2013 SEHS Application and Acceptance Rates

July 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm 134 comments

Sorry it took me so long to run these numbers.  I’m finally having a true lazy weekend (and am using it for fun stuff like this as well as tackling the final storage locker frontier from my move a year ago.)

This show the 3 of acceptances by Tier compared to the # of applications by Tier for each school.  I made an assumption that each student applied to 5 schools to estimate the number of unique applicants.  For Tier 4, I assume kids applied to only 4.5 schools because… well, we know how Tier 4 people based on what has been written here in the past.  I’ll see if CPS will give me the # of applicants by Tier.

As you can see, Tier 4 kids have the best shot at admission, likely due to the Rank seats being filled by their higher scores.  If my estimates about 3 of applicants is correct, then nearly half of Tier 4 kids who apply get a spot somewhere.  (I did the calculation for the 4 “top” schools that Tier 4 parents seem to desire and the odds of getting in at one of NSCP, WY, Payton, Jones is 26%.)  Tier 1 and 2 kids have the worst odds of getting in overall.

You can see that Westinghouse or South Shore would be a pretty good place for tier 4 kids to land, given the much higher odds of entry there.

Lane was the school that had the most Tier 4 applicants, while W Young had the most from all the other tiers.

Updated with # of students from OAE.

Updated with # of students from OAE.


Entry filed under: High school.

Update on the Budget Cuts – Eric Zorn speaks out CPS Laying off 2,000+ (Trib Article)

134 Comments Add your own

  • 1. North Center Mom  |  July 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

    The # is unique applicants is your estimation.
    That is a big assumption upon which all other calculations rely.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  July 6, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Correct. Feel free to add your input.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 3. LP  |  July 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    CPSO – you run a great blog … This post does not meet your standard.

    Running rudimentary calculations based on made-up (or estimated as you call them) numbers? Anyone can divide X by Y. But you are “estimating” Y and reaching a conclusion? That means the only value-add here is conjecture.

    And all to support a conclusion that “Tier 4 kids have the best shot at admission”? This is not the way statistics works.

    The CPS numbers you started with are simply a different slice of the same data everyone always looks at: the cutoff scores.

    The only conclusion that can be drawn from the CPS numbers is blindingly obvious: higher socioeconomic tiers produce higher scoring/performing kids.

    The logic in how you phrase your “As you see” conclusion is twisted around. The variable, applying from Tier 4, does not give an individual applicant an advantage in admissions, indeed the cutoff scores show the exact opposite. The variable that matters is score, having a higher score gives an advantage – however it is an advantage that is mitigated by the tier you apply from.

    There are fascinating conversations you could have started based on the recent supreme court ruling on the role of affirmative action (or socioeconomics as in CPS) in education. Starting with bad math and sloppy logic is a distraction.

    Other than that, I’m still a fan of your blog. 🙂

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  July 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Hm, really? I didn’t see the estimate of number of schools that people apply to as that big of a leap of estimation. People can apply to 6, no? (I might be wrong about that.) I believe I recall reading that around 13500 kids applied, and my estimation is close to that. Keeping Tier 4 kids at 5 schools per made the numbers look wacky, so I adjusted based on what we know about Tier 4s. I think making an educated guess is different than “bad math.” And I’m open to tweaks to make to this if anyone has suggestion based on what we know about the numbers and the process.

    Also, I guess I assumed that people realize that it’s not an “odds” game getting into SEHS. If your child has a 895, you can be sure they’ll get in somewhere if you apply to 4-5 schools. The cutoff scores are what matters. But people always like to know how many applied and how many get in (just as a matter of…. fake odds?) I agree — it’s really a moot point. The distraction is one that many CPS parents are interested in knowing about – just as matter of number crunching, less so as the bigger debate about affirmative action (ie, what are the odds for MY kid.)I

    Perhaps I’ll remove my calculation line just so as not to mislead anyone. But that number of total applications is fully meaningless. And I don’t like people to repeat that it’s a 6% chance of getting in – again a meaningless number. I’ll see if CPS can proved the actual #s which would be nice…. and if they match mine, you owe me dinner! 🙂

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  July 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    okay, request to CPS submitted. Sometimes I get lucky with data requests, sometimes not – so we will see….

  • 6. WRP Mom  |  July 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Your assumption of the “top 4” schools that tier 4 applicants are vying for may be true for most north side families, but what about the south side tier 4 families? For instance, I’m not so sure that NSCP, due to its location, is really on everyone’s radar citywide.

  • 7. cpsobsessed  |  July 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Yeah, that was my greatest level of uncertainty. Well, that and my general lack of knowledge of tier 1 family behaviors.
    Can anyone confirm the number of schools one can select to apply to?

    Maybe a range would be better until (if) I get actual student numbers.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 8. Just went through this  |  July 7, 2013 at 6:17 am

    You can apply to six schools! I’m tier 4 & applied to 5 schools. I’m a south sider & didn’t put north side or Payton down!

  • 9. Mommy_of_1  |  July 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

    cpsobsessed, I just want to say that I am a southside parent and I love your blog! Keep doing what your doing.

    Southside parents…did any of you consider Brooks? Just curious.

  • 10. Mommy_of_1  |  July 7, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Just to follow up …the tier 4 numbers were very low for Brooks. It seems like a school that should be more desirableto to southside families. For those of you living on the southside in tier 4, what are your thoughts on Brooks?

  • 11. HS Mom  |  July 7, 2013 at 9:58 am

    “As you can see, Tier 4 kids have the best shot at admission, likely due to the Rank seats being filled by their higher scores”

    This information cannot be determined based upon the number of applications by tier alone. Average numbers of schools applied to has no real bearing on this information either. Some people only apply to NSP and Payton, some fill in all 6 spaces, some apply to the “top four” only, some (north and south) include Lane as a top pick meaning 5 schools, some apply to only 2 or 3 schools closest to where they live.

    A few stats that we can determine – If you score less than 650 you can still have an application in but your chances are 0. Two schools had 650 cut offs for all tiers telling us that most applicants scored below 650 and that tier 1,2,3,4 kids that scored above 650 had a 100% chance of getting into those schools. Looking at NSCP 5.7% of tier 4 applicants were accepted vs. 4% of tier 1 applicants. This school requires near perfect rank and has a 109 point spread between tier 1 and 4. So, how do we define who has “the best shot at admission”. Tier 1 because they have a point advantage or tier 4 because they can buy enrichment.

  • 12. SoxSideIrish4  |  July 7, 2013 at 10:33 am

    As a SouthSide Tier 4 parent, I don’t know any one who put down NorthSide as an option. The only schools that I know where kids tried for were WY, WP and Jones.

    11. HS Mom | July 7, 2013 at 9:58 am

    “So, how do we define who has “the best shot at admission”. Tier 1 because they have a point advantage or tier 4 because they can buy enrichment.” ~valid points…I think you would actually have to see actual numbers of who applied to NCP.

  • 13. North Center Mom  |  July 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    As a tier 4, north side family, my son listed 3 SEHS schools. If that didn’t work out, we were going private. And please don’t assume that NSCP was one of them; we didn’t care for the environment. My point? Every family’s choices are different. CPSO, your assumption may turn out to be correct, but as of now we just don’t know.

  • 14. cpsobsessed  |  July 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks everyone. I think I’ll revise the intial content slightly.

    *IF* the number of schools applied to is roughly the same for all tiers then the conclusion will be the same (comparing tier vs tier) no matter what the number.
    I’d be surprised if the numbe varied widely across tier — but who knows? We’ll see what cps says.
    I’d assume people would cast a wide net just in case, but clearly some familes apply only to the schools they really want, which is probably more sane!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 15. LP  |  July 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    @CPSO “Keeping Tier 4 kids at 5 schools per made the numbers look wacky, so I adjusted based on what we know about Tier 4s. I think making an educated guess is different than “bad math.” ”

    Actually, changing your input because you don’t like the output is the very definition of bad math 🙂

    I wouldn’t tweak your estimates again, it doesn’t help, its just more fuzzy math. School by school is the most important number for people, breaking out by tier is interesting as well. So really just your last table minus the estimate row at the bottom, and fill in the “Total” or school-wide column.

    When I first dove into the CPS maelstrom I did several narrow google searches where the most relevant results were old posts from your blog. Your old posts are a nice resource, so I’m arguing for posterity’s sake 🙂

    Or maybe CPS will answer. Along those lines have they clarified what the applicant number is composed of? eg if Child A applies to Payton Northside Young with an 891 they are turned down from Payton, accepted at Northside, and the algorithm never gets to Young, they’re never considered there. Is that a Young application? Is that 891 included in the tier max (actually at Young that would be a rank acceptance, but same question.)

    On a side note: Running broad SEHS analysis gets silly because CPS labels King and South Shore “selective” when neither are selective by any common usage of the word. Yes they are SEHS by CPS’s rules but both have more seats available than students applying in multiple tiers. They have to use the 650 minimum score, that’s it.

    South Shore accepted 19 tier 4 kids. King accepted 37. That’s 100% of applicants with scores above 650. It’s safe to bet that the enrollment numbers are even lower. CPS tries to call them selective, but they aren’t. They are solid schools in their own right and I love that CPS has them, but putting King and SS in the same pot as Payton and NS makes broad analysis questionable.

  • 16. HS Mom  |  July 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    @15 LP – Putting King and S Shore into the mix provides “selective education” for all tier 1 kids. From this, I get that true tier 1 kids scoring more than 650 received offers from the other SE schools or got scholarships from private. It would appear to me that tier 1 kids are served well by the system. The sad part is that there are not enough kids scoring over 650 to fill the seats. One thing that may be keeping CPS from creating more SE schools in central locations is that tier 1 is being accommodated and more seats would only dilute the minimum score and the credibility of the school/program.

  • 17. K D  |  July 7, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    This is a great post with a great discussion. My job is to build and evaluate models that represent uncertain but real phenomenon. I think cpsobsessed did a good job and I bet the real data will look similar to this estimate.

    LP made a good point about SS and King. There could be a tweaking opportunity there. You always have to tweak until you get the real numbers.

    Mommy_of_1: Brooks is a great campus. I went there for 1 year. It looks and feels like a East Coast prep school. It prepared me well for undergrad at Univ of Chicago. However, I think tier 4 families who live on the far southside fear the commute to Roseland. They also have more private and suburban options. The cutoff scores at Brooks were rising, but in 2012, they may have lost some high scoring students to the new South Shore program.

  • 18. Mommyof1  |  July 8, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Thanks K D for your input!

  • […] Cuts DNAI: The demonstrators took their beefs with the mayor to his front door — literally. 2013 SEHS Application and Acceptance Rates cpsobsessed:  This show the 3 of acceptances by Tier compared to the # of applications by Tier […]

  • 20. LP  |  July 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

    @KD. Just for grins I’ll push back a bit. Building complex models that attempt to represent reality involves trial and error, back testing, and yes, tweaking. Basic data analysis absolutely does not – if an analyst adjusted inputs to achieve an output consistent with their thesis they would be fired.

    The estimates above project that 52% of Tier 4 applicants gain SEHS acceptance, which is well outside reality. More broadly the above would lead a reader to believe that 1) SEHS admissions is much easier than commonly believed and 2) applying from Tier 4 is an advantage. Both of which are wrong and misleading.

  • 21. cpsobsessed  |  July 8, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Blergh, I just realized I didn’t have my final version posted, so I’ve now revised. I felt the 52% number “felt” too high for Tier 4 as well, which is why I adjusted the number of schools applied to for Tier 4 students from 5 to 4.5 (which also fits with the information we have about Tier 4 parents’ opinions about SEHS.) It is now 47% (which still feels high to me.)

    I still stand by the estimates as being fairly solid because I cannot think of a rationale for why the # of schools applied to would vary dramatically by Tier. It would take Tier 4 kids applying to 2.9 schools vs 5 for Tier 1 kids for the acceptance rates to be comparable. I feel there is enough data to conclude that Tier 4 kids get a greater share of seats per Tier than Tier 1/2 kids do. I can’t see any basic logic in assuming that Tier 4 kids apply to 3 schools. So looking across data points, I think the estimates are directionally solid and the conclusion will be the same, even if the numbers are tweaked slightly.

    I think the big question was: Are Tier 4 kids getting more than their “fair share” of seats in SEHS (25%.) Previous data indicated that they do, but someone wanted to know how the # of applications/applicants shook out. As a % of applications, they are getting a higher share of seats. That we know. My hypothesis about % of total students is based on that plus previous data we have on admissions by Tier (and I should go look back at that.. maybe that’ll give me the answer I need to be more exact.)

    OAE responded to my email and I may be getting the numbers, so then we will know! And if Tier 4 kids only apply to 3 schools each… well, I need to lecture them about that…

  • 22. SutherlandParent  |  July 8, 2013 at 11:24 am

    @17 K D, when it comes to Brooks, I know fear is a concern with many Tier 4 families, but the commute there is also a huge pain for a lot people. As I’ve written here before, from my perspective in a Tier 4 neighborhood in the 19th Ward on the Far Southwest Side, it’s easier and faster to get to Jones and Whitney Young then Brooks via Metra and El. Or at least, Jones and WY are remotely close to work downtown if I wanted to drive, unlike Brooks.

    Granted, I’m not one of those parents willing to drive my kids an hour each way, completely out of my way, to school every day. As marvelous as SutherlandStudents (naturally) are, they can find adequate educational options that don’t require that use of my time 🙂

    Mommyof1, I do know one Tier 4 family from the 19th Ward with a student at Brooks, and they love it–particularly once they found someone else who could drive the student to and from school every day!

  • 23. Mommyof1  |  July 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

    @ SutherlandParent: thanks for your input on Brooks!

  • 24. HSObsessed  |  July 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Very interesting analysis! I notice that according to these estimates, Payton is the most selective now (in terms of low % of acceptances), then Young, then Northside, then Jones. I think Northside’s geography is definitely working against it. The other 3 are much more centrally located, and easy to reach from many areas of the city.

    My near north side kid only listed three SEHS on the app, and really only 2 of them were under consideration at all. The other SEHS were just too far, or didn’t offer enough “extra” from our home high school to be worth the longer commute. If we didn’t have the LPHS as a back up, however, we certainly would have listed more than three.

  • 25. klm  |  July 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm


    OK, I don’t mean to come down too hard, either, but…

    I know that you were pointing out what seemed like just plain fact, but saying that “Tier 4 kids have the best chance of admissions” without any context or background analysis kinda’ seems a little oblivious as to the reality in terms of actual points and test scores required for admission to the top CPS SE HSs.

    Look, if you’re all in favor of social engineering then come out and say it –it’s a valid opinion that can be supported through visions of a certain amount of social equity in a very segregated, bifurcated public school system like we have here in Chicago. Everybody that looks at the cut-offs knows it’s much. much more difficult for a Tier 4 kids to get into Northside, Payton, et al. than a Tier 1 kid, so the “Tier 4 kids have the best chance of admissions” seems (nay, IS) plain wrong when looking at the objective facts.

    It’s kinda’ like saying “kids at New Trier have an easier time than kids at Simeon” getting in to U of I”, without noting that New Trier’s average ACT is 27.7 and Simeon’s is 16 (and 61.8% of New Trier 11th graders meet the ACT ‘college-readiness’ standard in all 4 subjects vs 0.3% at Simeon….), the average enrollee at U of I from Simeon has an average ACT score 10 points lower than the average North Shore kid, etc.

    These collateral facts are truly important in explaining why things are the way they are, re: school admissions, points, etc.

    If you feel like it’s important to create a certain mix of kids at these schools, them feel free to state that, but come on: do you really think “Tier 4 kids have the best chance of admissions” flies when there’s so much disparity between what it takes to get into these schools? I’m forever saying this, bit it’s (much) easier for a Tier 1 kids to get into Northside than a Tier 4 kid to get into Lane –how does this mesh with your statement?

    OK, I know you maybe weren’t being literal, but more figurative in a collective sense, but still… all us Tier 4 folks that are obsessing over the crazy scores needed to get our kids into The CPS Big Four for HS can’t help but jump all over a statement like that –it just feels so wrong, knowing what we’re in for.

    Shouldn’t actual achievement be the bigger factor in term of SE admissions analysis, not socio-economic analysis of one’s census tract?

    Then again, I’m one of those people that believe SE admissions should be SE admissions and consequently based on “achievement,” not one’s census tract. I have black kids and God knows I want black CPS kids to do well and get a good education, but if we are ever going to truly reduce the achievement gap in a significant way, social engineering the problem away through differentiated admissions is only going to cover up the reality of black kids being 4 years behind white ones at the end of K12 education in this country, but that’s just me. If we want black and low-income urban kids to achieve, then we need to have the same expectations for them as we do other kids (I know more than just about anybody how reality is nowhere near where it should be in this area, but let’s not give up hope). If you feel otherwise, be more overt in your opinions/analysis.

    I guess this is a chicken or the egg issue: is the problem that that too many low-income kids are not achieving enough or that too many higher-income CPS kids are achieving too much? I know we all agree that it’s the former, but what to do about it is what’s up for debate. Some people (most on this site, from I can tell) believe it’s best to call students “qualified” for admission based more from what info the U.S. Census Bureau gives about where they (supposedly) live, rather than solely on achievement. OK, but at least say so and don’t give a false analysis wrapped in supposed fact that’s glaringly incomplete.

    Whew…my fingers are tired…best regards.

  • 26. RationalRationing  |  July 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    This may have been answered above, but just to clarify – the “number of applications” for a given school refers to the number of students who listed that school anywhere on their application … i.e. say I entered Payton as my 6th choice, King as my first choice, and was accepted to King, then I’m still considered one of the 9,435 applicants to Payton?

  • 27. LP  |  July 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    @ HSObsessed

    Yeah Payton has been the most selective by a significant margin for a few years.

    The easy analysis I was encouraging CPSO to include is the oddly missing total admissions % for each school column.

    The admission rates for the Fab 4 are:

    Payton 2.7%
    Young 3.7%
    NS 4.1%
    Jones 4.3%

    And the rest:

    Brooks 8.54%
    Lindblom 10.04%
    Lane 11.10%
    Westinghouse 12.12%

    And for a brutal dose of reality:

    Harvard 5.8%
    Yale 6.7%
    Princeton 7.3%

    A moment of quiet appreciation for Brooks’ selectivity is warranted. Lane’s selectivity perception vs reality is the reverse of Brooks.

    I didnt include King and Southshore because they both use 650 as the real admissions requirement. 650 only factors into admissions at those schools. Both schools have close to 100% acceptance rates for eligible students, not the roughly 20% number that would be calculated from the totals. You can’t make the argument that “we need more SEHS!” while 2 SEHS schools are unable to fill their seats in multiple tiers.

    Acceptance rates plus cut-off scores are the real story. Past this it becomes a clear-cut question of how much, if any, social engineering you support to divide the seats.

    Its the 4% and under numbers for the select schools that has people, regardless of tier, rolling their eyes at the 36% or 47% acceptance numbers in this post. Thats like saying “95+% of kids get into college!” Yes … but …

  • 28. cpsobsessed  |  July 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    @RR – correct – you are counted in there for each school you applied to. That’s why I estimated the # of students per tier who applied anywhere (and am hoping to get those numbers from CPS.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 29. local  |  July 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    “If we want black and low-income urban kids to achieve, then we need to have the same expectations for them as we do other kids (I know more than just about anybody how reality is nowhere near where it should be in this area, but let’s not give up hope).”

    Perhaps a place to start is “same expectations” but it’d require the “same inputs” that lead to high academic achievements.

  • 30. King  |  July 9, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    My son will be attending King in the fall & this blog seems to put it down a lot! I would like to hear from any of you if you visited the school! It’s a wonderful, warm place. I think King is where lindblom was several years ago & it is moving in the right direction! I guess I should be happy all of you are snubbing it because it makes more room for my kid! I put Lindblom down first & King 2nd but my son had the jitters on test day & flubbed a bit because he was so nervous! Honestly I don’t understand why those who live in Hyde park who are white don’t try to attend! I did see quite a few Asian students at King so they are trying to integrate the school!

    South shore is really new & the only reason I didn’t apply is because they don’t yet have data I.e psae scores, avg act scores, etc.

    People should really try to open their minds a bit. I heard one 19th ward parent say the area their kids would have to travel through is a deterrent to attend some of the south side schools but the same could be said of my child if he was trying to travel to jones or WY! Frankly, given what has been going on in Chicago lately I don’t know if I ever will let my son use public transportation to get anywhere!

  • 31. RLJulia  |  July 10, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Klm- I think the point of this post was to demonstrate that no matter what the (mostly) tier 4 parents on this site think, their children are in fact getting the largest slice of the pie in terms of admittance to the (north/loop located) SEHS’s. So that – while it is true lower tier kids have don’t have to score as highly to get into one of these high schools – the high score required for admissions in tier 4 (and 3 in many cases) is perhaps much of their own creation. Woe to the child living in a tier 1 household in a tier 3/4 neighborhood. Life continues to be unfair.

  • 32. HS Mom  |  July 10, 2013 at 8:56 am

    @31 Another point to be made is that it seems that most tier 1 kids will get a SE spot if they score above 650. In essence, the tier system is skewed to allow as many tier 1 kids as possible provided they have a defined level of achievement.

  • 33. klm  |  July 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm


    Mea Culpa!

    God, looking back at what I wrote it was like the Drunk Uncle character from SNL.

    Point taken.


    Sorry for being so hard on you –I understand your premise and understand your point.. It’s just that I kinda’ go off kilter when I think about HS, considering I want to stay in the city, have several kids to educate (hopefully through CPS), etc. … but, still. Sorry. Really.

    Gotta’ switch to Senka.

  • 34. cpsobsessed  |  July 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Well, I got the numbers I wanted from OAE. A big thank you to them.
    Before I plug them in, it’s VERY interesting to see that many students who apply initially end up not taking the SE test. More so among the lower tiers, I speculate due to possibly less involved parents? I can’t imagine navigating this process as an 8th grader without a parent pushing you along. So the # of applications is actually inflated a bit, since a fair share of those kids weren’t actually in the pool.

    Total applicants, by tier:

    Tier Total Students
    1 4046
    2 4407
    3 4810
    4 4196

    Students tested, by tier:

    Tier Total Students
    1 3053
    2 3543
    3 4059
    4 3746

  • 35. cpsobsessed  |  July 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    So of note: The share by Tier of kids who take the test for SEHS entry is not divided perfectly by fourths. There are more Tier 3 kids than anyone else:

    Tier 1 21%
    Tier 2 25%
    Tier 3 28%
    Tier 4 26%

  • 36. cpsobsessed  |  July 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Okay, I updated the chart with the actual numbers of students who took the admissions test and somehow the image has become tiny. You can click on it to enlarge.

    There were more Tier 3 and 4 students than I’d projected so the % of students who got an SEHS spot as a share of those who took the admissions test is:
    Tier 1 30%
    Tier 2 28%
    Tier 3 32%
    Tier 4 43%
    (versus my previous estimate of 30% 29% 35% 47%.)

    As was pointed out, living in Tier 4 doesn’t get you better odds of getting in, but growing up in Tier 4 likely helps you score better which improves your chances of getting in anywhere. Tier 3 has the greatest number of of kids applying.

  • 37. Leggy Mountbatten  |  July 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Hey, have I missed it, or did you post the Elementary School of origin for the Selective High Schools

  • 38. cpsobsessed  |  July 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    @Leggy – they don’t publish that each year. We got a special run from HSObsessed’s friend who works in the CPS data department last year for that. I can find the link if you want to see the old numbers.

  • 39. K D  |  July 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Sorry. 900 N. Orleans is Tier 4. 901 N. Orleans is Tier 1. Makes sense right?

  • 40. SoxSideIrish4  |  July 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Does any1 know how their school did w/the preliminary ISAT scores~I’m hearing they really dropped at all schools…just wondering if any1 else hear that.

  • 41. Even One More CPS Mom  |  July 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Didn’t ISAT scores by school come out about this time last year?

  • 42. SoxSideIrish4  |  July 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    The scores don’t come out for each school until late summer/early fall, but individual preliminary ISAT scores were to be handed out b4 close of the school yr. These are the only ones where you will find out your child’s percentile~as CPS said they will not provide those in the fall. Also, I’m hearing all the schools took a dip scores, but it was expected.

  • 43. anonymouse teacher  |  July 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    SSI4, Can I ask where you are getting your info from regarding ISAT scores citywide? And why was a dip expected?

  • 44. Isat scores  |  July 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    The scores that came out before school ended were the sat10s or percentiles. That is only the first 30 questions in reading & math. Principals did get the scaled scores yesterday which is the whole test scored. Isat scores are expected to drop because isbe raised the cut scores & 20-30 percent of the questions were harder because of common core. Percentiles will not be affected but schools composite scores & individual scores are expected to drop!

  • 45. PatientCPSMom  |  July 14, 2013 at 7:12 am

    @39 the population distribution of the census tracts mirror this reality, Lots of vacant land and former cabrini row houses attribute to the disparity by different sides of Orleans.

  • 46. K D  |  July 14, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I posted this a few days ago, but it never appeared.   Maybe because it had hyperlinks.

    cpso- congrats. I thought your model would be a good estimate and it was.  Since you measured the cumulative probability of getting any one of four ranked preferences, 40-something percent for Tier4 seemed reasonable 

    LP-lots of good points. CPSO’s assumpitons were OK because they were disclosed.

    I don’t think the Tier system is social engineering. I think its more of a score deflator to correct for the score inflation in higher tiers. As I’ve heard, “your SAT score predicts what kind of car your parents drive.”:
    Link to lecture.  

    The Tier system also reflects our market values. “If you can’t get an 850+ score after recieving Tier 4-level investments, then society at large isn’t going to invest more in you.”

    However, Tier is an imperfect proxy. 900 N. Orleans is Tier 1. I’d love to live there. 65th & Racine is Tier 1. A mother was raped outdoors there in front of her son. Try studying after that: link to Tribune article 

    All- I am such a biased Brooks fan/booster. If I can find 5 other willing parents, we can rent a limo to take our kids there and bring them home. Once you’re on the campus, you might as well be in Greenwich, CT. Roseland doesn’t reach in. I hear there are some good Assistant Principals there, too. Good tennis program, arts, etc. I hope they survive the cuts.

    P.S. LP—From my experience, data analysts who adjust inputs (by scrubbing, re-categorization, etc) are not fired. They are rewarded.  You wanted to re-categorize South Shore and exclude their data.    

  • 47. local  |  July 14, 2013 at 10:36 am

    As I’ve heard, “your SAT score predicts what kind of car your parents drive.”:

    Oh, dear. We drive a beater with a heater (but no AC). My kids are SOL.

  • 48. cpsobsessed  |  July 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

    @KD: Thanks for the input. Regarding your idea of a limo to send kids to Brooks, I know there is a great of north side families who run a bus down to ChiArts every day (as usual, takes one highly motivated and organized parent to get it going.) You have to get your kid to one of the Blue Line stops and the bus picks up there so you still have some transport to maintain.

    But it would be great if other groups would do this for some of the other high schools. If I had some capital it would be smart to start a business, huh? But I myself drive a car with dents and a cassette player so maybe transportation isn’t my best business.

  • 49. anonymouse teacher  |  July 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

    @44, oh, right, I forgot about the whole thing where isat’s bar was being raised. Do I remember right that they will also raise it again this year too so it correlates better with PARCC (even though it doesn’t matter cause isats are gone after this year)? Or do I remember incorrectly? I seem to remember they had to raise it so significantly to reflect the difficulty of CC that they decided to do it in two steps, but you know, there are so many changes I can’t keep up anymore.

  • 50. Isat scores  |  July 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    No isbe won’t be raising the cuts on scores but the next isat will have 40-50% common core questions which will make the isat even harder & they aren’t going to include the sat10 questions so there won’t be any percentiles.

  • 51. local  |  July 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Don’t we need percentiles based on the national scale?

  • 52. Isat scores  |  July 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t know. Here is where I got the percentile info from: http://www.isbe.net/assessment/

    New Test Blueprint for the 2014 ISAT Reading and Mathematics Assessments

    ISBE plans to map all items on the 2014 ISAT reading and mathematics assessments to Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The reading and mathematics assessments will be composed entirely of items written to CCSS.

    •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.
    •After the operational assessments are completed for the ISAT reading and mathematics assessments, the assessment division will be providing more specific details about the composition of the ISAT reading and math assessments. We expect to complete the operational test build in July of this year.

    The 2014 ISAT science assessments will be constructed using the existing science standards. However, the Stanford 10 portion of the assessments will be eliminated. The assessments will be constructed with items developed by Illinois educators.

    For the 2013 ISAT results, the Stanford 10 assessment results will not appear on any of the paper reports produced by Pearson. The Stanford 10 results will be present in the electronic files each school district receives.

  • 53. SoxSideIrish4  |  July 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    And we will have national percentiles~per MAP.

  • 54. WRP Mom  |  July 15, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Ok, so if your child is applying to SEHS this fall, how do you get the percentiles to figure their point scores?

  • 55. Isat scores  |  July 15, 2013 at 11:14 am

    You don’t need them on the application because OAE has access to that info. My sons principal verbally told me his percentiles because I asked but I think the principal can send parent letters that home with the scores. They have access to a letter that auto populates name/percentiles etc.

  • 56. local  |  July 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    New topic?: sports…


  • 57. local  |  July 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    + Golf? Fencing? Equine? And how on Earth did lacrosse infiltrate Chicagoland, anyway?

    It’s interesting that Title IV is benefiting these “elite” sport practitioners at the college level, even as basketball, softball and other more urban/low income sports are being defunded at the grade & HS levels (cuts), strangling the pipeline to college. At least. that’s what I’ve read.

  • 58. anonymouse teacher  |  July 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    @57, haha about lacrosse! My daughter plays it as a club sport and I hope once she hits jr. high or at least high school it will be school supported. Club sports are way pricey. I do have to say though, she’s the teeniest thing on the field but with the mouth guard and the googles, she looks totally bad ass. I’d hate to see her go to some ridiculously overpriced east coast school someday, but if she ever did, at least she’d have a sport to play.

  • 59. local  |  July 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Ultimate Frisbee, anyone?

  • 60. HSObsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 8:05 am

    @54 – Go onto the below page for all that information, especially the Scoring Rubric PDF and the Point Calculation interactive tool:


  • 61. SoxSideIrish4  |  July 16, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Also they put up a new change in HS process http://www.cpsoae.org/Overview%20–%20HS%20Changes.pdf

  • 62. IBobsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 9:11 am

    FYI for those looking beyond the SEHS experience for their kids:
    68% of Senn’s IB seniors this year scored at least a 4 (the cut off score) in the subject areas tests.

  • 63. IBobsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

    @58 Regarding “club sports” (to digress..). It seems many sports are becoming club sports earlier and earlier, meaning if you don’t want to be left behind competitively, and risk being the weakest member of your team or not be able to play at all; your parents better have $800+ to shell out. I find it sad that 11 year olds who can’t do ‘club’ in the off season are left behind. eg. volleyball. Why is it necessary to start this so early? At HS level, I can understand, but why must we adults try to virtually “professionalize” childhood fun and physical exercise? (A way for adults to make $$$$)Not criticizing your choice here, just making an observation.

  • 64. OutsideLookingIn  |  July 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

    @63 – agreed. One parent told me that if my kid wasn’t getting regular soccer instruction by age six, my kid would never get on a traveling team, which meant kid would never play on the team in HS. This may be true, I have no idea, but why??? What happened to little kids playing sports because it is fun, good exercise and builds teamwork? Money, money, money.

  • 65. mom2  |  July 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

    @63 – I agree that it is sad about club sports. We experienced this same issue. We couldn’t afford it and it impacts them when they get to high school because the ones that had that upbringing are the ones that make the high school team.

  • 66. RL Julia  |  July 16, 2013 at 11:29 am

    @63 – as the parent of one uncoordinated child and one child who doesn’t want to play sports 20 hours a week – I’d love to find some low key (inexpensive) way for them to play/participate in the sports they like without it becoming a second career or another obligation.

  • 67. mom2  |  July 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

    @66 – Chicago Park District. Very inexpensive but not very organized.

  • 68. HSObsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    @61 Thanks for posting the link to those changes. So, no “single app” this year, but many incremental changes, including that all CPS 8th graders will be assigned a PIN and be given a letter with the programs they’re eligible to apply for. (There was a variation of that letter already last year, and it just gave the general terms for the type of program, like “selective enrollment high schools, military academies, CTE programs” and not the names of specific high schools.) Non-CPS students will have a booklet of instructions to follow and must submit their academic record before being given a PIN. Also, SEHS testing will be earlier, in October/November, and results sent to the kids within 6 weeks, so that they can hopefully have better information about which SEHS to list on their app.

  • 69. HSObsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    And re: ISAT scores, hot off the presses: “ISAT Scores Plummet”


  • 70. junior  |  July 16, 2013 at 1:32 pm


    There is no money at the end of that rainbow. Parents who think their high school athlete is likely to get some good scholarship money are in for a rude awakening. 2% of high school athletes get scholarships, and even then most of those are small partial scholarships.

    In fact, considering all the time that high school sports take away from academics and other life experiences (like working a job), they can potentially be detrimental to academics and can be more of a financial drain.

    There are many good reasons to encourage your kids to play sports. None of them have to do with money or college.

  • 71. IBobsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Junior, I wonder to what extent it helps for admissions, apart from the scholarship factor? None? some? I would think maybe some help since it makes the student look more ‘well-rounded’. However, here, too,the small edge it might give most probably makes playing not worth it, if playing mainly for that reason. And especially if it distracts from academics.

  • 72. cpsobsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Great find, HSO! It says that school scores will be posted later today so I’ll make a new post tonight about it…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 73. cpsobsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm


    Looks like it’s posted and he’s the link to the data if anyone wants to find their school.

  • 74. local  |  July 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    @ 63. IBobsessed | July 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

    So true! The kid has to catch the boat at age 6, it seems, or they’re left behind. This is happening in academics as well as sports. It’s a race. But not a good thing for society, I believe.

  • 75. local  |  July 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    @ 71. IBobsessed | July 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I’ve read that high achievement in teen sports (even club) helps with college admissions, in that it can generate admission offers, but only rarely offers of college money.

    Some SEHS coaches do “recruit” through Principal’s Decision, btw. So, excelling in a sport in grade school can help, in rare instances, get the kid into a desired SEHS.

  • 76. K D  |  July 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    IB Obsessed & junior: I don’t think athletics should influence a college admission decision. However, one year, I worked formally with a college admissions committee. They did consider it, even though this college was not an athletic powerhouse. They never wanted to take too many graduates from any one high school, so they would play the athlete against the other graduates they were considering from that high school. The coaches could send a note, but the coaches could not get someone admitted. It was Division 3, so they couldn’t offer scholarship money. The strategy of the school was to have nice features they could market to increase demand. So they built athletic teams and played other weak schools so they could have someone to beat at Homecoming. The admissions team insisted the Ivies were worse. Maybe. Take a look at the football rosters of Ivy League colleges. They always have kids from the Chicago HS sports schools. On a related note, I heard that the endowment manager could get the child of a big donor admitted. They didn’t seem to be joking, but it had to be a 7 digit plus gift.

  • 77. CPS Parent  |  July 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    The Ivy League allows up to 18% of the class to be recruited athlete status but does not allow any athletic (or merit scholarships) only need based aid.

    Yale, the school which I’m most familiar usually has about 13% recruited athletes or about 175 kids. Most come in through the early admission process which is about one third of the kids who end up admitted from the early admission pool.

  • 78. HSObsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    @73 – Note that they adjusted the prior 11 years of scores to match the new criteria (prolly a big guessing game as to how to do that accurately, tho) so that the 2013 results don’t actually look like they plunged for any given school.

  • 79. cpsobsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    @HSO, it looks like they have it posted both ways I think – adjusted and not adjusted.

  • 80. anonymouse teacher  |  July 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Interesting perspective on the club sport scene. I do know that outside the park district, any class or sport or anything a kid wants to do is at least $20 an hour and that’s no different than what we pay for her to do lacrosse. No biggie. When I was home we couldn’t afford it and now we can. My daughter is having a blast and loves playing with her friends once a week.

    I also don’t think sports take away from academics. Its only a few hours after school each day. I took a huge AP courseload, swam on the team, rode horses competitively, did cross country cycling, worked and did well in school and never once felt like that was difficult or overwhelming. Guess it depends on the kid.

  • 81. anonymouse teacher  |  July 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I’m loving Bell school right now! Good for them for not taking the “hush” money offered.


  • 82. IB obsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    @81 I don’t get it. What was the hush money? Can’t access full articles on SunTimes.

  • 83. cpsobsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I was going to ask that too. Someone emailed me the press release today but I was unclear – they turned down the money but accepted what budget?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 84. K Stone  |  July 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    These schools waste money and demand more. So they pass their fantasy budget which will never be funded. They finally ran out of other peoples money. If the LSC is not capable of doing its job they should step aside. No wonder there is a 50% drop out rate and more kids who can not perform at grade level. Look at who their “leaders” are. Of course they could put their money where thier mouth is and put up their personal funds to fill their fantasy budget gap. Oh what? They only want to waste taxpayer money. Pathetic.

  • 85. anonymouse teacher  |  July 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    The BOE offered them a one time 100K “grant” that was not offered to all/most schools. In fact, they BOE offered this money to only 2-3 other schools that refused their budget. But because it felt so slimy to the Bell LSC and because the city “has no money” and would not indicate where the 100K was coming from, Bell did the right thing. They essentially said, in the name of all CPS kids everywhere, we are not going to take money when we don’t know where it comes from and money very few schools will get. Good for them. They did not accept any budget exactly. What they did was allow the principal to accept the budget in their stead. Bell stood up for every single school in the city with students and families who cannot stand up for themselves when they did this, even if it was symbolic. I’m sure they would love to have that 100K, but they didn’t take it. Talk about solidarity!

  • 86. Even One More CPS Mom  |  July 16, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I applaud Bell as well. The schools and parents who “can” need to stand up for all in this situation.

  • 87. IB obsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    @85 Integrity. Wow.

  • 88. IB obsessed  |  July 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    @84 English language learning for children of immigrants was cut all across CPS. So was Spec. Ed. These kids are here and are the workforce of the future. Would funding for these really be a waste of taxpayer money? Would you rather corporations keep hiring from the well educated from overseas for high tech jobs? Or would you find it pleasant to step over hoards of them as they sit on the street on your way to the L in the morning?

  • 89. PatientCPSMom  |  July 17, 2013 at 6:37 am

    @86 all CPS schools “can” and should stand up for all children. In rejecting the proposed budget Bell did the responsible fiscal thing. If a majority of the LSCs would have rejected their budgets based on what they knew they needed for their school’s success CPS may have found a lot more money than the couple 100,000’s of dollars that they found. EVERYONE at EVERY school is in this together, whether funding is from Title 1, parent fund raisers, or CPS. There is a reality of what funding levels need to be at schools in order for that schol to be successful. CPS can not re-write this fiscal reality no matter how hard they try. Thank you. Bell LSC

  • 90. PatientCPSMom  |  July 17, 2013 at 6:39 am

    THANK to the Bell LSC

  • 91. Momof5  |  July 17, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for posting this information. Would it be possible to figure out the actual number and percentage of students by tier accepted to a SEHS who actually took the spot?

  • 92. HS Mom  |  July 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    regarding fund raising – here’s a good idea


  • 93. reenie  |  July 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I’m going back to Tier 1 parents’ behavior. I am a former north sider (classic Tier 4-type mom). I live in a south side census tract that was Tier 1 last year and is Tier 2 this year. I have served as unofficial guidance counselor to 8th-graders on our block and the nearby ones for seven years. Very few parents I have met play the system like a college admissions game because they do not understand how it works. Our neighborhood elementary school has recently become much more attuned to SE high school admissions but they had no support until the last year or two.

    Generally, parents and kids applied to Whitney Young because it had name recognition, Lindblom for the adventurous (it’s south of us and people worry about the neighborhood). I know of one family where all the kids took the 90 minute each way bus ride to Lane. Don’t know how the first one found it but all the sibs followed. Some years ago, one family rejected an acceptance to Northside CP in favor of an experimental school. (Long story short, the student ultimately graduated from Simeon.) I would bet that few parents here applied to more than three schools due to the distances involved and their lack of understanding of how to maximize their admissions chances.

  • 94. reenie  |  July 24, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Oh, and Jones is popular here because it is a relatively short train ride. But people have no idea that it might be easier to get into Lindblom and that they offer transportation directly from a nearby Orange Line station.

  • 95. HS Mom  |  July 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    @93 – Interesting. With regard to the student who has already graduated from Simeon and turned down Northside – If this student has graduated then he/she would have entered school under the old rules (multiple offers, race based). I assume that getting an offer to Northside then was similar to now in that you would have your choice of other SE schools. I’m confused at how a student qualifying for NSCP on the south side winds up at Simeon instead of Whitney or Jones. Maybe the hype of a new school?

    Do you attribute the support that your neighborhood now gets to the establishment of the tier system?

  • 96. klm  |  July 25, 2013 at 10:55 am

    @93 and @95

    OK, this is kinda’ outta’ nowhere, but who in their right mind would have their kid go to Simeon (even if was after trying an ‘experimental’ school and that didn’t work out, etc.) instead of Northside? I don’t care how hellish the commute, etc., –it’s kinda’ like sending your kid to a school where kids are 2 or 3+ grades behind, on average, instead of a school where kids are 2 grades ahead on average. Do the math in terms of educational outcome.

    I had a horrible commute to my private HS, I was a poor kid surrounded by middle/upper-middle class kids who dressed and acted in a way that was sometimes completely foreign to me,, etc. It was not always easy, but the education I received vs. the crappy inner-city-type public HS I would have attended made it all worth it and I was grateful nearly everyday for the opportunity. Plus, being surrounded by kids who were not from the ‘hood or trailer parks was hugely beneficial in terms of learning how to be “middle class,” making the transition to a college and a path to the middle-class much easier.

    I’d do whatever it took to get my kids a good education, short of breaking the law and I make sure that when an opportunity arises, they take advantage.

    Then again that’s just me, but what parent doesn’t want their kid to move up and on to something better?

  • 97. RL Julia  |  July 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    The kind of person who would have their kid go to an experimental school and/or Simeon over Northside is probably the kind of person who doesn’t fully understand the differences in the schools – or perhaps a person who is nervous about their child travelling so far every day… or a person who needs their child to be home in time to care for younger siblings – basically the kind of person who balances a child’s educational opportunities against other needs in the family. Not everyone values a good education to the degree of lots of sacrifice. Short sighted, I know but if it seemed at the time that you could have the convenience AND the educational opportunity well… why not?

  • 98. SoxSideIrish4  |  July 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    97. RL Julia | July 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Nicely put.

  • 99. HS Mom  |  July 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    @96 – Exactly. Getting an acceptance to NSCP means that you did everything right. Got the grades, took ISAT’s and did well, filled out a manual application (at the time) on time with the ability to list 4 schools out of 9 that were detailed on the app, signed up for a test, showed up to take the test and then did very well on the test. Getting into NSP is not just something that you fall into or throw out an application to see if it sticks. Getting into NSP does not strike me as something that can be done by anyone, certainly not someone who doesn’t value education. And what about the 4 or 5 schools on the way to NSP?

    With regard to your comment about getting to know life outside the neighborhood – todays Trib had an interesting article about the difficulty in adjusting when kids go away to college and come back.


  • 100. cpsobsessed  |  July 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    @HSMom, that article is really interesting — that the kids don’t fully realize how their neighborhood is until they leave.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 101. klm  |  July 26, 2013 at 11:44 am


    I understand your point, believe me. But I think that one –perhaps the biggest one– of the issues in closing the achievement gap is the relative lack of knowledge families have about their kids’ education in terms of quality, expectations, etc. Low-income, less educated people are sadly too often (not always) unaware of the reality. I’m not saying that they care any less, but that their educational achievement compass is way off, as compared to their college-educated, middle/upper-middle counterparts.

    Expectations are way too often just way too low.

    I have so many low-income relatives that when I ask how their kids are doing.at an annual or bi-annual get-together will say something like, “Great! He’s never had to repeat a grade [at whatever under-achieving school the kid is attending].” That’s their barometer for doing ‘great’ in school. Look at all the protesters trying to keep their kids’ failure-factory public school open (We LOVE our school!)–the kinds of schools where achievement is 3, 4 or more grades behind and where no middle-class person would ever consider in a million years for his or her own kids.

    I’m not a huge fan of every charter school, but it does seem like some (e.g. KIPP) do a better job of raising expectations and getting low-income kids and their families geared up and aware for current-grade learning expectations and of the process that eventually leads to higher education, no excuses, as compared to many regular public schools.

  • 102. RL Julia  |  July 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    @klm – exactly. I have had the experience of talking to co-workers (super smart people who I would have thought would know more) with the same laissez faire attitude about their kid’s educations. There is a huge gap between not having repeated a grade and being college ready

  • 103. HSObsessed  |  July 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    In case you’re interested, here’s a story on the news that Whitney Young won’t be charging the $500 fee they were planning to charge, but will drop business classes and Italian due to budget cuts.


  • 104. Angie  |  July 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    On the subject of tiers and diversity…

    Clarence Thomas Compares Affirmative Action To Slavery, Segregation In Opinion


    “UT-Austin’s admissions policy grants the top 10 percent of graduating Texas seniors a spot in the freshman class, and then fills out the class using a race-conscious system. Abigail Fisher, the plaintiff in the case, claims the policy constitutes racial preference.

    Thomas said the policy hurts those black and Hispanic students who are admitted more than those who are not. “Although cloaked in good intentions, the University’s racial tinkering harms the very people it claims to be helping,” he wrote.

    He also rejected the idea that racial diversity had any educational benefit. “As should be obvious, there is nothing ‘pressing’ or ‘necessary’ about obtaining whatever educational benefits may flow from racial diversity,” he wrote.


    He has blamed Yale Law School’s affirmative action program for making his degree worth “15 cents” and has said he had difficulty finding a job after graduation.

    “I learned the hard way that a law degree from Yale meant one thing for white graduates and another for blacks, no matter how much anyone denied it,” he wrote in his memoir, My Grandfather’s Son. “I’d graduated from one of America’s top law schools, but racial preference had robbed my achievement of its true value.” “

  • 105. K D  |  July 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Angie, that excerpt Thomas ignores the fact that some people devalued The achievements of Blacks before affirmative action. It doesn’t consider that White affirmative action is more common at Yale and elsewhere though preferences,nepotism, and sympathy. If you read more of Thomas, even he shows it’s not that simple.

  • 106. Angie  |  July 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    @105. K D: ” It doesn’t consider that White affirmative action is more common at Yale and elsewhere though preferences,nepotism, and sympathy.”

    Maybe so, but which group of people is more likely to get accepted with lower scores and to need remedial instruction to get up to speed?

  • 107. Peter  |  July 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Clarence Thomas is a joke.

  • 108. K D  |  July 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    @107 Angie: “Maybe so, but which group of people is more likely to get accepted with lower scores and to need remedial instruction to get up to speed?”

    Angie, the children of alums and donors are the groups of people more likely to be accepted with lower scores. Sadly, even their lower scores are probably inflated by coaching.

    @108 Peter: I don’t think Clarence Thomas is a joke.

  • 109. klm  |  July 31, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    OK, let’s get on thing straight:

    There’s no question that being an underrepresented minority (URM) is hugely beneficial in getting admitted to selective celleges and grad schools.

    A social scientist has calculated that being black is the equivalent of of an additional 300 points (out of 1600) added to the SAT for admissions to Ivy League colleges. A university where I worked had an average undergraduate GPA for 1st year white medical students of 3.78, but for black 1st year medical students it was 2.8 (I can talk about it b/c it was made public under a FOIA request), ….etc.

    Being the offspring of an alumnus (and there are black ones, too) at most school helps a little, but generally only somewhere b/t 1/10 to 1/3 as much as being an URM.

    The thing is (as I’m forever pointing out), the average black 12 grader scores only as well as the average white 8th grader, there’s a lower black graduation rate, (Latino students don’t do much better), etc…….so do the math. Believe me, colleges and grad schools don’t necessarily want to have to lower what it means to be “qualified” for URMs, but they feel like they have to in order to have a 1st year class that’s more than 0-2% black or Latino. Admissions departments feel like they have no other choice, otherwise there’d be an outcry for “the lack of commitment to Diversity” which is the total opposite of how virtually every selective school wants to be viewed. Diversity is almost a religion in higher education. There’s an emphasis on Diversity for everything from recruiting, to awarding financial aid, faculty hiring, events, etc.

    Yes, there’s Rich White Affirmative Action, but that’s not much to do with most, regular white people –the vast majority of whom aren’t rich and don’t have parents that graduated from a selective college. I grew up poor and white. Most of the people in the urban housing project where I spent my early childhood were poor black people. Later, when we moved to a trailer park most of the folks were poor white people. Not a lot of SAT coaching at either setting, believe me.

    The problem many Americans have with strict racialism in admissions is that it reduces everybody to a racial stereotype that may or may not have anything to do with an individual’s actual life circumstances. Hence, the current legal and social direction towards a greater emphasis on socioeconomics in these things as opposed to race and ethnicity only.

  • 110. HS Mom  |  July 31, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    KLM – interesting reality. I have a friend whose whole family basically went to Harvard. Their kid did not get in with “only” a 33 ACT. I would not rely on alum/donor. That factor doesn’t even help with U of I if minimum scores are not attained.

  • 111. K D  |  July 31, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    OK. Let’s get it straight. URM’s will have a harder time getting through selective schools because of people that assume they’re not qualified. I’m an URM and I had a perfect ACT score with a high GPA. Same for my nephew and some of his friends, but we don’t fit your characterization.

    Your social “scientist’s” calculations about the value of being a URM/alum’s child don’t sound credible. Comparing averages isn’t relevant for analyzing a selective (therefore small) population.

    I think that efforts to encourage diversity are completely offset by the widespread resentment of diversity. Those who resent these efforts often work behind the scenes to thwart the success of URM’s because they perceive them as privileged. Yet, they dismiss the tru

    The treatment of test scores does seem like a religion. But I think test scores can be inflated with expensive preparation. A parent’s coaching is the most expensive when you consider all the costs involved. Some groups just don’t spend that many resources focusing on test prep. Some people don’t have the choice.

    Thanks for sharing your perception of the facts and your reasoning. Its good for everyone to see that. I think that some of your conclusions do apply to selective schools that admit Black athletes with lower academic aptitude. There are notable exceptions, but there’s a lot of economic incentive for the schools to admit them. In my limited experience, I’ve seen situations where schools reject URM’s with better academic promise in favor of athletic URMs that generate revenue in the short term. The non-athletic URM will likely face discrimination in the workplace, earn less and therefore give less to the school. The URM athlete may not even graduate, but they can bring home championships that help with recruiting whites or revenue from tickets, etc.

  • 112. klm  |  July 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm


    I used to work in higher education admissions. Believe me, I was stunned by how things were done to have the “right” number of kids from particular backgrounds (be it URMs, athletes on the favorite sports team, progeny of big donors, etc.).

    Google “Admissions Preferences for Minority Students, Athletes, and Legacies at Elite University”, published by a trio from Princeton (Thomas Espenshade, Chang Chung, Joan Walling). This study looked at SATs, etc., and found that there was a 320/1600 point disadvantage for Asians as compared the African-Americans, although the differences have decreased since the 80s –it used to be even higher.

    It’s an open secret in selective higher education that each group (Asian, white, black, Hispanic) has its own admissions standard. The entire legal framework of affirmative action in higher education is based on this fact.

    I understand the reasoning (creating a diverse Power Structure), but I’ve noticed over the years that people that have the biggest resentments tend to be poor and working-class whites and Asians. Growing up in a broken-down trailer or dump in Chinatown tends to make one a little less sympathetic to the idea that “advantage” is inherent in one’s immutable physical traits.

    One winter, my family’s trailer was so full of holes that we literally used duct tape and discarded cardboard to keep the cold from coming in. My black spouse ( mother went to Smith, father a physician) grew up in an upper-middle-class subdivision in a house with several bedrooms and bathrooms went to Big Name boarding prep school in New England (same one Valerie Jarrett went to), etc.

    Not surprisingly, my family’s outlook on the role race vs. class (nature vs. nurture) plays in the chances in life tends to skew in the “class” side.

    But that’s just me/us.

  • 113. klm  |  July 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Also, I’ve notice that the difference in ACT score for enrolees at, for example, U of I/UC, from (I’ve mentioned this before) from, for example, virtually 100% Simeon HS is 19, but at a HS in Naperville it’s 29.

    Again, I’m not necessarily saying “right” or “wrong”, but pointing out reality.

    Also, 80% of college are not “selective”.

  • 114. K D  |  July 31, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Recently, I sat at the table with the admissions committee and participated in the discussions at a selective college. If you’re honest about it, you know that there are many other classifications other than race to describe how people are admitted. There are “buckets” by state, high school, likely major, etc. To focus on race suggests that someone is trying to push an agenda. There are high scoring high schools in Chicago that have an unofficial cap on how many of their applicants will be accepted. Their high scoring applicants will be accepted at a selective shool in another state, but they’ll have a tougher time if many of their classmates are also under consideration locally.

    So many of these posts that I see on the internet use living in a white trailer park or having a black spouse as justification of their resentful speech. Its a very consistent pattern. I wonder if its all coming from the same active poster?

  • 115. klm  |  July 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Look, I’m NOT resentful.

    I’m personally IN FAVOR of affirmative action. It’s just that being honest about the reality of it seems to make some people angry –as if an honest discussion of its reality is some kind of quasi-racist taboo that helps right-wingers sympathetic to the Pre-Civil-Rights- Period status-quo. Better to be open and honest rather than dismissive of any criticism, I believe.

    The fact is, there are probably constitutional issues relating to race as a primary/substantial factor in higher education –it’s a legal issue that needs to be discussed and decided. The fact is, there are lots of poor white people (just drive through small towns in downstate Illinois, no need to go to Appalachia. I think that living in Chicago where there’s lots of rich white people and lots of poor black people tends to exacerbate local understanding/feelings about the role of race and class) and there are a good number upper-middle-class black kids (I have some). What’s wrong with a discussion about fairness and legality? Are only certain views (both legal and personal) the “right” ones, while all others are to be dismissed as “insensitive” or automatically “wrong” and deserving some kind of quasi-automatic censure?

    As long as people are not purposely mean-spirited, let’s welcome debate without the easily dismissive put-down of “any white person’s issues with affirmative action are born of ‘white privilege’ and obliviousness as to historical racism.”

    As somebody who grew up poor and white, I kinda’ get why there’s some resentment when upper-middle-class URM kids are given a big advantage in admission to medical school, pharmacy school, engineering school, etc., even over poor and working-class white and Asian ones, for no other reason that they’re the “right” race or ethnic group needed to “diversify” a school or profession. What’s wrong with me being sympathetic to this view, even if, ultimately, I get why schools feel the necessity to use affirmative action to do so. When push comes to shove, I support it.

    As I said, most schools don’t want to have different admission qualifications, but find it necessary and defensible in order to create a decent amount of diversity. We all wish there wasn’t such a huge racial achievement gap, but that’s the reality and most selective schools feel like they have to deal with the cards that they are dealt and make adjustments accordingly.

    What’s wrong with being honest about this? If some people are not ready to make well-conceived legal and more arguments in support of race-based affirmative action and simply dismiss any criticism of it as as some kind of nonsensical White Whine, then they should expect a certain amount of counterpoint discussion and blowback.

  • 116. HS Mom  |  July 31, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    @111 “So many of these posts that I see on the internet use living in a white trailer park or having a black spouse as justification of their resentful speech. Its a very consistent pattern. I wonder if its all coming from the same active poster?”

    Resentful speech….a consistent pattern… Wow. People telling it how it is from their own perspective – including you – can be either taken for what it’s worth or not. Sometimes the discussion can be quite enlightening which is why I would gather you are here in the first place. I would guess too that peoples background and the interesting things that happen along the road to that perfect ACT score and the positions that they hold today define much of what they’re about. I like hearing about it. CPSO has plenty of material for a reality TV series.

    “A parent’s coaching is the most expensive when you consider all the costs involved”

    Curious to know more about this thought….how so?

  • 117. K D  |  July 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    klm – Many times your “honesty” is refreshing and entertaining. There have been times when I didn’t post something because you already said exactly what I would say. However, when you choose to reveal a bias, you invite challenge.

    HS Mom – look at what it could cost to hire an in-home, one-on-one tutor.

  • 118. HS Mom  |  July 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    @117 I’m sure. I just always figured that it was part of the territory. Priceless.

    KLM – speaking of duct tape. One vivid memory of cold Chicago winters (they did seem to be much colder, right?) was that we had rubber boots for the snow. If the rubber got a hole in it you had to wear bread bags over your feet to keep your feet dry. Never worked.

  • 119. local  |  July 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    “bread bags” – Ha! That was my mother’s technique with our boots. 🙂

  • 120. Iheoma  |  August 4, 2013 at 9:12 am

    As I read through the comments, particularly KLM and KD’s discussion about affirmative action in college admissions, I felt that the need to say something. I’m an URM who grew up with college educated professional parents. They were the first in their families to attend college. No history of family wealth. I wasn’t a student athlete. On the surface, KLM would describe me as “privledged upper middle class” compared to his upbringing. Here’s the thing though- I grew up in the Deep South and didn’t go to a fancy prep school. I went to our town’s only public high school. I had more opportunities than some and less than others. The only SAT/ACT prep was offered once per year at the local community college taught by a person who read out of a book. I bet there were many, many, many “privledged” URMs like me. So I think,KLM, you may need to reconsider your argument about the group of people that you’re explaining that people may have “justifiable” resentment towards.

  • 121. K D  |  August 4, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Iheoma—thanks for adding that. Your comments add a useful and different perspective to the discussion. I think it will help break down the blindness of those that can’t see the other realities around them.

  • 122. reenie  |  August 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    @96 (coming back after an absence), yes the student admitted to Northside turned it down and went to the experimental school for two or more years. By then it’s too late to transfer into any SE high school. Simeon was probably the best of the nonselective alternatives. and @ 95, no, the establishment of the tier system had nothing to do with the increased within-school support local kids are getting for high school admissions. It had everything to do with a principal change-the principal apparently put pressure on the elementary guidance counselor and teachers to step up and help the students and families navigate the process. I don’t know the extent to which people on this site know that elementary guidance counselors, who are usually overwhelmed with IEP case management, are also responsible for managing 8th-graders’ transition to high school. Families who don’t know how or don’t have energy to investigate high school options rely on school counselors, who are overburdened and may underestimate students’ chances of going anywhere but the neighborhood feeder high school. Resistance to charter may also be a factor in not helping families explore options. That’s just my observation.

  • 123. cpsobsessed  |  August 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    AND CONGRATULATIONS TO REENIE FOR MAKING THE 50,000th COMMENT ON CPSOBSESSED! (I need to make some tshirts or something.) I think I’ve read almost every single one of those comments. Yikes. Thank you all for keeping me mentally engaged day in and day out.

  • 124. Sped Mom  |  September 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Not sure where to ask this, but experienced parents of super-busy high schoolers: When your kid is gone from the early morning hours until around 8 or 9 at night with school and afterschool activities, when/where do they eat dinner? Do they take, like, two meals to school (one for lunch, one for dinner)? Do they buy dinner (how can they afford it?!) What makes best sense do to keep the kid healthy and fed? Help, please.

  • 125. Sped Mom  |  September 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    At 123. cpsobsessed

    Maybe you should do a post on your reflections of what you’ve learned, understood after 5000 comments since you launched your blog. I’d be interested in that! Would order a t-shirt too. 😉

  • 126. SoxSideIrish4  |  September 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    124. Sped Mom | September 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    What is your blog? Where can I find it?

    My child eats lunch out every day. Even with his clubs, he’s home so we can eat dinner together as a family every night, then goes on to other activities. His sports don’t start for another month, but if he can’t make it home, he eats dinner out. It’s expensive. I think in the spring he’ll be eating dinner out a lot.Sometimes I throw snacks in backpack bc he’s hungry and can’t wait til he gets home. I have a problem w/him not being home at dinner time bc I believe families should eat dinner together each evening.

  • 127. Sped Mom  |  September 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    @ 126. SoxSideIrish4

    Do I have a blog? Nope.

    I wish the HS kid could swing by home for dinner around 6, but school/activities are too far from home. I can’t convince the kiddo that a protein bar or protein shake would help (hates the taste). Buying dinner constantly M-F scares me b/c of the crap food (kid likely would not go for healthy choices – hates salads, nuts, chili…). The “good” food seems too expensive. I think I’m just going to have to require a sack dinner that doesn’t need refrigeration. There might not be enough room in the backpack! When I see high schoolers hanging out after school, it seems they’re eating 800-calorie Starbucks drinks and other pricey crap.

    For the life of me, I can’t remember how I managed not starving after high school. I think my lunch period was at noon or before. Then, I’d get home about, what?, between 7 and 8:30, M-F. I remember Mom’s dinner waiting for me on the stove or in the fridge. Did I really not eat for more than 6 hours? Maybe. Oh, I probably bought a candy bar or something before getting on the train at night, every so often. Maybe the cheapest Mr. Submarine sammie every so often if really running late. Memory is very foggy.

    There have got to be some creative ideas and solutions out there. Will keep looking. Maybe I can find some protein bars “acceptable” to the kid.

  • 128. cpsobsessed  |  September 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    From my cousin:

    He always packed snacks. Since his after school activities were sports related he took an insulated bag with a frozen Gatorade, water, or juice box that would thaw during the day. Stayed away from foods with added fat or high in sugar. He took something with peanut butter every day (pb&j or pb and crackers) fruit, string cheese, veggies with dip. And when in high school a power bar every day.
    about an hour ago via mobile · And when he got home he ate a full dinner, too.. Those yogurts in a tube are good too- so many things can be frozen and thaw out during the day.

  • 129. SoxSideIrish4  |  September 11, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Sped Mom~

    I forgot abt the yogurts in the tubes~good call CPSO! Even when my son eats out for dinner~he still eats dinner at home~that’s what his snack bar is for~b4 getting home~he can’t wait to eat.We usually have a salad most nights for dinner so I know he eats that. He won’t eat one out bc they don’t fill him enough for the rest of his evening.

  • 130. Veteran  |  September 11, 2013 at 8:27 am

    #127 I have a picky one who loves the CORE protein bars-esp the peanut butter chocolate-“tastes best”

  • 131. HS Mom  |  September 11, 2013 at 10:04 am

    @127 – lower priced eating out on the run – pizza slices (Bacci in particular are quite large), Subway (2 kids share a 12″), Chipolte, possibly shared, nearby restaurants offering student discounts. School nights must be home by around 6 but sometimes the kids meet up to eat and socialize. If the schedule gets them home at around 8, best bet is a snack to tide them over to a late dinner. Amazing how attractive an apple is when you’re hungry. Actually got a request for grapefruit once. They sell apple slices with caramel at the store. Also the Nature Valley sweet and salty bars are good.

  • 132. Sped Mom  |  September 11, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I’m starting to like the idea of a substantial snack instead of a (groan) sack “dinner” for the late nights out. Subway – didn’t think of that one! I’ll offer some taste-tests of protein bars and include Core. 🙂 Thanks!

  • 133. Sped Mom  |  September 11, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Freeze and thaw tube yogurt. That might be a hit!

  • 134. SLooper  |  October 5, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Does anyone know if CPS publishes the cutoff scores for Jones Neighborhood program? I’m assuming they are lower than the “regular” pool, but not sure by how much/

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