SEHS news and numbers from OAE

February 22, 2013 at 6:09 pm 329 comments

Here is the other news from OAE:


Application Stats

There were 17,496 kids who applied for SEHS
15.206 qualified for the SE test
14,393 took the test
4,340 (30%) got an SE offer.

Of those who got an offer:

41% got their 1st choice
19% got their 2nd choice
12% got their 3rd choice
11% got their 4th choice
8% got their 5th choice
8% got their 6th choice

There are not any second rounds planned for this year as CPS has gotten progressively better about estimating the response rate for the schools.  It’s not utterly impossible, but unlikely.

The scores this year “nudged down slightly” for the most part.  So for a change, no increases in the cutoffs, likely due to adding 300+ extra seats.  There are a few tiers within a few schools that went up but we likely won’t see the big leaps we saw the past 2 years.

Cutoffs will be posted on Monday 2/25.

The IB schools will continue to call down their own waitlist as spots are turned down there (which there likely will be due to kids getting multiple spots.)

Entry filed under: High school.

RYH Benefit Thursday 2/28 – please come by! Magnet cluster/Open enrollment (aka “neighborhood schools” notification delayed until May

329 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chicago School GPS  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Wow! 41% who go their first choice. Pretty impressive, and encouraging.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    To be clear, that’s 41 percent of those who got an offer!
    But yeah, 60 percent got a top 2 choice.

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  • 3. Anxiously waiting for Academic Center results  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    But only 30% got offers. Ouch! Something has got to change!

  • 4. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I am very excited there were additional seats this year, but the fact that “there are a few tiers within a few schools that went up” scares me. Obviously the fact that the “scores nudged slightly down for the most part” implies the lowest cut off score went down which is more then likely tier 1 for most if not all of the schools. Which makes sense with the reassigning of the tiers again this past year and the addition of seats. But that would mean it will likely only be tiers 2,3, and 4 that could have increased in any schools. I can’t imagine how much higher tier 4 scores could get, but I am guessing that they added more neighborhoods to the tier 4 classification which for the most part may mean those extra spaces only kept the cut offs from going that much higher. Nice “socio economic” engineering there. I think we all need to move tiers and throw the whole thing off.

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I’m sure there are plenty of Tier 1 families who would gladly trade places with all the Tier 4 people. 🙂

    So overall, about 15% of kids in 8th grade got an SE seat.

  • 6. west rogers park mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Just remember SE is not for everyone. Take a look at all of the happy people from the previous post for non SE schools. I do think that students have more realistic expectations this year so I hope there are less children bitterly disappointed than in the past. Even those going in with a 600 know they have to be near perfect for Northside or Peyton. Speaking of Tier 4 only of course.

  • 7. anonymouse teacher  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I was actually pretty impressed that 30% of students got offers of any kind. That’s better than the odds of getting into any magnet or classical/gifted, no?

  • 8. Jill  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    If 15% of kids in 8th grade got into selective enrollment. Hmm. That’s about the percentage of children who don’t need free and reduced lunch.

  • 9. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Have to remember when they say they added 300 seats, 200 were lost last year at Lane Tech.So yep some luck does come into play on this..May the odds be with everyone.

  • 10. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    CPSO, I have no doubt many tier 1 kids would like to trade places and I believe all kids have safe neighborhoods with good schools, but I am still a bit bitter with the impossibly high cut of scores there are in tier 4. I have no doubt that I will be managing my daughters disappointment come tomorrow due to her B (90%) and lower then normal ISAT scores (91/84). What I am saying is that I have lived in tier 2 for most of her life (and that was before the neighborhood was up and coming) and I now live in a tier 4 neighborhood where it is a little safer and houses are much cheaper. I could easily move tiers (well not easily since I am under water, but you know what I mean) and she would at least have a shot at Lane while still be in a relatively safe neighborhood. There are plenty of gray areas as far as tiers go. I would sooner move to the burbs (oh my) then move to a really bad neighborhood just to give her a good the opportunity to go to a good school.

  • 11. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    @9 – Good point. Though are they really lost as they had assured everyone they would not be taking away from the Freshman seats with the AC. Don’t know how that is possible, but I do remember Dr. LaBosco saying that when the AC was just coming together.

  • 12. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    For last years freshman class the seats were lost. Lane Tech usually took in 1200 freshman last year they only took in 1000.So sometimes timing is everything.

  • 13. Mayfair Dad  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    @ 10. Remember, the system is not designed to be fair. The system is intended to level the playing field for socio-economically disadvantaged students who do not have the same life opportunities as students in tier four households. Since there are a finite number of SEHS seats available, priviledged tier four students are penalized thru unobtainable cut-off scores to create more seats for students from the lower tiers. In spite of this overt Robin Hood social engineering, tier four kids still dominate the SEHS enrollment game through the pure score component.

  • 14. RationalRationing  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Some perspective on those numbers would be helpful — how they compared with last year(s), and … how they differ across the tiers.

    Also, where again are the 330 extra seats coming from? About 120 or so from the new SEHS, South Shore…uneven class sizes like at WPCP this year?

  • 15. RL Julia  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    aren’t a bunch of them coming from the Jones expansion?

  • 16. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I got the sense it was mostly jones.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 17. junior  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    @13 MFD

    I guess it’s that time of year when you and I butt heads on this issue.

    Let’s take two kids, one from a Tier 4 high-income household with two college-educated parents and one Tier 1 kid in a disadvantaged neighborhood, single parent, with no one in the family who ever attended college. The former kid scores a 97 on a standardized test measuring achievement and the latter scores a 93. Please answer this — which one has earned a greater achievement? (Might be helpful to show your work here).

    You seem to be a proponent of fostering and rewarding individual responsibility. If we start with the assumption that academic scores are at least in part the result of one’s socioeconomic status, then shouldn’t we try in some way to factor out socioeconomic status to reward true individual effort and achievement?

    Granted, that may be very hard to do in practice. But I think the current system is fairer than a system is probably fairer than one that just ignores the issue entirely.

  • 18. junior  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Sure would be interesting to see those stats broken down by tier.

  • 19. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Oh Mayfair Dad, don’t I know it. I think your shoes are a bit big for me, but I am still walking in them this year. Though I know Mayfair Son was lucky to have LP DH, and my daughter is lucky to have Taft IB – both very good options, I also knew this was likely where I would be at this time this year for some time now. That is the reason I sent her to Taft in the first place. I have been on these boards for a number of years and I knew from seeing yours and others posts that if she stayed at her RGC and got a B there was a chance her only option would be to go to our neighborhood school which is Shurz. I think it is noble of those who want to turn the neighborhood schools around, and while I really do admire people like RL Julia who can see the good in almost every school, I couldn’t do it. But I did love that on the other post they were talking about groups from certain elementary schools going to Lakeview. I think more people would get on board for that and that can make a difference for a school such as Lakeview that is really trying to turn things around.

  • 20. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Junior, thank you for putting it into perspective again. And for making me laugh as always.

    Though my daughter sounds more like the tier 1 child in your scenario.

  • 21. AC IB mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Well obviously she is no longer in a disadvantaged neighborhood since it is tier 4 after all. Very happy to be in the posh bungalow belt. No really, I am happy to be in a safe neighborhood. And I don’t miss the occasional gun shots.

    Anyway, I have always known that I would be in this position, it just sucks more when you are here. Someone needs to find your mailman post so I can really feel right there with you all again.

  • 22. Anon  |  February 22, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Would love to see what these percentages are by tier. I would also love for CPS to start tracking individual socioeconomic data for the lower tiers. For example, of the tier 1 and tier 2 children going to Northside and Payton, how many are truly economically disadvantaged, and how many are reasonably well-off while living in a bad tier? I’m many years off from having a dog in this fight, but I am truly curious. Just kind of bugs me that POTUS’s Tier 3-living children would have a leg up on my family of 4 living in a small 2BR (but tier 4) condo.

  • 23. HS Mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    CPSO – I assume the stats for the number of applications do not include AC students that at a particular school. Does the number of seats reflect the total available or does it factor in AC students who have a guaranteed SE seat (Young, Lane and Lindblom)? In other words, do we know how many seats are really available? My guess is that they are all lumped together

  • 24. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I believe these are just high school spots since AC haven’t been assigned yet.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 25. HS Mom  |  February 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Not sure if I am asking this right. Say there are 200 8th graders at Lane (I don’t know how many there are) and 150 select the option to continue going there. Then there are really only 850 seats available at Lane. Does that make sense?

  • 26. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks cpsobsessed for getting this info always wanted to know how many kids actually took the test.
    So there are actually 3,200 seats available according to the CPS website.They made an offer to 4,340 kids not sure if this is more or the same than previous years.
    Jones Prep will be adding 125 more freshman than last years numbers
    South Shore Prep was supposed to add 100 seats I believe

  • 27. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Oh and according to LPIB letter they will not be doing a second round like other IB programs may.
    Mayfair Dad any info on Disney 2 high school?

  • 28. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I wonder if these numbers would be available: each year since tiers, id of where newly admitted freshmen in each SEHS come from. What number/percent from gen pop in neighborhood CPS school, special program in CPS school, RGC, classical, religious, private non-religious, ACs, etc. + tiers. I would guess that a high percentage of SEHS Tier 1 freshmen in the SEHSs with the highest ACT avg would not come from gen pop in neighborhood schools. Totally guessing here.

  • 29. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Wait, what? Freshman with the highest ACT average? You mean once they reach the grade they take the ACT?

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  • 30. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Not the freshies, rather the schools with the highest ACT avgs. 🙂 The WY, NCP, Payton group. CPS’s version of HYP.

  • 31. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Ah, got it. Sure would be interesting to know.

    Well, I think from the ranges we’ve seen there are certainly tier 1 kids at those schools who are nailing the scores.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 32. local  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Yes, but are they the poor + disenfranchised that the tier system seemed to be created to include into the SEHSs? Is the tier system succeeding? Big question.

  • 33. cpsobsessed  |  February 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    If only we could get someone to pay us to do some documentaries… !

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 34. falconergrad  |  February 23, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Those free and reduced lunch numbers are pretty questionable in light of recent news reports.

  • 35. Beth  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:57 am

    30% is insanely bad. Not working at all

  • 36. cpsobsessed  |  February 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Isn’t 15 percent of all kids getting a seat in a highly selective school an okay number. If more than that, is it really “selective” any more?

    I know the true angst is about that there is nothing in between. But isn’t the point of these schools to take the cream of the crop?
    What percent of kids getting spots in selective schools would seem reasonable?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 37. EdgewaterMom  |  February 23, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Honestly, I don’t think that the problem is that we don’t have enough seats in SEHS. I thought that these schools are intended for the very brightest, ‘cream of the crop’, kids who are both incredibly smart and willing to work very hard in school. I don’t know how many 8th graders we have in CPS overall, but it seems like there a decent number of spots at these schools.

    The problem is that for many people in Chicago, SEHS are the only acceptable options for a decent high school education. Part of that is because many neighborhood schools are not safe and cannot offer a quality education. Part of it is the perception of neighborhood high schools. People need to widen the net at look at some of the neighborhood options.

    We really need to focus on improving neighborhood schools so that every kid has a chance to receive a good high school education in CPS.

  • 38. EdgewaterMom  |  February 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

    @36 Great minds think alike! 🙂 I should have refreshed before I posted (I didn’t see your post).

  • 39. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

    For all you data heads According to his article ,last year approximately “14,284 applicants for roughly 3,200 seats.” Hopefully that is how many took the test and not actual applicants.:O

  • 40. Anonmom  |  February 23, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Along with @22, I wonder how many of the Tier 1 and 2 spots are going to families with more of a Tier 3/4 economic status. Even after the reclassification last year, there’s plenty of Tier 1/2 neighborhoods in West Bucktown/Humboldt Park/western edge of Logan Square with upper middle class households. That would have been us had we not moved a few blocks east. My uniformed guess is that this is even more of an issue for the elementary schools, because there are fewer spots and you have more parents of young children in these areas.

  • 41. CPS Teacher and Mom  |  February 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Edgewater Mom…so well said. I felt sad when I thought about a previous post where someone compared the Tier 1 kids with a lower score than the Tier 4 kid with the high score. I just don’t understand how a country, that says to value education, does not make sure that each of these children would receive the educations they deserve.

    As a side note: take a few minutes and listen to This American Life on WBEZ. There is a documentary about Harper High School. I believe many parents who post on this board have no idea what challenges many of Chicago’s school children face.

  • 42. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    @3 @35 30% is bad! In NYC, the specialized HS acceptance rate is 19.4% at best, sometimes 19% (test-takers w/ offer divide by test-takers). For individual schools, it is much lower (3.8% for Stuyvesant). Sorry, but Chicago has it good by comparison.

    The enrollment is supposed to be selective, so a 1/3rd acceptance rate would be the upper limit, not the lower one. Highly selective is less than 1/5th.

    The key problem with the tier system is that it is a crude measure in the end. It does not discriminate well in mixed-income housing areas. I am tier 4, and rightly so (household income hovering between 93rd and 94th percentile), but across the street is Fullerton Court apartments — by all rights, tier 2 at best — but they get grouped within the tier 4 tract. The reverse sometime happens: people find excellent housing and neighborhood in the edge of a tier 3 or tier 2 tract.

  • 43. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    #42~Christopher Ball~You are correct~the tier system is crude. I live in tier 4 which is correct for our household; however, I know a family in our area in an apartment would be considered tier 1.

  • 44. momof3  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    What I think is unfair and possible inflates the numbers of the kids who do not receive an offer is the minimum of stanine 5 to apply. How many kids with a stanine 5 get an offer anywhere? Even stanine 6? If these kids don’t stand a shot in H*ll of getting in anywhere, why is the cutoff so low? I’d love to see the numbers because if no one gets in, it’s just plain mean.

  • 45. MJ  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    We got our letter. We are at Lane Tech. I have a question. My daughter has received an offer from Taft IB and Lane Tech. Which is best preparation for college? IB program or Selective Learning

  • 46. EdgewaterMom  |  February 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    @45 MJ

    Which is best preparation for college? IB program or Selective Learning
    Unfortunately, I don’t think that anybody can answer that question with a general statement. I think that it really depends on the student and how well the particular program fits them. Is it possible to reach out to somebody from each of the schools to get more detailed information so that you can decide what is the best fit for your student?

  • 47. MJ  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks EdgewaterMom. When we attended the meetings and open houses, the representatives indicated that they were available to answer any questions and encouraged people to visit the schools. I guess we will take them up on their offer.

  • 48. Esmom  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    @44 I think the minimum stanine of 5 applies to students with special needs/IEPs. Another way of trying to provide a level playing field for kids who have extra challenges with learning.

  • 49. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    @MJ, can you tell me what tier and score? I stalked the mail person today only to find no letter from CPS. Only the Taft IB acceptance letter (which she was guaranteed anyway).

  • 50. KD  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    We rec’d our letter. Tier 4, score of 879. He got Jones which was his second choice after Payton. He went in with a 579 so we were really proud of his test performance. He is normally not a great test taker

  • 51. MJ  |  February 23, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Hi IB & AC Mom, we got the IB Taft offer Thursday. If you received yours today, your mail may be delayed. Tier 3, Score 853

  • 52. Tier4ever  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    My daughter just got her offer- Jones. We were hoping for Payton and we were going in with a perfect score but she bombed the test.

    For the record, I’m very happy and I truly wish the best for every kid that applied.

  • 53. Mcamom  |  February 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    SE letter says there “may” be second round acceptances. Any insight? Daughter seems to have narrowly missed jones, and not sure what to do.

  • 54. liza  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I am wondering what you will do if your child does not place in any of the programs/schools they applied for? Will you try the neighborhood school or go private?

  • 55. Chicago School GPS  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

    There are definitely other schools out there, including Disney II and Intrinsic (charter) that are opening this Fall and are looking for students. Several private and parochial schools have openings and rolling admissions. And it’s worth looking at the neighborhood school as well. Many great changes happening at Lake View, Senn, Amundsen, Mather, Taft, etc.

    We have a “What’s Next?” seminar this Thursday at Alcott HS where we’ll talk about this and more (detailed in the other string but stuck in moderation)

  • 56. chicagoedout  |  February 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks #55!!! We didn’t receive ANY OFFERS and my daughter scored an 858 and we live in Tier 4. I have to admit that I was pulling for her main selections also which were W Young and Jones but we didn’t even get the chance scratch ANY surface! She’s also a student at Alcott Elem and I will definitely be in attendance for the “What’s Next?” seminar. I, like many of you, wonders what else could be the ‘formula’? Seriously considering the ‘burbs!

  • 57. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    @56 858 and no offers? Did she apply to Lane or just the schools you mentioned?

  • 58. T4  |  February 24, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Tier 4
    Accepted at Young

    Any Payton numbers to report?

  • 59. chicagoedout  |  February 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC):
    Her first choice was actually Lane.

  • 60. lpmom  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    chicagoedout- 858 didn’t get her in Lane? Last year the cutoff for tier 4 was 839 – that’s a huge jump.

  • 61. Sped Mom  |  February 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    @ 48. Esmom | February 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Students with IEPs need to have a total stanine of 10 (any mix of two stanines that bring the total to 10, like 3 + 7, but 5 + 5 works too).

  • 62. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    chicagoedout, thank you. I don’t need the letter then to know my daughter did not get in either. I can’t believe an 858 didn’t get into Lane. That is just crazy.

  • 63. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Hmmm, chicgoedout my daughter has a friend who I believe scored 850 and got into Lane and lives in tier 4….

  • 64. chicagoedout  |  February 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I’m starting to hear the same thing from my daughter’s friends about similar situations. I’m wondering if going the Principal’s Discretion route a viable option.

  • 65. VRu  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Tier 3, 792, 5th Pick – Westinghouse. Would love feedback about this school. Going to try for PD. Do they offer PD for sports?

  • 66. LSmom  |  February 25, 2013 at 5:38 am

    @chicagoedout, if you think there was an error, I would contact CPS right away.

  • […] SEHS news and numbers from OAE CPSObsessed:  Here is the other news from OAE: There were 17,496 kids who applied for SEHS, 15.206 qualified for the SE test, 14,393 took the test, 4,340 (30%) got an SE offer. Of those who got an offer: 41% got their 1st choice 19% got their 2nd choice, 12% got their 3rd choice, 11% got their 4th choice, 8% got their 5th choice, 8% got their 6th choice. […]

  • 68. newtocps  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Payton, tier 3, score of 888

  • 69. Also Obsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Tier 4, 837, Lane, 2nd choice

  • 70. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:10 am

    @chicagoedout With an 858, you child should have been accepted by rank to Lane if it was her 1st choice on the form or her choice at all: the cutoff for rank was 853. And the max for tier 4 was 853. 858 is automatic entry.

  • 71. Lane Parent  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Lane LSC voted to eliminate class rankings

  • 72. phew  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Tier 3 Northside 878
    I heard her friend got in at Payton Tier 4 898

  • 73. mom2  |  February 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Thank you, Lane Parent. I hadn’t heard that. It does make sense when you realize that a child ranked 25th (in their example) could actually be ranked 4th due to so many kids being tied, etc. With the large number of students, and all students being selective to start with, even being ranked 300 or 400 is pretty darn impressive.

  • 74. bystander this year  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I heard from a friend that her child did get an 892 – the tier 4 minimum score for Payton and did not get an acceptance. Is this possible? Do only some of the kids who fall in that score make it in? Do they have other factors that discriminate the kids with the minimum score for a tier at a particular school?

  • 75. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    71 Thanks. I am so glad you posted that…I was just asking friends about this yesterday. I am glad they did away with class ranking.

  • 76. Gobemouche  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Bystander – perhaps, they lost out on a tie breaker. I can’t find find it in the OAE website, but the following is from an email interview with a CPS rep and another blogger:

    Tie breakers –

    “3) What is the tiebreaker process with regards to the selective enrollment tests?

    As you might imagine, when testing so many students, we have numerous students who achieve the same number of total points. To differentiate between these students, tiebreakers are used. The tiebreaker includes the core percentile on the entrance exam, and the individual sections of the entrance exam (e.g., reading comprehension, vocabulary, etc.). This allows us to rank the students with identical total points from top to bottom.

    The order of the tiebreaker is the following:

    Core total


    Reading comprehension


    Language arts”

  • 77. relievedinRogersPark  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Going to LP IB shadow day tomorrow. So far the questions I have are: 1) what % of incoming freshmen ultimately graduate from the IB program? 2) Is the homework reputation deserved? With the longer school day, how does this relate to the homework load? Anyone else have some good questions to ask? I will post the answers tomorrow if anyone is interested.

  • 78. luveurope  |  February 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    77 most if not all graduate from the IB program (earning a LP diploma), but most do NOT earn the IB diploma (required passing IB exam)..

  • 79. mom2  |  February 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I think 77 was trying to find out the percent of kids that start off in the IB program and end up moving down to double honors or a mix of courses. When we attended a meeting, that percent was quite high.

  • 80. CPSConfused  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I’m hoping to get some help here… Thanks in advance!

    What happens if you prefer schools that you ranked lower on the SEHS application?

    We didn’t rank our schools very well (and have learned more in the interim.)

    Son was accepted into Young.
    Next on his application list was Jones, and finally Northside.
    He has the points to get into Northside and would like to go there.
    What is the process? It feels like we’re out of luck.

    They sure don’t make this easy… Thanks.

  • 81. HSCrazy  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    CPSConfused, I have friends who successfully used Principal’s Discretion to get into a school that ranked lower in preference on their application when they had been accepted to what they thought was their first choice.

  • 82. jp  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Jones took 140 more freshman than this year according to their data. 370 versus 230. S. Shore took 165. So that’s 305 additional seats.

  • 83. Overload  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    80 It’s my understanding that the ranking of schools put on the application is final. Since your son’s first choice on the application was WY, and he had the points to get in, that was where his offer came from. The other schools on his list fell away as an option, almost as if they weren’t there at all, because cps felt they were giving him his #1 choice. PD might be an option, but congrats to him on getting in.

  • 84. RL Julia  |  February 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    CPS Confused – Whitney is a great place. Be sure that your son attends the shadow day (I know they did one last year) -he might just change his mind about it.

  • 85. kalsmith4  |  February 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    nteresting fact this year all those who enrolled in LP IB and were accepted also were accepted to the 30% of SEH. Those accepted to SEH in the tiers were not accepted to IB. My son is a sophmore in IB and loves it. the homework load is tolerable if you are organized, he also does track and concert band. The counselors will work with the students to see if they qualify for the the diploma programme which starts jr and senior year. If they feel they are not ready for the diploma programme
    they will move to AP double honors which is smiliar to the SEH classes. Alot of my child’s friends have done this.

  • 86. IBvsSEHS  |  February 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    @85 “Those accepted to SEH in the tiers were not accepted to IB.”

    Interesting, I hadnt thought that before. Because IB admissions dont factor in the infamous Tiers you dont have the kids who scored 100 points lower but lived in the right neighborhood accepted into the program?

    LPHS has a lot of diversity through its neighborhood school, but within the LPIB bubble you dont have the lower scoring outliers that surprise many rank Payton parents.

    Thats very interesting … I hadnt thought of that.

  • 87. stacey  |  February 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    My son scored 886 (100% on entrance exam, straight A’s) applied to Northside as #1 choice and did not get in (Tier 3). Got into Young, but saw a comment on a Northside applicant Tier 3 878. How does that work???

  • 88. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    @87 stacey, does your letter say tier 3? If so, call the OAE first thing in the morning as he should have gotten in, but my guess would be that your tier changed. Google for the most recent tier map to verify. Cut off for 3 was 878 cut off for tier 4 was 891.

  • 89. local  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Wow. That was juicy, even if 2012: Thanks for the link.

  • 90. cpsobsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    For all posts about scores, I would refer to the cutoffs chart at rather than what anyone posts. Some posts are about some else’s kid, tier could be off etc.

    If your child scored above the cutoff for your tier and didn’t get accepted, check your tier and if it doesn’t make sense, contact oae asap.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 91. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    #85~kalsmith4~Wow this is very interesting. It’s also one of the most interesting things I’ve read in a while…Thanks for that information. I never realized they didn’t have to do tiers w/IB ~that will be a very smart class.

  • 92. HSObsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    @85 kalsmith4 – Could you clarify what you mean below, like where did you obtain this information?
    “nteresting fact this year all those who enrolled in LP IB and were accepted also were accepted to the 30% of SEH. Those accepted to SEH in the tiers were not accepted to IB.”

    @76 The tie breaker explanation is interesting. I remember vaguely reading in prior years that any ties were decided by looking at the kids’ birthdays, and the earlier birthday won out, or something equally bizarre. Or maybe that was for elementary gifted testing?

    It’s kind of strange that they don’t list the child’s tier on their SEHS acceptance letter, or even mention tier. I can see that this could lead to a lot of confusion if people don’t know what their tier is, or don’t understand why some other child had lower scores but got admitted to a school while their child didn’t. I recognize that the explanation would be pretty tricky to word properly without making the letter a few more pages in length.

  • 93. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    I always wondered abt the IB program selection. I know someone who was accepted to all 4 SEHS (this was several yrs ago) but was was not accepted to and IB program and I could never figure out how that worked (this was b4 tiers, but since tiers aren’t used~it’s just by a certain #).

  • 94. HSObsessed  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    The IB program required interviews back then, or at least LP IB did. Maybe the student didn’t interview well?

  • 95. Gobemouche  |  February 25, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    HSobsessed & local – Yeah, its a fun read, even if from 2012. Actually, what would be more fun would be to get these same questions answered this year…and compare.
    I wonder if the policy is the same. I tried to find it in this year’s OAE guide to high schools. A search of the pdf only located “tie breakers” pertaining to CTEs. No mention of tie breakers and SEHSs. Odd. But, I remember talking to someone at OAE a year or so ago and they also confirmed that math is the tie breaker.

    Question for all: Does anyone know/understand why CPS does not use the science section score of the ISAT in the points?

  • 96. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    #94~HSObsessed~true or may be her scores weren’t high enough for the IB program…interesting.

    Also, Congrats on your child having gr8 options for HS! I’m sure whatever school is chosen will be the right fit!

  • 97. tier4ever  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:00 am

    #95.. The science ISAT score is not applied because it has been shown to disproportionately favor tier4 kids in the placement process.

  • 98. pantherparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:19 am

    @92 I posted the tie breaker info last year and what @76 has is what came right from Karen Burroughs Hannsberry at CPS. The final tie breaker, not shown, is Date of Birth, and her response then was:

    “Regarding the date of birth, an older student would be ranked above a younger student. Please note, however, that the tiebreaking procedures related to subject areas are sufficient to create a ranked list of students that have the same score; the date of birth tiebreaker has not yet been needed.”

  • 99. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:27 am

    @96 SSI4 – thanks!

    @98 – So I remembered right about the birthdays. Seems like at that point they should just squeeze both kids in, if the exact same score at a break point happens once in a blue moon, and take one away from principal’s discretion.

  • 100. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:27 am

    @93 back than a high school level test was given to 8th graders for the IB process.In my experience this test seemed to to do a better job of determining which kids were ahead the best. This was also a great process in finding the advanced kids who might have had a B taking more advanced classes.

  • 101. anotherchicagoparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Oh an an essay also on a passage the students read. This was one of those times when it was okay for your child to have more mature thoughts than his/her age about what they read.

  • 102. cpsobsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

    It is kind of sad how score-based the IB program became when it sounds like it really should be geared to a certain kind of kid. I suppose it’s more efficient to use the scores….

    The tiebreaker thing for high schools would surprise me. For elem yes, since they want to cap the entry grades at 28 kids. But the high school admission is sort of loosey goosey since they over-enroll knowing *roughly* how many kids will turn it down. It’s not an exact science.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 103. pantherparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:43 am

    @102 It would be interesting to know how many kids fall on the cutoff number. For instance, Payton for Tier 4 took 38 kids with scores from 892 to 898. I wonder how many applicants were at that 892 number. If it’s 50, well you obviously can’t take them all and thus need to break the tie. If it’s 2, even if only one spot is left, couldn’t you take them both?

  • 104. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:55 am

    @103, I’m sure there would be dozens of applicants at any given score, like 892, so then they compare the five separate scores that are generated by the SE entrance exam as described @76, in the order given.

  • 105. HSObsessed  |  February 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Oh I’m sorry, @103, I didn’t understand what you were saying. I agree that once they get to the point of comparing birthdays, which they’ve never had to do because it’s so rare, then they should just offer to both.

  • 106. HS Mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:11 am

    @103 – I wonder if they even look at it. Seems like it’s all done by computer.

  • 107. AW  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:19 am

    If you live in the Amundsen boundaries and your child got shut out of the SEHS, I’d really urge you to take a closer look at your neighborhood high school. The new principal, Anna Pavichevich, is a dynamo and doing great things there already. The freshman class’ overall numbers are up, the band program is great and the new athletic director is doing a lot to build the sports program and increase school spirit.

  • 108. pantherparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

    @106 Agreed. Assume they just punch in the parameters for each school and run the program. I wonder if landing on the cutoff impacts principal discretion decisions.

  • 109. stacey  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:35 am

    As of application time we were a Tier 3, my son scored 886 with Northside his first choice. He did not get in, so I called OAE. They claim I am a Tier 4. Does anyone have any info on anyone looking into this or contesting? Looking at how they divide up the Tiers are average income, education level, English as first language. I live in the Ukranian Village – my neighborhood is full of elderly immigrants with very little education. There is no way this is a Tier 4. Anyone have any insight into this…I know this is designed to be fair, but clearly it does not work. My son has worked so hard with 100% on entrance exam and straight A’s. His parents do not have a college education and are struggling to make ends meet.

  • 110. T  |  February 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

    “There is no way this is a Tier 4. Anyone have any insight into this…I know this is designed to be fair, but clearly it does not work.”

    As has been stated here before, the system was not designed to be fair, it was designed as a political expediency.

  • 111. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Stacey, I am sorry. That really sucks. I wonder how many other people had their tier change and not even know it. Check out this map…

    You can put in your address or scroll over an area and it gives you the stats from the census to go into determining the tiers. I live in a neighborhood that I am also quite surprised is considered tier 4 so I had been watching when they changed the tiers hoping it went down a tier, but it did not.

    Not sure what you can do about it changing, but that wouldn’t stop me from calling the OAE to try to do something. Otherwise you might consider principal discretion.

  • 112. momofIB  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    @92 Since CPS has taken over IB they just taking the top grades and ISATS. In the past there was an essay and interview so even if you had a B and 89% iSATS you had a chance. Before they would look at the whole child. Now like everything else it is just a
    test score.

  • 113. west rogers park mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Still think you can get into LPIB with a B or 89% ISATS. It seems as if the threshold is lower last year when you need a 590/600 to be invited to the interview. Would love to see the first round Cut off scores for the IB programs, particularly LPIB,Senn, Ogden and Taft.

  • 114. momofIB  |  February 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    It would be interesting to see how the IB’s are selected.I know of one who put down LP as first choice but was offered Ogden. IB is not as popular in the Midwest as it is in the East Coast. We have been very happy with the teachers and school at LP Mr. Boraz is really turning around the school. Besides IB LP has the number 2 music program in the state of Illinois so something for everyone.

  • 115. Falconergrad  |  February 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    @95 and @97
    In other words, CPS is doing a pretty bad job of teaching science to most of the kids in the system.

  • 116. Amundsen IB mom  |  February 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    @107 Totally agree. My daughter is a freshman and in the IB program but also is involved with sports and so has made a wide circle of non-IB friends too. She really likes the school and I am always impressed and very comfortable whenever I have been there.

  • 117. Second time around  |  February 26, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Stacey- my friend lives in Ukrainian Village and she found out during the application process that she had moved up to tier 4. She was shocked but it does seem to be accurate.

  • 118. A  |  February 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Hello. My daughter scored an 898, but she listen Jones as her first choice. So I think she just got in based off of academics, however her friend scored an 874 all together and still got into Jones. We are in Tier 4, and it says the cutoff score is a 875. It’s a little alarming to know that my daughter scored so well she could’ve gotten into Northside or Payton.

  • 119. pantherparent  |  February 26, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    The tiers are simply a way to keep racial balance at SEHS’s after the court struck down race-based admission. If you walk out your front door and see more white people than black people, congratulations, you are Tier 4.

  • 120. klm  |  February 26, 2013 at 5:59 pm


    Welcome to “Tier Hell.” Virtually every other person who is in a Tier 4 household feels the way you do: “Privileged? MY family …in THIS neighborhood If we were a Tier 1 household, my kid would be going to Northside, but my kid can’t even get in to Lane because of where we live!!!? WTH!!”

    That’s when the Seven Stages of Tier Feelings begin: disbelief, anger, anguish, resentment, feeling the need to publicly speak against the current Tier system b/c it’s so unfair to so many people, the sudden desire to move to the suburbs (screw the city, this sucks!), frantic internet searches for properties in Northbrook or Oak Park that your family might possible afford and eventually…. acceptance.

    I think that now you’re still the the “disbelief” phase, but I have a feeling anger’s about to come out. Good luck.

  • 121. stacey  |  February 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Oh, I am beyond disbelief in one hour and on to anger!

  • 122. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    #120~klm~how long (months, years?) does it take to get to ‘acceptance’?

  • 123. luveurope  |  February 26, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    120 the system sucks for most tier 4 families…every ounce of love, attention and effort they put into their kid’s education goes up in flames…thank GOD for private schools.

  • 124. Lilia  |  February 26, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    @116 My daughter lost a tie breaker (839, tier 4) at Lane and—although her PD was strong—Lobasco flat-out told me that she wasn’t considered for that because Lane hadn’t been this student’s “first” choice on the application. To say we were saddened is an understatement.

    I have the same comment about my freshman in the (pre) IB program at Taft. The school’s nearby and in a nice neighborhood, she’s involved in sports, she’s also made a wide circle of non-IB friends—and though the school building is rough around the edges—it’s got a LOT of spirit. We’ve definitely discovered a silver lining.

    For anyone reading this wondering what to do next: I’ve learned that for many students (and us parents, let’s face it!) life goes on past the emotional SE process. Kids adapt, thrive and build meaningful relationships with teachers/students…even seem as though they can’t imagine life w/o their “Plan B” surroundings. Mine did.

  • 126. stacey  |  February 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Anyone else having trouble openng 125’s link?

  • 127. IB&AC Mom (formerly IB&RGC)  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    @124, thank you. I really appreciate your comments. My daughter is at the AC and we love the program, but I honestly haven’t heard from a lot about the IB program there. We finally got out letter today and needless to say she did not get an SE offer. I thank goodness we have Taft as an option as I really don’t know what I would do otherwise.

  • 128. Northside College Prep Students  |  February 26, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Sorry about the previous link
    All future Northside moms, students, and dads Look at this

  • 129. wide net mom  |  February 27, 2013 at 6:53 am

    @65 VRu re:Westinghouse — very impressed with our experience to date. Daughter is a freshman and thriving. And having a blast. Rigorous curriculum, engaged involved teachers, nice kids, nice families, lots of sports & clubs, and commute from NW side has been non-issue. She gets home some days before her friends at Lane. FYI Westinghouse was her (ranking) choice over WY and Lane with my blessing – and she chose GWCP over LPIB, and several others (we really liked the IBs, tough choice), VS scholars (also impressive), and chi arts. She fell in love with GWCP from the beginning and we have no regrets. Happy to answer any questions that I can — strongly recommend taking a look. I’ve been around cps long enough to remember when NS, WP, & Jones were all trying to build their programs and parents were dubious. Good luck!

  • 130. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 27, 2013 at 11:43 am

    @119 : “If you walk out your front door and see more white people than black people, congratulations, you are Tier 4.”

    Probably true, but you can also live on a diverse street and be tier 4. In fact, the bank-robber who escaped from the federal prison in Dec. was arrested across the street from me in low-income apartment building. All the residents are tier 4 — census tracts are not redrawn frequently, so socio-economic features of the tracts can change significantly over time. CPS uses census tracts as the basis for the tier system.

  • 131. beentheredonethat  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    #124 Thanks Lilia, for telling your story. I had the same experience with my dc last year..and was called a liar on this blog for saying that some principals use the ranking for deciding PD. Obviously every SE principal uses his/her own criteria within the CPS guidelines. I only shared our experience to save others from going through the trouble of putting together a PD packet for naught. I don’t know how the principals know the ranking, but they do. (perhaps they see the students original application? In order to be eligible, one must have put the school down on the original app) .Congrats to your daughter and her success at Taft. After all the tears and anguish from last year, my own dc ended up at Ogden IB and is thriving and loving it. Again, only sharing to help families that are feeling distraught right now…

  • 132. southie  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve been impressed by the diverse Catholic all-girls Queen of Peace H.S. and its brother school St. Lawrence in a SW close-in burb. There are private buses one can use to get there. Maybe those are an alternative, although I’ve never seen them mentioned here.

  • 133. southie  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Story on Disney II H.S.

  • 134. Lilia  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    @ 122 The sequence of “emotions” started the day we got the letter with bad news—to the first weeks of school. Our family collectively decided to do the best with what we chose and move on—which got easier as we noticed her perception change for the best in that first week.

    @131 I can imagine that some people can’t fathom the idea of a principle using their whatever they can to decide what they will. I believe you—and only got that response from her after prying to get a reasonable explanation. If I had known what she told me, we would have told my daughter to “go for the gold” and send the packet to WY (he first choice) instead, even though her points were outside of the ones needed to gain entrance via SE testing/tier4 scores.

    The system is stressful and our experience was humbling. Like “Mayfair Dad” who’s made school adjustments to best suit his student and their situation, everyone’s style/options is different for different reasons…and like you, I only share our experience as I depended on this blog last year to read others’ (mostly helpful) opinions. In the end, I guess we’re simply hoping for an independent student who works towards their goals and is well-adjusted in this multi-cultural town.

  • 135. klm  |  February 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm


    I know,

    The worst is when people present the current situation as: “CPS is really serving society when it takes a kid from the ghetto with a 93% average over the privileged offspring of Northwestern graduates that summers in Martha’s Vineyard with a 95% average… as if.

    The reality is (from last year) a Tier 1 kids needs to get only an ACT equivalent of 23 to get into Northside, but a Tier 4 kid needs to get the equivalent of 32 or 33 (do the math people if you don’t believe me).

    Tier 4 kids, be they the offspring of Bosnian refugees that arrived in Chicago penniless and unable to speak a work of English (my current cleaning lady), the kids of a South Asian cab driver that lives in basement apartment in Rogers Park, or yes, a partnered lawyer at a white shoe law firm living in a $3.8m house in Lincoln Park that wants to stay in Chicago for the restaurants and shopping alone,…apart from all that, there’s a certain element of smug, upper-middle-class “educated” people that wince when people complain about the Tiers because they obviously are unable to “understand” why the Tier system is in place and how it may hurt a few advantaged kids in the slightest of ways, but benefits “society.”

    Oh yeah, these are the same people (dare I say a variant of the “limousine liberal”) that have the money to move to Wilmette or send their kids to Roycemore if things don’t work out. I’ve seen it many times, living where I live. The Roycemore bus picks up kids almost right in from of my house. But you know what? They get to feel good about their “enlightened” view as compared to the negative resentments of “less enlightened, less educated quasi-redneck” people who are so backward as to be unable to see The Big Picture –which is a quality always much easier to have when you have options in life.

    Full disclosure: I live in Lincoln Park and my family’s fully upper-middle-class. However, I grew up poor and on food stamps, experienced housing projects, trailer parks, etc…. I understand when people that are struggling financially and are “stuck”, feel upset when there’s such a disparate admissions standard involved in getting their smart, hard-working kids into a “good” public school. No mater what some people want to say, it really comes down to that for some people.

    I have to admit, knowing that if things don’t work out for my kids, I have the option of private HSs or the ability to move to the North Shore or Hinsdale definitely make it easier for me to see the benefits of the Tiers in enrollment figures. You know why? My kids won’t have to pay, ultimately.

    When people are complaining about the unfairness of the Tiers, part of me feels like they are they don’t understand the importance of having some diversity in a public school in a likewise diverse city, but another part of me totally understands their frustration and the diatribes against the unfairness of it all, etc.

    There is a cost to social engineering –giving one person a leg up means giving another person a leg down. If only more people would at least acknowledge this, instead of automatically targeting any criticism as some kind of big “White Whine”, I think there would be more acceptance.

  • 136. second time around  |  February 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    @134 Lilia – we are accepting a spot at Taft IB – it is five minutes from our home and quite honestly we have not been impressed with the new guard at Lane. Taft is an up and coming school, we are excited for her to be so close to home. Can you tell me a little about the homework in the IB program? Will my daughter have a life outside of school? Also, I know this is insane, but is the uniform dress code really that big of a deal, especially for a girl? That is my daughetrs only hang up..yeah I know….crazy!!!

  • 137. klm  |  February 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I meant to start my previous rant with “@ 123.”

  • 138. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    #135~klm~I agree w/you…but I wonder if it’s bc my kids won’t have to pay the price either.

    #134~SecondTimeAround~I would take a 5 minutes away from home IB program over anything else. That’s fantastic!

  • 139. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I mean’t #136~for 2ndtimearound.

  • 140. ACmom  |  February 27, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    @136 My daughter is currently at Taft AC, and will be staying for Taft IB. I am also hoping that the homework load is manageable and that life outside of school will exist, because we also live 5 minutes away and the location can’t be beat. I know that for my daughter, the dress code has not been an issue. Of course she came from an elementary school with a dress code too, but being able to add jeans into the mix (at Taft) made it ok. All kids have to wear certain kinds of shirts. You can also buy Taft polos and sweatshirts which most kids seem to wear. There are also plenty of “out of uniform” day possibilities.

  • 141. Amundsen IB mom  |  February 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    @116, 131, good to hear that yours were also able to bounce back from disappointment and onto great things! My daughter did PD as well for Lane (needless to say didn’t get in) and that was really devastating for her. But things perked up when she went to Amundsen for a shadow day, then for IB orientation, and finally for volleyball tryouts in early August. Not that it has to be sports but any extra-curricular gives more of a sense of belonging. And she got to go to homecoming in the fall! (which I understand is difficult for kids in SEHS.)

  • 142. Falconergrad  |  February 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Why is it difficult for SEHS student to go to homecoming?

  • 143. Amundsen IB mom  |  February 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    @142 Apparently tickets are offered to upperclassmen first, and are gone quickly. This, according to my daughter’s friends at Lane and Northside.

  • 144. np parent  |  February 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    At Northside Prep, all students can go to Homecoming The problem is, the dances are a bit lame when you become a Junior or Senior (according to the upperclassmen) and the spirit at the school can be lacking at times.

  • 145. mustangmom  |  February 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Tickets are available to all students at Northside. Any student who wants to go, goes.

  • 146. FP  |  February 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    We wanted to have options so we applied and auditioned for several HS. We are in LPHH, LP Performing Arts, Lindblom, ChiArts, and one private performing arts school. My child wants to do PD for Young.

    Pros & Cons.
    LP—wondering about the neighborhood students who aren’t motivated and possibly reluctant to be a part if the wall to wall IB

    ChiArts—-academics aren’t up yo par.

    Lindblom—neighborhood and fir a kid into performing arts is there programming after school at a math & Science school?

    Private School—$$$$$$

  • 147. cpsobsessed  |  February 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    @FP – can I ask what kinds of grades/scores/talents your child has? I’m trying to asses the options for a not-fully-SE-level kids….

    LP HH uses what for criteria?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 148. FP  |  February 27, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    @cpsobsessed They used standardized test scores and the report card. Scored very high –high stanines 8’s and 9’s. Tier 3. Oddly though didn’t do as well on the selective enrollment test. Still scrathcing my head on that one.

    Theatre and Music.

  • 149. Amundsen IB mom  |  February 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    @np parent and mustangmom, apologies, should have included the caveat that information provided by teenagers, thus, accuracy not guaranteed.

  • 150. FP  |  February 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Steer clear of ChicagoQuest.

  • 151. Lilia  |  February 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    @136 (As #140 mentioned) the dress code “seemed” to be a con to the school’s credit—at first. We also had gotten used to a dress code at the elementary level, so the more of the same seemed, well…
    Again, it was really an eye-opener to see how quickly these students kind of just fall into the rules, rather than take a big issue w/it. It’s one thing less they have to worry about…and there’s a variety of school “spirit” wear that’s appropriate, too.
    Sometimes the homework is a bit much when it follows an after-school activity at school. But, being nearby means that we have time for dinner at a decent hour, and usually a little down-time after homework, albeit, not a LOT (but there’s some.) And, YES, these kids have social lives 🙂

  • 152. No one is immune  |  February 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    @119 pantherparent – you are an ignorant, racist pig. If they allow your comments to stay on this post, no one should mind mine. I’ve been ignoring you for days, but you go too far.

  • 153. lkosova  |  February 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    146: My daughter goes to CAA. We where accepted at Chi Arts and Lincoln music and Jones. . Chi Arts is not even close to the caliber and professionalism of CAA. There are grants so you can afford it there and it is one of the best schools for performing arts in the US. These kids get accepted into some of the best school for their fields. About 60 percent are from the suburbs. Kids travel like 1.5 to 2.0 hours away just to come here (we are just 15-20 minutes and I complain…lol). The academics are on par and it is not easy per se. My daughter is in Musical Theater and they go every day to 4:30pm and if they are working on one of their amazing shows then to 6:00pm including some Saturdays from 11:00pm to 5:00pm.

    I live in the city but work in Naperville and know many kids from the burbs etc that did not pass the audition for the school, so if your child got in , you might want to call and have a serious sit down wtih administration.

    My daughter being a sophmore is not in the next musical since non of the freshman or sophmore’s are in this one show. She also has an interest in Costume design. The head of the department approached her to “Design” the show “Spelling Bee”. She is busy making drawings of each character, drawing the way they should be dressed for the time period and then they are going shopping (thrift stores) to buy the costumes. They normally hire a designer to come in. This is the type of support they give you there. Very small but warm and fuzzy.

    I could go on and on. They have their issues like any school but would take a serious 2nd look.

  • 154. EdgewaterMom  |  February 28, 2013 at 5:07 am

    It looks like a few more charter schools are now on warning.

    The six schools on warning include Ace Tech Charter High School, Aspira Charter High School Early College, Catalyst Charter-Howland, CICS-Basil, Galapagos Charter Campus, and North Lawndale Charter High School-Collins.

  • 155. MDM  |  February 28, 2013 at 6:21 am

    I think the real problem in the city that no one really seems to be talking about is that there are NOT ENOUGH good options for high schools aside from the SE schools. Even at the top private schools, being an A- or B+ student is not good enough. They also have a limited number of seats and too many applicants. My daughter did not get accepted to either the SE or the private school. She is a straigt A student, but did not do well enough on the admissions tests. I can’t stand how this entire process has made her feel like she is not good enough. She has always been a hard working student. We paid for the slective test prep classes where i was told she was doing great, A- work in reading and math. It was all for nothing. What happens to the kids that are more well rounded, are not A+ students, maybe not great at Math, but good in Art, spend time doing Sports, etc..they have to settle for the mediocre schools or go to a school where they don’t feel safe. The System is broken!

  • 156. pantherparent  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:42 am

    @152 It’s not my comment that’s racist, it’s the system that’s racist. As I stated, the tier system was set up to mimic the race based admission policy that the court struck down. They can add in as many “factors” as they want, but as this site has delved into in great detail, the end game is to promote racial fairness in the SEHS’s.

    That said, and please read this, I am in favor of a racially diverse school. I’ve argued before here that a Tier 1 student getting an 800 is probably more impresssive than a Tier 4 student getting a 900.

    My comment was simply to point out that as the number of minority students drops in SEHS, the number of Tier 4 tracts magically increase.

  • 157. cpsobsessed  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

    @pantherparent: technically the share of kids coming from tier 4 has to remain at a constant 25 percent (or maybe it’s 25 percent of the chicago population.). So the number has stayed the same (theoretically.). But tinkering with the inputs to improve racial diversity? I’d bet good money on it. And not that I’m opposed to that either. Chicago has put a stake in the ground saying racial diversity is important in CPS. Just because a ruling was overturned doesn’t mean all is right in the world in terms of opportunity.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 158. NotLast  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:56 am

    155 Don’t know where u tested, don’t know where your student currently attends, but Loyola and Ignatius take CPS students dead last if any spots are available. They always take kids from catholic grammar schools first.

  • 159. HSObsessed  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:28 am

    In spite of the court ruling that struck down race as the admissions criteria, CPS has been very open that it intends to do what is necessary to maintain racial diversity, and in fact the court ruling allows it, as I understand it — it’s just that race can’t be the main factor. So for example, the CPS-appointed Blue Ribbon Committee that was convened after the first year of the tier system to look into the system’s efficacy included things like this in their final report, when they looked into various ways to adjust the tier criteria:

    2010‐2011 Policy: The 2010‐2011 Admission policy used 5 factors to define the SES
    variable. These include median family income, adult educational attainment,
    percent of owner occupied homes, percent of single parent homes, and percent of
    homes speaking a language other than English.

    BRC Findings: The BRC was specifically asked to look at this issue to offer a
    recommendation on the right factors to include in the census variable. Looking at
    the data, the BRC was most concerned about the decline in African American
    acceptances in the 2010‐2011 admission cycle. Multiple options were explored
    (independently and in concert): a)removing the language variable, b)adding a
    school performance variable, c)looking at factors that had been used in other
    districts, d) changing the rank/tier percentages, and e)the effect of cut scores. The
    committee moved in the direction of maintaining the aspects of the current policy
    now in place while attempting to introduce elements that would further improve
    the outcomes in the desired direction. A school performance variable was added to
    the current 5 factors, essentially a measure of average school performance in each
    census tract. This did help to bring in more African American students, but not
    significantly, unless the rank/tier percentage was also shifted to 30/70. Additional
    census factors were considered, including estimated home values, as a more
    accurate measure of economic parity and resources measure than incomes. Of all
    scenarios examined, three things seemed to increase the African American
    population. They include removing the language variable from the SES formula,
    increasing the tier percentage, and reducing cut scores (independently or in
    concert). However, removing the language variable was observed to likely have a
    negative effect on the Latino population. Moreover, increasing the tier percentage
    greatly increases the number of high scoring students who would not likely receive
    an offer to attend any SEHS, and eliminating cut scores to the levels needed to
    realize increased diversity has historically been met with significant resistance from
    the principals.

  • 160. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 28, 2013 at 10:56 am

    #158~NotLast~I know several CPS kids who go to St. Ignatius and they didn’t get in bc of last spots. Pls note that some kids that go to Catholic grammar schools can’t get into Ignatius. Some CPS kids score higher.

  • 161. Falconergrad  |  February 28, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Does CPS do anything to maintain racial diversity in charter schools?

  • 162. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  February 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    @135 klm:

    The reality is (from last year) a Tier 1 kids needs to get only an ACT equivalent of 23 to get into Northside, but a Tier 4 kid needs to get the equivalent of 32 or 33 (do the math people if you don’t believe me).”

    I did the math, best I could, and the numbers are wrong for Tier 1. Such a child would not gain entrance to Northside.

    The 75th percentile ACT score is 25. Even stipulating that the 7th grade ISAT and entrance exam percentiles are equivalent to the ACT percentiles — which they are not — a student at the 75th percentile on the ISAT with straight As and in Tier 1 would have needed a minimum score on the SE exam of 265 or above the 87th percentile to enter Northside last year: use the point tool here
    and then refer to the scoring rubric. You can pull up the ACT percentiles at the ACT site. They only give scores for 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles.

    Nevertheless, it is much harder for Tier 4 student to gain entrance than a Tier 1 student.

    @161 No, but the percentage of white students is very low at all of them.

  • 163. Family Friend  |  February 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    @150: As I stated in another post, I have to disagree with your advice to stay away from ChicagoQuest. I agree that past performance has not been good, but big changes are in place for the fall. I am frustrated that they have not been clearly announced, but only hinted at on the website. I would like to be able to give specifics. Parents looking for options, there is a very short waiting list at ChicagoQuest, and if you apply now your child will have a good chance of being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. It won’t hurt to get on the list and decide later, after you learn what is actually happening there.

  • 164. Beth  |  February 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    The IB program is a really good start but most neighborhood high schools still have strong gang presence. SES doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There is selective enrollment for the cream of the crop and then abysmal choices for everyone else? Slightly not quite the cream but just below, what is there for those of us in the B+ range? I don’t consider that to be a functional organization. I have colleagues who work in various CPS schools as counselors so I know about boots on the ground. Seems there are some agent provocateurs here.

  • 165. LP  |  February 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    @158 “Loyola and Ignatius take CPS students dead last if any spots are available.”

    Thats ridiculous. Lincoln Elementary sends a strong cohort of kids to Ignatius every single year. These are all kids who get into LPIB and the Fab4 SEHS as well. About half are from Catholic families, others are Jewish, Protestant, whatever. Ignatius certainly looks at whether the applicant is Catholic but academics trump.

  • 166. another CPS mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    St. Ignatius prioritizes students who graduate from Chicago (city, proper) Catholic grade schools, and then works “down” the list from there, according to one insider.

  • 167. another CPS mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    BTW, of course, it’s the highest scorers on the Catholic HS entrance exam in each category (city Catholic grade school, other Catholic grade school, donor/volunteer for the Jesuits, child of alumna or alumnus, etc.) for St. Ignatius admissions, I’ve heard.

  • 168. SoxSideIrish4  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    #167~another CPS mom~I don’t know if it’s still like that. I know a few pple who are alums and donate… and their offsprings didn’t get in. I was shocked…I guess they start w/highest scores and go from there. I think (and I could be wrong) that they have so many donating they can be very picky. Many kids in my area go there. In fact several kids who didn’t get into WY a few yrs ago (I don’t know if they even put down Jones as choice bc it was different even a few yrs ago) went to Ignatius and Lab.

  • 169. another CPS mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    @168: Yes, I was told that offers go to only the tip-top scorers of each “category.”

  • 170. another CPS mom  |  February 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Lab’s not easy to get into either!

  • 171. local  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Not sure where to share this link, but wow:

    “UNO Charter teachers and students deserve better”

    Interesting details.

  • 172. local  |  February 28, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    (not “news” in a way, right?)

    from Catalyst:

    “In the News: Most CPS seniors not on college path”
    By: Cassandra West / February 28, 2013

    “A new report from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research found that the majority of CPS high school seniors have schedules dominated by makeup courses and electives and other non-core subject areas, and students themselves describe senior year as unchallenging and easier than previous years.

    “The report also found that only one-quarter of African American and 29 percent of Latino graduates from the report’s sample took at least one AP class in 12th grade. In comparison, nearly half of white and 68 percent of Asian American graduates had taken at least one AP class. Similar patterns are observed for fourth-year math.”

  • 173. HappyMom  |  February 28, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Early on I told my family that my two requirements of a Chicago high school for my kids to attend were 1) a school where the majority of students plan to go to college 2) a school where they won’t get shot. Both requirements limited our options. A sad testament to our society.

    My son got accepted at his 1st choice SEHS Lane Tech with an 852, tier 4. But his top choice is St Ignatius and he will be enrolling there. Also got accepted LPHS double honors. I wish all 8th graders and families the best of luck in this awful process.

  • 174. smokin'woody  |  March 1, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Stacey, it sounds like your child is an excellent candidate for principal’s discretion. Don’t give up and mention everything you said here in application.

  • 175. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

    @173 – I agree that violence is a major issue/concern. It seems to me that shootings are pretty much done outside of school. Northside Prep is located in Albany Park, walking distance from Roosevelt high in an area that has experienced many shootings. As another poster mentions, is any neighborhood really safe?

    It’s so sad that kids can’t hang out at the park after school. At any school you really have to be vigilant and lay some ground rules about procedure and how to stay out of trouble.

  • 176. MD  |  March 1, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Congrats to everyone who has survived this nerve racking process! For those interested in stats, here is a list (not yet complete) of where Bell neighborhood children are headed:

    NS 1, WP 1, Jones 6, WY 4, Lane 19, LPIB 2, LPHH 2, LP Arts 2, Ogden IB 1, Ignatius 3, Gordon Tech 4

    I noticed a huge surge in interest in Lane this year…many put it as their 1st choice (including many going into the SE test with perfect scores). This was especially true of children interested in high academics and strong athletic programs…and, for those in the Bell Neigh., the location cannot be beat. (full discl. – my child did not choose Lane). Jones also attracted a lot of buzz this year…

    Anyone else have stats on their neighborhood schools?

  • 177. southie  |  March 1, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I’ve heard at least 4 students from Sutherland ES were accepted into Jones and 4 into Whitney Young. I expect a good number to head to the Ag HS as well.

  • 178. mom2  |  March 1, 2013 at 11:02 am

    No Lakeview at all for Bell kids this year? Really? That goes against everything I’ve heard about Lakeview and their cool sounding program where you can get an associates degree for free, get an interview with Microsoft, etc. And didn’t they raise their requirements to get into Lakeview if you aren’t in the neighborhood to try to make the school more selective? I’m confused by this. (Although not surprised in the interest in Lane since the “Bell and Hawthorne moms” have basically taken over the Lane LSC and PTSO and are doing a great job).

  • 179. stacey  |  March 1, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Thanks we are going to try and keep our fingers crossed!

  • 180. MD  |  March 1, 2013 at 11:07 am

    @178 I am sure many will head to Lakeview HS…I just don’t have a full head count yet…and I agree that Lakeview is making huge strides as a viable option for HS. Last year, I believe 15 Bell kids went to LV.

  • 181. west rogers park mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 11:08 am

    @178 – I may be wrong but I don’t believe Lakeview has sent out their out of area acceptance letters yet. I know we applied and haven’t heard from them. I was actually thinking it would be better for Lakeview to send their acceptance letters out contemporaneously with the others.
    At my daughter’s former elementary school Lane was also a popular choice this year and not only for those where the initial numbers made it the only feasible option.

  • 182. mom2  |  March 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Thank you MD and 181, that makes me feel better. I am really counting on Lakeview for out next child and really want them to succeed. First child is at Lane and we love it, but with it getting better and better, I have less hope that child number two will make it into Lane and we want to be in the neighborhood. With all the back and forth we do just for Lane, I can’t imagine the hassle and time going back and forth more than a few miles away.

  • 183. Leggy Mountbatten  |  March 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

    #178 that list is only about 45 kids or so, not the whole graduating class. Let’s hope for at least 15 kids to Lakeview HS!

  • 184. Peter  |  March 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    My kids are a long ways away form HS, I would prefer them to go to Lane over NS. The kids at NS are just a bit too weird.

  • 185. MD  |  March 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Heh….184 Peter…. My son just got accepted to NS!!! Is he weird? Well …aren’t all 14 year olds a bit weird???? LOL

    I was so impressed with the open house and the teaching methods and how warm the teachers were. We know kids at “all” the selective enrollment schools. He gave up playing football at Payton for the academics at NS to our surprise…

    So yes, I guess he is a little weird but when they play freshman flag football, he is going to teach them alot of “real” plays like power 16 weakside…….

  • 186. MD  |  March 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    @182 & 183 By my count, there are 91 kids in the 8th grade class at Bell…65 neighborhood; 26 in the RGC…so you are correct that my tally is not yet complete! Also, with PD and other circumstances, there certainly could be movement in the above numbers. I just wanted to put it out there for those interested in statistics.

    Another area I am very interested in following is “which schools have the highest % of siblings following siblings”. To me, this is always a strong indicator that sibling #1 (and the parents) had a positive experience. Anyone have stats or personal experiences to share on this issue?

    So far, I seem to find this occurring most often at Jones & Lane…however, I would need a lot more input to make any conclusions.

  • 187. MD  |  March 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm


  • 188. LMK  |  March 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Just noticed another MD so will change my handle ….sorry.

  • 189. MD  |  March 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Just to clarify, the MD at 185 is NOT my post! However, I do agree with the sentiment that making negative comments about children that attend a certain school is not appropriate. And, to whoever posted at 185, congrats to your son!

  • 190. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    If lane is enforcing the stanine 7 cutoff for out of neighborhood this year, I wonder if they’ll take late applications this week from kids who missed the SE cutoff?
    Or is that deadline strictly enforced like it is for the elem schools?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 191. np parent  |  March 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    There are few 3 kid families at NCP–that is, where there are three kids attending the school simultaneously. (some have recently graduated, so there are two kids left). I think that speaks well to NCP and the good vibe that some families seem to have about the school. I myself had one graduate from NCP and one who is currently there, and a third one, who attends a RGC, who wants nothing to do with the school. I think kids ultimately rank where they think they will thrive the most, not just academically (kids will thrive in all of the SE schools) but socially and emotionally too. As far as Peter’s comment on weird kids at NCP, there probably are some, but no more (percentage wise) than what the other SE high schools have. It all depends on what you define as weird. There is a little bit of every kind of kid at NCP.

  • 192. RL Julia  |  March 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Lane enforcing the stanine 7 cutoff? Doesn’t everyone get into Lane via the SEHS process or is there some other back door?

  • 193. SN and B Mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    #183–Leggy Mountbatten–love your name! Hahahaha! It was the trousers!

  • 194. mom2  |  March 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    192 – I think she meant Lakeview

  • 195. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    @191 It’s choice and what you get into. We personally know of a family with one at Payton, one at Jones and one at Lane.

  • 196. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Sorry, I meant lvhs!!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 197. np parent  |  March 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    191–yes, I know it’s a choice and what you get into. Not sure what I said that made you think I didn’t understand this. I was merely answering the question 186 had: Another area I am very interested in following is “which schools have the highest % of siblings following siblings”. To me, this is always a strong indicator that sibling #1 (and the parents) had a positive experience. I was just saying that many NCP families (where 3 kids attend or have attended) have had good experiences there–my guess is that their kids ranked NCP #1, did what they needed to do, and hence got in. It was no hard data or anything like that–was just speaking to a good vibe that many larger families (at least at NCP) seem to have.

  • 198. HS Mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    NP parent – I didn’t mean to imply that you didn’t understand this. I was simply commenting on your topic with my opinion. I was speaking to the good vibe too, no hard fast answers here.

  • 199. mom2  |  March 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I think it is difficult to determine how well a family likes a particular SE school based on looking at siblings. Unfortunately, no matter how much a family may love a particular SE school, the sibling might not get into that school and they may be forced to go elsewhere.

  • 200. klm  |  March 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm


    You are right about my calculations for Tier 1–I didn’t do the math correctly.

    I did use the calculator that you mentioned.. Last year the cut-off score for Tier 1 was 792/900, for Tier 4 it was 895/900. The scores for this year did just come out, I believe, so they are different.

    A Tier 4 kid could be no more than 5 points away from perfect and a Tier 1 kid could be 108 points away from perfect.

    Assuming, as you did, we’re talking kids with all A’s (so automatic 300/900 point in that part of the equation), I used the calculator to figured out the minimum points needed for each Tier.

    For the 97th percentile (assuming on both tests) the score is 894 –not enough to get into Northside. A Tier 4 kid needed to be at the 98th percentile last year.

    I went of the ACT’s website and did find composite percentiles: 97th is 31, 98th= 32, 99th =33+.

    So, yes, maybe not as much as I first thought, but there really is a big difference by anybody’s reckoning. The Tier 4 kids did need to get what I believe to be a fairly equivalent test score of a 32 composite on the ACT.

    I also went on “” and with the “college finder”. The ACT medians required to get into Northside for a Tier 1 student are about the median of freshman at Michigan State (with 25-75th percentiles being 23-28). and Tier 4 kids approximating freshman at Stanford (31-34), although I understand that these parallels are not perfect.

    Don’t get me wrong, Michigan State’s a great school and going to Stanford’s no guarantee. One can say the same about CPS SE HSs.

    I understand the context, history, political and social dynamics behind the the Tiers. I’m not saying I’m for or against them. What I am saying is this: I really do feel bad for kids from families that are not well off and that do not have lots of options in life if they feel like they’ve been denied something very important (an education at a great school) for what seems like something very arbitrary (their census tract) that they have no control over.

    Yes, people with real money have options in life. It’s seems a little upsetting for them when their kids can’t even get into Lane with higher grades and test scores than kids who are admitted to Northside –but at least they have options: private school, moving, etc.

    Many people that live in Tier 4 neighborhoods don’t have these options and I think it’s unfair when certain people grouse at them about when they complain. I can understand their point without shaking my head or being dismissive about their complaints with: Don’t you realize how Tier 4 kids are all tutored, go to test prep, and have wealthy, educated parents that coddle and shape them into successful little students, etc., while Tier 1 kids’ lives are so horrible that it’s a wonder they get out of bed and are able to make it to school at.

    As I mentioned before, my cleaning lady (a Bosnian war refugee) lives in Rogers Park, Tier 4. She worries for her daughter’s safety if she doesn’t get into a SEHS, never mind education. The low-income African-Americans that live in the housing projects on North Ave./Orchard. A working-class Mexican-American family I know from one of my kid’s RGC –they moved from Pilsen to be closer to their son’s school (2 adults and 2 kids in a modest 2/1 apartment on Western Ave. the dad’s been unemployed and I know that they have struggled). Are these people Tier 4 families the kind of people that can move to Glencoe or pay $10-30k/year per kid for tuition? No way.

  • 201. mustangmom  |  March 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    184 Peter: I have two kids at NS and they are both incredibly weird. I’m weird. My husband is weird. My other kids are weird. Heck, I think even our cat is weird. Somehow, we’ll manage.

  • 202. LMK  |  March 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    This is so funny…..I need that today…..

  • 203. APMom  |  March 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    #200 klm~thanks for posting abt the scores. That’s very interesting.

  • 204. mom2  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    klm – agree with you about the variations on the kinds of people that live in tier 4. Almost like you are punished by tightening you belt and opting to live in a safer neighborhood in a small and/or crowded place.

  • 205. JonesDad  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Has anyone heard what the community score cut off was for Jones?

  • 206. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    It depends what tier your child is in.

  • 207. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    @mustangmom – that’s funny. I always tell my son that I’m weird and his dad is weird and he’ll be weird too, which is good.

    Although he’s not the kind of “weird” to earn a spot at nscp unfortunately. Probably more the live in mom’s basement until he’s 40 weird…… Just kidding. I hope.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 208. JonesDad  |  March 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    thanks 206, but I was referring to the 75 spots for pre engineering and pre law that were allocated to community kids based on ISAT and 7th grade grades only. This was a different admission process than selective enrollment.

    There has been a lot of debate whether these kids would have higher or lower scores than selective enrollment and was curious what that cut off ended up at.

  • 209. anonymouse teacher  |  March 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    This isn’t a good thread for this, but what is the general opinion on the proposal to stop limiting class sizes for sped and stop limiting the number of children with IEPs in each classroom?
    I am, obviously, against the lifting of class size caps for sped and sped inclusion both from a parent’s perspective and a teacher’s perspective.

  • 210. Falconergrad  |  March 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I agree that sounds horrible. And their timing is abominable. How many crazy announcements will it take to distract everyone from the closings? Could a new replacement for BBB be next?

    Am I the only one opposed to full day K? 7 hours is too long. I am hoping and praying that we keep some half day at our school, as I have a kid who would be affected. I am so tired of hearing that they want kids reading when they come out of K.

  • 211. anonymouse teacher  |  March 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    @210, I think this is a statewide thing.

  • 212. Sped Mom  |  March 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    @ 209. anonymouse teacher

    It depends…because CPS already flouts the sped laws left, right and center. So, old rule or new rule, CPS does what saves it a quick buck, in the main. If CPS follows the rules (like those STEM kiddies who MUST include their names on submitted homework), then, yes, “no caps” and “district-determined limits” is crazy. But, I think it’s obvious to anyone who wishes to understand CPS sped, “inclusion”-delivered minutes is fake, IEP goals are unmeasurable, transition is non-existent, etc., etc., etc. Might as well make it even worse.

    Before this proposal goes through, folks need to think about the CTU/CPS contract’s sped cap grievance issue. And the sped teacher recruitment issue. And the growing need for sped. And the lack of academic achievement of sped students in CPS. And on and on and on. And on and on and on.

    This proposal will likely destroy the education of children with disabilities and, with them, drag down the non-disabled kids who don’t get into CPS’s elite schools. Hello, 1950s!

  • 213. anonymouse teacher  |  March 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    212, I hear you, believe me, I hear you.

  • 214. local  |  March 1, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Here’s what Rod Estvan is saying about the looming sped rule change:

    (from comments for that Catalyst story)
    Rod Estvan wrote 9 hours 7 min ago
    What is driving this proposed change

    As the article indicates the primary motivation for eliminating the special Ed class size rules is money. Access Living like all advocacy organizations opposed the rule changes. The IL Alliance of Sped Administrators is composed of directors who are appointed by superintdents and who are subject to immediate removal because they are not unionized. I give little weight to their comments.

    The federal budget deal that created the mandatory budget cuts includes $1 billion in IDEA funds to the states. This cut will lift what the MOE requirements for state and local funding for special Ed. In order to cut special Ed staff the rules need to be lifted. Parents and teachers need to put pressure on the members of the General Assembly to oppose the elimination of the rules or we will be faced with an avalanche of cut.

    Rod Estvan

  • 215. EdgewaterMom  |  March 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    @207. cpsobsessed This post made me laugh out loud – especially because I also have a “weird” kid who may not make it into a SEHS. And there is no room in the basement!

  • 216. Angie  |  March 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    @209. anonymouse teacher: “This isn’t a good thread for this, but what is the general opinion on the proposal to stop limiting class sizes for sped and stop limiting the number of children with IEPs in each classroom?”

    Of course it’s a horrible idea, but you know what? Contrary to the union beliefs, the money really does not grow on trees, and if you shift more of it into one area, the other areas will have to suffer.

    It’s the second time in two years they are short-changing the special needs children. During the last school year, many of them lost their individual and shared aides, just as the teachers were voting to authorize the strike. Coincidence? I think not. Better schools? Who do you think you’re kidding?

  • 217. anonymouse teacher  |  March 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Welcome back Angie, I’ve missed you.

  • 218. TA  |  March 2, 2013 at 3:01 am

    How is this CPS teachers’ fault? All of Illinois will be effected. Our petty raise did not create this mess. There are already 30+ students in classrooms with students with undiagnosed disabilities. ALL of our students have been short changed.

    Anyone know of any job openings? Anywhere doing anything else? This is all a mess.

  • 219. MayfairAM  |  March 2, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Could use some input: WY vs Ignatius. (Generous scholarship at Ignatius) Sibling goes to WY. Kids first choice is WY. Gotta go w WY, right?

  • 220. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2013 at 8:40 am

    How blatantly religious is Iggy? I don’t recall anyone mentioning that so far? Is that an influencing factor?
    I’d aim for one school per family for logistical reasons, esp if the kid wants it. But was just curious.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 221. EdgewaterMom  |  March 2, 2013 at 9:05 am

    @219 When the kid’s first choice is a high-achieving, well regarded, safe, public school where your other child already attends, then yes, you definitely go with that! 🙂 Congrats.

  • 222. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2013 at 9:12 am

    219. MayfairAM~I hope that will be our two choices (hopefully) if my youngest gets into WY in several yrs. If he gets into WY, he’ll go WY, if he doesn’t, he’ll go St. Ignatius.

    220. cpsobsessed. Iggy is religious~same as all the other Catholic Schools~Marist, St. Rital, Mt. Carmel, Brother Rice, Mother McCauley, They are not Catholic in name only.

  • 223. MDM  |  March 2, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Need advise….for the Principle’s discretion application, is it even worth doing if you are not within 5 points of the cutoff for your Tier? do they still use the “Tier” Cut off scores as a basis for the decision?

  • 224. HS Mom  |  March 2, 2013 at 11:06 am

    @223 – Go for it! Definitely worth a try. Good luck.

  • 225. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2013 at 11:08 am

    #223. MDM~I would def do the principal’s discretion. Best of luck!!!!

  • 226. MDM  |  March 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I am going to try the Principle’s Discretion application. We have nothing to lose by doing that. Does anyone have personal knowledge of someone getting into St Ignatius after being rejected? Also wondering if it’s worth appealing. Just trying to do what I can to get my daughter into a decent school even if it means getting a part time job in addition to my full time job to pay for it. What happens to the 10,000+ students who didn’t make it into SE or the 600+ that didn’t make it into St Ignatius. There have to be better options made available to these kids. I can’t believe I live in a ciy where our property taxes are outrageous, the water bill has doubled as well as all the city fees and I can’t send my daughter who is a straight A, honor roll student to a decent public high school.

  • 227. cpsmama  |  March 2, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    @MayfairAM- had same dllemma a few yrs ago w/ my two kids. Chose WY & haven’t ever regeretted it. Both are excellent schools and it was a hard choice, but it came down to the different calendars in private vs public which would have been a nightmare for our family.

    Congrats & good luck to your child.

  • 228. MayfairAM  |  March 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    thanks everybody!

  • 229. Family Friend  |  March 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    @171: Re UNO: There are several issues raised in that article (and by CTU representative Jesse Sharkey at the charter renewal hearing) – First, contracts were given to d’Escoto companies (construction et al) while a d’Escoto relative held a significant position at UNO. This is Chicago, and d’Escoto is politically wired. Lots of CPS and city construction contracts went to d’Escoto while a d’Escoto relative was a deputy mayor. Not a great idea, but not anything we haven’t seen before without having a fainting fit over it. Why start now? Because it suits someone’s position on charters. Second, contracts did not always go to the lowest bidder. That is one of the benefits of being a private entity. When I look for someone to repair my home, I don’t always go with the lowest bid, and there are good reasons for that — recommendations, past performance, and, if I know someone, the knowledge that I can get personal attention from the owner or a higher-up if there is a problem. Not illegal, and sometimes good business sense. Third, a debt load of $12,500 per student. This is a red herring. Charters are considered to be financially sound if they spend around $1300-$1500 per student per year on facilities. I got this from someone who underwrites bonds for charter school construction. Part of that — say 1/3 of that total on a new building, for argument’s sake — goes for upkeep, utilities, etc. That leaves $870-$1,000 per student, per year, to pay down debt, including interest. I don’t know what UNO’s interest rates are, but a $12,500 loan for 30 years at 5% — way over current mortgage rates for you and me — is about $800/year. These buildings can be expected to last more than 30 years. So the “staggering debt load” is completely reasonable.

  • 230. anonymouse teacher  |  March 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Does anyone know where I could find the average property tax bill (maybe based on a 150K home, or 200K or whatever) for each suburb and in the city? I always hear people say we pay so much for taxes, and honestly, I think mine are quite low. I do have friends in some places paying ridiculous amounts (city and suburbs), but those friends also chose to purchase homes that cost stupid amounts of money. I’d really like to know what a 150K condo owner in Chicago pays vs. a 150K condo owner in Oak Park pays vs, well, you get the picture. I am asking to compare tax rates to perceived educational quality of district schools. Thanks.

  • 231. local  |  March 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    @ 230. anonymouse teacher | March 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    That’s the kind of question I take to my university librarian buddies. I would guess that the Realtors assoc, US Dept of Commerce, and regional development orgs, and local chambers of commerce might collect that info, or at least monitor it.

  • 232. WestSidePops  |  March 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    @230: You can find specific tax info on a real estate website like I spot checked a couple of current listings in Oak Park and South Loop in the $150-200k range. Oak Park taxes ranged from $4500-$6500 and Chicago taxes ranged from $1000-4000. I’m sure a real estate agent can give better insight on taxes between the city and the suburbs, but when we were last in the market (2008) the suburbs were always higher and sometimes 2x as much.

  • 233. Anon  |  March 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Not sure where else to post this, but per a letter that me and many other parents received this weekend, not all elementary letters will be sent out the week of March 18 as scheduled.

    SEES and magnet school letters are still supposed to go out the week of March 18, but info regarding placement/wait lists for magnet cluster and open enrollment schools will now go out the week of May 19. I believe this has something to do with the school closures, and possibly giving those who are displaced from their school the chance to throw their hat in the ring for some other choices.

  • 234. Falconergrad  |  March 4, 2013 at 10:37 am

    @233 we got the same letter and assumed the same thing. I didn’t think this coming school year could be crazier than this one, but it’s starting to look that way. 😦

  • 235. Brock  |  March 4, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Your daughter will do great at any number of other schools to include Regina, Res, or on and on. It’s not always the school that makes the difference of future success or fail, it’s the student.

    Not knowing where you live, you may also want to check the IB program in your area.

  • 236. PrivateYes!  |  March 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    235 – Yes, NW side of Chgo Res / Regina / Guerin / Gordon / Trinity, etc. All good schools. Many offer tuition assistance. Definitely worth looking into. These schools are NOT ultra religious. Don’t have to be catholic to go.

  • 237. Peter  |  March 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    How is Gordon? I recently read about some new connection with Loyola University.

  • 238. Chris  |  March 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    @ 175. HS Mom “Northside Prep is located in Albany Park, walking distance from Roosevelt high in an area that has experienced many shootings.”

    This isn’t intended to be anything other than a calrification of reality, as there is a *lot* of inaccurate word of mouth about what’s going on violence wise (not that there isn’t way too much):

    First, NSCP is NOT in Albany Park, tho it’s close enough that it’s a small distinction.

    Second, per the SunTimes 2012 shootings map, there were ZERO shootings (that is, someone getting hit) within half a mile of NSCP or anywhere in North Park (the community area NSCP is actually In) in all of 2012.

    Third, there were exactly 12 shootings in Albany Park in 2012, and exactly three of them occured between 5 am and 10 pm–one was a domestic, the other two west of Kimball, one along Lawrence (in August), the other along Montrose (in May). So even in Albany Park, during school + ‘hanging out’ hours, there were not “many” shootings.

    Yes, that’s still 12 too many, but it’s far far from the level of major concern. Most parts of the city would *gladly* trade for “only” 12 shootings in a year–Englewood has ~75 last year.

  • 239. Chris  |  March 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    @230. anonymouse teacher | March 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    ” Does anyone know where I could find … what a 150K condo owner in Chicago pays vs. a 150K condo owner in Oak Park pays”

    Not *exactly* what you’re asking for (bc it’s not easy to use and understand), but all the data for 2011 (paid in 2012) is here:

    (WARNING: big pdf):

    So, assuming (*Very* incorrectly) that your $150k Chicago condo and $150k Oak Park condo were each assessed correctly and identically under the law (that is, the “assessed value” is 10% of market value, or $15000), the 2011 (pay 2012) tax bill (ignoring HomeOwner exemption, bc it’s easier that way) would have been (in general, for most residential properties):

    Chicago: $2430 (slightly higher if in a mosquito district)

    Evanston: $3383 to $3595 (depending on park district)

    New Trier $2624 to $3338 (depending on town + Parks; lowest is
    Northfield w/ no Parks, highest is Kenilworth w/ Winnetka Parks; most pepole would pay about $3000 to 3200 +/-)

    Oak Park: $4701

    So, yeah, Oak Park a *lot* more expensive that the city, for taxes. And those Evanston and NT numbers are misleading, as there are few properties with that low of a value. And, again, the Homeowner exemption would reduce those amounts some.

    If you want to check others, the formula is (Assessed Value) times (Equalization Factor; 2011 = 2.9706; 2012 we will find out over the summer) times (Total Tax Rate, from the pdf, expressed as a %age) = [Tax Due] Note that the “sample” composite rates are not necessarily correct for any given house, as you have to determine every applicable taxing district.

    I’ll try to remember to come back for follow-up (won’t tick the box) , if you have any questions.

  • 240. Mayfair Dad  |  March 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    @ 219: Whitney Young and congratulations. Save the Ignatius tuition for Stanford.

  • 241. Family Friend  |  March 4, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    CPSO – re St. Ignatius: Again, it’s getting to be a long time ago, but I would not worry too much about the religion program at Ignatius. It is, after all, the Jesuits. My husband and I were raised as Catholics, but we are definitely not religious. First year at Ignatius was world religions, with a lot of respect for all religions. Second year was, as far as I can remember, Old Testament. Third year was 1/2 New Testament, 1/2 Intro to Psychology. The Intro to Psychology part was really good, although they had a nun that year who was a little over the top religion-wise. She may be gone; daughter graduated in 2002. Finally, I thought the senior year religion class was the most valuable thing about Ignatius, and there was a lot of value in the academics generally. They started out studying the Holocaust, then considered what it means to be a good person in the world. It was a serious discussion, and even the kids who mostly goofed off were ready for the discussion by then. The teacher, who is retired now, was absolutely outstanding. They also wrote autobiographies, which were very thoughtful, with a lot of depth. I think college counselors used these to write recommendations, but I am not sure.

    In sum, I wouldn’t let worry about religion keep me away from Ignatius. The daughter who went to Ignatius is more religious today than the one who went to Payton, but they were headed in that direction anyway.

  • 242. MayfairAM  |  March 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    thanks Mayfair Dad. See ya at the park sometime!

  • 243. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks Family Friend. Very interesting about Ignatious and much more depth about religion than I’d anticipated.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 244. anonymouse teacher  |  March 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    @239, thank you! So, sounds like OP is crazy on taxes, some suburbs have higher taxes than the city on comparable property values, but perhaps people feel taxes in the city are so high (I hear this complaint all the time) because the perceived school value is so low. My taxes on my condo that I bought ten years ago for 185K (and now is worth about 80K) are only about 2K per year. I don’t think that is a lot.
    But I suppose, if people choose to spend a lot on a home, their taxes are going to be higher. I read an article the other day that some OP’ers are spending between 12-20K a year on taxes. Why on earth would anyone do that? The schools are good but they’re not that good. And is any school worth that? That’s more than my mortgage, taxes, assessments, utilities and car payment put together!

  • 245. Edgewater parent  |  March 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    anon teacher – that’s probably for a $600,000+ house. tax rates in OP are probably the most expensive in the whole Chicagoland area.

  • 246. LSmom  |  March 4, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Oak Park taxes are crazy — we were looking in the 250-350K range, and we saw quite a few places with taxes between 10K and 15K. We decided it wasn’t worth it.

  • 247. CPS lakeview parent  |  March 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Second child now has a high school to go to – will be joining the sibling @ Payton. 898/Tier 4.

    The best news? College admissions process for either/both kids will be a CAKEWALK after going through two rounds of SEHS.

  • 248. FP  |  March 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Selective prep??? Some people have said it wasn’t worth the money because it didnt prepare for the Math portion. I was thinking about the 8th grade Algebra class but having second thoughts. Thought I’d see what experience the group has with Selective Prep.

  • 249. CityMom  |  March 4, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    @248 — My daughter is still young, but I would think that it would be hard to “study” for the Math portion of a standardized test if you hadn’t had quality math education all along through Elem school. Math seems to be the one area that would be very hard to prepare for in the ‘year of’ the test. I know a few families that had their kids take some “prep” course last summer (between 6th & 7th grade) and they’re continuing on this year (7th grade).

  • 250. No one is immune  |  March 5, 2013 at 12:37 am

    #248 – I sent my child to selective prep one year, a private tutor the next year. i found it more productive (and cheaper) to hire a private tutor. The one on one lessons worked better for my child (13 point ISAT math increase) than a room of 20 children reviewing a thick handout. Math was my child’s weak spot.

  • 251. Questioner  |  March 5, 2013 at 7:08 am

    To #248 FP–My son is in 7th grade at an Academic Center taking what is called High School Algebra. He took the Selective Prep one week course over the summer to prep him for Algebra this school year. He thought the Selective Prep Algebra teacher had an excellent teaching manner and explained things really well. It was weeks into the school year before his CPS Algebra class got to what was taught in Selective Prep. (I guess the CPS teacher started out with some review). However, my son recognized everything from having taken the summer course. I will probably put him in their Geometry course this coming summer before 8th grade.

  • 252. Casey Hoogstraten  |  March 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    The Payton event for next year’s admitted students has been postponed until Thursday, 3/7, due to the weather.

  • 253. also obsessed  |  March 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Please try not roll your eyes at this amateur question:
    – Do all Highschool IB / SE Programs allow a shadow day once you are accepted?
    – Can you shadow any/all of the schools you were accepted to?

  • 254. Chris  |  March 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    244-Mouse: “some suburbs have higher taxes than the city on comparable property values”

    Compared to the ‘burbs in Cook, Chicago last year had the *lowest* tax rate. The only one’s less than 10% higher were parts of Northfield and Inverness. There are burbs outside Cook with lower tax rates than Chicago, tho.

    245-Edgewater parent: “tax rates in OP are probably the most expensive in the whole Chicagoland area”

    Not even close; OP was 10.5%; Ford Heights was *27%*. That’s, of course, largely bc Ford Heights property is worth very, very little.

    For those not from/familiar with how property taxation works in IL, it’s not like most other states–here, the agencies that get funding from property taxes submit their ‘levy’ and it gets divvied up among the property subject to that agency. So, it’s possible to see a large decrease in your assessed value, and still have your tax bill go up, if either (1) the levy went up, or (2) the aggregate property value went down by a greater percentage than yours did.

  • 255. Edgewater parent  |  March 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Chris 254 , i stand corrected.

  • 256. mom  |  March 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    In Oak Park 13 years ago I sold my one bedroom condo (in the Santa Maria building) with formal dining room and moved in with husband. I was paying $3,000 annual in taxes on that place. Our house we rent out in Brookfield [near the excellent HS which we keep as plan B in case we need it]- it’s a small wood 2 bedroom frame house with a lovely porch, huge backyard, and one car garage- we pay $6000 annually. My friends in Oak Park, on Oak Park ave, pay $21,000 annually for a 3 bedroom frame house. But they can take their 3 kids to Horace Mann and then the HS. Is it worth it? Who knows.

    My 3 flat in Edgewater, where we live now, costs $12,000 annually in taxes but it’s split in 3 for each floor. Is it worth it? At least I can walk to the lake and go to the beach on a whim when the weather is nice.

  • 257. RL Julia  |  March 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Some schools have shadow days (Whitney, Lincoln Park come to mind). Most SEHS’s do not. Don’t know about the other IB’s.

  • 258. Chris  |  March 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    255. Edgewater parent–

    just wanted to give everyone the ‘could be worse’. It’s rather likely that, among ‘burbs those commenting here might consider, OP has the highest taxes.

    And the residents of Ford Heights has it much, much worse.

  • 259. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I think Jones Prep still does shadowing for those offered seats.

  • 260. PrincipalMather  |  March 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    @146. FP: Since you asked the LIndblom question, I figured I would give you an answer. We have outstanding fine arts. We have four visual arts teachers, 3 music teachers, 1 drama and 1 modern dance instructor.
    After school, we have programs for theater and some vocal and instrumental groups.
    All of our art teachers have after school studio hours.

    We believe arts are vital to a successful school. That is why the CPS Office of Fine Arts is highlighting Lindblom in the the new Arts Plan that is rolling out.

    Feel free to contact or call me if you have any questions:, 773.535.9310

  • 261. local  |  March 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Taxes. While I always intended to remain a city-dweller, when we were shopping for family housing in the Chicago area years ago, we looked at close-in suburbs and deemed the suburban taxes “too high.” Now, as a Chicago resident, for years we have had to skip most the “free” or low-cost Chicago parks programs and other enriching experiences that would have been more accessible to us in the close-in burbs we were considering, The programming and opportunities in our area wasn’t matched to our needs (our 9-5 schedules, etc.). And, when it came to the schools, we had to get sped-related evaluation, support services and tutoring outside the CPS system (‘cuz CPS sure wasn’t delivering). Basically, we’ve paid and paid and paid. We now see that we could have been paying those higher suburban taxes all along to obtain similar services at pretty much the same net costs. Oh well. Water under the bridge. As a born & bred Chicagoan, I prefer to be here, ultimately. However, the first thing the docs say when your Chicago kid gets a diagnosed disability is “move to the ‘burbs!” and then goes on to list the ones with the better reputation for sped (taxes be damned).

  • 262. Mayfair Dad  |  March 6, 2013 at 10:42 am

    @ 260: Hello Principal Mather. Still hearing great things about Lindblom. Thanks for everything you do.

  • 263. Jacqueline  |  March 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Hey Everyone, Thought you might like to read my take on the whole SEHS drama on the Huffington Post:

  • 264. Chris  |  March 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    “However, the first thing the docs say when your Chicago kid gets a diagnosed disability is “move to the ‘burbs!” and then goes on to list the ones with the better reputation for sped (taxes be damned).”

    From the outside looking in at sped issues, I would make the same suggestion. I also thing that that is … not merely an accident by CPS; they’d prefer (even if never ever even hint at it openly) if sped parents who have the wherewithal to move to the burbs, did so.

  • 265. SehsPerson  |  March 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    @tier4ever Your child couldn’t have bombed the test if they had still gotten into Jones. I understand it is not what you were hoping for, but Jones is an excellent school and even an 876 (cutoff?) is a truly impressive score. Congratulations on Jones!

  • 266. SehsPerson  |  March 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    @T4 Payton’s cutoff was 892 for tier 4.

  • 267. North Center Mom  |  March 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    @253: You need to read the admission letters you received. Jones’ letter states that it will not offer shadow days. I’m sure it changes yearly, just like everything else in CPS. Don’t rely on what I or anyone else tells you. You have to read or make a call.

  • 268. IB obsessed  |  March 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    @263 Jacqueline- It really is no longer SEHS or get out of town. Where have you been? What do you think the other 98% do who can’t move to the suburbs do? Join a gang at the neighborhood school? Really?

  • 269. Esmom  |  March 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    @264, actually when my son was diagnosed with a disability, the private psychologist I was talking to supported our staying in CPS, simply because there are more options available. She said if we moved to a suburb and ended up unhappy we’d be boxed in.

    And it was true. It took some trial and error to find a school that was right for my son (3 pre-schools in 2 years) but we did and TBTB at CPS were mostly accommodating and supportive (a few bad apples at one school in particular). It did require some serious hypervigilance, but I think I would have been that way anywhere, as most parents tend to be when they are concerned about their kids. 🙂

  • 270. KD  |  March 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Wanted to thank Principal Mather for responding. Proud Lindblom parent here! My kid recently scored a 31 on the ACT, so they are doing great things! Now if we can just work on that questionable Physics professor…

  • 271. local  |  March 8, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    @ 269. Esmom | March 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Good point! Urban-dwelling can have it benefits.

  • 272. Esmom  |  March 9, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    @271. Definitely. Although when it comes to the transition of IEP kids to high school, the suburbs have CPS beat by miles. So while the pre-school experience was great, CPS unfortunately has a long way to go in making sure the special needs child is supported adequately all the way through grade 12.

  • 273. breathe deep  |  March 11, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere, I scrolled through the comments and was not able to find the answer to my question. I keep hearing that only part of the ISAT score is considered for the Selective Enrollment High School process. For instance, I have heard that they only look at the first 30 questions in math, I have also heard they don’t look at extended responses. I just spoke to the OAE and they assured me they look at the “total” score (meaning every question). Honestly, I did not have a lot of faith in the person I spoke to. So, what is it? If only some parts count, which ones? When my son receives his ISAT score, is it the “total” score or the score that counts for Selective Enrollment?

  • 274. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 11, 2013 at 11:09 am

    #273~From my understanding ~ when you get your child’s ISAT score, it will reflect his total score~however, they only use a portion of the score for SE

  • 275. breathe deep  |  March 11, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Do you know what parts they use for selective enrollment?

  • 276. AC IB mom  |  March 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    If you have an ISAT print out available, take a look at the bottom of the first page where I believe the percentages are. It states on there that the first 10, 20, or 30 questions from each section was used for the national ranking. SE takes that percentage only, unless looking for tie-breakers. I believe Michelle who was posts on this site pointed that out (this time last year). It may be as little as the first 10 questions from each section. I had to double check that by pulling out a copy because I was quite surprised myself.

  • 277. HSObsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    They use the math and language arts parts of the ISAT, if that’s what you’re asking. The stuff about only using the first x number of questions is so strange. Why not just use the final score for each portion? Seems easier.

  • 278. Gobemouche  |  March 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    There are questions embedded within the ISAT that are called the SAT 10. It is these questions that are used to determine the percentile ranking. We had a presentation on this at an LSC meeting by our network chief. Parents were freaking out about the coming drop in scores as the ISAT gives way to common core standards (eventually the PArRC test). So everyone was worried that the next two years of kids were going to get screwed on the high school points. We were told that since the SAT 10 isn’t changing, the percentiles won’t either. The overall ISAT scores are expected to go down though.

  • 279. breathe deep  |  March 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Are the SAT 10 used for the Selective Enrollment process as well as percentile ranking? In other words, do they look at the same questions for percentile ranking that they look at for Selective Enrollment?

  • 280. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I believe that the SAT 10 ranking questions is used for SE

    Also, please note ~just in case any1 is thinking abt Chicago Ag~they do take your Science ISAT.

  • 281. beentheredonethat  |  March 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm–%20Selective%20Enrollment%20HS.pdf

    It’s total math and reading comp, not the total language score.

  • 282. Gobemouche  |  March 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Yes, the SAT 10 is the percentile and also used for SEHS.

  • 283. Gobemouche  |  March 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    It really irritates me that the science portion is not part of the equation in the SEHS point process.

  • 284. OutsideLookingIn  |  March 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I know! If the science portion of isat counted toward sehs score, my kid would actually have a shot. But, there are other schools out there.

  • 285. local  |  March 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    At the Ag HS (not SE, but not a general HS either), the ISAT science portion is included for eligibility (stanine of 5 is needed) along with the other two (reading & math).

  • 286. local  |  March 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    @ 280. SoxSideIrish4 | March 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Oops. Hadn’t seen you provided this already.

  • 287. IB obsessed  |  March 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    This is sobering. From the “Evanston Roundtable”

    ISBE acknowledged that the cut scores (e.g. the proficiency levels) to “meet standards” on the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) (given to third- through eighth-graders) were not aligned with the cut scores to “meet standards” on the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE)(given to eleventh-graders). Nor were they aligned with the proficiency level needed to be on track to meet ACT’s college readiness benchmarks by eleventh grade.

    Entire article (which states that ISAT meets standards are among the lowest in the nation) is at

  • 288. ISAT percentiles  |  March 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    It’s the first 30 questions. I should have read more carefully! I thought it was embedded in the 40 questions! i should have told my 5th grader to check the first 30! instead i told him to be very careful on the first session of math & reading! Yes, I am bummed with science ISAT percentile not counting toward SE score. My 8th grader aced it it last year! He was accepted to an SE but it was our second choice 😦

  • 289. Gobemouche  |  March 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    IBObsessed- I read that article too recently. It’s depressing. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about what a mess the state of Illinois is. CPS is just another symptom.

  • 290. cmf  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Just to be clear regarding ISAT percentiles:

    When you receive the score sheet, there are 2 sets of scores that are reported.

    One set is the total scores for reading, math and science (if tested for science). These are the the ISAT score which tell you if the Illinois state standards are are met or exceeded.

    The second set of scores, the percentiles, are a national ranking based on SAT 10 questions within the ISAT. For example, if the percentile for math is 90, that means the student performed as well as or better than 90% of test takers nationally. The SAT 10 questions are the first 30 questions in reading comp and math – and the percentile ranking is used to calculate 1/3 of the final selective enrollment score.

  • 291. EdgewaterMom  |  March 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    @290 How do you get the national percentile for just reading comprehension? I am looking at my daughter’s results from this year, and I see a national percentile rank for Reading, Math, & Science, and then on the inside I see the breakdown of the reading score into Vocabulary, Reading Strategies, Reading Comprehension, and Literature, but that section only shows the number of questions correct, it does not show the national percentile.

  • 292. anonymouse teacher  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:16 am

    @287, this is why school’s are sending home letters letting parents know that far fewer kids will be “meeting or exceeding” standards than in previous years. The cut scores for passing will be raised this year. And then once we do Common Core, it is widely assumed that only about 25% of all the kids who currently meet standards will actually do so. Chicago scores are expected to plummet to more accurately reflect student achievement. I would kind of assume that for the most part, the only kids who will pass the PARCC test will be the ones who exceed it now. Just wait until half of Hawthorne or LaSalle or Lincoln is found to be failing. Its going to be messy when PARCC results come out.

  • 293. anonymouse teacher  |  March 12, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I meant who exceed ISATs now.

  • 294. breathe deep  |  March 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I think the problem (other than possibly intentional lack of clarity on the part of cps) in terms of knowing what “counts” for selective enrollment is that information is provided in two places and they seem to be inconsistent. If you look at the first page in the “National Comparisons” section of your student’s Individual Student Report, it states “The NPR score is based on student performance of the first 30 items in session 1 in each content area.” But if you look at the link beentheredonethat provided it states for selective enrollment purposes they “use national percentile rankings from the reading comprehension and total mathematics sections of your seventh grade tests.” The use of the word “total” for math only is confusing. That would seem to say they use all the math questions.

    Since I only have a report for when my son was in 6th grade, I don’t know what they say for 7th grade. Maybe it’s different? Can someone check their Individual Student Report for a 7th grader and see what it says? I think that will clear it up since that is most comprehensive explanation.

  • 295. @294  |  March 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    All of the ISAT parent reports for grades 3-8 say “The NPR score is based on student performance of the first 30 items in session 1 in each content area.”

  • 296. cpsobsessed  |  March 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Does session1 mean the first test they take? Or what section is it? Is there a way to tell a kid which part to pay more attn to? (Assuming it’s a year where you care about isat scores.)

    Also, I wonder which is used in the teacher eval input? If just those 30 questions – yikes.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 297. anotherchicagoparent  |  March 14, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Math Session 1 has 40 multiple choice questions the first 30 of those are used for NPR.
    Reading session 1 has six short passages followed by 30 multiple choice questions..

    I am pretty sure they are given in order.By the time kids are in 6th ,7th grade if you tell them which section to focus on they usually will know what you are talking about.

  • 298. Teacher Eval  |  March 14, 2013 at 10:17 am

    @ cpsobsessed, 296:

    The ISAT is not part of teacher evaluation at all. NWEA scores and teacher-developed (and graded) “performance tasks” comprise the ‘student growth’ element of teacher eval under REACH.

    For high school teachers, it’s EPAS gains + performance tasks (since ACT is part of PSAE, I guess you could say state testing DOES play a role for them).

    One interesting disconnect is that NWEA is being used to determine teachers’ value-add scores, while ISAT is (for now) still being used to determine schools’ value-add scores (on their scorecards), though this will presumably change very soon.

    If you paid attention, you noticed schools’ value-add scores demonstrated wide fluctuation from 2011 to 2012 (don’t know if the methodology was changed from one year to the next). This may be one reason the value-add scores for schools are not listed for 2011 on the cps website, even when other 2011 performance data is. You can still find the old scores on the city’s data portal:

  • 299. cpsobsessed  |  March 14, 2013 at 10:20 am

    @Teacher eval – thanks for the info. I think I recall we posted some school added value scores last year and they didn’t make much sense.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 300. also obsessed  |  March 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Does anyone know if 8th grade report card scores are ever considered, during or even after these kids get accepted to SEs and what not? Like if they got straight As in 7th, but straight Bs in 8th grade, could that potentially count against them?

  • 301. RL Julia  |  March 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Also obsessed – if they are at an AC and enrolled in high school level classes, the grades will roll up into high school – although I am not sure if they are counted towards a GPA or what – but they do count. If you have someone who got into an SEHS and is now having a case of eighth-grade-itis about school – I don’t think there is any repercussions for this with SEHS’s. IB programs and some others – apparently do look at 8th grade grades – but I don’t know when or why.

  • 302. HSObsessed  |  March 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    @300 – As you probably saw, the SE acceptance letter mentions how important it is to keep up the hard work, but nothing about what could happen if you don’t. I’ve never heard of anyone getting “unaccepted” based on bad grades in 8th and frankly, I don’t think the system is organized enough to actually do this. Certainly all Bs wouldn’t be enough of a basis to take any action. Nice try, though, if you were looking for something to use to motivate your suddenly slacking kid!

  • 303. local  |  March 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Re: “I’ve never heard of anyone getting “unaccepted” based on bad grades in 8th”

    Once your student is a HS senior, a bad year or final semester can lead to a college admissions offer being withdrawn. No slacking-off for the weary.

  • 304. Falconergrad  |  March 18, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I watched the video on the school’s website. It makes it sound like the school is already operating, which I don’t think is the case. Animated students talk about how great the school is. That is very misleading!

  • 305. Iheoma  |  March 28, 2013 at 8:05 pm


  • 306. Chicago School GPS  |  April 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    CPSOAE is working on a few changes to next year’s HS application process. Biggest change is they want to allow families to schedule their preferred IB & Military Academy info sessions & SEHS exam dates instead of the current system of sending dates to families and having to deal with rescheduling. They will also invite non-CPS schools to send 7th grade qualifying info into CPSOAE ahead of the application period so that all eligible 8th graders will receive an eligibility letter WITH a PIN on the letter. That means qualified high schoolers won’t have to request a PIN as an additional step.

    These changes pave the way for an eventual goal (probably NOT next year) of providing families who apply early in the process with SEHS exam results BEFORE choosing schools.

    Disney II 9th grade applications should be posted online at sometime later this week.

  • 307. HSObsessed  |  April 9, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Thanks for the info, CS GPS. So it sounds like they’re not doing a single-application system for all HS types next year.

  • 308. Chicago School GPS  |  April 9, 2013 at 7:39 am

    No single app system yet. With the change in leadership, that apparently was pushed off.

    The Forensic Center will also be administering acceptable standardized tests (for a fee) starting this summer to incoming 8th graders who did not take an accepted test during their 7th grade year.

  • 309. breathe deep  |  June 13, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I have some very basic questions that came up after we got ISAT scores for our 7th grader this week. I realize this has very likely been discussed ad nauseam somewhere but I looked and could not find it, so I apologize. Perhaps someone can direct me to the discussion?

    After ISATs and grades, my child is still numerically in the running for any of the SEHS (whew!). If he puts Payton down as his first choice and Lane as his second and then does not do well enough on the Selective Enrollment Test to get into Payton but does well enough to get into Lane, will he get into Lane or is it a first-choice or nothing situation? Any tips for the best strategy when selecting a first choice?

    How do they determine “rank” admissions as opposed to Tiers?

    As long as I am asking basic questions, someone told me my son doesn’t have to get a perfect score to get a 300 on the Selective Enrollment test. Is that true? What is a stanine? Can someone direct me to where this is discussed as well? Many thanks!

    Last question for now — is there reliable information out there for how much homework to expect from each school?

  • 310. Bell mom  |  June 13, 2013 at 11:28 am

    To Breathe deep: If your child does not have a high enough score for his/her 1st choice, they will go to his 2nd choice, if he/she still doesn’t have a high enough score for the 2nd choice, they will move on to the 3rd choice and so on…so besides making sure you put the schools in order of your child’s preference, it doesn’t matter.

    Rank v Tiers: Rank students are admitted solely on their test scores regardless of tier. Each SE school allots a given number of seats that are decided based solely on score.

    SE Test: Similiar to the ISATS, the SE test is curved…so a child may not answer every question correctly but receive a 99% and earn 300 points.

    regarding homework, all of the SE enrollment schools are challenging & the time spent on homework depends on to many factors to give a specfic number: the courses your child takes, your child’s aptitude, as well as the type of grades your child is striving for.
    Hope this helps.

  • 311. breathe deep  |  June 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks so much! I really appreciate it!

  • 312. EdgewaterMom  |  June 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I am curious – how did you get the ISAT results so quickly?

  • 313. cpsobsessed  |  June 13, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    That is a good question about stanines. I don’t recall seeing it reported on our isat results last year. In which grade do we get that info? It would seem like 7th since that allows for enrollment into schools like von steuben…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 314. anotherchiagoparent  |  June 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Stanines are not posted on the ISAT but were on the preliminary ISAT score sheet 7th graders received if I remember correctly.
    3rd article down has a bit more info on stanine scores.

  • 315. anotherchiagoparent  |  June 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Found on ISBE site interesting how this will play out next year.
    “The Stanford 10 component of the ISAT assessments will be removed from all ISAT assessments (reading, mathematics, and science). As a result, the information produced by the Stanford 10 assessments (NPR, National Quarters, Stanine, and Lexile Level) will not be available in 2014.”

  • 316. SoxSideIrish4  |  June 13, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    312. EdgewaterMom | June 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    The ISAT scores are available now. Some schools will release them the last day of school w/report cards and some have released them already.

  • 317. breathe deep  |  June 14, 2013 at 9:32 am

    @ 312 Our school allowed the families of 7th graders to see their preliminary ISAT scores this week. The scores are “preliminary” and I’m not sure what that means.

    What are stanines?

  • 318. breathe deep  |  June 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Does anyone know if a final average grade of 89.5 is rounded up to 90 or down to 89? Thanks.

  • 319. HS Mom  |  June 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    It may be on a school by school basis. Either way, I would certainly make the teacher aware of it before final grades.

  • 320. Gwen Harris  |  June 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Last year a 91,5 didn’t cut it for my kid.

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 321. MD  |  June 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

    At my Northside elementary school a 89.5 rounds up to an A

  • 322. breathe deep  |  June 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Thanks. I called around and far as I can tell it is up to each school to determine if 89.5 goes in the books as a 89 or a 90. Thanks to everyone who replied.

    BTW, I spoke to the Office of Student Assessment and they tell me the current ISAT scores are called “preliminary” but that they only change in rare circumstances, such as a showing that there was cheating on the test or there were irregularities in the way it was administered.

  • 323. cpsobsessed  |  July 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Random High School comment here – I happened to drive by St Ignatius fro the first time this weekend. WOW, what an amazing building.

  • 324. mom  |  July 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Yes–when we looked at high schools. I thought that SICP and Lane had the buildings with the most history. Good luck everyone with all of this. I now have one at Lane and one at Jones and I am so glad we don’t have to do through this again. My Lane kid had several final grades that ended in 9’s such as 89, 79, and 69 because he was too lazy to get them up a point. It will matter much less now, however, than it would in 7th grade.

  • 325. luveurope  |  July 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    324 considering how hard it is to get into lane, I would have a major problem with a 79 and 69, just sayin….

  • 326. luveurope  |  July 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    323 and it wasn’t that long ago that SICP was just about closed….then daley sent his kids there. the rest is history.

  • 327. SoxSideIrish4  |  July 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    326. luveurope | July 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I think went one to Mt. Carmel too!

  • 328. SoxSideIrish4  |  July 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    323. cpsobsessed | July 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

    It is an impressive building and a great school!

  • 329. SoxSideIrish4  |  July 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    324. mom | July 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Was that 8th grade 9s going into Lane?

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