High School Letter Post 2012 Part 2

February 28, 2012 at 11:55 am 1,064 comments


As of Tuesday, Feb 28th, the Selective Enrollment High School letters have started to arrive.

In the interest of helping parents learn the admission criterion, please post your child’s score and Tier along with the schools accepted (and any other interesting info, your thoughts about it, back-up plans, etc.)

Your email address will not show up, so you can post anonymously.

Good luck to everyone, especially the students posting here.  Remember, a lot of smart, hard-working, talented kids may not get their top choice because there are SO very few seats in the city.  And there will still be a lot of placements over the next month as more offers go out.

Entry filed under: High school.

ISAT Testing Interview on SE High Schools with OAE and SE Scores This Year vs Last Year 2012

1,064 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lakeview Dad  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Leaving the office now to get the mail… Not gonna be productive until we get the word. Good luck all.

  • 2. logandad  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Just got the mail & my son didnt get accepted to his 1st choice Lane Tech, but his second choice Westinghouse. Now it’s decision time,when he gets back home.

  • 3. Concerned parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    My son was accepted to Whitney Young. I am proud of him but I think he will be disappointed he did not get into northside.

    His exam score was a tad low than expected: 291/300
    Total: 888/900

    Schools accepted:
    Whitney Young
    Taft IB
    Von Steuben Scholars

    Missed getting into:
    Walter Payton

    I hope everyone receives good news today! All the best to you and God bless! Thanks also for the support and the comments which was very helpful throughout the process.

  • 4. Concerned parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Also he was tier 4
    His ISAT scores were much better: 99 Verbal 97 Math
    all A’s 7th grade

  • 5. far northsider  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Just received letters from OAE and Northside, my daughter’s first choice; she finished with 900 points (tier 4). She also has an offer at Lincoln Park IB, which we really like, so now it’s decision time.

    Good luck, everyone.

  • 6. post elementary school?  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Would people also be willing to post what elementary their kid goes to? I would particularly like to hear the success stories of the kids from the neighborhood schools. Or if you don’t want to give a school name, perhaps just SEES, neighborhood, magnet…

  • 7. James  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    @3&4 Concerned parent —

    Too bad your son didn’t get into NS or Payton, though I am sure he will do great at, and come to love, WY. It’s a great school. I have friends with two kids there, and they are all very very happy.

    Well, we know that the NS and Payton Tier 4 cutoffs will be at least 889/900. How high will they be?! Last year, it was 889 for Payton and 891 for Northside. I’m guessing both will increase by at least a point or two this year. In other words, even for tier admissions, you need a basically perfect score if you are in Tier 4.

  • 8. mom31  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Logan Dad: what was your son’s overall score/tier? thanks.

  • 9. Parkerparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    My child received an acceptance from Jones (third choice). Tier 4, 885 points. We will almost certainly turn down the spot and stay at Francis Parker for high school.

  • 10. IB&RGC Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    @9 What were the first and second choices? NS and WP?

  • 11. mom31  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Parker Parent: did you have NSCP and Payton as 1&2? thanks.

  • 12. Lee  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Can’t wait to get to the mailbox after work today. If anyone sees the updated cut-off scores, can they please post? Thanks so much.

  • 13. MarketingMom  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I am happy for those students who are getting good news. But for every child that gets good news, there are 10 who are getting “bad” news. My nephew is going through this process and told my sister that “come next month I will either be the happiest kid in the world or the most pathetic”. Needless to say, she is very concerned.
    As a parent, could you please remind your child to be sensitive to those in their class and their school who did not get accepted to their top school or any of the schools they applied to? Some children can be very cruel and for children with low self-esteem this can be a very difficult process.

  • 14. Parkerparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Yes, NSCP followed by Payton. Oh well! We are very happy at Parker
    –great teachers, small classes, rigorous high school–but it is very pricey.

  • 15. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    A parent just posted in the other thread (the first results one) that her child is Tier 4, score of 895, didn’t get into first choice – payton. The cutoffs are much higher this year!

  • 16. nameless  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Yes, last year Payton Tier 4 range was 889-895, and this year 895 in Tier 4 didn’t qualify for Payton. Frustrating …

  • 17. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    14, A lot of people are pretty crazy about Jones…and its entrance scores have risen at a faster rate over the last few years than any other SEHS – it could dislodge Payton or Northside in a couple of years from the first and second position.

  • 18. Don't Panic  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I was worried we would need a perfect 900 to get into Payton and that looks like the case. Maybe 897 gets in for Tier 4? That is unbelievable.

  • 19. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve heard this too, that kids are really into Jones these days.
    Any idea why?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 20. chicago mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Did anyone receive mail and no letter?

  • 21. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    For the parent who’s child had westinghouse as choice #2, how was that school on the tour?
    The building looks awesome.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 22. 8th grade mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    My son got in Payton! Tier 3, 894.

    He also got in Lincoln Park IB, and is very torn.

  • 23. anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Daughter got into Payton with an 897.
    We are in tier 4, from a rgc.
    300 points on the entrance exam.

  • 24. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I’m really stunned by the child who scored 895 not getting into Payton. Stunned. I imagine Northside is going to be the same.

  • 25. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    @19 – Location, location, location?

    New buildings, urban vibe?

    And maybe while NS and WP gyrate for title of Harvard/Yale of SEHS, Jones relaxes to the hipster position of Brown or Columbia.

  • 26. chicagodad  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Anyone have clues on Lane? Score needed last year was about 790 but I have heard that it is much much higher this year

  • 27. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Lol. Wow, I’m sold on jones from that description!

    If payton takes 227 freshmen that means any given kid has 108 spots available for their tier (rank plus tier spots.). I guess that’s really not many so second choice may make sense.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 28. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I liked the principal at Jones a lot. Also, loved the location, the diversity and my daughter really liked the “open campus” option for juniors and seniors.

  • 29. anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Mia — two years ago, the range at WP for the 40% of kids with top scores was 894 to 900, with a mean of 898.

    So bumping it down to 30%, then adding more neighborhoods to tier 4 was bound to make it much, much harder.

  • 30. proudmomma  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    thank goodness for an early mail delivery. Happiness came in a letter today and it is all I can do to keep from crying with joy. I am a proud parent and thankful to the wonderful teachers that have gotten my daughter to this point.

    Yes she got into 1st choice NSCP. I have not opened her letter but spyed it thru the little window and yes she received an accompanying letter from NSCP too.

    going into the selective enrollment exam she had a combined score of 597/600 but until she gets home I won’t know if she got in based solely on score or by tier/score. we live in tier 3.

    Keep your fingers crossed

  • 31. Pissed_Parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Score 894 – Tier 4. Did not get into 1st choice of Northside. The letter from Lane was also in the mail – so I didn’t even have to open the results letter..

  • 32. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Oh, I know, I expected it, but the reality still hits hard for these kids, who are excelling and performing at such a high level, and working so very hard that 7th grade year.

  • 33. mom2  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Lane was our first choice, 827 total points, tier 4, did not make it.

  • 34. Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I wonder whether those who are getting acceptances would be so brave as to reveal their race and whether they are “typical” or not for their particular Tier?

  • 35. anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Marketing Mom — thanks a lot for the reminder. This is a really hard time.

  • 36. SEHS hopeful  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    @33 – Wow – 827 and didn’t make it to Lane! That is so different from last year. Last year the min for Tier 4 was 782. I’m so sorry.

  • 37. Chicago mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    That is nuts that the lane scores are so high. Poor kids.

  • 38. James  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    @29 —

    Remember that another significant change from two years ago is that the schools were forced to abandon their school-specific cutoffs. As a result, as of last year, they must take 17.5% of their class from Tier 1 no matter how low the scores are (assuming a score is at least above the SE minimum of 650). So, last year, at Northside, you had Tier 1 kids being admitted with 792s. (The lowest Tier 1 score at Payton last year was 806.) Before this change, spots that couldn’t be filled from Tier 1 (because there weren’t enough kids scoring above the school minimum) were redistributed across the other tiers. Might have only been a few spots, but, obviously, every seat counts here.

    It’ll be interesting to see not only how high the Tier 4 cutoffs are this year for Payton and Northside, but also how low the scores will be for admitted Tier 1 kids. I expect a fairly significant difference.

  • 39. sick to my stomach mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Not accepted to Lane with an 827 for Tier 4. Unbelievable. 782 was the Tier 4 cutoff for last year. I expected it to be higher, but that’s ridiculous. My mailman is killing me…normally he is here by now.

  • 40. Waiting...  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    33 – That means the cut off for Lane is at least 40 points higher from last year. Looks like we’ll be headed to LP….

  • 41. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    The person with lane as the first choice, did your child get in a second or lower choice? If so, what else did you put?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 42. sick to my stomach mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    #13 Marketing Mom – Thanks for the reminder…one of my child’s best friends has nothing right now….not even a back up. It will be principal discretion or getting off a waitlist. Even if we get good news, I am SO sad for our friends.

  • 43. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Prediction (testing my predictive analytics skills)
    Rank score mins for Payton and Northside will be 899.
    Tier 4 mins will be 897.

    Tier 1 will be 720 Northside, 820 Payton, supply and demand from geography and perception on the southside.

    Lane’s numbers will be crazier, but can’t quantify.

    eyepopping numbers are a reason the letters were held up for “approval” at OAE.

  • 44. tytyo8  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Just got an email from cps, cut off scores will be posted by the end of week.

  • 45. sick to my stomach mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    mailman just arrived. 897 Tier 4 Northside

  • 46. sick to my stomach mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    sorry — from a neighborhood school program

  • 47. ChicagoGawker  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    @42 and @13 and all the proud parents. Please do your kids character development and egos a favor and remind them that although they couldn’t have been accepted without their hard work, part of it was multiple factors of luck. And I don’t have a horse in this race that lost out, so that’s not my motivation here.

  • 48. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    These tier 4 cutoff scores for the north side SEHS’s are brutal. I find it hard to comprehend. I bet they’ll change the system or use a different test or something for next year….

  • 49. Thankful Parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    My son got into Payton. 900 points. Tier 4. Very thankful. Best of luck to all.

  • 50. CityMom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Im curious about a second or third round of admissions for these schools. Once folks accept or reject offers, there will be some shuffling I would imagine. How does that process work?

  • 51. mom2  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    @#41, Northside was our second choice and nothing else. Our neighborhood school is Taft, so that is where she is going. All of this tier stuff is frustrating. Doesn’t make sense that last year that score would of made it to Lane, but not this year.

  • 52. G.M.  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    @#31(Pissed Parent)I would be pissed too,really ….? 894,and did not get in to NCP,this Tier system is really ridiculous.I guess next year Lane Tech’s ranking will go up again as they are getting all these high performing kids.

  • 53. mom2  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    @52 – this is great for Lane’s ranking (we have a child there and love it), but this is horrible and unfair for all the tier 4 kids on the north side that now have less options. If today’s information doesn’t get parents of younger kids working on improving the north side neighborhood high schools, I don’t know what will.

  • 54. 7th grade/ lower end Tier 4 mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Reading these scores terrifies me- – – I agree with the tier sytem in principal but the fact of the matter is that our West Rogers Park- 2 family is not in the same socioeconomic position as those of you who live in Edgebrook, Northcenter, Sauganash etc – – let alone Lincoln Park and Gold Coast. While this is bad for us (and my kids are lucky enough to not attend our neighborhood school) it is even more inequitable to the many working class families that our are neighbors and don’t have the resources that my family does to pay for things like tutoring and after school activities.

    So how can we start a ‘change the tier system campaign’. I don’t see how anything can make it harder for my ‘gets nagged by her parents and managed to get A’s first semester but not the greatest test taker in the world 7th grader’.

  • 55. nameless  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Does anyone know how CPS does the tie breakers? I’m the parent who’s daughter got an 895, Tier 4, and did not get into Payton (she got into Whitney, her second choice). Although I can’t do anything, I’m more curious about this system now. If 895 can’t get a child into Payton, this is crazy.

  • 56. Another broke and barely making it Tier 4 mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    @54, someone or a group of someones absolutely has to sue CPS. That’s the only way to get transparency.

    The people suing must be personally affected to have standing in such a suit. Go for it guys, you’ll have lots of backers.

  • 57. LSmom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I don’t have a dog in this fight (preschoolers still) but it seems that all the handwringing about the outrageously high cutoffs is misplaced. There’s just not enough slots for the number of students that would like to attend. Even if they had straight score-based admission, the cutoffs to get into Payton or Northside would be incredibly high and many families would be disappointed. No amount of tinkering with the system is going to change the fact that there’s a handful of slots and many applicants.

  • 58. Lane2015  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I predict that there will be a “round 2” for Lane. Last year there wasn’t but I think that’s because they extended too many offers, and more students accepted than they thought. I bet they were more cautious this year. If tier 4 students decline their offers for whatever reason, those spots should open up for other Tier 4 students in round 2, I hope.

  • 59. NWP  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Tier 4 895 did not get into NCP. Accepted to Lane.

  • 60. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Last year there was no round 3, I believe and I think even round 2 was very limited.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 61. LSmom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Wow though the cutoffs are incredibly high. I have to say, it makes me reluctant to stay in the city! Good luck to all the kids.

  • 62. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    @50 Lane, NS, WP and WY did not have round 2 last year. There is a huge risk in rejecting an offer. I disagree with @58 it’s in the best interest of the school to fill the spaces with fewer rounds because they will get kids with higher scores. They will overbook in order to avoid a round 2.

  • 63. Angie  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @55. nameless: “Does anyone know how CPS does the tie breakers? ”

    Look at the post #40 on the other HS thread: https://cpsobsessed.com/2012/02/21/high-school-letters-post-news-here/#comment-20778

  • 64. nameless  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @57 – you don’t understand the tiering and scoring system yet. Yes, there are not enough slots in good public high schools in the city, but the system for selecting students is complicated & many think does not achieve the desired results.

  • 65. Another broke and barely making it Tier 4 mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    AND (yes I’m shouting) no one had tier information when applying!!!

  • 66. Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    @57–the potential unfairness is more than just that there are more kids than slots. The unfairness arises when kids scoring substantially lower from lower tiers get in over kids with significantly higher scores. There is a debate over whether there are good reasons that justify this. It will be interesting to see the Tier 1 and 2 scores this year at NCP and Payton and compare them with the 897s and better required for Tier 4. It would also be interesting to know whether the Tier 1 and 2 kids helped at the expense of the 895 kids are actually socioeconomically disadvantaged (and whether there was fiddling for race, which is now illegal).

  • 67. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Holy cow on the 45 point jump for Tier 4 cut off to get into Lane, from 782 to 827! (Or higher, we don’t know yet.) I just applied the scoring rubric, and this means that a Tier 4 student with 1 final B in 7th grade, 90th percentile on both reading and math ISATs, and 92nd percentile on the SEHS exam gets a rejection this year. Wowza. If the student gets 2 final Bs, he/she would have to score in the 95th percentile or higher on both parts of ISATs as well as the SEHS exam. Geez.

  • 68. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks HSO! You always look at the exact data I want to see!
    I don’t know — does 90th percentile in tier 4 necessarily justify entry to a top school? That doesn’t seem that outlandish to me. Not saying my kid could do it, but if these schools can select the creme de la creme….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 69. momof3boys  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    what’s terrible is that the following years a bunch of kids leave and they dont fill them. my ds went into lane w/ about 1200 students. when i rec’d his report card for the semeser, there were only a little over 930.

  • 70. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    About the second round offers — that only had some real potential back before they centralized the process, and each SEHS sent out their own offer letters. Meaning, the top kids would get admissions offers from multiple schools. Once the lucky kid decided to accept one, more offers went out. Now that each applicant gets only one offer, there is VERY little movement, and very little action in subsequent rounds. Rejecting any offer is a huge risk.

  • 71. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Imagine what the principal discretion application pool will look like this year.

  • 72. hopingforthebest  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    @68, I think the big issue is that you have the creme de la creme of schools, and the bottom of the barrel – virtually NO middle ground for CPS in between. Let’s say that kid referenced above lives in my neighborhood. He/she scores in the 90th percentile in reading and math in 7th grade, with three A’s and one B, and 92nd percentile on the Selective Enrollment entrance exam – he/she cannot get into any of the SEHS, and is left with Senn as his/her neighborhood HS option? Extremely frustrating is the world’s biggest understatement.

  • 73. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    @68 CPSO – As you know, I’m an old timer and have been following CPS for 10 years or so. I remember when Payton and Jones didn’t exist. Whitney Young wasn’t diverse enough for north side white families, and Lane was considered a reluctant last choice, even with its solid history of decades of good academics. So to go from “Well, we always have Lane Tech as a back up” to “I’m praying that my kid-who-got-one-B gets one of 1000 seats at Lane” in the course of about 5 years is setting my head aspinning.

  • 74. CityMom  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Regarding Tier — we recently moved and are now in Tier 4, however for the past several years we were in a Tier 1 area. No, we are not disadvantaged. We just happened to live in one of those trendy and “up and coming” neighborhoods that never actually came. I agree that overall,the neighborhood was correctly classified as Tier 1 (hence the move), but not everyone that lived there fit into that socio-economic tier, so I’m not sure that the tier system is achieving what they set out to do.

    It doesn’t yet matter for us as my daughter is in 2nd grade at a private school, but she did get into Skinner Classical and Pritzker RGC as a Tier 1 student. We went private anyway and I let them know months in advance. Guess who called me on the first day of school wanting to know where my daughter was?? CPS!! Both the main office and the school called asking why she was absent. Made me really mad/sad that someone didn’t have the chance to take that slot that I gave up in June. I wonder if they filled it after the first day of school?

  • 75. NewPaytonParent  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    This has been more stressful than applying for college!
    Accepted to 1st choice Payton. So proud.
    Tier 4. 900 score. Straight A’s at Lincoln IB.
    Good luck everyone.

  • 76. James  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    @70 HSObsessed —

    Good advice on the 2nd round. If you reject an SE offer hoping for a second round selection at a higher-ranked SE, you better have a foolproof backup plan because the odds of that happening are exceedingly low.

  • 77. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I know what you mean about lane making that perceptual shift. I didn’t realize that was true of payton and jones too.
    I agree, lane aint a backup school any more!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 78. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    But if all those kids go to senn, the school would be SO different. Same for the other northside high schools. And there has got to be a ton of these kids. Heck, 18,000 applied? That means over half the students in cps have a desire to be in a learning environment.
    I don’t think the answer is for them to all be in SE schools, but we have got to figure out how to make these other schools work!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 79. Don't Panic  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    #75 Did a letter come from Payton as well as CPS?

  • 80. G.M.  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    @66,I so agree with you,just look at last year,the score from Tier 1 that was accepted at NCP was 792,whereas from Tier 4 was 891,do you think this is fair ?I think there is a big gap between 792 and 891….

  • 81. awhileoffbutworried  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I just discovered this blog (late to the party, I know) but I had a quick question that maybe someone could answer while they are waiting to attack their mailman. If a child goes to an IB elementary program, are they automatically accepted into one of the high school IB programs in the city, or does it just up their chances of getting in? Specifically, I’m referencing Pulaski, and Clementi being an option for high school. Since Pulaski is now IB, does that change this process?

  • 82. Concerned parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    @7 Thanks James for the kind and encouraging words! I am very grateful that my son was accepted to WY. I’m sure he’ll have a great experience there. Congratulations to all those who have received a good word from Northside and Payton.

  • 83. westsidemom  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I’ve been mulling over this system for awhile now wondering how better to create the diversity that CPS wants (and that I want, for that matter), how to help the high-performing children who truly need it but don’t have the family support that people in high socioeconomic classes have. I agree that I don’t think that the Tier system is doing its job, as I’m a Tier 2 mom with a kid at a Classical school who is not disadvantaged socioeconomically.

    I wonder if instead of the Tier system if they could classify the neighborhood schools and choose from there — i.e., group the schools fall below a certain ISAT score and allot a certain number of seats to those schools. Of course, the SEES would get shafted (unless they continued to use the high achievers = automatic spot system that they have now), but maybe that would cause some of the parents to reconsider putting their kid in a SEES if they have a good neighborhood school. Just thinking out loud…

  • 84. Angie  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    @81. awhileoffbutworried: Here is the explanation for IB admissions:


  • 85. KG  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Could not agree more about making the other High Schools work. My son enters K next year and since we’ll be lifetime city dweller, I will be very active in trying to help Lake View get to the next level and make it a viable option.

    I feel for all these parents, what an incredibly stressful time.

  • 86. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    @81, some of the IB programs automatically admit all the 8th graders in the IB program at their feeder elementary, like McPherson graduates and the Amundsen IB program. Others, like the LPHS IB program, doesn’t give automatic entry, but give a 25-point bonus to any applicant who lives within the high school’s enrollment boundary. Currently, I don’t think Pulaski yet has a partner high school since they’re still only getting started.

  • 87. ard  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    tier 4, 895 did not get into payton. did get into northside.

  • 88. awhileoffbutworried  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    @84. Angie – thank you so much. That is really helpful. Does Pulaski not have a partner school because it’s new, and the program hasn’t taken over the full school yet? Does anyone know which school it will partner with?

    I very much appreciate the help. Best of luck to everyone today.

  • 89. post elementary school?  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    is the big increase in SEHS scores this year caused by more families applying, because they can’t afford to move to suburbs and/or to pay for private? if so, is it reasonable to expect, that higher scores will be needed this year for the SEES?

  • 90. K  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    One good outcome from this year’s overly competitive environment could be an improved perception of Lane, Lindblom, Brooks, etc. Higher scores at those schools will attract more high scoring children. We all said we wanted more choices.

  • 91. Another broke and barely making it Tier 4 mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    @89 – I think so.

  • 92. KG  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    On a positive note for some non SE schools. Lake View gets a Microsoft partnership


  • 93. justanotherchicagoparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Does anyone know why CPS changed the admittance policy for LPIB? LPIB seemed to be doing a great job on their own at admitting bright kids. They seemed to catch the bright kids who maybe had gotten a B in accelerated classes. LPIB used to be a great alternative to some of the children who were not admitted to SE’s of their choice. Now that backup for some seems to be gone.

    Payton Prep’s freshman class size fluctuates every couple of years. I do believe they accepted more freshman last year than the previous two years.They might of allowed fewer in this year than last.

  • 94. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Mailman just gave us our letters. 900, Northside, Tier 3.

    Happy for her, but still feeling incredibly sad and frustrated by what I’m reading. Good luck to everyone still waiting to hear.

  • 95. Don't Panic  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Congrats, Mia. Stuck at work but seem to need 900 to get into Payton. Possible, since he had 600 going in but Yikes! needing a perfect score is crazy.

  • 96. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Congrats mia. I hope you will stay around and continue posting (and let us know how the school works out.)
    900, that’s amazing.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 97. clueless  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    So am I correct in understanding that 900pts is achieved by straight A’s in 7th grade, perfect score on ISAT and entrance exam?

  • 98. mp3  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    All the research shows that SES is the most significant factor in how kids do in school (at least as measured by standardized tests), so yes, I think it’s fair for there to be a 100 point split between kids in the bottom quartile and the top. That said, we’re in Tier 2, but our income would put us in Tier 4. There are only two ways to make this fair: submit all our income data to CPS a la college apps (which I wouldn’t want to do) or actually fix the school system so going to your neighborhood school isn’t a disaster. Our daughter (Taft AC) got 900 and Payton.

  • 99. Don't Panic  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    @97 Final year end grades in Math, Reading, Science and Social Studies in 7th grade. 99 percentile ISATs in Reading and Math. 99 percentile on entrance exam gets you a 900. Mia, your kid is “wicked smart”

  • 100. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    @93 I was thinking the same thing. All the straight A kids they accepted seemed to be waiting for SE results. They have already rejected those with one B and there is no waiting list.

  • 101. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you, but it sounds like your son, and all of the kids with “cpsobsessed” parents is as well. What’s your son’s first choice?

    Also CPS Obsessed – i’m not going anywhere – i have an opinion or two to share still ;).

  • 102. ChiMom  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Lane (first choice), Tier 3, 886 total points

  • 103. Don't Panic  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Mia, he wants Payton and actually his second choice is the Catholic School he got into. I must say I feel a strange disconnect knowing that the answer is probably with the mail at home and since he took the test in December, this really was decided months ago.

  • 104. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    So now we know. Tier 4, Northside, 896 gets you in. 895 puts you in a tiebreaker. (based on posts from @59 and @87)

  • 105. anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    clueless, that is sort of correct.
    A’s in Reading, Math, Sciece and Social Studies
    The 7th grade ISAT score uses the first 30 questions of the Reading and Math exams, which are nationally normed.
    Entrance exam — I haven’t seen the full breakdown, but it is also nationally normed, and you don’t have to get every question correct to get 300 points.

  • 106. Lakeview Dad  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Looking at a CPS envelope and one from Lane, which was our 4th choice after NCP, Payton, and Whitney. Not sure of our scores as we’ll let our student open the envelopes.

    Happy to get into ANY of our SE picks, given the tier 4 cutoffs. Now we weigh Lane against LPIB and St. Ignatius. congrats and good luck to everyone.

  • 107. tytyo8  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    #74 I sorta get what you are talking about. I am in Tier 2, not disadvantaged, but I am right in the middle of Tier 3 and 4. Southeast ( Pill Hill, Morgan Park, Beverly, etc.) are all between 5 and 15 minutes away from me. Everyone in these Tiers does not fit into that socio-economic tier, even though we were brought up to think that all people in these areas are considered upper middle class, but alot of them are in the same bracket that I am, but I quess because of the name of the neighborhood, they get put in a higher tier. So again is the tier system doing what it’s sat out to do.

  • 108. Katie  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    does anyone know how much the ISAT scores come into plaY

  • 109. tytyo8  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Also, do you think it’s fair for students whose schools have different grade point systems, like 90 not being an “A” but a “B”, just curious.

  • 110. Another broke and barely making it Tier 4 mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    @109 – I think the disparity in grading systems could be part of the basis of a lawsuit against CPS.

  • 111. Katie  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    @105 where did you get your info?

  • 112. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Katie -@105 is correct, at least on the grades and ISAT portion. Not sure about the SE enrollment exam, because I have never found any real information about it.

    Don’t Panic – go home and check the mail already! 😉

  • 113. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    @97 clueless — 900 doesn’t mean perfect scores. It means straight As, plus the student scored in the 99th percentiles of the 7th gr math ISATs, 7th gr English ISATs, and SEHS entrance exam. The student may have had a dozen questions wrong on each test, but they did better than 99% of all test takers. Kind of a fine line, but stats geeks make the distinction.

  • 114. A reader  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    My son got into Lane with an 850, tier 4

  • 115. Momof2  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Letter just came – daughter got into Lane. Tier 4. 839 points. So now we know that the Tier 4 cutoff for Lane is somewhere between 827 and 839.

  • 116. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    @111 — Point system explained…don’t miss the Scoring Rubric…


  • 117. Anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    It will be interesting to see how Lane’s scores will look after this round.

  • 118. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Just spoke to a friend. Her son got into Lane (1st choice) with 874, Tier 4.

  • 119. NoMore  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    105 — 1st 30 questions? Would it be wise to tell a student to only concentrate on those?

  • 120. Ravenswood father  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Tier 3, Score 891, accepted to Northside Prep

  • 121. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Son got into Northside (first choice) 889, tier 3.

  • 122. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    RLJ – Hey hey! Congrats. All your wise insights paid off.

  • 123. G.M.  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Daughter accepted to Lane Alpha class ,Tier 4,Score 886:straight A’s,Terra nova math 91,reading 99,and 300 on SE test

  • 124. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks. He seems pleased. He worked hard and got lucky.

  • 125. Sonali  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Anyone gotten accepted into Jones? Still haven’t gotten the mail yet!!

  • 126. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Yeah! RLJulia!
    Our big proponent of neighborhood schools!
    Keep us posted on how it is over there (not that many of us will ever have kids attend, but still…)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 127. northside  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Daughter got into Payton (no letter from Payton yet just CPS) Tier 4 898 and LPIB.

  • 128. jeanne  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    perfect test scores and grades, except for 93% in reading on ISAT, didn’t get into Payton. did get into whitney. this system does not serve well a huge number of good students.

  • 129. Another broke and barely making it Tier 4 mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Jeanne, what tier may I ask?

  • 130. parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    How is the music program at Northside?

  • 131. Ben Dastrup  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Tier 4 (a real blow to Hyde Park applicants this year)

    Final Grades (3 A’s, 1 B): 275 pts
    ISAT (99th% and 98th%): 298 pts
    SE Entrance Exam (98th%): 297 pts

    Total: 870/900

    SE Application preference:
    Whitney Young
    Walter Payton

    Offered a spot at Lane. VERY disappointed and surprised.

    I imagine we’ll reject, throw our hat in the ring for PD and (non-existent) 2nd round.

    Then make plans for homeschool 😦

    That one 7th grade B threatens to define my daughter’s education in profound ways. Doesn’t seem right.

  • 132. OMG  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Lane 824 Tier 3 2nd choice

  • 133. jeff park  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    900 Tier 4, Lane. What a relief!

  • 134. 8th grade preppy  |  February 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I got into Walter Payton with a 898. i live in tier 4. I got 99 on my test, all As last year, im not sure about the isats. it was my first choice.
    Two of my friends also got it, one with an 892 and the other with an 898. The 898 lives in tier 4 like me. the 892 lives in tier 2 or 3. We all put payton at number one.

    Wow i was so excited i think i twisted my ankle. 🙂 good luck everyone !

  • 135. Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    My heart is broken ! My dauther was acceptet to Lane Tech comming from Tier 4 with 865 points . No Whitney Young , no Jones ! I hate Chicago ! This is sick !

  • 136. parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Interesting, we are hearing about a lot of Lane responses. It seems like Lane is getting some great kids. It does seem Lane’s perception is going to change. Hopefully this will be a solace to some.

    I think we need to hear some of those stories of kids who were very disappointed by their high school placing, and now very happy. Families need some encouragement.

  • 137. James  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Tier 4, 900, Payton, first choice, private non-religious elementary school.

    We’re all very relieved. Daughter will join her older brother there, so we achieved the two-kids-at-the-same-school goal, with kid number 3 up in a couple years.

    Good luck to everyone still waiting. A stressful day indeed!

  • 138. michelle grunfeld  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    parent of a child with a total score of 895. got a 300 on selective enrollment exam. did not get first choice of northside. friend who lives one block over and got the same exact score got into northside. however, northside was the friend’s 2nd choice. what is wrong with this picture? I am very proud of her and happy that she was accepted to whitney young but this system is obviously f’d up. selective enrollment should be completely on merit period. I have two more children to go through this process and have no confidence in this system.

  • 139. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    @131 Ben

    First off, I’m sorry it didn’t go as planned. You are exactly right about that “B”. Different grading standards, to me, is the greatest inequity of the point system, even more so than the tiers.

    Could you shed a little light on that B? Is your daughter at a gifted school? Was there no give on this grade at the time?

    I posted previously on part I of this that I know a principal that actually forbade his teachers from giving B’s in 7th grade to the top students, just to avoid a case like this.

  • 140. Northside mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    someone should put together a google spreadsheet like last year’s SE elementary schools!!

  • 141. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @139 not only is that so wrong from the standpoint of assigning grades but it also allows teachers discretion as to who the “top” students are.

    Consider that a teacher will now be burdened with the reality that giving a tier 4 student a B may put them out of SE altogether.

  • 142. pilsen mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    WP (1st choice), 890, Tier 1 (and yes, our income puts us squarely in Tier 1), child goes to our neighborhood elementary school.

  • 143. relieved mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Two years ago many of my friends were going through this process. Everyone was crazy from 7th grade on until the letters came out. Some kids were happy, others very disappointed. However, It seems like they are all very happy with where they are, including one child who didn’t get an SE spot, ended up at a magnet school and is thriving. I tried to make it my mantra that my child will end up where he is supposed to be. It worked until the beginning of January, as the test loomed…..then I became fairly crazy..,,, : ) I know several kids at Lane and they absolutely love it. So have faith. Good luck to everyone. Now I will start working with other 5th grade parents to try to make Lakeview an outstanding school and great choice, because I can’t imagine what this process will be like in three years!!!

  • 144. relieved mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Congratulations Pilsen Mom !!!

  • 145. James  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    @138 —

    Not defending this flawed system entirely, but it may be that your kid’s friend put Payton #1 and Payton may have been slightly more difficult to get into than Northside because of the smaller class size it has. In that case, 895 may not have been enough for Payton, but would have been enough for Northside using a tiebreaker that, unfortunately, shorted your child who had the same score. Just guessing, though. I guess we’ll know more when the cutoffs are published. Sorry about your result.

  • 146. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Just as an aside, I wonder how this new (and insanely high) tier 4 cutoff is going to effect Selective Prep’s business – I mean this is a monster that they have helped to create.

  • 147. Steff  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    My son wanted to attend Jones but got an acceptance for King. Does anyone know how King is doing?

  • 148. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    @145 James
    You are exactly right. Every student is ranked, from #1 to #18,000, based on overall score then tiebreakers. When they get to your name, they look at your schools in order. When they get to one with space, you get it in. Where you rank a school compared to someone else has no bearing on admittance preference.

  • 149. Steff  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Please give me information about king. My son has an acceptance for king and curie’s IB program

  • 150. Esmom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    To those who are disappointed with Lane, I’d encourage you to give it another look before dismissing it. It’s a very solid option…and I’d be over the moon if I could be sure my kids would be able to get in there. I’d guess the biggest drawback is is vast size, but everyone I know says kids always seem to find their niche.

  • 151. AlsoAnonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Wow. When getting into Lane is considered “losing” and “sick,” then is there something wrong with the system or the parents?

    I think congratulations are in order to any child who worked hard enough and scored well enough to get into Lane.

    But, I, too, am convinced that the future lies with neighborhood schools. And I hope that’s where CPS invests, rather than simply adding yet ANOTHER SES.

  • 152. CPSDepressed  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Our letter: Lane Tech Alpha (first choice), total points 840, Tier 4. We’ll probably take the Catholic school offer instead.

    Also: a rejection from Von Steuben Scholars, wait list for Von Steuben Science.

  • 153. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    @141 HS Mom
    Right or wrong, the principal’s policy, most likely, would have avoided a scenario like this occurring.

    A bigger issue, and probably for a different forum at a later date, is to discuss “Are all A’s created equal?” Obviously not, so does using them for SEHS admittance even make sense?

  • 154. kate  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Amen, 151 .

  • 155. Not in it this year  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    #134 – Do you and your friends all go to the same school? Where do you go to school?

  • 156. Sickened mother of an infant  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I am very happy for all of the students here who were accepted to SE high schools, but I have to say that this whole process makes me sick and afraid for my own child (still an infant). To quote Ben Dastrup “That one 7th grade B threatens to define my daughter’s education in profound ways. Doesn’t seem right.”

    Does this whole system seem bizarre and wrong to anyone else? I grew up in a small town in Michigan, received an excellent education at the one local high school, (and earned the grades and test scores to get into Northwestern btw). I hope that my daughter will excel at academics, but if she gets one B, should she be stuck at a low-performing neighborhood school?

    I don’t think I have the guts to gamble with her future like that. I love living in the city, but I think the school issue will drive us to the suburbs.

  • 157. Pantherdolphins  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    First, congratulations to all those who got acceptance letters from their first choice of schools. Also, I am sorry to all those who are experiencing disappointment, like me. My son got his third choice of WY and we are not sure what to do at this point. We are grateful that he got accepted into one of his 4 choices. But we are also very disappointed. We may try PD for Northside but do we really want to drag this process longer? Can anyone share their experience with PD?

  • 158. Lane Parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    For those of you that got into Lane (some thrilled and some very disappointed), I want to tell you that your child will love it. My daughter wanted Lane right off the bat, but she has a friend that was so upset she “only got into Lane” that she cried for days. I can tell you now that they are both beyond happy at Lane. They are involved in all kinds of varsity sports, clubs, mentoring 7th graders, attending games, etc. All this while taking honors and AP classes and finding most of the teachers just wonderful. The friend now says she wouldn’t change a thing and is glad it worked out this way.

    My daughter says that the kids at Lane smile as they walk down the hall (or run to class since the building is so big) and she often sees people giving each other hugs and high fives. She said it is a very happy place most of the time.

    We’ve had a few teachers that we think should retire now. But, in talking with parents of friends that ended up a Payton and WY, they are also complaining about some of the teachers and how nothing is being done about them, etc. etc.

    Now, for someone coming from Hyde Park, I can understand being upset do to a long commute. That specific issue makes me crazy and is why I think CPS trying to force diversity has big flaws. They want to force people to make hour long commutes to high school just because the city itself is so segregated. That isn’t fair to the students.

  • 159. James  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    @156 —

    Your message is exactly the one Bizard and Rahm need to hear. Simply put, people will leave the city if this doesn’t get made less stressful and if more HS options aren’t developed. They cannot want that to be the result.

  • 160. M  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Great day for us!
    Daughter got accepted at Payton (900 pts) and LPIB.

  • 161. NotTheOnlyFrustratedMom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    839, Tier 4 didn’t get into Lane (our third choice), but #115/Momof2 did? I don’t understand this process…

  • 162. NotTheOnlyFrustratedMom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    …I thought it didn’t matter what order your school choices were in.

  • 163. 8th grade mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    @156 – my small ray of optimism is that I have seen the elementary options expand in the last 9 years since we were applying for kindergartens. There are lots of options for elementary now that weren’t around then – Disney II, LaSalle II, some of the other neighborhood options. If you think about it, the HS options are expanding as well – Jones wasn’t a college prep school until a few years ago. I think the kids in 8th grade now are in a tough spot, but hopefully by the time your infant is this age, things will have improved.

    This makes me sound like much more of a CPS fan than I really am, but I do see some hope.

  • 164. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    @156: Infant mom and other of younger kids. Really and truly, the changes that can take place in CPS by the time your (and my) child is in high school can be massive. The changes in the past 10 years, even the past 5 years have been huge, largely a result of PARENTS rather than CPS.

    The is NO reason that high school that are surrouned by Tier 3 and Tier 4 zones cannot thrive. (Ok, lousy principal, that is the one reason.) I know that Lake View has a very strong leader now who is open to parents working to help the school thrive and very open to neighborhood kids attending. Not sure yet about other schools such as Amundsen, Mather, or Senn.

    But the shift in the elementary schools in the past 5 years has been mind boggling. Many of these schools did not change admin, did not change many teachers, and did not even fund raise THAT much money. It is a matter of education-minded families agreeing to attend these schools, getting on the LSC, working with the admin, and holding the school and teacher to higher standards which many of them have risen to the task.

    Obviously tackling the high schools is a whole different (and more challenging ball of wax.) But given the huge number of families with an interest, I have to believe it can be done, somehow.

    I need to figure out what to do to help facilitate this and how to keep it going…… once the school admission craziness dies down we can perhaps discuss that some more.

  • 165. relieved mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    cutoff must be 839 for T4 at Lane.. with some accepted using tiebreaker method….

  • 166. James  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    @161/162 —

    It doesn’t matter what your choices were vis a vis other applicants. The ranking only affects your kid’s placement. It is possible that 839 is the Lane cutoff for Tier 4 and Momof2’s kid was on the right side of a tiebreaker and your kid was on the wrong side of it.

  • 167. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    It’s not the order of choice. When there is a tie (which is essentially what happened here and in many, many other cases, they have a “tie breaker” system in place – which a parent (i think it was Panther Parent) posted for us last week.

  • 168. Don't Panic  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Son just opened letter. Got into Payton. Tier 4. Score 900. Currently at RGC. I am very proud, he has worked his butt off it paid off.

  • 169. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Under the “Be careful what you wish for…” category, the easiest and arguably the best way to eliminate this process is to, well, eliminate this process. And with it, selective enrollment high schools.

    Last year, my neighborhood elementary school sent 3 kids to Northside, 4 to Whitney and 6 to Lane. What if those 13 top students had all gone to the local option, Taft, instead? Doesn’t that start to become a good if not soon-to-be great school over time?

    This is something Brizard has subtly implied. At least to my ears.

  • 170. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Don’t Panic – congratulations! Wicked smart too!

  • 171. Don't Panic  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks, Mia. Good Luck at Northside!

  • 172. NotTheOnlyFrustratedMom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm


    Thanks for that…now I really feel bad (no offense to you, btw)

  • 173. CPSDepressed  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    @156, when my son was born, we assumed he would go to Catholic school all the way. Between birth and K, our neighborhood public school became one of the city’s hot ones. The high school process cannot continue like this, and it will be wildly different by the time your child is old enough. Better? Worse? Who knows, but certainly different.

  • 174. Ben  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm


    She’s coming from Murray Foreign Language Academy. The B was in Math. To be honest, I didn’t foresee such massive impact by that grade, or we would have tried a different approach…

  • 175. James  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    @169 pantherparent —

    Well, that is the debate, isn’t it? I happen to think that if you eliminated the SEs and assumed that all or most of those otherwise SE-bound kids would go to the neighborhood schools, you’d be very disappointed. I think the vast majority would simply flee the system altogether — and go private or leave the city. Speaking for my family, if SEs (or programs like LP IB) weren’t options, we’d be saying yes to St. Ignatius right now and just finding a way to come up with the money. We would definitely not gamble on Lakeview at this point. We just wouldn’t.

    And that’s the problem with trying to turn around high schools as opposed to elementary schools. I’m not saying it can’t be done. But the stakes in high school are a lot higher (with college admissions on the line), the time at the school is much shorter (4 years vs 9 years), and the problems faced at a still-turning-around high school are much more serious than at a still-turning-around elementary school (simply put, you can get into a lot more life-altering trouble as a 16-year-old than as a 7-year-old). That’s the challenge with turning around these north side neighborhood high schools, as I see it. What’s the solution? I don’t know.

  • 176. Anom Parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    @13 – You definitely called this.

  • 177. Playinthegame  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    My daughter worked her butt off, too. High honor roll, school exchange to France, singing solo for graduation, etc. etc. But not a good standardized test taker, so she’s out of luck today. And we’re out of CPS.

  • 178. Payton Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    These scores are unbelievably high. By way of comparison, last year, a Tier 4 kid needed a 782 to get into Lane. This year, the kid needs an 869. That’s an 87 point difference!! At NSCP last year, the kid needed an 891. This year, the kid needs an 895. At Payton last year, a kid needed an 889 to get in; this year, the kid needs at least an 895. I don’t think we know the minimum yet for Whitney, but last year it was 865.

  • 179. Mia  |  February 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I think Lane was 839 – or do i have that wrong. Still a huge jump.

  • 180. RL Julia  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    179 – well you might leave the city – but lots of us wouldn’t. I actually was o.k. with the idea of sending my son to Schutz (our neighborhood high school). It wasn’t my first choice for him (or more importantly his first choice for him) but I figured out the neighborhood school and I’d figure out Schurz as well.

  • 181. 8th grade preppy  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    @155- both me and the 898 go to Kenwood Academy Academic Center. The 892 goes to Whitney Young Academic Center.
    @174- I used to go to murray! The math there is much harder then it is at my school actually. Was the math teacher Mrs. F?

  • 182. klm  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    OK, I don’t mean to start anything….

    However, it is interesting how easy it is to debate “diversity” , etc., as something positive and worthwhile, in the abstract……until one sees the cost.

    Giving opportunity to one person because of where they live really does involve taking it away from another because of where they live, the case of SE enrollment.

    I (and I say this as the parent on non-Asian minority kids –the kinds of people social engineering is meant to benefit) feel that anybody that’s all against a NYC-style complete merit-based admissions needs to explain to the working-class kids whose parents rent in Rogers Park why it’s a really good thing that they didn’t get in to a SE HS, but that’s OK because somebody with nearly 100 points less (as was the case for NSCP last year) is the presumptive more deserving applicant because of where they live.

    Personally, I know a Bosnian refugee family (arrived off the plane at O’Hare 10 years ago, no money, no English, …nothing), but they rent in a Tier 4 neighborhood, so their current 8th grade daughter will find out whether she’ll get a decent HS education or whether she’ll have to attend their horrible neighborhood school (where the in-school beating video made headlines around the country last month). I’ll find out in a few days when the mother comes over to clean my house. They have no money to move or private school, so tis really is an extreme “either or” (good school vs. no-way-in-hell for a middle-class parent).

    She’s not even my own daughter and I’m stressed!

    The difference is that if things don’t work out for my kids, we’ll try to go private or move to a nice suburb with great schools. Not everybody has that option.

  • 183. Payton Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Oops. You’re right @179. So it’s a 57 point jump. Wow.

  • 184. Ben  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm


    To be clear, I think Lane is a GREAT school (and obviously on the rise with this group of admits) but so long as we live deep in the South Side, with 4 kids in different CPS schools, there is no good way to handle transportation to and from Lane for our household.

    Unlike other Tier 4 neighborhoods, our local schools have real limitations.

    And we’d predicted 99/98th percentile test performance would result in better than our 5th choice.

    So that is the source of my disappointment. (rather than disrespect for Lane)

  • 185. clueless  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    @177 : ( sorry this is so tough on all of you. What now? How is your daughter? I can’t even imagine how hard this is for all of you—it just doesn’t seem right.

  • 186. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    @175 James

    I think your analysis is right on. Who knows how many of those 13 would stay in the system? I’m sure Rahm and Brizard could come up with some creative statistics to “prove” it would be most if not all. You and I know that wouldn’t be the case. That said, I think many would stay, as long as IB is still an option.

    My son, a freshman at Northside, had Whitney as his #2 last year, but said he probably would have chose Taft IB if not accepted to Northside. Same with all the posts about deciding between LPIB and a SEHS.

  • 187. James  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    @180 RL Julia

    Don’t take this the wrong way (because I truly don’t mean any offense), but I see that your kid got into Northside. So whether you’d really send your kid to a place like Schurz is theoretical, isn’t it? And even if you’d actually send your very bright kid to such a dismal place (and, sadly, Schurz is that), I think you’d be in the distinct minority. Finally, I didn’t say I’d leave the city if there were no SEs. I said I’d scramble around to find the money to go private. I (and I think lots of other parents) wouldn’t gamble on a poor neighborhood high school.

  • 188. bananaperson  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    885 tier 3 got into first choice jones!

  • 189. Hana  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I received a 300/300 on the entrance exam and 895 total, and I still didn’t get into Payton (tier 4)! Don’t get me wrong, Jones (my second choice) is still a great school, but I’m pretty disappointed. The cutoffs must have really gone up!

  • 190. CPSDepressed  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    We considered moving, and we have friends who did rather than put their kids through this.

    This system is so awful.

  • 191. Tim  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm


  • 192. Bronzeville Parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Tier 3. 882. 1. Payton 2. Young.

    Letter from Young. Payton was our daughter’s choice, Young was our # 1. Of course we’re happy.

    Tier 3 cutoff for Payton last year, 869. Ouch, its got competitive.

    Good luck to all.

  • 193. Playinthegame  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    There are other options besides moving, I guess. But right now she feels pretty stupid compared to her friends who got accepted. There has to be a teachable moment here!

  • 194. Northwest-side Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I was so freaked out after reading many of the posts today that I was bracing for the worst, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I cried with relief when I saw the letters. I was worried about our kid having a really awful commute, particularly. This is such a brutal process for families and kids.

    Our child got 1st choice, NSP. Score 900, Tier 4 (definately not financially well off), RGC. Not looking forward to doing this again in 2 years for another child who has neurological challenges.

    Our 8th grader and his family are extremely relieved, but feel so sad for the families who are dealing with disappointment. I hope enough of an outcry develops that this system gets changed (for the better). Good luck to those who haven’t yet heard, and for those doing PD.

  • 195. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I guess another question for the parents of high scoring kids; have they done well on the isats over the years? Are scores fairly consistent there? Or do they vary much year to year?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 196. Excited!!!  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Hi I’m currently a Tier 4 eighth grader and I got my letter today (after a whole lot of waiting) and I’m very excited to say I got into Lane Tech!
    I got a perfect 300/300 on my entrance exam, which I did not expect, and a 880/900 in total. I got all A’s in 7th grade and 99 for reading and 86 for math on my Terra nova tests. My first choice was Payton, but I’m very excited for Lane, where I am taking all Honors and the art course.

  • 197. Parent1  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Daughter got into Payton, Tier 4, 900 points.

    She also got into LPIB and we did the shadow day yesterday. Even though Payton was always her first choice (newer, shinier, more cache) we are seriously thinking of going to IB. We were very impressed with the kids, teachers and curriculum. Though the kids had to be strong students to get invited to the interview round (I think 590/600), they really look at the whole kid – not just numbers. Plus they answer to a “higher authority” than CPS. I don’t have a good comfort level that CPS knows what they are doing as they try to socially engineer the SE high schools. How is a relatively small school like Payton going to accommodate a student body with with such a wide spread of incoming abilities? I’m not sure I’m willing to see what the next experiment will be when we have this other very strong option.

    While we are very proud of our daughter, my heart is breaking for all of her classmates who are texting her with “I didn’t get in anywhere”. There is something really, really wrong with this.

  • 198. chicago mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    My son got into Lane. My heart is breaking for so many kids that didnt get in anywhere. The system is a mess. Something needs to be done. It will only get worse every year with CPS so bottom heavy.

  • 199. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Keep in mind with payton having a class of 227, that given any child’s tier 100 spaces.
    The top 100 kids in tier 1 (and given the rank system it is probably more like the top 70) are hardly gonna be slouches who can’t keep up with the curriculum.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 200. 3xLaneParent  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Please don’t encourage all the parents that are disappointed with Lane, so the kids that really wanted to go there and Lane WAS their first choice can have a chance the second time around or on PD.

  • 201. Not in it this year  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    #197 – I’m just wondering why the range of ability is really that problematic. Truth be told, isn’t there a range of ability at all the private elite colleges out there (I guarantee there are lots of students who get admitted for other reasons other than perfect academics)? Not trying to be offensive – really just wondering.

  • 202. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    @197 Susan
    Agreed. It is a sad, sad day when a child scores 895 points and is made to feel stupid. These kids are literally some of the brightest minds in the state.

    Somebody mentioned “teachable moment”. I gotta tell you that I have no idea what it is. At least when a child doesn’t get into a gifted elementary school, they have no idea what they even missed. And by the time a high school senior gets rejected from colleges, they are 17 or 18 and understand what life is. But to put 13 year-olds through this, man, that’s tough.

  • 203. Northwest-side Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    @195 Yes, our child’s ISAT scores have been consisten over the years except for one, when he barely achieved an “Exceeds” in Reading.

  • 204. Waiting...  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    838 – tier 4 – didn’t get into Lane.

  • 205. Lee  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    838 – tier 2 – got into Northside. So thrilled. We were also accepted by The Latin School and have enrolled, but given the Northside offer, we are going public (and saving tens of thousands). Is that the right decision?

  • 206. Stressed by CPS  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Chiming in about Lane….I can’t stand when people are so disappointed that their child got into Lane. If you didn’t think it was a viable option, why did you even allow your child to put it down as a choice?? It is a great school. Only school I have “loved” for any of my kids and they go to/have gone to the top 10 schools elementary schools in the state. Even those schools had plenty of issues even though they were high scoring ISAT takers. The options at Lane are ridiculous. In a good way. They tend to have some lower scoring kids because they can accept over 1000 students. Lower scoring doesn’t mean dumb. And sorry not every good student has to be in the 99th percentile to prove their worth. I know a lot of kids who get straight A’s just because their parents volunteer a lot or donate a lot of money. OR just because they do homework and are well mannered. Not every A is necessarily earned.

    Lane can offer a lot of things NCP or Payton can’t. That is something each child will find and learn on their own. When I was growing up on the Northside, Lane was THEE place to go to because WY was so far and there weren’t any other SE schools around the area. Now all of the new schools opened and people jump on those because of the “newness”. It’s a very friendly school. The teachers my child has had so far have been so interested in him as a person not just some kid they have to teach for 50 minutes a day. They are quick to respond to any questions (both the teachers and other people like admissions director, counselors, etc.).

    Do not be sick over getting a Lane acceptance. You may not like it but your child will. If you let them see how you feel about it, that will just make them feel like they weren’t good enough for others schools and that’s not the case. If you never liked the thought of Lane, you shouldn’t have checked it on the application. But I know that if you/your child decide(s) to accept it rather than LPIB or private, you will be singing another tune in September. Congrats to the kids who got into Lane. Even though your parents may not be happy for you, plenty of us on here ARE!!!!

  • 207. lawyerlady  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I can’t believe how incredibly accomplished these students are at 13 years old. Straight A’s and near perfect test scores? Unbelievable. Seriously, it really is unbelievable. I don’t know a whole lot about CPS highschools, but I have to think kids like that are going to be okay even if they don’t get into an SE school.

  • 208. parent of artsy kid  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    anyone know what the Alpha Honors program is at Lane? My daughter just received a letter saying that they are inviting “only a select group of students to join the Alpha program”. Its says Alpha is an intensive honors program focusing on Science Fair, Mathematics and Engineering…but all my daughter wants to do is be artsy!

  • 209. Stressed by CPS  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    @200…nice comment!!

  • 210. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Interesting juxtaposition between posts 204 and 205. Both students score 838 yet one gets into Northside while the other can’t even get into Lane. (No disrespect intended of Lane. I know lots of kids there and they love it. Simply looking at it mathematically.)

    The difference is of course Tier 4 versus Tier 2.

    Lee, typically someone looking at Latin School is fairly well off financially, yet you are in Tier 2. Could you shed some light on your situation so we have the facts before we jump to alot of unfair conclusions?

  • 211. 7th grade/ lower end Tier 4 mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    @205 (Lee)- Congratulations and I am in no way saying your child didn’t work hard and won’t thrive at Northside. I’m also not berating Lane in any way, but from what I read on this blog an 838/Tier 2 gets into Northside but an 839/Tier 4 gets rejected from Lane. There has to be a better way.

  • 212. bananaperson  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    @208-I know a few people at Lane’s Alpha program and they love it.

  • 213. kiki h.  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I’m finding this distrust of lower tier parents a little unsavory. As a tier 1, middle class parent who bought a house (with a tier 1 income) before the tier system came into play, I’m wondering what accusations we’ll face when the time comes.

    What kinds of conclusions were you thinking of jumping to, panther parent?

  • 214. CPS depressed  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    What a mess. My kid will go through this next year. I feel for all the incredibly bright kids who happen to live in Tier 4 and either get their 4th or 5th choice or maybe don’t even get in.

    What is wrong with this school district? When kids are bright and doing what they’re supposed to do, and they’re made to feel inadequate. I’m so sick of CPS focusing on the bottom of the barrel. In the not-so-distant past, the best and brightest got multiple offers and were essentially rewarded for being smart and good students. Now they’re made to feel like they’re not good enough even though they’re scores are nearly perfect.

  • 215. westsidemom  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    @210 pantherparent — do all people who are financially well of have to live in Tier 3 or 4? What would the unfair conclusions be? That Lee purchased a building in Tier 2 just so that their kid could get into a SEHS?

  • 216. navigator  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I can imagine the debate on this board when the cut-off scores are posted. I expect CPS is waiting a week with the hopes parents will cool off.

  • 217. Excited!!!  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Also, just got news from one o my friends that got into Lane tech with a 750 total score, 227 on the entrance exam. She is Tier one and I am tier four and we are both very happy to have gotten in. I like in midway (tier four) and she lives in Pilsen (tier one) and I got an 880 as I mentioned before… But she is almost equally smart as me in school the school we attend in her neighborhood!!! So feel really sad that a lot of kids in Tier 4 didn’t get in with 810-840!!! It’s really quite horrible.

  • 218. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    @213 and @215
    I think it’s important to note that what your income is has absolutely no bearing on what your tier is. The census looks at income for the tract as a whole, in addition to 5 other factors.

    In no way am I implying that Lee gamed the system. The tier system itself is what I am questioning (as have many parents since it started.)

    If anything I was looking to short-circuit any accusations but apparently I began them. Lee, for that I am sorry. As a Northside parent, I welcome you with open arms.

  • 219. decision to make  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    My daughter got into Payton with 892 and we live in tier 2. She has to decide whether to leave WY, where she is currently in the AC. Not sure what to recommend to her.,
    Either way, a spot will open at one of the schools, so that is good news I suppose. There were a fair number of kids in her class that took the test, so there should at least be some reshuffling in the second round.

  • 220. CPSDepressed  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Latin and Parker both have an enormous amount of financial aid that they use to ensure racial and economic diversity in their schools. Many kids go on full scholarship.

  • 221. Lee  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    @ panther parent

    We live in Rogers Park’s only Tier 2 (was Tier 1 last year) and like a lot of professional couples, moved into a “transitional” neighborhood with lower property values 6 years ago (we are now underwater). Household income 160k and was offered 50% tuition award from Latin.

    We are raising a child who is our nephew and has parents unable to do so. We are also a gay couple with an 18-year relationship and have had the child with us since age 2 — and full-time for the last 3 years. He is a child who rose above significant challenges and worked his butt off with tutors and selective prep nonstop to get here. Very proud.

  • 222. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Just got a report from a parent I know:
    Jones 811 Tier 1

  • 223. Sped Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Why doesn’t CPS make the SE entrance exam one that does not have a max score? Then, then shifting of the students would be easier. There would be few with a “perfect” score. The student could be rewarded for both his speed and his accuracy without hitting an arbitrary “top.”

  • 224. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I don’t know if it’s fair to call half the kids in Tier 4 the “best and brightest.” They have more educated parents, more means to succeed, fewer single parent households, less life stress, etc.
    This makes them more fortunate than Tier 1 kids. Not sure it makes them “better.” Otherwise there are a lot more “better” kids in Tier 4 than in Tier 1?

  • 225. Sped Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    @ 19. cpsobsessed | February 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    “I’ve heard this too, that kids are really into Jones these days.
    Any idea why?”

    I’m guessing that it’s very racially diverse and it’s got a central location. Heard some other reasons too, but difficult to describe.

  • 226. NoLonger  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Where is a friendly pschologist to chime in on this? We went through this last year, so glad to have my child settled in, doing well and loving the private school he choose for himself. Don’t miss this nonsense one bit.

  • 227. another cps mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    “The unfairness arises when kids scoring substantially lower from lower tiers get in over kids with significantly higher scores. There is a debate over whether there are good reasons that justify this.” — Just wait until COLLEGE applications. Jiggering happens in that race, too.

  • 228. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    @153 panther LOL I thought I was agreeing with you

    @152 CPSD sounds really great for your son. You could probably shadow before you turn down Lane?

  • 229. relieved mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    @224 Agree — and as a whole, the kids in Tier 3/4 have a better situation than those in Tier 1/2. I think the frustration is that the system looks at your address, not your actual ‘socioeconomic’ status. We live in Tier 4 (and I would say that matches our socioeconomic situation). However, I know low income single mothers that rent small places in our neighborhood – basically so they can send their kid to a decent grade school. Or very low income/low education families who are here because their parents bought a two-flat 30+ yrs ago, renting out the other unit, when this was a much different type of neighborhood. Their situation is not the same as ours. I think seats at these schools should be available to kids in a tougher situation — whose parents can’t afford tutors/test prep, etc. etc. But to classify by census tract isn’t completely fair….not that I have a better suggestion : (
    And with this system comes the possibility of fraud. I know private school parents who will go thru this next year talk about renting an apartment in a lower tier for the address….I hope it isn’t widespread…..but people may justify it in their minds because of the perceived unfairness of the score differences…just my two cents.

  • 230. CPS depressed  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    What I’m saying is for kids to score 900 or even 895 and not get into their first choice is insane. Smart is smart. And I’m betting many if not most of these kids (and I’m sure their parents) were stressing out about getting into the school of their choice. That just shouldn’t be. If you score that high, you should get into the school of your choice.

    Tier 1 or Tier 12…this Tier system is ridiculous because we all know wealthy families in lower tiers, and poor families in higher tiers. I’m all for disadvantaged kids getting a break, but are they really the ones getting a break?

    I’m for the NY system where it’s just an extrance exam, AND every child who scores above the 90th percentile gets into a gifted program. It may not be the one closest to your house, but you get in somewhere.

  • 231. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    @221 Lee

    Thank you for sharing. You are rightfully very proud of your nephew and his accomplishments.

    And thank you @229 relieved mom for saving me the time of writing almost exactly what you wrote. I know a single mom who makes about 20K/year with 2 kids (one at Lane, one soon-to-be at Lane as he found out today!) and she is in Tier 4. When you hear of a couple making 160K in Tier 2, it draws the system into question. Is this the best system to determine enrollment?

  • 232. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    @228 HS Mom
    Ha! I thought you were agreeing with me too then I read it again and thought you weren’t. Funny. It’s been a long day and I don’t even have a dog in this fight. Went through it last year and will do it again next.

  • 233. pilsen mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    @224 Thank you. We live in tier 1 and although our income does line up with the average tier 1 income, my son has two parents whose first language is English, who are college educated, who understand the cps testing/bureaucratic system and who are home every night to help him with homework. However, we are the minority in Pilsen. There are *many* students in my son’s neighborhood school who are “better & brighter” than my son, but these students do not have the resources, the cultural capital, the knowledge etc to test out of the neighborhood hs (Juarez – filled with gang recruitment and violence). This system is far from perfect, but we cannot pretend that the only those students who score above an 890 are somehow the “smartest” in Chicago.

  • 234. 8th grade mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    My son is very torn deciding between LPIB and Payton. Any thoughts?

  • 235. south loop  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    To Ben: “Then make plans for homeschool.” That’s a great plan. It can be fabulous.

  • 236. michael beale  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    My girl tried for Lane we had three generations there she got straight A’s and 97 and 98 isat’s but kind of bombed the entrance with 75 very dissapointed but proud of her just the same . Maybe we can have a chance in the second round with a 822 in tier 4??

  • 237. Esmom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    @227, “Just wait until COLLEGE applications. Jiggering happens in that race, too.”

    I can’t help but feel that the college application process will feel like a piece of cake compared to this simply because there are so many more options.

    @230, “What I’m saying is for kids to score 900 or even 895 and not get into their first choice is insane. Smart is smart.”

    It’s heartbreaking really. I can’t imagine the disappointment. And it’s simple. Too many kids, too few slots. For a supposedly world-class city, Chicago has really failed its children here.

  • 238. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    @188 Bananaperson – if you are Sonali – Perfect, awesome, you did it!. @189 Hana, you’ll love it.

  • 239. Hana  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    @238 – Thanks! I’m still trying to decide between it (Jones) and private school. I love Jones, but I’m also in love with the private school. Totally depends on financial aide though.

  • 240. parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    we have to hope for the US supreme court case that will hear the case regarding Race.etc. (Socio economic) discrimination when schools accept students. How is it fair to the kids that score better to be denied entry into the same school. I am a parent that is extemely upset.

  • 241. Pissed_Parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    It’s pretty sad that not a single student from my daughter’s north side school (in Tier 4) received an offer from Northside academy……

    Somehow, straight A’s, 99s on the ISATs and “only” a 97 (894 total) on the entrance exam wasn’t quite good enough.

    To add insult to injury, my daughter told me oday after she got her results that the point calculator tool (on the OAE website) indicated she needed from 282-294 on the entrance exam to get into Northside…..

    I guess not!

  • 242. WOW  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I guess I should just move into tier 1 for 7th grade then move out. Does that make any sense??????

  • 243. Lilith Werner, PhD  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Lake View is now your viable neighborhood option.

    By the fall 2012, we will have a highly articulated STEM program in place for all freshmen in tandem with an embedded Microsoft partnership. Your children will have access to amazing educational opportunities and resources. Lake View will be the school of choice on the northwest side for those interested in a 21st century education.

    We are committed to our local community and the success of all of our students.

    Check out http://www.cps.edu/ecss for more information about the new initiative at Lake View.

    I look forward to working with you.

  • 244. AlsoAnonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    #184. Thanks so much for clarifying. And to be honest, the only place where I see room for more SEs is the far South Side or Far West Side.

    I am surrounded by magnet elementaries and even an SE (near Franklin, Newberry, and LaSalle). And I don’t see the need for these magnets to be here when Lincoln is overcrowded. By that, I mean that people here are happily going to the neighborhood schools and supporting CPS, so no need to invest in MORE northside magnets or SEs when greater value might be seen in investing in LPHS (for those who don’t get into the magnet programs) and Lakeview as they are so, so close to being acceptable options for all.

    I hope it works out for you!

  • 245. anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    @147 — Steff, definitely take a look at King. The principal (a former Jones AP) is fantastic. He stands at the door every morning to greet students and knows almost all of them by name. He really cares about students and has done wonders for the school. Although King students don’t come in with as high of scores as students at places like Payton and Northside, their average improvement in test scores is higher than that of many of Chicago’s top schools. For example, King ranked 6th in the city for the greatest gain in reading scores from the PLAN (sophomore version of the ACT) to the ACT (junior year). This past year, King was awarded the ISBE Academic Improvement Award for being one of top 25 schools for highest rate of growth on state tests. Back in 2010, US News and World Report named them a Silver Medal School, the same ranking as schools like Whitney Young and Lincoln Park. Clearly some good instruction happening there to achieve these kinds of results.

    King is also a good place for students who want a more well-rounded high school experience. They have a bunch of championship athletic teams and their band is the best in Chicago. The band travels all over, wins tons of awards, and even performed at Obama’s inauguration. Last year, four art students had their work on display at the US Dept. of Ed. in DC. The school even has a 3 year engineering program that has sent students to colleges like U of I.

    Not sold yet? A lot of the above comes from the news section of King’s website. Go check it out! Oh, and if they have an event for accepted students, GO! Spend some time talking to the principal and get your kid to talk to some current students. I bet you’ll be impressed by both.

  • 246. far northsider  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    cps-o @195 re ISATs over time – My daughter’s scores have been fairly consistent; math is always 99, verbal has varied by a few points. Fortunately she managed to pull a verbal 99th percentile last year when it counted. Since she usually tests well we didn’t send her to any prep classes for either ISAT or SE exam.

  • 247. Chicago mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Go Lakeview. We are all excited for this school to attract neighborhood kids!

  • 248. cps alum  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I think the fact that Lane has an AC has contributed to the higher cut off scores at Lane. Kids who are already at Lane have guaranteed spots regardless of their scores or if they even bother to apply to another SEHS. Fewer spots to offer raises the bar for everyone else.

  • 249. psmom  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    @248 There are no 8th graders at Lane. This will be the case for next year. This did not impact the numbers for 2012.

    Any other scores for WY or other tier 3?

  • 250. Christian Borda  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I come from a neighborhood school in Tier 3. Though it may be Tier 3, There are a lot of shootings around my school. Many students from my class come from tragic backgrounds, including myself. In my class alone (a class of 20) there were 5 children ( including myself) who got accepted into a selective enrollment high-school….amazing if I do say so myself.

  • 251. 7thgradesurvivor  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Wow, my head is spinning with these numbers. My daughter, Tier 3, got 894 and first choice Payton. She also got into Lincoln IB.
    From what I’ve observed and from people I’ve talked to, for those deciding between IB and a SEHS, it is a hard choice but a wonderful choice and you can’t make a bad one.

    I don’t know how to make this system fair but at some point when I come up for air from my work obligations, I would like to FOIA how many 8th graders were in the pool of eligibility for SEHS from each tier. When the northside turned into a sea of green this year, I have to believe that the number of 8th graders (eligible for SEHS–and they know this b/c applications were due before the tiers came out) is greatest in tier 4–that’s my speculation anyway. Of course, I would also like to see what the breakdown looked like for kids that got into these school by rank–does it end up being evenly divided by tier (it isn’t required to but it would be interesting to see and certainly that impacts the number of kids competing in each tier for a SEHS tier spot).

    Lots of data that we have a right to see and shouldn’t have to FOIA, CPS should just be posting it.

    This may sound radical, but I think that parents whose children didn’t get into any SEHS who would have given last years tier breakdown should start a group (or a different thread here) and go en masse to next month’s Board of Ed meeting, it is sadly one of the only ways left to get their attention. It may at least help get a real discussion going and if not that perhaps a pouring of Rahm’s hidden dollars into improving neighborhood high schools.

  • 252. steff  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    250 what selective school did you get in?

  • 253. attymom  |  February 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Does anyone have any experience with LPH double honors program?

  • 254. ZZZ  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    My child was accepted at Jones. Tier 4, 882, 2nd choice. Very excited but wondering if anyone knows anything about it that would be helpful? Thank you in advance!

  • 255. Christine  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Regarding Senn — it is my neighborhood high school and even though my kids are only 1st grade and 2.5 I try to follow what’s happening there. Senn also has a fairly new, very energetic principal who is working strongly with the community to make Senn a viable option. There is already an IB Program (about which I know nothing) and Rickover Military Academy.

    Last year they added an Arts Magnet program that the kids get into via audition. I think they have about 75 kids in the (now) sophomore class. This year I heard they got something like 1000 applications for 100 seats!

    That being said, I do see police cars there frequently, there is gang activity (I hear) and I personally have walked through clouds of pot smoke when I pass by groups of students.

    Anyway, I hope it lives up to it’s potential.

  • 256. Unhappy Parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    My daughter just received her letter. We live in Tier 2, but she attends a CPS AC and she got into Lane! However, because she ended 7th grade with a 91% in two classes, they were counted as a ‘B’ and worth only 50 pts. each where if she had attended another school they would have been an ‘A’ and worth 75 pts! Can’t wrap my head around how CPS can have different grading scales and use them to award pts. for Selective Enrollment Exam. Shouldn’t the district use the same grading scale, if they are going to award pts. based on final letter grades?

  • 257. mama2boys  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Not sure how anyone else feels about this — my son got into Lane with 865 in tier 4…we are also considering Von Scholars, Senn IB, Senn Arts. He was also accepted into LP drama and LP HH. One of the things I like about the non SE is they actually find out about the particular child — by interview, essay or audition. Not just a number. I would love other opinions about a) anyone with kids at Von or Senn IB or Arts and b) how our smart, talented kids are all but reduced to a number then “dinged” depending on where they live. Thanks!

  • 258. RLJulia  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Yes, my son going to Northside. Something I actually have some misgivings and guilt about (although my husband assures me I am crazy to think this way). At some point during this whole process I decided that we shouldn’t discount Schurz. It is A LOT like the high school I went to (except in my high school a teacher was shot to death INSIDE the building not a student outside and one out of every seven girls had a baby before graduation – making my high school prom’s theme of” we’re going all the way” seem a little after the fact) plus my kid is the kind of kid who would probably do well anywhere.

    Also, I saw how my sending my kids to my neighborhood elementary school in a very small and insignificant way changes the neighborhood perception of that school – and encourages other resources families to invest in the school. So yeah – while I might like it better for him to go where he wants to go and got in, I am not running away scared because Schurz isn’t all that. Its the kid who makes the school not the school making the kid in my book and a part of me really does think that my kids should be at their neighborhood school making Schurz a place where everyone wants to go.

    I agree that’d they’ be in the minority (just like in elementary school) but if not us then who. If not now, then when.

  • 259. mom2  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    My child has friends from a highly regarded magnet elementary school that ended up at LPH double honors and they are all very happy there. I haven’t heard any complaints. They were pretty smart in 8th grade but just didn’t quite make it into an SEHS.

  • 260. chicago taxpayer  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    pissed parent-
    why don’t you sue? You have a good case.

  • 261. SPED parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    IEP kid who did not get into LPDH, tier 4, total 842 points and got his first choice Lane. We are crazy proud and ecstatic!. From my understanding IEP pool is entirely separate from the regular pool nevertheless he would have gained admission to his first choice completely on his own merit if in the general pool given the cutoff was 839 for tier 4 (wow that’s high)!

    I can’t for the life of myself understand being denied LPDH yet having a very respectable score on SE tally chart. I wish i understood the process a bit better.

  • 262. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    @254 – Jones is a unique school with rigorous curriculum and laid back environment. The teachers are awesome. With respect to all here still adjusting to their letters I’m going to say explore the shadow day and have fun.

  • 263. mom2  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Dr. Werner, thank you so much for posting information here about Lakeview. I am so happy that you and CPS are working so hard to make Lakeview THE CHOICE for all Lakeview residents. How wonderful will it be to have a neighborhood school with a college prep focus. Keep up the great work and hope to see you in about 6 years! The Microsoft program sounds great! Any plans for something like LP’s double honors program at Lakeview?

  • 264. southie  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Where are the 19th ward students heading?

  • 265. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I know a few kids in HH/AP at LPHS and they love it. Strong academics but not over the top competitive, allows them to pursue outside interests like sports. Many also accepted into the performing arts programs at LPHS (theater, chorus, band). LPHS has many levels of classes and the flexibility to put students in the level that makes sense for their abilities in that subject.

  • 266. Sangamon  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    As previous posters mentioned, the SE system could be eliminated, and the suburban option implemented. Simply, you live at Address A, you go to school A. But to have a system that will attract higher income/better educated/more aggressive parents, there has to be some sort of specialized system in place. No matter how this specialization is done, there will be inequities.

    People generally don’t want their children to go to school with children who they feel aren’t at least as motivated, academically inclined, talented, etc. as their own kids are, and more importantly, whose parents aren’t as involved as they are.

    That leaves CPS with creating selective schools and leaves the neighborhood schools with everyone else. I would, however, challenge the idea that the neighborhood school is “not an option” for some kids. It might be worth taking a look at. An extremely low-performing / dangerous/ violent school as the only option is not the same as having Kenwood, or Lincoln Park, or Von Steuben as a choice. At some point, someone has to realize that hundreds of kids with excellent grades and scores who didn’t get in to the top SEs have to go somewhere.

  • 267. HS Mom  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    @250 Christian – that’s a powerful story. Thank you and sounds like you fully earned that appointment. Care to elaborate on which neighborhood school, scores or schools that the “big 5” are going to? It’s OK if you don’t want to say anything about those details.

  • 268. Blessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    880 Whitney Young; not sure of tier because we don’t live in the city. Based on last year’s cutoff scores, would have made it in based on rank.Have to move to the city by 7/1. Attends a private elementary school in Chicago.

  • 269. MarketingMom  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I wonder how many of the kids with 895 and 900 scores went to Selective Prep? I agree that this might have something to do with the wave of high scorers year after year. What a monster that has been created.
    My heart goes out to the extremely bright kids that have to face their bragging classmates in the next few days. Kids work their butts off and they are being rejected. What message does that send? CPS really needs to have extra counselors at grade schools to help kids cope with the disappointment and depression.

  • 270. northwest side  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Tier 4
    300 out of 300 exam points
    Accepted at Lane (third choice after Payton and Jones

  • 271. seMom  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    @254. Congratulations ZZZ! You are going to love Jones. My son is a sophomore at Jones. Jones was our second choice as well, however, his first. We had our hearts set on Young, but he missed the tier 3 cut off by 3 points. I was devastated. His principal suggested we take the slot, telling us that we would love Jones. She was so right. Jones is the perfect school for our son. The teachers are caring, the students- compassionate and above all the corporate mission of developing morally just, responsible, intellectually curious and well rounded graduates is woven into every aspect of the student experience. He calls his baseball team “a brotherhood,” and his lunch table “a mini united nations.” Having come from a regional gifted center with an extremely diverse population, the transition was painless. He is now taking AP courses and doing quite well. Again, congrats!

  • 272. Blessed  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    And Young was our first choice.

  • 273. Jonesmama  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Tier 3 score 892 first choice Jones. Going to Jones! So proud of my hard working daughter. She could have gone to Northside, but wanted a little more fun in her 4 years and felt Northside was just too intense. It is high school after all! I think she will get a wonderful education and get to still be a kid.

  • 274. tinymom  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    #116 I still don’t understand the scoring. My son had a 300 on the SE, straight A’s in 7th grade for 300 and an ISAT of 99 in reading and 97 in math. If I understand the rubric correctly, shouldn’t he have had a 897? What what did I do wrong because he only has total points of 886?

  • 275. 4bsbadforme  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    797 as my final score, perfect SE test score. Tier 4
    Rejected from Lane
    Rejected from LPDH
    Rejected from Von, 543 on wait list. Sigh.

    My neighborhood school is Schurz. I can’t go to Schurz. Not only will my parents not let me, but I don’t want to go. I don’t know what’s gonna happen. My family could never afford private school, even with a scholarship.

    Gonna try to get in on principal discretion. Congrats to all the first rounders!!! You deserve it.


  • 276. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    274 – you do understand the rubric if those are the right inputs
    99 ISAT = 150 points, 97 ISAT = 147 points; so…double check ?

  • 277. galewoodmom  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    We got the CPS letter and letter from Lane today. Our son currently goes to a Lutheran school in the ‘burbs. We live in a Tier 4 area (NW side), yet we don’t make Gold Coast money. This process was new to us, and the cut-off numbers for WP and WY are blowing me away. Who knew? WP, WY or Jones would have been nice, but I won’t complain. We’re thankful to God that he got accepted to Lane. Our son also got accepted to two private high schools, but the tuition!! We will have to make a decision by the end of the week.

    I’m so glad the wait is over.

  • 278. hopingforthebest  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    @275, hold your head high and hang in there… what an amazing feat to get a perfect score on the entrance exam. When I read your post, I feel nothing but frustration about the opportunities or lack thereof in the city.

  • 279. tinymom  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    276 thanks. Is there a way to check what CPS has recorded for my child? I heard there was someplace you can see the scores for each applicant online? I am wondering if CPS has something incorrect because along with my child’s offer was a form stating he should bring his IEP with him, He does not have an IEP. Or was that letter standard and in everyone’s offer?

  • 280. Unhappy Parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm


    There is no way to see each applicants scores online, you should call the Office of Access and Enrollment in the morning and speak with someone who can help you. Also, the IEP letter wasn’t standard in everyone’s offer. Be sure to call and speak with someone in the morning.

  • 281. Hana  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    @269: MarketingMom
    I understand where you’re coming from, but please don’t generalize. I received 895 and still did not get into my first choice. I can assure you that I did not take SelectivePrep or any test prep at all. I don’t mean to say that the point you’re making isn’t valid, but I honestly don’t believe that programs like that have greatly affected scores or are all that helpful. If you know otherwise then by all means I apologize. That’s just my honest opinion. Plus, there are plenty of people who do those programs and still do not end up in a favorable high school situation. Something else that occurred to me is that you mentioned 895 like it was excellent and should have allowed me or anyone to get in anywhere, yet it didn’t. These cutoffs have become ridiculously high. If I remember correctly, last year’s rank cutoff for Peyton seems to be this years tier 4 cutoff! Ugh. I feel awful for those who did not get into any SE high school. Wish you all the best and hope you or your children end up somewhere they’ll enjoy. Sorry for my rant. Needed to get it out.

  • 282. Unhappy Parent  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    For those who are interested the website for OAE says that the cutoff scores for 2012-2013 will be posted by March 2, 2012.

  • 283. Alex Gaynor  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I am a former Lincoln Park IB student. In the winter of 2007, during my sophomore year, I dropped out of high school. Since then I’ve gone on to attend a good college (where I’m now a senior) and had a tremendous amount of professional success. For those of you choosing between Lincoln Park IB and selective enrollment schools, like Walter Payton, I want to strongly encourage you not to choose Lincoln Park IB.

    The IB program (at Lincoln Park), can be best described as taking a mediocre local high school, and putting it on steroids. This program values work (in any form) above critical thinking. It is a program that will assign more work than one can bear, just to assign it. Some of you will be inclined to think that’s a good thing, after all, pushing someone to their limits is how they get better. That is not what Lincoln Park. It is not a pedagogy predicated on finding out how people learn and capitalizing on it, but rather a strict adherence to a program that has learned nothing from pedagogical research.

    When I was in elementary school I was told that high school would be totally different, and in high school I was told that college would be totally different. At each stage I was told the next would be less concerned with my individual welfare, so I should get used to it now. This is a fiction. At every academic level there will be teachers and professors who are concerned and unconcerned with their students’ learning. But neither before, nor since, Lincoln Park have I seen teachers who were so singularly unconcerned with the effect the work they assigned had.

    I’ve observed Walter Payton, and while it is no panacea, it is immeasurably better than Lincoln Park. If you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them.

    – Alex Gaynor

  • 284. 4bsbadforme  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    @281 isn’t it the same with lane? Last year’s rank was 830, tier 4 cutoffs are higher than that.

    I wonder what it will be like several years from now, when the cutoffs are so high there will be tiebreakers for 900. It seems possible at NSCP and Payton. I fear for the younger kids.

    I’m just going to follow the advice my teacher gave us. He told us how this is just a part of our lives, and all the work we’ve done over the past few years is worth it, even if we didn’t get into the school we wanted(Or any school at all, my case…)

    I also heard him mention CPS obsessed to another teacher. If you’re reading this, shout out to Mr. B at Bell!

    Does anyone know when the principal discretion booklet is going online? Thanks in advance!

  • 285. Sadmom  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    My daughter spent most of the evening crying, 801, Tier 4, did not get accepted to any of the SE schools that she applied to. Last year she would have been accepted to Lane with that score. She did get accepted to Von Scholars. She does not, however see this acceptance as a good thing because it is not one of the “it” schools. She attends a neighborhood school on the north side. How do you console a 14 year old who worked hard and is a good to average student but just isn’t quite there based on CPS ridiculous standards. I know her self esteem dropped and at such a crucial age for girls. There is something wrong with a system that can’t offer good/average students a better education. We are sending a message to kids that anything less than perfect is not acceptable. I want to know how many of these parents that demand perfection of their kids got straight A’s and scored perfectly on tests?

    I also have a junior at NCP. He had 993 (it was still based on 1000 points then) and it boggles my mind that he probably would not have gotten into Northside if the current system were in place when he was going through this process. I just have a hard time with a system that would have limited my straight A student to a lesser school because he missed a perfect score by 7 points. I have two very different children but feel that both deserve a great education.

    I actually liked Von Steuben a lot but her image of it has been shaped by some of the kids she goes to school with. They have been telling her that it is “rough’ and that she will get beat up by gangs. I also liked Lakeview, which she applied to but we still haven’t heard from. Does anyone know when their letters get mailed?

    I know I have ranted a bit but feel so heartsick after watching my child cry for hours.

  • 286. Alejandro  |  February 28, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Got accepted into Northside College Prep. 864. 1st choice, tier 1. 😀

  • 287. Gwen  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:01 am

    @269 – wow, so many things about your post. First, while i’m sure some kids may very well “brag”, most care about their friends and feel terribly for the ones that didn’t get in. My daughter got into NCP, but many of her friends didn’t (some didn’t get anything) and she has spent the better part of 2 hours tonight consoling them and cheering them up. I’m actually more proud of what a good friend she’s being than I am of any academic achievement she’s attained today.
    Re. Selective Prep, I think you overestimate it’s ability to raise scores. Yes, my daughter took the class, but so did nearly every 8th grader in her RGC, and most of them didn’t get into NCP or WP (scoring in the 895-900 range you reference). What the class does (besides making the owners I’m sure a tidy sum) is give kids confidence, and is a refresher of sorts of material they may have learned a while back (especially those in accelerated programs). I didn’t think she needed the class, and I would have preferred to not spend the money, but she really wanted to take it (still struggle with the idea of a 13-year old wanting to spend 8 Sundays in a class and do hours of workbook sheets each week).
    I agree with you that the system is awful, and I feel terribly for the children and their families who didn’t get the news they were hoping for today, it’s heartbreaking – there should be a place for every child to get a quality education in a safe and supportive environment in this city.

  • 288. mom2  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Sadmom, I’m so sorry! This whole system makes me crazy. I think you should contact the principal at Lakeview. If you can get into Lakeview, maybe you can meet with people there and learn about all the new things they are doing. It sounds like that new Microsoft program will be just wonderful. Maybe after hearing about that program, your daughter will feel better and she can be one of the first students to earn extra certifications and college credit along with a high school diploma.

  • 289. IB&RGC Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:28 am

    @221 Lee, thank you for sharing all of that info. I don’t think you had to share it, but I do appreciate seeing it as next year we may have to look into private school options if these crazy cut off scores do not work well for my daughter. I also thought of scholarships as financial need based. I am married and together we have a decent income that I thought would never be considered with some of these private or catholic schools, but we basically live pay check to pay check with all of our current expenses so couldn’t afford the high tuition. If there are some that are rewarding for diversity or merit I will have to look into private schools as an option.

    You should be proud. So should everyone who worked hard whether they got into 3rd-5th choice or did not get in to any.

  • 290. IB&RGC Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Mia and RL Julia (and others of course), congrats!!! It does make me somewhat hopeful that my daughter (having gone to the same schools) will have a chance to get into whatever her first choice is next year. It is currently Jones. I love Lane as an option, and hope it is a viable one next year (in that her scores can get her in, not meaning anything about the school).

  • 291. wired  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:35 am

    I am horrified by this process and we all need to scream out. We are so lucky because my child got a 900 and into NSCP, but genius friends didn’t get in. Probably one question on a test out of a year plus of work. I know this is CPS’s lame attempt to replicate race-based when it was ruled illegal, but the gap between tiers is not right. We have kids getting a 895 who don’t get in, but someone in a lower tier can have a 100 point gap? While I love the diversity of CPS, that does not feel right. How do those kids perform in their high school career?

  • 292. IB&RGC Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Parents who do have multiple offers, please decline any that you know you will not be accepting ASAP as there are a lot of kids who didn’t get into any of their choices.

    There are even kids who are currently in Taft’s AC who didn’t get an offer into Taft’s IB even though scores were high. I don’t know all the details, but I am pretty sure there will be spots opening up once all the SE letters come in and there are many kids not knowing what they are going to do right now. Be thankful you have a choice!!

    My heart is breaking for all the sad 8th graders today!!! This process really shouldn’t be this hard or this detrimental!

  • 293. CityMom  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:50 am

    @286 — Way to go, Alejandro!!! You must be so happy and so proud. Congrats!

    @285 — I’m so sorry for your daughter…it really is a truly messed up system. I hope that it will change someday, but on this day for these kids it really really sucks. It’s a really hard thing to deal with at a young age. I hope that your daughter had a good, cleansing cry and will wake up tomorrow with an open heart for Von or Lakeview. Best of luck to you and her.

  • 294. IB&RGC Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:09 am

    @275 4b’s – I am so sorry to hear that. 797 is a score you should be proud of and if not for the added tier 4 competition would have gotten you into Lane last year. I believe on last years post there was someone who put their son’s letter for principle discretion up on the blog. CPSo, do you know if there is a way to find that post? I would put my all into writing that letter and being as honest as possible. Have it proof read and write from your heart!!

    Is Taft an option? I am not sure if they take kids into the neighborhood program from outside (and that haven’t put in an application), but I would call there and find out as it may be a better neighborhood option that is not too far from Shurz if there is no way you would go there.

    RL Julia, you went to the Shurz open house right? Can you share some of your insight as if I remember correctly you saw some positive things going on there like a great music program?

    It breaks my heart seeing a smart kid posting FML because of the raised bar for these cut of scores!!!

  • 295. cps student  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Congrats everybody!

    I got in Jones (first choice) 285/300 (Tier 2)
    SE results: Core score: 94

    I know there were many upset hearts today but the one thing that I would tell myself if I didn’t make it into one of the SE schools is that it’s not the school that makes the person, but the person that makes the school. Meaning that because one’s not accepted at the “absolute best” doesn’t mean they’re deemed for disaster. There are many components that make a great school, not only test scores. It’s going to be difficult regardless of where anyone goes. All schools mentioned in this post stand amongst the best in the nation.

  • 296. Justsayin...  |  February 29, 2012 at 6:30 am

    I think the extrordinarily high scores are going to be a real boon to the neighborhood high schools. Those schools will never be better places for our kids until our kids enroll there and we overacheiving parents push them to be the best places they can be for our kids, and everyone else’s kids, too. With a small army of near-straight A kids heading to the neighborhood schools, maybe our voices can change things…for everyone.

  • 297. mom2  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:03 am

    @296 – Amen!

  • 298. RL Julia  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:57 am

    IB&RCG Mom – I’d thought you’d never ask!

    In terms of Schurz – well it is a historic landmark building. I thought the music program looked (and sounded) awesome, it has some resources for the academically advanced students – AP classes, honors classes, national honor society, a writing center, etc… What I also saw was opportunity – because my kid would be a desired (and perhaps unique) student, we could advocate for new things that my son and others might benefit from – classes at NEIU or other universities, independent study with willing teachers at Schurz or outside the school etc… and hey- who wouldn’t want to take forensics or learn auto repair (Schurz has a auto repair vocational program).

    While I am talking neighborhood schools, I feel I should also give a shout out for Roosevelt High School -they have re-vamped the school this year into six small learning communities – arts and humanities, JROTC, culinary science and hospitality management, business and IT, medicine and healthcare, honors academics and a cluster for kids who are new arrivals to America. While their website doesn’t have much on it yet – a group of teachers came to my LSC meeting and I was really excited about what they had to say about the school and its new outlook. It too has some honors and AP level classes – and with a culinary program, I’d hope for some really good school lunch.

    The thing about going to a Schurz or a Roosevelt is that because they don’t see tons of high achieving kids at their schools, they are much more willing or open to individuation or suggestion and perhaps more likely or able to recognize different kinds of intelligence. You might also find, as I did with our neighborhood elementary school, that in fact there were a fair number of really smart kids already at the school that no one was cultivating because they just were looking at the barriers….not at the smart kid behind the barrier. Without smart kids without barriers at school to push the academic envelope, schools tend to focus on the barriers so that a teen mom is only seen as a teen mom- not as a possible Nobel Prize Winner. There are only so many hours in the day after all.

    Son also got into Taft IB and while his experience at the Taft AC has been mixed he really was excited about the IB program. He’ll be turning the spot down so that’s one more space for someone else. I think he liked the idea that it was small and would afford him a certain amount of individual attention (which he adores). He also liked the fact that he would have a really good class rank. I though it was a boutique program in a “regular” sort of high school and kind of liked that myself. Its already established which means more rules to contend with but less wondering and creative problem solving. Taft keeps the AC kids in one section of the school but my son has never felt that the school was dangerous in any way. Plus they will have a new principal next year as Dr. T is retiring.

    Tinymom – my heart goes out to your daughter. Please get her to visit Von Steuben as soon as possible – its a great school -let her know that my son didn’t get into their science program and is 541 on the waiting list for the scholar’s program so they obviously saw something special in her that they didn’t see in him and that she should be proud to go there.

  • 299. coldfeet  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

    My daughter was accepted to Whitney Young, but I’m getting cold feet about it over the fact that we were so turned off by the arrogance of the principal at the open house. I know the academics are good, but the attitude of leadership in any organization has a ripple effect, and I’m more concerned about my daughter’s character than I am her grades. I’m afraid about the magnification of this culture of selection. While certainly there are differences between the kids at these different schools, I’m sickened by these rankings as a reflection of individual worth, one that was STRONGLY reinforced they the principal’s speech at Whitney Young. Do any other parents have this concern, or could anybody familiar with the culture of Whitney speak to whether I’m making much ado about nothing? I don’t want my daughter to be constantly told she is the best. I want her to be told that she is wonderful, just like every other kid around her. There’s an important distinction there to me.

  • 300. none  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I have a daughter who is a freshman at Whitney. I know what you mean about the principal. However, my daughter has never been told she is wonderful by any of her teachers. I don’t feel that the attitude of the principal goes any further her.

  • 301. momof3boys  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:51 am

    @275, do you do sports? Lane takes in a lot of sports people… BTW, my freshman told me that he saw a kid from his school at lane and couldnt believe that he actually got in. i doubt that he even scored in the 700’s. he had horrible grades but he played sports, basketball, i think…

  • 302. Public School papa  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:52 am

    @9 Here’s something I don’t understand. Why do people from Parker and Latin who feel that only Northside and Payton are good enough for their kids apply to other schools keeping other kids out? Then you have the guy from Hyde Park that has to go to Lane or risk nothing. As a family that depends on public education, I find this very frustrating.

  • 303. momof3boys  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:54 am

    i pressed enter before i finished, my ds got in through Principal Discretion. Thru this process, the points dont matter although i think you probably have to have at least min of 600. There were over i think 300 apps for the 10-12 spots, i cant remember but the ratio was crazy high. Good Luck…

  • 304. Anom Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

    @285 – Von is a good school, those reputations of gang activity are not the case. Von is an up and coming school. I think the Scholars program will be another coveted spot, especially when one considers the difficulties of the SE entrance. I expect it to become another option like the Lincoln Park programs.

  • 305. CPSDepressed  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:03 am

    @299, I feel the same way. Had my son aced the SEHS exam, he might have had a shot at Whitney Young, but I discouraged him from putting it as his first choice.

    @243 Dr. Lilith Werner: Lake View’s wonderful news came at a good time, didn’t it? This is one of the signs people have been looking for.

    @285: That’s what I think is so terrible about this process: it’s the age of the kids. A lot of 7th graders do not understand that failing to turn in homework will affect their high school options a year from now. And the egos are so fragile! At 16 or 17, a kid has a better sense of responsibility and identity. Many of the Catholic schools still have openings, if that’s a possibility for your family, and, of course, Lake View has had good news.

  • 306. mayfairAM  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I have a daughter in the AC at Whitney and I was also initially put off by Dr. Kenner, but I have come to really love and respect her. She watched “Race to Nowhere” with a bunch of parents last year and it really seemed to have an effect on her….she really took the problems of over achieving kids to heart. I think maybe you have to have a larger than life personality to make things happen in CPS. I am so happy that my daughter gets to go to WY for high school, but I feel very motivated to help make better HS options for northwest side students. Thank you CPSObs. for hosting!

  • 307. Esmom  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

    @299, “I’m afraid about the magnification of this culture of selection.” I’m with you, it makes me really nervous, too. All the more reason to boost the neighborhood high schools (not that it helps you at this point!).

  • 308. XcpsMom  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:19 am

    305 is correct. There are still openings at many area Catholic high schools. Many of them offer scholarship money.

  • 309. HS Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

    @275 – 4’B’s – excellent school, excellent test scores, great grades. If we were dependent on a public school (and we are) I would talk to Lakeview. Sounds like things are happening there….best of luck and please keep us posted on what happens.

  • 310. Mayfair Dad  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

    @ 286 Alejandro: Well done my young friend — way to keep your eyes on the prize! Keep us all posted on your high school experience.

  • 311. Alcott anybody?  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am

    There is also Alcott, check it out. There is a LOT going on there.

  • 312. nameless  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

    @302 – Understand where you are coming from, but have mixed opinions. Parker and Latin kids deserve a high quality public education just like everyone else who lives in this City. Can’t generalize or stereotype kids or families who choose private education for elementary & middle school. And, comparing these private schools to SE public is not an apples-to-apples comparison on many levels — they are different.

    @299 – I couldn’t agree more. My daughter walked out of the WY open house & really disliked the school culture b/c of Principal Kenner. Although she got 895/900 points, we live in Tier 4 and Whitney is now her option rather than Payton, where she loved the principal’s comments about the 3 Cs (can’t remember what they were!). She didn’t sleep all night.

  • 313. student  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Can anyone tell me what the old selection process was like? Was it just based on your test score out of 1000? Just wondering what my brother faced to get in (was freshman class of ’07-’08)

  • 314. Grateful Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:59 am

    @299 – we felt the same way about the Open House at WY, but we have a young friend who is a senior there who told us that most of the kids don’t buy into that rah-rah stuff, and that WY has been great for him, and his younger sister.

    In reality, our kids are probably wiser and more compassionate than a lot of these administrators, and they will fashion good experiences out of the incredible opportunities that ANY of the SE schools make available.

  • 315. Betsy  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:01 am

    DD got 894/900. New tier 4 family (3 last year). Got into WY, 3rd choice after Payton and NCP. Currently at private school in city. She will go to Shadow Day tomorrow. Have no idea if declining this round makes sense or to even try for PD at Payton or NCP. What kind of kid does it take to make PD? Mother Teresa in training?

    And a question I’ve not seen answered on OAE site. Do they accept relatively equal numbers of boys/girls?

    Best of luck to everyone during this crazy time.

  • 316. momof3boys  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:02 am

    @313 same thing 300 grades, 300 isats, 300 se test but add 100 point towards attendance= 1000pts. plus there was the race factor. i think the ratios were different, like 40% white 60% minority or something like that.

  • 317. Lane Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I didn’t see this article on Lakeview until this morning. Sounds so cool, but I don’t understand what they do if they have more than 400 students apply –

  • 318. G.M.  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

    @ 274 tinymom,somebody does not know how to add at CPS,I went to their site CPS OAE and went to point calculation tool to calculate my kids score ,they were off 2 points with my daughter’s score ,they gave her 886 as opposed to 888,I know its only 2 ponts and it will not get her to her first choice but Im just saying for those who only needs a pont or two to get in ,you may want to double check your kids score

  • 319. CPSDepressed  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:08 am

    @315: nope, they don’t balance classes for boys and girls, although they may consider that in principal discretion. North Side and Payton have more girls than boys, I suspect because girls are a little more mature at this age and thus better able to get the implications of the process.

  • 320. Parkerparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Because, like all other Chicago parents, we have a right to have our kids apply and then consider the options. If we turn down the spot, it will go to another deserving student.

  • 321. Proud Jones Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Selective enrollment schools were designed to accept the brightest students. Now that they can’t use the old, familiar, politically comfy, race-based pie chart they’ve created this insane tier system…AND, they’ve messed with it again & again & again. When first proposed at 50/50 (rank vs. tiers) I thought it was relatively fair. When they pulled the rug out 1 month before the letters went out (January 2010)& abruptly changed it to 60/40, I figured “oh, well, we still have access to a LOT more slots than before.” (We’re “Tier 4” in this oh-so-lame system.) Now, it’s 70/30 & more “factors” have been included to assuage all the boisterous complainers who had been perfectly happy with the (discriminatory) pie charts.

    NOW??? We end up in the ridiculous situation we’re in…See #’s 204 & 205…where an 838 gets a Tier 2 student into Northside, but the same score does not get a Tier 4 kid into Lane Tech!! Furthermore, how in the H-E-double-toothpicks does an annual income of $160K belong in Tier 2???? That’s SO far beyond ludicrous that I cannot begin to choose an appropriate adjective!

    After 3 frustrating years of watching these developments my conclusions are:

    * Go back to the 50/50 that was originally proposed in the Fall of 2009 when the consent decree was first vacated OR throw these (expletive deleted) tiers out completely & have all of the SEHS simply accept the highest scoring students…period!

    *7th grade teachers & elemenatay school administrators/counselors NEED to understand this scoring nightmare! At present, they don’t have a clue! They continue to erroneously believe that getting one B in Tier 4 is not detrimental to the student’s chances of being accepted into a desirable (i.e., safe) SEHS! They are SO, VERY, VERY wrong! Lower tiers may still be able to get one or two B’s, but in Tier 4 that is absolutely NOT an option anymore!!!

    * Standardize the CPS grading scale to stop penalizing some students whose schools have a tougher grading scale! Really, it’s EASY! Instead of assigning scores for letter grades, adjust the scale numerically…then everyone who, for example, has a 90 average in reading, math, etc. has the same # of points…no messing around with denying one kid 25 points because his 90 equals a B at his (more demanding) elementary school, while another kid’s 90 equals an A because of the (less demanding) grading scale used at his elementary school! By the way, this HAS been proposed at the numerous “community input” meetings that CPS has conducted over the past 2 summers…bottom line, they did NOTHING to correct this very unfair situation! SHAME ON THEM!

    I’m watching this blog because our daughter is currently in 7th grade. And, my best friend & my brother were both hoping to get their 7th-graders into Jones this year & did not succeed with the first round. In fact, my nephew’s one 7th grade B in science class (with a numerical average in the class of 92.25 where 93=A) meant an 872 composite score (instead of an 897). Consequently, he didn’t get into Jones during the 1st round with that number. Pretty sad for a bright kid who just learned he got a perfect 300 on the entrance test, huh?

    That all being said, I am PROUD to have 2 sons & one nephew currently enrolled at Jones! They’re all thriving! My husband & I could not be more thrilled! The administration is phenomenal & the teaching staff is top notch! The vibe in the school is absolutely wonderful! WE ADORE JONES!

    Good luck to all with second round offers & principal discretion appeals!

    You should ALL be proud of your elementary school scholars!!!

  • 322. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:17 am

    313 – some good background to start with is here (http://theintegrationreport.wordpress.com/tag/racial-diversity/) and googling Chicago “Selective Enrollment” “Consent Decree” gets you some good hits.

    Seems so long ago: my recollection is that CPS used very non-transparent formulas by race, and what we would now call the largely insignificant “Principal Discretion” was a huge factor, rife with corruption. Northside was able to satisfy its quotas largely with Asian students and had a trivial number of African-American and Hispanic students. Believe it or not, the current system is more fair and more transparent, even if “old habits die hard” and behind the scenes manipulations or plain old incompetence at CPS are still hard at work.

    The most frustrating thing for the powers-that-be in CPS is that, in an ode to unintendended consequences, the biggest losers under the current system are high-achieving African-American and Hispanic students whose families have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and either moved or converted their neighborhoods to Tier 3 or 4. Before the tiers, they would have shoed in to any school (most still eschewed Northside due to its culture and distance, thus turning it into a mecca for white northsiders.) Now these folks are in the same boat as LincolnPark-Lakeview-Ravenswood Manor whose options are often “Northside/Payton or Latin/St, Ignatius” even though their income has not kept pace.

  • 323. None  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:24 am

    @319 – Do you know the Lane Tech ratio?

  • 324. Proud Jones Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Correction to post # 321 – my nephew & friend’s daughter are 8th graders (I mistakenly typed 7th-graders).

  • 325. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Forgot to say, congrats to lake view for getting the stem program! These things don’t come easy and I know require jumping through a ton of hoops to make it happen.
    Please go check out the school when you guys have a chance and report back!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 326. KHG  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:41 am

    882, Tier 4, Jones (third choice, but feel very lucky).

  • 327. KHG  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Sorry…888, not 882, Tier 4, Jones and still feeling lucky.

  • 328. Proud Jones Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:43 am

    The previous system included 300 maximum points for grades, 300 maximum points for ISAT scores, 300 maximum points for SEHS entrance exam & 100 points for attendance. The total maximum points used for students accepted into the 2009-2010 freshman SEHS classes were 1000.

    The attendance component was thrown out (Thank God!) when the H1N1 flu broke out in the fall of 2009.

    Beginning with the freshman SEHS class of 2010/2011, the maximum total points = 900.

    But, MUCH more importantly, the criteria used to funnel the applicants into “socioeconomic” (instead of race-based groups) has changed radically & that is what all of these blog posts are addressing right now.

  • 329. Proud Jones Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I’m wondering how the elimination of minimum score thresholds at the top SEHS schools has affected this year’s offers.

    Anyone in-the-know who cares to comment?

  • 330. Mia  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I imagine there had to be some serious hand-wringing going on at the Central Office as they saw these cutoff scores, I mean, this is not right. I realize and want racial and socioeconomic diversity at these schools, but this is just nuts. One of my daughter’s close friends, very very bright girl, English is not her first language (or at least the language spoken at home) so vocabulary is probably a bit of a challenge for her, straight As, 99s on both ISATs, 99s on SE test on 2 portions (Math, reading) scored (relatively) low on Vocabulary/Grammar – so got an 894 total, not going to payton or northside. Totally dejected and feeling worthless. I really feel for these kids.Crazy!

  • 331. 8th grade mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

    @329 – what do you mean by that “elimination of minimum score threshholds”?

  • 332. Mia  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:01 am

    That was actually eliminated two years ago, it only existed in the first year of the Tier system.

  • 333. Mayfair Dad  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:05 am


    Racial demographic map of Chicago


    The CPS tier map



    Tier 4 = Caucasian (notable exception: Hyde Park area)

    Tier 1 = African American

    By creating hyper-competition for Tier 4 seats and limiting merit seats to 30% in the most desirable SEHSs, CPS can micromanage Caucasian enrollment, thereby “creating diversity” in an attempt to “close the achievement gap.”

    Other Interesting Facts

    CPS demographics (ISBE District 299 Report Card)

    White: 8.5%
    Black: 42.9%
    Hispanic: 43.7%
    Asian: 3.2%
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.1%
    American Indian: 0.4%
    Mixed Race: 1.2%
    Low Income: 86.0%

    City of Chicago demographics (2010 Census)

    White: 42.0%
    Black: 36.8%
    Hispanic: 26.0%
    Asian: 4.4%
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: n/a
    American Indian: n/a
    Mixed Race: n/a

    State of Illinois demographics (2010 census)

    White: 73.5%
    Black: 15.1%
    Hispanic: 12.3%
    Asian: 3.4%
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: n/a
    American Indian: n/a
    Mixed Race: n/a

    USA demographics (2010 census)

    White: 75.1%
    Black: 12.3%
    Hispanic: 12.5%
    Asian: 3.6%
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: n/a
    American Indian: n/a
    Mixed Race: n/a


    The racial composition of CPS bears little resemblance to the racial composition of the city, state or country.
    As a percentage of the total CPS population, Caucasians are over-represented in the most desirable SEHSs. This is a problem for CPS.
    Efforts to “promote diversity” and “close the achievement gap” are CPS code words for affirmative action.

    Is this process fair to the academically deserving sons and daughters of Tier 4 who were denied seats to make room for less academically deserving students from low income families? Examine your own conscience. Are you OK with your own children being penalized for their skin color and their parent’s relative prosperity in a {well-intentioned but misguided} attempt to address society’s ills? Isn’t this a clear example of reverse discrimination based on skin color, which is prohibited by the Supreme Court?

    Maybe this experiment in social engineering is better for society in the long run, but it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

    Park Ridge is looking better all the time.

  • 334. Bemused and Bewildered  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

    When the tier system was first put into place, I joked that everyone should have to send CPS his W-2s. I can see now how it’s not a laughing matter.

    New York goes strictly by test scores, and surely NYC is not less politically correct than Chicago. Why not give it a try?

  • 335. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Someone posted an interesting article about nyc’s top test in school. Of thousands of students it is around 70 percent asian and there are 60 black students.
    So we all feel ok if nscp and payton are 70 asian and black kids are shut out, right?
    Everyone okay with that?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 336. CPSDepressed  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:15 am

    We need more good schools, that’s all. That will solve the problem right quick, eliminate a lot of the stress and the heartache, and help more kids get an education that prepares them for the current economy.

    I prefer that to asking for proof of income.

  • 337. XcpsNerves  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:19 am

    334 – if the criteria is top test scores, then yes, let the dice roll. In hindsight that would have worked in our favor last year. Since it didn’t, we are at private hs and loving it.

  • 338. PTA Southside Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I do not like some of the comments on this matter. People are inferring that low income means people of color. I’m looking at the scores and as many have written; there are way more applicants than seats so to say that low income kids are taking all of the seats from White kids is outright wrong. If you look at the percentage of selective enrollment schools, they are made up of more than 83% Caucasian. Looking at a previous posts, Caucasian’s make up only 8% of the student population at CPS. With those facts, how can you complain that your child was at a disadvantage? Not all low income students get low scores and not all high income students receive top scores.

  • 339. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Sorry, I cannot allow posts with swearing. To paraphrase Lee:

    “Why would you question our combined income of 160k living in Tier 2? Do you perceive Tier 2 as the ghetto? Do you believe our income, which isn’t all that high really, should automatically dicatate that we live in Tier 4? Have you ever visited Rogers Park?”

  • 340. tytyo8  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:40 am

    If you look at the cut off scores from last year, NP and WP maximum for all tiers were basically at 895. It looks like this year they were not accepting anything below that, So to say they did cut out they’re minimum scores.

  • 341. pantherparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:41 am

    @338 PTA
    I agree with you that Tier = race is misplaced. But I’m wondering where you got the stat that SEHS’s are 83% Caucasian? That number is incorrect.

    Does anyone have the correct percentages offhand or do I need to start digging for it?

  • 342. CPSDepressed  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:42 am

    We have very good friends who live in Tier 2. They bought hoping the neighborhood would turn, and it hasn’t. I wouldn’t want to live where they do; there are real crime problems on their block. I’ll take the school disadvantage over living where they do any day.

  • 343. Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Tyto8 – They didn’t cut minimum scores, they went as low as they had to for Tier 1.

  • 344. CPSDepressed  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Two more thoughts, and then I think I’m done here because we’ll be Catholic school parents next year:

    a) Our Tier 2 friends’ children do have an advantage, and got into to more competitive schools than Lane with scores lower than my kid’s. But their kids are no slouches and have been doing fine at Jones.

    b) My kid is smart, too, even with his relatively lower scores. I have no doubt that he could handle the work at North Side or Payton, and I have no doubt that any kid with a 832 could. That’s 90th percentile, people! What have we come to when we’re sniping about whether a kid in the 90th percentile is qualified to go to an academic high school?

    It’s been fun, and CPSObsessed, you are doing a valuable service.

  • 345. pantherparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Since tiers have dominated the conversation, especially in terms of income, I thought it important to post how each tier is created. This is right from the CPS website:

    Socio-Economic Tiers
    Every Chicago address falls within a specific census tract. We look at five socio-economic characteristics for each census tract: (1) median family income, (2) percentage of single-family homes, (3) percentage of homes where English is not the first language, (4) percentage of homes occupied by the homeowner, and (5) level of adult education attainment. We also look at a sixth characteristic, the achievement scores from attendance area schools in each census tract.

    Based on the results of each of these six areas, each census tract is given a specific score; these scores are ranked and divided into four groups – or ‘tiers’ — each consisting of approximately the same number of school-age children. This is how we establish the four tiers. Consequently, every Chicago address falls into one of the four tiers, based on the characteristics mentioned above.

  • 346. BuenaParkMom  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Alejandro – I am ecstatic for you! I remember last year your rough time with academic center admission and I am thrilled to know you will be going to an excellent school.

  • 347. northside parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    #321–I hear ya. I never knew a 50/50 split was ever considered…..I do think that 50/50 is very fair and I am sure many will jump down my throat for saying so, but then why do we call these selective enrollment high schools in the first place? This tier system is terribly unfair and you can see how the schools have changed as a result of it. I currently have a senior at northside who might not have even have gotten in there 4 years ago under today’s criteria. (she had a 995 out of 1000–which apparently wouldn’t have cut it today) Granted, that is when we counted attendance towards the points and also, Selective Test Prep was not the norm (we didn’t test prep at all), but still, to think my child wouldn’t have gotten in there if she were applying today is just crazy to me….She came from a RGC and I know how her rank (even though this high school doesn’t do it, you can find out) and so northside was the right fit for her. It is mind boggling what is happening here in Chicago. I have one more in the hopper who attends a RGC, and to think she has to be perfect when she is in 8th grade kills me…..JCB and Rahmbo–are you reading this?!?!?

  • 348. Unfair is unfair even if we did ok  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Ok so you know this isn’t sour grapes my tier 4 daughter got 897 and got her first choice Payton.

    Big issues with the system..she had straight As however she is in a school where a 92 is a B. There are 3 levels of classes. A child with a 92 in the hardest math class would have learned and achieved more than a child in their same school with a 93 in a lower level class or another school with a 92 that qualified as an A. How in any way shape or form is this logical or fair?

    Next is tier system. We live hand to mouth in a tiny rented apt in the gold coast that we got a great deal on an have stayed in because of that. We sacrificed to get my daughter into a good local school.We know of several families in million dollar homes that came up tier 2. I would stack my tax returns against anyones anyday and believe we would be considered significantly lower in the socioeconomic tiers than our address implies. So my daughter who managed straight As in a difficult and harshly graded program, 99 and 97 on isats and 99 on selective enrollment…could have lost her spot had she gotten a 92 in one class..to a child with 60 pts lower who has enough money to attend a private school because the tier system is screwed up. And the kids i’m referring to in tier 2 are white..my child is a minority. So again..racial diversity wouldn’t have been served here either.

  • 349. SEHS hopeful  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    We got into first choice – Payton. 868, Tier 2. We are very thankful and greatly relieved. Now we have to decide between Payton and LPIB.

    Going into the SE exam, my son had an almost perfect 600. He has always been a straight A student and has always been around the 97-99% range in standardized testing. I panicked when he came out from the se exam because he told me how many questions he had left blank. I was crushed that he always tests well and on this very important test, he bombed. Well I was right. He didn’t do as well as he usually does but I am so grateful that it was good enough. Tier 2 saved us.

    I have lived in the same neighborhood for over almost 30 years. It is not a bad neighborbood at all but we do have some low income highrises about a block away from our house.

    I feel very sad for all the kids and parents that did not get in to their school of choice. This system is so messed up. 😦

  • 350. Mia  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    For future reference, the SE exam is a “no penalty for wrong answer” kind of test – you do not get penalized for wrong answers, so you should never leave anything blank.

  • 351. BuenaParkMom  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I think when people feel that their child who lives in Tier 4 should automatically be entitled to entrance over a child who lives in Tier 1 or 2 based on their higher score they should perhaps keep in mind that the Tier 1 or 2 child may have had minimal access to quality elementary education. Without access to a quality elementary education, the child will of course score lower on the entrance exam. This does not mean that child is less deserving of admission. Of course the Tier 4 child who lived in a decent school district (Bell, Blaine, Ogden, ect) or was lucky enough to gain admission (because does anyone REALLY think we can determine intelligence at age 4?) to a selective enrollment elementary (Edison, Bell RGC) is going to be well prepared to take that test. Of course this does not mean the child in Tier 4 that scored higher is any less deserving of admission either. But it saddens me when people become seemingly upset at “the child that took my child’s spot”. I think we have to remember that these are actual children, and we don’t necessarily know that child’s backstory. If we must be angry, be angry at the inequities in quality of education that the majority of children in CPS face. Please don’t imply that any child is not worthy to attend these schools. Personally, I think EVERY school in the system should have the same resources as the “best” in the system. Having said that, this process is making me feel better and better about possibly choosing private for my child who isn’t even in school yet despite the possible financial hardship of doing so. I’m grateful that’s even a possibly for my family because I realize that it is not for so many.

  • 352. relieved mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    @275 4bsbadforme – I have been following your posts on this blog and been concerned for you. I just spent the last ten minutes crying because I realize you are in my kids class…I so appreciate Mr. B and the message he is sending to both the kids that did get where they wanted and those that didn’t. Just know you are well prepared for high school and you will do great no matter where you end up. I’m sure today was a tough day, but be proud of what you achieved. Don’t let anyone get you down.

    @274 tinymom – You need to look at the APPEALS process – it’s for those who think a mistake was made somewhere along the line…looks like it definitely applies to your situation.

  • 353. Proud Jones Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I don’t know why you got so irate by my entry (as you obviously did since your post was apparently full of profanity & had to be re-phrased by cpsobsessed), as I was certainly NOT implying that your Rogers Park area is a ghetto.

    My point was that most people perceive Tier 4 to be “advantaged”, and we (my husband & I) are certainly earning FAR less than you & your partner! In my humble opinion, $160K per year household income IS high & you should be so happy & content because your “smart” Tier 2 child has a numerical “cushion” compared to my “smart” Tier 4 child… your family has MORE household income & needs LOWER entrance scores… hmmmm….I don’t think that’s what CPS had in mind when they set this all up!

    Furthermore, our family, and MANY of my family & friends who live nearby (i.e., Tier 4), don’t come close to that total yearly income, yet we’re forced into a tier designation that demands that our students score upwards of 882 (from what it looks like on this blog) to get into one of the top 4 SEHS schools! Translation: NO B’s & practically perfect ISAT’s & entrance scores! I’d sure LOVE to have that “cushion” of a tier 2 number to hit instead of our tier 4 requirements!

    Bottom line: This census based, socioeconomic mess that CPS has created just plain stinks…for EVERYone, in EVERY tier!

  • 354. Mayfair Dad  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    @ 338: I’m not sure where you get your statistics; I get mine from the Illinois State Board of Education:


    Northside College Prep
    -39.8% White
    -5.5% Black
    -23.0% Hispanic
    -27.1% Asian

    -33.5% White
    -24.0% Black
    -25.8% Hispanic
    -10.3% Asian

    Lane Tech
    -28.8% White
    -9.5% Black
    -46.8% Hispanic
    -10.9% Asian


    -26.9% White
    -24.2% Black
    -33.1% Hispanic
    -11.5% Asian

    Whitney Young
    -29.7% White
    -26.7% Black
    -21.7% Hispanic
    -17.6% Asian


    -1.9% White
    -73.1% Black
    -22.9% Hispanic
    -0.6% Asian

    -0.0% White
    -71.8% Black
    -24.9% Hispanic
    -1.4% Asian

    – 0.8% White
    – 93.9% Black
    – 3.7% Hispanic
    – 1.3% Asian

    – 1.3% White
    – 86.1% Black
    – 12.2% Hispanic
    – 0.0% Asian

    For the record, I am not hating on children of color, I am hating on an unjust CPS system and racial politics in Chicago.

  • 355. Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Perfectly said 353 Proud Jones Parent!

    “your family has MORE household income & needs LOWER entrance scores… hmmmm….I don’t think that’s what CPS had in mind when they set this all up!”

  • 356. tytyo8  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    #322 you are absolutely right! Living southeast in between a 3 and 4 tier (Morgan Park, Beverly, Pill Hill, etc.) where these have a good amount of black, latin, and other families in them, but income do not keep up , they are thrown amongst those not only up north looking to NP and WP, but with tier 1 and 2.

  • 357. pantherparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Please take the following in the spirit intended. I looked up the percentage of white kids at each selective enrollment high school mainly to refute the claim that it was 83% @338

    Northside 39.8%
    Payton 33.5%
    Young 29.4%
    Lane 28.8%
    Jones 26.9%
    Lindblom 1.9%
    Brooks 1.3%
    King 0.8%
    Westinghouse 0.0%

    Figures courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

  • 358. pantherparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Mayfair Dad, I should have refreshed. At least our numbers match.

  • 359. Mia  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    @353, this is the problem with the tier system, it’s intention is admirable and worthwhile, but in practice it – well you’re right – stinks. This year’s apparent cutoffs are dramatic and really speak to the problem perfectly. The question is what, if anything, the powers that be at CPS will do about it.

  • 360. Lane Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    PTA Southside Mom, your data is incorrect about the percent of kids in SEHS that are white.
    I think the point people were/are making is that if you look at the percent of people living in Chicago (not that go to CPS), it is crazy to think that there are too many white kids at the SEHS’s. The reason that CPS isn’t being used by “white kids” is due to how poor the schools have been in the past (and it appears to be changing, thank goodness). All those white families pay taxes (and some quite high) that does pay for their kids to go to public schools if they so choose. There should be spots for their kids if they meet the qualifications (which many do) at a safe and good high school, less than 5 miles from their home, that meets their needs for a college prep curriculum. Period. Go Lakeview!!

  • 361. HS Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    @320 – I see what you are saying about privates and I agree but also think there is an important distinction that needs to be made. In situations where a family has a default high school – a school that the elementary school automatically feeds into – applying to schools that you would never choose over your default can take away an opportunity for someone else. I’m not saying that this is the case with you but I think its important for all those that already have a school and are trying out options.

    If you will only go to school A or B but list and get into C which you have no intention of taking what happens is this 1) the school extends more offers than spaces figuring that some will turn it down and they still wind up with excess acceptances, no one gets the space 2) the school has a small % of unaccepted spaces but a large class the year before, no round 2, no one gets the space (this seemed to be the case last year) 3) a lower scoring student gets in. To use the Hyde Park example, this family will opt for Lane so the “close to the cutoff” kids that would otherwise benefit will accept something else leaving the spot for a lower scoring kid (not a bad thing just not necessarily the way things would or should have gone)

    Its a good thing to cast a wide net and have a plan B just don’t extend beyond your guarantee because it could make a difference for someone else.

  • 362. IB&RGC Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    @321, what do we do to help this change? I think parents with kids getting 895 and not getting their first choice should go to the media. How do they deal with their friends getting into the same school with a lower score? I think it is wrong that these high scoring kids cannot get into their school of choice after clearly working so hard. What other way could we make CPS understand that their forcing diversity is not working and penalizing many of those they are trying to help.

    I will say if they keep the system as is it will be interesting to see the gap start to close on the different SE schools as well as between some of the N/NW side neighborhood schools.

  • 363. Mia  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I would love to see them run the different scenarios discussed here: (1) straight rank, (2) 50/50 rank tiers, (3) current system but with a cutoff number below which no one is admitted – and see what the tier breakdown looks like for each of them.

  • 364. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    @344 – you are right on target, but I’m afraid comments like yours also serve to reinforce a stereotype of our complaints that no doubt influences long-term policy decisions at CPS, which represents a very large, diverse constituency. Your 90th percentile Tier 4 student would soar right into King, Lindblom, Brooks and Westinghouse. Until this year, Lane would have been on this list, and it what may be a blip, is borderline. SO what’s the problem? And I think they have the data to show that if they went to 100% merit, NCP and Payton’s minimums would probably STILL be over 90th percentile, even assuming no change in behaviors that would push that up back up to 98th percentile (privates and parochials and even suburban immigrants attracted by our new Stuyvesant level schools.) So there’s simply no making us happy.
    The problem is poor, poor planning and failure to consider that geography, whether wonks in CPS like it or not, matters in this city, and there are more Tier 4 students in the 90 or so percentile than there are north side seats. As beloved as the “reclaim the Neighborhood school” notion is on these boards, converting Lakeview or another north-side high school into an SEHS might have relieved some of the absurd pressure on the Payton and NCP — which, are by the way, nowhere even in the ballpark of NYC SEHSs like Stuyvesant or Bronx Science in terms of outcomes.
    The most brilliant suggestion I ever saw on these boards was a guy who quipped, all the SEHS should be located downtown, or some reasonably accessible central location. These kids are in high school in a big city – let em commute the way the majority of their parents do.
    Or the second most brilliant suggestion: ALL schools should selective enrollment (obviously there would be a wider range of scores, but more choice)

  • 365. HSObsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    RE: boys/girls split at the SEHS: Lane Tech is actually the most balanced, with 54% girls. After that, it’s Young with 56% girls, King & Jones at 57%, Payton 58%, Lindblom 59%, Westinghouse 61% and Brooks 62%. These are 2010 numbers. May be a tiny bit different by now.

    I noticed looking at enrollment data that the so-called “back up” schools like von Steuben and LPHS enrolled a signficantly higher number of kids for this current year’s freshman class. They probably got WAY more acceptances than they ever had received, and then had to accommodate. For example, von Steuben had enrolled an average of 378 freshmen for the three years prior, and last year enrolled 501. For LPHS, they had enrolled an average of 537 freshmen, and last year they enrolled 730. At LPHS, my theory is that many more kids from the neighborhood schools (Lincoln, Alcott, Mayer) enrolled than ever before, and many more citywide applicants accpeted IB and DH/AP offers. Perhaps this is one reason that central office took over the admissions process? If LPHS is not careful, it could easily become overcrowded, which would be kind of ridiculous, given that 75% of the kids are accepted from outside boundaries. Just some random thoughs.

  • 366. Proud Jones Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    @363 Mia

    I’m sorry, but, I believe CPS DOES indeed have all of this data but they refuse to release it because it’s too much of a political hot potato!

    I find it very interesting that previous posters have referenced a Ms. Hansberry @ OAE. Funny, when I sent several emails requesting the FINAL SEHS cutoff scores for the 2011/12 school year (NOT the “1st round” scores), nobody ever replied at all!

    Unfortunately, as I suspected, the entrance requirements for the upper tiers to the top 4 schools have soared compared to 2011/12, but all we had to reference was very incomplete data from last year’s first round. Pretty abysmal record on transparency, as far as I’m concerned!

    (By the way, I keep mentioning “top 4” schools; Actually, the #1 SEHS school & the #5 SEHS school are both much too geographically distant for our family to consider as options.)

  • 367. Mia  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I agree that they probably do have it – but i’d like to see it!

  • 368. payton parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm


    Absolutely. Let the chips fall. Keep politics, social engineering and all the rest out of it.

  • 369. Lane Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    @364 – “The most brilliant suggestion I ever saw on these boards was a guy who quipped, all the SEHS should be located downtown, or some reasonably accessible central location. These kids are in high school in a big city – let em commute the way the majority of their parents do.
    Or the second most brilliant suggestion: ALL schools should selective enrollment (obviously there would be a wider range of scores, but more choice)”
    I somewhat agree with you here!

  • 370. marshall  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Does anyone know when cps will be mailing out acceptance or rejection letters regarding the junior highschool academic centers? Thanks

  • 371. Huh?  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    @338: The relevant statistic isn’t that 8% of CPS students are white. The relevant statistic is whatever % of academically qualified students (the kinds of kids you expect at the top SEHS) are white.

  • 372. Proud Jones Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    @367 Mia

    Oh, we’re in agreement, but good luck with that! Ha!

    From my perspective, CPS only seems to divulge information that is as tame & politically correct as possible. They have no desire to really open these statistics & criteria up to inspection by outsiders, now do they?

    Personally, I would really appreciate a LOT more transparency!

    As I said previously, final numbers for last year are still not available! And, numbers are already crunched for the 1st round of 2012/13…so, why haven’t they released them yet? Hmmm…

  • 373. JJ  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    @315 Betsy

    May I ask what is wrong with Whitney as your child’s choice? It is an amazing school and last year their 11th grade test scores outscored Payton.

    You should feel great about that option. I am sure many other families would take it in a heartbeat.

  • 374. 8th grade preppy  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Can anyone tell me a little about Walter Payton? I got in, and i want to know more about it before i decide.

  • 375. RL Julia  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    370 – Marshall – I think the AC letters will go out with the SEES letters in the end of March.

  • 376. Mia  |  February 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Because then they have to try and explain it – and justify it – and the spin doctors are probably furiously at work trying to get their “talking points” down as we write these posts today.

    I hate to harken back to other (non-relevant) conversations here, but their lack of interest in opening up criteria and statistics extends to the true numbers on their turnaround and closing and charter statistics as well. They only give what they can spin.

  • 377. lawyerlady  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    BuenaParkMom, great comment. I agree completely. I don’t know the right answer to fix this mess, but I do think it is important to remember that a child who gets up and goes to school everyday in a war zone is not going to be as well prepared to take any sort of standardized test as the child who goes to Blaine or Lincoln or any other coveted neighborhood school.

  • 378. VastTier4Diversity  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm


    I was thinking the SAME thing when I saw that…less than 100,000yr combined income over at this tier 4 house!

  • 379. pantherparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I believe people are unfairly bashing Lee because he and his partner make 160K. First off, I applaud him for providing us this information and opening up a discussion. But I suggest everyone go back and read @345 and see that median family income is but 1 criteria of a tier.

    Every year on this board parents talk about *renting* a place in Tier 1 and using that to gain admission to a SEHS. Notice no ever mentions *buying* a place in Tier 1 and actually moving there. That’s because Tier 1 would have several disadvantages for their child. Disadvatages actual Tier 1 parents and children deal with on a daily basis.

  • 380. Parkerparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    The tier system is not perfect, but at least it’s a thoughtful attempt, based on a number of factors (not just income), to help level the playing field. There will never be a system that’s fully equitable. Some schools give out more A’s, almost all CPS schools teach to the test (most privates do NO test prep, and don’t really care how their students perform on the standardized tests), some parents give false addresses to raise their kids’ chances of getting in to the preferred schools, other kids have parents who don’t even know the SEHS exist. The fact is that ALL kids, even those who are perfectly average, deserve good schools. And even high-scoring students are better off in an environment where they are learning alongside kids of multiple abilities. I don’t have the answer, but I think some of you out there need to look at the bigger picture.
    BTW: My kid has been in CPS and in private school, and I serve on my neighborhood LSC.

  • 381. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I agree pantherparent, about people not actually wanting to LIVE in tier 1. Believe me, as I considered where to live it crossed my mind. But on the north side, even tier 2 albany park was a no go. Just pull up the site Everyblock.com.
    Sure, my son would have an advantage in 5 years. But I worried about my mom being mugged in the garage, my walking the dog alone at night, and my son seeing drug deals and gang kids. Or worst case, a random shooting.
    I know this neighborhood is safe most of the time. And my son would still have his educated parent white boy advantages.
    But I couldn’t do it.

    I do think roger’s park is probably a rare exception, with more education-minded immigrant families who bring the tier rating dow, but not quite as unsafe as other lower tier neighborhoods.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 382. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Stuyvesant high in nyc;
    3295 kids
    73 percent asian
    40 black kids (not percent. Just 40)

    My question is whether there are more “in between” high schools in nyc, which is what chicago is sorely lacking….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 383. anonymous  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Anyone else remember last year at this time someone posting (I figure he was from CPS) that he couldn’t wait to hear the parents complain when they find out their children won’t be getting into the schools of their choice despite high scores?

  • 384. Betsy  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    @373 JJ. Thanks for your question. There is nothing wrong with that choice. We know next to nothing about the school, and DD wanted a smaller school. Looking forward to learning more about it tomorrow.

  • 385. VastTier4Diversity  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm


    I wasn’t “bashing” Lee, btw. I was merely making a point of what some of us consider to be a “median/low” level of income – and what the reality of incomes actually is among the tiers. We’re lumped in with Edison Park, Sauganash, Edgebrook…think we’re on the same income/opportunity level? I don’t.

  • 386. Mom of boys  |  February 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    @274 tinymom – definitely try to appeal. When my son got his letter for SEES, another child’s letter was also in his envelope. So errors can happen and your child’s situation and score deserve a second calculation/assessment.

    About the tier system – I mostly agree with Parkerparent. There’s never a perfect formula to decide who deserves an extra boost. Alot of posts have referred to household income which definitely plays a part, but then how do you even the playing field for households in which one parent has chosen to stay home, thus cutting the income in half (but garnering the benefits of a stay-at-home parent)? And plenty of posters have shown how they don’t fit their tier’s qualifications, yet statistically in each tier, the vast majority must actually fit their tier’s profile. I do think there should be some minimum score across the tiers so all the kids have a chance to keep up.

  • 387. Ms. Rose  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Call it what you want, but it sounds like hating on children of color when you indicate they are “less academically deserving”, from “low-income families”, taking seats away from other children and that other children are being penalized for the color of their skin (and their parents’ relative prosperity. I can see why Park Ridge seems appealing to you.

  • 388. ExCpsMom  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    387 – Park Ridge is appealing for many reasons especially when you send your 8th grader to register at Maine South or East. Register — not take ridiculous test prep classes and have health problems for POSSIBLE entrance. Pretty low Rose. There are children of color and ethnicity in Park Ridge too.

  • 389. Esmom  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    “The fact is that ALL kids, even those who are perfectly average, deserve good schools. And even high-scoring students are better off in an environment where they are learning alongside kids of multiple abilities.”

    Another argument for choosing neighborhood schools. It’s this fact that makes the top suburban schools so impressive. Unlike the top-ranked city schools who get the cream of the crop, these schools have to take everyone in their attendance area. And still they are able to achieve their high test scores. The suburban population is more diverse than people might think, too, with the demographic/socioeconomic picture being vastly different than a generation ago.

  • 390. momof3boys  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @379. i’m with Lee… 160K is not a lot of $$ especially after taxes, it definitely puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to financial aid. too much for aid but too little to actually be able to pay for tuition. my family was in the same situation when our son was accepted at loyola. we couldnt even get financial aid that would have made a dent. besides, he did say they were living check-to-check so in a way they are tier 2 types.

  • 391. lawyerlady  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I think the point of the tier system is to take into account the fact that day to day life in lower tiered areas is harder. For those of you who are angry that Lee’s child placed into an SE coming from a Tier 2, even though they have a good income, what is to stop you from moving to Tier 2 if you think the advantages are so great? The fact is, there are inherent disadvantages in the majority of the non-Tier 4 neighborhoods, whether it be drugs, gangs, lack of educational opportunities, etc. Who cares that Lee and his partner make $160K? That is totally irrelevant, and frankly, likely not enough to pay for private school at $25K / year, making his child just as deserving as a Tier 4 child. I realize people are just angry and frustrated by the system, but come on. Bashing someone for having a high income and living in a non-Tier 4 area is ridiculous. If more people with high incomes and educations lived in those areas, this would be a better city.

  • 392. Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I agree, exCPSmom.

    I’ve been a die hard multi-racial rah-rah city mom, but the inequity of the tier system is the straw that’s breaking this camel’s back.

  • 393. Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Sorry, you can’t convince any rational person that $160k household income is too poor to pay private school tuition. Please.

    You also can’t convince anyone that $160k household income deserves any kind of leg up in this city. Gay or straight household, raising your nephew or raising your grandkid, $160k / year gets you huge advantages.

  • 394. Chicago Gawker  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Is it too cynical to think that the powers that be at CPS are loving having all these Tier 3 and 4 type kids in the coming years who see themselves as having no where to go to HS? That it plays very well into their plan of turning HSs into charters run by private corporations? That they expect to have Tier 3 and 4 parents begging to get their kids into the new charters? I predict CPS answer is not going to be more SE HS. It will be charters.

  • 395. pantherparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    @391 lawyerlady
    Thank you for articulating was I was trying to say myself. I guess that’s why you’re a lawyer.

  • 396. Gwen  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    @394 Chicago Gawker – That would be awful.

  • 397. HS Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I would like to point out that as @338 PTA says “not all low income students get low scores”. The kids in Tier 1 and 2 getting into the top SE schools are high scoring kids that go to RGCs and good schools. These kids that you are referring to that go to the tough schools doing well in spite of their challenging conditions are not getting in because they cannot meet minimum requirements. So high scoring (withing 5 points of perfect!!) kids are giving up positions to lower scoring kids that are very much like themselves.

  • 398. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Gawker: I don’t think the charter high schools are hurting for students, are they?
    I would love to think that cps even thinks things through that much.
    I think this is just a problem that has slipped to the bottom of the giant problem list.
    Let’s face it. This is an upper income parents’ problem and I don’t think that seems to be very high on their radar.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 399. pantherparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    @394 Chicago Gawker
    I think you are right on the money.

  • 400. CA  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    @361 — I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that private school parents/kids are being selfish by exploring all their options. “Never” can easily change between the time they apply and the time they get the letters — a parent could lose a job, a kid could convince his parents to let him spread his wings and leave the school and kids he’s been with since JK… Plus, your logic would apply to all the kids at ACs, too. To ask certain families to not cast a wide net because of the possible ripple effect on another kid’s chances within an already flawed system is wrong.

  • 401. MeLastYr  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Let’s leave income out of this conversation because it really ticks people off. I could give you the boring lecture about paying taxes, being on LSC, making sure meals are cooked, house is clean, kids are healthy, happy and doing homework, but alas, no SEHS. I have been good with money for years, don’t buy big ass SUV’s, don’t take fabulous trips to Europe, etc. I can pay my son’s HS tuition and have money saved for college. It’s called planning ahead and living within your means. It also means I was prepared for no SESH last year. Hope everyone has a backup they can live with.

  • 402. Not in it this year  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    All these recent posts do make me wonder what exactly is the CPS stated goal of the Tier system? Is it to achieve racial diversity without using race as a criteria? Is it to achieve socio-economic diversity? Is it to give an advantage to disadvantaged students? Just wondering because lots of people on here keep claiming it does or does not do what it should. . . and I’m not sure I understand what it is supposed to be doing.

  • 403. Chicago Gawker  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    But doesn’t Rahm want to expand the charters? Wouldn’t an easy solution to any outcry like ours be “Here, We have opened a very nice charter in your ‘hood and your kid is a shoo-in.” Or do the concerns of people who buy the homes and work the jobs in the city really not matter to them?

  • 404. Mom who's been there. . .  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    @391 lawyerlady–“If more people with high incomes and educations lived in those areas, this would be a better city.” Umm. . .if more people with high incomes and educations lived in those areas, those area would become higher tier areas. And disadvantaged kids who live there will be still disadvantaged and competing with their new neighbors for the seats. Just saying. . .

  • 405. nopeimnotbuyingit  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    @387: By definition, any seat that is given to one less academically accomplished takes a seat away from one more academically accomplished. It is a zero sum game. This may not be apparent to most people most of the time, but the competition in Tier 4 is so intense that this reality is felt all too keenly by parents and students this time of the year.

    Too often, policy makers focus too much on the easy part of the “compromise”–giving seats to kids who might thus benefit from opportunities that they would not otherwise have been able to obtain. This makes them feel virtuous, generous, and progressive. However, not enough attention is given to the down side: namely, that other kids more deserving (academically) will have to give up those same opportunities as penance for society’s sins (The policy makers, of course, can be excused for their generosity: their own children will never have to make these sacrifices, for obvious reasons.).

    Every year we teach far too many of the city’s best students that no matter how hard they work and excel, their incredible talent, drive, and accomplishments matter little in the shadow of our country’s history. It is they who are saddled with this historical debt, and pay for it in the currency of thwarted aspirations and frustrated dreams.

  • 406. MeLastYr  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    405 – yes

  • 407. junior  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    @391 lawyerlady

    Well put.

  • 408. TruthB.Told  |  February 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Given the fact that many of us have high achieving children, it goes without saying that they will likely fare well in whatever school or environment they find themselves in (at least in theory). Is the denial of the 1st or 2nd choice, and let’s say, gaining entry into the 3rd or even 4th choice really gonna affect where they attend college or how their professional career turns out? Better yet will it define him or her as a person? If a student is a high acheiver, is motivated, and hopefully, has other redeeming qualities, they will do well in whatever school they attend and likely get accepted to a good college.

    I, unlike my kids, didn’t have many of the luxuries that my kids and some kids have today – private schooling, tutors, pre courses, etc. Private school??? Forget about it. In fact, aside from the financial barrier, we didn’t have very many choices as far as SEHS. No, you walked to whatever neighborhood school was in proximity to your home or you got on a bus and traveled to another school. Although, I initially began my high school career in a so-called “Magnet” school in Detroit, due to one knuckleheaded, immature act, I had to attend another school in Detroit. However, I managed to take honors courses and graduated at the top of my class and also earned a full academic scholarship to U of M in Ann Arbor, MI. I managed to get through high school relatively unscathed (quite a feat, considering my surroundings), however, this was not easy. It took sheer detemination and mental fortitude, lots of support, and some might even say a bit of luck. I beat a lot of odds and I now practice law in Chicago. (Oh, and before anyone jumps to any conclusions about Tier, income or any of that other stuff, I’d be willing to bet that I’m the poorest person on this blog).

    I never made excuses for myself, despite significant challenges, and I never blamed others for any disappointments that I may have had or roadblocks I may have encountered as I journeyed through high school, college or law school. I never blamed any individual, regardless of their race, for any pitfalls, setbacks or shortcomings that I may have dealt with during my journey. Even today, as a professional there are challenges. I have seen people get certain positions or move up the partnership ladder in firms I worked at or get raises at jobs, not based on merit, but based simply on the fact that they are white, or a crony of someone. I never dwell on that and I never hold animus toward that person. I use it as motivation and work that much harder to succeed. I know that life is sometimes not fair. I try to instill this attitude in my kids. I won’t accept excuses from them nor will I allow them to blame others for anything, and I certainly won’t say to them (or accept from them) that if they didn’t achieve something that it was because someone of another race deprived them of it. We should be careful of our words and attitudes around our kids.

    My point is, as parents we are not sending a good message if we try to console ourselves or our bright children with, “well, you didn’t get into _______ (SEHS) because “THEY” got in because “THEY” are ______” (insert whatever race or ethnicity you prefer). Look, I know this Tier system is ostensibly unfair and perhaps flawed, but right now, it is what it is, and that’s the system that’s in place. Blame CPS. There are a lot of things that are not fair, but that’s life. You have to deal with it.

    I know many of us are good hearted people (just frustrated right now). What I hope doesn’t happen is that this creates a further divide and animosity among our children and their friends/classmates, who are still quite impressionable. Four years from now, I’m sure there will be some parents lamenting the fact that his or her child didn’t get into __________ college because “THEY” took their child’s spot. Either accept the rules as they are and continue to play the game and try to win, or work to change the rules – and also try to win. I play by rules that I don’t like on a daily basis and sometimes I know the playing field is not always level, however, I don’t blame anyone, I try to win at the rules that have been established on the playing field that I’m on, and to the extent that I can, try to do my part to change rules that I deem are unfair.

    (excuse any typos).

  • 409. 8th grade mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Here is one of the differences between living in Tier 1 or 2 and living in Tier 4. (We are actually live in a Tier 3 island in the middle of Tier 1 and 2 tracts, and are zoned for the same high school as our neighbors.)

    In the high school we are zoned for, the % of students meeting or exceeding state standards on PSAE is 9%.

    At Lakeview or Taft, that percentage is between 30-35%.

    I’d prefer to send my child to a school where more kids are succeeding. Therefore, if no SEHS were an option for us, I would feel a lot better sending my child to a Lakeview or Taft – with three times as many succeeding kids – than our neighborhood school.

    That’s the difference between the Tiers and why I feel OK with a slight advantage to kids from lower tiers, no matter what their background is.

  • 410. Mayfair Dad  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    @ 387. What would you call a student with a lower academic point total? If you can come up with a less offensive moniker, I am open to suggestion.

    Why is the student with a lower academic point total ENTITLED to a seat in a selective enrollment high school over another student with a higher academic point total? Is this FAIR to the student with the higher academic point total?

    Apparently it is OK for Rev. Jesse Jackson and Karen Lewis to talk about apartheid schools but if I comment on the race-based social engineering purpose of the Tier system, I am a hater.


  • 411. klm  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm



    Lots of people are totally love “Diversity” in admission decisions –as long as OTHER people pay the price.

  • 412. Jen  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I’m sorry but I live in Lake Bluff and even I consider $160k to be a high income. It’s almost twice what ours is, and we have two kids (including one with a form of spina bifida) and no public transportation options. Please don’t tell me it’s not that high. Especially when you obviously felt you could afford to apply to Latin.

    You are very right to be proud of your nephew, and I certainly commend you for stepping in as you have. But please get a clue about the real world and what real need is before claiming you are in the poorhouse.

  • 413. lawyerlady  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Mom who’s been there, I was just trying to make the point that it is silly to be mad or annoyed that someone with what is perceived as a high income lives outside of Tier 4. And, I do really need to get back to work, but the overall tone of many of these posts is disappointing. I actually applaud the city for at least trying to bring opportunity to communities that normally do not have it. Have they done a perfect job implementing this goal? No, doesn’t sound like it. But I don’t think the merit-based only system that is apparently prevalent in New York is a good thing.

    And, just to be clear, I am well within Tier 4, do not have the income to pay for private school for more than two children, and will be moving to the suburbs as a result. So I am not a Tier 1 or 2 person. Just a person who wants to see better opportunities in those neighborhoods.

  • 414. New Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    This has been a true education for me. I have a 4 month old and my husband and I are living in a Tier 4 neighborhood contemplating (this early) where we should move in order to guarantee admittance to a strong neighborhood school. Looks like we’ll be moving twice. Once before K and once before 8. Before baby I would be the first to scream that people should play the cards that they are dealt and gaming the system is unethical. Now that I know how much the deck is stacked against us, I’ll do what I have to do. Thanks CPS.

  • 415. Mayfair Dad  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    @ 405. Perfect. Exactly. This is what I am trying to convey and you expressed it in non-confrontational language.

  • 416. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    @405 “thwarted aspirations and dreams” – a child who is going to Lane Tech instead of their #1 choice???
    I see thwarted dreams as those of tier 1 kids who have no way out of the cycle of society’s sins.
    That are up against kids with 2 college educated parents who have been reading to them for 13 years, keeping a house stocked with books, taking them to lessons and museums and summer camps, talking to them about the daily news and the world. Having parents who help with tough homework, buy art supplies to help with projects, and pay for test prep classes.

    So knowing there is no way to get into a good high school because your up against these kids is making *who* pay for the sins of society?

    The end result for a Tier 4 kid who doesn’t get into Payton is different (and not nearly as bad) as the outcome for a Tier 1 kid from the projects who has no chance to ever break out. To me, THAT is a thwarted dream.

    But, obviously you guys know where i stand on this….

  • 417. 8th grade mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    @414 – I think this was stated above, but don’t panic yet. I have seen a fair number of changes in the 9 years we’ve been in CPS. There are so many more good elementary school options than when we started. I hope I’m not being too naively optimisitic to think that this year has got to be one of the worst, and that more options will come to meet the increasing demand. In fact, it already has – Walter Payton and Northside are only about 10 years old. Jones is a new college prep, within the last 5 years or so? The new IB programs at Ogden, Taft, and others point to the fact that options are expanding.

  • 418. Cpsmomx5  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    @truthBTold: AMEN!

  • 419. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    @414: new Mom – yikes, please don’t panic. We are discussing things at such a conceptual, detailed level here that most new parents in CPS should never be exposed to. You are seeing the system at its worst. There is hope, really and truly. Trust us, just let us hash it out for a few days…. 🙂

  • 420. Katie  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I got a perfect 300/300 on the SE admissions test, a 300/300 for seventh grade grades, and I got a 95% on the language arts ISAT and a perfect score for the math section. I got my letter today and it says I got a score of 612/900. We called CPS and they are trying to help, but they can’t guarantee a spot any where. I don’t know what to do.

  • 421. HS Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    @400 I don’t think I suggested not to cast a wide net. I was explaining how someone shopping for certain schools with a guaranteed default option could impact others. I guess that could apply to A/C’s. I’m not questioning Parkers reasons just talking about a situation that does exist and that people may not be aware of this. It might change the way they apply for schools without negatively affecting their own options.

  • 422. new2allthis  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Can anyone give me an idea of what the cut off scores are for LP DH? Also, are children with 504 plans in the same “pool” as other students or they on a different scale?

  • 423. lawyerlady  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    @416. Amen, cpsobsessed.

  • 424. cps parents  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    @ 405. Which then backfires into another generation children being taught to think that skin-color is an indicia of intelligence.

    What do we think all of these bright, hard-working kids are thinking when they do not get a seat even though they have a higher score than another student who, because of his/her tier, does get a seat? These kids aren’t living in a vacuum. They hear and read what the adults are saying, they talk to each other about who got in and how, and pretty soon we’re back to square one on “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

    We are institutionalizing racism here. We are sending a message that certain groups, by virtue of their heritage, need “special help” to achieve that which white children earn on their own.

    Either make this pure merit (just like NYC’s) or use the original plan submitted during the settlement of the consent decree: 50% Rank/50% Tier.

  • 425. VastTier4Diversity  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm



  • 426. lawyerlady  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Katie — that is awful. I’m sure you are all over this, but persistence is your friend here. I actually think there would be grounds for a lawsuit if you don’t get into the school you should have gotten into with your adjusted score. Press them. HARD. Make sure you and your parents are calling every day and make sure to document each call or correspondence. Who you spoke to, when, what they said, etc. I have a feeling this will get worked out.

  • 427. New Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    @417 & 419

    WIth relation to elementary schools I think a small group of dedictated people can really make a difference. However, by high school it really does take change at an institutional level. Adding new SEs is an option, creating more Tier levels, etc. But I can guarantee you that with the real estate market as is, this problem will get much much worse before it gets better. Competition will only increase and though CPS can take the edge off in a variety of ways, they certainly won’t blow the whole system up. By the time my 4 month old is in 8th grade he’ll have to have perfect GMAT scores to get in anywhere.

  • 428. James  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    @417 —

    I’m not so sure, unfortunately. I haven’t heard much love for the SEs from either JCB or Rahm. In fact, we’ve heard them suggest that there is too much emphasis on the SEs. And we know that they already tried (and nearly succeeded) in dismantling one of the most successful elementary options with the “demagnitization” of Lasalle. I worry that they may not see a valuable and continuing place for SEs in the future. Dismantle them and make all those kids return to their neighborhood high schools, the theory would go. Unfortunately, if they did that, I believe that what you would see is a mass exodus of Tier 3 and Tier 4 from the CPS system, either by going private or leaving the city altogether. You can’t force anyone go to their neighborhood high school. Use a carrot to lure them in, yes. Use a stick by continuing to restrict the SE options, no.

  • 429. Katie  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    @426 Thanks for your support!!

  • 430. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Katie, if needed I’d have a parent go to the office downtown and not leave until they get an answer. That is unfair and crazy.
    Good luck!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 431. RL Julia  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    So am I supposed to feel guilty that my tier 3 son got into Northside on a 889 or o.k. with it?

    In the end of it all, he lost the 11 points because his math ISAT was a 94 and his english was a 97 (or something like that) from scores taken from the intial 30 questions of the ISATs – so am I supposed to be guilty because he depriving some other child a chance at getting into Northside because he missed roughly 1.75 questions more on the ISAT than some other kid – so that clearly makes him totally less deserving and intelligent? Oh- and for the record his school marks an A as 93 or above so he wasn’t some slacker with 90 point A’s further depriving a more able student of the space.

    Maybe this is why I like neighborhood schools so much. None of this feeling of entitlement to content with!

    Saw a letter from Payton’s principal -the incoming freshman class is the highest scoring class ever.

    Also -so it seems like lots of people didn’t get their first choice or even their second or third but is anyone (beside4b’s) going to (have to) bite the bullet and go to their neighborhood school or is it just the going to the sixth choice burns a bit.

  • 432. Katie  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    @430 Thanks for the help!

  • 433. junior  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    @410 MFD

    I knew we were agreeing on too many things lately. I guess that streak has to end sometime.

    Is there to be no recognition of the accomplishment of the child who battles UNFAIRNESS and disadvantage on a daily basis? I don’t hear you clamoring about the injustices imposed on this kid the other 364 days of the year, but today, well, time to stand up for justice and entitlements of his more privileged peers.

    It seems that you and others want one kid to run a flat sprint and the other kid to run high hurdles — yet you cry foul if we say the kid who ran hurdles ran a better race even though the time was slower. You seem to say that the kid who ran the hurdles should still have to prove himself by running a faster race than the kid with no hurdles.

  • 434. Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    @416 — we have yet to see any evidence that lower-tier “kids from the projects” are the ones taking the spots. Instead, what we’ve seen is that it is often lower-scoring kids from stable homes where education is valued (some of whom even come from families who earn more money than their Tier would suggest). I think it would be helpful for any Tier 1 or 2 families who do have challenging circumstances to speak up about it. It might help dispel a lot of this outrage if it really is the “deserving poor” getting a leg up.

    Also, it’s not entirely fair to say that the issue is Tier 4 kids having to attend Lane instead of Payton. There are kids who didn’t even get into Lane (despite having the same score that got lower-Tier kids into NS and Payton). They may not have great neighborhood HS options to fall back on.

  • 435. LA Law?  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Seems to me, the students who have suffered the disparate impact of the Tier system should immediately file for an injunction to prevent CPS from implementing the admissions policy until court review.

    Further, any parent of a current 7th grader in either Tier 3 or 4 may well have standing to file suit (or join in a class action suit) seeking a declaratory judgment that this system violates the due process of these students.

  • 436. pjs  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    “Let’s face it. This is an upper income parents’ problem and I don’t think that seems to be very high on their radar.”

    The thing is – it’s not an upper income parents’ problem. I’m a single mom with a high achieving daughter. I make $29,000 per year, have a high school diploma and rent an apartment for $1,000 per month so we can have two bedrooms and live in a tier 4 neighborhood where I feel relatively safe, though I wouldn’t let my daughter walk alone 2 blocks to the store. My daughter is a well-rounded, all-A 7th grader in a selective enrollment school, 99/99 ISAT scorer (through 6th grade) who works incredibly hard to do well in school (and I worked hard with her over the years to instill a love of learning and strong work ethic). If she doesn’t get in to a good school next year I cannot send her to the area high school where there is gang activity, a sense of possible violence and a student culture where learning and doing well in school is not only not valued, but suspect. I will have to consider moving (an expense I can’t afford) to a suburb which means leaving all of the support systems I have built over the years to help raise my daughter (family, friends to help when I have to be at work). I believe the tier system does not do what CPS intended because I know I am not alone in this.

    Enough of CPS playing political games with any child’s future.

  • 437. feelingsorryyetunapologetic  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    @416: I can see the sense in your argument. But I am against penalizing all of those dedicated parents who “have been reading to (their kids) for 13 years, keeping a house stocked with books, taking them to lessons and museums and summer camps, talking to them about the daily news and the world. Having parents who help with tough homework, buy art supplies to help with projects, and pay for test prep classes.” These parents–selfless, conscientious, and wise–do all of these things precisely because they want their kids to enjoy the greatest success in life (And because the kids have seen how important academic achievement was to their parents, they will, in turn, impart that value to their own children.).

    Who can blame them for taking advantage of their advantages? Would the world be a better place if parents were encouraged to withhold them?

    While I sympathize with those who don’t have the two dedicated parents, the summer camps, the money, etc., I don’t see the sense in making a vice out of these virtues. Taking your reasoning to an extreme, there could be students out there who have had so many advantages that you could justify shutting them our of any SEHS, regardless of their accomplishments!

    @408: While I also sympathize with your thinking about the resilience of high-achieving children, I dislike arguments that justify unfair or unequal treatment by minimizing the harm done. This seems to be too patronizing and presumptuous. If I were a parent in the same situation as the parents here, I would greatly resent CPS telling me that my kid will do “just fine” when they knock him down to his 4th or 5th choice to make way for an underprivileged kid. Don’t take advantage of my kid’s excellent character and intelligence!

  • 438. Edgewater Donna  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    A number of points:
    1. I can’t believe people are hitting on the combined income of a gay couple. You do realize that federal law makes it impossible for them to benefit financially in terms of tax, spousal SS benefits, etc.
    2. Before assuming that CPS calculated your numbers wrong, make sure you know which reading and math score from the ISATs is being referenced.
    3. Number scale for grading would make so much more sense and avoid the 25 point discontinuity problem.
    4. Grades of kids taking advanced math classes are not adjusted, which is not fair. A numerical grade score could also be made to accommodate this.
    5. There is no reason for assuming a big ability gap between students entering with scores differing by 100 points (all you need is a slightly lucky or unlucky test day and two Bs–or, for that matter two classes in which you were upgraded to an A because you were well-behaved or your parent begged for some extra credit).
    6. There are other schools to look at. Kenwood is the only schools still with the ability to take tuition free classes at UChicago, and students do so
    7. Many far south side students endure huge commutes to get to northside schools. Your child could help increase diversity (geographical, race, income) at King orLindblom or Brooks, while benefiting from that diversity as well as the opportunities at those schools, which currently exceed those at Schurz, Roosevelt, Marshall ….

  • 439. RL Julia  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    @pjs/436 what area high school are you talking about?

  • 440. lawyerlady  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    @433. Just a great post. You have perfectly captured the exact sentiment I have been feeling. And with an analogy no less!

    @434. Now Tier 1’s and 2’s need to prove to you that they actually deserved their spot?! Why don’t you go into the Tier 1 and 2 neighborhoods for a little walking tour this weekend — I think that will be proof enough.

  • 441. Just a parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    @ 440 – Baloney.

    Read @436.

  • 442. mom2  |  February 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    6th grade parents from Bell, Blaine and Burley (and others), get your entire grade together (or even all the local schools in the neighborhood at once) and go meet with Dr. Werner at Lakeview. After a discussion with Dr. Werner about needs and expectations, see if you can get at least 80% of the parents to commit to sending their child to Lakeview. Take back your school and stop this tier craziness! She sounds terrific.

  • 443. MeToo  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    442 if it were only that easy. . . good luck

  • 444. michael beale  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    what kind of score we going to need to Lane’s second round??

  • 445. lawyerlady  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    @441, you’re right, the story in @436 sucks. It just does. And as I said above, while I applaud CPS for trying to give opportunity where it normally does not exist, I recognize this system is *obviously* flawed. 436 is an example of that. My point is that the sentiment expressed in some posts, i.e. that a child from a Tier 1 or 2 with a lower score than a child from a Tier 4 doesn’t deserve his or her SE spot, is, IMO, quite disturbing. But if I had a child in Tier 4 who did not get an SE spot with children in lower tiers with lower scores getting an SE spot, perhaps I would feel different. Perhaps the tiers should be decided based on more than just income. What about the viability of neighborhood schools being taken into consideration? That way, if you would be considered Tier 4 on income, but are truly faced with going to a failing school if you don’t get SE, your tier number would be lower. Just a thought.

  • 446. Sorry8  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    don’t pin your hopes on a 2nd round. Last year there was no second round at Lane. You could go after PD — that like shooting a fish in a barrel.

  • 447. HS Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    @431 RLJ – you should not feel guilty. In all likelyhood by tier or by rank system your son would get in. Of course we have no facts from CPS to support what would happen either way.

    It would be nice to have information so that together we could make viable solutions.

  • 448. VastTier4Diversity  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    re: @444

    When/how “would” there be a second round? (would it be during the same time as PD?)

    Then, would they take the kids that were borderline if so?

  • 449. chicago mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Great idea about talking to Lakeview High principal. Blaine has someone from Lakeview coming to an LSC meeting soon. Maybe all schools should do this.

  • 450. justanotherchicagoparent  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Just passing this info on
    Jones Prep will have 10 slots open for Principal Discretion Selection.
    Principal Discretion Applications Available From CPS After March 9

  • 451. Mayfair Dad  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    @ 433 Junior: this being Chicago, there are no easy answers.

    I think it is a wonderful thing to create educational opportunities for less advantaged students. No child chooses to be born poor. There is adundant research to confirm obtaining a good education is the surest path out of generational poverty.

    I just wish CPS would find a more equitable way to accomplish this other than screwing over a Tier 4 kid who has worked their butt off to earn good grades, studied hard for tests, and generally applied themselves. They should not be penalized for their fortunate life circumstances, just as the poor kid should not be penalized for their unfortunate life circumstances.

  • 452. another option  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    For those families seeking other options, I have a friend who is on the board of Luther North College Prep. They are changing to an academy model, with concentrations in fine arts, business/finance, health sciences and open academy. The tuition is less expensive than some of the other private schools referenced here — and you do not have to be Lutheran to attend. http://www.luthernorthcollegeprep.org

  • 453. junior  |  February 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    @451 MFD

    Fair enough. I think the common agreement on both sides of the argument is that there is a scarcity of the needed resources (ie, good school options). And scarcity of resources nearly always leads to fighting over the crumbs, which is what this thread boils down to.

    With such a huge pool of disenfranchised good students — the very students CPS needs to keep in the system if it is to show improvement at the high school level — it seems to me that there should be more solutions/opportunities where parents collaborate with HS principals and CPS to bring more honors type options to the neighborhood schools. If you get 50 high-achieving students to commit to going to a neighborhood HS in exchange for CPS starting a new honors program there, then that is not a bad option. Not everyone will go for that, but perhaps enough would do that to start the change snowballing.

    This could be done on a “tipping point” model (http://www.tippingpoint.org), where CPS agrees to fund it once it reaches X number of students committed to attending. I think CPS would need to sweeten the pot to attract students initially, but there are significant benefits to keeping these students in CPS and preventing a talent/income drain on the city.

  • 454. mom2  |  February 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    @453 Junior, we agree!

  • 455. Dataprovider  |  February 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    886 T4, not accepted at Payton, accepted at Jones.

  • 456. Proud Jones Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    #405…I just LOVE how you stated what’s been SO obvious to me for at least 3 or 4 years now!

  • 457. Joel  |  February 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I think Rahm and JCB are mainly looking at the charter options for HS right now. The focus is on closing down as many neighborhood HS, which for the most part suck, and getting charters in. I don’t know how high on their priority list opening new SEHS is, but since many of the SEHS kids have the “light on in their eyes,” I’d tend to think you may have to wait awhile until you get his attention.
    Oh, and for any kids who didn’t get into their school of choice, my school Farragut always has its doors open 🙂 Come check us out!

  • 458. anonymouseteacher  |  February 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Joel, surely you are being facetious about Farragut. Don’t get me wrong, I personally am grateful for the work you are doing there, but it isn’t a safe or decent school by any means. I used to work just down the road and when gang fights arose, the parents who were in gangs would call our elementary school and tell us to keep the kids inside so no one got shot. I did have one student who chose Farragut over Lane who grew up in Little Village and I wanted to strangle his mother every time I saw her for letting her son throw his education away like that.

  • 459. Chris  |  February 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Lawyerlady: “Perhaps the tiers should be decided based on more than just income”

    They are!! It’s 6 criteria, most of which most (but hardly all) of the complainers would qualify as “tier 4 types”.

    The 6(!!) criteria are:

    (1) median family income,
    (2) educational attainment,
    (3) the percentage of single-parent households,
    (4) the percentage of home ownership,
    (5) the percentage of the population that speaks a language other than English; and
    (6) a school performance variable

  • 460. Chris  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Last year, Brooks, Westinghouse, King and Lindblom all add *lower* cutoff scores for Tier 4 than for Tier 3, and except for Brooks, lower than for Tier 2, too. Seems like some of the kvetching is about tiers AND short commutes.

  • 461. HS Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    @411 KLM – “Lots of people totally love “Diversity” in admission decisions –as long as OTHER people pay the price.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head.

  • 462. Katie  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Tier 4, 891, Whitney Young. Does anyone know when the cutoff scores will be posted?

  • 463. Chris  |  February 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    “Does anyone know when the cutoff scores will be posted?”

    CPSMagnet website sez March 2, right before a 3-day weekend:


    (sorry if link breaks) Expect them to be posted 2 millisecond before the last person leaves the office.

  • 464. Public or Private?  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Some interesting data on the percentage of low-income students at the SEHS (per the IIRC website):

    Northside: 35% low-income
    Payton: 33% low-income
    Jones: 53% low-income
    Lane Tech: 61% low-income

    It seems to me that a lot of people on this board are sharing anecdotes about well-off parents from Tiers 1 and 2 who are unfairly getting a leg up in this system. However, this all remains anecdotal. You could probably get a better handle on the families who are making it into the SEHS by looking at the percentage of low-income students.

    Assuming that this is last year’s data, you could track it for a couple of years and even compare it against the pre-tier data to see if there have been any significant changes.

  • 465. TruthB.Told  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Hypothetically, if only white kids applied to one of the SEHS, and they all got the same grades/scores across the board, wouldn’t some of the whites kids necessarily have to be rejected based on the limited amount of available seats? Here is a more specific hypothetical, if Payton’s freshmen class is 227 and let’s say 300 white kids with a final score of 900 apply and make this their first choice, what happens then? Bottom line, not everyone student was going to get accepted to his or her first or second choice simply based on the limited amount of seats.

  • 466. CityMom  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Any idea how they calculate that Low Income number? Is it based on inferred family income due to the # of students from each Tier or is it based on something else? Possibly students that qualify for free lunch?

  • 467. TruthB.Told  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Pardon the grammar error. I meant “not every student”…

  • 468. Gayfair Dad  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm


    “Clearly, strong schools, safe streets and stable state and local finances are critical for successful economic
    development and sustained growth. The Plan acknowledges this, but the Plan does not diminish the need
    for comprehensive planning with regard to poverty, education, housing, public health, safety,
    transportation, the environment, community development, and overall quality of life. In that sense, it is a
    focused Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs.”

  • 469. anonymous  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    460 — I don’t understand? Do you have an example?

    Chgo Gawker — James — I also see the CPS push to get middle class kids into charter or neighborhood h.s.

    How big do you think is the risk that parents will just flee for the suburbs and a school that is a known commodity? Didn’t we lose about 10% of our population over the past 10 years?

  • 470. CityMom  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Personally, I would never move to the suburbs because of the school situation. But I would also likely not send my daughter to an “iffy” high school either. We’d either go private or do an online/homeschool program.

    That being said, that is not a viable option for most families or for the city — to assume that folks will just fend for themselves when it comes to HS. That is not okay and it needs to be addressed with something a whole lot better than the options available now. The bulk of the “middle” has very very few viable options and that needs to change.

  • 471. Chris  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    “Any idea how they calculate that Low Income number?”

    Perhaps a mistaken impression, but thought it was based on free/reduced price lunch eligibility which is:

    “Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced‐price meals, for which students can be charged no more than 40 cents. (For the period July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, 130 percent of the poverty level is $29,055 for a family of four; 185 percent is $41,348.)”

  • 472. KCK  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    @466 -It’s based on percentage of free/reduced-price lunch applications.

  • 473. CityMom  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I’m not sure that I have a lot of confidence in those numbers then…the free lunch program is documented to be corrupt and plagued by fraud. Granted this report isn’t regarding one of the SEHS’s, but I’m not so sure this type of issue was limited to just this one school…this is just what was reported.



  • 474. CityMom  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Posted this with some links, but it went to moderation…I found reports about it on the Tribune though.

    I’m not sure that I have a lot of confidence in those numbers then…the free lunch program is documented to be corrupt and plagued by fraud. Granted this report isn’t regarding one of the SEHS’s, but I’m not so sure this type of issue was limited to just this one school…this is just what was reported.

  • 475. alittlelevity  |  February 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    School Year 2013-14

    Name of Applicant: ______________________
    Birth Date: ______________
    Gender: Male Female
    Race: African-American Asian Caucasian Hispanic Caliblasian

    Names of Parents/Guardians:_____________________
    Do you own this home? Yes No I don’t even really live here
    What language is spoken at home? English Spanish Latin Other
    Highest educational level of parents/guardians:_____________
    Household Income:_____________ (Please attach W-2)


    Applicant’s current school:___________________
    At this school: An A=90-100% An A=93-100% What’s an A?
    How does applicant get to school?:
    Walking: Less than 1 mile More than 1 mile Uphill both ways
    School bus Public transportation Chauffeur/private car
    Has the applicant ever taken a test prep class? Yes No
    If yes, for which test (check all that apply):

    Has the applicant ever participated in these sports? Yes No
    If yes, which ones (check all that apply):
    Sailing Equestrian Lacrosse


    Please rank the following schools in order of desirability:

    Do you know the principals of any of these schools? Yes No
    (optional) How much might it be worth to you to get to know one of these principals?_________________


  • 476. Mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    @440 — so is your point that just by virtue of living in a neighborhood that has Tier 1 and 2-like circumstances, any kid who resides there is deserving of a leg up over other kids? Even if that kid shares none of the Tier 1 and 2 characteristics — like speaking English as a second language (or having parents who do), living in a single parent household, attending a crappy under-performing local school, coming from a family who has never seen a college graduate and earns less than the Tier’s median income, etc.?? Tier 1 and 2 kids get 35% of the SE spots. If we aren’t actually helping who we mean to be helping, is this really fair?

    I think there is a divide in this debate between the “ideal” about who is supposed to be helped and the “reality” about who is benefiting. If I’m wrong, I’d love to see the facts about it. And, no, I don’t think the number of those claiming free or reduced lunches counts for much as “evidence.”

    Perhaps instead of the current system, we could set aside 25% of SE spots for the “deserving poor.” Kids who actually come from the life-circumstances outlined by the Tier-system could submit their applications with some sort of documentation of these circumstances,and then we could slate them in rank order for the 25% of slots based on their test scores. The rest of the spots could go to the kids based on their merit; let the chips fall where they may. My guess is that plenty of high-scoring Tier 1 and 2 kids who currently got in with great, but slightly lower scores, would still get in, but so would all those 894 kids from Tier 4.

  • 477. justsaying  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Please stop blaming CPS, the tier system, the people who have an advantage, those who don’t. Most people will agree that they want every child to have a “world class education”, just not at the expense of their own child. Instead of getting into this heated debate, let’s focus on the real problem. Generally speaking, it isn’t that we don’t have neighborhood high schools with viable options. It’s that we have neighborhood high schools with GANGS! We need to figure out how to get RID of them, not just MOVE them. Then, people from all tiers alike wouldn’t be as concerned about sending their kids to the neighborhood schools and Selective Enrollment schools can become what they were meant to be.

  • 478. Sadika Langston  |  February 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Looks like there are more HS options coming to Chicago offered by CPS. Interesting for those of you willing to look beyond SE and privates.

    News released today in the SunTimes…


  • 479. Lunch Application Lies  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    People lie on the lunch applications so using those is not an accurate way to deterimine low income students. No one has to prove income it is all on the honor system. I know many who LIE for free and reduced lunch!

  • 480. M  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    How about this one; 15 (out of 32) students in my daughter’s 8th grade class scored 900 points! In addition quite a few scored just below 900 based on ISAT scores a few points below 99%… they must be doing something right at Beaubien…!

  • 481. New-ish  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    @402 “Is it to achieve racial diversity without using race as a criteria?” — In a word, yes.

  • 482. New-ish  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Does the CPS Board of Ed answer to you? Find out. –

    Talk to Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz on the next ‘Schools on the Line’

    Usually, Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard joins host Dan Weissmann to take your calls and questions each month on Schools on the Line. Mr. Brizard isn’t able to join us this Thursday due to a scheduling conflict, but not to worry: Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz will be here to talk with you and take your calls.

    As a member of the Chicago Board of Education, Mr. Ruiz votes on whether to approve policies and decisions proposed by Chicago Public Schools. Just last week, for example, board members unanimously voted to approve the closing of seven schools and re-staffing of 10 others. What do you think Mr. Ruiz and other board members need to know about Chicago’s schools to make informed decisions? What ideas or suggestions would you like board members to consider, and what questions do you have for Mr. Ruiz?

    And that goes for our suburban listeners, too! State testing? School funding? Or other statewide education issues? Mr. Ruiz is past president of the Illinois State Board of Education–so he can shed light on those topics as well.

    Pick up the phone to talk with Jesse Ruiz this Thursday evening on Schools on the Line. The show starts at 7:00 p.m., but we’ll open up the phone lines at 6:45p.m., so get in on the action early! The number to call is 312-923-9239. WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton will also moderate a live chat at http://www.wbez.org/schoolsontheline starting at 6:45p.m. More information on how to participate is included below.

    -Call the studio line (312-923-9239) from 6:45-8:00p.m. on Thursday, March 1st to talk with Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz.
    -Head to http://www.wbez.org/schoolsontheline to participate in our live chat moderated by Linda Lutton starting at 6:45p.m.
    – Submit your questions electronically before March 1 by emailing schoolsontheline@wbez.org.
    -Leave a recorded message for Mr. Ruiz before March 1 by calling 312-948-4886.

  • 483. a mom  |  February 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    @ 436 pjs “I believe the tier system does not do what CPS intended because I know I am not alone in this.”

    You are not alone. Sometimes circumstances make living in this city a struggle. However, I feel, like you, that instead of rewarding those who try to improve their circumstances they penalize them. I too am a single mother whose household income is the same as one year of tuition at Latin. 15 years ago, after saving everything I could, I bought a small 2 bedroom condo on the cusp of an OK neighborhood which is now tier 4. My mortgage is $840 per month. I can’t afford to move and if my child does not get into an SEEH I don’t know what I’ll do. Our local highschool is not an option either. My child already gets bullied at school for being a geek (ie, straight A student who “speaks funny”). I worked full-time while going to school part-time for fourteen years to graduate from college. Apparently that will be held against my child as well. To get by we do not have cable, or video games or expensive sneakers. You prioritize. I put my child’s education and safety first. There’s this wonderful place that every Chicagoan can go to, called the library – and it’s free! We go every week. Just like we go to all the free museum days, festivals and anything else I can find in the city to replace the music lessons, enrichment activities and art lessons that I cannot afford. And now I guess I’m supposed to miraculously come up with money for test prep? Seriously? So, for everything I’ve done to try to help my child out of the situation I’m in, it all comes down to an address. You would think this is the type of kid that the CPS would want to help.

  • 484. Whit1  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    @405 and others that seem to be suggesting that seats are going to less deserving African-American students, maybe you should take a closer look at the number of AA students that attend NS, WP, and Lane, the schools that most of the bickering is over. Very few AAs attend NS and Lane. There are more at Payton but there are AA kids that are in Tier 4 and white kids that are in Tiers 2 and 1. Did you ever consider that lower scoring white kids may be taking seats from higher scoring Asian kids and white kids. Many of the AA kids that attend those schools are likely Tier 3 and 4. Your fight just may be with other lower scoring white kids. I am an AA in Tier 4 and from where I stand the last race based system benefited whites at the school I was interested in for my daughter. Lower achieving whites were admitted to Lenart over my child whose %ile rank was 99.4 in an attempt to achieve racial balance. She got her second choice at Poe with a percentile rank of 99.7 but when you’re getting free goods, you have to know that everything is not going to go your way. Yeah, we pay taxes but that covers many services. I say stop complaining about how you have been wronged by all these imaginary blacks who are taking all these NS, Lane, WP seats because the numbers aren’t there, at least not at NS and Lane. Any kid whether black, white, Hispanic, etc. who scores high enough to get in their school of choice based on the criteria set out by the admitting body is deserving. Congrats to all of you that were accepted to a highschool of your choice no matter your tier. OK. Well now I’ll stay out of high school business until it’s time for my daughter to apply. She’ll probably have to go private with this stiff competition. But I can tell you this. You don’t have to worry about her at Lane NS. One less black that you have to contend with!

  • 485. Sunny  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    #477 Yes, but yet again the North side is getting screwed. 5 new high schools – 4 on the south side and 1 on the North side.

    The five new high schools will open to roughly 1,090 freshmen this fall at: Lake View H.S., 4015 N. Ashland (400 students); Corliss H.S., 821 E. 83rd (115 to 135 students); Michele Clark H.S., 5101 W. Harrison (160 to 175) and Chicago Vocational Career Academy, 2100 E. 87th (150 students). The fifth school, masterminded by IBM, will be located at the new southwest area high school under construction at 7651 S. Homan. It will have a freshman class of 230 students.

    Why does CPs constantly think it is o.k. to give more options to the South Side? And I am speaking as a former south sider.

  • 486. Gayfair Dad  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm


  • 487. cpsmama  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    CPS’s SEHS admissions process is flawed in so many ways.

    1.Different grading scales om7th grade
    2.Use of ISATs as part of admissions process
    3.SEHS admissions test is too easy & allows for too many ties
    4. Only 30% get in via ranked score
    5.Tier system is inherently unfair
    6. Not enough SEHS seats in close commuting distance to qualified students

    And yet we are arguing with each other b/c CPS imposed a poorly designed admissions process on our children?

    Looking ahead…..although college admissions may be easier than CPS SEHS admissions, be prepared for what many consider “reverse discrimination” b/c unlike CPS, colleges legally (but unoffcially) use race, gender, geography and legacy (read: holistic) as admissions criteria & to award scholarship $$$. Where a white or asian student w/ a 4.0 gpa & 35 on ACT is rejected from a school yet a minority or legacy student w/ a 3.5 & 3.30 not only gets in but gets a full academic scholarship. Oh yeah- lots of fun on the horizon folks.

  • 488. Sunny  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    #460 Lindblom does not appear to really want our north side kids – at least for the Academic center which is a feeder for high school. They do not provide transporation to those on the North side, so how can someone who is open to considering Lindblom consider it a viable option unless they quit their job in order to transport their child to the school? I see south side Academic Center kids transported to the North side ACs, but Lindblom does not transport kids. How is this fair? Is the goal of CPS to keep these spots for South Siders? I know for H.S. everyone is on their own at all scholls and that is fair since it is consistent across the board and the kids are older.

  • 489. Unhappy Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    @66 I believe that the final cut off for a tier 4 student for Lane Tech will end up being 840 up from 782 last year!

  • 490. Unhappy Parent  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    @486 Transportation is up to CPS (Central Office) the policy is that they will not provide bus service to a student who lives more than 6 miles away from the school. So, it’s not a Lindblom issue it’s a CPS issue.

  • 491. Whit1  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    @483 Do you think many North siders would be interested in that? just wondering. Maybe CPS sees North siders as more interested in having their kids attend 4 year universities.

  • 492. Stressed by CPS  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    There wasn’t a 2nd round at Lane last year because they accepted way over the norm. Then even after the number of declined offers, they were back at the usual number of incoming freshamn. It is probably easier this way for them so they don’t have to keep going through the processes. The year prior I know they even had a round 3, maybe even 4. That might have been too time consuming. I don’t know how many offers they made this year but I also would not get my hopes up for a second round. Best best it to call the individual school.

  • 493. New-ish  |  February 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Does anyone know the ACT scores (across the past few years) for each of the SEHSs? Would the ACT scores of graduating students be considered the “results” of these schools?

  • 494. Sunny  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:17 am

    #488 The 6 mile rule does not apply to the Academic Centers.

    #489 I’d be surprised if North siders would not find the following attractive. Also, enrollment at City Colleges has been up due to parents not being able to afford to send their kids to a 4 year school per recent Trib article. So this would be a great option. Plus the kids will graduate with a 2 year Associate’s degree in CS and can go and work or continue onto to a 4 year college – they can’t be forced to go to work. There is nothing stopping people from moving to a 4 year. It is a great program and kids will get an awesome opportunity to intern – college kids are paying companies to get them internships these days – the value of this can not be overestimated.

    IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions and Verizon will develop curricula, mentor students, provide summer internships and guarantee every student who completes the program a “first-in-line” job interview after graduation.

  • 495. Proud Jones Parent  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Go to the CPS website & enter any school name…you can access all of this kind of information there. If you do look up the ACT scores for each SEHS, maybe you could consider sharing it with all of us here.

  • 496. Gwen  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:35 am

    M- 15 out of 32 scored 900? That’s astounding. Is that the norm for Beaubien or unusual? Where is your daughter going next year?

  • 497. New-ish  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:54 am

    @494 – Here’s the average ACT score & percent that meet or exceed state standards (would prefer to see percent that exceed state standards) from the CPS website. Not sure year. Guessing it’s 2010/11. Hate to say it. These are not very impressive ACT averages. College-readiness is considered 20-21 minimum. I like to see at least a 25 score. I’d have expected more higher-20s and into the 30s of Chicago’s “top CPS students.” Still, I’d expect any student who gained entrance into an SEHS here to do well in college, but they might have a tough time cracking the HYP set.

    Brooks: 21.5 average ACT with 70 percent meeting or exceeding
    King: 20.5 56%
    Lindblom: 22.3 76%
    Westinghouse: NA
    Jones: 24.8 92%
    WY: 26.6 95%
    Payton: 27 95%
    Lane 23.5 87%
    Northside: 28.8 100%

    By way of comparison, a general high school (we all know and love) had these scores for a GENERAL (non-SE) student population:

    (from New Trier’s website)
    New Trier Class of 2011 posts school’s highest average ACT composite score

    New Trier High School students in the Class of 2011 achieved an average composite score of 27.5 on the ACT, the highest score the school has ever posted and among the top average composite scores in the nation among public open-enrollment high schools. (more)

  • 498. Been There...  |  March 1, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Grateful to be able to love and enjoy my family. We are proactive, nevertheless, most events work themselves out as they are meant to.

    Accepted to Westinghouse. He is excited and planning his future.
    I would not force my child to travel a lengthy commute, like an hour each way… (O_o) Come on! The long bus ride and transfers are frustrating if you’re an inexperienced new rider on CTA. I think it would affect focus and freshman grades. I hope to support his travel as long as he needs it.

    First overall choice was LPIB
    First SE choice was Payton
    Ironically, he filled in the other five schools out of a spirit of cooperation with the online process… Who knew it was just the spirit to have.


  • 499. Wondering  |  March 1, 2012 at 6:22 am

    I think the Selective enrollment letters for elementary school are supposed to arrive the last week in March. I wonder if CPS w I’ll be late, like they were for high school letters, and mail them over Spring Break?

  • 500. Proud Jones Parent  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:03 am

    @ 495 New-ish
    Thanks for compiling those #’s.

    Just a quick comment:
    From what I’ve been reading over the last nine months or so, however, the top 5 ranked schools in IL are (in this order)
    1. Northside
    2. Payton
    3. Whitney Young
    4. Jones
    5. New Trier

    So, while New Trier is indeed a fabulous institution (that kids do not have to test to get into), Jones has now moved ahead of them in the rankings & the other three SEHS schools have outranked them for a while now.
    Goes to show that CPS CAN do some things right! I just wish they could figure out an equitable way to admit all of our academically outstanding children into their accelerated programs…because the current 30/70 tier system is SO VERY FLAWED in that regard!

  • 501. momof3boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:25 am

    i think Lane is #7

  • 502. Esmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:34 am

    @498 forgive my cynicism but of course CPS can have success with those schools when they basically are handed the city’s best and brightest on a silver platter. It looks good on paper but it’s not a fair comparison to schools who are educating students of all abilities.

  • 503. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:34 am

    495-498: Agreed that CPS gets somethings right (like a broken clock is correct twice a day :)).

    At New Trier, the parents, rather than the students, have to test in – by being able to afford to live in Winnetka and Kennilworth, etc.. And the tests: often inherited wealth, or wealth otherwise that would only exist due to the Chicago they (or parents) fled, a desire to live in a homogenized environment. Far from idealized meritocratic standards mentioned in these boards.

    Selective enrollment high schools are good for the city – if they’re not fixed (in reasonable ways, palatable to a wide constituency) they will go away.

  • 504. Lincoln overcrowding  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:47 am

    For anyone who is affected:

    A public forum is scheduled this Friday at Alcott Elementary 6pm. The purpose of the forum is for our community to share information and opinions regarding a proposal by CPS (one of many proposals being considered) to merge Alcott and Lincoln Schools for the purpose of solving Lincoln’s over-crowding problem.

    We understand this is a last minute meeting however as a community we wanted to address this issue immediately. Look forward to seeing you there.

  • 505. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:12 am

    @482 – Thank you for your post because it supports everything that I have been trying to say. Except for 1 thing. I really don’t believe that people here are complaining that seats are going to African Americans. The issue is exactly what you are saying, these tier 1 and 2 seats are going to various races including whites and to those who are not educationally or economically challenged. Many people here in favor of tiers are in really in favor of the “idea” of a well balanced environment racially and socially and believe that the system we have now is close to that. For some strange reason, people have a difficult time understanding that AA students getting into these top schools are doing it on their own, not necessarily gifted a space. Is this an absolute? No, of course not, there are some kids getting in that really need the break and have done well in spite of their conditions. I will say this too – my son has a friend that talks about the gun violence in her neighborhood and how different their lifestyle is. She is from a gifted school and scored better than he. She needed no help. I’m glad that my son is her friend.

  • 506. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:15 am

    @485 I just read that college admissions issues are being considered by the Supreme Court now.

  • 507. Parkerparent  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:23 am

    @498 In my opinion, the ACT averages at the CPS SEHS should be even higher if all of our kids are such geniuses. I have friends with kids at suburban schools that don’t get to cherry-pick the top scorers who have scored 33-36 on the ACT.

    And remember, ranking schools by test scores –especially ISAT scores–says little about the school itself.

    So Jones isn’t “better” than New Trier; it just has a slightly higher average ACT score because it does not admit a broad range of students, as any non-selective high school does.

  • 508. Esmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:25 am

    @501, The New Trier area is not all rich people. My sister lives in Wilmette and ended up there kind of by accident. With the crazy real estate market these past few years they found it a great (old) house that was much more affordable than anything comparable in a good city neighborhood. Plus it was located conveniently in the middle between her husband’s job downtown and her job further north.

    She’s been surprised to meet many more “working class” type families who are scraping by to take advantage of the town’s considerable resources and educational opportunities for their kids.

    That’s not to say the insanely wealthy aren’t a presence there, but they are in Chicago, too. Our old neighbor in Chicago single-handedly paid for the turf field and playground at Bell school a couple years ago.

    Just saying that maybe the old stereotypes don’t hold true as much anymore.

  • 509. Gwen  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Parker Parent – Jones has roughly 50% below the poverty line, Payton and Northside about 33% compared to New Trier 1%, that’s a different sort of “broad range of students”, wouldn’t you say?

    I would argue that an education at Jones IS better than New Trier, certainly an affluent student attending it would be exposed to realities that you just can’t get in Winnetka. But wait, you’re turning down your Jones spot in favor of Parker right? I guess 1% may be what you’re more comfortable with.

  • 510. proudmomma  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:33 am

    @495- “Hate to say it. These are not very impressive ACT averages. College-readiness is considered 20-21 minimum. I like to see at least a 25 score. I’d have expected more higher-20s and into the 30s of Chicago’s “top CPS students.””

    You have just touched on the reason why we are all fighting tooth and nail to get our kids those ‘coveted’ spots.

    Look at the current culture of Northside, Payton and New Trier – Yes and even the Urban Prep Acadamies- as your examples. In simple terms, it’s excellance, pride and expectations of continuing on in higher education.

    Not to say that there are many individual families who did not get into either NSCP or Payton who do not feel that way, because I know if you are on this blog you do feel this way. As it should be, your kid already has a leg up on most.

    But what about the other schools themselves? What message is the administration giving your child when they walk throught that door? @ RLJulia talked about Schruz and turning them from focusing on the teen mom to the academically willing and abled. Can they truly afford to turn their backs on either? But what are they saying to both groups?

    It’s a culture you are trying to change. One that allows gangs and expects that drugs and teen pregnancy is a right of passage, not studying for the ACTs and waiting on college acceptance letters.

    It’s easy enough to say well screw it, i’m leaving the city and moving into the New Trier school district. But is that even an option for 99.9% of us.

    I’m just glad I don’t have to make those decisions for the rest of us.

  • 511. Gwen  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Esmom – not to say the northshore doesn’t have working class families, of course it does, but the socio-economic diversity at NewTrier doesn’t even approach what you find at the Selective Enrollments in Chicago.

  • 512. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Comparing New Trier to Jones. Come on. Jones has a majority low income population. Jones is a smaller school with not the “creme of the crop” but a variable talent population. Jones has an intervention plan to help struggling students. What they have done with the kids is phenomenal. I would venture to say that an average performing kid would have greater success at Jones than New Trier. You say you need Act’s in the 30’s – they have it. Go for it. An average will reflect the entire population, I don’t see any schools with an average of 30+.

  • 513. rmcd  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:49 am

    @424: “These kids aren’t living in a vacuum. They hear and read what the adults are saying, they talk to each other about who got in and how, and pretty soon we’re back to square one on “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

    Then perhaps it’s time for the adults to change their conversations. The vast majority of what I’ve seen on this thread consists of entitlement, finger-pointing, and an ongoing assessment of “who deserves” what. The fact that we even have to debate who “deserves” a good education is ridiculous, and you’re just ensuring that your kids who hear and read what you’re saying will continue that cycle of entitlement, finger-pointing, and blame.

    All of this grousing about tiers and differing cutoff scores is accomplishing exactly what CPS, Rahm, and Daley before him wanted: to divide and conquer. If you all spent as much time coming together and holding our non-elected school board (taxation without representation, anyone?) accountable for making sure ALL kids had access to decent schools, we wouldn’t have this issue of tiers and income and who’s taking anything away from anyone else. Instead, we fight among ourselves while they continue to shovel our tax dollars into the pockets of their cronies at the testing companies, test prep companies, and charter school companies, leaving us to scramble for the remaining crumbs like crabs in a bucket.

    Of course, Rahm doesn’t really have to worry about any of this, since his kids are in private school (hmm…wonder if THEY take the ISATs?) I would wager that so are the kids of the testing and test prep executives who are so eager to “help” us reduce our kids’ sense of self-worth to a random number. THAT is what your kids should be hearing and reading.

  • 514. Gwen  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

    @511. Amen.

  • 515. Alcott parent  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Alcott parents are not interested in “merging” with Lincoln. We love our pre-k through 12th grade school as is. We love having 8th graders roam the halls with the little kids for whom they work as reading buddies and mentors. We want nothing to do with a middle school campus and all of the social problems that go with it. We have a diverse population that we worked hard to assemble.

    Sorry about your space problem but you’ll have to solve it on someone else’s back.

    Thanks but no thanks.

  • 516. klm  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:24 am

    OK, I’ll throw in my 2 cents.

    Again, as we have discussed a million times, this sort of issue all comes down to the achievement gap.

    Also, I do feel like this has to be said: So much of one’s feelings about the place of social engineering depends on how/where/when one grew up. In other words, one’s world view.

    Since college, I’ve noticed that people most in favor tend to have had lots of advantages growing up: upper-middle class-North Shore-type childhood, good schools, role models galore, high expectations, ……etc. It’s understandable that somebody like this would look at all the kids have to deal with in some parts of the South Side and the West Side of Chicago, combined with the history of American racism, etc. and feel that it’s only realistic to make some kinds of accomodation to assure a certain amount of positive reflection of the current socioeconomics of the city and country.

    However, for people that grew up poor (like me) and were lectured to by “enlightened” middle/upper-middle class whites (who never stepped foot in a trailer park) about the necessity of social engineering to create a better country, etc. this kind of argument fell on deaf ears. How is it that somebody who grew up with every advantage in the world (good schools, money, cultural opportunities, educated professionals for parents. etc) is ipso facto “disadvantaged” and deserving a place/abosulte advantage over somebody like me (poor white trash, welfare, crazy mother, alchoholic father in jail much of the time who eventually died in the gutter, inner-city housing projects, ghetto schools, trailer parks, …..etc.), even with much lower scores and grades? Sorry for getting so personal, but these are the kinds of things that upset people. (Full Disclosure: I’m now middle/upper-middle-class and live in Licoln Park, so from where I stand now, I have no complaints, nor do my kids. We’ll be fine, no matter what).

    The same goes for the CPS Tier System. People make all kinds of assumptions in defending them that are based on cultural group stereotypes rather than the reality for individual human beings. If I have to hear again about Tier 4 families as though they were all wealthy, advantaged people that can just pay their kids way to a good education (yeah, like prep courses for SE exams are going to happen with a working-class family of 5 living in a 2 bedroom basement apt. in Rogers Park), therefore any complaints are just a big “white whine”, I’m pretty sure that I’m reading from a person who has never been poor or paycheck-to-paycheck working-class.

    There are plenty of people living in Tier 4 neighborhoods for whom a place at Lane REALLY IS the only viable option for a decent education, since their neighborhood school REALLY IS THAT BAD and for whom there’s no way out of eduational Pergatory. Who can blame them for being upset when kids a few blocks over get in with (sometimes much) lower scores? Especially when those kids seem to be living in a nice house and the parents are driving nice cars?

    No middle-class/upper-middle-class person in favor of social engineering can dismiss the complaints of modest-income people who are forced to pay the price for “enlightened” social engineering, without expecting some discussion about fairness.

  • 517. MeLastYr  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:30 am

    511 you are right about the finger pointing, grousing, etc. This is starting to sound like Jerry Springer — you know when the women go after each other instead of the loser guy. We need to get constructive ideas for the entire city. I went thru this last year and stay on for good ideas. Will tune in later when the complaining slows down.

  • 518. Parkerparent  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Gwen–FYI: “Below the poverty line” is different from low-income.

    That said: Really, my one problem with Parker is the incredible wealth at the school; we are definitely on the lower end of the scale.

    Also: Parker does give out millions of dollars in financial aid every year. And, my kid’s class is more racially diverse than it was at our CPS school, which might surprise a lot of people. We frankly have been torn about public vs. private and that is why we applied to SEHS.

    But in the end, the small classes, incredible teachers, amazing facilities, emphasis on community service and critical thinking skills and superb college counseling department (5 or 6 people for 85 senior students) are what’s keeping us there.

  • 519. ChiSchoolGPS  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I have spent far too many hours over the past few days reading this wonderful, indispensable blog and comments about high school. I have also seen, over just the last 8 years of my daughters’ private and then CPS schooling, a big change in the school choices available to Chicago families- from more CPS offerings to new private schools to charter schools of all stripes. I truly, absolutely feel that there are options that don’t require moving to the suburbs and I feel so strongly that I joined up with two of my fellow like-minded mom friends and extensively researched the numerous and varied school options (preschool through high school) in our amazing city. We all feel very strongly that no one has to move because of school. And, while we agree that Chicago needs more SE schools, because there are so many more kids who would benefit from an accelerated education, there are many options beyond SE and many that don’t involve testing or tiers and some are even free (yes, besides Lakeview). We would love to share some of our knowledge with you and invite you to come to a FREE information session by Chicago School GPS! We will provide an overview of the public and private Chicago school options, from preschool through high school.

    Chicago School Admissions- What’s Next
    Saturday, March 10th @ 2:00pm-4:00pm
    Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln
    Free, but please RSVP.

    Space is limited so please reserve a spot at info@chischoolgps.com or call 312.324.4774. Please visit http://www.chischoolgps.com to learn more.

  • 520. dianeb  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:34 am

    If EVERYONE on this board contacted their Aldermen, CPS and Mayor’s office to ask for more Selective Enrollment High Schools to be created, then we might have more options in a few years. They know that there is demand but they need more parents/students forcing them to create more SE schools. Northside Prep was built in 1999 at the demand of parents, why not do it again? I contacted my Alderman last night.

  • 521. Lincoln overcrowding  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:38 am

    **Comment edited to un Jerry-Springer this place**

    To paraphrase, the commenter feels that the Alcott kindergaraten class is not racially diverse.

  • 522. AW  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I’m curious if anyone has heard any “unofficial” reaction by CPS to these crazy high cut-off scores?? Maybe there will be some media coverage of the issues once the scores are published….

  • 523. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I am having the chance to talk to someone from OAE either today or tomorrow and believe me, the question about their reaction to the high scores will be my first topic!

    I think the tier reassignments and the high scores sort of go hand and hand.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 524. Joel  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:08 am

    CPS reaction to high scores: “Look at us, we’re creating a lot of very intelligent students. It is working.”

  • 525. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Sorry to throw this in here my comment #505 is directed to #482Whit1- don’t know what happened with #’s

    Also wanted to let #475 know that I enjoyed the application opportunity….filling it out now as we speak. I looked bad on paper before but now.. 😉

  • 526. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I liked the application too. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 527. mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

    In the case of “Principle’s Discretion” do kids who’s scores were closest to cutoff have more of a chance of getting in? Or do the pts have nothing to do w/this PD process?

  • 528. Peace  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:45 am

    @512 HS Mom: In your opinion Jones is not better than New Trier simply because it has a population of 50% below the poverty line/majority low income or it’s willingness to help struggling students or both? Also, what is your basis for saying it doesn’t have creme of the crop students? How does this square with it’s ranking, which is ostensibly based on ACT average scores?

    I am just trying to gather more information as I’m fairly new to the whole SEHS school world, as my kids have attended Montessori and Catholic schools up until this point.


  • 529. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:56 am

    @528 – I believe I said the opposite. We are a Jones family. What I mean about “creme of the crop” would be in comparison to a school like Northside where most students are the highest scoring students in Chicago. We love Jones, highly recommend it, and enjoy the mix of culture along with the educational opportunities. My preference of Jones over New Trier is totally prejudiced by our experience.

  • 530. Esmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Gwen — “not to say the northshore doesn’t have working class families, of course it does, but the socio-economic diversity at NewTrier doesn’t even approach what you find at the Selective Enrollments in Chicago”

    Absolutely. And for the record I wouldn’t want my kids to go to NT (and I’m frankly a bit nervous about my niece going there, although since she’s less than a year old I’m not going to get too worked up about it yet). My point was that stereotypes aren’t necessarily reflective of reality, in the city and in the suburbs. And I guess my bigger point is that there have got to be more middle-ground solutions and options rather than the all-or-nothing (selective enrollment or crap) situation that seems to have evolved in Chicago.

  • 531. kiki h.  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    The downside of New Trier’s being open to all in its boundaries is that some kids aren’t cut out to handle the academic pressure in that school. I know of a few grand implosions. I’m guessing the SE process weeds those kids out.

  • 532. southie  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Emanuel went there and I heard he was a C student. But you know what they say about C students. They run the world, right?

  • 533. southie  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    519. ChiSchoolGPS | March 1, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Did you discover options for Beverly, Morgan Park & Mount Greenwood. Very interested.

  • 534. TruthB.Told (Peace)  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    @HSMom: I apologize if I misunderstood you. I’ve read through so many comments on this blog (some outlandish, some angry, and some very informative and level headed – like yours) that I can’t keep track of the tone of people’s posts anymore. : ) My son has been accepted at Jones, which is why I asked. I am simply doing due diligence and gathering information. I knew Jones was a good school, but I didn’t know as much about it as some of the ones you hear a lot about. (I’m not originally from Chicago, although I have lived here for quite some time now).

    It’s good to hear from a parent of a Jones’ student. My son was also accepted at Fenwick, which was his first choice as far as non CPS. From everything I’ve read Jones sounds like an absolutely wonderful school. I like the location as well (it’s close to my job which is a plus as well). So I just want to make an informed decision. In the last couple of days, he has really been receptive to the idea of Jones.

    Thanks again.

  • 535. southie  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Also, could you duplicate your presentation at the southside regional library, Woodson Regional?

    Chicago School Admissions- What’s Next
    Saturday, March 10th @ 2:00pm-4:00pm
    Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln
    Free, but please RSVP.

  • 536. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I played around a bit with the point calculator to see what a Tier 4 child would need for Lane this year, assuming the cutoff is 840/900.

    If all A’s:
    ISATs 90% each
    SE test 88%

    If 3 A’s/1 B
    ISATs 93% each
    SE test 94%

    If 2 A’s/2 B’s
    Impossible (those B’s really matter.!)

    What do you guys think of that? Is that a decent cutoff for Tier 4 kids to attend a north side SE High school? Or should kids with lower than those scores be assured of a north side SE spot? (I mention north side because I am assuming Tier 4 kids could gain admission to South/West side SE high schools with lower scores than 840.)

  • 537. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Actually, maybe it is a moot point. I feel like the disgruntledness comes from the very high scoring kids’ parents who are disappointed in not getting first choice schools of NSCP/Payton….and getting lower choice Lane.

  • 538. mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm


    I believe someone’s student with a score of 839/Tier 4 got in to Lane (previous post)
    My student with the same score/same tier did NOT.

  • 539. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Yeah, that’s why to be safe I’m just going with 840 for now….
    I’m sorry — that really stinks.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 540. Gwen  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I don’t think it’s a moot point. Though there is certainly a sense of disgruntledness about NCP and WP, I think there’s very much concern that Lane, something many believed was the “safety school” (not taking anything away from Lane, i happen to think it’s an excellent school, but the sheer numbers it admits makes it more likely) is now much, much more difficult to get into.

  • 541. RL Julia  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Whenever you have competition over a scarce resource there will be people who are excluded and it is only natural that they will feel that they were treated unfairly. Thus, I don’t think your question has an answer.

    On the other hand, everyone is entering into the competition in theory understanding that very unfavorable odds in tier 4 getting into some schools.

    That being said, no matter what the cutoff score is, unless it is zero and every child who applied gets their first choice, you are going to have sour grapes..

  • 542. cps parent  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Based on my quick review of the numbers reported here, the minimum scores (and increase over last year’s first round minimums) for Tier 4 kids may be as follows:

    Payton: 896/ +7
    Northside: 896/ +5
    Young: 891/ +26
    Jones: 886/ +21
    Lane: 840/ +58 (tiebreaker at 839)

    Please correct if these are in error thus far, and add data for Westinghouse/Brooks/King/Lindblom.

  • 543. mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I understand there has to be a cutoff. No questions there.

    Does anyone have any insight as to how score can/cannot affect chances of favorable results in Principle’s Discr (my question in #527)?

  • 544. ThanktheLord  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    @480–Yes, Beaubien IS doing something right. Their principal is finally retiring! Can’t wait to see where it is in five years.

  • 545. Gwen  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    LOL! I think I’d read that somewhere else, so they were successful despite the principal – must be some great teachers!

  • 546. RL Julia  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I always thought that pricipal’s discretion had more to do with telling the story as to what (devastating) events caused the student to not be admitted via the more traditional methods coupled with documented proof of what extraordinary talents the student would bring to the school if admitted.

  • 547. AW  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    @ cpsobsessed: I definitely do not think the Lane cut-off score is a moot point. In fact, with an increase of approx. 58 points, I think it illustrates the problem very well — some (many?) very bright kids are not getting any college prep option for high school. There have been several examples of that happening in these posts. And although I still have a few years personally, I can definitely imagine a situation where my A/B child in a RGC (working 1-2 yrs above grade level, and testing in the 97-99th percentile) might receive no SEHS offers at all….

  • 548. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    My understanding about Principal Discretion is that is a chance for the admin to use whatever criteria they like for admission. This could be sports skills, siblings who missed a cutoff, particular hardship in the family, extenuating circumstances (ie brilliant child sick during ISAT week.) This could vary by school, of course.

    I think you just make the best case you can for your child. What will they bring to the school? (Or rather, the child should write the letter, I think.) I don’t think it comes down to the few kids who just missed the cutoff, although I’m sure good scores certainly help.

  • 549. Gwen  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I think the principals at these schools are going to have a very difficult task ahead of them.

  • 550. averagemom  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I’m the parent of a Payton student, we love the school. The teachers work so hard to make sure the kids learn.
    I also have another child. He could do the work at Payton, but is basically a B student and probably not going to any SE school.
    I feel both my kids would reach their potential in a mixed ability school as long as there are enough kids there to offer honors/AP courses. My biggest concern is the violence in the high schools and the buses/streets around them. I’d like to see CPS work more on improving the neighborhood schools. How far can we go with SE schools? The top 10%, 20%, 25%? What about the kids strong in math/science but not language arts/social studies or vice versa. Safe schools with a variety of levels of courses would be a great alternative to the stress the kids go through in 7th and 8th grade, and for the kids who do well but can’t manage the stress at a school like Lincoln Park IB/HH.

  • 551. RL Julia  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    There actually are college prep options at most neighborhood northside (don’t know about the south and west side) high schools. Its more the personal matter of families not considering those schools to be acceptable options. Unfortunately there is a difference between not liking the choices you’ve been offered and truly having no choice at all.

  • 552. ThanktheLord  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Yes, with rare exception, the teachers at Beaubien are pretty awesome. If they had an involved, caring principal (who does not retaliate against teachers who speak up), ALL of the students would really fly high–not just the Options kids. The school needs a new principal who is willing to attend afterschool events such as concerts or even drop by the Science Fair to say “good job” to all of those hard-working students. It’s kind of a sad running joke over there that if you want your kid in the Options program, get on the PTO or LSC and vote along with the principal and your kid will quietly get snuck in the back door as soon as there is an opening, even as late as after Thanksgiving! It looks like the AP is the lead candidate for the P job, though, so we’ll see if she has any guts or ideas of her own once he is out of the way. Politics as usual for Chicago, I guess.

  • 553. Esmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    “On the other hand, everyone is entering into the competition in theory understanding that very unfavorable odds in tier 4 getting into some schools.”

    I’m not sure that’s been the case until very recently. Up until this year our old (seasoned, wise, wonderful) CPS school counselor was very confident in reassuring worried parents that their kids would get into a SEHS. She’s now working feverishly to beef up her list of fallback options.

    But even now when the odds have become so unfavorable, people are still entering the competition (in seemingly greater numbers) and clinging to the only thing they have left…hope that it will somehow work out for their kid.

  • 554. mom2  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    @547 and @550 – I totally agree with you. It really seems like they want the tier 4 families to feel that SE is no longer an option for them and maybe force them to go to neighborhood or demand some new charter high schools on the north side.

    I am glad to hear about STEM at Lakeview, but now after reading more about it, I’m wondering if it will still be around by the time we need it or if Microsoft will stop supporting it after they get their good PR out of it. Also wonder if it will attract the A/B or B/B student or if they still need to do a lot more with honors programs, some sort of selective program (like LPHH) or things like that.

  • 555. Gwen  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I thought I’d read another poster mention something about the AP at Beaubien that was negative.

  • 556. CPSnoMo  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    554 – Most of them go to private — not Taft.

  • 557. momof3boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    @537points have no bearing although I thought I read that 600 is suggested. I believe it how well ir kids markets him/herself in the essays. Basically, u have convince the board why u r the best candidate… Volunteering, sports, family circumstances, eyc. Play a role with the decision making. My child got in through principal discretion.

  • 558. JeanneToo  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Does anyone know what the household income (averages, I know) breaking points are for each of the tiers? In other words, what is the lowest average income and highest average income for census tracts that would still land within Tier 2, Tier 3, etc.

  • 559. momof3boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I meant 527

  • 561. ChiSchoolGPS  |  March 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    #533 & #535 Southie
    Thanks for asking about the South side info. I actually don’t have much research on the south side schools yet but it’s something I would like to shoot for at some point. I will tell you that a great resource I found that does focus a lot on south and west schools is http://www.newschoolsnow.org . Yes, it is all about charter schools but when I went to their expo in January and talked directly with not only administrators but parents and students as well, I was duly impressed. There are a LOT of growing options out there and lots of private schools opening up as well at the preschool through high school level. I really believe that there are options beyond the selective enrollments, and with them, a pleasant surprise at the realization of the breadth of schools out there for kids of all abilities, with or without great test results.
    Please feel free to email me offline at info@chischoolgps.com if you have any specific questions.

  • 562. Lakeview Dad  |  March 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    When last reported, we were looking at an offer from Lane. It turned out however that OAE had made an error with the Terra Nova scores, making our total 877 instead of what should have been 891. They checked our documentation, recognized the error and provided us a verbal offer for Whitney Young. Our student is thrilled, we are relieved/excited. The Lane offer was compelling: Honors track and Alpha scholars programs.

    Waited until we had the letter in hand before reporting our results. So glad we had other backup plans in place through this process (IB, catholic HS). If we hand to do over we would have included Jones on our list. We knew nothing about it going in and sounds like a great option with a no- brainier commute (for us).

  • 563. New-ish  |  March 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I wrote “I’d have expected more higher-20s and into the 30s of Chicago’s ‘top CPS students.’”

    I should have made it more clear that I was still referring to a school’s average ACT score. So, let me correct it:

    I’d have expected more higher-20s and into the 30s for the school-wide average of Chicago’s SEHSs, filled with “top CPS students.”

    Sorry for the fogginess.

  • 564. lane  |  March 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    My son selected Lane as his first choice a few years ago and ended up with a score that would have gotten him into Payton and NSCP form Tier 4. Lane has been a great fit. We love the school and I hope my second child gets in.

  • 565. None  |  March 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    @563, lane – Did your son regret his first choice of Lane, since his score might have gotten him in Payton and NSCP? I know every child is different, but what about Lane made it a great fit? Thanks for your perspective.

  • 566. momof2boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    For those who have gotten into Lincoln Park IB or double honors or event live in the neighborhood go for it. We have been extremely happy. It is is a suburban high school in the city with diversity. There is something for everyone. See attached link.
    It is also has the #2 program in the state.

  • 567. Just sayin'  |  March 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Reality Check, people!

    Real estate agents have had it right all along…
    Location, location, location!

    Whether we like it or not:
    It determines your census tract & your Tier designation!
    It also determines the perceived safety of each of the 9 SEHS.

    Crime stats for the 9 neighborhoods would be interesting…and they would remind all of us here that our “top picks” are being decided just as much for location as they are for the quality of the school’s accelerated curriculum!

    So, don’t expect kids from relatively safe neighborhoods to travel into crime-ridden ones to attend a SEHS! That seems to me to be the reason why the “top 5” are the overwhelming favorites & the remaining 4 have MANY fewer students vying to get accepted!

    An attractive building & a great curriculum do NOT trump a safe commute to school for our teenagers!

  • 568. momof2boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm


    Here is the video on Lincoln Park Fine Arts program #2 in the state

  • 569. mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Please keep in mind that grades are so subjective and should not be used to conclude who has the “smarter kid.” some students need to earn a 93% while working two grades levels ahead to earn an A at some schools; while others have to reach 90% to earn an A, while working at grade level. Most of these kids would do well at any of the SEHS, regardless. Because so many points are lost because of grades, which can subjective, its really not fair to put so much weight on them.

  • 570. enough  |  March 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Wow!! I know for some of you not getting your first choice is disappointing but take if from someone that didn’t get in a SE. It sucks! But guess what my kid will end up in a HS and go to college and be successful and have my full support. We can all sit around and complain but if we want better schools we need to pitch in and get it done.
    For those of you complaining about Lane and WY say No and give the spot to kids that would be more than happy to go! You are lucky people.
    Any to Thankthelord – if it’s that easy to get your kid into the options program why aren’t you on the LSC or the PTO board- or are you..

  • 571. mom2  |  March 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    “An attractive building & a great curriculum do NOT trump a safe commute to school for our teenagers!” – Exactly correct

  • 572. Just sayin'  |  March 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    @ 568 Mom
    You’re absolutely correct!

    CPS needs to standardize the points given for grades & they could do so VERY easily!

    They already have the numerical averages in their system for each & every class our kids take. CPS already knows that “Johnny’s” average in Science is a 90.5%. So, it shouldn’t matter what school he attends…they COULD easily assign points & eliminate this terrible inequity where some kids lose 25 points based on an A or B designation & others don’t! We can’t afford a 25 point loss anymore! The stakes are too high & the competition is too stiff!

    This was pointed out to them again & again last summer during the “Community Forums” but they chose to ignore the problem!

    SHAME ON CPS! They must correct this uneven “playing field”!

    We need to force them to fix this…NOW!

  • 573. RL Julia  |  March 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    568 – I’ll never forget the year my son decided he had learned enough math (at least from that teacher) and went from an ISAT score of 98 to one of 86. I called the Center for Talent Development where he had successfully taken math classes previously and was told that because of the low ISAT score, he was no longer eligible to take a math class from them. There is always a tendancy to rely upon numbers as a shorthand in quantifying achievement and it doesn’t always lead to the most rationale decision making. However, when you are dealing with hundreds or thousands of kids, it is hard to do things any other way.

  • 574. logandad  |  March 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    @Cpsobsessed…..We have decided to take the Westinghouse College Prep offer over LPHS & Lakeview…It’s a rising SEHS & feel it’s the best school for our teenager.. We loved the school tour and had a Q & A with the school counselor Rebecca Smith.They have an amazing campus. We live in tier 3 and have no problem with the 35-45 minute CTA commute as the bus stops right in front of the school.

  • 575. lane  |  March 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    @563, lane –” Did your son regret his first choice of Lane, since his score might have gotten him in Payton and NSCP? I know every child is different, but what about Lane made it a great fit? Thanks for your perspective.”

    Nope. It felt right from the start. Lane provides a very balanced high school experience. He is an athlete and was able to play sports. I pay attention to what is on the walls at the school because it always reflects the school and Lane is simply gorgeous and filled with history. Check out the murals, the library, the music rooms, the banners, the artwork displayed. The only school that was comparable in that regard was SICP. Despite his high scores, he had a rough freshman year and did not have high grades–so don’t think Lane is a cake walk. We chose not to do Alpha but he was in the honors program. Alpha is very very difficult and there were several F’s amongst kids who had never gotten one before. Ask yourself whether you really love science fair and math and science before accepting. Despite its size, it is easy to deal with the teachers, counselors etc. –I found they were very responsive.

    I have found Lane to be very flexible and amazingly diverse. Because it is so large, a student can play in the band, play varsity sports, take several AP classes (and if you are not great in math, you can choose between regular or honors or AP). There is math tutoring in the morning, at lunch, after school, and on Saturday mornings. Actually, there is tutoring for most subjects at these times–but math is the most problematic so it is offered all the time. The students seem to find their niche and their friends early on. He says that there are not many AA students there as an earlier poster commented. It seemed that there were many students who attended catholic grammar schools on the north side in his group of friends.

    From what I am reading, it seems that people are equating admission selectivity with the best school. I really think the focus needs to be on the best fit for the child. I knew that it was going to be between WYHS and Lane because of the sports teams but he did not like WYHS at all–not sure why.–although he liked Dr. Kenner.

  • 576. 1900new  |  March 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I am new to this site and just wondered if anyone had insights into Ogden High School IB and to Lane Tech Honors Program.
    We were lucky enough to get into both schools.
    It’s a luxury problem I know but so hard to figure out which school might be better for my child.
    I have a long story about me and CPS but will save for another time as it is now high school time.

  • 577. SeekingInfo  |  March 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    If anyone has any insight into Jones College Prep, please share.

    Many Thanks.

  • 578. Proud Jones Parent  |  March 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    JONES has been our dream come true for both of our sons! Son #2 had a perfect 900 last year…he still chose Jones & we couldn’t be more thrilled! Fabulous administrators, great teachers, excellent vibe in the school…we are SO very happy @ Jones!

  • 579. AW  |  March 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Is it just me, or does it seem like there have been a lot of miscalculated scores this year??? (posts 274, 318, 420, 561). Does this happen every year?

  • 580. SeekingInfo  |  March 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    @577: Thanks!! Yet another positive post about Jones. I have been doing a bit of research on my own and I’m very pleased with what I’m learning. It was recently ranked very high among Illinois public schools, but I also found a report that ranked it among the top 100 magnet schools in the nation (21,000 schools were researched in this particular US News and World Report ranking). But ranking aside, (which is not the most important aspect of a school, and of course, rankings are relative), I have been told about the richness of the school, in terms of academic course offerings and diversity, and other things. Oh, and I absolutely love the location. Close to my job, easy transporation! We have to make a decision between a Catholic school that my son was accepted into and Jones. I’m pretty much sold on Jones. My son was not as familiar with Jones, but is really starting to get more excited about it.

    Thanks again.

  • 581. ThanktheLord  |  March 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    To “enough”–all of my kids tested into the Beaubien options program before first grade and love it. Their teachers have been great. I am an active member of the PTO and attend almost all of the LSC meetings. At this clise range, it’s hard to miss the backdoor politics of the couple “open” options spaces each year (someone moves, etc.). Waiting lists are a joke as we know kids who were not given the choice (as is supposed to happen) but an lsc or PTO leader’s kid was automatically given
    the spot. And in most cases the kids do fine, but in some, they bomb out. It’s been very frustrating to witness for the last six years!

  • 582. Gwen  |  March 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Thank the lord – that’s really awful! At the RGC my son attends, i truly don’t think that’s going on. But it does sound like they’re doing something right academically – is your child in this class of 15 perfect 900s?

  • 583. mom2  |  March 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    @575 – there is a difference between the Lane honors program and classes and the Alpha Honors program at Lane. I believe Alpha Honors has a focus on science fair and more math and science based than the normal high school curriculum. The kids travel as a group to many of their classes. I hear it is very challenging.

    If you are accepted into Alpha Honors, you don’t have to take Alpha Honors. You can just go to Lane and take all honors classes. Or, you can even go to Lane and take almost all honors classes and one regular level if you have an area of concern. And, as you find AP classes that are of interest, you can take those, too. You are not necessarily set in one track. There are suggested classes to take if you are in an Art track (amazing art classes) or Music track or Business or Technology, but you aren’t required to stick with that.

  • 584. No To 7.5  |  March 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    If you are a CPS parent opposed to the 7.5 hour day, come to a meeting at Morgan Park H.S. (Exit 111th Street from I-57) on March 8th at 7pm. The area alderman, state rep, and CPS officials will be there to answer our questions and hear our concerns. All CPS parents are encouraged to attend since our voice is being ignored.

  • 585. Proud Jones Mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    @ 579 Seeking Info
    Both my sons were accepted (and offered academic scholarship money) into a wonderful Catholic high school in the suburbs. They loved the vibe there & it was our backup plan. But the minute we stepped in the door @ Jones for the first time in March of 2010, we were hooked. (We had applied & were accepted without ever having gone to an open house.) My husband, my oldest son & I all knew within 10 minutes that we were choosing Jones over the suburban boys high school. We did it again a year later! Now, with all this crazy competition in Tier 4, I’m just PRAYING that our equally smart 7th grade daughter can still get in next year…

  • 586. Curious  |  March 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Hello all, can some of you give insight how the various SE high schools are adjusting to the longer schedule? i.e. Lane, WY

  • 587. Beaubien  |  March 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    unfortunately, the AP at Beaubien is a carbon copy of the current principal. Is it likely she could become a completely different person, if she becomes a principal? Suddendly loving and creating after school programs? Listening to parents concerns and not retaliating against their kids?

  • 588. Bug Off  |  March 1, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    There are even more kids that deserve a better education besides the 18,000 applicants for SE High Schools.

    So, please help the community where you live and get involved with the School, Alderman, Teachers, volunteer, make a difference.

  • 589. Facts requried  |  March 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    City of Chicago demographics
    (2010 Census)

    White 42.0%
    African American 36.8%
    Hispanic 26.0%
    Asian 4.4%
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: n/a
    American Indian n/a
    Mixed Race n/a

    Select Enrollment High Schools (all)
    (CPS Racial_Ethnic_Survey FY12)

    White 24.6%
    African American 29.8%
    Hispanic 30.5%
    Asian 10.8%
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.1%
    American Indian 0.5%
    Mixed Race 2.9%
    Not Available 0.8%

  • 590. KCK  |  March 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Just read the 2011 Blue Ribbon Commission Report and found something interesting:


    At one community forum, it was suggested that CPS move to a 100% rank order system, similar to the one in New York City. New York uses no socioeconomic or racial factors in selections. In 2010, 5,261 students were admitted to NYC’s top eight schools. Of these, 7% were Black, 8% Hispanic, 57% Asian and 28% White. The school district itself is about 40% Hispanic, 32% Black, 14% White, and 14% Asian. Blacks and Hispanics are severely underrepresented in these top NYC schools. NYC has tried to solve this in multiple ways, including test prep programs specifically for underrepresented minorities. They have been unsuccessful so far.

    When presented with data showing CPS going to 100% rank, the BRC found that reducing the tier percentage does have a direct effect on reducing diversity, which the BRC does not support.

    BRC Recommendation:
    The BRC recommends maintaining the existing tier structure and percentages for rank and tier in selective enrollment schools. Further, the BRC recommends that CPS continue to publish periodic reports on results, allowing the public to continue to evaluate and monitor both SES and racial diversity in these most highly coveted schools.

  • 591. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    That’s interesting about NYC. I wonder why Chicago makes it priority and NYC does not?

    What % of seat do you think Tier 4 kids are currently getting in the system? Versus Tier 1 kids?

    I need to find out if NYC high schools that are NOT selective are considered acceptable or if they have the black hole that we do here. I can’t imagine that everyone in NYC is paying for private school there. It is supposed to be just insanely expensive.

  • 592. Chicago mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I went to BRC meeting at Lane this past spring. Total waste of 2 hours of my life. It was just a formality so CPS can say we listened to the parents. Shame on the BRC!

  • 593. Chris  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    “City of Chicago demographics
    (2010 Census)

    White 42.0%
    African American 36.8%
    Hispanic 26.0%
    Asian 4.4%
    Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: n/a
    American Indian n/a
    Mixed Race n/a”

    False. You have 109% of the population, even ignoring the ~2% who fit in your n/a categories.

    From the Census Data tables:


  • 594. Chicago Gawker  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Anyone headed for the Von Steuben scholars program out there? Anyone know a student currently in it? Did some exploring and their website says the average ACT is 27. Very impressed with the summer assignment for incoming freshman.

  • 595. RLJulia  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Chris – please post the racial breakdown (if you can find it) for Chicagoan under 18 – its my understanding that the white population of the city skews towards elderly – while there the hispanic portion of the city skews younger not sure about the others.

  • 596. KMW  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    858, tier 1, Walter Payton.

  • 597. mama2boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    594-Chicago Gawker, my son was accepted into Scholars too and I’m looking for the same info! We really liked it when we toured, please post anything you find out and I will do the same. We are deciding between there, Senn IB or Lincoln Park HH.

  • 598. psmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Does anyone think (or know if) the schools admitted less students this year because they admitted too high last year? Could that have influenced the high scores and would that mean more schools would have a second round?

    Pure speculation here.

  • 599. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Psmom, I am gonna ask oae about the tomorrow.
    Certainly makes sense given there was no second round last year.
    Maybe that’s part of what caused the delay? Figuring that all out?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 600. Chicago Gawker  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    @594, Senn is my neighborhood school and, at least on paper and by the numbers, Von Steuben scholars program outperforms Senn IB, and my perception is that VS is a safer school. Someone chime in
    if you have other info.

  • 601. PortageParent  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Yeah, I’d like to hear more about the backups to the backups…Von Stuben, Taft, etc?

    Anybody out there have anything on those schools? Would you consider them?

  • 602. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Mama2boys: you may have stated above but what kind of grades and-or scores did your son have? Those programs do not require a high score out of 900 per se, correct? But I’m curious as to what level of student they take?

    Do those programs use tiers also?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 603. At SLS too...  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Beaubien parents, you are not alone. It happens at South Loop too. They have a name for it too – “Walking classrooms”. You just need to write a big enough check or volunteer enough time, and your kid will be deemed worthy. And, now that they are no longer filling vacancies through SEES testing, it will be even more common.

  • 604. Jen  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    @581 – interesting info on open spaces. As a parent that desperately needs a public gifted school for my 2nd grader, and who has done all the work to apply for one of those open spots in the official way, that makes me very angry.

    A little late now, but I heard on WBEZ that they were having a phone in with someone from CPS tonight. There’s an online chat too. I believe it may be a regular show.

  • 605. Public or Private?  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Funny that we should be mentioning New York’s totally merit-based system. This just in:


    A couple of excerpts: “Forty-nine percent gained entrance to their first choice of schools. Last year, 48 percent of applicants got into their top-choice school.”

    “Education officials acknowledged that the city had a long way to go to bring a measure of balance to the demographics of the specialized schools. There was a hint of progress: the number of blacks and Latinos who got into Stuyvesant — 51 — was 42 percent higher than in 2009, when it was 36. Proportionally, though, Stuyvesant remained the least diverse among the three large specialized schools, according to historic enrollment figures. Currently, 1.2 percent of the school’s 3,300 students are black; 72.5 percent are Asian.

    At the eight specialized high schools, Asian students got the highest number of offers this year: 2,490, or 46 percent. White students were offered 23 percent of the slots.”

  • 606. mom2boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    @602 IB is very selective. There were 7000 applicants for LP IN alone and they only take 186. They also interview the student so it is a whole process and not just test sores.
    Admission: Highly Selective.
    Initial eligibility for consideration will be based on the student’s 7th grade June grades in reading, math, science and social studies and on the 7th grade ISAT scores in reading comprehension (minimum stanine 5) and total math (minimum stanine 5). If the student did not take the ISAT, scores from another nationally normed test (e,g, ITBS, Terra Nova) may be used. Additional requirements include an expanded evaluation of the student’s ISAT scale scores, attendance at a general curriculum presentation, a student/ parent interview and a supervised writing sample. Please be aware that these 4 requirements are a mandatory part of the selection process.

    Application: Applications must be sent to the Office of Academic Enhancement and will initially be processed through that office. Complete information is available on the application.

  • 607. mom2boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    No tiers for IB:)

  • 608. mom2boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    More info on LPH. It is a little diamond in Lincoln Park, Here is a link for entrance to all three programs.


  • 609. Chicago Gawker  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    @607, I believe cps obs. was asking about selection criteria for the V Steuben scholars program, not IB. I’m unclear myself about it. The website says you must have stanine 7 to apply and then there’s a lottery BUT you also have to submit an essay and a letter of recommendation. So can they throw you out of the lottery if they don’t think the essay is well done. Or if you win the lottery, but they don’t like your essay, can they reject you? Are admissions by lottery or merit? (I don’t have a kid who applied)

  • 610. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I was sort of asking about both. I need to get up to speed.
    I’m interested in the von program but also trying to figure out the role of the IB programs vis a vis the SE high schools.
    Are they easier or harder to get into? Are they an option for kids who didn’t score as high but may have strong academic skills?
    I hear the homework is insane.
    And it seems like every kid who got in an SEHS also got a spot in an IB program so maybe the IBs will have second rounds?
    I need to read the cps link on IBs but from the sound of the programs it wouldn’t be a good fit for my kid.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 611. anonymouseteacher  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I’d say with an average ACT score of 27 for Von Steuben Scholars program, I don’t understand why this program isn’t as desirable as Northside or Payton. To me, that seems like a perfectly good first choice program, not just a back up. I don’t get why it isn’t more sought after. Any ideas?

  • 612. mom2boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    @609 I can only vouch for IB at LP. This years process was even harder for LP IB. CPS took over and only invited the straight A and high 90% children to apply. In years before if the child had test scores in the 90’s and one B they could apply and depending on their interview and essay they would be offered a spot.

  • 613. Public or Private?  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    To clarify the first excerpt: “Forty-nine percent [of applicants] gained entrance…”

    The number of blacks and Latinos is still miniscule. What’s interesting about NYC is that few blacks and Latinos even take the test.

    I student-taught at a small, non-selective, college-prep high school in Manhattan that was majority black/Latino; unfortunately, though it’s considered one of the more desirable options for those who don’t go the “specialized” high-school route, most of my students had trouble with the fundamentals of writing, and I predicted that they would have an extremely hard time producing college-level essays.

  • 614. mom2boys  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    @610 The homework is not insane and these kids have a life. see post 612 for the explanation. The difference is that a child will get two diplomas high school and IB. The teaching methods are more global and if a child wanted to apply to a university in Europe they could. This year not all kids who got a spot at SEHS got a spot at LP IB. I know of a students who got spots to Whitney and Jones but not LP IB.

  • 616. waitingmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    to follow up on #575/ #583 and anyone else wondering about Lane Alpha…..
    My son is a freshman in the Alpha program at Lane and it is not exactly what it is described as in the paperwork. If your child likes science then they will probably enjoy the program. Just beware there are very few options in the four years for electives, alpha chooses them for you. My son wanted to take music and he can’t for four years in the program.

    He also does not travel to Math, Science and English with the same kids as the website and literature says. That isn’t an issue for him, but one of the reasons that I was attracted to the program was the logic that in a big school, it would be nice to form a bond with the 30 kids he would see multiple times a day. I am not sure why they have not updated the web site with more current information.

    Science fair is also a BIG project and it looks like it will take up an entire quarter of school for him. I do not like that they are not working on novels in English and they are not doing Biology but rather science fair. You also are removed from Alpha if you end the year with a C in Math, English or Science.

    We just made the choice last week to have him drop down to Honors for next year mainly because of the limited electives he will have down the road. It does not look as if he will be taking a career path that is science based so we decided it was not worth it. He can still take all honors and as many AP classes as his GPA allows. To be honest, even his Alpha teachers have told the kids that if you do not love science then the program is probably not beneficial to the kids.

    To all parents concerned about the size of Lane, well I was in your shoes and let me tell you, I lost hours of sleep for NOTHING! My son loves to go to school every day and has made great friends. He has enjoyed the clubs and other offerings of the school and we can hardly get him to leave the place every afternoon. If size is holding you back, do not worry about that. Everyone finds their niche and according to him it is “the best school in the world”!

    Congrats to all of your kids who got SE acceptances. It was so much tougher this year than last and while I have a break this year, I will be back on this website full force next year as I currently have a seventh grader. I really hope they do something about this system that seems to leave Tier 4 kids very few options when they have worked so hard.

  • 617. also obsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    @611. Shhhhhhhh. Don’t tell anyone!!

  • 618. Chicago mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    #616 waiting mom. Thanks for all info regarding Lane alpha. We are tier 4 and my son got into program. You answered many of my questions. Did your child find the classes very difficult? Now that we got into high school I need to start worrying about getting him Into college! If your child isn’t with only alpha kids in math, science and English then which students is he with? Any other things I should know?

  • 619. HSObsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Re: the IB programs: according to the flyer on the CPS site, LP, Taft, Ogden, Steinmetz, Senn and Amundsen are the central/north side IB high schools. All but Amundsen require an interview. To get an interview at LPIB, you need to get a 590 out of 600, made up of your final grades in 7th grade and your ISATs in math and reading. So, if you get all As and ISATs above 95 in both subjects (or 99 in one and 91 in the other), then you got an interview. Interviews are then scored another 300 points for final determination.

    Taft is next highest cut off at 566, so to get an interview, you can have one B (I’m assuming it’s 25 points off, like for SEHS) but then need ISATs in the upper 90s as well. Or all As and ISATs above 83% each. Still pretty competitive.

    Ogden needs 533 to get an interview, Steinmetz 502, Senn 407.

    The reason many people don’t flock to these programs is because the overall ACT scores of the school aren’t very impressive, and they’re afraid of having their kids around other kids who aren’t in special academic programs. For example, I believe Taft’s IB students average 26 on the ACT, whereas their general population of 2600 students has an average of 19.

    All those schools listed above (except Ogden — I’m not sure about that) have AP and honors programs as well.

  • 620. waitingmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    # 618 Chicago Mom,
    Sorry let me clarify..he is with all Alpha kids in his Science, Math and English but they are not the same group of kids, in a cohort setting, as what the program states. The old way was those 30 or so kids went to all three of those classes together. That is not the case anymore. My son did not find the classes difficult but the science fair is a ton of work and he has been working about 3 hours a day on just that, in addition to all of his other homework. Honestly, the electives are so limited in Alpha that if your son does not LOVE science it may not be worth it. There is no big benefit doing Alpha over honors unless science will be his field of study in college. Like I said, he can take the exact same classes in Honors minus the science fair requirement. I can’t think of any other info off the hop of my head, but if you have any other questions, I am happy to answer them.

    Minus science fair, I have never seen my son enjoy school so much, all while getting great grades. It really has been an amazing experience for him and Lane was his first and only SE choice and the only school that he would consider. I am sure your son will think the same no matter what program you choose!

  • 621. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks HSO!
    So if your in the IB program are you in the same classes with only the IB kids?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 622. Chicago mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Waiting mom, I understand what you are saying and all that science fair does concern me. I love the idea that at least they will be close with 90 kids in 3 subjects and not the entire freshman class. I have a feeling we might follow your lead and try it and we can always change after first year. You get so caught up in the honor of them accepting you that you really need to think about it. Do you feel the teachers are supportive? Freshman must face this challenge every year?

  • 623. Chicago mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Is it 3 hours of science fair every night sept-dec

  • 624. psmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Is the chart in the suntimes article what will be posted n the CPS site tomorrow? It looks pretty accurate based on the information here.

    Very scary. I have a 7th grader and I am rather worried about the fact Lane will have 93 less seats next year for freshman. I really hope the schools are conservative with their offers this year. Can’t wait to see what you learn tomorrow @599.

  • 625. waitingmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Chicago Mom – freshman science fair was moved to spring to give the kids the first semester to adjust. Smart move on Lane’s part!

  • 626. Chicago mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    895 tier 4 did not get you in Payton or northside

  • 627. waitingmom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Chicago Mom – sorry my phone entered my last comment too fast. They start science fair second semester and I think it will go most of the quarter and maybe even beyond. The teachers are very supportive and they understand that the kids may not all be a great fit for Alpha. You are not looked down upon if you drop after Freshman year, although my son now feels he is stuck doing this HUGE science project for no reason. The honors teachers are great too if you go that route. I really do not think it was a mistake that we started Alpha and are dropping down to Honors. I do not think you would be making a mistake if you went the same route. Just be prepared to have your son complain the science fair is for nothing if you drop after freshman year. Ha! My son had to have his scheduling card turned in last Friday so now he knows he will be done with Alpha and still has to do science fair. The only thing that is keeping his focus is that he can’t slack and get any C’s or he can’t be on honors next year!

  • 628. BuenaParkMom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I wonder what the percentage of passage rates on the IB exam are for the various public IB programs. I personally love the IB curriculum but it wouldn’t be worth me sending a kid to a school like Senn (my attendance boundary school for some odd reason) if the kids in the program aren’t actually passing the Bac exam.

  • 629. Chicago mom  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Waiting mom, this science fair is concerning. We have been doing it at our neighborhood school since 3rd. I hate it. My son does it on his own but we are dragging him to stores, library and constantly bugging him to do it. Something we don’t enjoy. I don’t think he will take science route either. I worry about is time management with all the new kids and clubs the school offers. Coming from small school this is a new old for him. I will need to help him as much as he will let me and also deal with kid n 7th grade. Lake view must be uccessul so I don’t need o o though this ugly process again. Thanks for ll our advice.

  • 630. Jonesmama  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Geeze, I must say the hate coming off these pages is so sad. The tier system is not perfect. Telling kids to just go to their neighborhood schools isn’t either. If Taft was my neighborhood school, like an earlier parent mentioned, then sure I wouldn’t sweat sending my daughter there. Our school is Roosevelt. I wanted northside to be my daughters first choice, she picked jones and we are all excited she got in. When applying, we ALL knew the point cut offs were going to change. If you have paid attention at all to what has been happening to CPS, you would know that more kids are staying in the system so it is getting more competitive. I want my child in a diverse school; that is why we are here. We can not place kids according to race, so the tier system is the best option. Do some kids miss out because of it? Sure. Some kids also miss out because they don’t have parents helping them work the system and go through all of this. My daughter is at Taft’s A.C. And the kids who ended up without a school because their parents didn’t help them apply or didn’t help them figure out how to rank their schools based on their score, have been breaking my heart. Tier 1 and 2 have their disadvantages also. No one who got a spot in tier 1 is going to pout and pull their kid out of their 2nd choice school and send them to Parker. So those tier 4 kids have the advantage when it comes to the second round draft. Stop complaining about how on fair this all is, because in truth life just isn’t fair. One fix, which would help us all sleep a little better at night, would be for the entrance exam scores to be known before our kids apply. That way we aren’t going in 1/3 blind. It would help us guide the order our children rank the schools and give everyone realistic expectations as to what schools to put first and second. I see some of these kids putting Payton or NS first with scores that would get them in WY no problem, but because WY was their third choice they lost the shuffle game.

  • 631. Parent1  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:16 am


    We recently attended shadow day for LPIB. What we learned about that program is that for all core subjects the IB kids take classes with other IB kids. For Phys Ed, Music and Art classes (2 years required PE and 1 year each required Music and Art) they are with in classes with all students. I have heard that it is possible for HH kids to take some IB classes and potentially move into the IB program during their sophomore year but I am not sure how that works or how often that actually happens.

    Though this next part is going to sound like a commercial I was so impressed with what I learned that I want to share it. LP’s IB curriculum is amazing – not only very comprehensive but the course of study “connects the dots” among all the subject areas. It is consistently rated either the #1 or #2 high school program in Illinois and one of the top 5 IB programs in the country. By Junior year in many of the classes there is no textbook and much of what they are learning is based on original research. In their “Theory of Knowledge” class which begins Junior year and runs through Senior year, the kids are actually doing original research.

    I don’t know if they have special requirements for people teaching in the IB program but we visited about 20 – 25 classes and each of the teachers we saw were unbelievable. Really bright, engaging, with this rapid fire Socratic method of “What do you think Mary?”, “Do you agree with what Mary said John?”, “What can you offer from last years XYZ course that supports that thinking?”.

    Anyone who has a kid really into music should take a look at LP as well (even if they don’t want to do IB). We were told that every teacher in the music program (we saw two of the choral classes, jazz band, and two of the three levels of Orchestra) has had, or continues to have, a national or international performing career. What budding musician wouldn’t love to have 45 – 60 minutes of jazz “class” a day mixed into your other high school classes? Really!

    But with all that said, though mom and dad are salivating over this program (can we audit classes, please?), our daughter is on the fence between this and the lure of Payton.

  • 632. nameless  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:33 am

    @630 – I don’t understand why someone w/ a Whitney eligible score couldn’t get into WY b/c they put Payton or NS first. I don’t think that’s right in the current system … may have been right in the old system. Or, I stil don’t understand the current system.

  • 633. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:45 am

    @632 Nameless – unfortunately people are still confused about the role that order plays in acceptance. There was a time when you had to put NCP first or you wouldn’t have gotten in, even if you scored higher than someone else who had chosen them first. Those days are gone (though I know even some school counselors who don’t understand how the process works now). Plain and simple, you put them in the order from the one you most want to go to and down. Based on your score, you’ll get the one highest on your list that you qualify for.

  • 634. Paul  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Thanks for the info on Lane. My daughter got in and was sad as most of her other friends got into NS. She had 894/900 and we are tier 4. Her friend in tier 2 got in with an 892. I had to try and make her understand why and it was hard. I think she fears the size of Lane as well and I hope she too will overcome it.

    She was offered LP IB too and while it might be a great academic program, it still feels like a prison and does not seem to be a very uplifting environment that will encourage the rigors of their academia. Aesthetics are important and it is greatly lacking, IMHO.

  • 635. How would you feel?  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Seems to be a lot of “vengeance undertones” in some of the posts of fellow tier 4 folks. Racial demographic maps “compared to” tier maps… Reverse discrimination… Really?

    I realize times are tough and folks are tense and want to put unfruitful energy into picking a fight. Do me a favor and take a run off/along Lake Michigan before you insult decent minded citizens.

    The SEHS process is as ethical as it can be considering those who are probably crooked enough to “purposely get an address to tier 1 in 7th grade” profess foul play. Let me tell you something, the educational agencies stay on top of the kind of vultures who would deprive an inherently under-served child, and adjust accordingly.

    I think test spreads satisfy KEY support access likelihood factors like:

    1. Select Prep eight week course
    “compared to”
    Deserving Daughter/Son applying self study practice lessons

    2. Delivery to their testing site, in a global burdening vehicle
    “compared to”
    Deserving Daughter/Son securing bus fare and travel time

    3. Returning to a no-crime, choice activities neighborhood
    “compared to”
    Deserving Daughter/Son ‘hood ignored into crime havens

    Again, I believe, testing points are added/subtracted for ethical reasons. And whether you can handle disappointment or not. Daughter/Son applying is no less deserving despite WHATEVER their parents may be. Nobody complains if a vet gets exam points or if the certified get handicapped parking. People need to get over self righteous perspectives if there is to be cohesiveness in society. .

    All the student’s have qualified to apply. All this tier stuff is to intercept would be mitigating parents who can afford to buy manipulation. By my Honor as an Air Force Veteran, Chicago has been divided long enough. And in the interest of Acing the test, …
    What would your character look like upon examination?

  • 636. Chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Waiting mom, thanks for advice tonight regrading lane alpha. I will talk with my on about it. He enjoys science fair but I don’t know if he will enjoy it for so many months and hours. Thanks gain.

  • 637. Cpskool  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:51 am

    @609 my son applied for Von scholars. There was a mix up at taft ac and we received a email telling us they did not get our completed application. I called and spoke with the man who runs the scholars program. After a lengthy conversation, he informed me that if we applied he has never had to do the lottery and has given all applicants a spot if they qualified. He told me only about 1/3 respond anyway. This may have changed this year with the program becoming more popular, but in the past that was the case. Son had 99 math isat 90 reading and wrote an interesting essay on the dangers of addictive computer games (gotta love that one)! Also got into lphh, taft ib, and jones with a 886. He picked jones, so we are happy to open up some badly needed spots in tier 4.

  • 638. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:45 am

    The SunTimes article refers to a
    “Under CPS’ latest college prep admission formula, the top 28.5 percent of students in rank order of their total admission scores are selected. Plus the top 16.625 percent within each of four economic tiers are chosen. And 5 percent are handpicked by principals.”

    I don’t recall the rank admission ratcheting down (again!) from 30% last year to 28.5%? But it’s stated in the article with such precision that I have to wonder if CPS snuck that in.

  • 639. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:56 am

    …or never mind, I think they were just subtracting out the 5% principal picks first (so 28.5% = 30% x 95%); it’s what I get for assuming conspiracies and pushing a button before adding the numbers.

    A little confusingly stated in the article.

  • 640. Joseph Powers  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:09 am

    All of us at Jones College Prep are excited to welcome our new Class of 2016 students. We hope that all accepted students and their families will attend our “Freshman Welcome” program on Tuesday, March 6.

  • 642. tytyo8  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I know that most of the southside SEHS are not in the best of neighborhoods, but they do make an effort to make sure that all kids are protected getting to and from school. I know that majority of them have police stations right around them and have police presence at the school. Lindbloom has a bus that takes the kids from the school directly to the L (and vice versa) and have you really heard about violence at the schools. There are really good kids that go to these schools also so dont put them down.

  • 643. HSObsessed  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:58 am

    @640 Principal Powers, thanks for the post. I believe your new building will be opening for the 2013-2014 school year, is that correct? Can you advise whether there will be additional capacity for that year’s freshmen class, and how many? Thanks so much, and congratulations on the success of Jones!

    The Sun Times provides a map that reflects which tiers went up or down. The north side in general is a sea of light blue, meaning many tracts went up a tier. I was surprised to see in the middle of it a big section of green, meaning it had been downgraded, until I zoomed in and saw that the tract consisted completely of Graceland Cemetery. The dearly departed now rest in Tier 2!

  • 644. HSObsessed  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Link to Sun Times change in tier map:


  • 645. 8th grade mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:00 am

    @631 – My son is trying to make the choice between LPIB and Payton too. It’s a hard one! I’ve been on the Payton side for the last couple days, but now your post is making me lean LPIB again.

  • 646. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:03 am

    @600GC – 2 years ago when we applied to Von admissions were as follows: Stanine 7+ could apply for Scholars Program. There was an application asking for 8th grade grades and a teacher reference and an essay (he was asked to write about how a book of his choice impacted him). They also have a magnet program that has a 5 stanine requirement and is pure lottery. Any students applying for Scholars not getting in were automatically added to the lottery. Not sure if there have been any admission changes but this was the deal for 2010.

    My son did get in but opted for the SE offer. We were very impressed by the program, the teacher conducted tours and the overall feel of the school. I love the format magnet/scholars because it is truly like an upgraded neighborhood school.

  • 647. Public or Private?  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Does anyone know how hard it is to get into Lincoln Park’s double honors program? There’s a lot of info here on the IB program, but what’s the admissions process for HH?

  • 648. justanotherchicagoparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Info for Lincoln Park double honors from the LP website.
    Admission: Selective on the basis of scores, academic record and attendance.
    Students should be at the EXCEEDS level in Reading (+267 Scale Score) and/or Math (+281 Scale Score) on 7th grade ISATS or the 85%-ile on a different nationally normed test. Seventh grade June grades (Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies) should be at least a B average (no F’s).

  • 649. Mayfair Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:36 am

    @645: The LPIB program is great for a highly motivated, self-directed student. Be very honest when you assess your son’s study habits. The volume of work is manageable but it is daily and unrelenting. My very bright freshman son struggles with the amount of homework, nothing in his gifted junior high experience prepared him for it (and admittedly he is not the most focused or motivated student).

    Teachers and counselors are first-rate, another poster on this thread compared them to professors at a private liberal arts college and I agree. Mr. Johnson (biology) rocks.

    @647: Last year IB and HH used the same application form – if your student did not get accpted into IB, you were automatically enrolled in HH and notified by letter. Check the OAE website for details.

  • 650. justanotherchicagoparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    @643 HSObssessed I too was wondering the same thing about Jones Prep and the freshman class size for the new building.I was hoping Jones would remain a secret gem just a little while longer until my other child gained admission. 😉 Guess not.

    I remember reading somewhere that starting with the Lane Tech freshman entering in 2012 they would reduce the number by 90 to make up for the AC.Does anyone know if this occurred this year or are they still going to reduce this number next year?

    One thing for sure CPS consistently makes the highest achievers work hard..Just once you think you have it figured out they raise the bar again by changing something else.I do believe that we have now hit the ceiling.:)

  • 651. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:43 am

    SEHS cutoffs were just posted.


    They even reported numbers of students and means to 2 decimal places this time.

    Payton has passed Northside both in Tier 4 minimum cutoff (896 vs. 895) and has an overall average now 888 vs. 880.

    Lane’s tier 4 min rocketed as we were seeing from 782 to 839

  • 652. michael beale  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:47 am


  • 653. 8th grade mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

    @649 – Mayfair Dad – Thanks for the information. My fear is that my son thinks he is more self-directed than he is. When inspired by good teachers, he is very motivated. Other times, not so much. He was inspired by all the teachers at the open house night, so he thinks he is up for it. Part of me wants him to go for it, part of me feels like Payton would be a safer choice.

  • 654. PARENTS OF TEENS, HELp!  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

    So, we’ve decided we have to homeschool our DD for high school and have about 3 months to put it all in place. I have no questions about the academic side, but what are we going to do about the extra-currirulars?! I can’t find a single resource besidve some obvious ones such as Young Chicago Authors to tap. All the homeschooling recources and pubs like Chicago Parent are geared to the little kids. Blogs are geared to the whe wee-one’ parents. And it seems that teens get their info (college fsirs, scholarships, service projects through their HS websites and other materials.. does anyone know of RESOURCES or INFO source for teen life options in Chicago??? Plase help, you plugging parents & teachers & the occasional student who visit cpsobsessed!

  • 655. HSObsessed  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I’m predicting that the number of slots for LP AP/HH available to students from outside the neighborhood boundary will be much, much smaller to get into with each passing year. The number of spots open to citywide applicants is dependent on the the number of neighborhood kids who enroll. The 8th grade classes from many of the feeder elementary schools to LPHS (Lincoln, Alcott, Mayer) are growing in size as well as in the percentage of kids who live within their neighborhood boundaries (and therefore LPHS’ boundaries), as well as in the number of kids who don’t get an offer from Payton/Jones/WY, as well as the number of students/parents who recognize that LPHS is a great school within walking distance of home. LPHS has four levels of classes: Regular, Honors, Double Honors, AP. Neighborhood kids can choose (with permission) the classes appropriate for their level based on their past grades and test scores.

  • 656. HSObsessed  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:12 am

    @654, I don’t know much about home schooling but if you would consider the CPS virtual high school, it looks like they have extracurricular activities that your teen could partake in.


  • 657. notsurprised  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Does anyone know if there’s a way to report a family who lied about their (Tier 4) address, to gain entrance to Northside? There’s a chld form our school whose score was 80+ points lower than the Tier 4 cutoff. When pressed, he admitted that they used someone else’s Tier 1 address and got in. Then high fives all around! This kid’s parents work for the city 9police & teacher). Are there any ways to report this kind of ethical violation

  • 658. Mayfair Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

    @ 657: Immediately notify OAE and copy JC Brizard and the principal of Northside on the email. Give all the particulars you know, things you witnessed or heard firsthand — not a kid who knows a kid who told my neighbor’s cousin…

    Keep us posted on their response. This should be fascinating.

    Not surprised in the least. I suspect there is ALOT of cheating going on. This is Chicago afterall.

  • 659. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Drats. Right before I fell asleep the suntimes article had a chart that showed the cutoff changes versus last year but it appears they’ve taken it down.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 660. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:31 am

    @657 -” When pressed, he admitted that they used someone else’s Tier 1 address”

    Now we’re grilling the kids that get in. It’s not his fault that this system is based upon address!!!!

    Someone above asked if they should feel guilty about getting in due to lower tier. I don’t think ANYONE should feel guilty. People legitimately have multiple addresses, rent apartments, press the teachers for grades, pay to take a second test. In high school you live with relatives or a second parent or people not related at all. It is all legitimate. The system allows this. NO one should feel guilty. Leave the kid alone.

  • 661. Mayfair Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

    @ 660. Cheating is cheating, and cheating is wrong. Report the cheaters, and let the CPS authorities decide if there are mitigating circumstances why this kid who lives in a Tier 4 neighborhood used a Tier 1 address to game the system.

    You used your correct address when your kid applied…right?

  • 662. HSObsessed  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

    @660 HS Mom: “It is all legitimate. The system allows this.”

    Um, no it’s not. Using someone else’s address in order to get into a different tier for admission into a tier-based program is not legitimate, and the system does not allow it.

  • 663. Chicago Gawker  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:44 am

    @637 thanks for responding. The “if you qualify” part still has me stumped. What does take to make the cut? 7 stanine min. to apply, but then how do they sort them out if they don’t really do a lottery. Actually, if the answer is they look closely at the essay, the recommendation, as well as the kid’s numbers, and then make a judgement if it’s a good fit; I would be thrilled. CPS looking at the whole kid, and letting a human make a judgment instead of a numbers sorting software???? I though that had completely disappeared.

  • 664. momof2boys  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

    In regard to the difference between LP IB and Peyton is LP is a larger school 2300. Your child will interact with all students outside of the core classes. Plus if your child loves to sing or play instrument you can join one of 5 bands or choral groups. Think of it as a more traditional high school with f our different programs. If you want diversity and alot of clubs to choose from LP is for you. There are 765 freshman at LPH with 186 in IB.

  • 665. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I would like to know how CPS is going to prove how someone that I’m assuming can use the address as a mailing address lives there or not or that they will not be living there by July 1.

    System is based upon address. Lots of 2 flats and apartments in tier 1 and 2.

    Yes, for the record, I did use our correct address (the one we really live in) to apply. We were also not tier 4. We also own another property (we pay our taxes!) but it’s in tier 4. So, I understand that some people have address choices.

  • 666. CuriousGirl  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Mayfair Dad: Right on!

  • 667. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    The suburban schools have people whose entire job is to verify and investigate residency. I even recall a case in the news – different state – Ohio? – where a parent was convicted and jailed for lying about address. Not a tier situation – she was claiming to live in a more affluent district with better schools.

  • 668. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

    @663 – Yes! They actually look at essay, 8th grade grades and references. I really liked the program. At the time their open house was on a Friday so it was a small crowd given private tours by teachers. Our teacher guide was so likable and enthusiastic. It was tough to turn it down.

  • 669. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The question isn’t what property you own, but rather your primary residence – or only residence, which is what most people have. That you pay taxes for more than one place isn’t relevant. If you own a two flat in a tier 2 neighborhood that you rent out as income property, but live in a house in Tier 4, your residence is Tier 4 and that is where you apply from. Or am I mistaken?

  • 670. cpskool  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:03 am

    @663 That is exactly as I understood it from the man who I spoke with from Von. He told me that he has never in the past had a lottery specifically for the scholars. If they qualifed, he extended an offer. I too was impressed. If your student writes a decent essay and has the teacher recommendation with the scores, you were in!! Thats exactly what happened this year for my son. I would have been proud to send him to this school and program. I have a friend whose son attends and they are thrilled, he loves it there. Chicago Gawker and others on this web site, keep up the good work advocating for our children!!

  • 671. Curious  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:04 am

    The posted cut-off scores, are they the CPS predetermined score ranges for the schools – – or are they a reflection of the range of scores of the applicants?

  • 672. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:04 am

    @669 – this was not our case – but in the rental property situation that you describe, again, how is CPS going to prove you don’t live there.

  • 673. CPSnoMo  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Mayfair Dad – Best suggestion. Definitely report them. It’s bad when kids are in grammar schools based on lies, but high school? No way.

  • 674. CPSnoMo  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Can’t wait this CPS has to crack down on all the teachers who lie about addresses.

  • 675. Esmom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

    @672, you would probably be asked to show bills, like utilities, that you get on a monthly basis. Those usually come to the address where you are living. To attend our CPS neighborhood school we had to provide numerous forms of proof of address, one was not enough.

    We had someone “busted” for using his grandmother’s address to attend our school and he was firmly asked to enroll in his actual neighborhood school. Someone from CPS knocked at the grandmother’s address looking to see if the boy actually lived there. I guess she could have lied but apparently she was caught off guard.

  • 676. mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Just spoke to someone at oae office, and according to her:

    It is NOT up to the individual school to decide whether or not there is a “second round” – it happens automatically, and those (2nd round) letters will be mailed out on or just after March 16th (after accepted students are in that school’s system)

    …and (sorry if this is obvious) the students who scores were closest to those cutoff scores are ones considered for the second round seats, however few of them there might be (if any at all.)

    My question now is: Because the deadline for registration at our neighborhood school is March 22nd, should I just register my son there, and wait to see if we get a second-round letter – or see how he does with the Principle’s Discretion process? Does his name go into a system that disqualifies him for either of these two possibilities if he’s already registered (at his neighborhood school)??

  • 677. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:15 am

    @675 – We were not asked for bills to get into high school if you are coming from a CPS school. Just saying. Don’t think it would be tough to get the utilities in your name if need be.

  • 678. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I also remember having to bring in a few bills (phone/electric) to prove residency, in addition to an id with the address. Sorry, I don’t think it’s right to “game” the system, that child’s admission should be reported. And though I feel sorry for the child, I feel more sorry for all of the Tier 4 kids who followed the rules, excelled, and by virtue of being honest weren’t accepted with much higher scores than this kid whose family (apparently) cheated.

  • 679. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

    HS Mom- if someone challenges your status, then I think you could be asked to “prove” residency. With the stakes being what they are for high school, I think that certainly seems fair. I live in Tier 3 and would have no problem proving it.

  • 680. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:20 am

    @675 – And to further play devils advocate here.. in HS you do not need to be in the neighborhood or stay in the same tier throughout your stay in school. You could conceivably move to tier 4 on day 2.

  • 681. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I think there is also an “inspector general” for CPS, not sure if they investigate this sort of thing or not, but they do maintain the privacy of the people reporting things to their office.

  • 682. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

    It makes sense that you don’t have to stay in the tier for all four years – just the city of chicago. But I’m sorry, the tier you claim to reside in at the time of your application to the school should be legitimate, and lying about that should be grounds for the offer to be rescinded. I think I will contact OAE and find out the process for challenging and post it here when I get it.

  • 683. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I hear you all and the point I am trying to make is that this address based system invites all the angles. Not a good system for many reasons.

  • 684. 8th grade mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

    While I don’t like the lying about the address, people have been trying to work the system forever. Back when the schools used race, I knew a mixed-race family (3 races, if you went back 3 generations, but more than 5/8 white) who applied for their two children as two different minorities, depending on which school they wanted and which minority had a better chance at that school.

  • 685. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:40 am

    @640, Principle Powers, nice to see you posting on here. Jones is my daughter’s first choice for high school currently. She is currently in 7th grade. We went to the open house and really enjoyed your presentation for what you have to offer in terms of the college preparation program, etc. And all the comments from the parents on here echo that Jones is the best choice for her. Keep up the great work!

  • 686. Chicago Gawker  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:40 am

    @684 That’s very different than outright lying. Especially since CPS does not spell out what quailfies as being a member of a race. The US government itself used a “one drop” standard for AAs not so long ago.

  • 687. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Per Crystal at OAE – any questions regarding “gaming the system” should be referred to the CPS Inspector General’s office – 773 534 9400. They do investigate claims and they do maintain confidentiality.

    Notsurpised – please report them. In my opinion, it is absolutely the right thing to do.

  • 688. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Sun Times has the chart back up with the shift in scores vs last year. Interesting stuff.


  • 689. Chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Many people are doing the tier 1 address thing. My husband and I were interviewing for my child to get into a northside private school and the principal told us you need to use a tier 1 address. We could not believe this. What is this teaching our children? People should report anyone they know doing this. It is illegal and they should be turned in. I feel bad for kids who have parents teaching them how to beat the system. Thy lose in long run.

  • 690. Esmom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:46 am

    @684, our old neighbor — red-haired, freckled, Irish last name — claims she used her drop or two of Native American heritage a few years ago to help her get into Lane Tech.

  • 691. Chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Contact all the news stations about people using tiers that they don’t reside in. Cps will get scared by media, hopefully

  • 692. LR  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    @581 and 587: This is off topic, but since a couple people have brought it up, the things that are being said about Beaubien are frightening. Principals get paid way too much to treat people with such apathy. My son tested for first grade this year and I put Beaubien down as a choice. But, based on what people are saying/have said in other posts, I think I would most definitely refuse a spot there. I am interested to see what happens with the administration change. If you have a chance to rid your school of this Principal and Assistant, why wouldn’t you? Doesn’t the LSC largely affect this process? And when will we know what happens?

  • 693. Not in it this year  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

    684 – The odd thing about race is that people can be several different races. . .so I don’t think that is gaming the system.

    HS Mom – I hear you that there is no obligation to stay in your Tier 1 home. . . but the rules are clear as to what tier applies to you when you apply. It is the location you primarily live in. If a child uses an address that is not his/her primary residence – it is fraud. He should be reported. If he does primarily live in the Tier 1 rented apartment – then no problem. If he does not – then let the chips fall as they may.

  • 694. RL Julia  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:52 am

    OMG – the cutoff scores have been posted! Imagine!

  • 695. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:52 am

    LR – the principal is retiring. The problem (and i contacted a good friend whose child is in the options program at Beaubien to ask here after reading things here) is that the AP is just as bad – apathetic and lazy is how she put it. She also said a lot of the LSC and PTO parents are “cliquey” – is this high school for gods sake? – and their children are treated with kid gloves even though many of them are bullies and disrespectful even to teachers.

    The plus (from what she said) is that they have, in the options program anyway, some really great teachers.

  • 696. cpsdisgusted  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

    However deserving all kids are of getting a great education, some here are ignoring the realities of these demanding schools. My child will graduate from Northside this year, and reports that many of the kids from the lower tier neighborhoods who were brought in last year are NOT succeeding academically at Northside. They may be highly intelligent, but are simply unprepared for the rigorous curriculum. The long-term solution is better preparation, starting in early childhood, and more excellent high schools, not rejecting qualified tier 4 students who ARE prepared. Most tier 4 families I know, whose children didn’t get into an SEHS, will choose Catholic, private, or suburban schools over mediocre/inferior neighborhood CPS schools, draining CPS of thousands of great students. The tier system as it exists this year is a disaster. How it will be fixed is anybody’s guess.

  • 697. Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:57 am


    Notify the city office office of inspector general. No one else will do anything about it.


  • 698. Chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Anyone that knows anything about students using illegal address needs to call 773 534 9400. This is the only way to help limit the amount of unethical people. You do not have to give your name.

  • 699. Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    You can do it anonymously on the city’s inspector general’s website, also, without having to make a phone call if you would rather.

  • 700. junior  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    RE: cheating

    Does the person in question own property in the city and at which address do they claim their homeowners exemption?


  • 701. Chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Very easy for private school kids to use fake addresses. Cps has no record of them. Report them.

  • 702. Standing athwart the tide  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    @696: Don’t you hate it when everyone’s suspicions/biases/prejudices are borne out? True believers in the cause did not do themselves (or those kids) any favors by setting them up to fail.

  • 703. ChiTown take 2  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I believe they had extra slots for top students from very low income areas for NSCP, Payton, etc last year to diversify enrollment. As the other poster noted, I feel sorry for these students trying to keep up with the other top 98% percentile kids. On the other hand, it is not fair to the top kids to have their classes lagging behind because 3 kids in class ‘can’t get it after 3-4 explanations’ as my child noted in his class (he was lucky to get to NSCP with a 900- but i don’t know the odds will be for my other child next year if he can’t get 900). My observation is that these top notch schools are top because the students are top notch already. As some parents (and even a teacher) note: the teachers don’t really have to teach. They just assign a topic and the kids take it upon themselves to learn and exceed at these schools. So, this whole tier thing is corrupt, discourages top kids from getting into good schools just because of their address, and sets up less advanced students for failure & disappointment while taking opportunities away from other deserving students. It does nothing for diversity since the system had to manually add students from poor minority schools anyway!

  • 704. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Again – I’m in agreement with you all on “cheating” but also contend that we have a system that promotes it.

    I’m just wondering if a crowd with burning torches and pitchforks at CPS would work.

  • 706. 1900new  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Anybody have thoughts on big difference between Ogden IB high school and Lincoln Park Honors?

  • 707. Chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    We need a march and a ton of media coverage on this high school illegal address issue!

  • 708. report the liers to make a change  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    in case of lying about the Tier address you might also want to contact a Tribune reporter Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah she has been reporting a lot lately on the CPS high school and elementary applications.

  • 709. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    How about change the system to make a change?

  • 710. Chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    They system needs to be all about the kids. Only use kids scores and grades .

  • 711. cpsmama  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Payton’s cutoffs are higher than NS’s because they take fewer students. If NS took only 60 rank and 35 at each tier, they would likely have the same cutoff.

    This is the same reason that schools like WY & Lane have lower cutoffs- they take more students so they are dipping lower into the pool of applicants.

    If the scores of the top 60 rank & top 35 tier students at each school were compared they would very likely be the same or very similar.

  • 712. parent  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    @711 cpsmama, why do you think the scores had such a big jump this year?

  • 713. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    711 – it’s usually been the case that Payton has a smaller class size than NCP, so it is in fact newsworthy that Payton’s cutoff is now higher.

    Also the increased average entrance score – all things held equal – indicates that a few years from now, the PSAE scores (on which the assorted rankings are often based) will tilt in WPs favor.

  • 714. RL Julia  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    703 – How are you so sure that they kids who aren’t doing well at Northside are definititely Tier 1 and 2 kids? Or those accepted by NCLB? In theory every class has a bottom quartile so 25% of the class probably getting a C or below in at least one class. By your estimation those kids shouldn’t have been admitted in the first place because they are holding up progress? In my experience, if 95% of the class gets the material on round one, the teacher isn’t going to repeat the information three more times for the 2.5 students who don’t get it – they are going to go to tutoring and get help after class.

  • 715. Angie  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    @710. Chicago mom: “They system needs to be all about the kids. Only use kids scores and grades.”

    I agree. However, I can’t help thinking that handing some selective enrollment seats to lower-scoring students is a whole lot cheaper than building good and safe schools geared towards the B-average students where these same kids could have gotten a good education without getting in over their heads.

    There should be good schools for everyone, and merit-only SE schools for the top scoring students, regardless of their race or life circumstances. I hope the new STEM high schools are a step in that direction, and that we will see more good schools in the near future.

  • 716. ThanktheLord  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    @692–Yes, you are correct–the LSC hires and fires the principal. And the outgoing Beaubien principal has wisely stacked the LSC deck quite nicely each year with his minions. His review last year was both hilarious and terrifying. The “yes men” said he just about created sliced bread AND cured cancer! The principal needs a certain amount of votes and it doesn’t matter what the 2-3 dissenters who managed to get themselves elected to the LSC say–the majority rules. A crony’s wife’s LSC term is over? Then get the husband onboard and so on. That very same LSC is in place to hire the next principal and who do you suppose they are going to hire? The AP who knows their kids and their parents’ “commitment to the school,” no matter how disrespectful their kids are to teachers and other kids. It’s quite the racket. We’ll see how this LSC election shakes out–it looks like some very smart, caring people are running this time around, some with kids in the Options program and some who do not. I hope parents turn out en masse and vote for change. But they will inherit whatever principal the current LSC chooses, though. Just for the record, this is not sour grapes of any kind–my family has had zero run-ins with the principal or AP over discipline, etc. in the years that we have been there. We have under-the-radar kids who do very well, do not get in trouble and are happy. It’s just hard not to see what goes on here and think it is unfair to the kids who scored well enough to get in and be on the waiting list. If you’d like your kids to have some great teachers, the Beaubien Options program is the place. In particular, our family loved the 1st grade (who is now gone) teacher and the 5th grade teacher.

  • 717. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Standing athwart: do you have a link to the article that doesn’t require login? I can’t get to it.
    And what does “athwart” mean??

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 718. pantherparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    @713 Would I be right to assume that your child goes to Payton? And you feel you now have bragging rights over Northside?

    Like people that only buy wine rated 90 points or higher, it seems that some parents are ratings chasers. They believe that the harder it is to get into the school, the better it must be. That is anything but the case.

    I think that is why we saw so much Lane bashing on acceptance day. Because of their “low” scores compared to others. But I see Lane had max by rank of 900 meaning some kids who could have attended any high school in the system chose Lane.

    Parents, it’s about fit, not ranking.

  • 719. chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Angie, I am all about neighborhood schools. If they were safe and provided a well rounded education without gangs then this SE stuff wouldnt be an issue. I cant send my kids to school worrying about there safety. I live in the Lakeview HS district and will support in everyway i can to make sure that school turns around. I am not sure the STEM program is the answer but it is a great start to getting parents into the building and sending there kids. PLEASE TELL EVERYONE TO START HELPING TURN AROUND NEIGHBORHOOD HIGH SCHOOLS!!! we saw it happen with elementary schools and now the kids are entering HS. We need to continue our hard work!

  • 720. xCPSmom  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    NCLB kids at NS have been struggling since day one.

  • 721. Tom Andrews  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    My daughter scored 892 (close to perfect) but we are in tier 4 so she didn’t get in Northside Prep. Funny thing is I have sacrificed to be able to rent in a tier 4 area but my income is actually tier 2 the past couple years as I am a Realtor. She id get accepted into Lane.

  • 722. pantherparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    @714 and @720
    Principal Rodgers stated at the last LSC meeting that 2 years ago Northside accepted 15 NCLB kids. He said 12 are still at the school.

  • 723. Concerned Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    We really need to get on our aldermen in tier 4. Tell them the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

  • 724. Standing athwart the tide  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    @717 cpsobsessed: Try this link


    athwart: in opposition to, against

  • 725. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    This Payton/Northside who’s better stuff is almost comical. And what are we talking about here, an 896 tier 4 cutoff vs. an 895? Please.

    And the higher cutoffs in the lower tiers make sense given their geographic locations and the number of kids admited.

    And full disclosure, my child scored 900 and had Northside first, Payton second.

  • 726. boredofCPS  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Does it seem fair that kids in tier 4 who are completely bright and totally smart with an 899 score can only get into lane, when if they lived into tier 1, they would have been the first to go to Northside?

  • 727. boredofCPS  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    srry got the scores wrong.
    With an 853 score in tier 1, they can get into Whitney, but if they lived in tier 4, they might have a hope at Lane.
    OOPS!! 🙂

  • 728. cpsdisgusted  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    @722, surviving at Northside and thriving/succeeding are two different things. What a student (like my child) sees in class and what the administration is willing to report are also two different things.

  • 729. cpsdisgusted  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    And by the way, it’s not an issue of the lower tier students slowing the rest of the class down. (It’s pretty hard to slow NS students down). My child felt bad for kids who were thrust into a high-pressure academic environment, only to struggle. They would probably have been better served by thriving in a slightly less intense school. High school is stressful enough.

  • 730. ChiTown take 2  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    714. the kids added were AFTER the SE process, i.e. outside the acceptances by rank & tier. Thus, these extra kids didn’t make it by any cutoff but were top in their class in their school. Some classes have some of these kids and these class lag the other classes in covering material for the year. I believe they did have some extra help and guidance for these kids but some will not make it through the program. Is that fair to these kids to make them feel insufficient vs sending them to a school that challenges them at their level for success without making them stand out?

  • 731. Cryin' 96 tiers  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Have a 7th grader so just monitoring the process this year. Seems a lot of frustration is due to the fact that people who stayed at the same address had it change tiers from last year to this. My only question is whether this happens every year; whether the census tract-based tier designations will change again next year, or will our address remain in the same tier next year. Just want to be able to plan for what realistic expectations I can set for my child, so we can go into the process with eyes wide open. Thanks.

  • 732. 8th grade mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    @715 – I agree. I don’t want to necessarily see more Walter Paytons or NSCPs, I want to see more Lanes and Lincoln Park HH. Lane strikes me as a great place, with a variety of tracks for students at all levels. (My older child didn’t pick it because he’s drawn to a smaller school, but it might be perfect for my younger child.) Even better – the neighborhood schools would all look like Lane.

    You don’t necessarily have to take away the top schools for the students who excel, just offer more options for the bright motivated kids who didn’t have a perfect 7th grade year.

    I understand the newer IB programs, Von Steuben, etc are providing more options. I just hope it continues in that direction.

  • 733. In dread  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I can’t find my previous post on this, but here’s a question for all of those parents with kids disappointed at this year’s outcomes: How did you console them? Did you explain the process to them and how and why it is set up this way? How did they take it?

  • 734. UGH!  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    With all the parent banter regarding scores, it is no wonder Lane gets such a bad rap since the scores don’t seem to measure up. Unfortunately then some kids don’t think they measure up either, if Lane is there only option. I wish there was mutual respect.

  • 735. 8th grade mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    @733 – I feel very lucky in that I dind’t have to console my child, as he got the outcome he desired, but we were prepared. We spent a lot of time dragging him to every open house (even when he didn’t want to go) to point out all the advantages of every school on his list. I made sure to say a lot of positive things about all of his options. I had a mental list of parents of kids at every school ready to go so we’d be ready to get him together with kids from wherever he got in. In the end, there was only one place I think he would have been upset about, and that was because a kid who used to bully him goes there, not because of the school. I respected his feelings on that, but was also prepared to really sell the school if needed.

    I do hear a lot of parents putting one school over another with their kids, and I feel like they contribute to their children’s disappointment. (Not saying you did that, just what I observed.)

  • 736. Christine  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    @654 here are some groups to start with re: home schooling for high school


    http://homeeducatorsconference.org/ (they are having a conference next month)


    for extra-curriculars I think you’d have to go private like park district, Merit School of Music, Theater, etc.

  • 737. In dread  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    @735: Wow, you were really prepared! These all seem to be good ideas.
    Did your kid know what his classmates’ scores were going in? Was there a lot of comparing and gossiping after the results came in?

  • 738. notsurprised  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    It’s interesting, I sent an email yesterday to the OAE asking how they handle reports of students who used a false address to gain admittance to a SE HS. No one from OAE has responded to that email at all. But it seems like they’re returning people’s calls about other SE HS issues. That makes me think they don’t WANT to deal with the known cheaters, are willing to look the other way.

  • 739. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I think the one person who responds to emails (karen hansberry?) is probably inundated with them right now, if you call, any number of people can answer and give you the answer right there on the spot.

  • 740. RL Julia  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    735 – Thank you. We did the same thing.

    730 – Is that fair to these kids to make them feel insufficient vs sending them to a school that challenges them at their level for success without making them stand out?
    Since 12 kids are still there, apparently their experience at NS has been in some way bearable or worth it to them. I don’t think it is my place to assume their experience or assign value to them or even question their right to be at Northside. They were given an opportunity, they took it and it is their choice to do with it whatever they want (within the law and rules of the school) regardless of my opinion of their choices after they got there. Plenty of people have squandered opportunities before. Maybe it is just disappointing that other children that you care more about were not afforded the same. However that disappointment doesn’t translate into rescinding another (of the many qualified) student’s right to be at that school. The same way that when the bus is full, you can’t insist someone you don’t know or like get off so you can get on.

  • 741. help  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    @654 – You might find this book very interesting/helpful. All the best to you on your quest! It is written by a Berkeley grad, astrophysics major.

  • 742. Chris  |  March 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    “athwart: in opposition to, against”

    Buckley used it more as “in the way of” or “across” than “against”. “A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!'”

  • 743. ChiTown take 2  |  March 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    729 It will be interesting to track these NCLB students at all of the SEHS and see what happens to graduation rate, college bound, etc. This is just the first year and most kids say freshman year is the easiest. With the large decrease in Tier1 min requirements this year, it will be interesting to see how it affects the school scores in 4 years. The entire Tier program and shifting seats from % from rank to tier is the attempt by CPS to diversify (add minorities or low income students) to these programs. However, the reality is that many Tier 1-2 locations have families with 6 figure incomes and houses to match which defeats the original intent of the Tier process. In addition, Tier 4 families struggling to make ends meet and being held to a higher standard. Sounds discriminatory to me. .

  • 744. waitingmom  |  March 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm


    Thanks for pointing out a fact that MANY people neglect to think of. Lane accepts over 1,000 kids so of course their scores will have a much broader range. Lane gets a bad rap when it comes to scores and if they only took 200 kids they would look very similar to NSCP, WP and WY. I explain this to people until I turn blue and they just do not get it. It is nice to see someone else is thinking!!!

  • 745. Concerned Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    @733 I didn’t console my child I just told her the honest truth. America is being taken over by liberals that are not concerned about how hard you work because they want to punish people that succeed. They want the masses fat an uneducated and will throw things like welfare at them to keep getting elected over and over again.I explained to her what reverse descrimination was and when she is 18 to make sure she doesn’t vote for politicians with socialist leaning like Obama and Rahm. I think she learned a valuable lesson in life.

  • 746. pantherparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    @731 Cryin’ 96 Tiers (great name)
    It’s my understanding that the tiers changed because of the 2010 census which provided fresh information. Even thought that would seem to imply that these tiers remain as is for 10 years (until the next census) I don’t know that to be the case. Additionally, since the tiers were shown to be out of whack, with more students in Tier 4 than Tier 1, I would hope adjustments will be made.

    And CPS could change the entire admittance policy whenever they want. I would make no assumptions but simply focus on having an open mind and exploring all options, whether SEHS, IB, or neighborhood school.

  • 747. done  |  March 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    696 – You took the words out of my mouth! Couldn’t have said it better. Thanks!
    I’m a Tier 4 parent that pays taxes, tuition and now, more tuition. My child scored an 870 and is well prepared, but her IB choice and alpha option don’t compare to her top picks.
    I’m really done obsessing now. Moving on and when my husband retires…moving out!

  • 748. CPSnoMo  |  March 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    746 – 696 — DItto! We have moved on. If you go to private, you will get CPS phone calls all summer looking to find out where your kid is enrolled. If the school case manager, social worker whatever did her job . . . . . just a memory now.

  • 749. Mayfair Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    @ 744: There are many people who feel the way you do — they are called suburbanites. Before I had school-aged kids, I scorned them. Now I envy them.

  • 750. Cryin' 96 tiers  |  March 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    @745 — Thanks pantherparent. Your advice seems sound. When people know what the rules are they can adjust and conduct themselves accordingly. What seems particularly frustrating is when the rules change in the middle of the game, which it sounds like happened to many of this year’s 8th graders. I’m hoping it does not happen again next year, but will be watching closely so I know if it does.

  • 751. toughtalk  |  March 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    @744: What a tough talk, and I commend your candor.

    I don’t really believe that liberals want to punish success. I think that they place a premium on lifting up those that they see as victims of history, economics, race, etc., and just assume that those who are better off don’t require their advocacy. They tend to be less cognizant of the legitimate claims of their socioeconomic peers because they assume that, as members of a privileged class, they will always do just fine, no matter what policies are implemented.

    So, it’s not that liberals want to punish success–it’s more like they don’t worry about discouraging it through benign neglect.

  • 752. HELP  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    740. help | March 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm THANKS! I’m going to look for more books like that and then try to localize the advice to Chicago/Hyde Park.

  • 753. HELP  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Isn’t Jones going to (or might) add a lot of seats just for neighborhood kids? SouthLoop and downtown?

  • 754. Proud Jones Parent  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    @774 Concerned Dad
    Let’s be fair…this Tier Disaster PRE-dates Rahm!!
    Perhaps, since Rahm is so aggressive to get results, we could all raise our voices to get the extreme problems with this SEHS admissions debacle FIXED!

    First: Standardize the points given for the students’ grades! Use numerical averages (not letter designations of A,B,C) since the elementary school grading scales are NOT uniform across the city!

    Example: 90.5% average at one school could equal an A; at another school (where an A = 93.0) the same score causes that 7th grader to lose 25 points on his entrance score!!! Concrete example? My nephew ISAT composite=298, Entrance score=perfect 300, 7th grade B in science with 92.25% average at a school where 93=A. HE lost 25 points!! Another child, at another school with a different scoring rubric would not have! Difference? A total of 898 vs. 873. Gee, oh well, tough luck kid! That’s the way it is…you don’t get into Jones because the cutoff for Tier 4 is 875! Boo hoo for you! (I hope you can all hear the sarcasm that’s dripping off my keys!)

    Second: Pitch out these pathetic “Tiers” because they do NOT accurately depict one’s socio-economic status & they encourage cheaters who feel they’re between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”.
    Example: Tier 4 (affluent?), family of 6 living on a household income of $45,000 = per capita income of $7500. Tier 2 (disadvantaged?) family of 3, living on a household income of $165,000= per capita income of $50,000! Tell me, please, which family in which Tier needs the helping hand extended??? (Tier 4 family example is my brother’s household; Tier 2 example was mentioned 2 days ago, see post #221.)

    These Tiers are NOT any kind of true reflection of NEED! They’re ARBITRARY and DISCRIMINATORY! Our 13-yr.-olds deserve MUCH, MUCH better treatment from the adults at CPS!!!

    Please, please, please CPS – YOU MUST DEVISE A BETTER WAY!
    How about it Rahm? Mr. Brizard?

  • 755. Esmom  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    When it comes to consoling the kids who don’t get in, I can’t imagine that trying to explain/blame the tier system, with all its complexities and faults, would be much help. I think the simpler answer, that with or without the tier system in place there are just far too many applicants than spots available, might be easier to wrap one’s head around. And then try to move on.

  • 756. tier 4  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I suspect if you look at the elementary schools in Tier 4, they will be higher performing than other tiers.

  • 757. alittlelevity  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    @753: My revised CPS SEHS application addresses all of the concerns you just aired:

    School Year 2013-14

    Name of Applicant: ______________________
    Birth Date: ______________
    Gender: Male Female
    Race: African-American Asian Caucasian Hispanic Caliblasian

    Names of Parents/Guardians:_____________________
    Do you own this home? Yes No I don’t even really live here
    What language is spoken at home? English Spanish Latin Other
    Highest educational level of parents/guardians:_____________
    Household Income:_____________ (Please attach W-2)


    Applicant’s current school:___________________
    At this school: An A=90-100% An A=93-100% What’s an A?
    How does applicant get to school?:
    Walking: Less than 1 mile More than 1 mile Uphill both ways
    School bus Public transportation Chauffeur/private car
    Has the applicant ever taken a test prep class? Yes No
    If yes, for which test (check all that apply):

    Has the applicant ever participated in these sports? Yes No
    If yes, which ones (check all that apply):
    Sailing Equestrian Lacrosse


    Please rank the following schools in order of desirability:
    Do you know the principals of any of these schools? Yes No
    (optional) How much might it be worth to you to get to know one of these principals?_________________


  • 758. local  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Wow. @57. notsurprised | March 2, 2012 at 10:15 am “Does anyone know if there’s a way to report a family who lied about their (Tier 4) address, to gain entrance to Northside? There’s a chld form our school whose score was 80+ points lower than the Tier 4 cutoff. When pressed, he admitted that they used someone else’s Tier 1 address and got in. Then high fives all around! This kid’s parents work for the city 9police & teacher). Are there any ways to report this kind of ethical violation”

    Actually, the police do have to abide by an ethics code/code of conduct, which requires they don’t cheat (even off the job, in civilian life). You could report him or her to the police department’s Internal Affairs. Still, with CPD, I wouldn’t expect any sanction if true.

  • 759. pantherparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    @753 Proud Jones Parent
    I think the change needs to be deeper than that. Grades on numerical averages could actually hurt the kids at academic centers and the like even more than they do now (your nephew notwithstanding.)

    For example, if bright kids in neighborhood schools earn 100% in the four classes measured, they would earn 400, call them, “Grade points”. (4 x 100) Bright kids in an AC might get 93s across the board for 372 “Grade points” (4 x 93), a difference of 28 points. Under the old system, they would have earned an equal number of points. Under yours, they would not.

    Sure this is an extreme example, but my point is that grades are so subjective across CPS, I say drop them totally.

  • 760. Enoughalready  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Good God. All of you should move to the suburbs, or to a small town in Nebraska. Carping and complaining about how unfair the CPS system is to your kids. You would think people with such exceptional children would have more important things to do. News flash: Life is not fair!

  • 761. old fogey  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm


    Completely agree with you.

    The Tier system was hastily put together by “experts” and “Blue Ribbon Committees” after the race-based admissions system was thrown out. I actually attended one of these committee hearings–wasn’t at all impressed by the intellect on the panel—and no one on the committee took any input from the audience of parents. The first year the seats were split 50% rank and 50% Tiers. The next year they were split 40% rank and 60% Tiers. The next year they were split 30% rank and 70% Tiers. Then they started playing around with the correct criteria for the Tiers. If these “experts” really knew what they were doing, why couldn’t they figure out the correct percents and criteria in the first place? Perhaps because the results of their social engineering wasn’t turning out the way they wanted. We’ll never know why, though—they haven’t felt it necessary to explain themselves.

    The tragic part of all this is that the “experts” don’t realize that their actions are affecting actual human beings and their kids. Parents and children are apparently just lab rats to them.

  • 762. Mayfair Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    @ 753 and others.

    Welcome to the Disenchanted CPS Parents Club

    Where were you two years ago, or last year, at the CPS Open Forums when they first unveiled this half-baked SE high school affirmative action 2.0 scheme? Did you raise your voices then? Did you line up at the microphone to point out the need for a harmonized grading scale across all CPS schools? Did you send a follow-up email to the hearing officer to express your dismay because deserving Tier 4 students are being penalized in the name of fixing society’s ills? That the system literally invites people to “game” it because of its arbitrary and ill-advised reliance on imprecise census tracts?

    Where were you when CPS was screwing over my kid?

  • 763. alittlelevity  |  March 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    I wager that the next tweak will be 40/20/20/10/10.
    40% Rank, 20% each Tiers 1 and 2, 10% each Tiers 3 and 4.
    40% rank for the meritocrats, 20% Tiers 1 and 2 for the class warriors, and 10% Tiers 3 and 4 because they’ll be just fine.

    Any other wagers?

  • 764. tier 4  |  March 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I’m wondering what people consider an absolutely fair scheme for allocating these limited resources?

  • 765. James  |  March 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    @ 753, 760, and several others —

    Give it a rest. (And get your facts straight. Rank was never 50%. It was 40% the first year and it’s been 30% the last two.) There is no question that this tier system isn’t perfect. But there isn’t a system on earth that is. If we value racial and economic diversity in these schools (and at least most of us do), there has to be a system put in place that encourages it without crossing any constitutional lines. Is every single household without exception in a Tier 4 census tract at the very top of the socio-economic heap? No, of course not. Conversely, is every single household in a Tier 1 census tract at the very bottom of the socio-economic heap? Nope. But, IN GENERAL, do the census tract categorizations accurately reflect what’s happening in an individual tract? They plainly do. I don’t think even the most disgruntled on here would seriously claim that those who live in tracts labeled Tier 4 are no different than those labeled Tier 1. Is this general categorization perfect and individualized? No. But is it generally accurate? Obviously. Don’t believe me? Move to Tier 1 and live there for a while and then tell me it’s like where you live now. Give me a break.

    As for cheaters, I’m sure they exist. And I have no doubt that the CPS inspector general’s office and the OAE want to (and will) go after them (#737’s bizarre paranoia notwithstanding). But an anecdotal unproven instance here and there in no way proves the baseless claims made here that cheating is so widespread as to undermine the entire system. Is cheating happening? Probably. Humans are flawed and some will cheat. Is cheating rampant? Come on. If you believe that then you’re probably the sort of person who thinks Obama forged his birth certificate or the earth is flat.

    This system, like any system, isn’t perfect. And it creates genuine costs to certain individuals who are caught up in it and find themselves on the wrong side of some of its particulars, through no fault of their own. But no one, including the grumbling geniuses on this site, have yet figured out a better system. If you really don’t like it, or find it grossly unfair, or simply can’t deal with disappointment without lashing out, then perhaps it is time you left the system and went private or, as Mayfair Dad always says, moved to Park Ridge.

  • 766. IanL  |  March 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Here’s a visualization of the cutoff data using a stock chart:


  • 767. ChicagoGawker  |  March 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    James, sound, calm non paranoid reasoning. You must be a socialist. 🙂
    How about keeping the same system and just adding the requirement of submitting a signed copy of your tax return? You sorted into a tier based on your adjusted gross income period. Once you are above a certain income level the other factors: language, single parent household, HS education are cancelled out in terms of the disadvantage they represent. Why would this NOT work?

  • 768. dad2  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    @766 and I would add that if address is to be considered then the only address you can use for your child is the one on that tax return.

  • 769. What About Rahm?  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    @James and others: WHat does it say about the tier system that our millionaire mayor lives in Tier 3?

  • 770. 19thWard  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I invite all of you who are opposed to the 7.5 hour school day to check out the following sites and join the Facebook group:


    Facebook group: Parents Against the CPS Longer School Day

  • 771. James  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    @768: To me it says nothing. I would hope that CPS will eventually publish, like it did the last two years, the details of the tier analysis. This document is very dense, but it lists, by each of the 494 census tracts, the scores each tract received against each of the six factors (of which household income is merely one). So once that is published, we could look up the six scores for the mayor’s tract and see if there had been any monkey business to manipulate it into Tier 3. I don’t think we’ll find that there has been. I do agree that it is ironic that he would appear to be one of the outliers in a Tier 3 census tract (and CPS might have wanted to think that one through a little, if only from a perception standpoint), but I am not familiar with his immediate neighborhood and haven’t seen the detailed scores for it.

    @766: I’m not a socialist. Just a fading breed of New Deal Democrat! And I guess your proposal could be a workable tweak. But might not that put too much emphasis on what is now just one of the six socio-economic factors, i.e. household income? I also see some privacy and administrative issues with requiring every single SE HS applicant to have his or her parents submit a tax return to downtown CPS. But your proposal might be a workable way to individualize this assessment a little. Certainly should be food for thought for OAE, I would think.

  • 772. pantherparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    @764 James

    I hate to be the voice of reason, but I think an alternative has been raised pretty clearly.

    Let the highest scores get in. Period.

    Regardless of race, color, creed or tier.

  • 773. junior  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm


    I think that requiring tax returns is incredibly labor intensive and intrusive. I don’t think you can do that across the board. However, I think the system could be improved by offering an optional, voluntary mechanism for people to document a low income and thereby qualify for a lower tier. That addresses the majority of anecdotes about inequities.

    As for the people who have high incomes in a low-tier neighborhood, I don’t see a problem with that –in fact there are positive benefits of that in terms of helping bring resources and diversity into struggling neighborhoods. If a millionaire wants to move into a Tier 1 neighborhood, I don’t begrudge him any admissions benefit that comes with that.

    Of course, some people will always believe that their Tier 4 kid is always harder working and more deserving than a kid with a lower score that got in from another tier. That basic assumption absence of evidence is simply prejudice. I know plenty of kids in the perfect score vicinity who are pretty lazy when it comes to schoolwork and can get by incredibly well on their innate gifts. I guess they are deserving of the spots by the grace of God, but if you want a *true* meritocracy then you have to give more credit to the kid who worked through more obstacles to get where they are.

  • 774. Chris  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    “WHat does it say about the tier system that our millionaire mayor lives in Tier 3?”

    He doesn’t. The tier 3 section there is west of the Metra tracks; Rahm lives east, in Census Trat 319, which is Tier 4.

    I really think that getting basic facts wrong compromises the argument, because it allows those opposing your view to focus on your mistakes, rather than addressing the issues, and, to a neutral observer, makes it seem that your other facts may also be suspect.

  • 775. mama2boys  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    So my son had 865, tier 4, lane…however the cutoffs for this year just posted today say Lane’s maximum score for tier 4 is 861!! Um, does this mean he should’ve gotten into Jones (his 3rd choice) or what’s up?

  • 776. Chris  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    “America is being taken over by liberals that are not concerned about how hard you work because they want to punish people that succeed.”

    You mean like everyone here who thinks the “you make too much money to be [concerned/allowed into CPS/whatever]” is funny or relevant? Liberal, socialist scum like them? Are you one of them, or is your HHI over $250k, so that you should just go private?

    Sorry, but *both* those attitudes ((1)the “you have enough money to pay, so just go pay” AND (2) “stupid ‘liberals’ ruining ‘my’ America”) just make me so angry.

  • 777. Angie  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    @770. James and 772. junior: There is no need for a tax return from every single student. Have people state their tier on the application, and then, have those who claim Tier 3 and below submit their tax return when they are accepting a SE spot. Anyone who does not wish to disclose their income can apply as Tier 4 and not submit anything.

  • 778. James  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    @771 —

    We could do that. And then there would be no racial or socio-economic diversity in these schools. Maybe that would be OK — and I don’t mean that in a flippant way. We can have a legitimate debate about the value of diversity in these schools. Some of us (like me) may value it more than others (like you). But if we agree that part of the goal should be to preserve the schools’ current racial and socio-economic diversity, then we know without a shadow of doubt that just using test scores will not do that. Look at NYC’s experience, where its top test-in schools (in which pure test scores are used for admission) are 97% Asian and white. As I have noted, even with the imperfect tier system, Northside is over 27% Asian and only 5% black. If we went to a pure test-in system, that imbalance would dramatically increase.

    So that’s the debate, isn’t it? I have no answers. But I get frustrated with people who simply wail that the system is corrupt, rigged, unfair, f@cked over their kid, or is designed by “liberals,” fools, or worse. That ain’t helpful dialogue, folks.

  • 779. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    The notion of submitting a tax return instead of an address has merit but…disclaimer, I’m no accountant…the manipulations possible with regard to amount and timing of AGI are staggering compared to what is probably isolated tier misrepresentation.

    Plus, not sure this would alleviate the essential gripe echoed over and over above – that admission of lower income / lower scoring students over higher scoring students is inherently unfair.

  • 780. junior  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Sorry, but neither race, creed, nor color are one of the six factors in the tier system.

  • 781. junior  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    OK, make it three years of tax returns to qualify for a lower tier.

  • 782. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    774 – no, 865 means he got into Lane based on being in the top 30% rank group (tier didn’t matter). Good job!

  • 783. James  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    @ 774 —

    Your son was admitted under the 30% admitted to Lane by pure rank. His 865 score was above the minimum score for rank admission, which was 861. Unfortunately, though, he did not score high enough to make admission to Jones, either by rank (minimum of 885) or by tier (Tier 4 minimum of 875).

  • 784. pantherparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm


    It means that your son got in on rank was from 861-900. (Top 30%)

    The fact that Tier 4 was 839-861 is of no consequence.

  • 785. Angie  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    @774. mama2boys: Jones Tier 4 scores are 875-885, so that’s why he did not make it.

  • 786. psmom  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    @774 your son got into Lane in the Rank group not Tier 4. The minimum for Jones tier 4 was 875.

  • 787. Chris  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm


    “then there would be no racial or socio-economic diversity in these schools”

    You really think that there would be no socio-economic diversity?

    And, no one should forget, wrt NSCP, the location, relative to the vast majority of the black population, together with the history of being a low-black-pop school, conspire to virtually guarantee that it will continue so. If you live *anywhere* on the west or south sides, would you *really* encourage your kids to rank NSCP over Payton, or Young? Think about it in reverse–if you lived in (say) Mayfair, would you encourage your kid to go to a school in Hyde Park, that was just marginally better than Payton or Young? Adding probably 1.5 hours to daily roundtrip? I sure as stuff wouldn’t.

  • 788. pantherparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    @777 James

    I actually agree with you and the goal of diversity. I was simply pointing out that another legitimate alternative has been raised.

  • 789. Chris  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    “the manipulations possible with regard to amount and timing of AGI are staggering compared to what is probably isolated tier misrepresentation.”

    When I brought that up previously (in another thread) people scoffed.

  • 790. James  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    @ 786 Chris —

    “You really think that there would be no socio-economic diversity?”

    Yes. And that’s based on evidence out of NYC. Let me ask it this way: why do you think the diversity would be preserved if we went to NYC’s system, and on what evidence do you base that claim?

  • 791. Chris  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    ” And that’s based on evidence out of NYC.”

    Cite, please, as I haven’t seen it.

    And, to be clear, I’m not saying a *reduction* in S-E diversity, but you asserted *NO* diversity, which I take to mean that you believe that virtually every kid would come from (at least) an above-median HHI family.

  • 792. pantherparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Four of the selective enrollment high schools have less than 2% white kids. (@354) Lindblom, Westinghouse, King, and Brooks. Why don’t Tier 4 parents of white children start sending their sub-839 kids there?

    And don’t say because they are lesser SEHS. Start sending Tier 4 kids there and that divide shifts dramatically and immediately.

  • 793. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Anyway, those who would have income reported to CPS: why stop short there? The other “compensatory factors” could just as well be submitted directory rather than by the proxy of tier:

    (2) percentage of single-parent homes = subtract x points for having two parents. Add x’ points back in if they are the same gender.

    (3) percentage of homes where English is not the first language = subtract y points for parents having a certain ACT/SAT Verbal score, present evidence of subscriptions to non-English (but nonpornographic) periodicals.

    (4) subtract z points if you own your home (add z’ points back in if you’re so under water that you’re really renting it from the bank)

    (5) level of adult education attainment. Subtract q points depending on the high school or college your parents attended and the year of graduation.

  • 794. chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    The only way to make it fair is to make it all about students grades, interview and essay onsite day of interview. That way they know child actually wrote it. Works in NYC!

  • 795. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    791 – the long commute through sketchy neighborhoods is usually cited — although presumably, the Tier 1s are making just that commute north to steal the Tier 4 seats.

  • 796. James  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    @ 790 —

    Last Sunday, there was an article in the NYT about Stuyvesant High School, one of NYC’s premier test-in public schools. It is 74% Asian and 23% white. There are 49 black kids in the school, a school with a total population of nearly 2,300. Someone cited the article in an earlier thread if you want to see it. As for their other schools, they are also imbalanced, though I don’t remember the exact extent anymore. I have seen (I think here, but I might be wrong) published statistics to that effect. Again, if truly interested in seeing that this is the case, that should be easily discovered.

    And I guess I should have said “no meaningful diversity” rather than “no diversity.” To the extent anyone actually thought I meant literally no diversity whatsoever at all, I apologize. I don’t think 49 black kids in a sea of 2,300 faces is meaningful diversity. Do you?

  • 797. James  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    @793 Chicago Mom —

    “Works in NYC!”

    Define “works.”

  • 798. pantherparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Wait. Sketchy neighborhoods? Do you mean that some of these Tier 1 and Tier 2 neighborhoods are bad? And that going to school there is potentially dangerous? And that maybe some of the parents there want to give their kids a better life and maybe someday move out of that neighborhood? And that the government thinks that in the long run it will benefit our entire society?

    Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Didn’t think so.

  • 799. chicago mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    All I know is all of us on this site care about our kids education and safety and well being. Lets all make a point to help our neighborhood schools be a safe place that will allow our kids to get a good education. I bet you will see how quickly the SE application rate will go down. Nothing is ever 100 % fair, we all know that. But this system SUCKS!!!!!

  • 800. Elizabeth  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    I got accepted into Whitney Young, which was my first choice, with a score of 844, Tier 1.
    I live in Pilsen and I’m Hispanic. I’m satisfied with my score. *happy dance*

  • 801. Last year at this time I was an obsessed 8th grade parent...  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Nice job, Elizabeth!!

    A good note to end on….with the number of comments hitting 800 if I click send fast enough, I am going cold turkey from this thread!

  • 802. BuenaParkMom  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I’m a little surprised that some people here seem to equate the final score a student receives for admissions to “more intelligent” and therefore “more deserving”. It’s a flawed tool. Purely going by only a test score screws bright kids with little access to a quality elementary education. Deciding to tinker with other factors in order to compensate for this factor results in equally bright kids who had better opportunities from access to the “best” schools. Who looses? 1. Bright kids from all neighborhoods and walks of life. 2. All of us who are so concerned about our individual child’s future that we become willing to dehumanize the people who aren’t just like us.

  • 803. BuenaParkMom  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    That should be loses 🙂 Not looses 🙂 It’s been a long week……..

  • 804. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    @764 James
    WE should give it a rest? Sorry, dude, but when the Consent Decree was thrown out in September of 2009, CPS had to switch into high gear & scramble. They DID, in fact, tell all of us in the applicant pool that this wonderful new rank/tier system was going to be 50/50. (I DO know this because my son was an applicant that season & I had been familiarizing myself with the SE “system” since October of 2007.)

    After some boisterous folks complained to the media in December & AFTER the kids had all taken their tests – but BEFORE the acceptance letters were sent out – lo and behold, they abruptly announced that they’d “re-evaluated” & the formula would suddenly, & without further discussion be changed to 40/60.

    Translation: CPS crunched the numbers, saw that their beloved “racial pie chart” had not been recreated with the 50/50…so they forced 40/60 down our throats as they mailed the letters in February of 2010.

    Gee, guess what happened then? They still weren’t satisfied…so they suddenly invoked NCLB statutes (which they had previously insisted did NOT apply to any SE schools) & offered 100 newly created seats (CPS has magic creative powers…you know?) to the highest performing students at the lowest performing elementary schools.

    Admirable offer, right? WRONG. If they had truly wanted to be so generous, they would have added 25 chairs at EVERY SEHS…but, in reality, CPS only added 25 seats to each of the “top 4”. This, obviously, was another attempt to “re-color” the student bodies there. And, big dollars followed those groups for the first year (not sure what happened to them this year, now that they’re all sophomores) in an attempt to try to get them all up to par & try to keep them there, in schools that they really were not qualified for.

    So, to refresh everybody’s memory:
    Fall 2009 = 50/50 announced after Consent Decree is vacated.
    Feb 2010= abruptly changed to 40/60 before letters are mailed
    Summer 2010 = Add 100 NEW seats @ “top 4”
    Fall 2010 = Change formula to 30/70

    “The powers that be” keep trying to get that good ole’ pie chart back & it just ISN’T LEGAL & it’s inherently UNFAIR to the deserving scholars who are being denied access to the schools of their choice, (via this INSANE tier system) in neighborhoods that are both safe & geographically convenient to them.

    So, James, please “put that in your pipe & smoke it”!!

  • 805. Gwen  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    First – most true liberals (and socialists) consider Rahm to be a Republican – so let’s not even go there.

    Here’s my suggestion: Why not have some SEs (those more centrally located) be open to all city kids, and have those others have geographic limits (like some of the SEES do), and then divide up their geographic areas into tiers to help ensure diversity w/in those school populations. Why did we apply only to the downtown and northside schools? Because I live in Edgewater, and to have my child commute on her own (both of us work) to the other schools for over an hour a day each way is not okay with me.

    Just my two cents (and I love Bernie Sanders – he’s my favorite senator – if that makes me a socialist – I’m okay with that).

  • 806. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    @791 Panther Parent

    What? Now you’re practicing your stand-up comedy routine for all of us?

    Do you REALLY expect someone who has busted their butt to be able to live in a safe neighborhood to send their 13-yr.-old off on the CTA to a school in the middle of a “war zone”? HA! Think again!

    We toured Lindblom in the Spring of 2008…It was impressive beyond measure!

    *GORGEOUS school!
    ($44 million renovation to a vintage 1917 building)

    *Beyond impressive mission, curriculum & administration!

    *Neat, polite, studious students in halls, classrooms & library!

    What’s the problem, then, you ask?

    My child would have had to commute into a neighborhood that, on that sunny spring day consisted of at least 30-60% boarded up residences, with 8 grown men across the street on the apartment building stoop drinking & carousing at 10:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning!

    This beautiful building sat like a miniature “White House” (by that I mean 1616 Pennsylvania Ave.) in that dreary, depressing, UNSAFE neighborhood, without even a school parking lot provided! Sorry, but my JOB is to SAFEGUARD my children…not send them into one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods via the CTA or via personal automobile & then have to park on one of those scary side streets!

    So, Panther Parent, the aforementioned explains exactly why we also observed the following at Lindblom that day:

    *Very lopsided racial demographics in the numerous classrooms we toured… approximately 18 out of 20 students were black (or, “AA” per the vernacular on this blog) & the other 2 children out of 20 were either Hispanic or Caucasian; I did not see a single Asian face there that day.

    From what the current stats say, that’s changed just a wee bit in the intervening 4 years. One thing has not changed, however…
    that neighborhood is UNSAFE!

    The End.

  • 807. TruthB.Told  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Given the fact that many of us have high achieving children, it goes without saying that they will likely fare well in whatever school or environment they find themselves in (at least in theory). Is the denial of the 1st or 2nd choice, and let’s say, gaining entry into the 3rd or even 4th choice really gonna affect where they attend college or how their professional career turns out? Better yet will it define him or her as a person? If a student is a high acheiver, is motivated, and hopefully, has other redeeming qualities, they will do well in whatever school they attend, and likely get accepted to a good college and go on to lead relatively successful lives.

    I, unlike my kids, didn’t have many of the luxuries that my kids and some kids have today – private schooling, tutors, prep courses, etc. Private school??? Forget about it. In fact, aside from the financial barrier, we didn’t have very many choices as far as SEHS. No, you walked to whatever neighborhood school was in proximity to your home or you got on a bus and traveled to another school. Although, I initially began my high school career in a so-called “Magnet” school in Detroit, due to one knuckleheaded, immature act, I had to attend another school in Detroit. However, I managed to take honors courses and graduated at the top of my class and also earned a full academic scholarship to U of M in Ann Arbor, MI. I managed to get through high school relatively unscathed (quite a feat, considering my surroundings), however, this was not easy. It took sheer detemination and mental fortitude, lots of support, and some might even say a bit of luck. I beat a lot of odds and I now practice law in Chicago. (Oh, and before anyone jumps to any conclusions about Tier, income or any of that other stuff, we struggle just as much as any family in middle America).

    I never made excuses for myself, despite significant challenges, and I never blamed others for any disappointments that I may have had or roadblocks I may have encountered as I journeyed through high school, college or law school. I never blamed any individual, regardless of their race, for any pitfalls, setbacks or shortcomings that I may have dealt with during my journey. Even today, as a professional there are challenges. I have seen people get certain positions or move up the partnership ladder in firms I worked at or get raises at jobs, not based on merit, but based simply on the fact that they are white, or a crony of someone or politically connected. I never dwell on that, whine about it, and or hold any animus toward that person. I use it as motivation and work that much harder to succeed. I know that life is sometimes not fair. I try to instill this attitude in my kids. I won’t accept excuses from them nor will I allow them to blame others for anything, and I certainly won’t say to them (or accept from them) that if they didn’t achieve something that it was because someone of another race deprived them of it. We should be careful with our words and attitudes around our kids.

    My point is, as parents we are not sending a good message if we try to console ourselves or our bright children with, “well, you didn’t get into _______ (SEHS) because “THEY” got in because “THEY” are ______” (insert whatever race or ethnicity you prefer). Look, I know this Tier system is ostensibly unfair and perhaps flawed, but right now, it is what it is, and that’s the system that’s in place. Blame CPS, not a kid, not a parent of a kid. There are a lot of things that are not fair, but that’s life. You have to deal with it.

    I know many (some) of us on here are good hearted people (just frustrated right now). What I hope doesn’t happen is that this creates a further divide and animosity among our children and their friends/classmates, who are still quite impressionable. Four years from now, I’m sure there will be some parents lamenting the fact that his or her child didn’t get into __________ college because “THEY” took their child’s spot. Either accept the rules as they are and continue to play the game and try to win, or work to change the rules – and also try to win. I play by rules that I don’t always like or agree with, on a daily basis in my profession and sometimes I know the playing field is not always level, however, I don’t blame anyone, I try to win at the rules that have been established on the playing field that I’m on, and to the extent that I can, try to do my part to change rules that I deem are unfair.

    If you don’t like the rules, get off the field.

  • 808. Concerned Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Ok people let’s admit what this “tier” system really is. Look at the map I am sure you can figure it out. It is the Chicago’s way around getting sued for descrimination. The system should be done strictly on grades and testing to find the “select” student. Contact you alderman and do not let up on them. Keep calling the media. The West and South Siders know how to manipulate the system. They call Jesse Jackson to make noise for them. You have to fight fire with fire. As I said before “the squeaky wheel gets the oil.”

  • 809. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    @ TruthB. Told
    A lot of what you just said makes sense (although it seems this is a repeated entry from earlier this week) & I applaud many of your sentiments, but I completely disagree with your final statement!

    CPS & the City of Chicago should be honor-bound to create fair rules. They have failed miserably!

    We shouldn’t get off the field! The playing field should be leveled. Unfortunately, I see no hope for that ever happening with this convoluted tier system…it’s just too full of big holes that our children are now falling through!

  • 810. timeline  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    So, to refresh everybody’s memory:
    Fall 2009 = 50/50 announced after Consent Decree is vacated.
    Feb 2010= abruptly changed to 40/60 before letters are mailed
    Summer 2010 = Add 100 NEW seats @ “top 4″
    Fall 2010 = Change formula to 30/70

    December 2011 – tiers changed for 6th criteria after many had applications in but just before deadline
    February 2, 2012 – tiers change again for census after application deadline and after all SE test results are in

  • 811. mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    @733, my daughter was devastated. Lots of tears.

    Lots of hugs, back rubs, her favorite Mexican food, chocolate, nail polish, more hugs.

    She was denied NS and WP and got into Lane with a 594. Many of her classmates got into NS, some with the same score as they were in a lower tier.

    I’ve explained to her that she will be starting at Lane at the top of her class and could very well stay there. This would be much more difficult at NS with so many perfect scoring kids. I think she will miss her friends more than anything and fears she will be swallowed up in such a huge school.

    It’s not fair where you live. We rent and live on widows social security so we are by no means wealthy. We moved to this neighborhood for the RGC school.

    Since she was accepted in a RGC, we could have lived anywhere in the city and she would have been bused to the school as many of her classmates in lower tiers were but we thought it better to live close by. It’s hard but I am hoping she will eventually embrace and be very happy about her new school.

  • 812. Just Sayin'  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Dear CPS Selective Enrollment Junkies:

    If you REALLY want to get depressed, try some bedtime reading tonight!

    Transcripts & Blue Ribbon Commission reports on the community forums that were held during the summers of

    2010 @ King & Whitney



    2011 @ King, Lane & Westinghouse




    Please, everyone, just make sure you have the suicide prevention hotline number clearly posted near your bedside telephone! You may need it after slogging through all of this mind boggling input from your fellow CPS community members.


  • 813. hmmmm  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    810 actually pokes a brand new hole in the system….MOST RGC kids live in lower tiers but are bussed to their schools, meaning, they are afforded a good efucation, regardless of thier tier. So the excuse that they did not have access to as good of an education becasue of thier tier is not actually a good one.

  • 814. TruthB.Told  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    @808 Furious CPS Parent:

    Yes, I purposely repeated my post. Cut and pasted from my earlier post, although I tweaked it a bit. Sorry, but I just didn’t have anything more earth shattering to say and thought it was worth repeating, considering that I’m seeing the same comments from some of the same parents about the “travesty of justice” that has occurred since their child didn’t get into the school of their choice.

    I still can’t understand why people are still saying the same things about: Tiers, how deserving their child is, or that it’s a travesty that “those people” in Tiers 1 and 2 took their kid’s spot, “liberalism”, etc. The rules are what they are and they are not likely to change by the time the 2012-2013 school year begins. Barring some drastic change or legal intervention (highly unlikely), whatever results a child received from CPS regarding their child’s SEHS placement, those are the results they have to live with now. It may not be fair but it is what it is.

    As I said, I thought my earlier post was worth repeating, because it illustrates that if a kid from an inner city high school can overcome odds and go on to have a relatively successful career, then the kids of parents on this blog (who sound like absolutely stellar students) will be just fine, even if they didn’t get an offer from Northside Prep, WP, WY or Jones, etc.

    Some people may have legitimate arguments. However, some of this stuff on this blog sounds like its coming from people with a sense of entitlement, some of it is probably latent racism, some of it is about simply being able to brag about a particular school based on a perceived reputation of the school, and some of it is just frustration and not very productive.

    As far as a level playing field, well the playing field hasn’t been level for a lot of people for decades. Moreover, beyond high school, at some point these students will learn that the playing field is not level in many aspects of life.

  • 815. tier  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Aside from the commute, based on these comments here, if I was a Tier 1 or 2 kid, I probably would not want to travel to a northside SE school. These parents are really scary and this is how marginalization breeding violence works.

  • 816. Chicago Gawker  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    James,family income and education level of parents are the factors most often correlated with the educational success of a child. If the intent is to give the educationally challenged a leg up, and have diversity in schools, considering income is the way to do it. Minorities are dis- proportionally low income. Admit a certain no. of low income students, and you will get racial diversity, especially in this city.

    This single (not divorced, single) Caucasian parent, who rents BUT makes above the minimum tier 4 income and has a graduate degree does not have an educationally at risk child. Those other factors are cancelled out by my income and education. Make enough money and it doesn’t matter where you live, whether you have 2 parents, or have English as a 2nd language. The kind of home life needed for educational success can be provided.

    CPS already deals with organizing and compiling 1000s of CPS and non CPS student applicant grades and test scores, why would adding a signed tax return be the one thing that overwhelms the clerks who juggle all that?

    This would eliminate alot of the legitimate complaint about the SE process, but would not solve where the 89%tile kids are supposed to go. We have to go en masse to the neighborhood HSs and enroll our kids to get any change there.

  • 817. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    @ 813 TruthB. Told

    “As far as a level playing field, well the playing field hasn’t been level for a lot of people for decades.”

    The problem with that reasoning is that the courts have mandated that we can’t select based on race (I believe the term is “reverse discrimination”)…and, everybody just needs to admit that this whole Rank/Tier model, in all of its many configurations since Sept. of 2009, is just that old race pie chart that’s been dressed up in new rags & has been sent in on the coattails of “Census” data!

    And, just so you all know, I called myself “Furious CPS Parent” because I’m outraged about the inequity of this system even though, this year, I have no “skin in the game”. My 2 older kids are already enrolled in the SEHS of their choice!

  • 818. James  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    @803 Furious (or should I say FURIOUS?)

    A lot of baseless assumptions and conspiracy theories. And lots of words in ALL CAPS. But other than your reckless allegations and insults, do you have a shred of proof for anything you are alleging?

    I didn’t think so.

    I’m curious about one thing. What “pie chart” are you talking about?

  • 819. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    @ 818 James

    Sorry to burst your bubble, James but I’m not going waste my breath anymore on “proving” anything to you! I’ve tired of your arrogance!

    As to the “pie chart” it DID exist & it was fully in place at the time that my son applied to the AC @ WY in 2007. Seek all the corroboration you want…I’m done here!

    Pleasant dreams!

  • 820. TruthB.Told  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm


    I guess when I speak of a level playing field, I don’t just limit it to race, although traditionally, when this phrase has been used, that is what people typically mean. However, there are lots of ways the playing field (of life) is not level for many people/groups (racial/ethnic, women, gays, low income, etc.) My comment had less to do about race and more to do with certain things in life being unfair in general, and sometimes things will not go our way. Sometimes you have to accept that life will be unfair at times and move forward, or try to affect change, to the extent you can.

    I don’t mean to sound dismissive of people’s concerns, however, my point is when rules are set, we have a choice to play by them or work to change them. Right now, blaming Tier 1 and Tier 2 people “ain’t” gonna change a thing. The CPS created the Tier system. I can’t blame Tier 1 or Tier 2 kids/parents for benefitting from a flawed system not created by them.

    For the record, you don’t sound furious at all. You sound quite level headed and simply concerned, and rightfully so. This Tier system is flawed. I think there is merit on both sides of this Tier debate. The intention of the Tier system, at least as I think I understand it, was ostensibly to create a diverse school environment and to provide an opportunity for kids who might not otherwise have an opportunity at those schools. However, sometimes the most noble intentions have unintended consequences, such as what we are currently reading about on this blog. The Tier system seems to have had a disparate affect on many kids, especially those that scored really high. I suppose I can understand the frustrations of a parent of a child with the same or better score than another kid, who was not accepted at the school of his/her choice.

    Some people weren’t gonna get it based on the sheer lack of available seats.

    This whole system needs an overhaul. What can we do? : (

  • 821. Concerned Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I can’t wait until the city burns in May at the G8.

  • 822. Concerned Dad  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Ok people let’s admit what this “tier” system really is. Look at the map I am sure you can figure it out. It is the Chicago’s way around getting sued for descrimination. The system should be done strictly on grades and testing to find the “select” student. Contact you alderman and do not let up on them. Keep calling the media. The West and South Siders know how to manipulate the system. They call Jesse Jackson to make noise for them. You have to fight fire with fire. As I said before “the squeaky wheel gets the oil.”

  • 823. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I had vowed to “detox” myself from all of this & go to bed, but I’d like to thank you, TruthB. Told for adding an important voice of reason to this blog!

    Since you asked…The very FIRST thing to do, in my humble opinion, is correct this glaring error in the tabulation of points!

    If a rose is a rose is a rose, then, an A should be an A, should be an A.

    It’s easy! CPS can do it in a flash! They already tabulate the grades numerically. Just use the lowest permissible CPS elementary school grading scale & everyone’s 7th grade final “grades” will be standardized.

    No more, 93=A, no over here 92=A, but over her 90=A! That’s ludicrous & I just can’t fathom that anyone would disagree with me on that particular point!

    The individual elementary schools can keep their grading scales…but CPS OAE just needs to crunch the #’s according to the letter grades on the scale that sets the bar the lowest.

  • 824. Unhappy Parent  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    @823 you are correct, CPS needs to use a district-wide grading scale! If they are going to award points based on final grades then shouldn’t every elementary school in the district use the same grading scale?

  • 825. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    @824 Unhappy Parent
    Thank you! In this uber-competitive arena, it’s just not right that some kids lose TWENTY-FIVE POINTS because of this!

    Speaking only to Tier 4 numbers, it literally can (& DOES, to my nephew) mean the difference between getting “in” & being left “out” in the cold!

  • 826. junior  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    @806 FURIOUS PARENT said:

    “What’s the problem, then, you ask?

    My child would have had to commute into a neighborhood that, on that sunny spring day consisted of at least 30-60% boarded up residences, with 8 grown men across the street on the apartment building stoop drinking & carousing at 10:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning! ”

    So, let me get this straight — you don’t want your kid riding a bus through a neighborhood like that but your perfectly OK with stomping on the kids that live in that neighborhood 24/7. OK. Got it. Now we know exactly what we’re dealing with.

    I wish your children the best of luck. Maybe they really are disadvantaged.

  • 827. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    @ Junior
    You seem to have neglected to focus on the most important point: My JOB is to SAFEGUARD my child!
    I wish no ill will towards ANY child, or parent for that matter!
    I was saddened to the core by neighborhood that surrounded that school, that oasis of stellar education!
    And, I am in NO way “stomping” on anyone…I wish that ALL kids could live in a safe neighborhood but they don’t!

  • 828. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    @ Junior
    An additional point that perhaps you’re unaware of: According to the information provided to us in Spring 2008, kids who attend Academic Centers (grades 7-8) are guaranteed yellow school bus transportation, from several beginning points to the door of the AC/SEHS. As soon as you’re in grades 9-12 at the same school, that yellow bus is no longer available to you…it’s CTA all the way!

    This information could be outdated. I’m not sure. But it was definitely a major factor at the time.

  • 829. TruthB.Told  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    @Furious CPS Parent:

    Thought you’d taken the gloves off by now and called it a night. : )

    I couldn’t agree with you more regarding the grading system! My 8th grade son is currently at a Catholic school where the grading system is as follows:

    A+ = 99-100
    A = 95-98
    A- = 93-94
    B+ = 91-92
    B = 87-90

    Is this grading system pretty standard in CPS?

    He got two a B+ and a B and the rest A’s or A+’s all last year. He also had some pretty rigorous courses and heavy workload. Needless to say this affected his score/points. However, as I said in my earlier (duplicative) posts, I didn’t complain because there is nothing we can do now. Not fair, but that’s what we’re dealing with.

  • 830. Very sad Mom  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    To #822 : I agree with you 100%. This is descrimination, big time ! My child kept asking me , how this is possible ,that besides 2 classmates having a higher score than me , the rest of them had much lower scores , no straight As. Most of them take regular math , not Algebra 1. One of my classmades was suspended from school a week ago because of bulling in school, and was still accepted. Not just that, but my child is learning a foreign language for 9 years and won’t be able to continue being accepted by a school that wasn’t our choice. Also, we live walking distance to one of the best schools. We are from Tier 4 and we pay the highest taxes to support the school. Now we are being punished?! Parents from Tier 4, let’s fight for our kids!

  • 831. Christian Borda  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    @ HS Mom The selective enrollment high schools were Lane Tech and Westinghouse I believe. Though they aren’t the best, they are still selective enrollment which is a big accomplishment. The neighborhood school is Senn High School. I have heard terrible things about this high school. Though I got accepted to Lane Tech, I will most likely be headed to a boarding school. I received the Daniel Murphy Scholarship. So, I’m kinda in a pickle of which to pick

  • 832. Parkerparent  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Here’s a solution: Forget standardized test scores (most CPS kids have been trained how to take these tests and test-prep classes skew the results even more). Standardize the grading scales across schools. Require any kid who wants to attend a SEHS to have at least two B’s and two A’s in both semesters of 7th grade because that shows their commitment to learning rather than their ability to take tests well. Place all the SEHS in safe neighborhoods accessible to decent public transportation. Hold a lottery. No principal discretion. I bet the winners would be a diverse group, socioeconomically and racially.

  • 833. junior  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    @827 FURIOUS CPS PARENT said”

    “And, I am in NO way “stomping” on anyone…I wish that ALL kids could live in a safe neighborhood but they don’t!”
    Dismantling the tier system that allows many of these kids access to top educational options would very much be stomping on these kids.

    It’s very nice of you that you wish them a safe neighborhood. I’m sure they are uplifted by your expression of concern.

  • 834. TruthB.Told  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    @830 and 822: Who is the “they” that you are referring to that calls Jesse Jackson to make noise for “them”?

  • 835. xxx  |  March 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Is the real objective of the Tier System to help the under privileged?
    There is reason to suspect Richard Kahlenberg, creator of the Tier system for CPS put % of single parent households in the Tier mix because he had completed research that showed that this would increase the number of African American students (see link below – page 8). Other socio-economic diversity formulas as RK noted in his work – only included income. This was specifically added to maximize the African American population that would be included in the “less advantaged” Tier that would be prioritized for admissions purpose.
    RK’s original Tier recommendation was for a 50/50 blend of Tier/Rank seats. This was changed by CPS without any explanation to a 60/40 blend in its 1st year of implementation. In its 2nd year – last year – this was changed to 70/30 specifically to increase the number of African American students admitted to the more competitive schools. In addition CPS added a 6th factor to its socio-economic diversity scheme – “school quality” since it had been shown – as referenced in the Blue Ribbon Panel report – to increase the % of African American students that would be admitted to more competitive schools.
    Socio-economic diversity schemes aimed at increasing the representation of under-privileged students – without specifically trying for racial quotas are legal and may be a good idea to give disadvantaged students a leg up in the world. However, it seems apparent that RK’s original formula that included % of single parent households – Tier 1 average of 63% — Tier 4 average of 23% and CPS’ subsequent “adjustments” may have put this whole scheme into questionable legal territory – and damaged the whole concept of socio-economic diversity. The rapid adoption of socio-economic diversity at the instant race based admissions were thrown out by the federal court system makes CPS’ introduction of this scheme rather interesting as well.
    The theory behind RK’s theory is that underprivileged students learning will benefit while middle class students’ learning will not be harmed if underprivileged students are blended into a middle class environment – but as long as their quantity in the blend is kept less than 50%. This whole idea is problematic at the outset in its application to CPS – there are just so many low income students in Chicago – so it’s really not clear what the right mixture really is. Getting the mixture right in a predominantly low income environment then becomes a mixture of voodoo as formulas are abruptly changed – and it loses credibility and possibly legality as the formula is apparently tweaked to promote certain racial groups.
    Bottom line – racial quotas are not legal. This system smells like a racial quota system to me. Perhaps, one day someone will sue and students will be all selected by academic criteria. Socio-economic diversity – as well intentioned from a theoretical perspective – but applied in the Chicago concept does not really seem intentioned to help the underprivileged but to promote a certain racial mix.

  • 836. Bookworm  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Christian – Is the boarding school a top tier one? Probably it’s very important that you consider this especially if it is one of of the best boarding schools which accept top tier applicants from the city to bring your experience into the environment at the school.
    Visit and evaluate carefully what it might mean to go. If it is one of the best boarding schools your experience would be extremely different then at an urban high school and in the case of an Exeter or Andover level education it would be an opportunity unmatched by anything in Chicago.

  • 837. Furious CPS Parent  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:24 am

    @835 xxx

    Now, where did you cut & paste that document from?

    Some of it looks like the language in the CPS OAE summary of the BRC findings.

    In very formal language, it speaks to all of the explanations of events that several of us have provided here.

    And, on a lighter note…does your name of “xxx” imply that you’re blowing kisses at all of us?

  • 838. Furious CPS Parent  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:42 am

    @ Junior
    Are you a parent? If so, answer this question:
    Would you intentionally put your child in harm’s way if you did not have to?

    Well, then don’t condescend to me when I clearly stated earlier that my JOB is to SAFEGUARD my child. Sorry, I make no apologies for that.

    If you answered “yes”, then I pray DCFS will catch up with you one of these days.

    Get off your high horse, Junior! My rejection of the Tier System (because it’s a blatant attempt to recreate racial quotas that were outlawed when the Consent Decree was vacated in Sept. of 2009) does NOT equal me “stomping” on ANY child!

    By the way, please get that really heavy chip off your shoulder…just because we disagree doesn’t give you the right to imply anything nefarious about my character or assume that I lack compassion for any child in the city of Chicago!

  • 839. junior  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Well, put up or shut up — file your lawsuit, bro. I’d love to see it. Supreme Court has ruled that race can be a factor among other factors in admissions, and Chicago doesn’t even have race as one of its SE factors.

    I didn’t say smack about your job to safeguard your child. I’m challenging you to explain to me what is wrong with the system that recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of child who must live full time in the neighborhood that you don’t want your child even setting foot in. Do you think your child and that child are on a level playing field in terms of advantage/disadvantage?

  • 840. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Back after a night out, much needed after reading all the posts this week (still catching up on tonight’s.)

    I see we’re teetering on the edge of Jerry Springer-dom but not too far, unless I’ve overlooked some key posts.

    Tomorrow I’ll write up my interview with katie ellis of OAE which includes the rationale for the tier system as well as some other interesting information.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 841. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Junior, I do like your summary of the bad neighborhood situation: not acceptable for my kid, but should be an overcome-able for a low income kid. Nicely put (imho.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 842. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 3, 2012 at 8:25 am

    @ 839 Junior
    What, pray tell, makes you call me “bro”? I’m listed as a “parent”…now you’re assigning a gender to me?

    So, in that vein, let’s propose a NEW DISCUSSION FOR TODAY!

    Way back when, in the month of August, I believe, PRIOR the the Consent Decree being vacated (so approx. 2009, I think), there was a front page article on the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.
    It told the story of a young girl who had studied, studied, studied.

    She was NOT accepted into the SEHS of her dreams because her 885 (the scale was 1000 points back then) was not good enough in her piece of the racial pie chart that was used at the time. It also mentioned another girl who WAS accepted to the same school with a score of 865. Translation: 20 points higher (and an almost perfect score, to boot) but no admission for her! In effect, CPS told her, “Sorry, you lose, please go home now, young lady!”

    INTERESTING TO NOTE: The article specifically said that she was just up against too much competition for her race AND her gender.
    So, and I believe I’ve seen mention of this elsewhere recently, if CPS used to select for gender (believing that 50/50 was optimal?), then why don’t they anymore???

    Could it be that it’s IMPOSSIBLE, no matter how deftly you engineer the questions, to determine GENDER by asking about the conditions in your CENSUS TRACT???

    Since Junior brings up the topic of LAWSUITS (see post #839)…
    I’m betting that CPS decided that they’d rather avoid a BIG one on GENDER ISSUES…BUT, they figured they could camouflage the issue of RACE with Tier criteria…and, over the past approx. 30 months (since Sept. 2009) they’ve continued tinkering with their SEHS admissions formula in their (in my humble opinion ILLEGAL) attempt to get it “just right”.

  • 843. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 3, 2012 at 8:59 am

    @841 cpsobsessed
    As we have seen in posts (such as # 221), tiers do not always accurately indicate whether one’s income is high or low.

    I am not intending to pick on that particular gentleman, either! However, he volunteered the details that he resided in Tier 2 & his yearly household income for a family of 3 totaled $160,000. He later stated that it was “really not that much”, and, I’m sorry but that was pretty hard to swallow. I can totally understand how thrilled he was that his child, who had already faced a lot of familial hardship, was accepted into the school of his dreams. I know the feeling when your child gets that long-awaited letter. That does not negate the fact that his child is not what anyone would consider “low income”, so why does his child (who is clearly not “low income” with a yearly household per capita income of $53K) get to benefit from the admissions points cushion of Tier 2? Actually, I admire the guy because he’s done a tremendous job…he stepped up & raised a child who was in dire need of help. I have no problem with this generous father & his smart, deserving son! I have a BIG problem, however, with the income inequities of this convoluted Tier System.

  • 844. pantherparent  |  March 3, 2012 at 9:08 am

    @843 Furious
    As has been mentioned here numerous times, income is not the sole determinant of tier, although that point continues to somehow get lost.

    There are 6 factors that determine tier. By the way…none of them race.

    Now before you start overworking your caps-lock key, I agree that the tiers were set up to replace race based quotas, but I just want to make sure we all deal with the facts.

  • 845. pantherparent  |  March 3, 2012 at 9:19 am

    For informational purposes only. Posted without bias. Right from the CPS policy manual dated August 24, 2011:

    CPS utilizes data in the following six areas to calculate SES scores and designate an SES tier for each census tract: (1) median family income, (2) adult educational attainment, (3) the percentage of single-parent households, (4) the percentage of home ownership, (5) the percentage of the population that speaks a language other than English; and (6) a school performance variable.

    The first five SES factors are derived from data gleaned from the U.S. Census Bureau and other updated sources of reliable and relevant information.

    The sixth factor, the school performance variable, is calculated annually from ISAT scores for attendance area schools in each census tract.

  • 846. mil mom  |  March 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Interesting discussion. Just a couple of points that haven’t been raised.

    I feel that anyone arguing for pure rank Admission ignores the history of these schools. Each was born under the desegregation decree for the express purpose of creating excellent, desegregated schools. They were funded with this $. Yes, deseg is gone now. But CPS had better find a way to divvy up the seats that recognizes the history of these schools and includes a wide as swath of Chicago as possible otherwise how is it justifiable, morally, to keep these schools at all when many of the others are so bad and under resourced.

    Second, the tier system was not designed to be fair or unfair to any particular person and isn’t but does roughly accomplish keeping the history of these schools alive, and justify their continued funding and existence.

    Third, it is a false premise to directly equate a social disadvantage with race as such disadvantage would equally impact whatever kid it applies to of any race, and are very real. Fwiw, all of the SE factors except the language one are increasing among whites too, the white working class is struggling mightily.

    Remember, there are really very few spaces. If they did go to pure rank, NSCP would lose almost all diversity, but a kid w/ a B would still likely be shut out, so to get your heart set on one particular school, whatever the admission policy, seems insane.

    Regarding the grading scale, of course they need to fix that. Now. But for those who have advocated that the kids get points based on their numerical grade, I hope not as this would only ratchet up the ridiculous pressure on parents and kids, ie “work harder, your average in science is down to 96%!”. I do agree that the penalty for a B is too high. My proposal for handling grades would be to count grades for grades 5, 6, and 7. The kids would be under the gun for longer but each B would not count for as much and it would mitigate the factor of grade 7 being such a hard life year.

  • 847. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 3, 2012 at 9:40 am

    @ 844 panther parent
    I was responding specifically to the statement of cpsobsessed who told junior,
    “…I do like your summary of the bad neighborhood situation: not acceptable for my kid, but should be an overcome-able for a low income kid. Nicely put (imho.)” in entry #841.

    You can’t have it both ways…she summarized it as a “low income kid” issue & I was, again (gee, I avoided the caps key, just for you), pointing out that one very important problem in the equation is, in fact, income & that tiers as they’ve played out with the multiple factors involved do not accurately reflect income. Your complaint here should be with cpsobsessed for her choice of words in entry #841, not with me.

  • 848. FURIOUS CPS PARENT  |  March 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Have a great day, everyone! I’m off to enjoy my kids for the afternoon…
    Now, really, I hope when I check back in that someone takes up the issue of gender that I mentioned in post #842!
    Perhaps the CPS representative (spin doctor?) who met with cpsobsessed can help delineate things on this topic, too! I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  • 849. 8th grade mom  |  March 3, 2012 at 9:53 am

    @846 – mil mom –

    Brilliant idea. They should look beyond 7th grade. That would be wonderful.

  • 850. HSObsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:00 am

    @pantherparent, I laugh every time you post all 6 factors that determine SE tier, because I did the same thing a few times, and have given up! Everyone “knows” it’s based on more than income, but people focus on HH income alone anyway.

    RE: Lindblom @806 – Perhaps they didn’t at the time, but Lindblom now has an extensive bus shuttle system that picks HS kids up from the CTA el stops as well as up and down Ashland. So it seems like the principal (who posts on here sometimes) is doing everything he can to continue to make his school as diverse and safe as possible.

    But he can’t change the physical location of the school (which is in a Tier 2 tract, not even Tier 1). All those living in Tier 4 neighborhoods who feel that we should abolish tiers as part of the admissions process should think hard about whether that indeed is “fair” to the kids who live in the lower tiers. Sure, there are some kids whose parents’ HHI or other factors aren’t typical of the tier, but they are the exception. And those kids still step into a “sketchy” Tier 1 environment every day that they walk outside their front door, which I don’t think we should underestimate.

    I think of it like this: If I had to choose between living in a Tier 1 neighborhood (with average SE factors in place for that tier) for my child’s K-8 years and having her then be guaranteed to be admitted to Payton for high school, or living in a Tier 4 neighborhood (with average SE factors in place for that tier) for K-8 and then having complete uncertainty for high schools but all the options currently available, which would I choose? I’d still go with Tier 4.

  • 851. James  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

    @848 Furious —

    You, and your STUCK all-caps button, WILL be sorely MISSED!!

    Enjoy your day with your kids. 🙂

  • 852. SX  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:07 am


  • 853. thehorror,thehorror  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:10 am

    @850: A less charitable way to sum it up: “Maybe your Tier 1 kid got into a better school than mine did, but in the end, you’ll always be Tier 1 and we’ll always be Tier 4.”

  • 854. Just Sayin'  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:23 am

    More reading material! Enjoy!

    cut & pasted from:
    Catalyst Chicago
    Independent Reporting on Urban Education since 1990.

    CPS declines to release data on selective enrollment, sets aside more seats for minority students

    By: Sarah Karp / March 03, 2010
    Tags: government and policy
    CEO Ron Huberman said Wednesday that he will not publicly release
    racial and socio-economic data on the students who received offers to
    attend the coveted selective enrollment high schools.

    But, after his own review of the information, he is adding 25 seats to
    each of the freshman classes of Whitney Young, Jones, Walter Payton and
    Northside Prep and reserving them for students from the city’s worst
    elementary schools, all of which serve only black, Latino and poor
    students. These four high schools are the best ones in the district.

    CEO Ron Huberman said Wednesday that he will not publicly release racial and socio-economic data on the students who received offers to attend the coveted selective enrollment high schools.

    But, after his own review of the information, he is adding 25 seats to each of the freshman classes of Whitney Young, Jones, Walter Payton and Northside Prep and reserving them for students from the city’s worst elementary schools, all of which serve only black, Latino and poor students. These four high schools are the best ones in the district.

    Huberman would not concede that the admissions process put in place this fall, which uses neighborhood socio-economics rather than race as a criterion, threw off the racial balance of the city’s elite selective high schools. But adding more seats so late in the game implies that this, indeed, is the case.

    CPS, with the help of a consultant, devised the new admissions policy after a federal judge lifted the desegregation consent decree in September. The American Civil Liberties Union and grassroots activists disagreed with the district’s position, but officials said that they would face lawsuits if they used race as a factor for admissions. A U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2007 (involving the Seattle school district) severely restricted the use of race in school admissions.

    At Wednesday’s press briefing, Huberman said very few students from the 87 worst elementary schools were admitted to the selective enrollment high schools, even though a cohort of their students had high standardized test scores that would make them competitive in these top-tier schools.

    “This is an issue of fairness,” he said. The district has sent out letters to 336 students giving them a chance to apply for one of the 100 new seats opened in the four selective enrollment high schools.

    About 80 percent of these 336 students had sent in an initial application for these schools, but for a myriad of reasons they were not offered a spot. Some had been denied. Others were offered seats in one of five other selective enrollment schools, which are not as competitive or diverse as Jones, Whitney Young, Walter Payton and Northside Prep. Some failed to show up to take the admissions test, and others did not complete their application.

    To win one of the 100 additional spots, the students will be interviewed by the principal of the prospective school, and their grades and standardized test scores will be considered. But these students will not have to take the separate admissions test for selective schools.

    The principals of the four selective enrollment high schools have agreed to take in these extra students and have been promised $250,000 each for tutoring, mentoring and other supports for the students.

    Huberman is opening up these additional seats under a provision in No Child Left Behind that requires the district to let students from low-performing schools transfer to higher- performing schools.

    In reality, such transfers are limited because CPS has so many schools that are poorly-performing and so few that meet federal standards. Last year, according to district data, 26,381 students were eligible to transfer, but only 1,393 students applied for a transfer and a mere 483 were offered the opportunity.

    Magnet elementary schools have enrolled some NCLB transfers over the past decade, but such transfers will be a first for the coveted selective enrollment elementary and high schools.

    Huberman’s move is a one-time deal. But in the future, NCLB transfers will be incorporated into the entire magnet and selective enrollment admissions process managed by the Office of Academic Enhancement, said Patrick Rocks, general counsel for CPS. He did not give details on how the office will accomplish this, but the move could include reserving some seats in the most competitive schools for top-scoring students from low-performing schools.

    Because the worst schools have virtually no white or Asian students, reserving seats would be a back-door way of maintaining some racial diversity in elite schools, which have become less diverse in recent years.

    When his new admissions policy was approved in December, facing a storm of skepticism from the community, Huberman promised he would look at who was admitted, do a gut-check and make adjustments, if needed. He also promised it would be an open and transparent process.

    Wednesday’s announcement is an adjustment.

    Now, we are waiting for the transparency.

  • 855. papa  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:39 am

    The se schools are mainly a way to have raciallly integrated schhols that are good in a seriously segregated and low income city (for public school population).. that is the goal. Not to reward all high-achieving, academically, students.

  • 856. pantherparent  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @841 cpsobsessed
    Consider yourself scolded for using the phrase “low income kid”. Based on the time of your posting I’m guessing it was shorthand for “kid that falls into the criteria for all 6 SES tier tract methodologies as determined by CPS”.

    @846 mil mom
    Thank you for raising the level of discourse. I disagree though with the expanding of grades to 5, 6, and 7. It’s pressure enough on the kids to make sure that as 7th graders they have all A’s. I have no desire to put that on a 5th grader. “If you don’t get an A in long division, you won’t get into Harvard!” I vote to abolish grades as a factor all together. Too varied. Too subjective.

    @850 HSObsessed
    Repetition is the key to learning, right?

  • 857. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Scolding accepted!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 858. RationalRationing  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Eager to see CPSObsessed’s interview notes with Katie Ellis.

    I’m curious about a number of things, maybe the (s)teeming masses can edify:

    (1) What, in real terms, IS the OAE — besides the bureaucracy formerly known as Office of Academic Enhancement … now Access and Enrollment? A pretty depressing name change, but maybe an honest one. The real question is – who are these people? How can they be thrown out of “office”? Who oversees the assorted diddling and tweaking of the rank/tier mix and # or Principal Discretion slots? I need a civics lesson perhaps – and in pages and pages of impotent handwringing above, it might be helpful to know what real “action” can be taken. Lawsuits? Marches? Petitions?

    (2) A few things have been posted above about NYC’s Specialized High Schools (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specialized_high_schools_in_New_York_City) which are known for their one-test admissions, production of Nobel & Pulitzer laureates and now, extreme lack of diversity (that is, if one wants to look at schools largely populated by Asian-Americans, an ethnic group so discriminated against within the last 100 years that there were laws specifically targeted to keep them from immigrating, and placing them in concentration camps, as a “lack of diversity”.) The question is: what discussions are going on in NYC about these schools? Is there a NYCPSObsessed in that alternative universe in which people are clamouring FOR a tier system? Or maybe this wouldn’t matter, because Asian-Americans would span all the tiers anyway? The demographics of NYC are slightly different from Chicago (besides having over twice the population):
    Chicago: Black White Hispanic Asian – 33% 32% 29% 6%
    NYC: White Hispanic Black Asian – 33% 29% 26% 13%

    Does NYC have anything to teach us? One doesn’t think of NYC as particularly “non-liberal” or immune to race politics, so the fact they we have an entirely different dynamic is puzzling.

    Or are their SPHS schools (founded generally at the turn of the last century, as opposed to the turn of this one) just so ensconced that politicians don’t even think to monkey with them?

    (3) How, if at all, does CPS undertake any form of demographic planning? 99% of the ALLCAPS complaints complaints above would probably be averted if some simplistic 5 year planning were done: you have ISATs and Scantrons and a plethora of snapshots starting at the 3rd grade. Pick a percentile (say 85th) and assume those 3rd graders will want to cluster with other 85%+ students in high school, and not have to travel more than x miles. Monitor this assumption.

    (4) A decade into the Chicago SEHS system, someone by now must be able to correlate some of the admission factors – 7th grade grades, for example – with outcomes(ACT scores). It took swine flu to eliminate the absolutely insane factor of attendance from consideration, although even attendance has some merit – not at the edges, where one day or two would tip the scale, but a perpetually unexcused truant will probably be less likely to benefit from SEHS than his identically scored counterpart who makes it to school. So, I’d bet, is the case with grades: maintaning a B average should probably be enough – make it a YES/NO criterion just as the 5th stanine is.

  • 859. junior  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:17 am

    @856 pantherparent
    Agree with eliminating grade score component and replacing it with a minimum grade threshhold (2 A’s, 2 B’s). Even if you make grading scales consistent across the system, you can’t begin to address grade variations based on difficulty level of material/curriculum, as well as difficulty of the tests/assignments being graded, not to mention teacher subjectivity and variability in giving out grades.

  • 860. RationalRationing  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

    More from the mainstream press:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-cps-selective-20120302,0,5806321.story – Katie Ellis says “It’s the increase in applicants, and the lower number of seats, and it’s the sheer number of private school parents considering CPS schools for high school,” Ellis said. “It’s adding an unknown element to the process.” Hmmm.

  • 861. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Awesome questions RR. Not sure I have answers from my meeting, but I did just post onf facebook asking nyc friends what the other high school choices are other than those top test-in schools.
    I do wonder if people there complain about the race imbalance in those schools. Some asian parent really needs to get on the tigermom bandwagon and start books-lessons-classes in “how to educate your child like an asian parent.”. It really is remarkable.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 862. mama2boys  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

    @cpsobsessed #602 – my son had straight As in 7th grade and high 90s on ISATS

  • 863. Just Sayin'  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:25 am

    re: #858

    The (obviously dismantled) Office of Academic Enhancement used to provide fabulous enrichment classes to scholarly 7th & 8th grade students! They were allowed to travel off campus once a week to a place of higher learning (e.g., Field Museum, Art Institute, St. Xavier University, Northeastern University, to name just a few). They could study advanced topics in fine arts as well as math & science. If your elementary school did not have an Algebra program in place, your child could study it. If your child excelled in science, he or she could take a Physics class. Giving our bright, neighborhood elementary students access to such things (outside of an Academic Center setting…because there are just way too few of them) was a rewarding, enriching experience for all of the kids I had the opportunity to meet over a 2-yr. time span.

    Those fantastic opportunities bit the dust. Why, you ask? “Budget Cuts”. I guess the name change was inevitable, necessary (and really pathetic), since I don’t really see any “Enhancement” happening anymore!

    They now seem to crunch a whole lot of numbers & send out a whole lot of letters to all variety of pleased & enraged parents across the city.

    I feel very sorry for some of the fantastic personnel that I interacted with several years ago! I can’t imagine how dreary their duties have become!

  • 864. junior  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

    @842 FURIOUS CPS PARENT said:

    “What, pray tell, makes you call me “bro”? I’m listed as a “parent”…now you’re assigning a gender to me?”


    Sorry — I meant “bro” in an affectionate, non-gender sort of way. Like, “don’t taze me, bro”. From now on, I gess I’ll just refer to you as Lord Voldemort. Have good day with your kid.

  • 865. Just Sayin'  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:37 am

    According to the Tribune article just mentioned in #860 above:

    “Chicago developed its roster of elite selective-enrollment high schools in part to keep middle-class parents from fleeing to the suburbs. Now those city children go through a grueling application process in hopes of landing seats at the schools, which are among the state’s best.”

    So why was the SEHS model developed?
    Was it an attempt to end segregation? (e.g., post #855)
    Or, was it an attempt to curtail middle-class flight to the suburbs as today’s article states?

    To me, this seems to be a crucial point underlying all of the aforementioned discussion.

  • 866. RationalRationing  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

    This thing was said to go “viral”, and I’m always the last to catch these kinds of viruses, but it gave me a smile and a lift “athwart” the depressing banter about tiers and razor-thin margins:


  • 867. Reverse Descrimination  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I was wondering if anyone is planning a class action lawsuit? I would love to become involved. I laid a map of the CPS tier system on top of a census map of Chicago and guess what? It descriminates against white students. ***remainder of comment deleted***

  • 868. Just Sayin'  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Nobody’s children should be allowed to describe other children with such a hateful term!
    I certainly hope you stepped up & called the kids out when you overheard that!

  • 869. RationalRationing  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

    867 – It’s a little hard to feel sorry for the poor little racists, whose 890’s nevertheless afford them the opportunity to go to all but the top three schools. I hate the system as it is, but you almost want these little bigots to get a real education down at King or Brooks.

  • 870. Magnet mom  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Wow, this has descended into Jerry Springer world. So sad. A public school system is for all students in it. Stop hating man, it’s you guys that should teach your kids tolerance. You’re only repeating the cycle I’m sad to point out…..

  • 871. Just Sayin'  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Unfortunately, the SEHS system is not for “all” students. It was set up for a purpose. It “selects” from among all the students in the CPS system. How to select the brightest of the bright? Therein lies the problem.

    In my humble opinion, as an aside, although I really don’t want to encourage him anymore, I think we can all see that somebody who identifies himself with misspellings (the word has an “i” – it’s spelled discrimination), and who provides us with an example of children who have been taught by their parents that it’s okay to use such hateful monikers, is not necessarily someone who deserves any more attention here. And, if #867 really did chastise those arrogant little bigots, then forget what I just said, and continue stating your case, just like all the rest of us.

  • 872. THE REAL INJUSTICE  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    By: Angela Caputo / March 01, 2012
    From the March/April 2012 issue of the

    The news: In March, acceptance letters will go out to Chicago students who applied for coveted seats in the city’s highest-performing schools.

    Behind the news: Odds are that white students will have an edge in getting into Chicago’s strongest grammar schools, a Chicago Reporter analysis of enrollment data found.

    While white students’ overall enrollment has shrunk, the share of white students attending the city’s strongest grade schools grew by 2 percentage points between the fall of 2009—when a federal judge lifted a long-running desegregation consent decree—and the fall of 2011, the analysis shows.

    Barbara Radner, director of the Center for Urban Education at DePaul University, said it’s too soon to tell if the uptick of white student enrollment in the city’s best schools has anything to do with the district’s admissions policy, which was redrafted in the months after the consent decree was scrapped. Under the new admissions rules, a larger number of seats are reserved for students who live in close proximity to the application-based schools, 44 percent of which are located in majority-white or increasingly white communities.

    “If the numbers represent a change in the weather, then it’s not so bad,” Radner said. “If they are an indication of climate change, that’s a problem.”

    Either way, white students are likely to continue holding a disproportionate number of seats in the city’s highest-performing schools. One in four white elementary school students attends a selective enrollment or magnet school this year, the Reporter found, while only 14 percent of African-American and 10 percent of
    Latino students go to top schools.

    ***This article was published last week in the Chicago Reporter**

    It is always easy to see things from only your point of view, my kids are in this 14%. One attends Payton, and one attends NP. Our family often discusses at the dinner table why only a handful of African American kids attend these schools?
    We are an African American Family both of my children attended RGC. Payton scored 900 last year and NP 1000 (old system) a few years ago but still Tier 1. Perfect Attendance since kindergarten for both.

    Tier 1/Tier 2 families pay our city taxes every year, and we are giving the same run-around from the board about why our schools are not worthy of the improvements/money that are going into tier 3/4 schools. Tier 3/Tier4 kids had a 75% OPPORTUNITY to make the scores that were needed for the cut-offs. Not an impossible feat per 75% of their peers made those scores and got in. Now you want to cry INJUSTICE to take the 25% curve minority students receive. In order to make you/your kids feel better for not being the BEST OF THIER TIER? Is that really the lesson to be learned here? If your child received a 896 does that mean he/she deserves this program when the requirement was 900-897 TIER 4 and etc. for each tier? NOT AT ALL IF YOU ASK ME.. There is no color/race/gender basis on this, they simply did not meet the requirements! The world is full of requirements FAIR OR NOT!..you must meet them in order to PASS.

    If there wasn’t a tier track and the system was based solely upon score, my kids would have still made the RANK. Every program has requirements , if the requirement is 900 then that is what the child should have aimed for 899 is not acceptable. If a parent feels that this is too strict then there are programs that require less, or allow free movement of learning with no testing involved. If any one of my kids would have said mom this program is too much, then I would have looked for alternative program.

  • 873. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    CPSObsessed-ex-significant-other was apprised today for the first time of the Tier vs Rank situation to which he replied “If you want it all on rank, why are you living in the city where people want diversity? If you want it all on rank you should be living in Wilmette.”

    Well, there you have it. I think there’s a decent point to be made there. Consent decree or not, aren’t may of us living in the city for the diversity (where we can get it….) I guess some people are living here for the good restaurants?

  • 874. Just Sayin'  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Your kids are undoubtedly exceptional! Kudos to them and to you. Trouble is, many parents of other “exceptional” kids firmly believe that “selective” should mean scores (rank) only. You sound very adamant, and some parents might contend that demanding a perfect 900 of one is unfair when a contemporary is allowed a much lower goal. Since you have experience with both, do you advocate the “old” system, the Tier system or what?

  • 875. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    A lawsuit based on what? As I look at the cutoff scores, Tier 4 kids can get into a Selective Enrollment high school with scores down to 651 (650 being the absolute low cutoff.) And fyi, this is lower than the minimum of 657 of any Tier 1 child who got in.
    Tier 4 kids get more than 25% of the seats at the top schools.
    I just have trouble seeing what the basis of the lawsuit would be? Kids not getting their top choice?

  • 876. RationalRationing  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I think some idealists want it on rank because of #872 above and because of the Asian-American miracle in NYC. Rank doesn’t *necessarily* preclude diversity. Diversity doesn’t necessarily = the composition of your census tract. Correcting disparities in educational opportunities could happen way before high school.

  • 877. TwinMom  |  March 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Anxiously awaiting your Katie Ellis notes. In my experience with OAE, she is the only “sharp” one over there. I’ve gone around in circles with other employees, trying to get answers to our sort-of-unique questions….and every other employee has either not responded, not followed up, or given us flat-out WRONG information (including the beloved Ms. Hannsberry). That “wrong’ information led us on several wild goose chases including an almost-lawsuit. One nice long conversation with Ms. Ellis and the whole thing was straightened out, clear as day, and she was incredibly reasonable about it, too. Once we’re done with OAE and it no longer looks like I’m trying to get her to do us a favor or something, I’m going to write her a thank you note (cc to her supervisor). Hopefully your conversation with her was as fruitful!

  • 878. mom2boys  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Do you all not realize that once ion high school some will be at the top the majority in the middle and the rest at the bottom. Not everyone at NSP, WP, WY are at the top most are in the middle. Be happy you have a spot anywhere some have nothing. The more worked up we get makes the kids crazy. We missed our first chocie last year by one point tried PD and decided on IB. My son said if he knew how wonderful IB would be he would never would have stressed out about SEHS.

  • 879. anonymous  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Roz Rossi has excellent data in this timely story. Note the actual percentage set asides for rank and tier are lower than we’ve been told in the past. They must include the seats set aside for NCLB transfer kids and principal picks. Enjoy reading.


    Scoring a slot at some CPS college preps: Near perfection required

    Nearly perfect scores — and perfect grades. That’s what it took this year for many eighth graders to win admission to the most selective of the city’s selective-enrollment public high schools.

  • 880. anonymous  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I hear that Katie Ellis is Chief of Staff for Noemi Donoso, but imho, Katie deserves Donoso’s job.

  • 881. HS Mom  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    @796 James – “We could do that (admit by score). And then there would be (no meaningful) racial or socio-economic diversity in these schools”

    Your source for this is New York. Asking, as a question, is it possible that New York would have a significant enough difference in their education system to warrant such an outcome. An earlier post cites that very few AA students even apply for these positions. Does NY have an integrated or even all black gifted and magnet programs as we do here in Chicago? What exactly about NY educational system translates over to Chicago and what doesn’t?
    With your own personal experience at Payton do you seriously believe that a merit system would result in only 54 black children admitted to these (assume you are talking North and Central schools) SE schools?

    @850 HSO – “All those living in Tier 4 neighborhoods who feel that we should abolish tiers as part of the admissions process should think hard about whether that indeed is “fair” to the kids who live in the lower tiers. Sure, there are some kids whose parents’ HHI or other factors aren’t typical of the tier, but they are the exception.”

    Is there any data that support your second statement? I would love to see that. How is it fair to a Tier 1 kid that does meet all the criteria to be beat out by tier 1 kids that do not meet the criteria? How is it fair for a Tier 4 kid to be held to a much higher standard even if they don’t meet the criteria and when they do, their life’s issues are trivialized because they have a higher income?

    @846 mil mom – I appreciate your views about maintaining the history of the program. As a native Chicagoan, Whitney Young has always been a hallmark of innovative learning and academic success especially in their promoting of opportunities for African American students. How can we continue to replicate this success? I really don’t think the tier system does it. As far as NCP is concerned, I don’t think anyone has expected to get in without straight A’s for the last 3 years. It’s not a matter of people wanting to get in with one B. They would like to get in with the near perfect scores that no longer allow admission and I think that’s pretty reasonable.

    We want to pick at the parts – cheaters using false addresses, grade scales, testing issues. What I’m hearing from those wanting diversity and scholastic excellence is that we need a complete overhaul.

  • 882. anonymouseteacher  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    #878, Is your child at LPIB? I’d consider that an SEHS school since it is just as hard to get into.

  • 883. anonymous  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Contact: Matthew Greenberg (312) 409-8411
    March 3, 2012


    Chicago, IL – This year was a brutal season for admissions to a Selective Enrollment High School. The level of competition increased dramatically – for nearly all students. Lane Tech, the largest school in the Selective Enrollment system with about 40% of total seats, saw its average admissions scores increase an eye-popping 30 points. First, more students competed for scarce spots across all Selective Enrollment High Schools. Second, high achieving students who were excluded from other Selective Enrollment High Schools received offers from Lane Tech. Given its size and location, Lane Tech’s increase in average admissions scores means that hundreds of students with solid academic records did not get an offer to any Selective Enrollment High School within reasonable commuting distance.

    Chicago, IL – This year was a brutal season for admissions to a Selective Enrollment High School. The level of competition increased dramatically – for nearly all students. Lane Tech, the largest school in the Selective Enrollment system with about 40% of total seats, saw its average admissions scores increase an eye-popping 30 points. First, more students competed for scarce spots across all Selective Enrollment High Schools. Second, high achieving students who were excluded from other Selective Enrollment High Schools received offers from Lane Tech. Given its size and location, Lane Tech’s increase in average admissions scores means that hundreds of students with solid academic records did not get an offer to any Selective Enrollment High School within reasonable commuting distance.

    Figure 1. Lane Tech Admissions Scores (11-12 through 12-13)
    11-12 12-13 year to year change
    Rank 855 876 +21
    Tier 1 mean 741 774 +33
    Tier 2 mean 776 798 +22
    Tier 3 mean 800 836 +36
    Tier 4 mean 806 850 +44
    Composite mean 803 833 +30

    The already significant “gaps” between Tier 4 and Tier 1 admitted students at the more competitive schools widened — nearly across the board – as students in the higher Tiers needed to turn in dramatically better performance to be accepted.

    For example, the average score of an admitted Tier 4 student at Lane Tech was 850, but for a Tier 1 student it was only 774, leading to a gap of 76 points.

    For Jones it was 72 points, for Brooks 68 points, and for Northside, 55 points. In fact, five of the Selective Enrollment High Schools had gaps of over 50 points between the average score of admitted Tier 4 and Tier 1 students as shown in Figure 2.

    Figure 2. Admissions Score “Gap” between Tier 4 & Tier 1 Admitted Students

    First colulmn: “Gap” between Tier 4 and Tier 1 average admissions scores (2011-2012)

    Second columns: “Gap” between Tier 4 and Tier 1 average admissions scores (2012-2013)

    Brooks College Prep 50 points 68 points
    Jones College Prep 57 points 72 points
    King College Prep -1 points 4 points
    Lane Tech 65 points 76 points
    Lindblom Math & Science 36 points 40 points
    Northside College Prep 48 points 55 points
    Payton College Prep 43 points 30 points
    Westinghouse 20 points 20 points
    Young 53 points 51points

    A sizable number of students at Northside and Payton were accepted with “perfect scores” – 900 points on the 900 point scale. We estimate that approximately 74 students at Northside and 57 students at Payton achieved a perfect score – for an astounding total of 131 students with perfect scores at these two schools.

    While last year students in Tier 3 and Tier 4 needed to get perfect or nearly perfect admissions scores to get into the most competitive schools – this year significant numbers of Tier 4 — and to a lesser extent Tier 3 students — with nearly perfect scores were denied a spot at the more competitive schools. The average score of an admitted Tier 4 and Tier 3 student at Northside was 897 and 891 respectively and for Payton 897 and 893. This meant that some Tier 4 and Tier 3 students in the top 1-2 % in total points were denied spots at these schools. Additionally, a compression in scores among higher Tier students applying to the more competitive schools has meant that some students with identical scores were admitted and some were not as CPS increasingly looked at “tie breakers” to choose between students with the same point totals.

    Contributing to this increase in scores was CPS’ decision last month to reclassify all census tracts used in its socio-economic admissions policy – by applying the latest census data. This updating process threw many more students into higher Tiers – greatly increasing pressure for higher Tier students overall and contributing to stratospheric scores at the more competitive schools.

    According to Matthew Greenberg, partner of educational services firm SelectivePrep, “Clearly the demand for spots at high caliber Selective Enrollment High Schools exceeds supply – and a case can easily be made for several hundred additional Selective Enrollment spots. Under the current system, too many bright, hard-working students find themselves without a realistic public school option. In our opinion, CPS can and should do more to nurture its high potential students. This situation is particularly punishing to middle class students who have a limited number of spots allocated to them under the current system and must turn in higher scores to secure these positions. We also find it troubling that in some cases tiny or nonexistent differences in admissions point totals are being used in admissions decisions – and feel that this may not be a well-designed way to select students.”

    Mr. Greenberg continued, “Longer term, freezing out promising students from the public school system has the potential to erode Chicago’s tax base as frustrated, education oriented parents seek alternatives elsewhere. It’s just bad for Chicago.”

    About SelectivePrep
    SelectivePrep was founded by test prep veterans with over 25 years of test preparation experience – and extensive backgrounds in both classroom teaching and curriculum development.

  • 884. Love Selective Prep  |  March 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Per Mr. Greenberg in post # 883:
    “Clearly the demand for spots at high caliber Selective Enrollment High Schools exceeds supply – and a case can easily be made for several hundred additional Selective Enrollment spots.”

    Perfect! The 300+ new seats @ Jones come Fall of 2013 will truly be a Godsend to the SEHS system, then! (Neighborhood residents can get in line with everybody else across the city.)

  • 885. HS Mom  |  March 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @875 – CPSO an important distinction. Tier 4 kids do not get 25% of the seats – they get 25% of 70% or 17.5%. 😉

    It would be very informative to know how the rank scores break out by tier. Also, notice that the top end of tier 1 and 2 is as high as any other tier. It would be nice to know how many kids are really getting a point advantage. It would also be nice to know how this current system compares in socioeconomic diversity to a rank system at various levels (35, 50, 75, 100 something in between) and what (if anything) would we sacrifice at 50, 75, 100 etc.

    Oh well, one can dream about such knowledge (which is exactly what’s driving all the emotional debate)

  • 886. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    @HS Mom 885. I did actually mean more than 25% of the total seats in a school.

    Based on test score info, we can surmise that Tier 4 kids get more than 25% of the ranked seats and we know they’ll get 25% of the Tier seats. Thus more than 25% of the total seats at NSCP and Payton are going to Tier 4 kids.

    I know some parents are fine to give 100% of the rank spots to Tier 4 kids. I’m just saying that becuase of the rank spots, Tier 4 kids get more than their “fair share” of the seats.

    Tier 4 kids (by this I mean “advantaged” kids don’t have to worry about the tier system in the IB or Von Scholar program. Which means if you combine the SE and IB and Scholars program there are advantages to being advantaged. Or you may feel it’s lawsuit worthy….

  • 887. OutsideLookingIn  |  March 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    My daughter spends hours each day after school and on the weekends working to try to reach grade level standards in math and reading. She studies very hard but SEHS isn’t in her future, nor are IB and HH. Not everyone has the intellectual ability that your children have. Your kids have exceptional ability along with superior discipline. You as parents have done an amazing job to support them. I hope that you can take a moment this weekend and celebrate these accomplishments and set aside bitterness and disappointment. Your kids will have bright futures wherever they go for HS.

  • 888. mom2boys  |  March 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    @882 yes he is in IB. Those that do not get a spot in IB our offered a spot in the double honors/AP program. There is also the fine arts department at LIncoln Park to consider if your chid plays an instrument, likes to sing or wants to do drama. This department requires an audition. The music deprtment at LPH is #2 in the state. LIncoln park is a school with 3 programs and a neighborhood component.

  • 889. Angie  |  March 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Somewhat off-topic, but since we’re talking about New York schools here:

    New York City officials recently delivered a priceless gift to schoolchildren and their parents: They released ratings for about 18,000 public school teachers that showed which ones helped students excel academically and which ones didn’t.


  • 890. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Another story on the high score topic. I guess I am not fully getting the Top-Choice-or-Die mentality….


  • 891. HS Mom  |  March 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    @886 – I guess I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the overly complex calculations for admissions – grades, various tests, tiers and factors of tiers – and that the results are imperfect at all much less as imperfect as they are. It’s not insignificant to me at all that even 1 child is passed over for a lower scoring contemporary with equal or better status. I guess I’m much more of a numbers freak because I find the degree of error here to be completely unacceptable and all the tier classifications to be negative stereotypes failing in their efforts to group by status and creating a divide between the “advantaged” and the “disadvantaged”. Quite possibly one of the better solutions I’ve read here would be to assign number values to socioeconomic factors, reevaluate the other components that we already assign numeric value to and rank results 1-18,000.

  • 892. Reverse Descrimination  |  March 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I happen to know a teacher at NS Prep who has told me that they simply do not agree with the tier system because it enables kids that are not up to academic standards. Sadly this person has told me that they just let the kids fail because there just isn’t enough time to hold classes up trying to teach kids that shouldn’e there in the first place. The teacher said the city created this problem so these students that fail are the cities problem not the teachers.

  • 893. Reverse Descrimination  |  March 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm


  • 894. cpsobsessed  |  March 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I find it hard to believe that the entire staff of a high school would be in agreement about a topic that we cannot all agree on.
    I spoke directly to an administrator at one of the top SE schools who says that some of the kids have trouble, but that the school provides them with as much support possible to succeed.
    Perhaps it that teacher who doesn’t want to make the effort?

  • 895. junior  |  March 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    @890 CSPO
    What I see with many people, and sadly it trickles down to the kids too, is that it’s a status thing.

  • 896. alexander  |  March 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    congrats to all and apologies if this has been posted already:

    percentage of white kids getting into top schools is up to 25 percent, says the chicago reporter, while black and latino are at 14 and 10 respectively


  • 897. pjs  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    “percentage of white kids getting into top schools is up to 25 percent, says the chicago reporter, while black and latino are at 14 and 10 respectively


    To be clear, those percentages are based on children enrolled in CPS. It means that 25% of all white children enrolled in CPS, 14% of all black children enrolled in CPS and 10% of all latino children enrolled in CPS attend selective enrollment schools. The way the data was presented along with the accompanying article didn’t make this clear, to me anyway. Also, this data is for elementary school only.

    This quote from the article

    “Under the new admissions rules, a larger number of seats are reserved for students who live in close proximity to the application-based schools, 44 percent of which are located in majority-white or increasingly white communities.”

    has me confused. This article is about selective enrollment schools which do not allow for proximity-based acceptance, correct? Magnet lottery schools do. Just wondering if I still don’t understand this process even after all my research.

  • 898. TruthB.Told  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    @Just Sayin’:

    I seriously doubt if there was an chastising of those students outside of her child’s elementary school. I could be wrong, but I am just venturing a guess.

  • 899. Reverse Descrimination  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    @obsessed You would be surprised at the stories you can hear from teachers, cops, etc. at the local water holes on the NW Side. That is the only place you will hear them speak the truth.

  • 900. dad2  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    What if next year everyone marked on their application that they were AA? Then, the CPS “diversity” data would be useless. Which shouldn’t matter because they are trying to help those who are “socially and economically disadvantaged” right? Because using race was found illegal, right? How can they even ask that question? Couldn’t applicants refuse to answer because race is not supposed to be a determining factor anymore? They keep talking about “diversity” before the application process as if it pertained to disadvantaged or challenged students, yet after the placements are awarded they crunch the numbers and only look at race as the outcome for “diversity”. Do they ever look to see if they really got a better representation of people who truly have the six factors used to determine tiers? I’m just asking, not to be a pain in the neck, but because I wonder if anyone knows the answer.

  • 901. Formerly Furious ( Now Just Exhausted) CPS Parent  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    @873 cpsobsessed
    A flippant remark (regarding moving to Wilmette) if I’ve ever heard one! Not everyone on this blog or who attends a CPS school “moved here”. Some of us were born, raised, educated, sought jobs & purchased homes here. We’re raising our families here. Our extended families live and work here. We’re obviously doing something right since we’re discussing our exemplary students. However, many of us did not choose to move here. We have lived in Chicago all of our lives. We love our city and our kids just as much as the next person. Furthermore, our city has been segregated since time immemorial. We did not draw the lines. Demonizing Tier 4 individuals because we’re so “advantaged” is senseless, just as senseless as resenting or looking down on Tier 1 individuals. I’ve always been a staunch booster of this city. I’ve never joined in the choruses of grousing about, “Oh, I can’t wait to retire and move.” I want to remain here and I want my smart kids to have access to the best education possible; an education that challenges and inspires them. The CPS SEHS social engineering schemes to attain diverse (read: racially balanced) student populations are divisive and discriminate against the absolute top of the top, scholastially speaking. Seems to me that those of us in Tier 4 might get just a bit more respect more for all that we supposedly “advantaged folk” do to positively influence this city. But, I suppose we’re seen as expendable to many. That’s okay, I guess we’re too sheepish. But one day, many exasperated sheep may just depart. All along, however, we’ve (us stupid, “advantaged” sheep, that is) just put up with it, scrimping and scraping to come up with what is now $10,000+ per year to send each of our kids to private/Catholic High Schools. Maybe we just need to stop enabling this mess. By that I mean, pay, pay, pay through the nose and then get shafted by the brilliant social engineers @ CPS. Good luck with those property taxes & all the rest!

    I am just so, so sad and so, so sick and tired of this whole pathetic mess! I have no confidence that CPS will respond appropriately and diligently try to right the inequities that they’ve put in place since Sept. 2009. They don’t listen. They have their agenda and they don’t care. Those BRC forums were a complete joke and a waste of everybody’s time. CPS did what they wanted. They will continue to do so. We really have no say so in the matter. My two older children are experiencing their dreams at a wonderful SEHS. Sadly, I have only the tiniest shred of hope left that my equally proficient 7th grader will have any chance at the same thing next year.

    Thanks for providing the forum, cpsobsessed. I am now signing off and vow to rid my brain of all of this depressing banter for good.

  • 902. Reverse Descrimination  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm


  • 903. same as above  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm


  • 904. Stressed by CPS  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    The question we should be asking is, “Why aren’t there high achieving HS’s in more tier 4 neighborhoods?” People purposely move into good neighborhoods but there aren’t any good neighborhood high schools. Or am I forgetting something? I know LP is a decent one but anywhere else? BTW I don’t live in tier 4 but with all of these 900 scores from tier 4 and even 3 it seems the only hope is for SE or private. Then come to find out good scores are not enough and not all tier 4 families can actually afford private. And private isn’t always better. Neither are suburbs.

  • 905. same as above  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Oh, and for the record I am an AA in Tier 4 with 3 children in SEHS’s.
    All of my children earned their slots. They have no reason to fear any academic arena.

  • 906. TruthB.Told  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    What do all the advantaged folk in Tier 4 do to positively influence the city? I just want to know so that I can pay hommage, maybe even shine a few shoes for the good folks in Tier 4.

  • 907. Stressed by CPS  |  March 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Actually LP isn’t that good of a neighborhood school. They just have good options for IB or HH.

  • 908. dad2  |  March 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    cpsobsessed – I know you have mentioned that Amundsen is your local high school, and was hoping you could fill me in a bit. A colleague at work has a son who just missed getting into any of his SEEH picks. He’s a really smart kid (I would even say gifted) who aced the entrance exam and had high 90’s for his ISATs but I think had some B’s in 7th and now 8th grade (due to some family circumstances and lack of focus.) Private or Catholic school is out of the question financially. I know that there are some AP courses offered there, but I think the main concern is safety. Mostly because he’s afraid his son might get picked on (small for his age, really smart and a minority as far as the school goes.) Also, is this the type of kid who might have a chance at Principal picks? I mentioned it to the father but he thought it was meant more for athletes, which his son is not. Any info or insight would be appreciated!

  • 909. local  |  March 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I’ve heard that one of the only white kids at Brooks is delightd with her experience. Some other white kids might want to consider it!

  • 910. northsidereporter@hotmail.com  |  March 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I’m currently writing a news piece about the inequality in our school system. Starting with segregation and ending with SE. If anyone has anything they would like to to offer, I would love to hear from you.

    I am also seeking a real life story from a person of color who experienced early desegregation in Chicago first hand and could share the experience. This would be much appreciated.

    Please contact me northsidereporter@hotmail.com

  • 911. Lakeview Dad  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Yeesh. The tone of this blog certainly has taken a turn for the worse late this week hasn’t it? Hopefully things will brighten when we go through selective enrollment process for SEES later this month. Will check back in when the kindergartener’s letters start arriving. Peace out.

  • 912. I Earned My Payton Spot  |  March 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    To #867, it isnt always about race. I’m black and i live in tier 4. I got into Payton with an 897 and i earned my spot. My friend (who also happpens to be black) got into Payton with an 895 and she just happens to live in tier 1. She earned her spot too. She would have gotten into Payton even if she lived in tier 4. White kids live in the lower tiers too and get into good schools with low scores so just quit it. Stop all the stupid,ignorant, racist coments and find something better to do than try to make people who got into good schools feel bad because of their race or because of their tiers. Congrats to everybody who got into a school they wanted, and to those who didnt: dont worry, there is always round 2 and principal discretion.

  • 913. anonymous  |  March 4, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Do people here think CPS should open a new S.e.h.s. in a central location?

  • 914. northsidereporter@hotmail.com  |  March 4, 2012 at 12:41 am

    @912 Could you please drop me a line? I would love to hear some of your thoughts.

  • 915. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 4, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Agreed @754 Proud Jones Parent and @759 pantherparent!!

    I am sooooo nervous right now because my daughter (7th grade/tier 4) just bombed a test at her AC (not leading into an SE school) in her Honors Environmental Science class bringing her grade to a B for the quarter. She has a couple other B’s, but they are like 91% or so which I am pretty sure she can pull up easily, but I am still on pins and needles. She does great on everything except tests (not including standardized tests like the ISAT’s). Anyone have any recommendations on classes or otherwise for study skills? She does not study well and I stopped being able to help her with homework somewhere around the third grade. LOL (ok more like laughing and crying at the same time).

  • 916. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 4, 2012 at 1:16 am

    @alittlelevity – I am loving your applications and predictions. We definitely need to be able to laugh from time to time about this process. Note – I am speaking as someone without a dog in the race this year, just nervous about next year. I would not be laughing if we were without a decent option for high school.

  • 917. ChiTown take 2  |  March 4, 2012 at 6:13 am

    If CPS spends an average of $9000 per student, then CPS spent $250,000/15 kids or $16,700 on top of that or $25,700 per student. Then, 20% drop out in the first year even with all the extra tutoring. Shouldn’t we spent the money on bright and talented kids as well as identify these NCLB kids earlier? The magnet and regional gifted elementary programs don’t have this silly tier program and use straight scores. When do we start giving our brightest and talented opportunities instead of putting up road blocks? Now you know why Europe, Asia and India are pulling way ahead of the USA in education. They actually promote and encourage bright kids with free education rather than push them down to the “average” level,. Our system spends so much money on the bottom to raise them up to average – why not give opportunity to those who earned it with hard work and taking 1-2 yr advanced classes to push them even higher? They should have used the $250,000 to open up more slots for deserving students and just be honest about the need to add AA kids in the system. Just set up SEHS based on scores for 75% of the kids and the other 25% give to “selected” majority low income minority (non white, Asian) kids. This tier system tries to hide behind diversity and creates a system penalizing hard working bright talented students. That is wrong and reverse discrimination. We have system where people can sue for the right to have access to opportunity (special ed, minority, disadvantaged) yet we don’t have a system where gifted kids (or normal kids) can sue to have access to the same thing. Sad.

  • 918. Esmom  |  March 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

    “Sadly this person has told me that they just let the kids fail because there just isn’t enough time to hold classes up trying to teach kids that shouldn’e there in the first place.”

    This is actually happening at NS? Good teachers, real teachers, will not stand by and just let a kid fail just because “He shouldn’t be there in the first place.” If that truly is the culture there — and I find that hard to believe but at this point nothing about CPS should be a shock — then I don’t think I’d want my kids anywhere near there.

  • 919. M  |  March 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

    @ 912 You stated what needed to be stated! Congratulations on earning a spot at Payton!
    I feel blessed that my daughter (white, tier 4) will share her highschool experience with people like you!
    Just like you did, my daughters (and I) jumped as high as we could through all the hoops and that is what it takes to gain admission into one of the SEHS in Chicago. I feel no shame and I feel my daughters deserve what they have worked so hard to achieve.
    That being said, my heart goes out to all the kids (of all races!) who desire a good education in a world of few opportunities. SEHS are surely not for everyone. This is why it is so sad that there appear to be so few other alternatives within CPS. What we need is to rally around our neighborhood schools! Every school should be a safe sure path to a brighter future! Support ALL our kids. They are our future!

  • 920. happy  |  March 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Not looking for a letter this year – break this year. My child didn’t make NSCP 3 years ago, but did make WP and Rickover. To my surprise he took Rickover. We have never been happier. Last year my other son applied to Rickover and NSCP, plus a few others. He was accepted with a perfect score to NSCP, tier 4, but decided on Rickover because he fell in love with the school. Now both boys are doing well and the school is great. I couldn’t be happier. I have one more child left, I hope she will want to go to Rickover. That is up to her.
    We are currently looking at college and we couldn’t be happier with the work that Rickover is doing to assist.
    Whatever my childern decide for HS is fine with me, they will do great in life no matter what HS they attend. I don’t make a big deal out of it. Like our neighborhood school, I am on parent boards and make myself available to support the school. Can be difficult with work and all, but I am happy to do so. My kids like school, it’s all part of family time.

  • 921. WRP Mom  |  March 4, 2012 at 9:26 am

    917 ChiTown take 2 said “The magnet and regional gifted elementary programs don’t have this silly tier program and use straight scores.”

    Nobody is picking on the high school applicants.The elementary programs DO use tiers in their admission selections. And Magnet Schools don’t use scores at all. They are lottery based admissions.

  • 922. PortageParent  |  March 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

    #917 ChiTowntake2 — actually, they do use tiers for RGCs and magnets (plus proximity and sibling lotteries for magnets).

    #918- Ditto!

  • 923. M  |  March 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

    @ 299 Once your daughter is at Whitney Young your feet will warm up! My daughter is nothing like Dr Kenner and still absolutelly loves the school. Yes, I know that Dr Kenner can be a bit intimidating, but she always puts her kids first!
    There is something for everyone at Whitney as long as your daughter is confident with who she is and doesn’t let the pressure of everyone beeing better than her at something (because they will be..) get to her, Whitney Young is a place to enjoy humanity at its best in my opinion. Go Dolphins!

  • 924. concernedaboutcpsstudents  |  March 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Wow, this really took a “Jerry Springer” turn. I’m reading all these comments and I can’t help but to worry about these kids who didn’t get into any SEHS. As parents we have to set an example about how to approach this situation to help them deal with it. Insulting one another is just teaching our kids that when things are unfair in life, which are inevitable, get mad and blame. Blame that teacher for that B, instead of finding out if that B was truly earned. Blame the system, blame everything and do nothing to fix it.

    Yes, it is very sad that many didn’t get in, it is sad that these kids have been working very hard for this moment but this situation is just a symptom of a much greater issue.

    It is human nature to vent but after venting what comes next determines the value of character we want to teach our kids. Do we just blame or do we sit down and draft an action plan to help solve the situation?

    Parents, children will face many challenges and some tough rejections, use this as an opportunity to teach them what would be the best way to rise above it. Empower your kids, don’t turn them into a name-calling-it’s-all-their-fault game because then they will never rise to be the best they can be. You already raised acamemic stars, now focus on turning them into resilient winners.

  • 925. PortageParent  |  March 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    #920 happy- thanks for the info on Rickover. It’s one of the schools I’ve been curious about.

  • 926. sirrahh  |  March 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

    @IB/RGC Mom

    I’m pretty sure our kids are in the same AC center and my daughter reports that everyone ‘bombed’ the test. And my kid failed to turn in a homework assignment so her grade in the high school class is currently at a solid ‘C’. She was at this point this time last term and ended up with A’s so while I am concerned I am not in panic mode quite yet.

    My kid sounds a lot like yours and I had been walking around thinking that the AC’s IB program (while a transportation challenge) was a viable option until I started reading posts here about the application process and hearing about kids who didn’t get in anywhere. It sounds like the teachers have been very engaging with the kids since the letters have gone out. The social studies teacher said she would help anyone with a letter of recommendation who doesn’t get into SE. An 8th grade family friend also reported that while children may be initially rejected from the IB program that a lot of people reject since it is everyone’s back up and they get in eventually. Now that central office is involved I’m not sure how that will pan out this year and I will be watching the process closely.

    The whole system is so messed up. My daughter came home last week reporting that I was wrong, 8th grade classes were more important than 7th, since most of the 8th grade classes are for high school credit. My husband and I laughed as we told her that we didn’t ‘care’ about getting a ‘B’ in a high school class. We aren’t worried that she won’t be accepted to college; we just need to get her into a viable high school ! !

  • 927. HS Mom  |  March 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

    James – Before you address my questions about NY, if you do, I just read Katie Ellis’ statement that “they ran the numbers on score and it looked much like NY” – so please don’t jump all over me.

    I find this to be a very sad statement. It counter what I see and does not give credence to the stellar achievements you find in @912 and others. An NY almost 0 diversity would be a huge negative factor for using rank. I certainly believe that they ran the numbers and that it did not give us “enough diversity”. This doesn’t change my opinion that the tier system needs a complete overhaul for accuracy and fairness and the need to consider some possible version of a rank system that would result in enough diversity.

    If CPS published the demographics of what the rank system and the tier system (without NCLB and discretion) the parents could get on board with what’s happening and support existing policy or help implement productive change instead of guessing, predicting and accusing. I suppose this makes me a conspiracy theorist but I believe that Katie read this blog and played to the crowd. So, if you’re reading Katie – give us transparency!

    Also, regarding more SE’s. We talk about it all the time. The positive that we can take away is that schools other than NS and WP, selective and otherwise are fast becoming new “go to” schools. I have always believed in the power of branding and feel that if you convert an existing school either in whole or more than 50% to “selective” with the same requirements and application as the SE program that “they will come”. Needless to say, the required course offerings, resources and top notch teachers would have to follow suit. Some feel that they like all the little options programs and “boutique” IB’s that we currently have. This clearly doesn’t square with the majority – especially at a time where great students feel they have no place.

    @908 – sounds like you have the perfect principals discretion story. Make sure he gets help putting that together. Also, did you see that Lakeview is taking applications even though the deadline has passed?

  • 928. An easy admit  |  March 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    @912: Congratulations on your acceptance to Payton. That’s quite an accomplishment!

    Stories like yours are quite unproblematic, because, as you emphasize, your score was high enough to make the cut at Tier 4, the most competitive tier. No one, not even the “racists” on this board, would argue with scores like that. The real issue is with those applicants with scores significantly lower than yours that are still deemed worthy of admission via the problematic tiering system.

    Once again, congratulations on getting into Payton!

  • 929. New-ish  |  March 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    913. anonymous | March 4, 2012 at 12:40 am

    “Do people here think CPS should open a new S.e.h.s. in a central location?”

    Yes, they should all ring downtown, as that is how our city’s transportation system is oriented (outer areas into the mid-city).

  • 930. shouldbemoreSEschools  |  March 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    When my daughter was just in 5th grade and I was a single mom living in the city, I knew that one day I would have to face the fact of possibly sending my daughter to a gang-infested high school because at that time that’s all I could afford. Even when she got excellent grades and was in a gifted program I knew nothing was a guarantee.

    I decided to move to a suburb where I didn’t have to take that risk. Yes, I pay triple in property taxes than what I would pay in the city. Our house is tiny and 1/3 of the size I could get in the city but my daughter is going to a great high school and lives in a secure neighborhood where we don’t have shootings almost every weekend at night as we did when we were in the city.

    Sometimes the only guarantees in life are the ones we have to pay for. It seems that for many there isn’t the perfect of both worlds: low property taxes and great education.

  • 931. HS Mom  |  March 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Just wanted to post a good friends results – tier 3 family A/B student with exceeds level ISAT’s did not get any SE offers but did receive IB offers from Amundsen and Senn. She will be going to Amundsen. They are getting a great student who is a hard worker. They thought that both programs looked really good and are happy with their choice.

  • 932. !!!  |  March 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Ahhhh, white flight lives on.

    Maybe someday, we can just go back to segregation and all will be happy???

  • 933. RL Julia  |  March 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I cannot encourage enough to check out your neighborhood high schools. They often have more offerings, programs, sports, clubs etc… than you might think. I real, college level education can be gotten in many/most of these schools- at least the northside ones- I am not so familiar with the schools much south of Division Ave. unfortunately.

  • 934. Mart  |  March 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Well said #930. I don’t think the city is adequately providing reasonable schools. Too bad since Chicago is a great city. The only thing you would lose is the diversity you have at the SE schools, which is a definite plus. Great schools and Universities such as Harvard have long realized that both ethnic and economic diversity are desirable and benefit all students. Paying your way into a top ranked safe school district gets you peace of mind.

  • 935. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I think the challenge is how to provide reasonable schools to a disctrict with a huge low income population and dismal funding. No urban system has cracked this code yet.
    Putting myself in rahm’s shoes I could argue that except for a very very few public exceptions, charters (some of the most public examples) seem to have found a better way than cps or other urban distrcits have. Which could explain his enthusiasm for the (in part. In part, I say! We know all the other unsavory reasons he might be supporting them.)

    Many of the city’s successful neighborhood elem schools had the same principal and teachers before they were “flipped,”. The combo of good admin and staff plus a base of students with educated parents suddenly (well, over several years) looks like a “reasonable” school. A la nettelhorst, coonley, etc.

    I say this just to keep people’s minds open about the neighborhood high school. If every non-SE kid in the lake view high school feeder schools attended that school I’m certain the school would look more reasonable.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 936. cpsmama  |  March 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Saw a Q somewhere above about how SE admissions point totals correlate w/ success at an SEHS—

    FWIW- I am a parent of 2 SEHS students. Oldest had a “perfect score” when started HS. 2nd child had about 100 points less b/c not as good at standardized tests. Both attend same SEHS (WY) and get very similar grades in their classes.

    I think the SE admissions overemphasizes scores on standardized tests which are easy to master for many. IMO, these tests coupled with a student’s 7th grade grades in 4 classes are not particularly good indicators of success in SEHS.

    I know many kids who got perfect or near perfect scores but who have earned low grades in their HS classes. One boy got a 36 on his ACT but consistently earned C’s & even a few D’s. And I know plenty of students who did not score “perfectly” on ISATs or SEHS Admissions test but who are studious and get good grades in HS.

    It would be nice if CPS did an actual analysis of this sort of information which would be more reliable than my anecdotal evidence.

  • 937. Gwen  |  March 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    CPS Obsessed – what do you base your statement that “charters seem to have found a better way” on? Every study (local and national) disputes that – only the proponents of it continue to state it, with no facts backing them up, so what makes you say that? Have you actually read any of the reports on charters? You seem so much more knowledgable to me than that statement makes you seem.

  • 938. IB&RGC Mom  |  March 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    @926. sirrahh, Thanks. It is good to hear she is not alone with how she did on the test. If I remember correctly she also did poorly on the science test in the first quarter and still pulled it up to an A at the end of the first semester. Though she did end up with a B at the semester in another class! Again a really bad test grade. I still have hopes she can pull it up, but I really need her to improve her studies habits immediately.

    I actually thought they were pretty much guaranteed a spot in the IB if they had decent grades and no behavior issues in the AC. Sounds like that is not the case? She has a friend in 8th grade there that did well, but wasn’t accepted. I told her to let her friend know that there were a lot of kids with offers to the IB that wouldn’t accept so there is still hope. Part of the reason I sent her there was because I really didn’t know too much about other programs and wanted this as a fall back. I didn’t go to the open house last year but I will definitely check it out next year.

    I think I have been even more nervous since these extremely high cut off scores came out and I also remember reading some reviews or posts that they purposely grade hard so as to keep the kids there. I have been really glad to find that it doesn’t seem to be the case.

  • 939. Northwest-side Mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 12:31 am

    CPS Obsessed- I’m also confused about your statement on charter schools. Specifically, what do you mean by “charters seem to have found a better way?” And if I recall correctly, most studies of charter schools have found that they perform at the same level as, or often more poorly than regular public schools.

    Here’s a link to today’s Tribune article about SEHS:

    @937 (Gwen)- Sounds like we’ll both have freshman at NS next year! (Totally unrelated to SEHS: Bernie Sanders is MY favorite senator too, and with the direction this country is going, Socialism doesn’t look half bad as an alternative!)

  • 940. Northwest-side Mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Hmmm, sorry that my tiny url link didn’t appear in the above post for some reason. Just in case this happens again, I’m typing the short link, and the long (hopefully at least one of these will show on this blog!). Here goes:

  • 941. Northwest-side Mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Ok, never had this happen before but my links simply won’t post here. Today’s Tribune article about SEHS is in Section 1, titled “A really brutal admissions year”

  • 942. Jonesmama  |  March 5, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I love Chicago because my daughter has been able to go to diverse schools her entire school life, this will continue with jones. She could have gone to any school and she chose jones for many reasons including the diversity. All the tier 4 crying and foot stomping makes me believe these parents don’t want the true urban experience unless it fits their little cookie cutter dream. Your kids didn’t make it. They lived in a neighborhood that for the most part meant on average they had more opportunities, more words spoken to them before the age of 5, parents with enough time and education level to help them with thier homewor, probably took the selective prep, with all these advantages they didn’t make the cut. They needed a higher score becuase on average they had more opportunity. You all knew this was the game. If you didn’t like it then you should have been working to change it. You should have been looking at safety schools. Buck up. Set an example for your kids that so etimes you work hard and someone else gets what you want. Maybe because of something like this tier system or maybe because so eone knew someone or maybe because life isn’t fair. There are a lot of things that aren’t fairt for a lot of the kids in tier 1 or 2, not all but a lot. There are some tier 4’s who have struggles. When you live in this large of a society you have to go on averages. Again, you knew the system going in. If you want a different system, then may e the city isn’t for you. Run off to the burbs, like most people did 10 years ago. Stop blaming it on liberals and teaching your kids to blame others for their situation. Teach them how to make the best of it and to study the rules hard and then deal with the outcome of your decisions.

  • 943. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Argh! You guys always bust my chops when I mention the charters doing well. I appreciate it, truly. Inspires me to really spend time reading more research on it, but somehow catching up on Glee seems to win out.

    My sentence below does not make sense, I can see that. But what I WAS attepting to say is that there are a few highly publicized examples of (what looks to be success.) The Geoffrey Canaday Harlem School. The high school in Chicago that sends all it’s kids to college. The fact that if you rank the Chicago non-SE high schools, the charters have an impressive presence at the top.

    Compared to what (looks to be) a lack of success like this in public schools. We heard Brizzard mention a low income city school with an amazing leader recently (can’t recall the name) so obviously it does happen. Sadly, maybe it isn’t publicized as much.

    I have read several studies on the results of charters. I work in research so I know how to read research. I’ve never seen a study that (IMO) accurately draws a conclusion of success or not. Nor do I think it is an apples to apples comparison.

    However I DO (personally) feel that there is a role for these schools in the city so parents can have some options beyond the cookie cutter curriculum and approach that CPS seems to offer.

    I do like seeing research (and can multi task while I watch Glee) so please feel free to send me links to any charter research. But as I tried to allude to above, I am not talking wide scale success of charters as a whole.

  • 944. anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Interesting that you neglect to mention what tier you and your daughter reside in.

  • 945. Monday, Monday...  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

    @ 942 Jonesmama
    You stated: “All the tier 4 crying and foot stomping makes me believe these parents don’t want the true urban experience unless it fits their little cookie cutter dream.” & “You all knew this was the game. If you didn’t like it then you should have been working to change it.”

    Wow! Mission of SEHS = provide the “true urban experience”? Hmmm… thought they were supposed to provide an educational environment with accelerated classes for the top urban scholars.

    “Game”, indeed! Sadly, you’re right on the target there! CPS certainly does force 13-yr.-olds into the wicked world of game playing – racial politics style! (Oh, wait…this is now about “class”, not race…sorry!) The social engineers @ CPS should be ashamed of themselves!

    Working to change it? Commenting on this forum might be a good first step…but, it’s likely a big waste of time since the CPS agenda will win out in the end. It always does. Lately, political correctness & political pandering always win out.

  • 946. Just Sayin'  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:05 am

    @932 “!!!”
    You stated: “Ahhhh, white flight lives on.”

    Just would like to mention that your lingo needs updating. Please get with the program, as they say.

    That is, if you read the Chicago Tribune article dated March 3, 2012 – ‘A really brutal admissions year’ – “More competition this year makes it even harder to get into one of Chicago’s elite public high schools” (Link was provided above in entry #890), the Tribune’s education reporter, Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, states: “Chicago developed its roster of elite selective-enrollment high schools in part to keep middle-class parents from fleeing to the suburbs. Now those city children go through a grueling application process in hopes of landing seats at the schools, which are among the state’s best.”

    So, just FYI, it’s now referred to as “middle-class flight to the suburbs”. This is not about race; it’s all about class and perceived “opportunity”. Since the Consent Decree was vacated in September 2009, CPS is now color blind & race no longer has anything to do with SEHS admissions. You know that, right?

  • 947. Charters  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Wow, Tier 3 and 4 Northside College Prep parents slamming charters by questioning someone’s intelligence. So, after the brightest tier 1 and 2 kids get into their allotted selective enrollment seats (questionably assigned seats that correlate to an address vs. a need) then what? How far would Northside parents go to keep their kids out of the BETTER neighborhood schools – including moving or private. Not everyone has these options. These reports that you garner all your wisdom from – do they have any recommendations for all the families IN CHICAGO that don’t make it into Northside Prep and other selective schools? Please, don’t tell me that everyone should go to their neighborhood school.

  • 948. anonymouseteacher  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I’d say that the “better way” that charters have found involves policies that no real public school is allowed to implement. Charters can hold kids accountable for their actions with the consequence of removing them or fining them or requiring detention. Neighborhood schools are not allowed to do this. If the parent refuses to keep their child in detention, the school cannot keep them. (Ironically, CPS as a whole can keep kids in school against the will of their parents in a 7.5 hour day however.)
    The better way involves special rules for special players.
    I could support charters in theory 100% if they were required to abide by the same exact rules as CPS proper, and if they were required to enroll and keep every single student from a particular attendance area. Otherwise, much like my children’s magnet school, they are pseudo private schools.

  • 949. mom2  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

    @948 – But don’t you see, that is why many parents like Charters. It is exactly because they don’t have to follow the CPS rules and they can make it whatever they feel is necessary to provide the best education to their students. It might not be “fair” if you are doing comparisons, but “fair” isn’t what is important to parents when they are looking for what is “best” for their child/children. People always think that when a parent on this forum talks about Charters being a better choice in some cases, that they are slamming CPS teachers or principals. They are certainly not doing that. One has nothing to do with the other.

    This is only about what is best for their kids and if going to a school that has the ability to remove disruptive kids or has more teachers in the classroom is important to that family, then they will feel that the charter is a better choice. End of story.

  • 950. alittlelessgloatingplease  |  March 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    @942: I suppose that in an ideal world, an all-seeing CPS would be able to monitor every single thing I do to make the most of my child’s education, and have those factors taken into account when she applies for SEHS:

    Deduct points for:
    Reading to her every day
    Helping her with her homework every day
    Working with her on math, vocabulary, and reading beyond her grade level
    Engaging her in conversation about news, politics, and history
    Going to her school to support her at science fairs and performances

    I am truly sorry that Tier 1 kids, on average, do not get the same kind of parental support that my kid does. But it’s just insulting that parents who are doing the hard work of being good parents have to put up with your dismissiveness and gloating.

    Life is truly unfair: talent and intelligence are not equally distributed, and neither is diligence, patience, or determination. Some kids have involved parents, some don’t. That is just the way life is, and always will be. The tier system attempts to mitigate these inequalities, but in doing so, actually has a very corrosive effect on the very behaviors a good educational system should be encouraging.

    I trust that good parents will continue working with their kids to further their education, regardless of how much the tier system neutralizes or diminishes the advantages thus conferred. CPS might reason that there is thus no compelling reason to reward behaviors that will continue regardless of whatever scheme it may come up with for SEHS admissions. But I think that CPS is presumptuously expecting quite a bit from anxious Tier 3 and Tier 4 parents to quietly pay their property taxes and stress out with their kids, only to feel gypped in the end.

    Now, a lot can be said to put this into perspective: in the end, it is overall much better to be a Tier 4 family than a Tier 1 family. But I would guess that many Tier 4 families feel that their generosity is being sorely tested, and when it comes to their kids, there was only a tiny pool of good will to start with!

  • 951. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    To me it comes down to selecting the “best and brightest” from each tier. And then the “true” best and brightest get an edge in the rank spots and the IB programs that don’t use tier.

    Let’s face it. Many of the tier 4 kids who rank high in the city are doing so BECAUSE tier 1 and tier 2 kids have less advantages. If every child in this city had access to the same advantages many of those smart tier 1 and 2 kids would rise to the top and those borderline tier 4 kids (the ones who missed out on the top SE high school spots) would move closer to looking squarely average.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 952. junior  |  March 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    @950 alittlelessgloatingplease

    Speaking of insulting, I think it’s very unfortunate that you would characterize Tier 4 parents as making all the efforts that you listed while Tier 1-3 don’t.

  • 953. alittlelessgloatingplease  |  March 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    @952: Forgive my oversight. I made it a point to say “on average” with regards to Tier 1. I would, of course, never say that Tiers 1-3 don’t have parents just as dedicated.

    It seems, however, that CPS would agree that there is a big problem, on average, in the lower tiers. Isn’t the socioeconomic basis of the tier system a proxy for the degree of parental presence/involvement?

  • 954. Go For The Gold!  |  March 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Have we ever hit 1000 posts on a thread? Could it happen today?

  • 955. Monday, Monday...  |  March 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    @950 Bravo! Truly eloquent statement!

    Unfortunately, cpsobsessed, you assume that the tiers in place now are a given, that must be accepted and endured.

    In fact, the “tiers” were originally rolled out as a 50/50 proposition in conjunction with rank.

    In its original 50/50 incarnation, circa Fall 2009, achievement safeguards were also put in place. For lack of a better term I suppose one could call them bottom thresholds. (To explain: seats in the SEHS schools were not given to anyone scoring below them – in an original attempt by CPS to not dilute the top notch scholastic caliber of these “elite” schools and to prevent students who were unprepared for the rigor of said schools. Of particular note: the social engineers at CPS initially saw great value in conserving the “elite” academic nature of the SEHS). Consequently, if there were not enough qualified scores in any tier, those seats would not be filled, instead those spots would be re-distributed among the tiers above them to students with higher (i.e., above threshold) scores.

    As has been stated repeatedly here on this blog, a tremendous amount of tinkering soon began with the 50/50 Rank/Tier formula. The 50/50 formula had been in its planning stages for quite some time because the city & CPS knew that the consent decree realistically did have a “shelf life”; they looked forward to the day when it would be rescinded; city officials knew they couldn’t keep using race as the admissions criteria forever; their experts had been sought out beforehand; they devised the new plan with (comparatively, for CPS) significant forethought from what I’ve read. They weren’t necessarily surprised that the decree was vacated; they had a plan; they just had to scramble to implement it in late September 2009 because of the timing of the court’s decision.

    My contention is that city officials and CPS have done a tremendous amount of scrambling and tinkering since the original plan was created. Instead of seeming reasonable to include 50% based on scholastic rank, it’s now a paltry 30%. Seems to me that preservation of scholastic excellence has fallen prey to political expediency, and that “diversity” is prized over academics. In my humble opinion that is what this comes down to.

  • 956. Tax Payer  |  March 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm


    It should not be the best and brightest from each tier. It should be the highest scores not based on any tier system. What is the city going to do when the tier 4 folks all get sick of this and move out? How will they pay for all the entitlement programs?

  • 957. lawyerlady  |  March 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    cpsobsessed, I agree completely.

    I guess I have a question for the parents who are advocating for admission based on scores only with no tiers or other methods of ensuring inclusion of less affluent kids in the SE schools. Why are you staying in the city and not simply moving to the suburbs? When I’ve asked this question in the past of friends, “diversity” is often the response; they want to raise their kids in a diverse environment so that they appreciate different lifestyles, cultures, and attitudes.

    In my view, if the point of staying in the city is to raise your children in a diverse environment (which, among other benefits, I presume is a driving force behind many parents’ decisions to stay here), then why wouldn’t you want socio-economic diversity in your child’s school? It seems a little hypocritical to live here for the “diverse” experience but to advocate for a system that would undoubtedly result in less diversity (at least socio-economically speaking). You can’t have your cake and eat it too. I think it’s certainly valid to say the method of incorporating socio-economic diversity is flawed, but to base the entire thing on scores only is completely inconsistent with the presumed goal of diversity. Just my two cents.

  • 958. anonymouseteacher  |  March 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @949, I see your point. But so many parents DO literally state that charters are better schools.
    Here’s my deal. My kids are at a magnet. An extremely high performing one. It is high performing for ONE main reason. Money. Everyone knows this even if they won’t admit it. Like parents who choose a charter, I want my kids there because it is what is best for them. Yes, magnets are unfairly funded with more money. Magnets unfairly attract higher performing kids from neighborhood schools. They even unfairly attract and keep better teachers because the working conditions are better. But is it truly a better school? I mean in terms of better instruction? Maybe. Sometimes. But take away all that money and place kids from a poor performing neighborhood school with all the behavior issues that they face and I don’t believe our magnet school would do any better.
    So, yes, parents may view charters or experience one as a better school, and it may provide a better experience for kids. And I get why parents want their kids there. I really do.
    The reason teachers freak out about this is because low performing schools, robbed of all the luxuries afforded to magnets or charters are being closed under the guise of “oh, bad teachers. so entrenched. can’t be fixed, just shut it down.” Our reputations and our livelihoods are on the line. Not because we are bad teachers, apathetic teachers or ineffective teachers. But because neighborhood schools are starving for what they need. Starving.

    My point is this. Yes, all families need to be provided with schools that work. Absolutely. But this should not mean charters and actually it should not even mean magnets or SEHS or any other specialty schools. It should mean every school, every kid, every teacher in every single part of the city should get what they need.

    For some schools, like the one I taught in on the west side, we needed class sizes of less than 15, multiple reading specialists and ESL teachers, resources, police help and much more to succeed. Did we ever get anything close to that? Never. I hear one poster say again and again that we need to figure out how to educate kids who have no support at home. Amen to that. But that takes more money that most families would be willing to part with in terms of taxes, more talent-if I can be honest- than our political leadership and school leadership has, and more effort. Some schools might need armed police guards in their hallways. Fine. Some schools might need, oh, say, paper. (Paper is on my mind, I just spend $25 on it) I could go on, but I won’t.

    This is a civil rights issue much bigger than charters. And yes, the union must adapt and change every bit as much as all the other stakeholders, including legislators, teachers, parents and students.
    I have to get off this site now because I have at least 6 more hours worth of planning, RTI, and differentiation to prepare for this week.

  • 959. Monday, Monday...  |  March 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    @ lawyerlady
    re: presumed goal of diversity

    That’s why, as a parent who has watched all of this play out for approx. 5 years now, I was perfectly happy with the 50/50 proposal when CPS advanced it. The court said CPS couldn’t use racial stats, so this original plan seemed reasonable. It wasn’t solely limited to the “brainiacs” at the top of the pile. It held out a hand to kids across the demographics of the city & offered them a pretty significant amount of seats at these institutions of higher (highest?) learning in our city. It seemed inclusive. It was after all, “50/50”. Isn’t that the phrase one uses when talking about sharing, or even odds?

    Your assumption, however, that the residents of Chicago live here for “diversity” is really puzzling to me. The citizenry lives here for a whole myriad of reasons. I might say I live in Chicago because of my family connections, because of my friends, because of my job, because of the beautiful lakefront, because of the top notch, world class museums, etc, etc. etc. The reason I live here has nothing to do with diversity. It’s simply my home. (And for the record, my family and I do not live in some isolated little pigeonhole, although others seem to keep insisting everyone in Tier 4 is rich, advantaged, racist, etc.) Please don’t tell me to leave my home because you value “diversity” above all else. That feels a tad bit too condescending.

    Chicago attempted to create some world class schools many years ago. Lo and behold, they actually succeeded. At least 4 of them have made the “top 100 in the U.S.” rankings of major news magazines in recent years. We should be proud of our students. We should continue rewarding them, not turning away stellar students because there’s “no room for you”, even though there’s plenty of room for someone who just scored 50 to 100 points lower.

    Once again, as an alternative to the discarded-by-court-order racial quotas for admittance (pie charts, for short), in my humble opinion, the 50/50 proposal with thresholds was a reasonable, fair, inclusive strategy for these academically elite institutions.

  • 960. MeLastYr7  |  March 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    956 – you are correct.

  • 961. MeLastYr  |  March 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    956 — agree with you

  • 962. Tax Payer  |  March 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    If this highly flawed CPS “experiment” doesn’t change soon, there’s going to be a mass exodus of middle class parents from the city that will not only erode Chicago’s tax base, but it will severely damage Chicago’s public schools. The schools will not only experience a brain drain, but will lose the tax dollars and parental involvement that is so important to them. Many of us cannot afford a private school education for our kids, and we pay a lot of taxes and should have decent options for our high school-age children.

    If you look at the six criteria of this tier formula, and you know anything about the city, you’ll soon realize that this tier system is just a cloak for a race-based system. While the idea of giving a boost to needy AA students is a noble one, we shouldn’t be making 13-14 year-old students pay for society’s ills. Tier 1 students can gain admission to Northside Prep with a score that’s 130 points less than students in Tier 4! Further, many families who live in Tier 4 are not well-off, my family included. Because many elementary schools are sub-par, kids from the lowest tiers struggle to survive at top SE schools, which is potentially damaging to those students.

    We need a more equitable system. And Chicago needs more good schools so that all kids can receive a good education

  • 963. anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    What do you think?

    If we had more s.e. high schools, would we keep more families in the city?

    Would parochial and private schools enrollment suffer?

    Chicago lost about 200,000 pop. since the prior census. What is the estimate of pop. loss in the next 10? Anyone know?

  • 964. Tax Payer  |  March 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I work in the mortgage industry and I am being flooded with people that are looking to get out of the city. Chicago will easily lose another 200,000 by the next census in 2020, with at least half of them being middle class.

    Tier 4 = the middle class tax payers that pay the highest property taxes.
    Property taxes = the money spent on school system.

    Socialism at work.

    Chicago will be very similar to Detroit by 2030 if they don’t stop taxing the middle class to death..

  • 965. lawyerlady  |  March 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    @963 – Chicago lost 200,000 since the last census?! That is crazy, I had no idea. Valid point, @964 — it will just get worse if they don’t give more options to the middle class. Do you think this is even on their radar?

  • 966. Another Mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    One word. Detroit.

  • 967. MeLastYr99  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    963 Yes, people will leave the city. That is people who CAN leave the city. The cops & fireman stuggle to send their kids to private schools. Then they get paid overtime to keep security going in the city high schools.

    There will also be a mass retirement in the city schools at the end of this year. The old timers won’t hang around to see what Rahm does with the unions and pensions.

  • 968. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Cuz our major car industry is going to implode?

    That probably had nothing to do with it. Probably was the taxes.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 969. Another Mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    “The (charter) high school in Chicago that sends all it’s kids to college.” I think you’re talking about Urban Prep. Oh, dear. Yes, you need to do more research on that. Rod Estvan has some. Not all it might seem, even in the media. But it is an alternative for some students. You likely wouldn’t be satisfied with it for your child, however.

  • 970. anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Compare h.s. rankings in Illinois on schoodigger.com

    cps-o —

    A lot of research on Chicago charters show sthey don’t outperform the average CPS school. (Sun Times, Dec.)

    It gets a lot of publicity, but Urban Prep is ranked #604 out of 666 Illinois schools.

    Noble St. charter h.s. do better, but they do not outperform King (176) Chicago High School for the Agricultural Sciences (181); Von Steuben (196).

    And charters do cull. They also cherry pick. One accepted my daughter and she hadn’t applied.

    Who has the time? But take a look at school digger.com

    Since I’ve been there last, they changed the data they offer. No longer can you get ACT scores.
    Only PSAE.
    Wonder why that change was made?

  • 971. mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I do know that every single family in our condo that has had children while living there has decided to move out because of the fear of the public schools – not just out of the condo building, but out of the city. We are the only family that has stayed. It is a true indication of the concerns families have with the current school system. I don’t want Chicago to turn into Detroit. Rahm, please help!!! Stop this now.

  • 972. anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    964 — interesting! Even though housing prices are still low, do you see more inventory and sales? People figure that they will sell for less and buy for less than otherwise they might have expected?

  • 973. HS Mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Most of that population change is low income families on the south and west side. Population in central city has increased.


  • 974. anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Some one told me today that they think Rahm is reckless and ruthless. That he has a plan to downsize the public sector, starting with teachers, that he will implement even though it guarantees him one term. That 30% of principals are retiring at the end of the school year. And droves of teachers.

    Anyone hearing this? What do you think?

  • 975. anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    973 — I kow you love data, so your opinion, pls.

    Don’t think it can be only low income folks leaving. They would be among the least mobile, wouldn’t they?

    In the center or north side, I’d expect that people with young families who leave for the suburbs are replaced by younger newlyweds and singles fairly frequently.

    But I don’t expect that new, younger families are replacing those who are leaving on the south and west sides, do you?

    So those neighborhoods could be aging in place or going into decline.

  • 976. HS Mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I would think that lower income families would be much more mobile.

  • 977. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    People with kids turning school age have always left the city. Always, always. Yet now instead of under-enrolled schools, we have schools bursting at the seams, begging for more space. This appears to be a difference versus say, 10 years ago.
    When I moved into my street 14 years ago the only kids going to public schools were in gifted-classical programs. Now my street has kids at burley, waters, coonley, lphs, nscp, whitney young. Other familes will never see city schools as a real option and they choose to leave. Actually I think they don’t see city life for kids as an option, with education being a part of that. It takes some determination to stay in the city.
    Obviously that’s not research, but clearly there are more decent options now.

    Gotta say though, the longer day (7.5) has been the the thing that has people I know really grumbling at cps. That and the lack of non -SE high school options.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 978. M R  |  March 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    My daughter was just accepted into Lane. Does anyone have a child that attends the school? My main concern is for her safety. Is it a safe school?

  • 979. Tax Payer  |  March 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    @978 Lane is a very safe school. I have an in-law that teaches there.

    @everyone else. Rahm does not care about the city. It is a stepping stone to his run for higher offices. What he is doing is cutting right and left. He has shifted 800 cops that were already cops and says he filled the vacancies. Chicago is actually down 1,000 police. The 16th district which is tier 4 barely has any patrol up there as he shifted them to other areas.

    In a few years when he is going to run for higher office he is going to say “I cut the budget by this many millions.” He will be in Washington DC and we will be left here to fix the mess. He is not a good person trust me I know.

  • 980. Esmom  |  March 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    @957, I would argue that lots of people who are in the city aren’t here for the diversity. In fact, I think it might be just the opposite when it comes to Tier 4. I think what initially attracted today’s Tier 4 parents to city living was the proximity to downtown, the lake, the museums, the restaurants…and the fact that they could buy a place (back in the 90s) cheaper than in the suburbs.

    Then when they had kids, some took a chance on the local CPS school and things grew from there, including the real estate bubble. Ironically, as neighborhoods gentrified they became less diverse. And I think that’s what people liked about it, it filled up with people just like them.

    Within 15 years, I saw my old Tier 4 neighborhood evolve from a fairly diverse (not racially but socioeconomically), working class neighborhood into something that truly resembled an affluent suburban enclave. The two flats filled with extended families were slowly replaced by single family mansions with young kids. The SEHSs were attractive (at least on the north side) because they fit right into that idyllic picture. And that’s where the outrage among Tier 4 families is coming from, I think. They no longer have a sure “safe” option in the SEHSs and are scared by the “diversity” of a Lakeview or Senn.

  • 981. Jonesmama  |  March 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    To the person calling me out as if i had something to hide:
    We live in tier 3 and my daughter’s scores were high enough to get placed at any school she wanted. She chose jones because she loved the feel there and because it is the most diverse. She goes to an A.C. So her A’s were harder to attain than a kid at a neighborhood school. We both still defend the tier system. Again, you knew the game going in, and if you didn’t then you weren’t paying attention. When my daughter first entered cps, she didn’t get into one of the “good” schools, we joined the school and worked hard. We placed her in an accelerated program in 5th grade then an A.C. For 7th. She has worked hard. Tonight she is doing the work of 4 students picking up the slack of others on a group project. She is gifted with an understanding that it is a gift and she can use it or let it slip away. She works her ass off, but also understands the tier system in a way that so many of you grown adults can’t seem to wrap your head around. So whoever tried to call me out on my tier…there you have it. My kid had the points to go to NS WP, even in tier 4, but chose jones. Sorry, your “gotcha plan” didn’t work. There are my cards on the table. What were your child’s score and tier? You lost the game, because you weren’t willing to look at the facts that we all had, and you screwed your child because of it. Buck up and find a solution instead of trying to find someone to sling mud at. Poor, poor tier 4. Teach your children to understand the system, get the grades they need and if they don’t cut it then they don’t deserve the spot. If a tier 1 or 2 kid get the points they need after going through a sub par school than they are getting the spot they deserve. Kids fail out of these programs from all different tiers. My daughter saw it at her A.C. Center. Actually one of the kids who got into her 3rd choice and is all upset about it is one of the kids failing on her end of the group project and she is in tier 4. Have anything else you want to call me out on? Income? College education level? Marriage status? My iq? My husband’s? Number of deductions on our tax returns? Blood type? Drug use history? Anything to make you feel better about the fact that you didn’t see the writing on the wall and failed your kid. Both of my previous posts were civil, but don’t try to call me out that I am playing games and somehow only defending the tier system because I won the lottery. Don’t question my motive. My motives are selfless, unlike all the bashing I have seen on here. Gross. Gross. Gross. Shameful, actually. We need more spots. Jones will help this next year. We also need better neighborhood schools. We changed the elementary system here, we can do it at the HS level. The talent here in Chicago parents is wide and deep and has been tapped already. It now needs to be refocused on the high schools.

  • 982. Tax Payer  |  March 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I just saw something very ineteresting on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. There are 169,000 jobs in foundry and machine shops that are going unfilled because of the lack of skilled labor. These are very high paying jobs. They need to open more schools similar to how Lane Tech used to be with auto shop, electric shop, print shop and foundry class. I grew up with a guy that went to Lane in the late 70’s and due to being exposed to electric shop he went on to get an electrical engineering degree and eventually working on the space shuttle program at Nasa. Kids today are only being prepared for college and we all know that not everyone is cut out for that. We need people that are skilled in the trades too.

  • 983. Bookworm  |  March 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    @ 956 etc. I don’t think all of the tier four families will leave the city. Just the few who cannot find what they want that can somehow sell their houses. No many will go.
    The Consent decree should never have been evacuated.

    Our Chicago schools are still terribly segregated. Our highest performing high schools would not have the same credibility with college admissions personnel if they became less diverse then they sadly barely are now.
    Our highest performing high schools are still less competitive admissions wise than the very top NYC high schools. Changing the bar for acceptance will not change this.

  • 984. concernedparent..  |  March 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Hello, my daughter got accepted into Lane Tech. Is that a good school? Also, do you know any kids who go there that enjoy it? I’m worried because my daughter doesn’t make friends easily.

  • 985. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    So far all feedback on lane has been fantastic and parents report that their kids have made friends due to the variety of kids and activities. Congrats! I think you are in an enviable spot!

    Do a search for lane on this thread to see what has been said.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 986. Anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    980 – 981 — Could be right. But i wonder how CPS lost nearly 300 freshmen seats this year. I think that has put a lot of extra pressure on an already stressful, multi-year process.

  • 987. Anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    983 — I don’t worry about how our top schools compare to NYC’s. I wish we had s.e.h.s. with larger enrollments than WP, NCP, and Jones.

  • 988. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    What percent of kids do you guys think should place into SE high schools to keep them selective?
    For now, it appears to be 10 percent of kids in the city. In some ways it feels less “selective” to dip below that.

    Or…what min score should guarantee admission (although as of now, any kid with the current absolute minimum could have gotten into one of the current schools.). So that question doesn’t really make sense.
    It comes down to families wanting one of the top school (admittedly in a safe neighborhood.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 989. PortageParent  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I feel like people are dismissing logistics here and/or calling it racism when some us simply don’t want our kids to have to commute for hours. Northside or south side, it doesn’t matter. A commute say beyond 45 minutes seems over the top. So, to me, if I live on the north side the commute to Brooks or Lindblom knocks it off the list or if I live on the south side, NSCP and Lane are out.

    Sometimes, it’s just that simple.

  • 990. Monday, Monday...  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    @989 PortageParent
    You are so very correct! There may be 9 SEHS options, but they are not reasonable options for all children of the city based on geographical distance from one’s home. Our son scored 900 last year. NCP, Payton & Lane were out of the question based on travel time to get there from our home. He chose Jones as his first choice on his application. His brother loves it. We love it. It’s a perfect fit. Not all Tier 4 parents & students are hot and bothered over northside schools. We just want educational excellence and a safe, reasonably short commute to school via public transit. Simple, indeed!

  • 991. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I hear ya. I am philosophically opposed to morning travel.

    However the question is: should
    CPS be obligated to provide more spaces so north side kids don’t have to travel? (Same argument for southside, by which I mean generally tier 1-2).

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 992. ExCPS007  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    981 you can’t be serious with your shameful rant. grow up. “failed your kid” you are on a seriously inflated ego trip. Just because someone works hard enough to pay taxes and have a decent house in tier 4, they don’t have to listen to your craziness. We don’t all play into this stuff.
    I chose to avoid this crap when my 7th grader came home with stomachaches every day because the principal and teachers kept preaching about “A”s all day, all the time. I reminded ds that his cousins walk over to Maine South and sign up. Those suburban kids don’t have this stress. I also told him there is life outside of NS (which by the way has a a suicide room). We are happily paying tuition (thank God I have a decent job) from our lovely, high tax, tier 4 home –all all is good. He is thriving, surviving and in Honors classes and honor roll And he had a “B” in 7th grade (oh the shame!!!)

  • 993. anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Whew! Take a breath! Calm down. Just wanted to ascertain the facts since your post was not specific. FYI: Nothing to lose on my end. Two kids in SEHS, one hopefully headed there in a couple of years. Jones is a wonderful school and I truly hope your daughter is happy there.

  • 994. cps alum  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    @982– and the award winning journalist who did the story is a graduate of CPS schools….and he didn’t even go to a SE school!

  • 995. Disappointed  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Ok just found this website. I’m a tier 4 and my son didn’t get into any SE school Lane being his first choice with a score of 834. We will be applying for PD but we need to make our back up decision. He was accepted to Von steubens scholars program and noble school uic college prep. Does anyone have any insight into any of these schools to help us decide.

  • 996. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Do a search on this thread and high school letters part 1 for Von and you’ll see some good stuff there. Unfortunately nothing about Noble.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 997. cps alum  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    @995, I don’t have current knowledge of the program at Von, but the journalist mentioned in post 994 was actually a Von Steuben graduate– but from the years before the Scholars program.

  • 998. melancholy  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Defenders of the tier system are usually quick to add that their kids could have gotten in anywhere, even applying the Tier 4 cutoffs.

    These parents are very blessed, but are ultimately irrelevant to the discussion. The superiority of their kids’ performance ironically invalidates their opinion: their children having managed to soar above those struggling in the tier system, they do not feel as keenly the frustration of others who have been disappointed by this process.

    What, then, for the rest of us?

    It is not unreasonable to expect the public school system to deliver a quality education at a location fairly close to home. The fact that CPS’ inadequacies and the daunting challenges of SEHS enrollment are well-known is not a legitimate excuse: people pay high property taxes to fund CPS, and it is a bit much to tell anyone who doesn’t have a 897+ student that they can just pick up and leave for the suburbs, or pay for private school (but not before you drop your check in the mail).

    I am not as well-versed in the history of CPS as most of you, but I suspect that the SEHS more or less function as a politically expedient band aid to keep middle class and upper middle class families somewhat mollified, at least enough to keep them in the city for a little bit (A bit of Marxian false consciousness at play here, perhaps?). While I am as attracted as anybody else to the idea of elite institutions, from a broader public education perspective, it seems rather silly to put so much stock in a handful of schools when the overwhelming majority of them are atrocious (And we are paying for all of them, both good and (mostly) bad!).

    Most of us won’t get into the elite schools, and not for want of trying! Though I am some years away from all of this, I wonder if this is all too much for the tweeners . . . not to mention the parents!

  • 999. Monday, Monday...  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    @998 melancholy
    Thanks for expressing these sentiments so eloquently!

  • 1000. Jonesmama  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    My reply was not to you 992. I have no ego involved, because I know my daughter worked hard for what she got. My comments were very calm, until some shamed tier 4 called me out and wanted to know why I never mentioned my daughter’s tier. It was an accusation as if I was hiding my daughter’s inferior scores and sneaking in as a tier 1 or 2 and stealing her kid’s spot. I never mentioned my tier before that, because i didnt think it mattered. My daughter’s scores didn’t matter as far as my belief in the tier system. I was sick of the rendering of clothes because baby didn’t get first or second choice and deserved it because they were in tier 4. And some kid in tier 1 or 2 was stealing from their sweetums. I was called into the ring and now I want to know what else this woman needs from me to prove my child’s worthiness. I have no room for an ego trip, because it all belongs to my daughter. I was being sarcastic. Grow up? I have been guiding my daughter through this process like an adult since day 1. That woman wouldn’t have the gall to call me out like that over my belief in the tier system unless her soul was full of guilt form her failure at reading the writing on the wall. I work hard and pay my taxes in tier three. Is that the next step? Pull out our property tax records to see who deserves a spot? There is no shame in a B, just don’t cry foul if he doesn’t get into Walter payton. Look at the score and rank accordingly. I am glad you love your beautiful home. You don’t think there are amazing homes in any of the other tiers? Ignoranace must be added to my rant. Again, you tier 4ers are really acting shameful, and elitist. You knew going in, an higher score was needed. If you ranked your kids schools with a wish and a prayer don’t take it out on the tier 1 and 2s. I guess this rant is towards 992. I am so glad you think your house was what was so important to mention in this post. Says so much about yourself. I also,love that you think your taxes are higher than mine and that is somehow a judgement on me. Nice fulfilled life you are living. Keep living that dream. Your priorities are…interesting.

  • 1001. anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    @1000 Jonesmama
    Again, I beseech you, please calm down! This ranting can’t be good for your blood pressure!

    A wise person once told me that if you’re always looking to be offended… you will always succeed

  • 1002. Jonesmama  |  March 5, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I left my tier out and score out, because I have a 1st grader who will not be eligible for s.e.h.s. I care what happens, but don’t want to see the tier system torn down because people are blinded by their rage. I have been in this system a long time and have seen the changes. We can do this for the high schools. The change does not need to come in the changing of tiers and law suits (really) but in improving what we have. I remember when lake view was not a school to send your kid to and now is an option. We need to keep pushing the options for the average or slightly above average. We need to keep our eyes on the ball and not look down at the lower tiers with saliva dripping from our mouths looking for an easy target.

  • 1003. anonymous  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Unfortunately, you seem to be the one here who is blinded by rage…

  • 1004. cps alum  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I find the fact that more girls are getting accepted than boys very sad. I wonder if CPS is thinking of balancing the genders better. While generally girls tend to have higher grades than boys in their early teens, the boys usually catch up in their late teens. Unfortunately this is after the SEHS admissions.

  • 1005. Jonesmama  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    My posts were calm until I was called out. Fight the good fight. That is what I will be doing. Or cry about how your big house and dreams didn’t get baby into n.s. I have been working on getting a new feeding school in the Irving park neighborhood. I walk the talk and not just try to make people feel like crap about their lower tier, which this woman wouldn’t have even know about without her gross accusations.

  • 1006. Tax Payer  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Jonesmama sounds like she is very angry towards white people.

  • 1007. Fight! Fight! Fight!  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    This board is much more fun than Urbanbaby!

  • 1008. HS Mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    @991 – the northside does have more SE spaces by the mere fact that Lane is northside. Is SE really 10% of the total high school population? My feeling is that if you have 15,000 applicants for freshman SE spots there should be space for a large % of them. 15,000 asking and able to do college prep work. We can’t accommodate 50% of those kids with selective schools? I’m not sure why.

  • 1009. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    But is 50 percent “selective?”
    I’m not thinking a kid in the 51st percentile should qualify as selective.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1010. cpsobsessed  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Urban baby? NOOOO!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 1011. Jonesmama  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    my first two comments were only about the tier system. Left my daughters points and tier out. I became disgusted. These conversations have shown people in the dirtiest of lights. Trying to look their noses down from their beautiful homes??? (not my words) I tried to keep this non personal by keeping tier and scores out, but it made me look like I had an agenda by the paranoid hand wringers. My anger comes from parents trying to tear down a system instead of making it better. Tear down those who got in from lower tiers and complain about how hard it was to explain to their kids. It could have been a teaching moment instead of a poor me moment.

  • 1012. Mom  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    @Jonesmama, what was your child’s score? That might help quell the naysayers.

    I think mostly everyone agrees here (for the most part). Set aside some seats for the deserving poor. But let’s not pretend that the “myth” of the tier system equals the reality. It’s a frustrating debate when defenders continue to espouse how important it is to help these deserving kids, yet there is , so far, zero evidence these kids are getting in (vs. smarter kids).

  • 1013. Tax Payer  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:37 pm


    If you stopped getting enraged I think what people are trying to say is that kids shouldn’t be allowed to get in with lower scores because of what area they live in. It should be based on test scores and grades. There are many people renting in tier 4 that actually have an income that would put them in tier 1. That is a major flaw in the system.

  • 1014. Jonesmama  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Taxpayer….you my dear are quiet the stew stirrer. You don’t think there are whites in any other tiers than 4? I pay my taxes proudly and I don’t base my feelings towards people based on skin color, but I have a feeling I wouldn’t like you no matter what your skin color is. Why are you bringing race into this? Lazy argument if you ask me.

  • 1015. Jonesmama  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I was angered by two people. I believe in the tier system. It is a good system.

  • 1016. Jonesmama  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    897 tier 3 jones first choice. Why should that matter?

  • 1017. Tax Payer  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Thanks for making it clear that you believe in descrimination Jonesmama. I am done wasting my time on you.

  • 1018. tier 4  |  March 6, 2012 at 12:19 am

    I actually agree with Jonesmama. I have one in a SE school and another in 7th grade. As with the older one, we know the rules and are doing what we can do get the straight A’s and high SAT-10 scores. If not, there will be some safety schools and I’m sure it will all work out.

  • 1019. anonymous  |  March 6, 2012 at 12:20 am

    @ 1015 Jonesmama
    “I believe in the tier system. It is a good system.”

    Many agree with you and many others disagree.
    Because some folks on this blog disagree with you and believe that the 30/70 needs to be tossed out altogether or that it should revert to 50/50, that doesn’t really warrant your outrage to the degree that you’ve expressed it…it makes YOU sound racist. Your tone really could stand some drastic improvement. It was dripping with hatred against other parents, particularly Tier 4 parents. Why are they being lumped by you into such a demonic category?

    Just because others disagree with you does not make them racist. Many have thoughtfully stated their reasons for their opinions. Perhaps you could calm down a bit. Nobody on here is your enemy.

    To reiterate:
    A wise person once told me that if you’re always looking to be offended… you will always succeed.

  • 1020. TruthB.Told  |  March 6, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Jonesmama, you are wasting your energy. I have been echoing the same sentiments regarding the rules and the ostensibly flawed CPS system. You play by the rules that are set or you try to change them, that’s all you can do. Life isn’t always fair and the playing field isn’t always level. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do your best to win with the rules that are set.

    By the way, was it you that has two kids at Jones already? Maybe that was ProudJonesMama. You seem really high on Jones and I’ve been trying to gather as much feedback as possible from people with firsthand knowledge about the school.

    I’ll be visiting Jones tomorrow evening for the welcoming program. It’s the last sales pitch to my son, who was also accepted a Catholic high school that was high on his list, and where most of his friends will likely be attending. His mom and I have already decided that we will most likely make an executive decision and choose for him, but it would be nice if he likes Jones, as I think it’s important for him to be comfortable at the school he attends. We missed the open house at Jones so he didn’t get a change to check it out.

    Lately, he seems to be getting excited about Jones. He likes the fact that it’s located downtown, diverse and highly ranked. It’s also close to my job, which is a definite plus. We’ll see how it goes…

  • 1021. tier 4  |  March 6, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Truthbtold–I remember my son did not like Jones because of the building and the fact that there was no gym. Emphasize that there is going to be a new building.

  • 1022. Please!!!  |  March 6, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Stop picking on Jonesmama!

    She did not start the “racist” remarks. Perhaps you should go back and reread this posting. No one jumped on the multiple blatant racist remarks (and there are many). Interesting, is it because you think she is black (don’t recall her saying) and the other “racist” remarks are from whites. Spare me! Let’s move on. Can we return to the matter at hand? Bottom line, there are too many children (of all walk of life) getting the short end of the stick within CPS. We need to band together.or nothing will change.

  • 1023. TruthB.Told  |  March 6, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Thanks Tier 4.

    Funny you should mention that because I already anticipate my son making a comment about the building. To be quite honest, I don’t much care for the building either, but aside from that, it sounds like a great school. The building just looks a bit old and too square.

    By the way, I already used the new building angle, since I know my son will mention the aesthetics of the building (or lack thereof) and definitely the lack of a gym. I’m hoping it’s dark when we arrive and maybe he won’t notice as much. : )

    I take it that you son chose another school over Jones?

  • 1024. TruthB.Told  |  March 6, 2012 at 12:59 am


  • 1025. Just Sayin'  |  March 6, 2012 at 1:34 am

    @1022 “Please!!!”

    Actually, blatant racist remarks have been jumped on, by fellow posters & by the self-described “blog nanny”. Please see posts 867, 868 & 869 & 871. The supremely offensive remarks in post # 867 were actually removed by the nanny later in the day. They were pretty vile, but I just want you to know that not all rotten remarks are ignored. Some of us do care quite a bit. We may have differing opinions, but I would venture to say that most parents here are not haters.

  • 1026. Northwest-side Mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 3:09 am

    @#1011- Please “take a chill pill!” I take offense at your posts, which seem to broad brush all Tier 4 parents in a very ugly way. It’s really rubbing salt into the wound and a low blow, when you suggest that parents of disappointed kids somehow fell down on the job! Many families are rightly upset because they and their kids have worked extremely hard for many years, making education a priority in the family’s life for the sake of their childrens’ future. As much work as families do trying to stay ahead of CPS and into developing a back-up plan, seems every year CPS pulls some new last minute switcheroo that changes the playing field, and can never be known in advance by families. Also, life circumstances change.

    Understand that many folks in Tier 4 have worked just as hard as you and your child, and many aren’t living a life of privilege. Many are not financially well off, made lots of sacrifices to live where they do, perhaps can’t re-locate because their house is underwater, and can’t afford private school for their kids.

    Both my kids work extremely hard at their schoolwork, and one managed to be “perfect” and got into an SEHS. Younger brother is extremely conscientious, gets straight A’s, but is hampered by some neurological challenges which force him to spend twice as much time as classmates to get the same work accomplished. He attends a mediocre neighborhood school in Tier 4 that doesn’t come close to meeting his intellectual needs, but because of his disabilities he couldn’t be flawless enough to test into a better elementary school, despite his abilities and high IQ. Can’t afford thousands in attorney fees to fight CPS for an IEP for our child, so he may not ever make it into a good hs BECAUSE we live in Tier 4 (despite his unusually high level of ability and dedication).

    Please show some sensitivity to others who are less fortunate than you. You really don’t know the circumstances that people are dealing with, especially in these difficult economic times.

  • 1027. cpsobsessed  |  March 6, 2012 at 5:08 am

    BlogNanny here.
    I have created a new post for the Tier debate in anticipation of the same debate when the elementary letters come out and some kindergarten parents experience the same outrage (but without a couple years of forewarning.)

    I feel the debate is worthwhile.
    The personal accusations I could live without, ya know?
    I don’t want this place to be compared to UrbanBaby. That is a low blow. 🙂

    If you want to continue to make some points, post them there. I’ll delete any Tier debate here so parents can stay on the topic of high school admissions in this thread.


  • 1028. HS Mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 9:37 am

    @1020 – Since the tier discussion has moved, I will take a minute to brag. We are a Jones family and love it. Our 2nd year there. One thing that I think makes Jonesmama passionate is that we enjoy a very rich diverse population that may be lacking in other schools. Back when we applied, there was an option for a shadow day up front. Once my son shadowed, there was no getting him off Jones.

    The curriculum is rigorous. All honors classes with the option to start A/P sophomore year. With the variety of abilities – even amongst those that test well, the teachers at Jones work hard to keep all students at course level and engaged. They offer tutoring before and after school and in some cases intervention. So, the student that excels at Math and Science but needs help in writing can still be successful in an honors level lit class. Speaking of teachers, they are extremely supportive and genuinely care about the success of the student and the school. They are amazing and go above and beyond. My son has near perfect attendance and is fervent about attending class. The school will be going to a block schedule next year which is very exciting. The class load is 7 classes and there will be a block of time dedicated to all the enrichment activities that we now take – Freshman Fridays, college knowledge, homeroom/homework, one on one sessions with the teacher, ACT test prep, and other stuff that I’m not apprised of.

    Biggest thing to mention, the kids are great! There is a real family and community feel. All schools have their discipline issues but I really have no problems with any of the kids at Jones complete with all their teenage issues. Bottom line is that the kids there are serious about learning. The atmosphere is very laid back for both the kids and the faculty. It is not uncommon to see kids hanging out at a teachers classroom in full discussion.

    We actually didn’t mind the building (a castle compared to some of the schools we looked at). My husband is an architect and could appreciate the solidness and clean lines. It was built and designed in the 60’s in the style of an office building for the business school that it once was. But I know what you mean. The new building will help gain recognition of the school in the eyes of some folks but it was never a factor for us. The gym will make a big difference for many. We liked the health club thing.

  • 1029. tier4  |  March 6, 2012 at 11:15 am

    TruthBTold–He really didn’t like the fact that the the principal said that they met at the door and went to a fitness scenter for gym and he just didn’t get a good fit feeling. He went to Lane–perfect fit.

  • 1030. TruthB.Told  |  March 6, 2012 at 11:21 am

    @1028HS Mom: Thanks for the info!!! Given my family composition and the Catholic school he will be coming from, the diversity factor is just as important as a rigorous academic environment.

    I’m really excited about visiting Jones with my son tonight.

    Health club??

  • 1031. TruthB.Told  |  March 6, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Tier4: Yes, I believe the right fit is just as important, and arguably moreso, than rank/reputation, because it could greatly impact how well the student performs. It’s very good to hear that Lane was a good fit for your son. I think my son might be a bit overwhelmed at a school as big as Lane, coming from a relatively small Catholic school.

    Thanks again.

  • 1032. HS Mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Yes – can you imagine? Because they do not have a gym the kids go to a nearby off campus health club for fitness. They have a dedicated space. For sports, they use fields and gym located in an unused school in the Olde Town area and nearby park facilities. They have every sport except for football and do quite well at some (track and volleyball I believe)

  • 1033. anonymous  |  March 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    HS mom

    About all the 15,000 students who sat for the entrance exam — They all needed ISATs in the 90s, right? (Though those with IEPs had a little different requirement, I realize.)

    What’s your opinion, in reference to CPS-O’s question whether the s.e. system would still be selective if it could admit about 50% of the 15,000 who took the test.

    And would it matter if the schools ranked in the top 50 in Illinois instead of the top 10?

  • 1034. Chris  |  March 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    James @796: “I don’t think 49 black kids in a sea of 2,300 faces is meaningful diversity.”

    I thought we were talking about socio-economic diversity? Do you have any basis for believing those 49 black kids came from poorer families than the poorest 100 (or whatever) asian and white kids?

  • 1035. MazeDaze  |  March 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    This doesn’t necessarily fit here, but thought it would be of interest.


    Sorry for the long link

  • 1036. HS Mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    @1033 I think that this is a good question and thanks for asking.

    If the goal is to develop an elite “gifted” say top 10% club then I’m inclined to say, OK just rank the kids and go with it. I do, however, like what we have now and feel that there is not enough of it. I think that having more schools in the top 50 or even 100 would be most beneficial to the gifted kid that doesn’t necessarily need to attend a school that is completely filled with Brainiacs and the smart hardworking kids that are having a tough time finding a HS that is a fit and that they can get into. I also think that if there is an achievable goal for kids they would work towards that. In other words, if the opportunity creates more qualified students looking for selective education then lets supply it.

    So, given that we have a bunch of highly qualified kids competing for very few spaces start by expanding to accommodate at least half those. Many people are concerned about rank so certain schools will always be in more demand anyway. That’s OK. Let’s take a look at some existing programs and see if they can be repackaged and given “selective” appeal. Bottom line, I would like more kids to have the opportunity to experience a really positive high school environment such as the one that we have. Good for the families, good for the city.

  • 1037. Another Mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    from the Trib story: “It doesn’t make sense (that) our parents pay taxes and then pay tuition (for their children) to go to (private) school as well,” Brizard said.

    Dang. Think the $ would cover my kids at Latin?

  • 1038. Chris  |  March 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    “above the minimum tier 4 income ”

    Wait–there’s a minimum income for Tier 4? Then what’s with the people with low incomes complaining about renting in Tier 4? Shouldn’t they be kicked out?

  • 1039. Another Mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    A pause to remember. Remember that Jones was once “Jones Commercial” and that critical, special educational programming is no longer available to CPS students there. It’s now SE college prep. Just another way to see it.

  • 1040. Chris  |  March 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    “About all the 15,000 students who sat for the entrance exam — They all needed ISATs in the 90s, right?”

    Nope, not even close:

    order to be eligible for testing, students must have a minimum stanine of 5 in reading comprehension and a
    minimum stanine of 5 in total math. Students with an IEP or 504 Plan must have stanines in reading
    comprehension and total math that total at least 10 (e.g., 3 in reading, 7 in math; 9 in reading, 1 in math).”

    Stanine 5 covers the 40th to 60th percentile.

    Changing the requirement to Stanine 7 would still include the top 23% on each section.

    Want to put the “selective” into the SEHS test? and increase, dramatically, the % of test takers getting an admission? Require at least a 13 combined stanine to take the test.

  • 1041. HS Mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    @1039 – I’m sorry but you are wrong about special ed at Jones. They have both a profound disabilities program, specialized ed and provide a resource room with specialized instructors for IEP students. IEP students also have a resource period for additional assistance. Out of all the SE schools, they take a lot of pride in the fact that they accept the full recommended number of IEP students (15%). Other SE schools will accept IEP students if they happen to test in like everyone else – unless the rules have changed here. I suggest you contact the school for further information if you have a need.

  • 1042. mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I really don’t think you should start discussing the attempt to use one single standardized test given one week out of a child’s life to determine if they are “the top”. Some kids don’t test well but do way better than others once they are in class every day and in college and in the business world.

    What everyone really needs are more selective schools or programs. That way everyone that meets that designated CPS minimum of 650 points (or whatever) can have a school within 5 miles of their home that meets their educational (and safety) needs and then this fighting can just stop already. Stop trying to reshape the current system to make your child more eligible. I really feel that is the wrong way to handle this.

  • 1043. HS Mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    @1039 – upon further contemplation you may have been referring to business education. I didn’t realize that people still thought of Jones as Jones Commercial. LOL I didn’t mean to come off brusk – there was no way that I was going to let a sped comment fly by 😉

  • 1044. justanotherchicagoparent  |  March 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    HS Mom, Jones now has a football team. Payton and Jones will be merging to form 1 football team. Not sure of all the details.

  • 1045. justanotherchicagoparent  |  March 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    The schools will not be merging just the kids from both schools to form a co-football team.

  • 1046. Esmom  |  March 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    And remember Lane Tech wasn’t called “Lane Tech College Prep” until recently. Its emphasis was on the technical trades. Ironically it seems current education research indicates that the “college prep” focus now is too narrow and that schools also need strong programming tailored to students who are not college bound. Funny to think that maybe Lane could one day come full circle back to its roots.

  • 1047. Chris  |  March 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    ” That way everyone that meets that designated CPS minimum of 650 points (or whatever) can have a school within 5 miles of their home that meets their educational (and safety) needs and then this fighting can just stop already.”

    What happens to the kids who score 649, but are still “do[ing] way better than others once they are in class every day and in college and in the business world”??

    You really think that moving the point of contention will eliminate the point of contention? We can’t just roll up the sidewalks.

  • 1048. Another Mom  |  March 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    @1043. HS Mom | March 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Re: Jones Commercial. — Yes, not “special ed,” but a special type of ed, business ed. It was a novel program that was in very high demand.

  • 1049. tytyo8  |  March 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    The allotted amount of students that each school has for Principal Discretion:

    Walter Payton-13

    Good Luck!!!

  • 1050. Jonesmama  |  March 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks to the posters who understood my posts and why i became so angry. So frustrating!!! Anyhow, my second child will not make it into any of the selective enrollment schools, so I am not gloating about my daughter, I am just pointing out that this is a large system to work and just because you are in tier 4 and you kid is smart doesn’t mean they get the spot. My main point is that we need to work on our high schools the same way that we worked on the neighborhood schools. If all the finger pointing at the tier 2 and 1 kids was instead turned into energy towards working on getting more spots for college prep students and for our average kids. I will stay proud, because my daughter worked hard and kicked butt!!!!

  • 1052. Tier 4 Mom  |  March 10, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Nice. Since you are not tier 4, you get extra points and thus win this debate.

  • 1053. Tier 4 Mom  |  March 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Btw…I, too, believe in the use of a system that can level the playing field. It’s a tough pill to swallow, though, when our children may not get in on individual merit and as a parents we get called out for where we live and any pride we may have in our homes and communities.

    How low would scores need to go, from WY to Lindbloom to attract a truly equal amount of students from each tier? At least there are cutoffs (standards) in place. Which is why there is still a discrepancy as the WBEZ article pointed out. The tier system is definitely not perfect, but we are thinking this through in the right direction.

    We are awaiting word to see if my 6th grade daughter will get into an academic center. It goes without saying that if we lived in a different tier….

  • 1054. Mayfair Dad  |  March 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    @ 1051 GFD

    Exactly my point. If this copper administers a beatdown on a couple of punks for a broken window on his car, imagine the “justice” he would administer on the miscreants who sexually assaulted a girl in the stairwell at LPHS.

    Zero tolerance in Park Ridge. Its a good thing.

  • 1055. 7th grade/ lower end Tier 4 mom  |  March 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I wish someone would do a profile of a seventh grader going through this process. My kid (who is in the middle of the ISAT) is more stressed out than she has ever been in her life right now. She isn’t sleeping, is constantly on edge, withdrawing from her friends, and was literally crying last night. She says that after she goes over the answers 2 or 3 times she starts to second guess herself. I don’t think I was this agitated when I took the bar exam.

    We are trying to calm her down but the scores and tiers are the talk of her school right now.

  • 1056. HS Mom  |  March 14, 2012 at 10:48 am

    @1055 – Oh god, I am so sorry for your daughter and other kids right now. This is absolutely awful. Profiling a 7th grader would be as difficult to watch as a documentary on child abuse. If it helps at all, the schools recognize that there are many great kids missing cutoffs and that there is definitely a supply issue.

    It’s said here many times to throw a wide net when applying. Just found out about an excellent student and great kid that had a tier upgrade from 2 to 3 missing cut offs was left with no offers because they had a pretty sure thing with selective.

    In the meantime, CPS, we’re all looking forward to hearing your announcement about more selective programs to handle all the really bright kids who have earned their spot.

  • 1057. david  |  March 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    for those who did not get into their HS choice and will not attend neighborhood schools. have any of you decided to do a private catholic?
    If so, which one?
    i am curious because i am planning for my 6th grader, and have seen 2 catholic schools in the city, Holy trinity and Josephinum Academy, that look interesting.
    anyone have feedback on those 2.

  • 1058. Alejandro  |  April 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    @1057 Holy Trinity is a very small school that really puts an emphasize on the small student to teacher ratio. Josephinum Academy is I think an all girls school (not to fond of same sex schools.) Some schools that I actually think are worth paying for are St. Ignatius College Prep, Loyola Academy, and the Latin School of Chicago. Hope I helped 🙂

  • 1059. NCP Dad  |  April 17, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I noticed in the NCP school newspaper that in an interview with Mr. Rodgers the prinicipal. he noted that 65 of the 284 incoming students had perfect scores. It was also noted that they had to decline some students who scored 895. Also mentioned that there is 5% for principal discretion, 5% for SPED students, and 5% for NCLB process

  • 1060. mike  |  April 17, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Whats your website

  • 1061. Savanna  |  April 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    most of you should be thankful and stop complaining about not being accepted into your first choice. there were many children who didn’t get accepted into any schools. you should feel blessed to even be accepted because the stakes this year are even higher than any other year, making it impossible for students who got anything lower than a 700/900 to even be considered. it is ridicululous that most of you are tier 4 and think it is unfair that your children have to try harder when you can clearly afford to send your children to private schools. STOP BEING OBSESSED with selective enrollment it’s like nothing can satisfy you people. there are children who line are Tier 1, got perfect test scores, exemplary behavior, and highly involved in their school who still didn’t get accepted . the point is that most of your children are satisfied YOU aren’t, so stop living your child’s life for them.

  • 1062. anonymous  |  April 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Savanna, even though I agree with your overall point, you lost me when you said “you Tier 4 people who can clearly afford private”.
    Get your facts straight. This is ignorant.

  • 1063. Savanna  |  April 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @1062 i did not mean all tier 4 people i said “MOST of you tier 4 people” you should reread and “get your facts straight”. this is not ignorant at all, in fact it was ingnorant of you for misquoting. i know people who live in tier 4 neighborhoods and make $400,000 a year yet still choose to swnd their children to private school. so i do not regret a word.

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