with their more advantaged peers. Preschool isn’t the be all end all fix, though it certainly helps some.

  • 411. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    #409~RL Julia~Right the proposed ban ~4got abt that. Only 1 pick in 16 yrs didn’t graduate. I think CPS would serve itself well if Kenner was CEO~But Rahm could never go for a strong women who actually led and did something good for CPS. If he did, he would have replicated what they are doing at WY at all the other school or at least try to.

  • 412. Long time observer and parent  |  February 7, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I’d be very surprised if Dr. Kenner hasn’t rejected that offer several times over the last decade. Honestly–how many superintendents have we had at CPS since Joyce Love?

  • 413. mom2  |  February 7, 2013 at 10:33 am

    @really8 – B’s and C’s at the top 5 SEHS in Chicago is a very common thing for many of the students there. These grades are for students that received all A’s in elementary and middle school. They get these grades because the courses and tests are purposely very difficult. Teachers say it again and again that they don’t want and can’t have everyone getting A’s and B’s in their class, so they intentionally make that impossible. Therefore, C’s and D’s from someone that starts at a disadvantage isn’t anywhere near as bad as you think.

  • 414. seriously  |  February 7, 2013 at 10:58 am

    413 I would expect (since these are top students) better grades than C’s. I thought C meant minimal effort.

  • 415. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

    #414~Seriously~I don’t know any of the students that would settle or be happy w/a C. Most of the kids my son is friends with are A students w/a possible B here and there. They are all striving to be the best and top student in their class. I doubt any of the kids are C students. Many teachers will tell you the difference between A, B, C students is effort.

  • 416. RL Julia  |  February 7, 2013 at 11:22 am

    There are lots of kids getting C’s and below at the SE’s – sometimes its just one subject, sometimes it’s across the boards. It can be because of not putting in enough effort, because the subject is just hard for that particular student, because the class is moving too quickly for the student – or my favorite – because the student thinks the teacher is a loser and wants to passive aggressively “punish” them by not doing the work or take it/the class seriously. Ahhhh, the joys of adolescence.

  • 417. Fab333  |  February 7, 2013 at 11:40 am

    416 i know a student who did the mentioned punishment of the professor at DePaul. The prof. sucks so I won’t do any work….way to show a professor who’s boss indeed. The parents were thrilled, and junior is paying for the retake.

  • 418. anon  |  February 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    My kid had a score of 890 and gets mainly C’s in Lane and flunked freshman math. There are a lot of factors that go into grades including organization, motivation etc.

  • 419. ohplease  |  February 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Oh please. Joyce Kenner is a good principal and really understands high school sports and connects to the kids but she is an egocentric rule breaker who was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury for admitting students for political reasons. No way has she every been a CEO contender.Nor should she be.

  • 420. mom2  |  February 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    My child had straight A’s in middle school and at Lane gets A’s, B’s and has had at least one C every year, sometimes two. This is not a kid that doesn’t put in the effort, does all the homework assignments, pays attention in class. Sometimes there’s more to it than that. I think some teachers aren’t organized themselves which can make it difficult to learn and others, more like college, expect kids to teach themselves by reading and research beyond the classroom discussions. That may be where kids tend to fail. Not sure.

  • 421. mom2  |  February 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Oh, and getting C’s doesn’t make any kid happy, but that doesn’t stop the C’s.

  • 422. RL Julia  |  February 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    @419 – I agree with your summation of Dr. Kenner completely.
    @420 – I for one am pretty done with teachers who don’t use any textbooks. Maybe it works but generally speaking all the teacher who have gone this route seem to have also been colossally disorganized. Hard to study for a mid term when there is no books or easily accessible and organized reading materials (because they are a combination of videos and stuff found on-line) and the teacher doesn’t provide a study guide. In this case, I’d argue that a text book could at least provide a framework to be followed… but that’s just my rant.

  • 423. CPS Parent  |  February 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    419. ohplease – Well said. What scares me is that if an elected school board ever became reality in Chicagoe operators like Kenner would probably run and get elected. I beleive she has pushed herself forward for the CEO job in the past.

  • 424. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    #419~ohplease~I totally disagree w/you re Joyce Kenner.

    #422~RL Julia~I agree~every teacher should provide a study guide.

  • 425. mom2  |  February 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    RL Julia and SoxSideIrish4 – Oh how I wish they all provided either a book or study guide for review. You wouldn’t believe the number of teachers at Lane that just tell you that you need to learn to use your notes and study your notes and that’s it. Then, maybe they have a few hand-outs that are 50 pages long and they tell you there might be something on that, too. I don’t even remember college being as difficult to create a study plan as some of the Lane classes appear to be. Maybe it’s just my kid, but I don’t think so.

  • 426. RL Julia  |  February 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    The difference as I remember it -is that in college you got a syllabus so at least you knew the topics that were going to be covered.

  • 427. CarolA  |  February 8, 2013 at 7:28 am

    My daughter had several teachers at Lane that were questionable and that was over 10 years ago. My beef at that time was with teachers that could barely speak English. I’m not kidding. At a parent conference, I couldn’t understand his explanation, so how was my child going to understand day to day lessons? She had 2 of those in her 4 years. She also had a teacher who gave her a low grade but couldn’t justify his logic. 2 days after she talked to him about it, she was called down to the counselor’s office because of a “hickey-like” mark on her neck. IT IS A BIRTHMARK and she’s always had it. Odd that he noticed it after the conference. There are good and bad teachers just as there are good and bad workers in any profession. Keep in mind, she also had many wonderful teachers at Lane!

  • 428. Teacher and Parent  |  February 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Shouldn’t kids take notes and use those as their study guides? My child (at a SE h.s.) has a syllabus from each of her classes. I actually prefer that teacher move away from the textbooks.

  • 429. mom2  |  February 8, 2013 at 10:28 am

    428 – Yes, they should take notes and use those to help them study, but if the test covers a ton of details and a semester’s worth of information – some from the lectures where they may take notes and some from various videos, web pages, power point presentation or other things scattered in various places, it would certainly be helpful to have both a syllabus and a study guide to at minimum point them to the areas of focus.

    CarolA – I think things have gotten much better at Lane as far as teachers that don’t speak English (never encountered anything like that) and each year there is less and less focus on things like dress code and other discipline issues (hickey marks – lol) and much more focus on educational achievement. However, as you said, there will always be good and bad teachers and the “bad” ones are very frustrating.

  • 430. averagemom  |  February 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I take a lot of training classes for work, mostly about new computer technology. The way they teach adults is so different to college and high school. Since their job is to make sure you learn, you usually get a handout with all the powerpoints and a few notes on it. You can pay attention to what the teacher is saying knowing you don’t have to write down everything they say, so you can think as they teach and ask questions. High school and college seem to have an attitude that if it’s too hard for you to listen, take notes, and think about what you don’t understand all at the same time, tough luck.
    Handouts would be too expensive, but if they would at least tell you what you’d be doing the next day so you could read the textbook in advance so you could just focus on what the teacher is saying, it would be helpful. Those no textbook classes are a big problem for the way some of us learn. (You know, in one ear and out the other)

  • 431. anon  |  February 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    My kid–the one with the 890 entrance score and C’s–has had excellent teachers at Lane. I didn’t particularily like one teacher but it was stylistic, and there was another one who was new and inexperienced and had some classroom management issues and a crazy gym teacher but otherwise, they have really been very very good. There have not been any classes where he has not had a textbook where he needs it and I am shocked with how they spoonfeed them with study guides for finals. Some teachers don’t use gradebook as much as I would like but that is true anywhere. I really love Lane. The fault is my son’s –not the teacher’s or Lane’s.

  • 432. mom2  |  February 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Regarding hand-outs being too expensive – why not post one online and people can print it out themselves if they want a hard copy? I think that excuse about expense is really going away as more and more people have access to the internet somewhere.

  • 433. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I heard that Jones Prep is doing away with the higher grading scale next school year and going with the “standard” grading scale of 60/70/80/90

  • 434. CPSgetItDone  |  February 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    433 ridiculous

  • 435. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    #433~I didn’t know that. I thought it was already A=90% like NCP. I think WP is a bit lower. WY went down from 95%=A to 93%=A.

  • 436. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    #432~mom2~that’s a fantastic idea.

  • 437. anonymouse teacher  |  February 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Regarding teachers who don’t use textbooks: Are they not using text books because they choose not to or because the school cannot afford the books or because the school did not get their order in on time to be able to use books? I know of more than one teacher who has placed an order for texts back in April, the school screwed up the order, then come fall, there is no text to use and the teachers are told to “make do”. Even if kids pay for the books, I don’t believe that covers the entire cost, and the cost may be too much for the school to afford. It is hard for a teacher to be organized with curriculum when the texts they were counting on, at the last minute, do not show up. I used to teach in a different CPS school than the one I am in now and didn’t have ANY curriculum, books, supplies at all for math. And I truly mean I had nothing. It was very hard to be organized and teach math well out of thin air.

  • 438. tchr  |  February 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    And WE have a curriculum for math.. (Everyday Math- does everyone have to use that) and it is not rigorous enough for common core! We are forced to stray from the curriculum and supplement / create our own curriculum. The curriculum spirals, there are not units, and it’s confusing to know what skills they expect kids to master. My students from last year (now 1st graders) scored low on base ten on NWEA when they took it this fall. This wasn’t a huge focus in the curriculum, but now I know better.

    I don’t know how much the school pays for the kindergarten workbooks, but I never use them. With management of materials, and students coming in and out throughout the school year, it is too difficult to use, and we usually photocopy sheets, IF we decide to use the page.

    I feel like my admin orders plenty of things for us to use, but we are never given specific training or PD on how to use them. Read the teachers manual. Let me tell you, Everyday Math’s fun whole group games were not written for a population of at risk students in a high needs school that might be closed if its’ test scores do not go up. Those games don’t work when strict classroom management is needed. A first year teacher at my school is really struggling with her babies. I don’t blame her for not wanting to open a can of worms and have students hop on a life size number line- for fear of them jumping on each other/ doing cartwheels/just not getting the objective of the lesson… Sigh..

    Do any other elementary schools have a better math curriculum??

  • 439. RL Julia  |  February 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    actually, my son’s physic’s class does not use a textbook – although he was issued a physics textbook. I am more speaking to the past three years of social studies where the teachers have not used text books – and not necessarily covered all the material they were supposed to either… and two of them left mid-year to give birth. A perfect storm of circumstances.

  • 440. anonymouse teacher  |  February 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    RL Julia, oh, that sounds terrible. I hope the teachers who left on maternity leave worked closely with the subs who came in, but I know that doesn’t often happen since the sub decision is sometimes made very late, sometimes after the teacher has left and the kids have had several day-to-day subs. There is a move away from basal texts and content area basals, at least at the elementary level, because they do not provide the kind of rigor that Common Core requires and also because there is a shift in teaching philosophy as well. I am sure you know this, but about every 10 years or so, we swing back and forth between what the “right” way to teach is. Why we as a profession can’t find a balance is beyond me. My teaching colleague and I were talking on the way home and we’d love to see a fabulous early primary curriculum developed that would interweave literacy, math, science and social studies for the entire year, with strong ESL support. Right now, the books we are supposed to use for “read alouds” are just terrible, so we supplement a lot and we’ve moved around our units in order to try and combine topics as much as possible. Really, if I am still in CPS next year, I would like to spend much of the summer with all of my curriculum spread out on the floor in front of me, rewriting it all so it works better. We’ll see.
    Good luck to you and I am so sorry you’ve had a number of bad experiences with your children not getting the kind of education they deserve.

  • 441. anonymouse teacher  |  February 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    @438, yep, I hate Everyday Math too. The rumor is that the district is going to get rid of it (due to the fact that they’ve told all the principals in our network to stop buying any additional materials for it). I’ve heard that Singapore math might be coming to CPS.

    I actually like the games in EM, but I do teach in an area with compliant children and they are exceptionally well behaved, so they actually play the games without trying to stab eachother. However, I don’t think there’s any cohesiveness to it and I only use it as a guide. I’ve been using the CC standards to guide what I teach and have been trying to weave it into the other content areas too. Basically, if they can I.D numbers to 100, tell time to the half hour, I.D. basic fractions, shapes, count, add, subtract, count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s, I.D. the missing number, and I.D. money and use it correctly, that’s kindergarten math.

  • 442. RL Julia  |  February 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Everyday Math worked wonderfully at my neighborhood school and for my kids – BUT it took a school-wide commitment and a lot of top down from the principal to get the school there and A LOT of teacher training on it. Unfortunately, this is not most people’s experience with the curriculum and it ends up being a horrible mess. In the end of it all, I am not sure if it is really worth it. There are other, more universally known and accepted ways to teach math and get the desired results than EM.

    Thanks for the regrets on the social studies’ teachers. I thought most of my history textbooks in middle and high school were horrible so I can understand the desire to go off text with the subject – but it only works if the curriculum and the amount of time it will take to successfully go off text is correctly figured… and you don’t end up leaving mid-year. .. on the other hand, not all is lost- my son can now spot a pregnant teacher within moments of conception.

  • 443. CarolA  |  February 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    My daughter’s school uses Singapore Math and she loves it for kindergarten. I’ve heard good things about it. We use Harcourt Math and it is VERY outdated. I think all the publishers are currently revamping to include the rigor needed for the Common Core.

  • 444. momof3boys  |  February 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    my kids attend lane as well. i think 1/2 of my oldest courses dont use books. just notes, esp his ap ones. the soph uses his book but he rarely brings it to school…

    on a diff note… my theory was right about applying to college. it IS much easier and less painful than applying to SEHS in chicago. my son submitted 2 apps and both of them were accepted and he was admitted in 2 days. (one of them, i think the coach had something to do with it because he texted my son telling him that he was walking to admissions…) we r still waiting for all the others but these two were his top picks…

  • […] from his bedroom numerous videos and photos of children under 13 engaged in illicit acts. SE High School Enrollment by Elementary School *exclusive data! cpsobsesssed: This will show which Elementary Schools feed into the SE High Schools (and flipped […]

  • 446. Elliott Mason  |  July 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

    As far as affording a good-quality college experience with minimal debt, you cannot beat the price at the Chicago City Colleges, and the education is first-rate. I graduated from St. Ignatius with honors and went to three years of UIC in the Honors College before dropping out, and when I came back I still learned so much from Harold Washington’s english-comp curriculum that neither Ignatius nor UIC had ever bothered with — the last required English class at CCC is basically a rundown in classical rhetoric at an ivy-league level.

    Complete an associate’s from CCC (basically doing core curriculum there) and the scholarship offers will show up so fast and thick you’ll think someone’s shooting them at you with rocket launchers: all the area’s best schools desperately want proven transfer-in juniors to take up spaces in their advanced classes without having to put them through the freshman cattle-call classes. My math classes at UIC were 200 people; they’re 30 or less at CCC, and the teachers are lightyears better than the bored grad students who get stuck with it at UIC and given no time to connect with individual students.

  • 447. Jackie  |  December 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Hi there! I jyst wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended upp losing several weeks of hard work due tto no back up.
    Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

  • 448. Mavis  |  December 7, 2013 at 1:07 am

    Hello there I am so grateful I found your web site, I
    really found you by error, while I was looking onn Askjeeve for
    something else, Nonetheless I am here nnow and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous post
    and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I
    don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent job.

  • 449. Snoopylover  |  July 8, 2017 at 1:14 am

    This is very interesting and valuable information! Does anyone know if a more up-to-date version of this exists?

What do you think?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed




Blog Stats

  • 6,169,748 hits

%d bloggers like this: