Change in test scores allowed from private schools for SEHS

December 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm 512 comments

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Ok, this is going to be a lot of “I heard” and “my understanding is” because I don’t know exactly what has gone down or why this bubbled to the surface lately.  But…

My understanding is that some Chicago private schools have been administering their 7th grade standardized test (most privates do not use the ISATs) twice during the same year to students.  The school then allowed the student to submit the higher test score to CPS for their selective enrollment calculation.   I believe the tests were spaces several months apart, possibly one in Fall and one in Spring.

Private school kids have also always been allowed to take the ISAT and submit those scores if they’re preferable (the ISAT having a reputation as being easier than the private school tests, although anecdotely I know someone who score better on the private test.)

In any case, this past week, CPS decided to limit these schools from allowing kids to submit the higher of the test scores and CPS has contacted the schools to let them know that current 7th graders (and I assume 5th graders for AC?) would be allowed to submit only one score, and it would be one that CPS determined.  I keep hearing different things, but most recently heard that it would be the Fall test (first test taken?)  So a student who thought they had until Spring to prepare has now learned that they will be “stuck” with a test already taken, potentially as practice/warm-up.

Again, I could be wrong about which test they can submit, as I hear different things.  In addition, I’ve heard that it *may* also affect current 8th graders, but that isn’t confirmed (actually none of this is “confirmed” but rather told to me by parents.)

Similarly, CPS students don’t know as of now, which 7th/5th grade test scores will be used next year.

It’s a tough situation.  It seems to make sense that OAE has cracked down, but a drag if you have a kid caught in the 7th grade (maybe 8th grade?) class when the change was made.   I suppose in fairness, once the public school test is announced, then everyone can take that, including private school kids, and they’ll all be on a level playing field.

What do you think? Was it fair to the private school 7th graders to change the rules on them at this point?  Or was it just a given that taking the same test twice shouldn’t be allowed and therefore the timing doesn’t matter?

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512 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chicago mom  |  December 14, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Why should private school kids get test scores to choose from? Private schools should be happy they got away with choosing scores as long as they did. Now cps needs to start checking addresses!!!!!

  • 2. Telly  |  December 14, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I think it is fair to allow the private schools to only take a test once. I don’t think it is fair to make the decision 3 days before applications are due since they allowed it in the past. Some kids who skipped studying for the first test to focus on the second will probably have a drop in total points. It may minimally impact the public/private mix at sehs schools this year. But next year it will be back to the historic levels since all test prep will be done before the one and only test. In fact the kids should be happier because it is one less test. (Disclosure: our kids went to private school but both did better on first test than second, but they prepped before 1st test and not second; age appeared to have no impact…i.e. 4 months older).

    If the private schools want to increase their share of SEHS acceptances, they should take the ISAT instead of another test because it appears the ISAT is easier in general (from speaking with test preppers). They could still take other standardized test if they are needed for other purposes. Plus it would be interesting to see percentiles vs ISAT.

    I also think the 7th grade standardized test should only be used to determine who is eligible to take the SEHS exam but the 7th grade test should not figure in to the point calculation. The SEHS points should be based on 600 total with 300 for 7th grade grades and 300 for SEHS scores.

    And while I’m at it, the grades portion should be based on percents and not letter grades (i.e. a 90%+ is 150 points). Instead of an A since percents can vary by school (yes, difficulty of tests/project can impact percents so it may be easier to get a 93 at one school than a 90 at another, but that is where the SEHS can help distinguish).

  • 3. chicago mom  |  December 14, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I agree that 7th grade grades in core subjects is totally a problem. Some schools just give A’s . CPS should make everyone take same tests and have same rules to make more even . I do believe in the tier system but there are many people who are lying about where they actually live! Great lesson for kids, not!

  • 4. Telly  |  December 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I did not bring up the tier cheating because I don’t have any info on it, and I could never imagine lying about living location for test purposes. But I guess there are others who would. Whether someone likes the tier system or not, cheating on it is just wrong.

  • 5. Windy  |  December 15, 2013 at 12:15 am

    My child went to sacred heart – there was one Test and one score submitted – MANY of the kids were accepted to and are attending SEHS. So FYI this is not the case with all the private schools. As I check with many peers in catholic schools, I feel this may be a small percentage of private schools – I have yet to find a parent whose child took two tests

    Lastly! The grading systems are inconsistent – a 90 at SH is a B. at a COS school it is an A

  • 6. Cps parent  |  December 15, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Glad CPS is finally cracking down on this unfair practice. They turned a blind eye to it for too long.

  • 7. Tier 4 Denial  |  December 15, 2013 at 1:42 am

    My 3 kids all attend a catholic private school and they only take the Terra Nova test once a year. Also, a 93 and above is considered an ‘A’. On a side note, I am torn about the tiering system. I understand why it’s being implemented (for fairness), but I have a hard time accepting my Tier 4 status living in the Ashburn community. You would think that Tier 4 would have safe/above state average local grammar and high schools to attend. This is not the case – overall composite score for CPS grammar school is 49% and high school is 13%. How would they ever be able to compete for a SEHS seat with our Tier 4 status and sub par grammar school? Would have to look forward to an unsafe high school that is on probation. This is why I was forced to enroll my kids in a private school. I consider myself middle class and by no means ‘rich’ monetary wise. Going forward, I cannot afford to send all 3 kids to to private high schools. I, like everybody else, want the best education possible for our children and to get our money’s worth for all the property taxes we pay. I love this informative website and the lines of communication it opens up. Keep up the great work!

  • 8. Chicago School GPS  |  December 15, 2013 at 7:26 am

    From CPSOAE’s SEHS FAQs: http://cpsoae.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=72696&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=121765

    “My child attended a private school last year and didn’t take the ISAT. What should I do?”
    Students are required to submit scores from the ISAT, or from a different standardized test, in order to determine eligibility to take the admissions exam for the Selective Enrollment High Schools/ If your child did not take the ISAT in the 2012-2013 school year, you may submit scores from any of the following tests:

    Terra Nova (normed 2007 or 2011)
    Stanford Achievement Test 10
    Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS)
    Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement 2
    Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test 3
    Wechsler Individual Achievement Test 3

    If your child was administered a test in 2012-2013 that does not appear on this list, it is not an accepted test for determining eligibility. If your child does not have ISAT scores or scores from an accepted test, he may take one of the accepted tests through one of the following testing options:
    Students may obtain private testing on an approved test by a certified school psychologist or a clinical licensed psychologist.
    The Chicago School Forensic Center offers testing services for a charge of $50.00. The center is located in the downtown Chicago area. For information and to schedule testing, call 312-467-2535 and ask to speak with reception or the project coordinator. Also, please see the website for additional information
    at http://www.forensiccenter.org. During the CPS testing period, the Forensic Center will provide testing at allotted times and scheduled appointments are required; no walk-ins are accepted. It is strongly encouraged that appoinments are scheduled as soon as possible, as space is limited. (The Forensic Center is closed for intersession between December 15, 2013, and January 15, 2014.)

    “My child took the Terra Nova test last year, but I would like to have her tested again to see if she can get a better score. Can I do this?”
    No. If your child has taken a pre-qualifying exam that we accept for our eligibility process, this is the measure that must be submitted with your child’s application.

  • 9. Andrea Gullickson  |  December 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Somewhat off topic, but I was told by CPS that if my child goes to a school that offers an alternative to the ISAT that is accepted by SEHS selction (ie, Terra Nova) then they can not independently take the ISAT. Does anyone know if that is correct? It seems like what you are saying here is that these private school kids are being allowed to take the ISAT even if it is not the test offered by their school.

  • 10. cpsobsessed  |  December 15, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Previously (meaning up to last year) kids could take the ISAT and use that, since its the standard test for cps. Perhaps this was part of the current revision if, in fact, they can no longer take the isat.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 11. Andrea Gullickson  |  December 15, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Thanks. That’s what I thought.

  • 12. neighborhood parent  |  December 15, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Chicago mom#1 – “like”

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  December 15, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Thanks, @Chicago School GPS.
    It *does* look like a kid could still submit ISATs if they prefer, no? (Although for current 7th graders, that is still up in the air as the test scores to be used for CPS.)

  • 14. Chicago School GPS  |  December 15, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I believe the ISAT fall testing was only available to students who did NOT take an accepted test at any point in their 7th grade year.

  • 15. Test  |  December 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Yeah, not cool that cps has contined to allow this; they stopped letting cps students retake isats a few years ago and should have instituted a change with private schools back then ( reserved for kids who bombed isats compared to previous years only and parent had to pay for test at outside center). The change for cps students was to avoid giving an unfair advantage to certain kids. Also, Families get unwelcome surprises – tiers change etc.; last year it was the middle of the app season and tiers changed.

  • […] Change in test scores allowed from private schools for SEHS CPS Obsessed: My understanding is that some Chicago private schools have been administering their 7th grade standardized test (most privates do not use the ISATs) twice during the same year to students.  The school then allowed the student to submit the higher test score to CPS for their selective enrollment calculation.   I believe the tests were spaces several months apart, possibly one in Fall and one in Spring. […]

  • 17. IBobsessed  |  December 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

    @2 Telly, wanting the fairness of advance warning that only a single 7th grade test will be expected is rather ironic. Fairness was not a consideration when these schools chose to give their students an unfair advantage by taking the better score of 2 tests. Without outing your by name, would you be willing to say if it is an independent private or a parochial school? Agree with Windy, the Sacred Heart (an independent private) parent, most parochial schools do NOT give 2 tests. Most see that it would be completeely at odds with the good citizenship and social conern values they purport to stand for..

  • 18. cpsobsessed  |  December 16, 2013 at 10:41 am

    The schools I was told are involved are not Catholic schools.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 19. Chris  |  December 16, 2013 at 11:59 am

    ” You would think that Tier 4 would have safe/above state average local … high schools to attend.”

    So, Tier 4 should be limited to (maybe!) the LPHS attendance area? What other attendance area HS’s have consistently qualified by that standard over the 4/5 years of Tiers?

  • 20. CPSer  |  December 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    ” You would think that Tier 4 would have safe/above state average local … high schools to attend.”

    @19 I think many Tier 4 areas don’t have good local high schools. I’m a Tier 4 and I think our local high school is Wendell Phillips High School (low performing turn-around school).

  • 21. Chris  |  December 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    “I think many Tier 4 areas don’t have good local high schools. I’m a Tier 4 and I think our local high school is Wendell Phillips High School (low performing turn-around school).”

    That’s my point–Nothing remotely close to 25% of the city has a “safe/above-state-average” attendance area HS. So, if one thinks that Tier 4 would have that, one isn’t being realistic (or doesn’t know much) about CPS/Chicago.

  • 22. NorthCenterite  |  December 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    We go to a Lutheran school on the North Side and they only give one standardized test each year. Unlike some CPS schools, our kids are not regularly drilled in how to take standardized tests. Our ONE standardized test is the Stanford 10, which I believe is more difficult than the ISAT. Plus, our kids need to get a 93 just to get an A minus. So please, dear commenters, stop villainizing private schools as having an advantage over CPS, because one could argue that CPS has easier tests and easier grades.
    And please don’t say private school kids are taking away CPS kids’ spaces in SEHS, We scraped by for years to pay the relatively modest tution at our school — and we also paid taxes to CPS and we left a spot open at Coonley Elementary for YOUR child. So please don’t blame us — we are not the problem. The lack of enough SEHS seats in Chicago is the problem.

  • 23. CPS mom  |  December 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    @22. Thank you? Although I don’t actually see anyone saying that “private school kids are taking away CPS kids’ spaces in SEHS.”

  • 24. NorthCenterite  |  December 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    My mistake, I should have noted that in previous comments on this site, I have seen CPS parents complaining that private school kids are taking “their” SEHS spots. That’s what that was about.
    Sorry for the rant — I just get annoyed, since our test is harder and our grades are harder, too.
    CPS parents on this blog shouldn’t fear that we are gaming the system.
    The real culprit is that CPS needs more good high schools. Seeing thousands of kids standing in those lines for open houses is sad …

  • 25. Peter  |  December 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    @NorthCenterite, thanks for the odd rant. You sound very unfamiliar with schooling. Most schools and even colleges and universities utilize tests for grading. I’m sorry your religious school doesn’t, but that’s their decision.

  • 26. Chris  |  December 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    ” I just get annoyed, since our test is harder and our grades are harder, too.”

    That’s pretty annoying, too, from the CPS side.

  • 27. cpsmama  |  December 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    @NorthCenterite- I take issue with this comment that you made:
    “our test is harder and our grades are harder, too”

    You may not realize that there are many CPS schools with the same 93 =A grading scale as your child’s parochial school. There are also CPS schools that teach 1-2 grades ahead (ie Classical and Gifted schools)

    In the infamous words of Rodney King (RIP): “Can’t we all just get along?”

    Honestly, there are so many variables among elementary schools’ grades and the various standardized tests, that it is starting to make sense why NYC uses ONLY an admission test for its SEES & SEHS admissions.

  • 28. ChiParentNow  |  December 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    You can take the ACT 12 times and submit the score you want to your desired college; prior test scores don’t impact your application. Why is this wrong in CPS-land?

  • 29. Peter  |  December 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    “Honestly, there are so many variables among elementary schools’ grades and the various standardized tests, that it is starting to make sense why NYC uses ONLY an admission test for its SEES & SEHS admissions”

    This seems like the best solution.

  • 30. IBobsessed  |  December 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    @28 It wouldn’t be wrong if every student was given the opportunity to do it. However, multiple ISAT test taking by a CPS student will never happen due to cost, and CPS administrative hours needed to sort through what is a student’s highest score. Students submit ACT scores to the colleges to which they are applying so these are not an issue there. @24,your assumption about harder private tests and scores is just that, an assumption that private everything is harder and better. Having experienced both, this is unfounded.

  • 31. Public School Mom at Heart  |  December 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Having just switch my 7th grader from public to catholic school for purely social reasons, I have to say I was a bit freaked out by the fact that an A at his new school was 93 and above (only freaked out from the standpoint of getting into a SEHS). However, his catholic school is no harder then our public school (which my other boys attended through 8th grade) and the teachers give so much extra credit that it is easier to get an A at the catholic school with a 93+ then at our public school of 90 and above. I might also mention that when my oldest was at our public school an A was a 93 and above, This did effect his acceptance into his #1 SEHS choice. He had two A’s and two B’s for a total of 250 points for grades but the B’s were 92’s. Had he been at another CPS school he could have had a perfect 300 points for his grades. A few years later our public school changed the standard of an A to a 90 and above so that the students applying to the SEHS could be on an even playing field with most other CPS schools. There is no equity in the SEHS process. Selection is fundamentally flawed but for now we have to accept the choices we’ve made in elementary school selection for our children and hope we can make it work when apply to SEHS.

  • 32. Mama  |  December 16, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    @29 Agree !

  • 33. another cps parent  |  December 16, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    “and we also paid taxes to CPS and we left a spot open at Coonley Elementary for YOUR child.”

    And not to leave any stone unturned with this post……Assuming Northcenter and talking the neighborhood program, you could not possibly be creating a space for another child that they would not already have. But thanks for your consideration.

  • 34. ChiParentNow  |  December 16, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    @31: Equity and fairness in CPS? You must be new here.

    “RACE DOES MATTER to ensure fairness in Magnet and Selective Enrollment school admission. White students represent only 8% of students in the Chicago Public Schools system yet comprise as high as 40% of students at some Magnet and Selective Enrollment Schools. Although Black parents believe in fairness, we will not let anyone take advantage of our children. Any program that potentially removes Black children from the best schools in Chicago is not a policy that we will let the Chicago Board of Education pass.”

    This was from an organization called “The Committee for Fairness in Magnet and Selective Enrollment School Admission”. Cynthia Flowers, who was on the Blue Ribbon Committee for CPS on magnet and selective enrollment schools admissions and policy recommendations, was also in the aforementioned “fairness” organization.

    There’s no fairness in CPS. Too many fakers and takers.

  • 35. NorthCenterite  |  December 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    OK, you’ve flogged me pretty hard and I guess I deserve it. I re-read what I wrote and realize that I was writing out of frustration and using words that were too harsh. I am a longtime reader of CPSObsessed and I love this site, but when I see comments complaining about private school kids gaming the system it bothers me, because that is not the case at our school or at many private schools. Again, I am sorry for using overly harsh words.

  • 36. cpsobsessed  |  December 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Regarding coonley, the school is bordering on being overcrowded, so currently there is the need for any additional seat the school can get, ie for siblings of kids in the RGC.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 37. lauren  |  December 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Off topic, but how prevalent are drinking and drugs at the SEHS schools (i.e. Young, Payton, Northside)? Any worse than the catholic or private high schools? Better?

    Thanks.

  • 38. Jay  |  December 16, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    I have a 1st grader going to a good neighborhood school, but I am already disgusted by what parents have to/are willing to do to get there kids into gifted or selective enrollment school. At best it effects a child’s quality of life through all the stress and the impossible standards, at worst the children watch their parents do whatever it takes to get into a school. The tier system is awful in and of itself and just makes the whole process even more rigged against average kids getting the best out of CPS

  • 39. No one is immune  |  December 16, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    @22. NorthCenterite : I don’t think you deserve to be flogged for voicing how you feel. Besides, you are absolutely correct about your paying for years into CPS while paying for private school.

  • 40. SutherlandParent  |  December 16, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    @31, “A few years later our public school changed the standard of an A to a 90 and above so that the students applying to the SEHS could be on an even playing field with most other CPS schools.”

    This year, our principal changed the grading scale from 93-100 for an A to 90-100, for this reason.

  • 41. Whit  |  December 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    @31 & 40 I think all CPS grading scales should be 90-100 for an A. Most of teachers’ grading scales were 90-100 for an A when I was in college!

  • 42. oppoday  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:46 am

    ” @24,your assumption about harder private tests and scores is just that, an assumption that private everything is harder and better. Having experienced both, this is unfounded.”

    @30 IBobsessed, then why do you think a greater proportion of private school kids get accepted into SEHS, especially the ones that require the highest scores? Are you saying private schools are easier and worse and that is what helps them drive higher test scores and acceptances?

    Merry Christmas!!!

  • 43. Public School Mom at Heart  |  December 17, 2013 at 8:12 am

    @42 What I am saying is that there is a perception (by the parents of kids that addend the schools) that 93 and above for an A are harder, but that this is not true. At the school where my son is now (catholic) it’s easier for him to get a 93+ then it was for him to get a 90+ at our public school (the school he attended from K-6 and my other kids attended from K-8). Personally, I wish I had never switched him but he has more friends at the Catholic school.

    I agree with @41 that like when we grew up, all schools should make A’s 90-100. However, CPS, especially the SEHS schools should implement the + – system. There is a big different between a 99 and a 90 and kids should not be receiving a 4.0 across the board for anything ranging from a 90-99. You see the inequity of this once your kids are in HS.

    Finally, @34, you must have misunderstood me…while I’ve only been part of CPS for 7 years I have know from 6.5 of those years that is its the most unfair system I’ve ever witnessed.

  • 44. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 8:22 am

    @oppoday:

    “IBobsessed, then why do you think a greater proportion of private school kids get accepted into SEHS, especially the ones that require the highest scores?”

    Do we know this to be true?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 45. cpsmama  |  December 17, 2013 at 10:04 am

    @37 Lauren – there is drinking/drug use at all high schools This includes regular CPS high schools, SEHS, private, suburbs, etc. I have heard of students drinking & smoking/taking drugs before, during & after school at all of the HS’s you mentioned and at Catholic & private schools. They put clear liquor into water bottles and drink on the way to/from HS dances and parties. It is scary, but it is the reality. (Not much different from when I was in HS to be honest)

  • 46. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I talked to an asst principal at one of the SEHS who had just dealt with finding a kid with pot at school that week (so obviously high test scores don’t always equate with common sense.). I’m sure it is happening among every student body, but perhaps the extent of it and widespread usage may vary.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 47. Peter  |  December 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

    “@30 IBobsessed, then why do you think a greater proportion of private school kids get accepted into SEHS, especially the ones that require the highest scores? Are you saying private schools are easier and worse and that is what helps them drive higher test scores and acceptances?”

    I’m not certain if this is snark, but if not, what % of private school kids are low income vs. CPS kids?

  • 48. Chris  |  December 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

    #47: “I’m not certain if this is snark”

    Snark or not, it’s a strawman. No one else said it and it is not a logical extension of what was said.

    #43: “like when we grew up, all schools should make A’s 90-100”

    I went to schools that were 93-100, and schools that were 90-100, and had college classes where something like 80% was an A (bc of the curve). The grading scale does not *necessarily* make it harder or easier to get an A. I understand the *reason* for focusing on it, but I think that it is a [something negative] thing to be worked up about, apart for the acknowledged sehs reason.

  • 49. IBobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    “Are you saying private schools are easier and worse and that is what helps them drive higher test scores and acceptances?””

    Thank you, Chris. This certainly is not a logical implication of what I said. Grasp of informal logic is a dying skill and a threat to our democracy which depends upon a citizenry that can spot sound arguments for and against, (which is why I want my kid in IB and learn theory of knowledge) but I digress…. 🙂

  • 50. IBobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    @47 I believe you have touched upon the key to the overall higher test scores in private independents. Income and all the associated social and developmental factors that go with it. 20% or fewer families on financial aid is typical. And many, if not most of the families on FA are middle class, not low income. The rest can pay the 18k+ tuition x number of offspring. The likelihood these parents are college educated and have high expectations for their offspring? Can that figure even be overstated? Catholic and other religious schools are a whole different animal.

  • 51. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Well we know this:
    Private school kids get a lot of kids into SEHS. We won’t know the acceptance rate or how that compares to other similar kids.

    We can *maybe* assume that private school kids have some edge given 9 years of private education. One would hope there is some benefit after paying somewhere in the $45-$160k range over that time period.

    The private schools give standardized tests that word-on-the-street are more difficult than the ISATs.

    Until now, private school kids could choose to take the ISATs instead. Even now, I assume a family could opt out of private school testing in 7th grade and take the ISATs (or whatever test CPS chooses for admission.)

    *Some* (and certainly not all) privates chose to administer the same test twice, allowing students to choose their higher scores.

    *Some* private schools and *some* public schools use a higher scaled grading scale.

    We can *probably* assume that on average, private school kids are higher tiered/higher income than the average public school kid. But for apples to apples, sake, let’s compare private kids to Tier 3/4 public kids.

    My conclusions:
    Private school kids may have a learning advantage. Probably, but their parents paid good money for that. So no complaints.

    Some private kids got to choose from multiple test scores. Uncool. Gives advantage.

    Grading scale. Not submittable for evidence, since that varies by private and public school. Weird that CPS allows it to vary by school.

    Private schools use easier grading because… less oversight and parents who paid good money want good grades. Maybe? I certainly know of private kids who didn’t get the grades they wanted for SEHS… but this probably varies by schools, both public and private.

    Private school families pay into CPS for years without using it, thus it’s not “stealing seats” when they get into SEHS. True! But also not submittable as evidence of anything. I’ll never ride a Divvy bike but I’m not complaining about how my tax dollars are subsidizing them! That’s life in a big city. We all pay for stuff we don’t use.

    “There are not enough SEHS seats in CPS.” Not sure I agree with that. More than 10% of the city kids get a spot. That seems like a good number to feel selective. But as we all know, the high school options still feel very uncertain.

    So after all that, I don’t really have any new conclusions…..

  • 52. IBobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    In my experience there are, indeed, some learning advantages at private schools. (Which is not to say the academics are always more rigorous ‘harder or ‘better’): small class sizes and more individual attention, an enriched curriculum (plenty of art, music, and foreign language), way less classroom behavior problems that disrupt learning, social-emotional and skill focus/no drill and often no number/letter grades at all in the primary grades, HIGH expectations for every child, regular and responsive teacher-parent communication, it’s not automatic dorkdom forsmart studious kids in middle school, in fact, the opposite.

  • 53. Cliff  |  December 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    “Our ONE standardized test is the Stanford 10, which I believe is more difficult than the ISAT”

    Yeah, those public kids always have it easy 😉

  • 54. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I think this is going to get us to the same place as deciding whether teachers have easier or harder jobs than other people……

    I keep entertaining myself by pondering what I would do about education if I somehow win Megamillions….

  • 55. klm  |  December 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    RE: rigor/difficulty at private vs. public for grades, SE admission, etc.

    Well, obviously, it depends which “private” and which “public” school one’s talking about.

    OK, I know everybody’s, like “File that under ‘duh’ –thanks for the wonderful “insight.”

    Does anybody really think that St. Whoever Regular Parochial School is easier than Edison RGC, or even non SE’s like Hawthorne, Edgebrook or Lincoln, for that matter?

    I get that there are some people that send their kids to private school because their local CPS school has ISATs that indicate any kid that’s just doing grade-level work would have an easy time getting good grade there –and I’m sure that’s true in some cases. .

    Then again, take it from me (I’ve had kids in private and CPS), there is a certain element of private schools parents that KNOWS their kid’s private school is better than any public school, especially considering the facts: a small student-faculty ratio and it costs $15-30k/year (I just looked into GEMS –it’ll be $37k [!] when it stars next year)). A $75k Mercedes is, objectively-speaking, a better car than a $17k Chevy, right? Anybody paying real money has to be convinced that it worth it and in some/many cases it’s true if the only CPS alternative is a “bad” one.

    I must admit that I used to be one of those people, but no longer. Some private schools will have more cultural/artistic/extras, etc., for sure.

    However, as I mentioned before, I have a friend who is a private K-8 tutor, working mostly in the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park. She charges a fortune and works/has worked with kids that mostly go to the “best” private schools and even some kids that go/went to CPS RGCs, IGs, Lincoln, etc. Also her own kids went to a “good” CPS school. She’s been able to compare curricular programs by the work her charges are doing. .

    She assures me that the “good” CPS schools do just as good a job at providing an appropriately rigorous curriculum in the important “core” subjects (math, language, science) as the privates. She went to her hometown equivalent of Latin, used to teach middle-school at a “name” private school in NYC, etc. –she knows what she’s talking about.

    She’s half the reason that we decided to stay in the city and use “good” CPS schools. So far, we’re really happy (and lucky, I know).

    Finally, I remember during a tour of one of the Big Three Chicago privates. One of its 12th grade kids came and talked to parents, was there to answer questions, etc. He went to public school in the suburbs until his family moved to the city, transferred in for 8th grade. One of the parents couldn’t wait to ask, “So, when you came here, did you find you were behind, academically”? It’s funny, because I could tell so many people wanted to hear, “Oh my God, yes! If your kids get in here, it’ll be worth every penny because I thought I was smart until I came to THIS school, because everybody else that went here from the beginning was so far ahead.” People wanted to know that they could pay $30k/year and quasi-guarantee a superior educational outcome for their kid over what most other kids were getting.

    Instead, he was calmly stated, “No –it was pretty equivalent.”

    There are CPS schools where kids are learning as much and even more than the best public schools in the poshest suburbs. If a kid is getting an “A” at any decent CPS school, they almost certainly deserve it and it’s not the result of a lowered-expectations/easy-A curriculum that’s inferior to a private school.

    I’m sure there are parents with kids at Edison RGC that think it’s unfair how hard it is to get an “A” there, since if their their kid went/transferred to any ol’ regular CPS school for 7th grade, they’d be 2 (or more) grades ahead and could be half asleep and still get an A in math, considering it’s often what they did in 5th grade. Should we give kids from RGCs more points for their A’s? Of course not. An ‘A’ is an ‘A’ is an ‘A’…how can anybody objectively determine how an A at School #1 is less and an A from School #2? Complaining about grade scales (90 vs. 93 for an A), I understand, but I’ve heard some people say that their kid’s ‘A’ is/should be worth more than another kid’s ‘A’ at “lesser” schools.

    2/3 the points for SEHS admissions come from achievement test scores, so that’s what really separates the wheat from the chaff. If your kid’s really smart, they’ll knock the socks off other kids in that area. At least the biggest source of points for SEHS admissions really is objective. Now as for the fairness of Tiers, what to do if one has a “regular” kid, but the local CPS HS is God Awful, etc. that’s another matter.

  • 56. parent  |  December 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    It is my understanding, that for the 2013 ISAT, the Stanford 10 assessment was included with the test. CPS kids have always taken both (and yes, CPS kids are good at standardized tests because that’s one of the curses our kids have to live with being in this test driven school system). I always heard that the percentile was derived from the Stanford 10 and not the ISAT, but I could be wrong on that. For 2014, it is my understanding the ISAT will no longer include the Stanford 10 assessments. That’s what is being determined now–what will the new measures look like.

  • 57. klm  |  December 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    The point I meant to make before my rant was, aren’t all accepted tests scaled and points awarded for same-grade percentiles?

    Somebody previously was complaining that her kid’s achievement test is “tougher” than the ISAT. That may be, but the results would be adjusted for this and percentiles should be effectively equivalent, right?

    If somebody’s at the 75th percentile for their grade (how points are awarded for CPS SEHS), they should come out about the same, no matter which test they take. Am I wrong?

  • 58. Cliff  |  December 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Obviously my wink was not sufficient.

    The test scores used by CPS for retention and OAE admissions (until this year) were, to my knowledge, derived from a shortened version of the SAT-10 (SAT=Stanford Achievement Test), which all Illinois students take as part of their ISAT’s.

    That’s why it was funny someone would complain that the test THEIR private school uses (the SAT-10) was so much harder than the test CPS uses (ie, the SAT-10).

    I find it even more hilarious that anyone could think the rigor of a school’s grading policy could be inferred from what (arbitrary) number equals an A, rather than the ENORMOUS variation in what determines whether a student receives a particular number grade (80, 90, 93, etc) in the first place.

    “Oh yeah, at my school you need at least a 250 to get an A!”

  • 59. NW side parent  |  December 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    As for As having different values in different schools, I don’t think this makes sense. But As having different values for different coursework makes perfect sense to me. In my high school (not in Chicago), AP classes were weighted heavier than non-AP classes, allowing a student to get a higher than 4.0 GPA. I didn’t take many AP classes, but it always made sense to me that other students doing college level work in high school should have that level of difficulty reflected in their GPA.

  • 60. Cliff  |  December 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    that should read “which all Illinois students TOOK [not ‘take’ anymore] as PART of their ISAT’s.

  • 61. IBobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I’m not sure following you, KLM. Are you asking if there is some metric by which the percentile rankings of scores from tests of varying difficulty are made equivalent by CPS? The answer is ‘no’. The percentile rank of a score as reported by the particular test taken, Terra Nova, Stanford etc is used. There is no proof that I’ve heard about which shows that any test is anymore difficult than any other. Some parents assume the IOWA etc is more difficult because, well, it’s not a CPS product. It is true that in the past only the 1st 10 questions on the ISAT were nationally normed. Maybe that makes it a less reliable indicator of where a student would rank nationally, since all the questions in the other tests are nationally normed?

  • 62. ChiParentNow  |  December 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    My son goes to a Catholic elementary school which is very diverse with many out-of-Parish families. Most of his classmates from kindergarten went there, they teach to the level of the individual student (I.e., if your kid is great at reading and average at math, he will be in advanced reading and regular math, or in a group to help bring them up to speed, if need be), and it’s more “kids like him”.

    We don’t have to worry about gang bull$hit, homeless/transient kids, low-income kids who have school as one of the few places where they can eat for the day. Go ahead, rip me a new one, but the kids at my son’s Catholic school can focus on LEARNING and not the socio-economic crises that permeate CPS classrooms.

  • 63. Peter  |  December 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    @50, that was certainly my intent, thanks!

  • 64. Peter  |  December 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    @62, that’s great, my kids in CPS have the same situation. Thanks for sharing though.

  • 65. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    @62, conceptually, I’d like to rip you new one, BUT as Peter points out, most parents “like us” (as you say) in CPS do the same within the CPS system, thus the rush for parents to flock to certain up-and-coming schools (aka, schools with “people like us” socio-economically.) Only we’re not paying for it. 🙂

  • 66. ChiParentNow  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    @65 I’d love to send my kids to my local CPS, but 45% of kids are low-income, the school does not meet federal education standards, 30% of the kids are doing math at grade level and it has 35 kids per classroom, it’s not an option. It’s what most people consider a failure factory, but in the “left is right/up is down” world of CPS, it’s a diamond in the rough!

    But I get to pay $6K per year in tuition on top of my $5500 property taxes in order to give my kid a good education. It’s wonderful to hear how you don’t have to pay for tuition. Wow, I wonder HOW and WHO foots that bill?

  • 67. Peter  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    You sound very bitter. My tax bill is higher than yours, but I don’t pay private tuition.

  • 68. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    @66, is your private school within walking distance of your home? I’d say $6K is a pretty good deal for a good education! I’m continuously amazed how these schools offer such a low price for what sounds like a decent education and small classes.

  • 69. ChiParentNow  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    @67 Continuing the “down is up/left is right” world of CPS, am I supposed to be happy about my local CPS school option? Do the statistics of my local CPS school sound good to you?

  • 70. Chris  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    KLM: “If somebody’s at the 75th percentile for their grade (how points are awarded for CPS SEHS), they should come out about the same, no matter which test they take. Am I wrong?”

    Wait–are you suggesting that nationally-normed percentile ranks are (substantially) equivalent when measuring (substantially) the same thing? I’ve never heard of such a thing!!

    No, you are not wrong. Altho, as I was discussing with H in another thread, a ‘harder’ test might allow for more accuracy in the tail at the high end, as you have more “skill” questions to overcome any “chance” errors. Not that nationally-normed, general-use exams are really about measuring the precise difference between 98.5 and 99.4 percentile.

  • 71. ChiParentNow  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    @68 It’s a very good education, with most kids going to the high school of their choice (Ignatius, WY, McAuley, etc.) It’d be nice to have a good CPS option, though, as it’s money I could save for college or retirement.

  • 72. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    It seems to me that the general understanding about CPS (elem) is that “success” is neighborhood/student socio economic driven. What many parents take as a “given” in CPS (whether right or wrong) is that you have to either move into a neighborhood with a “good” school, or get into one that is outside your neighborhood. Because of the segregated demographics of the city, and the resulting impact of demos on test score outcome (and student profile.) So in this city, because schools varies so much, you need to pursue one of those paths. The city doesn’t have the resources (not the socio economic profile) to make every school “good.”
    Just like in the suburbs, or anywhere really, parents seek out areas where there is a good school nearby. In absence of that, they seek an alternative, as you have done.

    I wouldn’t assume I could move to say… the foothills of Appalachia, then complain “why can’t they give me a good school in my neighborhood?!?”

    Given the economic profile of the majority of CPS students, providing a “good” school in every neighborhood would surely increase those property taxes.

    And if your problem seems to be the students (not critiquing that..nobody wants kids in school with gangbangers etc) then how can CPS make that school “good” without somehow removing all those students? It sounds like a people problem, not a school problem. So I don’t know how that can be changed. I assume the students in the school live in the neighborhood?

  • 73. Chris  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    “Do the statistics of my local CPS school sound good to you?”

    If this “45% of kids are low-income” is accurate, that’s pretty good. I haven’t seen a sub-50% free/reduced lunch elementary school in CPS that is *bad*–maybe not what you want, but not *bad*.

    35 kids per classroom isn’t terribly unusual, but is certainly not ideal.

    And by “30% of the kids are doing math at grade level” do you mean only 30% “meet or exceed” in math on the ISAT scores? Which list you looking at?

  • 74. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    “With most kids going to the high school of their choice (Ignatius, WY, McAuley, etc.)” At 6K a year, it sounds like a very good investment.

  • 75. ChiParentNow  |  December 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    @cpso — Wait a sec. Didn’t you say your local CPS school puts out similar results as our private school, but you don’t have to pay tuition?

  • 76. lawmom  |  December 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I am late to this conversation, but yes, when my daughter was at her private school she did take the ISAT twice and the higher score was provided to CPS for selective enrollment. She also took the IB entrance exam and the private school test which is more difficult than the ISAT in my opinion. Is it an unfair advantage to be able to take the ISAT twice? Yes, and it should be the same for all students — either take it once or twice.

    As to drugs — yes, there are drugs everywhere in the private schools and at CPS. My daughter attends WY and pot can be found easily there. Alcohol also is available. There are always kids who party at home or off campus and I am very aware of a lot of partying at Latin, Payton, Parker and just about every where else. By her own choice my daughter doesn’t go to parties where she knows there will be substances available.

  • 77. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I don’t think I said that specifically, but there are certainly many CPS schools that provide an education that is on par with a parochial school education, generally. I would still prefer the smaller class sizes of private, any day.

    If you’re referring to my saying that $6K is a good investment, that is based on the output that “most” kids there go to top high schools. I’d say that is probably better odds than a regular neighborhood CPS elem school, but again based largely on specific school demos. And I’m talking SEHS, not necessarily private high schools. If you can pretty much guarantee for $6K a year that a kid would get into an SEHS, have an SEHS worthy K-8 experience, then that seems like a good value for the $. I know of private schools that send most kids to SEHS that cost over twice that much.

    CPS can provide a very good education, but not sure most (besides selectives) can claim that most students will head for SEHS schools.)
    You’ve got some impressive results there.

  • 78. Chris  |  December 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    ” It is true that in the past only the 1st 10 questions on the ISAT were nationally normed.”

    This is often repeated–is there a source for this? It doesn’t make sense to me.

    I think it is a result of references to the SAT 10, as in this from the 2012 ISAT technical manual:

    “The ISAT tests contain a portion with items from the Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (SAT 10). The SAT 10 portion of the ISAT tests measures Illinois Learning Standards validly, reliably, and fairly. The inclusion of SAT 10 items in the test permits national norm comparisons in addition to performance evaluation relative to the Illinois Learning Standards.”

    Since 2006 (only) the SAT 10 questions have been included int eh ISAT. From 99-05, they used the SAT 9 and ‘equipercentile methodology’, which essentially assumes that the ISAT test pool has the same normal distribution as the SAT 9 test pool did (quite possibly valid, but most likely not adequately tested).

  • 79. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    @76, Lawmom: thanks for the drug/booze update. Agh.

  • 80. Chris  |  December 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    ” thanks for the drug/booze update. Agh.”

    Where did you people go to HS?

    I went to a middle class HS in a smaller city, and 20+ years ago you could find a ‘connection’ at school, and parties every weekend (at least) with booze (at least), and some kids who drank before school and sometimes *in* school. The booze factor (at least) was the same when my mother went to the same HS, 50+ years ago.

    Y’all romanticizing your teen years, or were you really that sheltered? I just don’t get the surprise that it goes on at (essentially) all the schools–it happens at *every* college, too.

  • 81. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    But none/few of us went to an SEHS school. If you took the top 10% of kids (academically) at your HS, would the profile for drinking/drugs have looked the same? I think the top 10% of my HS class was a lot more clean cut (which given it was the early 80’s isn’t saying much…)

    On a related note, I was thinking about starting a “how to talk to teens about drugs, drinking” etc… which has become a more common conversational topic now that I know some people with HS kids. (2/2 have mentioned booze already.)

  • 82. RL Julia  |  December 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Ahhh… life continues to be unfair. Let’s not forget that it continues to be the most unfair to the kids whose parents are not capable of devoting the kind of energy and attention to making sure that CPS delivers its end of the educational deal. My kids went to the neighborhood school that most people on this site would find “unacceptable” on paper and received a great education – or at the very least a good enough education to get them to the next thing which in their cases were ACs and later SEHSs – but they came to school prepared to work, were supported at home and told that grades mattered from the first day of kindergarten on.

    The most telling comment to all this was from my son after the first week at the AC: “The kids at the AC aren’t any smarter than they were at the other school – they just turn in their homework.”

  • 83. parent  |  December 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I dont think anyone is romanticizing the teen years–but I will tell you that times are different now. Drinking on the premises of a CPS high school nowadays can carry up to a 10 day suspension and/or expulsion. Kids do it anyways, which always surprises me. At Northside College Prep , they require warm beverages be brought to school in a clear plastic container. Kind of weird–as a lot of alcohol is clear so I am not sure what they are trying to accomplish with this rule.. There is drinking and drugs at all high schools–including the privates. I am more surprised by parents of high school age kids who turn a blind eye to it and/or allow it in their homes. That’s just plain stupid, imo.

  • 84. HS Mom  |  December 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Regarding drugs in SEHS – Lawmom and others are pretty much right on. To add, according to my teen, has not seen or been offered any drugs other than pot and by senior year, knows a lot of kids. Kids do share Adderall. One thing to realize is that some parents don’t see anything wrong with pot because they still smoke it themselves – look around at your friends. It’s much more acceptable now and legal in a few states.

    My feeling is that early in HS (probably sophomore year) kids feel a lot of social pressure and may struggle to create solid friendships (you can say duhh now). Kids come from all different schools and often do not have friends. One thing our school is doing to keep kids on track is a mentor-ship program. Seniors with good grades, active in clubs and have demonstrated good citizenship are assigned freshman buddies to mentor or “show the ropes”, have someone to eat lunch with etc. I think it’s great and very helpful for kids trying to find their place while navigating the academic and social scene. Don’t worry, your kids will make it!

  • 85. Peter  |  December 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Drugs are rampant in suburban HSs.

  • 86. pantherparent  |  December 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    @81 cpso I think you raise a valid point that the top students may be less prone to being out drinking and raising hell, but many who I’ve talked to since tell me they were hanging out in small groups experimenting with drugs. That actually made sense to me now.

    So pick your poison. Alcohol, drugs, sex. I mean this is 1,000 teenagers hanging out. What do you think goes on?

    I think basing a choice of high school on this is foolhardy. It happens everywhere. Even the “good” schools.

  • 87. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    “I think basing a choice of high school on this is foolhardy. It happens everywhere. Even the “good” schools.” — probably true. What about the Catholic high schools? Are they more strict? Or is that still parent naivete on my part?

  • 88. Peter  |  December 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Chris said: “If this “45% of kids are low-income” is accurate, that’s pretty good. I haven’t seen a sub-50% free/reduced lunch elementary school in CPS that is *bad*–maybe not what you want, but not *bad*.

    35 kids per classroom isn’t terribly unusual, but is certainly not ideal.

    And by “30% of the kids are doing math at grade level” do you mean only 30% “meet or exceed” in math on the ISAT scores? Which list you looking at?”

    I am curious as well.

  • 89. Chris  |  December 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    “If you took the top 10% of kids (academically) at your HS, would the profile for drinking/drugs have looked the same?”

    Probably not the drugs, at least to the same degree, but that was basically my cohort, and nearly everyone drank, many smoked pot (mainly crap quality, from all reports), there were a few (trying to) producing low grade x and lsd (a friend who is now an archaeology prof was selling in the halls; she had a bagman). Drinking parties almost every weekend? Yep–out of town parents, gravel roads, state parks, hotel rooms, whatever worked depending on the season.

    Maybe the ‘bottom’ 75% of the school profiled for drinking/drugs at a much higher usage rate–dunno.

  • 90. Chris  |  December 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    ” they require warm beverages be brought to school in a clear plastic container. Kind of weird”

    Cold beverages can be in opaque containers?? [confused!!]

  • 91. Lady  |  December 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Oh my god. You all are funny. I went to a suburban HS 20+ years ago and kids were getting stoned on the bus going to school and then when we went out for lunch they’d get a beer or two or something harder.

    The smart kids in my HS, they were the ones much more clever and good at hiding this stuff and not being blatant and getting caught. What makes anyone think it’s any different now? In fact, I would venture to say it’s easier now and the drugs much worse.

    I would think that kids at SEHS are just as ‘bad’ as those other kids regarding drinking and drugs. They may not be behavioral problems, or in gangs, but come on people!

    My folks were strict immigrants who didn’t let us go to parties and I had to always be home at 10:30pm even as a senior. No job as I had to watch my younger siblings. That was how they controlled me. Oh yeah, and I didn’t get an allowance so I had no expandable cash to buy any weed or anything. Very clever of them don’t you think?

    I seriously doubt many kids have these same restrictions nowadays.

  • 92. anonymouse teacher  |  December 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I am highly skeptical that there is any significant difference in the amount of drug/alcohol use between city, suburbs and rural schools, socioeconomic status and race.

  • 93. anonymouse teacher  |  December 17, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I don’t know how reliable this site is, but it indicates there is very little difference between suburban and urban high school alcohol and drug use, sexual activity and pregnancy and illegal activities.
    http://www.citymayors.com/society/urban_teens.html

  • 94. parent  |  December 17, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Chris–dont be a smart a**. Beverages in general have to be brought in a clear container. It doesn’t take much to confuse you, now does it.

  • 95. anonymouse teacher  |  December 17, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    This other study indicated there is more drug and alcohol use among suburban teens. (though it also mentioned “more affluent” as an indicator of higher rates, and at least in my mind, any family making 100K a year or more is pretty affluent, so that could be a city family just as easily as a suburban family)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1948879/

    My personal feeling about this is that: a) any high school/college age person can get into substance abuse and b) given that some city neighborhoods are essentially little suburbs, I don’t think living in the city is a guarantee one’s child is less likely to use drugs/alcohol anymore than living in the suburbs is a guarantee that one’s child will receive a better education.

  • 96. HS Mom  |  December 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    @95 – from what I’ve read, higher drug use in the suburbs has more to do with lifestyle and money than just money. One thing is fewer spontaneous and accessible activities for teens, and fewer teens staying after school or working. Also, schools are larger and have more diverse cliques. They hang out more and can afford harder drugs which can lead to trouble. This from my kids classroom lesson/reading on teen suicide (which is also higher in the suburbs)

  • 97. Chris  |  December 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    “Beverages in general have to be brought in a clear container”

    I do not see how the “even” (as in “even warm beverages”) was implied.

    Doesn’t take much to make you lash out, now does it?

  • 98. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Ahem….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 99. North Center Mom  |  December 17, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    WBEZ has been airing a series called “Heroin LLC”. This particular segment deals with heroin use at one Naperville high school. It’s tough to read. But as parents, we have to be aware of what’s out there.
    http://www.wbez.org/news/movie-brought-naperville-face-face-its-teens-drug-use-109332

  • 100. High Mom  |  December 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    We used to syringe vodka into oranges and suck them at school. When we were freshmen. I think the bright kids at sehs and suburban schools get anything they want in and do it whenever they want if us dumbasses managed to get drunk and high all day back then with 40 nuns watching us.

  • 101. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    @high mom, omg! Hahaha. Ah, the creativity teens will go to in order to get a buzz. Which really how much can you get from an orange?
    We would put booze into shampoo bottles. I still gag thinking about that soapy-vodka drink.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 102. pantherparent  |  December 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    My high school was not far from the Wisconsin border where the drinking age was 18. Every Friday it was a parade of cars to Kenosha to stock up for the weekend.

    And what I can remember of the basketball games was half the gym emptying out at half time to their cars for some refreshments.

    I’m quite certain now that the teachers knew exactly what was happening but times were different then. Zero tolerance described a kid that couldn’t hold his liquor.

    Agree that drugs are the issue now. The governement has clamped down on underage drinking and but has decriminalized/legalized pot. What did they expect to happen?

  • 103. Even One More CPS Mom  |  December 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    I remember kids somehow putting schnapps into the roller top lip balm containers and then sucking the schnapps at school. This was 7th/8th grade.

  • 104. local  |  December 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Every freshman orientation season, lots of first years at UChicago end up in the ER with alcohol poisoning. Smart, but dumb.

  • 105. cpsobsessed  |  December 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    @EvenOneMore… Lip potion! I remember that lip gloss. Again, that is some serious effort for what.. Half an ounce of schnapps?

    And we’re probably overlooking the biggest/newest area of stupidity that we missed – social media, sending photos, and how to manage all the sex stuff online today that we remained in the dark about as teens. Okay, now I can unleash the “agh.”

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 106. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  December 18, 2013 at 3:42 am

    A delegation from More than a Score met last week with John Barker, Annette Gurley, Kathryn Ellis, and several other CPS officials to discuss standardized testing and promotion policy. Inter alia Ellis, the exec. dir. of OAE, said that the announcement of what test would be used for SE decisions in 2015 (that is, what test would be taken in spring 2014 for SE decisions announced in spring 2015 for the SE enrollment in the2015-16 school year) would come in late January. Most likely it will be the spring NWEA MAP since CPS has already revised its promotion policy and its school performance policy to use the sprincg MAP, at least until a PARCC exam is ready.

    @61 78: There are 30 SAT10 questions in the ISAT; for SE purposes, all that mattered was the SAT10 section, not the rest of the ISAT. Students with different total ISAT scores can have the same national percentile rank and vice versa. I believe the questions are interspersed, but they are all multiple choice.

  • 107. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  December 18, 2013 at 4:59 am

    @57 @70: No. No. No.

    A student who scores at the 75th percentile on one test is unlikely to score at the 75th percentile on a different test because they are different tests. First, the norming method might be different. One test might be age-normed and another grade-normed. Second, the content of the tests will be different. All tests just sample some portion of the domain of student knowledge, and this varies by test.

    Under classical test theory, even if a student retook the same test, the probability that he or she would score at the same percentile rank depends upon the reliability of the test. The SAT-10 has a reliability coefficient below .9 (Cronbach’s alpha), so for a true 75th percentile rank, there is a 75% chance that the observed rank will fall within 11 percentile points on either side. So for a student who is truly at the 75th percentile, there is a 75% chance that his rank as indicated on the test will fall between the 86th and 64th percentile.

    This is why using these tests for high stakes decisions is foolish.

  • 108. pantherparent  |  December 18, 2013 at 8:21 am

    @107 Christopher Ball. I love the analysis but I’m not sure I agree with the conclusion that using tests for admittance is foolish. What would you prefer? Subject grades are less universal than a test and are virtually impossiblle to compare across schools. Essays? Lottery? Location?

    How do you best determine who is gifted?

    I think the 1/3 ISAT test, 1/3 admittance exam and 1/3 grades is actually a good way to go.

  • 109. cpsobsessed  |  December 18, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Isn’t he saying that a test that is more predictive (eg: more questions and less variatility test to test) would be preferable vs the ISAT 10?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 110. HS Mom  |  December 18, 2013 at 9:26 am

    “This is why using these tests for high stakes decisions is foolish.”

    By this you mean this is why accepting various tests when there should be a singular test given to everyone at the same time for the “ISAT” portion. I would agree. Also think that all kids should take the SE admission test early.

    Regarding grades – I don’t think they should be a factor at all especially if there are multiple tests (in CPS case 2) for admission. If the argument is that some kids don’t test well, the grade component alone won’t make a difference.

  • 111. pantherparent  |  December 18, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I fully agree with the idea of everyone taking the same test(s) at essentially the same time. Rather than conversions and norming and sampling, etc.

    I remember when my SAT score was converted to ACT it was a full 2 points lower than my actual ACT score. If something as big as that can’t be converted properly or has that much variation, how can it be done with the myriad of tests mentioned in @8.

  • 112. IBobsessed  |  December 18, 2013 at 10:22 am

    @Christopher Ball. Yes, I confused SAT ’10’ with the no. of nationally normed questions on the ISAT. It is 30. Your points raise some interesting questions and have some interesting implications. If the various tests are, in fact (are any of these tests actually age normed?), normed differently, then the concerns expressed here about possible inequity in SEHS points earned from these tests might be valid. But aren’t achievement tests grade normed? Isn’t IQ tests that are age normed?

  • 113. IBobsessed  |  December 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Is it arguable that the fact that only 30 questions of the ISAT were nationally normed make the test ‘harder’ in that there are only 30 opportunities to answer correctly, making the questions higher stakes? This would be in contrast to other nationally normed tests in which all of the questions (presumably more than 30) are nationally normed and ‘count’ toward the percentile rank. Of course this is all moot now because the ISAT will no longer be used and all of PARCC and NWEA are nationally normed, correct? The one factor that seems to be very valid in support of the claim that CPS kids have it easier is this: the extensive test prep. Wow. I am witnessing it now for the 1st time. Private/parochial school kids have, in my experience, 20 minutes of test prep. There is no coaching or practice at all. This must impact scores to some extent.

  • 114. IBobsessed  |  December 18, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I meant that private/parochial school kids do not have extensive test prep provided by the school as a part of the curriculum. It appeared common for the private school parents I knew to buy test prep for the SEHS exam, but not for their school achievement test; Stanford etc.

  • 115. mom2  |  December 18, 2013 at 10:39 am

    “Regarding grades – I don’t think they should be a factor at all especially if there are multiple tests (in CPS case 2) for admission. If the argument is that some kids don’t test well, the grade component alone won’t make a difference.” – I disagree. My kid had all A’s at a rigorous magnet school but doesn’t test well. Ended up getting into Lane in the rank category for tier 4 a few years ago. (Note – not testing well means getting 88-94 while others would get 94-99.) Friends with one B but 99% on tests got in at the same level. Not everyone can spit out tons of information in a short period of time under great stress. It doesn’t mean you can’t be a star in a SEHS, college or successful in life. Many colleges have learned this and are making standardized tests optional. They are brilliant as far as I’m concerned.

  • 116. HS Mom  |  December 18, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Mom 2 -I definitely see your point. Don’t you think that 88-94 is a good test score? I do. The way it works, kids with 99 scores are likely to have the A’s too so the grades don’t matter.

    Grades are very inexact and vary not only with student ability but with curriculum, teacher ability/mood, different expectations of work level etc. all things outside the control of the student and their abilities.

    The other thing that bothers me about the grades is how much they have become manipulated. Some teachers want to support kids as much as they can and hand out the A’s like candy. Others will support certain kids (eg. parents are on the LSC, or other reasons). Teachers are pressured by parents to give out A’s then the quiet parent has to wonder if they should be doing the same. Some schools either try to help kids get into SE with A’s while others try to discourage kids from leaving by giving out B’s. There is a vast injustice to the integrity of grades now. The whole thing is kind of dumb.

    I too agree that it’s great that colleges are looking beyond the test scores. By far, the best and strongest options go to those with both good grades and good test scores. Many more scholarships for high test scores. As one rep put it to me, they get kids from all over the country and abroad. They see many different grading scales, even smiley faces. They look at the rigor of the class work and the test scores along with the writing samples you provide and in some cases subject tests. It’s a lot easier to explain low grades with high test scores than the other way around.

    As an aside, sounds like your teen is doing great and maybe all the talk of perfect scores here makes people question their own good accomplishments. Sounds like you have some great options. I’m glad.

  • 117. confused parent  |  December 18, 2013 at 11:44 am

    @Christopher Ball – thanks for the information about the changes to the selective enrollment process for current 7th graders. Can you elaborate a little more on the comment you made … “Most likely it will be the spring NWEA MAP since CPS has already revised its promotion policy and its school performance policy to use the sprincg MAP, at least until a PARCC exam is ready. ” We are getting our 7th graders ready for testing and thought that it was the ISAT that “counted” for selective enrollment. ISAT no longer counts? Or this test is instead of ISAT? Isn’t this pretty short notice for CPS to make a significant change like this on us?

  • 118. mom2  |  December 18, 2013 at 11:49 am

    HS Mom – I do agree that some schools and teachers can manipulate grades. You are right about that. I had hoped our school would help the 7th graders with grades, but we had the opposite experience. No help at all!

    But there has to be some way for students that have testing issues to compete with students that don’t. Without allowing grades to be a part of things, schools will miss out on students that are quite capable of handling all the rigor of their most difficult classes by taking kids that maybe don’t even pay attention in class but have no trouble getting perfect scores on standardized tests. I know kids like this and they are not great to have in class!

    As far as college scholarships go – wrong thread but… I have found that ALL of them require at least a 24 on the ACT. I haven’t found any that don’t use ACT or SAT scores as part of their criteria.

    I’m sure my teen will be fine, but I find this whole process (SEHS and college) very discouraging for someone that tests just slightly above average (88-94) with the intelligence and ability to compete with those that easily test in the 98-99%.

  • 119. IBobsessed  |  December 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Mom2 Your student does not test ‘slightly’ above average. He tests well above average! I think we have test score inflation around here. Average is 50th percentile, and even if you include the bell curve average of 75th percentile, 88-to 94 is still well above average. His percentile may seem on the low side to you as compared to the highest scorers, but you are comparing him to a very small sample of the whole. Don’t lose sight of the big picture. He is doing incredibly well.

  • 120. HS Mom  |  December 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Mom2 – thanks for your post and agree on everything

    “But there has to be some way for students that have testing issues to compete with students that don’t.”

    Yes agreed but I don’t think that grades are it, I don’t think they are an equalizer. Kids with testing issues do get consideration with IEP’s. There is no consideration for kids who are smart but operate at a slower speed. I understand your frustration. Accommodation in that area would be more useful than grades IMO.

  • 121. CPSstepchild  |  December 18, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Just to clarify, private and home-schooled children are not allowed to take the ISAT. That rule is explicit in the District and
    School Coordination Manual, which is referenced in the ISAT Policy and Administration document.

    I would much rather my private-school child had been able take the test that includes Illinois public school children – the gifted, the magnets, the neighborhood schools both off and on probation, the charters – all of the Illinois school population. Instead, private and home schooled children may only submit non-ISAT test scores which are “normed” against other children who have taken the same non-ISAT standard test. I don’t know if the tests are any harder, but the pool of students is more competitive, as these tests are predominantly used at private schools.

    How does that create an even playing field for all of our Chicago children? It doesn’t. It is skewed against Chicago’s private school children, many of which would like to attend a public school if they was a decent CPS school available to them.

    A single test would be one step toward evening the playing field.

    Lastly if CPS and OAE hope to ever develop any trust with their constituency, they should stop making last minutes changes. I can read their policy and rules, and try to follow all the requirements – but at anytime in the process – even after eligibility letters are sent, I know they can and will re-interpret and change the rules and requirements.

    My 8th grade daughter has said that she will never raise her children in Chicago. It seems she has received a CPS education without ever stepping a foot in a CPS classroom.

  • 122. klm  |  December 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    RE: tests and SE admissions

    @107

    I disagree with with you when you state “This is why using these tests for high stakes decisions is foolish.”

    I think sometimes people forget that we’re talking about SELECTIVE enrollment for public HS, not admission to a private liberal arts college in Maine. How else does one want to decide who gets in and not, if not for some objective measure of academic achievement?

    As it is, there’s already a quite disparate (I believe) standard for admission standard for SEHSs, depending on which Tier one lives in (it takes quite a few more points for a Tier 4 kid to get into Lane than a Tier 1 kid to get into Northside, for example).

    Sorry if I don’t trust CPS bureaucrats to decide these things using some undefined/less defined (and unaccountable) “holistic” approach, which it just so happens may help the friends, relatives and offspring of the “right” people.

    How do you propose admitting the most deserving if not using a formula that involves a measure of objective achievement?

    If kids want to get into WY, Payton, etc. they know what they have to do. Either they have the points or not, plain and simple. I believe it’s more fair than allowing another kid with lower score and grades into a SEHS over one of my kids because of some subjective, hard-to-define reason unknown to all except for a person in some cubicle Downtown (who’s been getting messages from a higher up person about their best friend’s daughter that wants to go to Payton).

    I hope all my kids get into the schools that are right for them. If They have the point needed for a Tier 4 kid to get into CPS SEHS #2, but not CPS SEHS #1, then at least we’ll know why and not wonder how many other Tier 4 kids with lower scores got in because their uncle is an Alderman, etc (there’s been enough of that in the past) .

    What about CPS SE Elementary RGCs, Classicals? How else doe you propose admitting kids to these if not with an objective achievement test? It would be almost cruel to throw a kid into Edison iRGC f they didn’t have the achievement scores to prove they belong there.

    If my kids aren’t “good test takers,” they won’t get into Payton. WY, Northside or Jones. It sucks, but oh well.

    If somebody doesn’t want their kid to have to deal with the pressure, the feelings of being judged negatively, etc. when they don’t get into a certain school, etc., then just shouldn’t do the whole SEHS thing.

    Then again, that’s life. Maybe it’s better to have kids deal with some of these things in middle-school in order to give them an opportunity to deal with feelings of rejection, disappointment, etc.,so that when they are older they’ll be better prepared for life –and healthier adults able to succeed, as a result.

    Life’s all about rejection and disappointment –it’s how we handle these things that define us and determine our happiness.

  • 123. HSObsessed  |  December 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Well, speaking of kids in SEHS with close relatives who are aldermen! Here’s an article confirming that CPS is indeed working on proposing a systemwide grading scale with 90%+ an A, 80%+ a B, etc. Whitney Young principal says she won’t change that school’s scale until the board tells her to. (Ald. Burnett’s son is apparently a senior at Young.)

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20131218/near-west-side/cps-may-enact-district-wide-grading-scale-as-whitney-young-battle-continues

    And regarding the earlier conversation about alcohol and drugs in high schools: I’ll just say that I knew the issue would come up, but I didn’t know it would come up so soon! Yes, they’re there. Not necessarily at school, of course, but in all the socializing off hours. I know that making decisions about them is one more life skill for a young person to learn, but the process is not easy. Parenting teenagers is not for the fainthearted.

  • 124. IBobsessed  |  December 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    “Maybe it’s better to have kids deal with these things is middle school….so that when their older they’ll be better prepared for life”
    I have grown weary of this argument to justify exposing children to crazy making systems designed by adults. These are 12 year old 7th graders put through this stress. CPS teachers tell these children that they must score high on these tests to get into a “decent HS” We are not talking about the disappointment of losing a ball game here. Where is the evidence that childhood stress over the security of your eeducation makes you a more competent adult? And I am surprised to hear you recommend anything other than trying for a SEHS, since you commonly refer to the others as failure fatories.

  • 125. junior  |  December 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    @121 CPSstepChild

    I believe that all standardized tests are normed against a similar, representative national population. They are not scored based on the population who took the test. Therefore, there are no “harder” or “easier” standardized tests, and no advantages/disadvantages to private/public school students. (Now certainly different tests measure different types of skills and aptitudes, so your child may do better or worse based on the type of test — but overall those effects even out and there is no systematic discrimination between public/private.) Simply put, there are no “easier” or “harder” tests — everyone is competing against the same population and they are all graded on the same curve.

    Someone who knows better please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • 126. RL Julia  |  December 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Life is all about learning to manage rejection and disappointment. I think it just hard to see all that the SEHS’s have to offer and not want that for your child regardless of that child’s abilities, talents or whatever.

  • 127. IBobsessed  |  December 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    No, I don’t think it’s that simple RL Julia. Certainly life is about managing rejection and disappointment and we want them to learn how to cope. This HS testing goes beyond that. It is not age appropriate (according to a psychologist I know) given that they know their HS education depends upon it, and for some children knowing that their test score may cause upheaval for themselves and their families by necessitating a move to the suburbs. (I am not saying I agree that there are no good alternatives to SEHS, but that is the perception by many parents; SEHS or private.)

  • 128. klm  |  December 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    @124

    Point taken.

    I get what you’re saying. I also get that most kids (specially in Tier 4) –by far –that apply to Payton and Northside won’t get in, unless that get all A’s and score in the top 1-2% on tests. That is just plain fact.

    I guess I was trying to spin things in a positive way so that when the 90-something% of kids that apply to these schools don’t it in, it can build onto their life experience and make them hopefully a little more resilient and stronger, rather than emotionally upset and weaker. How parents handle these things is important.

    I totally get that this is serious stuff, believe me. If some kids don’t get into a SEHS, they may have to attend a “failure factory.” Personally, I’d cram all my kids into the crappiest rental I could find in a “good” district and stock shelves at Target at night, before I’d allow my kids attend certain CPS HSs.

    Speaking of which, I think some people were a little hard on “ChParentNow.”

    Obviously, nobody here likes a gross stereotype of low-income people (I grew up as one, food stamps, welfare, projects, trailer parks and all that stuff) as ‘ipso facto’ “bad” and worthy of scorn to the point where people don’t want their own kids around them. It’s understandable that some people acted a little upset and incredulous at the idea that going to school with low-income people is automatically a reason not to send one’s kids to a school, etc.

    However, from what I’ve known from certain friends and acquaintances here in Chicago, those that grew up in decent, middle-class neighborhoods with decent schools, etc., sometimes put too much faith in the same kinds of institutions (here, schools) that served them well and seem to being doing the same for their own kids. It’s easy to think, “It can’t be THAT bad of a school, maybe the kids just need more help ….”

    I’m here to tell you than in some cases, yes it can be that bad.. So many people I know, without purposely trying to be self-righteous, are quick to pounce on people who call it as they see. If the neighborhood thugs and gangbangers all go the school, it kinda’ seems like a school that REALLY has lots of thugs and gangbangers and most likely all the anti-social, dysfunctional crap that goes along with it There is that element in Chicago, like it or not. Now, my own kids don’t have to deal with it, because of where we live, but I’m not about to throw stones at somebody that’s earnestly looking out for their kid’s welfare.

    I wish some people would spend a year living in East Garfield Park, Austin or West Humbolt Park. Maybe then they might understand that some peoples’ concerns over safety and peer learning culture aren’t totally products of paranoia and worthy of immediate scorn.

    .

  • 129. klm  |  December 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    @125

    That’s what I understand about tests, as well.

    I know some people say, for example, the SAT is better for kids that have academic aptitude and the ACT measure more what the kids have learned, etc., but most kids that take both tests do about the same, percentile-wise. on each from what I remember when I worked in a college admissions office.

    I guess we could give 7th graders the ACT. Now, obviously it would be hard, since it’s designed for kids at the end of 11th grade, but percentiles would still work in terms of awarding points even with this scenario.

  • 130. Been There  |  December 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    #127. I agree with you. There is something that happens to a 12 year old in this high stakes, high stress process. Even if you are a parent who tries to lower the stakes and shelter your kid from the process. In the end, the SE process causes much trauma and upheaval for the 12 year old and then the 14 year old as they go thru it a second time for H.S. I have a niece that can’t even talk about the SEHS process – this is 4 years later. I have seen kids unmoored by the process and have to go into counseling – other issues too, but seems like the process started things rolling with anxiety, stress, etc. This is not healthy. My own child has already told me won’t be raising children in Chicago – who would want that for anyone? If you really talk with other parents or kids, they can share with you the ugly underbelly of this process and its damaging effects.

    This is not age appropriate. Seriously, probably 90% of us on this blog never had to deal with this until applying for college and then there were plenty of back-ups, sit out a semester or year, go to community college, expand pool of colleges to consider. Lots more options. And let’s not forget not all can go to private schools for H.S.

  • 131. CPS Parent  |  December 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    130. Been There, yes, very stressful indeed. That, and for many other reasons, is why more charter schools are needed. More choices for all neighborhoods. As you probably know charter schools cannot, by sate law, selectively choose students for enrollment – no testing allowed.

  • 132. southie  |  December 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Why would charters be the answer for people here whose children don’t get into SE?

  • 133. MarioB  |  December 19, 2013 at 12:12 am

    @ 125 “I believe that all standardized tests are normed against a similar, representative national population. They are not scored based on the population who took the test. ”

    That is not correct for the various high school admission tests. In fact it would be near impossible to gauge accurately unless the various tests had a subset of the exact questions.

    The SSAT and ISEE upper school tests are normed against the other children of the same grade who took the test over the last 3 years. Kids who score in the 90th percentile in more broadly administered test (e.g. ISAT) often score in a much lower percentile in the SSAT or ISEE. The lower scores are mainly due to a much more competitive group of kids taking the tests.

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  • 135. WRP Mom  |  December 19, 2013 at 8:15 am

    131, if my child wasn’t able get into an SEHS, I wouldn’t be considering a charter. I would have gone with my neighborhood school, Senn. Between IB, the arts programs and the naval academy, I feel there are plenty of choices within the school. A charter has never been on my radar.

  • 136. CPS Parent  |  December 19, 2013 at 10:02 am

    132. southie Because charter schools can enforce a code of conduct and set minimum acceptable levels of academic performance once kids are in the school. Neighborhood schools are not able to do that. In addition, charter schools are able to tailor their curriculum to the needs of the student and parent community wheres as neighborhood schools have to conform to the dictates of CPS.

    135. WRP Mom, yes, in your middle class neighborhood you are able to have quality choices. Poor neighborhoods do not have good neighborhood high schools like Senn.

  • 137. Angie  |  December 19, 2013 at 10:17 am

    @135. WRP Mom: “131, if my child wasn’t able get into an SEHS, I wouldn’t be considering a charter. I would have gone with my neighborhood school, Senn.”

    Senn is a Level 1 school that has been steadily improving, which makes it a good choice. But what if your neighborhood school was Crane, Robeson or one of the other disastrous failures? Would you be so quick to dismiss charters then?

  • 138. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

    136. CPS Parent | December 19, 2013 at 10:02 am

    ‘yes, in your middle class neighborhood you are able to have quality choices. Poor neighborhoods do not have good neighborhood high schools like Senn.’ ~CPS is trying to bring charters into middle class n’hood to relieve overcrowding~Many of those parents won’t choose a charter school bc they aren’t good enough and don’t produce results. More $$ of charters is going for administrative purposes and not classrooms. They don’t have any fiscal oversight and they need a forensic audit.

  • 139. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 19, 2013 at 10:31 am

    137. Angie | December 19, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Our n’hood hs is a disaster…and while I wouldn’t choose that school for my child, I still would not use a charter school.

  • 140. Angie  |  December 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

    @138. SoxSideIrish4: “~CPS is trying to bring charters into middle class n’hood to relieve overcrowding~Many of those parents won’t choose a charter school bc they aren’t good enough and don’t produce results.”

    Nobody is forcing these parents to choose charter schools. It’s not like they will be zoned into the wrong attendance area. All they have to do is to apply to the neighborhood schools, and per-pupil funding will follow their children. Meanwhile, other parents from not-so good areas of the city will be happy to have that choice.

    “They don’t have any fiscal oversight and they need a forensic audit.”

    Speaking of fiscal oversight, have you seen the articles about CPS school closings costing a lot more than projected, because they have to inventory thousands of unused textbooks and technology? A lot of money was spent to purchase these items that sat unopened and unused until they became obsolete. And that’s just from the 50 closed schools. How much of that stuff is still in the storage closets and basements of the schools that remained open, and who is responsible for wasting money on it?

  • 141. anotherchicagoparent  |  December 19, 2013 at 10:57 am

    The selective enrollment schools are looking for highly motivated self driven students. Test scores will not show this, grades will I have seen kids in high school get 30 plus on ACT and are only C C- students, students not taking any AP classes..Test scores alone are not best determiner of how well a child will do either in high school or college.That is why Colleges look at grades also

  • 142. klm  |  December 19, 2013 at 11:11 am

    @138

    I’m all about fiscal responsibility, transparency, management, etc.

    Any school administration that does not go along with a rigorous accounting and accountability of fiscal management should be given one small window to fix things fiscally (or no 2nd chances if things are really bad) and if they don’t, be replaced with people that can.

    I am just curious, though, considering all the fiscal mismanagement at CPS (gross lack of funding for pensions, expensive capital investments in schools that were declining and were obviously ripe for closure in another year or two, etc.) why are you so seemingly upset about charters and not CPS?

    I know there have been real issues with some charters (UNO’s the obvious target, here, but things were exposed and a few heads did roll), but they are run by varied organisations and some (e.g., KIPP) are genuinely successful and have been totally above-board.

    What people like about charters is that they can provide more structure and discipline, which is not something to be taken for granted when the neighborhood CPS option is chaotic, dangerous and dysfunctional on more than one level.

    If you really had no choice but Robeson or Harper vs. a charter for your kid, you’d honest-to-God choose Robeson or Harper? That’s the choice some people make –and for good reason.

  • 143. HS Mom  |  December 19, 2013 at 11:56 am

    @141 “The selective enrollment schools are looking for highly motivated self driven students”

    Can’t speak for what they’re looking for but they can and do get the brightest students as measured by standardizes tests and an entrance exam designed to equalize the applicant pool and confirmed by grades. It is certainly debatable if in fact grades are a valid confirmation if they lack integrity.

    “The mission of Jones College Prep is to help students develop themselves as leaders through a rigorous college prep program that focuses on educating the whole person…The ideal Jones graduate at graduation would be on the road to becoming… Intellectually competent.. socially skilled and mature….compassionate…..socially just and responsible…well-rounded and holistic”

    Highly motivated…self driven….not a requirement, not even expected upon graduation. Statistically speaking, I’m sure many bright kids tend to have these traits and other good practices which probably helps the school with their mission.

    What is the point about kids scoring over 30 with C averages and (gulp) no AP class? This situation is not only unique but may be a factor of any of a variety of issues. How can you possibly suggest that this student is not deserving? If a kid with C’s can score over 30 on the ACT then GOOD for Him/her.

  • 144. anotherchicagoparent  |  December 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    http://www.cps.edu/Schools/High_schools/Pages/Selectiveenrollment.aspx

    Because through our experience it is kids not doing class work or homework that usually get the C’s or below.

  • 145. anotherchicagoparent  |  December 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I just don’t want kids who could, can, and would do the work be left out because they are just being judged on a bubble test score

  • 146. anotherchicagoparent  |  December 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    should have wrote only judged on a bubble test score

  • 147. Esmom  |  December 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    @135, I feel like your comment gets at what is holding back progress on neighborhood schools. You admit you’d only choose Senn if your child doesn’t get into a SEHS. This is the mindset of just about every parent I know. SEHS is the “Holy Grail” and then comes the scramble to find another option if that doesn’t pan out.

    Until people start making the neighborhood schools their first choice instead of a “safety” option, those schools will retain their second-class status, so to speak.

  • 148. pantherparent  |  December 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    @147 Esmom. I couldn’t agree more, but who is willing to be that pioneer? Who is willing to let their child suffer through the bad years to make the school better for someone else’s child 10 years later. I’m not. Are you?

  • 149. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    142. klm | December 19, 2013 at 11:11 am

    “considering all the fiscal mismanagement at CPS (gross lack of funding for pensions, expensive capital investments in schools that were declining and were obviously ripe for closure in another year or two, etc.) why are you so seemingly upset about charters and not CPS? ” There needs to be a forensic audit for all of CPS not just charters. However since charters don’t have the same transparency as regular CPS schools, we don’t know where their $$ is going only that much more of it is spent on the administration level and not classroom. KIPP has been having a rough time and not educating kids~that’s why there have been problems w/them getting into suburbs as well.

    “If you really had no choice but Robeson or Harper vs. a charter for your kid, you’d honest-to-God choose Robeson or Harper?”~NO, but I’m talking abt middle class areas~I’d send my child to a parochial or private school.

  • 150. HSObsessed  |  December 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    @147 – Well, my kid chose our neighborhood high school instead of numerous other offers, including two different SEHS, so it was the first choice for her. This is Lincoln Park HS, though, but not the Diploma IB program, just the regular program. Not sure we’re “pioneers” in that regard, though. There are plenty of kids who graduate from Lincoln elementary (and I assume other feeder schools to LPHS) who could attend a SEHS but choose not to. There’s a lot to be said about going to a school that’s close to home and has academic offerings that can be tailored to a child’s abilities and interests. That may also already be the case for other high schools like Taft. The big test will be whether Lake View HS, Senn and Amundsen can start doing the same thing (maybe they are already?).

  • 151. junior  |  December 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    @133 Mario

    Yeah, but who uses those tests? The private high schools use them for admissions, right? Using those tests for private school admission is fine, because every kid applying for that high school would take the same test, so you would end up, in theory, with a perfectly rank-ordered result on which to base decisions.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think CPS mandates a kid to submit a 7th grade score from those particular tests for admission to CPS high schools.

    Now, if my school forced me to take one of the tests you mention (SSAT or ISEE) (which according to you are not normed to a general population) and CPS wouldn’t let me take an alternative test, then I’d have a gripe. I don’t see where that’s happening though.

  • 152. edone  |  December 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    junior is an appropriate name.

  • 153. Esmom  |  December 19, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    @148 I’m not. I was for pre-school, but I feel like the stakes are miles higher for high school. Lakeview is the school my Northcenter neighbors keep talking about…but still the majority are unwilling to make the leap and actually send their kids there. The chatter around that school really ebbs and flows, right now it seems to have ebbed quite a bit again.

  • 154. local  |  December 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Did the BOE vote to turn Morgan Park HS wall to wall IB? Someone said they did, but I haven’t seen any news coverage of this. I would imagine that would be big news down the southside. Maybe it’s just misinformation?

  • 155. cpsobsessed  |  December 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    @HSObsessed: that is a good question — what is LPHS offering that other neighborhood high schools do not (other than north side parent stamp of approval, which as we know is key.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 156. cpsobsessed  |  December 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    @PantherParent: my question is whether those “bad years” are actually “bad” (meaning unsafe and lack of appropriate level learning) or if that’s just the perception.
    At the elem level, the pioneer parents at many schools found that with just a little effort from the parents (some schools more than others) the neighborhood schools were perfectly fine. The pioneer element was more about requesting more from the school – a weekly letter, email correspondence, PTO, aftercare, etc.)

    It’s difficult to determine the reality from perception without a lot of effort…
    I still am trying to figure that out about the north side schools.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 157. CPS Parent  |  December 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    LPHS benefited from the very highly rated IB program which pre-dates Payton, NSCP, Jones. Many moons ago it was the ONLY CPS high school that many north side parents would consider. That it turn allowed the “double honors” program to do well with kids who didn’t want the rigor of IB or didn’t get in plus it captured the kids who dropped out of IB – about a 30% drop out rate was normal. Few north-side parents chose LPHS for the regular program since several distant public housing projects were/are within the enrollment boundary. I don’t know what the situation is today.

  • 158. local  |  December 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    This was just forwarded to me. MPHS news…

    Subject: Wall-to-Wall IB comes to Morgan Park

    For the past two years, I have worked closely with parents, faculty, and Local School Council members, and Chicago Public School officials to pursue an expanded International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme at Morgan Park High School. Yesterday, the Chicago Board of Education unanimously voted to make Morgan Park the latest wall-to-wall IB High School for the 2014-2015 school year. By expanding this rigorous curriculum program, more parents and students will have access to higher quality education at their neighborhood high school.

    Through this shift, Morgan Park will receive extensive professional development and teacher training. There will also be some capital improvements on top of the recently completed $21 million facility upgrade. This new curriculum will be a huge improvement to Morgan Park High School.

    What is International Baccalaureate (IB)?

    The International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational foundation that seeks to develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. IB currently works with 3,678 schools in 146 countries; they work in four major areas: curriculum development, student assessment, teacher training and development, and school evaluation.

    According to the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, CPS students enrolled in the IB Programme are 40% more likely to attend a four-year college and 50% more likely to attend a more selective college. Additionally, students enrolled in IB Programme’s show a college retention rate of nearly 90%.

    What is Wall-to-Wall IB?

    A wall-to-wall IB school is located in an existing neighborhood school; under this format the school maintains its open enrollment policy for students within the attendance boundary. Every incoming freshman is enrolled in courses taught using the IB Middle Years Programme framework. At the completion of the sophomore year, students can then choose to enroll either in the full IB Diploma Programme, which contains the most rigorous course load, opt for the IB certificate, where they take one or more IB classes, pursue an IB career related certificate or fulfill and IB core requirement. With these options, all students in the school will interact with the IB Programme.

    Sincerely,

    Matthew J. O’Shea
    Alderman, 19th Ward

    mattoshea@the19thward.com |
    19th Ward Office | 10402 S. Western Ave. | Chicago | IL | 60643

  • 159. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I just got the email. This will be huge for MPHS and the 19th ward.

  • 160. local  |  December 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    I wonder how that HS is going to manage the shift to W2W IB? Have there been some nabe HSs that did the shift this year? How did they do it? There an IB middle school and Diploma program there now, isn’t there? What about students that aren’t academically prepared for IB-style learning, including some students with disabilities? I guess I really don’t understand W2W IB.

  • 161. local  |  December 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I mean, to benefit from IB, you have to do homework. Wasn’t that one of the recent “major goals” of MPHS?

  • 162. pantherparent  |  December 20, 2013 at 7:37 am

    @156 cpso. I think turning around an elementary school compared to a high school is infinitely easier.

    I talked to a former teacher who helped turnaround a northwest side school in the 70s by literally going door-to-door to parents who had children going into kindergarten and convincing/pleading/begging them to come to the local school where she was the kindergarten teacher. And it worked. She had 10 or so parents send their kids there, then the word spread and the transformation occurred.

    Unfortunately, the numbers need to be so much greater in high school. It would need to be a coordinated effort of literally dozens of parents. And you would have to convince them to send their kid to a school that is worse than a SEHS by any metric.

  • 163. CPS Parent  |  December 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

    160. local – Note the last sentence in Alderman O’Shea’s email:

    “…students can then choose to enroll either in the full IB Diploma Programme, which contains the most rigorous course load, opt for the IB certificate, where they take one or more IB classes, pursue an IB career related certificate or fulfill and IB core requirement. With these options, all students in the school will interact with the IB Programme.”

    IB now has “career certificates” such Hospitality and Business Information which are similar to a vocational school curriculum. They meant for students who are not college bound and sets them up with real world skills. Also note that students can choose how many IB classes they can take. Wall-to-wall IB is actually a good blend of college prep AND vocation preparation which seems to me is the perfect mix for CPS high schools.

    Combine this with the city’s focus on hospitality job creation with TIFF money (DePaul, Hyatt on the Southside) and I think you have a good thought-through plan. Making high schools better and having more kids graduate is useless without having appropriate jobs for those kids. In addition, one of the City Colleges is being converted to a Hospitality Management focus so, for example, a kid with an IB Hospitality Certificate could continue there with additional training.

  • 164. MPHS Parent  |  December 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I hope all the white people don’t get too happy b/c MPHS is still OUR school. They can change the curiculum all they want but this will be a schol for our children, and they will not be able to stop us from sending OUR kids there.

  • 165. IBobsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I choose to believe yours is a sock puppet/ troll post and you are fake.
    Merry Christmas/Kwanza/Hannukah/Winter Solstice!

  • 166. pantherparent  |  December 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I’m beginning to think “wall-to-wall IB” is becoming meaningless. It’s just a phrase the mayor can use to make it look like he is responding to the needs of the community.Simply announce a school is wall-to-wall IB and poof! It’s better.

    Oh, and then it gives him the chance to get rid of overpaid teachers as they are not qualified to teach IB.

  • 167. cpsobsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Yeah, I am still uncertain about how wall to wall IB will change a school (esp one that has a perceived gang presence in the school.)

    If the change means that kids in the school who are SEHS-worthy bu didn’t make the cut are now able to take more challenging classes, more classes that will make them college ready, then great. That seems like a good thing. If it’ll help kids look like better college candidates because they had these classes, great. If the classes are fully watered down and the top kids in the school aren’t being pushed further — then it’s really just a change in curriculum, or change in focus. So hard to tell.

  • 168. CPS Parent  |  December 20, 2013 at 11:36 am

    166. pantherparent All teachers are paid the same – K-12. Years of service will add pay as well as Masters’ and PhD degrees. In general, a teacher with IB credentials will be a more expensive teacher. They will be older and more likely to have advanced degrees.

    Read my post at 163. You may hate the mayor but when it comes to education he’s light years ahead compared to the do-nothing Daley years.

  • 169. cpsobsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 11:38 am

    @163: That IS an interesting way to look at it. Assuming it’s really well thought out like that. 🙂
    But really, I do think the new focus in some schools on these programs is a great idea.

  • 170. cpsobsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Oh, forgot to mention… .I was out for a nice work lunch yesterday and Rahm was in the restaurant. Saw him shaking hands with people on the way out and all his security guys milling around.

    I told me boss “if I was living an authentic life I’d have gone up to him and said something like “chill out on the charters!” I probably need to think through my one-sentence message to him in case I cross paths again… My son said I should have said “Curse you for the longer day!”

  • 171. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    167. cpsobsessed | December 20, 2013 at 11:34 am

    ‘If the change means that kids in the school who are SEHS-worthy bu didn’t make the cut are now able to take more challenging classes, more classes that will make them college ready, then great’~I really feel the IB program (the diploma program) is the best there is~superior to SEHS. My child took the SEHS test a few weeks ago and will be able to attend any SEHS school. This is such a HUGE advantage for the kids who didn’t get into SEHS. And for kids who can’t handle the rigors of IB diploma there will be options for them. I feel this is a win/win for my area.

    ‘My son said I should have said “Curse you for the longer day!”~hahah LOVE this!

  • 172. SutherlandParent  |  December 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    @CPSO, Yeah, I am still uncertain about how wall to wall IB will change a school…

    That was my question when I got O’Shea’s email yesterday. It sounds wonderful and all, but MPHS currently has a true IB diploma program that students have to test into. The students who are actually interested in going that route already have that option. And the testing standards to get into the IB program aren’t that high–per CPS, a minimum stanine 5 in both reading comprehension and total math on 7th grade ISAT (or other accepted test); AND minimum 2.5 GPA in 7th grade.

    I don’t really know how effectively CPS can roll out meaningful IB classes to the nearly 1,400 students at MPHS, maintain the neighborhood school status and make it impactful.

    Anyone have any insights or experiences into how much of a difference it has made at Taft, Senn, Back of the Yards and any of the other new wall-to-wall IB schools?

    And my kids would agree about cursing the longer day to Rahm! 

  • 173. SutherlandParent  |  December 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    @172, I meant to say the standards to apply to the IB program aren’t that high…

  • 174. pantherparent  |  December 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    @168 I don’t hate the mayor. I just think actions speak much louder than words. Calling something wall-to-wall IB doesn’t magically make it better. Let’s check the numbers on schools like MPHS and Taft in a few years. I predict marginal increases.

    This is simply a headline grabbing way of managing the schools. Can’t go to Northside or Lane. No problem. Go to Taft. It’s wall-to-wall IB now and just as good as the selectives. Problem is it’s just not true.

    And if you believe this will actually cost more money to run them as IB versus not, you haven’t been paying attention. Nothing is done in education in this city to cost more money. (Unless it’s to fund charters of well-connected campaign contributors.)

  • 175. HSObsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    @155 CPSO – What is LPHS offering? Safe neighborhood, easy access via transit, diverse enrollment, sports and arts, for sure. Probably the fact that they’ve heard stories from other families “just like us” (kids from older kids, parents from parents of older kids) that their kid goes to LPHS and loves it. Personal recommendations are very powerful. I have noticed that the parents whose kids go there in spite of having other opportunities don’t seem to place huge importance on the decision. That is, they seem fine that their kid isn’t going to one of the “big name” schools. I’m also guessing that they truly believe the old phrase that a smart kid will do well wherever he goes, as long as basic safety issues and a basic level of challenge/structure is present.

  • 176. CPS Parent  |  December 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    174. pantherparent So according to your logic what should CPS do? Implement changes in schools and not tell anyone so that good results (and only good results) can be announced a few years later? Or perhaps do nothing à la Daley? CPS never has and never will have “enough” money so therefore no attempt should be made to improve things – ever?

    Also I think peope are completely misunderstanding the purpose of the SEHS’s. (and on this board that means Payton, Whitney, NSCP, Jones, Lane) For 99% of students these schools are irrelevant. Making a neighborhood school all IB is completely relevant – especially with the IB Career Certificates in play.

  • 177. HSObsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Re: how is W2W IB progressing. At LPHS, this is the first year of the roll out. It will be “fully” implemented in two years, so when this year’s freshmen are juniors. This works out perfectly for my kid, since the IB program doesn’t really start for anyone until junior year anyway. (Background: Even the Diploma IB kids are only taking pre-IB classes until then. So starting junior and senior year, the DIB kids take their required core IB courses, and take the IB exam for each of them. I think they have to pass all the exams at a certain level to be awarded the IB Diploma. I have never seen actual statistics from LPHS IB program, but I’ve heard various educated guesses about how many kids 1/ decide before junior year they don’t want to take all IB classes after all, thereby effectively “dropping out” of the Diploma program 2/ decide they want to fulfill most but not all the Diploma requirements, thereby effective “dropping out” 3/ take all classes and exams but don’t achieve the necessary scores. The numbers are high, so out of the original 120ish IB Diploma enrollees, I understand only a handful earn the Diploma.)

    As I understand it so far, the W2W IB program is simply an opportunity for kids who were never enrolled in the Diploma program, or who are no longer on track for it, to take individual IB courses anyway, which are taught in the IB style (wholistic, international focused, multi-disciplinary), and to take the exam at the end to get a certificate in that course. So the plan for my kid is starting sophomore year, take a mix of AP and then AP and IB classes in the subjects she likes/excels in (literature, history, world studies, social sciences, arts) and continue taking “just” double honors level work in math and science, which she doesn’t enjoy as much. I think both AP and IB classes are looked on favorably by college admissions people, so that’s the plan.

  • 178. cpsobsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Speaking of IB, I talked with a woman at my office (one of the higher ups.) She just did a 3 year gig in Switzerland and the company paid for her kids to go to fancy school over there. 3 year, they were fluent in French. Rich kid school.

    She is now back in the US and has them at Pulaski in the Intl IB program. She speaks very highly of it and says the rigor is comparable with the Swiss private school! Now her kids will start learning Spanish, I think. As I meet the top people in my company’s organization, they all have a priority on their kids knowing 2+ languages.

    http://cps.edu/Schools/Find_a_school/Pages/findaschool.aspx

  • 179. IBobsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    “since the IB program doesn’t really start for anyone until junior year anyway. (Background: Even the Diploma IB kids are only taking pre-IB classes until then” There is a “Middle Years IB Program” for HS freshman and sophomores. Someone correct me if I’m mistaken, but LPHS does not have this program. As I understand it, Fresh. and Soph. students on the IB diploma track are grouped toghether together in classes. I don’t know if double honors students are in these fresh and soph. level classes with them. Senn HS does have the Middle Years IB prgram.

  • 180. HSObsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    LPHS does have the middle years program for freshmen and sophomore years. The Diploma track kids take those classes together, alone. I assume they’re taught in the IB style by IB-trained teachers. I guess what I meant was, I believe (not 100% sure: I’m open to corrections here) that the actual IB core classes that lead to the IB Diploma are in junior and senior year.

  • 181. laura  |  December 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I spoke with a teacher at Taft a few weeks ago. That wonderful IB program that’s starting? One department waited longer than 10 weeks to get their textbooks. As in, no texts the entire first quarter. No copies either. A broken copier and the copy center that makes large copy quantities for teachers was taking more than a month turn around time and meant no copies. It isn’t the IB program’s fault this happened of course but it just goes to show that the devil is in the details. Great programs can’t fix what’s wrong here.

  • 182. IBobsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    This confirms LPHS does not have the middle years program. However, since like you are saying, Diploma track students take fresh. and soph. classes together, maybe there is not much difference between that and having the official IB middle years program? Or potentially it could be significantly different if the classes are not taught IB style even though all IB diploma students take them together. I know that Senn, which has the middle years program, says it does lots of prep for the ‘real; junior and senior year diploma classes.

    http://www.ibo.org/school/search/index.cfm?programmes=DIPLOMA&country=US&region=IL&find_schools=Find

  • 183. SR  |  December 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I recently toured McPherson, which has implemented the middle years IB program for its 6-8th graders. The IB coordinator gave the school tour, so we learned a lot about the program. It seems like there is value in being in an IB program in elementary school because there are specific terms and ways of thinking that are used throughout. The coordinator gives professional development on IB topics for all the teachers at McPherson, so even the youngest kids are exposed to some of the concepts. The coordinator also talked about how many of her students move on to the IB programs at Amundsen, Senn, and LPHS. She said it costs a lot of money to add each level of IB certification, but they are hoping to add IB for the younger students within the next 5 years.

  • 184. cpsobsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    @SR: thanks for sharing! Other thoughts on the school in general?
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 185. kim  |  December 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    As the parent of one of the children affected by the CPS flip flop for SEHS testing. I am hoping to share some details. Historically, CPS has allowed some schools to administer the test twice, and submit the better of the two scores. You can discuss fairness all you want, but this has been what CPS has ALLOWED for years, and that is their choice and responsibility. HOWEVER this year CPS decided, midway through the SEHS testing process, that 8th graders must instead use the scores for their first test only. There is no documentation readily available indicating they they communicated this to the affected schools, Instead, CPS representatives are now flat out stating that “we are trying to level the playing field” for public school students which is what I thought the tier structure was for. MIDWAY through the process they have changed their mind on a policy that they have allowed to continue for years and that 9 point differential is going to kill my daughter’s dreams. This process has her so stressed she has developed IBS, doesn’t sleep well and barely eats. Should the policy be leveled? Yes. Should my daughter have to pay for it when they randomly change their mind?
    Absolutely not.

  • 186. Chicago mom  |  December 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Welcome to CPS. Tiers changed last year and this year students have no clue what test they will actually be using. Private school should be happy they got away with taking the better score for years, just stinks for your daughter. We all want what is best for our kids. We all agree on that! The entire system stinks and they should only use test scores. Everyone should take the same tests. Kids that to to gifted school have much more difficult work and work much harder to get an A. Also the grading scale is different in many schools. Cps is a mess,

  • 187. kim  |  December 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Chicago Mom, I totally agree with you that CPS is a total mess. Let the kids test in regardless of what their address is, that would be the best and most fair way of all — et the chips fall where they may. The fact of the matter however, is that we only “got away” with something that CPS allowed, so that’s their fault, not ours. It’s not like we were trying to sneak something into the system. Change the policy, fine, I truly couldn’t agree more. But to do so midway through the process is what’s is patently unfair.

  • 188. IB obsessed  |  December 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    “we only “got away” with something that CPS allowed, so that’s their fault, not ours”

    WOW. Just wow.

    Sorry, but your private school figured out a way to game the system; the exploited a loophole in the process. CPS never gave permission for schools to submit 2 scores. It was not explicitly ruled out, so they accepted them. Anyone can see that it is patently unfair without CPS forbidding it. It’s ok to do anything that is not explicitly forbidden by those in power? Wow.

  • 189. SR  |  December 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    @CPSO – I really liked McPherson overall. Their K classes have less than 20 this year; I doubt that’s sustainable! But they have lots of space (gym, auditorium, cafeteria), getting a renovated outdoor space next year, Spanish and art, and a relatively new but involved parent group. And the IB focus seemed like a positive for the whole school. It’s in our top 4 for K, I think.

  • 190. Danaidh  |  December 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Re: #182

    IBobsessed writes: “This confirms LPHS does not have the middle years program,” and s/he includes a hyperlink to the IBO.

    All the W2W IB schools aim to have an authorized MYP program, but the candidacy phase takes a couple years.

    One year ago this week, the little mayor announced that LPHS and Taft would become W2W IB schools. I don’t know the exact details about LPHS, but as both schools already had established IB Diploma programs, my guess is that they’re on the same timetable in the process.

    Taft received its letter from the IBO on May 3rd announcing that its application for candidacy had been approved. The same letter also advises “Please note that your school may not yet advertise itself as an IB World School authorized to offer the Middle Years Programme until it has received an official IB authorization. You are, however, entitled to describe your school as a candidate school.”

    Again, I’m assuming that LPHS is at about the same place in the process.

  • 191. test issues  |  December 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    In all honesty, any school giving 2 tests should have seen this coming and been prepared for the inevitable. As much as the mid game rule changes have been annoying to downright brutal, CPS called it right on this one. Could you imagine the backlash on this if people knew about it before? I’m actually surprised they took action on this. Don’t suppose you’d consider WTW IB programs like the rest of us CPSers.

  • 192. SE4  |  December 21, 2013 at 6:49 am

    ” figured out a way to game the system. CPS never gave permission for schools to submit 2 scores.”

    It sounds like CPS knew two tests were being administered but did nothing about it until recently. CPS probably heard enough complaints that they finally acted. I don’t think anyone has a problem with saying only one test is allowed. The only problem is the way CPS went about it (less than a week before applications were due).

    Now some private school haters may get pleasure out of screwing over 13 years olds who thought taking the test twice was the normal process. Are these haters happy about hurting these kids because her own kids could only get in IB at best and not SEHS? Who knows. But in the end, this will not matter and test prep will just shift to the one and only exam. The proportion of private school kids in SEHS will not change (except for the kids screwed over this year, maybe).

    Be careful what you wish for, punishing these kids may feel good to you now, but when their parents tax dollars leave the city, it won’t feel so good anymore. Yeah! We stuck it to the private school kids! Wow, just wow. Boo hoo. 😀

  • 193. kim  |  December 21, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Thanks SE4 for leaving a more than reasonable response. I especially appreciate it because my kid IS one of those getting screwed over this year and it isn’t something I would wish on any parent or child, whether they attend public school or private. To hear some of these gleeful responses was truly shocking.

  • 194. pantherparent  |  December 21, 2013 at 9:02 am

    @klm I’m with you as well. To change the rules in the middle of the game is unfair. Plain and simple.

    It makes no sense what @191 says in that you should have seen this coming. How would people here feel if CPS announced today that this year they will look at 6th grade grades as well as 7th for SEHS?
    The uproar would be off the charts.

  • 195. Whattt?  |  December 21, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Yeah and all those people who bought tax shelters in the 80’s should have been forewarned before the IRS came down on it. Classic definition of loophole here.

    “It sounds like CPS knew two tests were being administered but did nothing about it until recently”

    why would you assume that CPS knew. They just take what they’re given. Maybe guilty of assuming that the school admin has integrity.

  • 196. neighborhood parent  |  December 21, 2013 at 10:54 am

    “Now some private school haters may get pleasure out of screwing over 13 years olds who thought taking the test twice was the normal process.”

    Yea, cuz the public school kids that got ‘screwed over’ by that private school loophole don’t matter. Right?

    Dear Private School Parents, It’s *kids* that are getting shorted either way. So keep your indignation away from me and my kid and cast your night wide or leave for the burbs. The playing field just got a bit more level.

  • 197. neighborhood parent  |  December 21, 2013 at 10:58 am

    correction – cast your *net*

  • 198. HS Mom  |  December 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    “To change the rules in the middle of the game is unfair.”

    Is there a rule that states that some schools can take 2 standardized tests and choose the better of the 2?

    “How would people here feel if CPS announced today that this year they will look at 6th grade grades as well as 7th for SEHS?”

    As long as it’s required of everyone then the effect of this change is theoretically negligible. Might even make the grade component more credible…..until the next year when everyone will know to hit up the 6th grade teachers for grades.

    I don’t believe the 2 test option was available to everyone. In fact, we were told it was sink or swim with one ISAT test. Maybe the better idea would be to give everyone 2 chances to help with the stress issues.

  • 199. ChiParentNow  |  December 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    @198 “To change the rules in the middle of the game is unfair.”
    Is there a rule that states that some schools can take 2 standardized tests and choose the better of the 2?

    Was there a rule that said they couldn’t?

  • 200. HS Mom  |  December 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    @199 – Not likely. I think others are using the term loophole. That would then make this requirement an addition or clarification not a “change” of rules.

    A family moves into tier 2 figuring they have a better chance at a selective enrollment school. CPS changes that tier to 3 or 4. The rule is there are 4 tiers and a certain percentage from each tier. Is it unfair…..maybe, not really. CPS has always said that they reserve the right to make adjustments that they deem fit.

    Were they supposed to let more people benefit from what most here agree is an inequitable situation before they instituted a policy?

  • 201. ChiParentNow  |  December 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    @200 Equitable situation? CPS? Are you nuts?

    I fully support ANYONE pushing the envelope when it comes to CPS, so long as no rules are being broken. I am renting a studio apartment in a Tier 1 neighborhood so that when my son applies for SEHS in January, and using that as our primary address, even though our home is in Tier 4. I’m taking advantage of the absolutely unfair tier system developed by CPS.

    You don’t like it? TFB.

  • 202. HS Mom  |  December 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    “Equitable situation? CPS? Are you nuts?”

    Thank you for your sobering post.

  • 203. pantherparent  |  December 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    @198 Looking at 6th grade would not be negligible. It would have affected my son. We knew 7th grade grades were the only ones that mattered so we stayed on him to get straight A’s. I think he had one or two Bs in 6th.

    So if it was announced in his 8th grade year that he now has 25 or 50 points less, he’s not at Northside.

  • 204. HS Mom  |  December 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    @203 that is exactly my point. Everyone would be in the same position and therefore negligible. And yes, people “stay on” their kids for 7th grade and manage to get A’s.

  • 205. local  |  December 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    @ 165. IBobsessed | December 20, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I wouldn’t be too sure. There’s a lot of ethnic pride at MPHS now. There’s not a premium on racial diversity there now.

    Please, do not hit me for this note.

  • 206. local  |  December 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    @ 167. cpsobsessed | December 20, 2013 at 11:34 am

    That is a real concern with CPS IB. Are the teachers effective , etc.? Buyer, beware of labels.

  • 207. CPSCrazy  |  December 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    201. ChiParentNow | December 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Except that you are, in fact, breaking the rules. Renting an apartment in a tier 1 neighborhood while you actually live in tier 4 does not make it your primary residence. You ARE breaking the rules and you should be ashamed of yourself. The fact that you can afford to rent an extra living space indicates that you ARE indeed a tier 4+ family.

    What kind of lesson does that teach your kids? Now you have to teach them to LIE about their address. I don’t see that working out real well for you down the road. Just wait till you catch them lying to you about something and you try to punish them and then they throw this back in your face.

    I don’t like the tier system either and I believe it should be based on scores period. However, no matter how screwed up CPS is, you are simply a lier and a cheater.

    Of course, I’m not surprised that this happens. We’ve all suspected as much through the years. But I am disgusted and appalled that not only do you admit to doing it, you’ve also deluded yourself into thinking you’re justified.

  • 208. ChiParentNow  |  December 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    @207 I’m following CPS’s application process. Show me the rule I am breaking? The application asked for my address within the City of Chicago. I have two. I gave them one of them. How is that cheating? If I DIDN’T lease there and gave a phony address, then I’d see your point.

    But yes, one of my addresses is in Tier 4, while one of them is in Tier 1. I pay rent, mortgage and property taxes within the City of Chicago.

  • 209. cpsobsessed  |  December 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    The application asks for my primary address. What is this?
    Your primary address is the address of the residence where your child sleeps at night. You cannot use the address of
    a property that you own or rent if your child does not sleep there at night. If your child gains admission to a school
    by submitting an application that does not list his/her primary address, your child may be subject to immediate
    removal from the school.

    http://www.cpsoae.org/2014-2015%20Options%20for%20Knowledge%20Guide%20–%20English.pdf

    Bottom of page 6.

  • 210. RogersPark Mama  |  December 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    So… My cps Decatur now-6th grader, who scored a 99th percentile on the Math ISAT, but only got a 92% OB the Reading because he was diagnosed with strep later that day and had a 102* fever has to suck up his “crappy” score, but if he were at Parker, I could just buy him a new score. Got it. Totes fair.

  • 211. RogersPark Mama  |  December 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    @Northcenterite, mkthx, but my child earned her spot at Coonley via the gifted text, and my Coonley RGC and Decatur kids get zero extra points for earning good grades working 2 years ahead. So when my kid, at age 7, earns a B doing 4th grade math, or my 6th grader earns an A doing 8th grade math, it’s the same an A in any craptastic neighborhood school or random parochial. So stop with the perceived persecution complex. If anyone is persecuted in this current system, it’s the kids working 2 years ahead for zero extra points.

  • 212. ChiParentNow  |  December 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    @209 CPSO — Oooh, I’m so scared! 🙂

    @210 C’est la vie.

  • 213. junior  |  December 21, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    @201

    It’s called fraud. Hope you get caught. Then it’s TFB for you.

  • 214. cpsobsessed  |  December 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Curious to know if you plan to tell your child how all this is going down? Or will they not know which address was used?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 215. ChiParentNow  |  December 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    @213 LOL. Are you sure you know how CPS works? Think about the encouragement from CPS admins for people to fill out “free/reduced lunch” eligibility forms, even from people who can totally afford it. Think about that, and the so-called “fraud” they are outright ENCOURAGING so CPS can get more taxpayer dollars.

    Then think about the CPS Address Police going after all the other people who used their Auntie’s home address, their non-custodial parent’s home address, etc. Go outside Jones or WY before school and see how many kids are jumping out of vehicles registered in Oak Park, Naperville, etc.

    If and when they were to pursue it, we will have conveniently moved from our Tier 1 address, with a signed Chicago lease and utility bills, and/or my kid’ll be out of school, and we’ll both be LOFAO. 🙂

  • 216. ChiParentNow  |  December 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    @214 Yes, of course. We are paying for rent, we’ve actually spent the night there a few times (when we filled in the application, even dropping it off at our Tier 1 apt post office). Legally, nothing is wrong with this.

    You may not agree with it, but if a $1200 investment gets an outstanding public education, then it’s money well spent. And it’s 100% legal.

  • 217. pantherparent  |  December 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    @ 216 Legal and ethical are two different things. While I would never go down that road, you’re doing what you think is best for your child.

    It’s disappointing that this is what the system has created. Because a city of 3 million can only create 5 or 6 acceptable public high schools, people feel compelled to play these games.

  • 218. Parent1  |  December 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Everyone needs to ma this post to the mayor , cps , attorney general and all news stations . This is disgusting g and also taking a spot from a tier 1 child!

  • 219. ChiParentNow  |  December 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    @217 Let’s face it: There are thousands in CPS sending their kids to a non-neighborhood school, using their cousin’s/step-uncle’s/Godmother’s address because their local neighborhood school just isn’t an option. They are doing it for their kids — better school, maybe away from gangs, or maybe because it’s a better environment. The option is: Play by CPS’ rules and enroll at a bad school, or stretch the truth a little bit and give your kid a better chance at success.

    @218: Yeah, good luck with that.

  • 220. CPSCrazy  |  December 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    219. ChiParentNow | December 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Well, I hope CPSO gives your IP address to CPS. You can be found this way in about 10 seconds on the internet.

  • 221. IB obsessed  |  December 21, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    And so, folks, you can see why we have corporate scandals like Enron, Arthur Anderson books cooking, Big Banks tanking the economy, because it’s all about getting ahead for me and mine, and finding how to milk the structure of the system for ME, and what is not explicitly outlawed is perfectly fine. If no one stops me then I have been given permission and it’s fair. And if you catch on to what I’m doing and stop me, then I am entitled to warning so I can adjust my game plan.

    Well thanks for the eye opener. I understand better now why some people act the way they do, having learned this from their parents.

  • 222. IB obsessed  |  December 21, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    @215, Plenty of us actually line through the free/reduced lunch form and note “not needed”. No one from the school encouraged us to to otherwise. It’s too bad you assume assume “everyone’s doing it”. It would be interesting to hear your life story and what’s made you so cynical.

  • 223. HSObsessed  |  December 21, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    @190 Danaidh and IBO – You’re right, it’s just a candidate school for MYP. I found this on the LPHS website. I didn’t realize it wasn’t already a full program. But how much your kid learns in any given subject has a lot to do with the quality of the teacher and how much effort the kid puts into it, anyway. I’m not sure how internationally focused classes like biology and algebra can be, in any case.

    http://lincolnparkhs.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=169933&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=349763

  • 224. chicago mom  |  December 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    When people use incorrect tiers they are taking away a seat from someone who deserves it. One reason they have tiers is to give kids who do not have test prep and tutors help to them get high scores. When people lie about their address they are taking away other kids spots. The system stinks because there arent enough safe good CPS high schools.

  • 225. NWside parent  |  December 22, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Seeing someone flaunting their gaming of the system is appalling, though not surprising. But the gleeful, in-your-face tone makes my skin crawl.

    I am also dismayed to see the idea that test scores being the only “fair” way to determine admission being a fairly common theme here. There is no way that a child of a parent lacking the resources I have is starting school on the same footing as my kids. I believe the data puts kids from low income families about three years behind their higher income peers when they start school. And then we are saying that they should be able to catch up to and possibly surpass their peers without any more resources than they had before they were school aged? Except maybe now they can be sure to get 1-2 meals five days per week? It’s absurd to me that otherwise reasonable, rational and ethical people think this would be fair.

  • 226. LP Maint  |  December 22, 2013 at 1:06 am

    @225 Confused. Are you saying that poorer kids are not at the same level academically as their more well-off contemporaries?

  • 227. NWside parent  |  December 22, 2013 at 1:30 am

    In the end it is most likely measured academically, but kids living below the poverty line when starting school have a very significantly smaller vocabulary, higher incident of developmental delays, food insecurity, higher levels of stress, are less likely to graduate high school (much less even attend college), less likely to have been read to on a regular basis (which I have read is one of the most important things you can do to help your child be prepared for school and to learn).

    It may not be 3 years behind to start, but the gap only widens as kids get older. Adjusting cut off scores by tiers may not be an ideal solution but I believe it is better than doing nothing…which is what basing admission solely on test scores would be in my mind.

  • 228. anonymouse teacher  |  December 22, 2013 at 11:31 am

    @215, okay now I know you are just trolling to piss people off. No one from Naperville is leaving their rock star high school system there to come into the city (an hour drive in good traffic) to go to a CPS school, even a decent CPS school. That’s just baloney. And OPRF is a very good high school. I’d be shocked if anyone left OPRF for CPS.
    And you are paying $1200 a month for rent in a tier 1 neighborhood? You know that a) you are getting ripped off, right? There are TONS of 1 bedroom or studios available all over tier one areas for around $500-600. b) you can get a decent education at a Catholic high school for 12K a year. Why lie about it when you can get it honestly?
    I’m going to say straight out that I think you are making this whole thing up. The Naperville thing and the $1200 a month isn’t believable. Try harder next time.

  • 229. cpsobsessed  |  December 22, 2013 at 11:48 am

    @228 AnonTeacher – I hope you’re right. I was really depressed about that post last night. I think as adults we, over time, get more and more ensconced by people who think similarly. Social media helps drive this. This blog tends to attract people who are like minded. My Facebook page is full of people who have similar values as I do (except a few who are falling on an extreme side of the Duck Dynasty thing.. but for the most part…) My son’s school seems full of like-minded people, especially his class, where we’ve known the same parent group for 6 years now. We select friends who have similar values.

    Then it’s like a slap in the face to realize that there are people out there who are raising the next generation of Entitled Little D-Bags. (No offense to any specific child, that’s just my generic term for a certain type of person/young adult.) I think plenty of these kids can actually be charming people.

    I went to college with a couple girls who had to have their parents work magic to get them through school and the rationale was “whatever it takes to get good grades!” wink wink. One family hired an architect to do the girl’s work for a class that required drawings of some sort. Another was encouraged by her parents to get a copy of a test before taking it. They were both lovely people. They sort of had to be because they often got into situations where they were in over their heads and had to suck up to people to get help with homework, etc (meaning have someone give them the answers.) I do sometimes wonder how they fared in the workplace. So I suppose you CAN raise kids like that who aren’t total jerks. I guess I just like to remain naively in my little world of people who put morals first and not be reminded of the other type of parent, whether they are real or trolly.

    So thanks for pointing out those comments, AnonTeacher. I’m going to go with the Troll option so I can stop angsting about this.

  • 230. junior  |  December 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Here is the number for Chicago’s Inspector General office. They have investigated high school admissions shenanigans in the past and would be the most likely agency to do something about this.

    (773) 478-7799
    Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    I’ll be making a call this week. There are many sources they can cross reference to check people’s legitimate addresses.

  • 231. southie  |  December 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    How about a sweep of all current SE students who are not residing in Chicago but are dropped off at their SE schools daily? What would that net catch?

  • 232. HS Mom  |  December 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    NWside parent – I understand completely the value of grades and don’t doubt a disparity between low and high income.

    The point I am making is that the same point system has been in place for many years enabling people to “work it” for the benefit of their child. Don’t know if you have a soon to be 7th grader but if you are not savvy enough to be on the kid, the teacher and even the alderman for straight A’s then your chances are not good. I’m sure many kids that you speak about receive A’s and may not even be working at grade level. Everyone gets majority A’s now. As much as people don’t want SE admissions to be a “bubble test” – what makes you think that isn’t exactly what we have now.

    The best chance a smart struggling kid has to get into a SE school is to compete with other kids in their tier. The idea behind the tier system is right on. Schools need this diversity and everyone benefits from it, especially the kid who gets a shot at a challenging school with peers who want to learn. Implementation of the tier system is riddled with problems.

    The kids you speak about are being hurt by people like the poster here who falsify tiers, whether grades are a component or not.

  • 233. NWside parent  |  December 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    @232 I think we are saying the same thing.

    What I don’t agree with is the idea that all kids should be admitted based on score alone, regardless of their tier. I don’t at all believe this would be fair.

  • 234. HS Mom  |  December 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    got it…some other component than score (grades + tests)….thanks, interesting

  • 235. HS Mom  |  December 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    @228 – I think you’re right. And based upon comments in LP thread probably posting under different names with similar style here #164,192

  • 236. OTdad  |  December 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    @228. anonymouse teacher:
    $1200/month to rent a 1 bedroom/studio in a Tier 1 neighborhood is entirely possible. A few blocks from where I live, there is a patch of Tier 2 neighborhood south of North Ave, and then a patch of Tier 1 area south of Division. The rent for a one bedroom is more likely in the $1500 range.

    @229 CPSO:
    Sometimes it’s easier to tell what’s right and what’s wrong. What those college girls did was obviously wrong, obviously cheating. But what ChiParentNow did was not so clear cut, because by renting an apartment in a Tier 1 area, he/she can easily satisfy CPS rules regarding address, that’s quite different from using other people’s addresses or a fake address.

  • 237. anonymouse teacher  |  December 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Yes 1200 possible but if a family is merely renting it and not occupying it then they are very foolish when they could have the same for half price. My condo in a bad tier two area rents for $1100 and it’s a two bed. Plus the whole Naperville thing is silly.

  • 238. pantherparent  |  December 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    @228 I agree the post is bogus, but it raises interesting questions.

    My concern is that people repeat this posted information as fact. For instance “There are thousands in CPS sending their kids to a non-neighborhood school, using their cousin’s/step-uncle’s/Godmother’s address because their local neighborhood school just isn’t an option.’

    Really? I’d love to see the breakdown. Where are these numbers from? Same with suburban kids going to SEHS. Again, facts, anyone? I guess if you hear about it happening once, it happens dozens/hundreds of times.

  • 239. Question  |  December 22, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    If this were a kid who was going to a loser school with a gang problem and used their G-ma’s address to go to a better neighborhood school, would we be having this issue of angst?

  • 240. averagemom  |  December 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    I know one SE student living in the city with one parent, while the other parent is in the suburbs. When they stay with the other parent, they get dropped off with a car registered in the suburbs. They aren’t violating any rules. I’m sure there’s plenty of kids with divorced parents in that position.

  • 241. HS Mom  |  December 23, 2013 at 8:20 am

    @238 really difficult to take any of it seriously, which does this discussion a disservice. “Thousands in CPS sending their kids to non-neighborhood school”. No kidding, you don’t need a neighborhood address to attend a magnet, RGC, or selective school. You don’t even need a neighborhood address to attend some neighborhood schools.

    As far as kids getting dropped off in suburban cars – kids are simply dropped in front of the school and you take off. There’s no examining of cars and their vehicle stickers. There are some neighboring suburbs with not so hot schools that are even accessible to public transportation. They still have to get in like everyone else with school records etc. It would be quite a feat to pull off over 4 years and your kid would have to be a loner never having friends over. Getting caught carries a hefty price tag and you can read about some of those cases in the BOE minutes. Possible, yes. Common, no.

  • 242. Question  |  December 23, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Re: OPRF: I personally know 2 kids who live in Oak Park and go to Whitney Young, as it is an overall better school. I also have a co-worker whose son goes to Payton even though the whole family lives in Melrose Park. So… it does happen…

  • 243. CPS Parent  |  December 23, 2013 at 10:39 am

    There are many kids in the city who’s home situation is not traditional. So the kid who you think lives in the suburbs might actually be staying with his grandmother because it’s safer than with his mother in the city. Especially in the AA community, the grandmother/mother/aunt relationship can be very fluid. I’m aware of a number of complicated situations like that at our SEHS but have never become aware of outright cheating over the past 8 years. Also, I do believe that if a family moves out of the city after acceptance the student is allowed to stay in the SEHS.

  • 244. HSObsessed  |  December 23, 2013 at 10:49 am

    In addition to people using a friend or relative’s addresses to gain access to a different tier or to a city address to apply for SEHS, there are also a certain number who do so to gain access to the city’s charter’s high schools. I believe this is from ring suburbs whose high schools are perceived to be not as good as SEHS or charters.

    I remember at the Jones open house in 2012, the principal made a statement to all the people in the audience who were applying but didn’t yet have a city address, that they needed to have one by the time registration rolled around in spring, if they were offered a spot. He said there were many who applied from outside the city, and even out of state, mostly in Indiana. So, there are people who move into the city (who knows how fully the “move” is) if their kid is offered a seat at a high school like Jones. I didn’t realize until then that you don’t need a city address during the application process — I mean, which tier are those applicants put into? Still not sure.

    Then there was that Inspector General report in which two CPS administrators were married, not living in the city, but had their kid enrolled at a CPS school. Also, they were making $$ but their kid was enrolled in the free lunch program. Can’t remember all the deets but it was pretty outrageous.

  • 245. LP Maint  |  December 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

    @243 The application asked where the kids sleep at night. If they stay in the suburbs but have a registered city address, then that’s the wrong address. I don’t see how giving a wrong address is OK for one scenario but not OK for another one…

  • 246. Anna  |  December 23, 2013 at 11:34 am

    @244 HSObsessed – It is my understanding for applicants outside of the city that a tier is assigned to the current address using their actual census tract information. “They do this by looking at each area’s median income, education level, home-ownership rates, single-parent family rates, rates of English-speaking, and neighborhood school performance.” The information comes from the 2010 American Comminity Survey and is available for all census tracts in the US. (with the exception of school performance.)

    http://cpstiers.opencityapps.org/about.html#the-tier-system

  • 247. HSObsessed  |  December 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    @246 – Thanks, didn’t know they actually look up/calculate tiers of outside applicants.

    That link you provide to the Open City CPS Tier site has a table that compares the median for various factors used to calculate tiers, and it’s pretty fascinating. What I see is that in general, the differences between medians in Tier 1 and Tier 4 on most factors is very little.

    For example, there’s a 46% rate of homeownership in Tier 1, and 47% in Tier 4.

    The percentage of people holding college degrees in Tier 1 tracts is 14%, versus 17% in Tier 4 tracts.

    The biggest gap that disfavors Tier 1 is single-parent households: In Tier 1, it’s 50% single-parent households, whereas in Tier 4, it’s only 37%.

    The gap between median incomes is much lower than I’d have thought: The median family income in Tier 1 is $58K, whereas for Tier 4 it’s $64K, which is only 9% over Tier 1. Interestingly, Tier 3 has the highest median family income, at $66K.

    And finally, I note that the English as a second language factor is exactly opposite of what the designers of the tier system would likely expect: The higher the percentage of ESL in the tier, the higher the socioeconomic tract. Specifically, Tier 1 has 21% population that speaks a language other than English at home, whereas Tier 4 has 44% (which actually seems high to me). I’m surprised that the ESL factor hasn’t been quietly eliminated from the equation. 🙂

  • 248. klm  |  December 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    @Everybody RE: SE admissions and address faking @CPS

    Well, yes, that person (“ChiParentNow”) was most likely an attention-seeking troll aching for an angry response.

    When we first were in the process of moving to Chicago, we had friends (a couple, one of whom was my spouse’s roommate at their East Coast prep school) that kept their old condo in Lincoln Park Park and rented it out, but wanted to still “own” it so that their kid could go to this neighborhood public elementary school that they said was “really good.” I think they made up a fictitious “Unit B” or something to get mail, but rented it out for income, etc.

    I remember thinking, “So I guess that probably means the kids at that school are only 1 or 2 years behind, instead of 3 or 4 years behind, like at most urban public schools, so why bother…etc.” Mentally, I was thinking, “You’re both smart, Ivy League grads with good jobs, why in the name of God are you sending your kid to a PUBLIC school in Chicago? What are you thinking”! I did some online research and was shocked –it WAS a good school. I almost had to throw water on my face –there are ‘good’ public schools in CHICAGO?! Isn’t that the city once deemed to have the ‘worst public school system in America’ by the Secretary of Education? ll.

    The way they acted like lying about where they lived was no big deal really bothered me. I lost respect for them as people. I understand that they did it for their kid’s benefit ( a better school/education), but it’s still not right. I guess some people figure, “Whether my kid goes to CPS School A or CPS School B, it’s the same “school system” money-wise, so there’s no ‘stealing.’

    But there’s “lying.”

    Of course, it was Lincoln Elementary they were talking about. That same kid went to the same boarding school in New England that my spouse and and the 9th-grade roommate attended, did great there, etc. –no feeling of being “behind” academically from the kids that went to private school, K-8, in Greenwich or Manhattan.

    I think before Lincoln was really crowded, there were a fair number of people that lied about where they really lived, fudged their way in and I think the school kinda’ turned a blind eye. However, in the last few years, due to overcrowding, etc., it has let people know that it’s not OK. The threat of an investigation led some some to leave.

    I’m curious as to how many kids are at Bell, Blaine, Edgebrook, etc. are really out-of-enrollment-district.

    BTW, this is obviously not only a CPS phenomenon. I know somebody that teaches at Highland Park HS and she tells me that it’s an open secret that kids from Waukegon and North Chicago attend. .

    As somebody mentioned above, there really are kids that are passed from mother to aunt to grandmother, etc. Maybe where they are living when school starts was true, even if where they’re living now is different.

    I also knew a family (old neighbors) that moved to Wilmette, so that their oldest could attend New Trier. They told me that enrolling at New Trier as a “new” resident is akin to getting a job at the CIA, so involved and picayune is the paperwork, including relevant non-family references to verify actual place of residence, etc. I guess if there were on school lots of people would be willing to lie about to get their kid to attend, it’s New Trier.

    The Tiers pi** some people off. They think that it’s unfair to the point where they’ve convinced themselves it’s OK to do whatever it takes –“an unfair law is no law at all.”, etc. Since an unfair process is not a “proper” and fair process in the first place, whatever I do is OK, etc.

    Some people are unethical liars. Somebody has to pay (by not getting into whatever SE school to make way for the liar’s kid ), etc, so this isn’t some “victim-less crime.”

  • 249. anonymouse teacher  |  December 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    @242, WY is a higher scoring school, but not necessarily a better school. Don’t confuse the two. What a big risk to take for next to nothing in terms of advantage.

  • 250. LP Maint  |  December 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    @248 Just bc someone takes a test doesn’t mean they get into SE. I think what pisses off lot of ppl is that someone in Tier 4 rented an apt in Tier 1 and used that for the kids application, and did it in a fuzzy way. The kid still needs to score high as a Tier 1 student and make the cut. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, who knows?
    For Tiers and SE applications in general, people game the system. Would anyone be pissed if someone came and ssaid they used their divorced husband’s Tier 1 address instead of their REAL Tier 2 address? Would you threaten to call CPS?

  • 251. klm  |  December 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    @247

    You need to think of it in terms of how the Tiers were designed: To provide racial diversity, using “socio-economic factors”, in lieu of race, per the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Whatever “factor” that favors a larger representation of “under-represented” kids will be used.

    Since “race” can’t be used any longer in K-12 public school enrollment decisions , I’m sure CPS does what it can, year-to-year to get a demographic that many feel is “equitable,” given Chicago’s population.

    Obviously, certain demographic features are more prevalent in specific groups (e.g., single-parent household among African-Americans, etc.). CPS arranges Tiers accordingly.

    If you’re trying to figure out the Tiers by what many assume are simple class/income bases, you’ll always almost find that things don’t add up: Not all Tier 1’s are way poor, not all Tier 4’s are way rich, etc.

    It is what it is. We’ll all be shaking our heads until the end of time trying to make sense of it.

    It does suck, though, when one’s kid is facing SE admissions and one feels like one isn’t in the “target” group: e.g., a low-income single parent raising her kids in a Rogers Park “regular” neighborhood basement apartment, but given the label “Tier 4”, etc.

    Then there are those that win the Tier lottery: Upper-middle class people living in a gentrifying area that are Tier 2, etc.

    You’ll drive yourself crazy.

  • 252. HS Mom  |  December 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    KLM – wouldn’t it be (dare I say) easy for CPS to step up their application at least for certain popular schools like New Trier?

    Also wondering about some sort of income related application similar to FAFSA for colleges. Instead of tiers, 4 income categories and kids are ranked within each group.

  • 253. Chicago mom  |  December 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Cps should use zip code of elementary school kid is coming from . It would be funny if fancy private schos all moved locations to tier 1! System is bad bad bad .

  • 254. CPS Parent  |  December 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    252. HS Mom – Discriminating by income level is probably as unconstitutional as selecting by race/ethnicity is. Discriminating by where you live isn’t – as evidenced by attendance boundaries for all “neighborhood” schools.

  • 255. local  |  December 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Didn’t the scuttlebutt say that Bruce Rauner used his pied-à-terre in Chicago to “establish” his Winnetka daughter’s residency so she could be enrolled at Payton? Worked like a charm.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130424/BLOGS02/130429892/bruce-rauner-clouted-kid-into-payton-high-school-sources-say#

  • 256. It happens  |  December 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I went to wy years ago and had a classmate that lived in oak park. Recently had a friend sending her child to oak park river forest but then got nervous when school started clamping down and telling all they would be coming after folks for tuition. Former principal of Ebinger would follow people home according to my neighbor. Edgebrook walked out a student last year in front of all her classmates – child weeped as did her classmates. Very traumatic and so unnecessary since there were empty lottery spots available – probably could gave attended if parents had been above board but don’t think they understood ther was a way to do this legally at upper grades. I know others as well. Sadly happens more often than we think.

  • 257. OTdad  |  December 23, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    @254. CPS Parent:
    “Discriminating by income level is probably as unconstitutional as selecting by race/ethnicity is.”
    I couldn’t agree more.

  • 258. LP Maint  |  December 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    This is what’s so weird abt this situation: Parents have been fudging residencys in Chicagoland for a long time, for instance Chi residents using other addresses to go to OPRF, ETHS, etc. I have a family member who used her divorced husband’s address so her son could go to Oak Lawn HS instead of Bogan, even though the boy lived with her 90% of the time. Never thought she was “lying” or behaving unethically, even though she technically was — her husband paid.taxes in Oak Lawn, the money went to the District for his son’s education, so what’s the problem?
    In ChiParentNow’s situation, they rented an apt in Tier 1, used that address to give their kid a competitive edge, but didn’t really do anything other than use someplace other than their primary address, same as above. Why is one scenario pretty much okay and typical while the other is outrageous and demanding calls to the media, CPS inspector General, etc.

  • 259. WRP Mom  |  December 24, 2013 at 12:42 am

    LP Maint, I think the difference in these 2 scenarios is that with the boy going to Oak Lawn isn’t taking away a spot from another child at that school. However, in the case of SEHS admissions, unless ChiParentNow’s child scores a rank spot, they will be taking away a spot from a deserving tier 1 child.

  • 260. OTdad  |  December 24, 2013 at 3:02 am

    @259. WRP Mom:
    “….they will be taking away a spot from a deserving tier 1 child.”

    The keyword here is “deserving”. The lowest scores for getting into Northside (2013-2014): Tier 1 782 Tier 4 891. That’s whopping 109 difference. Why a Tier 1 student with 782 is more “deserving” than a Tier 4 student with 100+ points more?

    If ChiParentNow let his child sleep in the rented Tier 1 apartment for 6 months, that would make drastic difference for everybody?

    ChiParentNow’s child could actually leave open a spot for a low-income student living in Tier 4 neighborhood, it all evened out.

  • 261. LP Maint  |  December 24, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Thank you WRPMom for the clarification. I’ve re-read thru the comments in this thread, and what it looks like is folks are upset that ppl who can afford to send their kids to private HS are able to find a way to get a competitive edge during the testing process, even when they technically are following the rules.

    At one time, private school students could take the test twice and submit the better score. That was how it went, and there was no conspiracy or trickery, but a lot of outrage and complaints abt unfairness. Then someone found a residency loophole, again, within the rules, and this board freaked out about how wrong it is for this T4 person to use a fake address, even though the address was legit, lots of kids use one address but stay at another, and some kids go to another town’s HS w/out this being a big deal. I guess

  • 262. LP Maint  |  December 24, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I guess the overall sentiment is that Tier 4 families have enough advantages for their kids, and when they do something that others do w/out it being a big deal, it’s outrageous and needs to be stopped IMMEDIATELY bc it somehow impacts an entitled spot for a lower tier family.

    Is that how everyone else reads this?

  • 263. cpsobsessed  |  December 24, 2013 at 9:48 am

    @262. Hm, no. I read it as “cheating is wrong.” I didn’t think about Tiers or anything beyond that.

  • 264. pantherparent  |  December 24, 2013 at 9:53 am

    @260 Why is a Tier 1 kid with a lower score more deserving than a Tier 4 kid?

    Because the Tier 1 kid goes to crappy school. Because the Tier 1 kid has a broken home. Because the Tier 1 kid has to worry about getting shot going to school. Because the Tier 1 kid doesn’t get read to. Because the Tier 1 kid has parents who don’t speak English. Because the Tier 1 kid is willing to travel an hour and a half on 3 buses for an opportunity.

    And because the Tier 1 kid scoring 782 is more impressive than a Tier 4 kid scoring 891.

  • 265. LP Maint  |  December 24, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Cpso – I don’t see where the cheating is? Seems like the testing was a loophole, and the address was a real address, paid for and the kid slept there at night.

    Pantherparent: Those things happen to kids in Tier 2. Why are they required to have a better score than Tier 1?

  • 266. cpsobsessed  |  December 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

    @LP Maint. True, the testing was certainly a loophole.
    Regarding addresess, if a kid “sleeps there at night” then fine. I don’t know that “has slept there a couple times at night” is in the spirit of the guidelines.

    I do think it’s all a slippery slope. I remember when race was used instead of Tier and the woman from CPS who used to hold seminars on applying to school would say “if you have any of that race in your child, go ahead and put it down.” So parents who had a child who was 1/4 African American, 1/8 native American, 1/2 Hispanic but being raise in an upscale home devoid of Hispanic culture etc were getting the benefit of being non-white in the application process. That was a loophole that plenty of people too advantage of.

    I can potentially see the point of owning a residence where you pay taxes as being the slippery slope and can see how someone might justify that to themselves. I don’t think any of us can agree that renting an apartment in tier 1 is part of a slippery slope in any way shape or form.

  • 267. pantherparent  |  December 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

    LP, Because Tier 1 ranks below Tier 2 in each category. Lowest median family income, highest % of single family homes, lowest in achievement scores, etc. I guess you could say a Tier 2 kid goes to a less crappy school, has less broken homes, has less uneducated parents.

    So for a Tier 4 kid to pretend he is a Tier 1 kid and take away that opportunity is morally wrong. Probably not illegal. But immoral.

  • 268. cpsobsessed  |  December 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

    When I think about the argument of “I’ll do whatever it takes to get my kid into a good school” to justify using an address via the loophole I think about this article we discuss last year about Asian parents in NYC who do “whatever it takes” to get their kids’ a top test score for admission to the top NYC high schools (where ONLY test scores is used for admission.)

    Their way of doing “whatever it takes” is to make great sacrifices for education and test prep, and a major emphasis on studying and homework at home.

    Why can’t a Tier 4 parent choose this path of doing “whatever it takes” to get their kid into a SEHS instead of the “loophole path?” Those who think Tiers shouldn’t matter seem to assume that a Tier 1 kid should just get his sh*t together and study harder to earn that score for entry. So…. shouldn’t a Tier 4 kid be expected to do the same? Work really hard so they can surpass their also-high-performing Tier 4 peers so they earn admission?

  • 269. cpsobsessed  |  December 24, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Here was that fascinating article from last year.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/27/education/a-grueling-admissions-test-highlights-a-racial-divide.html?_r=0

  • 270. HS Mom  |  December 24, 2013 at 11:19 am

    “what it looks like is folks are upset that ppl who can afford to send their kids to private HS are able to find a way to get a competitive edge during the testing process, even when they technically are following the rules.”

    The way I read it is that there was no rule covering this testing situation. As with many situations in life – taxes, college admissions, discriminating job applications – the authority sees something happening and steps in to institute policy to prevent it from continuing.

    Those who benefit from the situation are not necessarily cheating but many of these private schools market themselves out as being able to get kids into SE schools. If one of those benefits was multiple testing where everyone else gets one…..then….sorry you got stuck at the bottom of the pyramid.

    Living in tier 4 and renting a place in tier 1 for a couple of months for the address is cheating.

  • 271. HS Mom  |  December 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    “find a way to get a competitive edge during the testing process, even when they technically are following the rules.”

    To clarify and add to my statement – If there is no rule, how could you be “technically … following the rules”? What was happening is that people were sidestepping the rules. Is this cheating? Not sure.

    I’m curious to know if people with multiple tests still had the option to pay to take the ISAT on top of it.

  • 272. cpsobsessed  |  December 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    @271, up to last year, my understanding was that private school kids could take the ISATs. I didn’t know about the double testing (and that it was apparently allowed by CPS.) Based on that logic, I assume they were allowed to take the ISATs and take the same test twice. I could be wrong, just assuming based on what I knew (and I haven’t really known that much about high school admissions.)

  • 273. pantherparent  |  December 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    @268, 269 cpso Great article. It makes me wonder if the same would happen here if tiers were eliminated and only a test was used for SEHS. Would schools like Lane and Payton and Northside become, essentially 75% Asian and 25% white?

  • 274. DuWayneJ  |  December 25, 2013 at 8:32 am

    “Would schools like Lane and Payton and Northside become, essentially 75% Asian and 25% white?”

    No, more like 100% dedicated hard workers. Race does not matter.

  • 275. LP Maint  |  December 25, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Pantherparent – you could have a situaton where a Tier 1 kid & Tier 2 kid go to the same school, get the same grades, take the same test and live one block away from each other with identical family & income scenarios. The way it’s set up, Tier 1 kid gets an easier path to SEHS than the Tier 2 kid, even if Tier 2 kid got a higher score. That’s unfair.

  • 276. kim  |  December 25, 2013 at 11:20 am

    For those of you wondering about the double testing situation…students were allowed by CPS to take the same test twice, but not buy into another one. They were also allowed to submit the higher of the two when it came time to SEHS apps. This is what CPS has historically knowingly allowed, no one hid it. What has now happened is that midway through the process CPS changed its mind about its own practices, and is now applying a new “only one test, and only the first one” rule retroactively, so all of these 8th graders are impacted, most of them negatively. If you’re told the first one is a practice run, and the second one is what counts, what would your kid do? Randomly changing policies, like changing tiers, is what CPS has to do to compensate for their own failure to provide a good education to all, but they elected to do so in the middle of the process and nail these kids when they were within the approved and accepted CPS policies, and on top of it they did so with no advance notice (absent one secular school, that received notice before the rest of us) and that is ridiculous. How would any of you feel if your child’s future was being manipulated on the whim of CPS?? Change it fine, I think that is more than appropriate but do so with complete transparency and fairness to the kids involved.

  • 277. cpsobsessed  |  December 25, 2013 at 11:34 am

    So only kids who didn’t take the private school test twice were allowed to take the ISATs?
    How did cps know how many times a kid had taken the other test?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 278. OTdad  |  December 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    @270. HS Mom:
    “Living in tier 4 and renting a place in tier 1 for a couple of months for the address is cheating.”

    If CPS rules do not clearly banning such, then it is still within rules — not cheating.

  • 279. cpsobsessed  |  December 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    It is “allowed” if the child actually lives in the apartment. It would have to be from at least the time of application to the time of (I think) registration. Not sure if you have to live there when school starts.
    So if using the rules, as they are, that wouldn’t be cheating. It’s clearly not following the spirit of the intent though.
    But hey, maybe taking a tier 4 kid to live in a tier 1 neighborhood for 5 months or so is a good thing. Widens their chicago experience.
    Maybe makes them more empathetic about tiers and the ethics of gaming the system.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 280. LP Maint  |  December 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    @cpso – hey, tier 1 and 2 kids go to tier 4 schools using bullshit addresses, so what’s that about turnabout & fair play?

  • 281. cpsobsessed  |  December 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I don’t understand what that means. Why would it benefit a Tier 1 or 2 kid to use a BS address?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 282. HS Mom  |  December 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    @278

    http://policy.cps.k12.il.us/documents/602.2.pdf

    ” Affirmation: All applications submitted under this policy
    must include a signed statement in which the parent or guardian affirms that the information contained in the application is true and correct. In the event that the District discovers that an applicant submitted false information including, but not necessarily limited to, information regarding the applicant’s RESIDENCE or sibling status, the applicant shall be subject to immediate removal from the magnet or
    selective enrollment school or program to which admission was gained based on false information. The CEO or designee shall establish a process to evaluate alleged fraud and make final determinations regarding student removal.”

    Residence is further defined as where the pupil lives – more guidelines on this with the Illinois board of education policies.

  • 283. anonymouse teacher  |  December 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    @Klm, “How would any of you feel if your child’s future was being manipulated on the whim of CPS??”
    This is what one signs up for when they send their kids to CPS. Stop thinking or hoping CPS will be a fair environment and expect that your children are at the mercy and whims of those who make the rules and you won’t be so disappointed. If you want a system where kids’ needs are taken into account, CPS isn’t the right place.

    @281, a tier 1 or 2 kid *might* use a false address to get into a better neighborhood elementary school. It does happen, but not rampantly.

  • 284. LP Maint  |  December 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    @283 Likely more to occur than someone renting an apt in addition to paying their other house payment.

    The overall problem on this board seemed to be on a Tier 4 parent finding a way to apply as a Tier 1 family, b/c that might give the kid a seemingly “entitled” Tier 1 SE spot. Use of a diff primary address (suchas using an ex’s suburban address to go to a better HS in the suburbs , or using Mom’s city address when living wth Grandma in the burbs, or a fake Tier 4 one to go to a better neighborhood school) did not get anyone as pissed. Just wondering why?

  • 285. HS Mom  |  December 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    278 – one more spot

    http://www.cpsoae.org/2014-2015%20Options%20for%20Knowledge%20Guide%20-%20English.pdf

    “The application asks for my primary address. What is this?
    Your primary address is the address of the residence where your child sleeps at night. You cannot use the address of
    a property that you own or rent if your child does not sleep there at night. If your child gains admission to a school
    by submitting an application that does not list his/her primary address, your child may be subject to immediate
    removal from the school.”

  • 286. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  December 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    @117 For students who apply in Dec. 2014 to SEHS, the NWEA MAP will probably be the test used to to set the national percentile part of their scores. The ISAT cannot be used because ISBE knocked out the SAT10 part for the 2014 ISAT. It was that part, not the rest of the ISAT score, that determined a student’s national percentile rank. There were cases where one student had a higher ISAT composite score but a lower percentile rank than another student because the the former erred on SAT10 questions but did better on ISAT (non-SAT10) questions.

    In Dec. 2015, if the PARCC exam is good to go spring 2015, then CPS will most likely drop the MAP and use the PARCC exam.

    If one believes that the tests are fair it should not matter whether it is the ISAT, MAP, or PARCC because, as the test marketers will claim, each test measure the important underlying dimensions of achievement wonderfully. At least we get a technical manual for the ISAT; the MAP manual is proprietary — just trust them.

  • 287. cpsobsessed  |  December 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    @284: “Such as using an ex’s suburban address to go to a better HS in the suburbs , or using Mom’s city address when living wth Grandma in the burbs, or a fake Tier 4 one to go to a better neighborhood school) did not get anyone as pissed. Just wondering why?

    Because these are uncommon, unlikely, or frankly, we’re discussing the CPS schools, not the suburban ones. Suburban schools don’t have the limited space that SEHS does, as far as I know. I’m sure if we were living in over-crowded suburb XYZ we’d be talking about that instead of caring about the chicago public high schools.

    As for a Tier 1-2 family renting an apartment in a Tier 4 neighborhood to go into a better school, I still don’t get that. If someone can afford an apartment in a Tier 4 area, they’d just move there and attend the school. The logic isn’t the same as applying for SEHS.

  • 288. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  December 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    @108 @110 @122 Using a single test’s national percentile rank for a high-stakes decision when the statistic is much less imprecise than people assume is foolish because the statistic doesn’t mean what most people think it means.

    If the purpose of SE admissions is to select the truly high-performing students, then you would want an assessment that reliably measures such achievement such that a student’s score would not differ if the student took the test at one time and then a week later. But in fact, test of such reliability are rare.

    The problem with relying on grades for SE admission is not that grading standards might differ but that the variability of grades is narrow. How would you rank-order straight-A students? You cannot; each is equally as good as the others.

    A norm-referenced exam is designed to produce a rank-ordering of much greater variability, but it is not necessarily an accurate rank-ordering. Consider baseball’s World Series or a tennis match. In such events, performance from one game to another often varies (and one set to another in tennis).

    Given that there are more students seeking admission then there are seats available, the entrance exam — I don’t know the details of i it – could be designed — following Item Response Theory rather than Classical Test Theory — so that the error is minimized around a high raw score of the questions correct, and then select the students within that group by lot.

  • 289. cpsobsessed  |  December 25, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Actually, rethinking my remark in 277, I don’t know that Tier 1-2 families necessarily want to live in tier 4 neighborhoods, but given the situation of neighborhood high schools, most of the schools in Tier 3-4 such as Amundsen and Lake View and previously Senn have been easy enough to attend without any address misrepresentation. These schools have (and I believe still do) take any kid who is committed and doesn’t cause trouble. So again, it doesn’t make sense to me that a Tier 1-2 family would have the need to rent a place in another neighborhood (and if Tiering is accurate, would likely not have the means to rent a 2nd apartment. Most of us don’t have that luxury.)

  • 290. OTdad  |  December 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    @285. HS Mom:
    I’m aware of the “child sleeps at” rule. The problem is: a renter or owner can easily satisfy that requirement, technically not violating the rule. As CPSO said in #279, “that wouldn’t be cheating, It’s clearly not following the spirit of the intent though.”.

    I think labeling people is so un-American. There are no Tier 1 kids, Tier 2 kids, Tier 3 kids, Tier 4 kids, they are just kids. Nobody is entitled for more or less. Regardless who their parents are, they have to earn their place in the society like everybody else.

    Some people here bring out the “immoral” flag too quickly. If it’s immoral trying to give a child competitive advantage, what about parents who read to their child early, buy them books, bring them to all sort of classes, send them to expensive preschools, hire tutors, enrichment, classes…………………………………………………………………. By doing so, didn’t they just “hurt” underprivileged kids’ opportunities in the future?

  • 291. LP Maint  |  December 25, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Cpso, I’m referring to those who use the house address of their Auntie, Grandma, etc. b/c they live within the boundaries of a good neighborhood school, instead of the not-so-hot neighborhood school that their kid(s) should be attending if they used their real address.

    I’m not in that position, but if I had an ex- who lived in New Trier and my HS kids lived in Chicago with me over 50% of the time, id fudge it so my kids could get an exceptional education, one that could not be done at their neighborhood school, and try to do it in a way that was technially legit (like 50% joint custody) even if they realistically not (like the kids staying with me more than 50%). Again, it’s a hypothetical BUT its something I’d likely do for the overall benefit of my kids. I DON’T think i’d rent an apt in a lower tier (too much of a pain in the A), but I don’t think doing so is any more outrageous than using a relative’s address to go to a better neighborhood school or suburban district.

  • 292. cpsobsessed  |  December 25, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Ah, right. I see what you’re saying. Yeah, I just met someone recently who did that. Told me about it without blinking and eye. I think it was more moving schools due to bullying rather than going upscale, but a relative’s address was used.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 293. HS Mom  |  December 26, 2013 at 12:45 am

    @290, the example situation we have been discussing here is the family living in a tier 4 home and renting another apartment (not living there “except for a couple of nights”) just to use the address on the SE application. It is clearly prohibited. Whether someone can get away with it or not or can falsify living arrangements is another story.

  • 294. pantherparent  |  December 26, 2013 at 9:00 am

    @290 I’ve said living in a Tier 4 neighborhoood and renting in a Tier 1 to game the system is immoral and unethical. That’s simply my value system, which obviously differs from yours. Be clear, I’m not saying it’s wrong, just different.

    I’m guessing we also have a different definition of success. Some people believe you do whatever you can to get ahead (whatever that means) including the belief that it’s not cheating unless you get caught. I don’t. And I don’t want my kids to think that either.

    I was against the Tier system when I began the high school process. But now after seeing how it has benefitted not only the kids who have been admitted through the process, but my kids who get to interact with students that never would have otherwise, I think it does what it’s supposed to do. Namely, create a better city.

  • 295. klm  |  December 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    First,

    I hope people aren’t confusing “kim” (as in K-I-M) with me (K-L-M). I think it’s happened, FYI (not that anybody really cares, I know, but I just don’y want to be confused with another person if they say something crazy).

    Anyway, in the state of Michigan, there was a law passed whereby a child can attend school in any district where any one parent lives, even if they don’t have primary physical custody a while back. There were some issues with kids at certain districts being asked to leave, some uproar, etc.

    I assume that it would also apply to a situation like at CPS, where some parents live/rent in a Tier 1, but the other in a Tier 4. I know that, if it were above-board/legal I might rent/live in a Tier 1.

    If Illinois passes a law like that (and I believe it’s one that makes sense, since both parents should be involved in their kids’ education and should think about living where there are the best opportunities for their kids) I can imagine lots of people buying/renting the cheapest place in Wilmette or Hinsdale (there are some, 1 bd./1ba. condos that aren’t crazy expensive in these areas, believe it or not –‘google’ it).

    In CPS, there already are situations where 1 parent lives in a studio apt. in the Lincoln school district, for example, so that their kid can go there, instead whatever school else school where the primary physical custodial parent lives. Given that there’s often/usually “joint custody.”–how’s it any of CPS’s business how parents arrange things –maybe one parent works 70 hours/week, while the other is remarried and stays at home, etc., so that it’s really in the best interest of the child to be there at the out-of-district home, etc. If somebody’s a legal guardian and has residency, how is this not unavoidable? I could see how a couple is “separated” and one moves to a Tier 1 studio apt. during Admissions Season, then the couple “reconciles”, etc. I’m not sure if I even want CPS investigating into peoples’ marriage issues to verify such circumstances. I’m not sure that CPS can, or should be able to, legally.

    RE: SEHS Admission, Chicago vs. NYC 3.0

    I know we’ve had the discussions re: NYC and the way things have turned out with its SE HSs, etc.

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I don’t have a problem with it. What’s always been inspiring to me is how hard the first-generation Asian immigrant kids from places like Bangladesh and that have low-income parents, live in low-income neighborhoods, etc., do everything they can in terms of working hard to do well and receive admissions to theses NYC SEHSs. What’s wrong with that? Would people be having this type of there-are-too-many-of-THOSE-people-at-Brooklyn Tech discussions if the disproportionate numbers of kids getting high scores were black or Latino immigrant kids instead of Asian ones?

    My kids are black, but I don’t feel like there should be a separate, lower threshold for them to be admitted to a SEHS, since black people aren’t born inherently less capable academically.

    The same goes for poor kids. If not enough are doing what they should be to get in, well, it’s time to do something, not blame the test.

    Also note that in the 1970s there was a huge movement to change NYC SEHS admissions, since so few Hispanic and black kids were getting in, relative to their size of the population (Mayor Lindsey called it discriminatory, culturally biased, etc.) but the NY state legislature passed a law mandating that admissions be based solely on the result of an admissions test, per the loud outcry from parents, alumni, etc., that wanted to keep things solely objective-test-score admissions. .

    I would be happy if, like in NYC, some schools CPS SEHSs–maybe Northside, Payton, WY and Jones, based their admissions solely on objective measures of achievement, then using social engineering for other “good” schools to create a more reflective student body. That’s what NYC does for all its school but the few SE ones that people are complaining about..

    Let’s be honest: the SEHSs in Chicago don’t pick the MOST qualified kids, they pick the most-qualified-for-their-Tier kids.

    If a few SEHSs were mostly white and black, then to me they’d be an indicator (a very sad and upsetting one) of how much we have to do to get more black and Hispanic kids where they need to be in order to achieve and compete, not some talking point of how flawed and “culturally biased” achievement tests are. Being able to figure out the area of a pentagon is the same, no matter where one is: Lawndale, Lincoln Park, Nairobi, Tokyo, Helsinki or Guadalajara.

    The again, lamenting the achievement gap rather complaining about than the tests that point it out has always been is my m.o.

  • 296. klm  |  December 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I meant to say “mostly white and Asian.”

  • 297. klm  |  December 26, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I don’t mean to dominate this discussion, but…

    Bottom line: If people really want to game the Tier system in an unethical way, it’s theoretically easy to do, especially if the 8th grade admissions address isn’t tied to a current CPS neighborhood enrollment school (and even then aren’t kids allowed to stay in their school if they move during the current academic year?) .

    I know we all get so upset b/c we’re playing by the rules and therefore so should everybody else, etc., but what can we do, other than get over it and recognize that most other people really are playing fair, too..

    As I said, any Tier 4 couple can feign marital problems, “separate” and have one party moves into a Tier 1 studio b/c “they need to save money”, etc. Even if that person were still around the Tier 4 home, there could me made an argument for amicable social time for the sake of the children. How ever in a million years could CPS be expected to investigate (where’s the money, will, legal authority, etc. –does anybody want somebody from CPS nosing around their private life if/when they get divorced/separated, etc? I sure as heck do not –I’d probably sue).

    We’re talking about a potential public school “Tier scam” not private insurance fraud, etc. , so how legally appropriate would investigations into one’s private affairs be, coming from a public body?

    There’s not a lot that I can see to prevent clever “Tier scamming” (although maybe we can call the ‘Trib’ or ‘Sun Times’ and they could do an investigative report).

    Maybe it’s time to just let go and move on.

  • 298. HS Mom  |  December 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    294 “I was against the Tier system when I began the high school process. But now after seeing how it has benefitted not only the kids who have been admitted through the process, but my kids who get to interact with students that never would have otherwise, I think it does what it’s supposed to do. Namely, create a better city.”

    yes, exactly…..thank you

    I’ve been against the tier system for other reasons. It is inaccurate and therefore unfair and the intangible factors (socio-economics, grades, addresses, testing issues etc) create a culture of circumventing rules. We talk about the obvious point spread between 4/1 but what about the tier 3 kid who may be the same or even better off than the tier 4 kid but have a point advantage.

    The most accurate measure would be rank by test score – like NY but that does not accomplish the diversity (which I know sounds campy and idealistic). Chit-chatting with parents at school, getting to know people and completely understanding their concerns and relief because of what it’s like for an African American boy with schools is inspiring and educational for me and my child. Believe me, that 100 point spread means nothing once kids are in school. I have seen radical differences on both ends of the spectrum.

    Instead of investing time and resources on trying to police the intangibles, my hope is that the system can be changed to be consistently fair while still providing access to kids who are smart but at a disadvantage in navigating the system.

    I’ll be on the lookout.

  • 299. kim  |  December 26, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    To KLM from KIM…LOL, and I’m not crazy, but we are definitely on different tangents in this discussion, so your clarification is merited:)

  • 300. HS Mom  |  December 26, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    @297 KLM – I think the concept that is difficult for some to grasp here is the idea (whether it’s true or not) of the extremes that people are willing to go to for entrance into SEHS. One can accept the notion that the concerned parent will do “whatever it takes” for their kids success…OK. At the expense of someone else….maybe (face unknown). But to the extent that no other program in or out of CPS is acceptable? I think not. For some, it’s not only a selective school but the “dream” school that they’re a few points away from. I’ve said it before, we got into our school of choice by working hard. I know others have not. But, we would have been content (equally so, no) with the various other options we had and would be resigned to make the best of any situation – way before resorting to renting an apartment. I truly don’t get it and won’t get over it. And to quote, I guess that’s just “TFB” for me.

  • 301. HS Mom  |  December 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Rereading, I must clarify. When I say

    ” I know others have not.” I mean other kids work hard and still do not get into the school they want. NOT other kids got in even though they didn’t work hard (although that may be true….whatever)

  • 302. klm  |  December 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    @300

    I get your point, but I also understand the feelings people have about CPS schools. I’ve always said that many people want schools that are as good as those in suburbs with “good” schools. Yes, there are plenty of stereotypical “rich” suburbs that (no surprise) have really great HSs –no surprise there.

    But there are also so many cities that have great HSs, but one doesn’t necessarily have to be rich to live there. There are literally dozens of suburban HSs with average ACT scores of 24+.

    The problem people have is that, apart from the SEs, all the neighborhood CPS HSs (OK maybe with the exception of LPHS, but that’s b/c the well-established IB program –the ‘regular’ classes.are considered rigor-free and inadequate by the local families I know, so it’s IB or nothing) have such low test scores, compared to any just regular, decent suburban HS, never mind New Trier or Hinsdale Central. Back when IIRC gave more “exceeds” info there would be schools where literally 1 or 2% of kids were “exceeding” standards, compared to 1/3-2/3 or more of the kids at suburban schools.

    And the average ACT composites.

    Really bad –probably what kids at the decent suburban schools would have scored in 8th or 9th grade. I’m not making this up: 14, 15, 16 vs 25’s for the HSs in Naperville, even higher elsewhere.. Or even just regular HSs in whatever rural town seem to have kids doing OK.

    Even now, with IIRC info for “meets” college readiness (which is a really low standard, relatively speaking) , most non-SE CPS HSs are just plain, results-wise.

    Our kids will be in 9th grade only once (hopefully). Where they go to school matters.

    Therefore, I think for lots of people it’s Northside/Payton/Lane/Jones or….Low Score High School with a big drop-out rate and most kids doing nowhere near grade-level work.

    I don’t think people are being HS snobs or snooty demanding a New Trier-style education for their kids, but just want the approximate kind of education they’d get if they rented a plain vanilla box 3 bd/1.5 ba. townhouse in Naperville for $1600/mo, like their cousin.

    People can say whatever they want about average test scores being not so important, etc. Well, yes, when judging a school with an average ACT of 25.5 vs one with an average of 26.8, etc. –is the latter really “better”? Well, no. Both are “good” schools.

    However, we’re often talking 25.6 vs, 15 or 16. Schools where (Jones) 96% are college-ready vs. 4% (Wells).

    Also, some people don’t care to pay $15-37k/year for private HS, even if they can afford it somehow, especially if they have 3 or more kids. That’s real after-tax money that can’t go to retirement, college savings, necessary home improvement, etc. Of course, middle-class people can (and often do) move outta’ the city, the summer before HS for their oldest, but some people are under water, have had setbacks, etc., which make that option difficult.

    That’s why people are so preoccupied and worried.

    And for good reason, IMHO.

  • 303. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Next progressives will say that a student will be given penalty points for attending a “Private or Blue Ribbon School” because all children don’t have an opportunity to attend those schools.

    The system is in shambles, from Clintons “my statement is that I did not have sexual relations as defined by that”, to ……..Rahm having the Illinois Supreme Court equate residency to “intent”. That’s the controlling ruling in the state of Illinois for “Residency” if you didn’t know.

    The real problem is that the masses are blind and numb to the political leaders. People should read about homeless children education rights (talk about tier manipulation/what about the battered womens shelter in Wilmette that had females from the south side demanding that their children be admitted to New Trier (aahem: That’s Rahm’s high school people?….It worked, and the law was changed to butter up the progressives), 105 ILCS 5.0/14-1.11, and discrimination based on race, national origin (language skills), color, or other factors.

    When people talk about tiers it’s a system created by CPS that is discriminatory because the only fair/moral/constitutional system is one entrance exam and the top scores would then be admitted in rank order.

    So, to come back on topic, if someone were to say child X took a Select Prep class and thus they should be penalized; is the same as someone saying that Child Y took the ISAT’s twice and should be penalized. Educators agree that the more someone takes a test, they better they perform.

    Elect better leaders rather than manipulate outcomes through discrimination disguised as Tiers or willingness (notice I didn’t write ability, because many people pay for private schools rather than drive a new Lexus or go out for dinner) to pay for private grammer school only to be shunned by the CPS High School Selection Process.

    Summed up, one kid can run faster that another kid and can also score better than that kid, on an entrance test, but lives on the wrong side of the street. Too bad kid you loose, you get to go to a poorer performing school because of political boundaries (Yes I said it, political boundaries, the Tier system is a political bastard.)

    It has no legitimacy and will thus be held unconstitutional.

  • 304. HS Mom  |  December 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    KLM – hear you, know that, been there. Do you really think that it will come down to a choice between Jones and Wells? We had 7 schools that we researched and would have been committed to making any one of those work. And there are so many more options now than 4 years ago. We all know that the school ACT does not reflect the strength of it’s individual programs, even LP. Not to mention magnets, charters and privates. Wouldn’t it be easier to rent in one of the dozens of suburbs with good scores and be guaranteed vs. renting an additional apartment in Chicago and still not getting into the school you want or? How do you work that with multiple kids? Rent out for 6 months to a year every time one of the kids is ready for HS?

  • 305. southie  |  December 26, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    There aren’t a lot of options for good CPS high school programs for southside students. Seems like the northside has more. Many more.

  • 306. southie  |  December 26, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Gaming in SE extends to the students, it appears: ‘I Cheated All Throughout High School’ – A teacher gets inside the mind of a serial cheater—and is dismayed by what she learns.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/i-cheated-all-throughout-high-school/282566/

  • 307. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 26, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    To 306
    Did Mandella have a work around for a system that he felt was oppressive even though it landed him in jail?

    Did Obama tell America that “if you like your doctor you can keep him” even though he knew that wasn’t the case? All because he had an agenda he felt was more ethical

    Did the IRS target Tea Party at a rate of 25-1 over progressive groups because of political concerns?

    The question isn’t what’s ethical, the question is what’s the law, and is the law just?

    The Tier system is unjust as is the penalizing of a student that has taken the ISAT multiple time prior to a rule change.

    Also: Teaching to the test is also unethical, and I’m aware that CPS does this in order to boost performance. So does that make the CPS unethical?

  • 308. WardC  |  December 26, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    @30 IObsessed: “your assumption about harder private tests and scores is just that, an assumption that private everything is harder and better. Having experienced both, this is unfounded.”

    Actually, on average a kid scored against a national norm will do a fair amount worse when scored against the independent school only norm. For example, a kid scoring between a 94 and 98 percentile against a national norm will have a score between a 68 and 80 against the independent school norm. Or scoring between a 74 and 86 percentile on national norm will score between a 21 and 41 percentile against the independent school norm. Its not the the private school test is harder, its the same test. It is the population of independent test takers that score better than the national population of test takers. Sure there may be a few exceptions, but on average there are significant differences.

    It’s not an assumption, the ERB testing organization publishes results each year of the various scoring comparisons on national vs suburban vs independent norms.

    The stats above are in the first 10 pages:

    http://www.winnetka36.org/sites/default/files/5/ERB_feb2012.pdf

  • 309. pantherparent  |  December 27, 2013 at 8:46 am

    @307 Do you cut and paste the same post for any and all message boards? Because you seem to be all over the place. But kudos for working an anti-Obamacare rant in there.

    As to the topic at hand, CPS schools, the tier system is here to stay. The key factor is that it doesn’t look at race. Yes, I fully understand that the correlation between tier and race is high and that’s the real reason behind the tiers, but it’s not one of the six factors used. Its been crafted to withstand a lawsuit.

  • 310. LP Maint  |  December 27, 2013 at 11:30 am

    CPS assigned President Obama’s Kenwood home to a Tier 3. So, Sasha Obama gets a slight SE testing/admissions than ANY kid in Canaryville, Jefferson Park or Mt Greenwood, which is all Tier 4. I can see why people game the system — it’s completely ridiculous.

  • 311. MZ  |  December 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    The tier system is racist and corrupt. Is anyone surprised that the system is gamed?

    1963:
    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

    50 years later:
    not exactly.

  • 312. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    To 309:
    Its been “crafted” is right. As far as withstanding a lawsuit, it won’t because children are discriminated against based upon where they live. If you can’t have a bias against someone based upon nation of origin, you can’t discriminate against someone who has a residence in the district boundary. Remember, the state department places people into geographic locations with higher population densities of that race. Having worked with USAID, I’m familiar with that protocol. So government places people into a certain zip code for assimilation and then penalizes them for the Tier status. Remember Residency is now defined by the Illinois Supreme Court as Intent/Abandonment because of Rahm.

    Rome is burning and Rahm is on vacation in a country that the US has accused of Internet Crimes against America.

    Keep voting Democratic.

  • 313. klm  |  December 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    @HS Mom

    I get your point, but what are these “other” quality CPS HS options where kids will be among peers that want to work hard at school and like the rigor of an academically challenging curriculum –and most of all are capable of actually taking AP Physics and getting a 4 or 5?

    I remember hearing an interview on WBEZ a few years back with a principal of an all-female charter school talking about how great it is academically, how many of its students love science and aspire to become physicians, ….etc. The I went online and found that not a single student at that school ever scored “college ready” on the science part of the ACT. I mean, it’s nice to say one has a “good’ school with doctor-wannabes, but how’s it going to happen when not a single student seems to show the capacity to do so?

    I’m going to be a physics professor at MIT after I get my Ph.D. at Catech –isn’t that great? My school is so “good” because I’ve to dare to dream –of course its average ACT score is 16 and no student has ever scored over 24, but the principal is “inspiring” and we all want to do great things, so it’s a “great” school! Test scores are meaningless and only mean people tell us we can’t all be brain surgeons, despite the fact that most of us can’t write a coherent grade-level essay.

    Anybody can do anything if they put their mind to it! Who needs to score above the 25th percentile, when you have ambition in your heart!

    I guess you get my draft….I’ve seen it happen so many times. It seems like a particularly sad phenomenon in the inner-city: kids are woefully prepared for real higher-level learning, but they’re going to be physicians. I saw on the news yesterday how that horrible story of the 17-year-old pregnant female was shot in Dolton and how her baby’s struggling to live. I cried it was so horrible.

    Of course, her family mentioned how smart she was, she was going to be a doctor, after she got her GED and started community college.

    When we lived Downtown, our neighborhood CPS HS really was Wells, for example.

    I know that there are some schools that are implementing IBs, AP classes, etc., but it seems kinda’ like putting lipstick on a pig in some way –and I know how awful that sounds. I do.

    I also have to mention (for like the millionth time, I know) that I’m not unfamiliar with inner-city/urban public schools. I went to one, K-8 (then Catholic HS) and my sister went K-12 –she will be the first person to tell you that she was “robbed” of an education. She had good grades, felt smart relative to the other kids around her, etc., but really struggled in college. She had to start over at community college and take remedial classes to learn how to write a college-level essay, etc., since her HS was so awful. All her “smart” friends from her HS said the same thing –it’s easy to be an academic rock star when the average kid in your HS is 3 or 4 grades behind. It’s easy to get an “A’ in classes when all you have to do is memorize facts given ahead of time –the definition of how too many inner-city schools “teach.”

    Then you go to college with kids that went to schools like New Trier and Naperville Central (who were just ‘average,’ ‘regular’ students for their schools but still light years more prepared if they were average for these schools, they got in the 25-28 range on their ACT and know how to think and write) and you realize how ill-prepared you are for higher education and how crappy your HS really was.

    The problem I see is that there are CPS schools where most kids are entering way behind, then trying to push IB, APs, etc. How’s that working out? Most kids get nowhere near 4 or 5’s on their APs or even bother taking the IB, much less pass it, so where the ACHIEVEMENT? Why are the kids at these schools still scoring so poorly?

    So, my rant is finished.

    I’d love to hear about all these other other CPS options, but what are they? I’ve never seen one where its test scores didn’t frighten me.

  • 314. LP Maint  |  December 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Klm, I was ready to say “that’s the problem with Tiers and why testing should be the primary decider on who is ready and who isnt for SE”, but then it dawned on me that some kids are wicked smart but their school environment sucks. You can’t learn if your classmates are at school for daycare purposes, or if your faculty is a bunch of Chi State grads who are just counting down the days till retirement. So what is the solution? It shouldn’t be “free points for everybody!” if you are in a lower tier; the fact that Sasha Obama can get a break b/c she is in Tier 3 while a a Tier 4 kid who will NEVER EVER get close to the opportunities she has must score higher is just an indicator of how flawed this system is.

  • 315. OTdad  |  December 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    @294. pantherparent:
    “That’s simply my value system, which obviously differs from yours.”

    Yes, I agree. I believe in equality. Nobody deserves preferential treatment. Everybody should be held to the same standards. To you, preferential treatment for a certain group at the expense of others is ok.

  • 316. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    @OTDad, does it not seem to you that Tier 4 kids get a form of preferential treatment their whole lives that Tier 1 kids do not? So you are not okay with that?

  • 317. LP Maint  |  December 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Cpso, my cousin works 2 jobs, has a deadbeat ex-dad who refuses to help and she has 2 kids living in Tier 4 in a bungalow that’s falling apart, which she got when her Mom died. It is right next to freight train tracks.

  • 318. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    @317, I’m not sure of your point. That not all Tier 4 kids have advantages? Nobody is saying that there aren’t Tier 4 kids who experience hardships. On average, Tier 4 kids are raised in surroundings and by parents who inherently provide and advantageous situation to Tier 1 kids. And test scores reflect this.

    Their Tier system is not 100% perfect, but is based on generalities at the census tract level. Perhaps your cousin could sell that house for good money and move to a Tier 1 neighborhood where the cost of living is lower?

  • 319. pantherparent  |  December 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    @315 Ah yes, equality. Is education equal in this city? This state? Will a child born at 63rd and Ashland get the same public education as a child born in Edgebrook?

    Rather than the race for a SEHS being equal, the kids in Tier 4 are given a 20 yard head start. Is that fair? is that equal?

  • 320. HS Mom  |  December 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    @306 local – interesting article. I see the connection

    “This student felt justified—even ethically obligated—to cheat when he felt he had been denied a good education.”

  • 321. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    @306 local, wow that Atlantic article is interesting. I didn’t even know it was possible to cheat to that extent. It sounds almost like a challenge or compulsion for that student to see how far they could push it.

    I think i’ve told this story before but when I was a grad asst at DePaul, the professor I worked for gave the same friggin multiple choice tests year after year, that clearly had been distributed around to students. The large lecture halls also made it so easy to copy off someone. I took it upon myself to create multiple versions of the test without telling anyone (I’m sure there will be a commenter or 2 who find it unfair that I didn’t pre-announce this change to the existing system.) Students were so puzzled on quizzes when they got a 0/6 and I showed them that they’d given all the right answers to the different version. Mwah hah hah. Anyhow, I’m sure there are still plenty of professors who continue to turn a blind eye to it because it requires some effort to change the test each semester. I was really disappointed in the lack of caring about the rampant cheating.

  • 322. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    To 318:
    So selling your house to move to a Tier 1 tract is good, but renting an apartment in a Tier 1 and living there 51% of the time is bad. Do you really think that Michael Jordans son lived downtown 51% of the time or that Rauner’s child lived there 51% of the time? These are societies leaders!!!!!

    I believe you just told the single mother of a beat up house next to train tracks that inherited it to “sell.” That’s probably the worst advice she could get. Maam, stay in you house, and apply to an IB program if your child can’t get into Selective Enrollment.

    Being blind to her finances, and other details, I’ld stake my professional license on that.

  • 323. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    @322: You missed my point that was too muddy within my writing:
    She feels that no matter where a child lives doesn’t impact them, so I suggest she will be just as happy and possibly better off financially in a Tier 1 neighborhood (and she won’t have to worry about how it affects her kids as far as her reasoning goes.) So why not let a developer pay big bucks for her current house and live in cheaper digs in a Tier 1 area, maybe away from a freight train. Where are the freight trains, btw? Application/Tier benefits are an added bonus.

    Also, I am missing your point about Michael Jordon’s kid. He likely (clearly? — I don’t follow sports so I don’t know where he lived) gamed the system. Point being — that it should be okay for other people to game it?

  • 324. HS Mom  |  December 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    @313 KLM – Usually we see eye to eye, but not here.

    Why would I bother going through schools that I find acceptable even desirable. Unless they are from a few select schools, I doubt they would gain your approval.

    I find it ironic that the same Lincoln Park parents who made their school a successful top performer – so successful and popular that it needs an addition – are the same parents worried about getting a seat in a selective enrollment school. So worried, in fact, that any lying, fudging, misinterpreting, sidestepping, hop skip and jumping….whatever…is completely understandable even acceptable and something that is part of the process so we need to move on from it.

    LP gets an addition and the concern is that there’s “preferential treatment for a certain group at the expense of others”. Mind boggling. Jones and Payton expand their program and the plan B for tier 4 families is renting an apartment in tier 1!! Only a few select schools will do, I don’t want to take a loss on my house, I have too many kids for private……did I miss something? Plan B is a lie no other options!

    Is this mob mentality? Will there be enough cheating going on to raise the tier 1 scores to tier 4 level so that we might as well change Payton to a neighborhood school for Lincoln Park? Wow!

    Interesting bit about a pioneer in gifted programs for minority students.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-obit-joyce-oatman-20131227,0,1303874.story

    “Joyce knew a gifted student when she saw one, and she did everything she could to help them realize their potential. Her attitude was: ‘These students aren’t falling through the cracks — not if I can help it!'”

  • 325. CPS Parent  |  December 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    The bottom line is that since we as a nation have ceded K-12 education (for the most part) to our government and therefore K-12 education policy is a political endeavor. No politician in his right mind is going to change to a system whereby some SEHS’s are going to be practically 100% white/Asian. Remember we are ONLY talking about Payton, NSCP, Jones, and to a lesser degree Whitney and Lane. Making a few dozen “tier 4” parents happy who have kids on the edge of getting in isn’t nearly enough reason for CPS/Board/Mayor to get rid of “Tiers”.

    Practically any “tier 4” kid can get into a SEHS but it may not be in the 5 mentioned above. There are 5 others to choose from with pretty much guaranteed entry.

  • 326. OTdad  |  December 27, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    @316 CPSO:
    “does it not seem to you that Tier 4 kids get a form of preferential treatment their whole lives that Tier 1 kids do not? So you are not okay with that?”

    Yes, if the government give preferential treatment to Tier 4 kids, I’m not ok with that either.

    @319 pantherparent:
    Technically, yes. There are not much differences with the public education itself, similar curriculum, similar funding, similar teacher, even similar breakfast and lunch.

    Who gave Tier 4 kids that 20 yard head start? There are plenty of good for nothing brats out there. The truth is there are many Tier 1 kids who can out smart everybody and can compete with anyone. If a kid is willing to learn, 6-7 hours/day at school for 9 years is all that’s need for him/her to do well academically. I think preferential treatment is not fair. Equal? No, but the opportunity should be equal.

  • 327. Ronnie  |  December 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    @pantherparent Look, I’m not entitled to an Exeter Academy or Phillips Academy education just because the rich kids can go there.

    I’m not entitled to be able to buy a BMW instead of taking the bus.

    I’m not entitled to be able to get nice new clothes from a department store even though the kids down the street can.

    I’m not going to stomp my feet and say “It’s not fair! I should’ve been born to rich parents that make a lot of money and didn’t divorce and showered me with tutoring! Mr. Mayor, change it so I can get everything they have WITHOUT EARNING IT!!!!”

    If you can’t get that, then GFY.

  • 328. GFY, TFB, LMFAO  |  December 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Oh great the troll has awoken

  • 329. LP Maint  |  December 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    What does GFY mean?

  • 330. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Go f yourself, I believe.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 331. LP Maint  |  December 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    That was rude, so back at at you cpso.

  • 332. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    “WITHOUT EARNING IT!!!!””
    That’s where ya lost me.
    It doesn’t seem highly coincidental that being able to “earn” good test scores is HIGHLY correlated with income?
    Perhaps some Tier 4 parents should open a charter school with the goal being to teach other kids how to earn high test scores and thus admission to SEHS. Would that work?

    I do agree, it doesn’t make sense for anyone to demand the things others have earned. That is why I have a slight problem with the 99%-ers. Haven’t those 1% earned their money fair and square?

    I don’t know that balancing SEHS admission gives Tier 1 kids everything that Tier 4 kids have, by any stretch of the imagination. It just levels the playing field a bit so we, as a city, can commit to trying to get portions of our highly segregated city out of the cycle of generations of poverty. It is a form of affirmative action, no denying it. The alternative is allowing the cycle to continue indefinitely with the few rare kids who can overcome circumstance busting out of their Tier to make it to a top HS education. I personally would like to see that cycle disrupted for more kids and have SEHS with a diverse student based, even at the expense of my own child’s admission. It’s that important to me. Pulling the very top students from every Tier feels like a level playing field to me.

  • 333. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    When Michael Jordan’s daughter graduated (in 2011 or 2012, can’t remember) from Whitney Young, he sold his condo. CPS says you have to have an address by the time you enter the school~it doesn’t say in what tier. Suburbanites get into SEHS and then buy a condo for residency.

    There are kids from the Northshore suburbs that go to Payton and Whitney Young. So please don’t think that parents aren’t trying to get their kids into CPS. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Now with WY being the math team state champs, more Northshore parents probably had their kids sit for the SEHS test.

    I don’t know how I feel abt tiers, as for ‘a level playing field’, bc I’ve seen some kids who just have had a hard time w/classes. I know my child will be getting into the school of choice on rank, but I’d be freaking out if it was on tier.

  • 334. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I seems SO weird to me that someone from one of the best north shore suburbs with some of the best IL schools (and probably the better schools in the country AND the money for private) would choose CPS, even SEHS. You have to admit, having michael jordon’s child/ren in CPS probably did priceless amounts in PR so it was probably worth it. Certainly made CPS seem more acceptable given the options for that family. I would love to know their rationale.
    also, what kid would want to commute into the city?!?! Not saying I don’t believe you, I just don’t understand it.

  • 335. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    So after my little Tier soapbox post, I will say that the one thing that has made me question that is reading the NYT article about the Asian immigrants who drive their kids to ace those standardized tests and have DOMINATED admission to the top schools in NYC. It appears that those parents are not necessarily education, don’t all speak English, have very limited means. But somehow they do it.
    Does that not prove that any family of limited means and education can do the same if they put their mind to it?

  • 336. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    334. cpsobsessed | December 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    All 3 of Michael Jordan’s kids attended WY. I believe his first two sons transferred from Loyola Academy. I don’t know how his daughter, Jasmine, got in. (if it was by transferring or by testing). He one son who graduated in 2010 was on the basketball team and Jordan came to every game~he goes to UIUC but decided not to play basketball.

    I’m boggled by the kids from Loyola Academy that try to get into WY and of course the other public schools kids from the Northshore.

    ‘You have to admit, having michael jordon’s child/ren in CPS probably did priceless amounts in PR so it was probably worth it.’ ~No I won’t admit to that~and that goes against everything you’ve been championing.

  • 337. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I think I’m still assuming the kids lived in the city. It doesn’t make sense that 3 kids would haul down from the north shore to go to free public school! Obviously if they lived in the suburbs, different story. Didn’t they all get in when principals had liberal discretion?

  • 338. cpsobsessed  |  December 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Also, I believe they would have gotten in under the race classifications, not Tier, which would have worked to their advantage must more so than being Tier 4 (not that race would have mattered if it was a clout admission.)

  • 339. OTdad  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    @332 CPSO:
    “Perhaps some Tier 4 parents should open a charter school with the goal being to teach other kids how to earn high test scores and thus admission to SEHS. Would that work?”

    That works for me.

    If your child is denied college admission not because of his achievement, but because of his ethnicity, skin color, gender etc., you might think differently about preferential treatment.

    http://jadeluckclub.com/1623-average-sat-score-of-asian-american-but-still-not-good-enough-for-ivy-league/

  • 340. local  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    The Jordan son got into WY with principal discretion, but his residency by then was with his mom, who lived in Chicago – from what I saw reported.

  • 341. local  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Oh, and I heard the child was seeking the more “urban” ball playing through WY than he could get at Loyola hs.

  • 342. Counterpoint for Discussion  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    to:333
    When Michael Jordan’s daughter graduated (in 2011 or 2012, can’t remember) from Whitney Young, he sold his condo. CPS says you have to have an address by the time you enter the school~it doesn’t say in what tier. Suburbanites get into SEHS and then buy a condo for residency.
    —————————————–
    1.Not in Jordan’s case but CPS demands that the child’s residence be at least the same tier for the first year of SEHS. After that a child can move. Upward mobility cannot be stifled.
    2. Jul 1 in summer prior to school year is the residency requirement for a non-tier selection.

  • 343. local  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    You know, parents that struggle to get their disabled kids educated through high school graduation in America’s public schools are (supposedly) guaranteed “appropriate” education, meaning “not Cadillac,” by the IDEA law. So, the most you can “demand” from CPS is kind of a middling education. CPS is not supposed to deliver the worst or the best, just “adequate.” Whatever all that means. But, to get the “best” it’s assumed parents will pay for it in a private school or high SES public school district (which sure isn’t CPS). Just for perspective.

  • 344. local  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    316. cpsobsessed | December 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    @OTDad, does it not seem to you that Tier 4 kids get a form of preferential treatment their whole lives that Tier 1 kids do not? So you are not okay with that?

    – So true. That’s why the Feds give colleges money (Trio grants) for extra support of college students who are first generation, poor or disabled. They didn’t get out of the blocks as early as those whose parents graduated college, are working class or higher, or aren’t coping with a disability.

  • 345. local  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    We Pretend to Teach, They Pretend to Learn /
    At colleges today, all parties are strongly incentivized to maintain low standards.

    The parlous state of American higher education has been widely noted, but the view from the trenches is far more troubling than can be characterized by measured prose. With most students on winter break and colleges largely shut down, the lull presents an opportunity for damage assessment.

    The flood of books detailing the problems includes the representative titles “Bad Students, Not Bad Schools” and “The Five Year Party.” To list only the principal faults: Students arrive woefully academically unprepared; students study little, party much and lack any semblance of internalized discipline; pride in work is supplanted by expediency; and the whole enterprise is treated as a system to be gamed in which plagiarism and cheating abound.

    (more at)

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303531204579204201833906182

  • 346. local  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Where are the freight trains, btw?

    = Mt. Greenwood

  • 347. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    338. cpsobsessed | December 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I’m not positive but I thought they had tiers when Jordan’s daughter started at WY. Same as Rauner who clouted his daughter into Payton, she grad in 2012 and now attends Dartmouth. He since has changed his voter registration back to Winnetka after having as Chicago during his daughter’s HS years. These are two examples because they are well known~there are more…wealthy Northshore ppl, just less known.

    I know it’s hard to imagine CPSO~Northshore parents trying to get their kids into SEHS CPS. I know that when WY’s math team won state, my New Trier parent friends were really impressed. I don’t have any friends whose kids attend Loyola Academy, but I know they sit for the test for WY.

  • 348. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    346. local | December 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Also, West Beverly & West Morgan Park

  • 349. Tiers  |  December 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    First year of tier system 2010. Prior to that race and principal “discretion”. 2012 grad under old system.

  • 350. JLM  |  December 27, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Am I the only one that thinks it’s ridiculous that you can even sit for the SEHS exam if you don’t live in the city at the time of the exam? You don’t live in the city at the time of the exam, tough darts. If you end up moving into the city, you can test for the following year. This obviously wouldn’t stop people who are wealthy enough to have 2 residences (North Shore and city, in the examples used earlier in the comments) from toggling between the two for their benefit.

    Also, re: the woman living in a tier 4 house by freight tracks – you lost me at “inherited house”, a concept that is completely alien in my family.

  • 351. MMark  |  December 28, 2013 at 3:19 am

    “Am I the only one that thinks it’s ridiculous that you can even sit for the SEHS exam if you don’t live in the city at the time of the exam?”

    Yes.

  • 352. PatientCPSMom  |  December 28, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Just FYI, on the posts about the Jordens – not sure when they were divorced in relation to when his daughter attended CPS HS but I do know the former Mrs. Jorden was living in the city and certainly not in a small rented condo.

  • 353. Counterpoint for Discussion  |  December 28, 2013 at 9:26 am

    To 350:
    Also, re: the woman living in a tier 4 house by freight tracks – you lost me at “inherited house”, a concept that is completely alien in my family
    ———
    That means when you read the entire chain that she did not surpass her parents social status. In fact she regressed because of the condition of the house and her marital status. By inserting her marital status she causes us to infer that she was raised with a mother and father. As far as inheriting a house, many hispanics in West Humboldt Park and blacks in Roseland are in the same situation. (Again, with the chain the presumption is Mt.Greenwood/White, but it may not be the case). The tiers are discriminatory to their actual life status.

    We all understand that CPS tried to make a bad situation with a court loss into a manageable one by creating Tiers, but the consequences are bad. It’s sorta like the consequences of Obamacare. Yes it helps some, but it hurts many more. Because of that the Tier system is poor Social Darwinism. Being CPS that should resonate because saying it’s unGodly wouldn’t appeal to the Athiests or Wickens.:)

    Turning Point,

    I’m not Asian, but I think it would be great if one Selective Enrollment School admitted students only by top scores instead of by top scores by Tier. Use an existing centrally located facility, and watch them excel. It could become the crown jewel of America. I think it would be almost all Asian. Every kid would play 3 instruments, speak 6 languages, and have created 4 apps that they sold to Google at 9 years of age.

  • 354. CPS Parent  |  December 28, 2013 at 9:56 am

    @ 332, cpsobsessed said:

    “I don’t know that balancing SEHS admission gives Tier 1 kids everything that Tier 4 kids have, by any stretch of the imagination. It just levels the playing field a bit so we, as a city, can commit to trying to get portions of our highly segregated city out of the cycle of generations of poverty. It is a form of affirmative action, no denying it. The alternative is allowing the cycle to continue indefinitely with the few rare kids who can overcome circumstance busting out of their Tier to make it to a top HS education. I personally would like to see that cycle disrupted for more kids and have SEHS with a diverse student based, even at the expense of my own child’s admission. It’s that important to me. Pulling the very top students from every Tier feels like a level playing field to me.”

    This is exactly what I believe and after two kids and 8 years at a top SEHS, I know of dozens of kids who have indeed broken that cycle of poverty.

    It is easy for me to agree since I’m over the hump with high school. It is utterly commendable for cpsobsessed to believe this since she still has high school decisions to make in the (near) future.

  • 355. OTdad  |  December 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Yes, making some schools such as Payton, Skinner North, Edison by rank only may quiet down the Tier criticism a bit. But It’s probably more likely 60% white, 30% Asian. Asian students are not inherently good performers, just look at some of the elementary schools with large percentage of Asian students. It might has something to do with immigration policy, a selective enrollment process. Many from China, India immigrated here have advanced degrees.

  • 356. LP Maint  |  December 28, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Cpso, the goal of bringing poor kids up to speed is a good one but the Tiers is a terrible way to do it. Sasha Obama is as close to being a modern-day princess as you can get, yet b/c of her Kenwood address CPS believes she is lacking in educational oppo, which are all workingclass white.rtunities. Working poor people live in Tier 4, but CPS configured it so that they are equal to Chicago’s richest families. So the poor kids who live in Tier 4 won’t get the same breaks as kids better off then them in Tiers 1,2 & 3. Also, almost every predominantly white is Tier 4– Mt Greenwood, Jeff Park, Hegewisch, canaryville

  • 357. anonymouse teacher  |  December 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I’m wondering, how many families struggling with SEHS admission (or even kindergarten admission) would move to a suburb if they were able? I would love to know the stats on who stays because they have to (either home values are still years away from recovery, commute issues and or they are a city worker) and who stays, despite the school craziness, because they simply love the city? I would also love to see data on who rents out their city residence for the high school years and goes and rents and lives in a burb for a few years until its over and then moves back.

  • 358. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    The charter that formed CPS is free education for Chicago children. The politics is the problem. Because of that ther are sides people take. If CPS was true to the charter Tiers/politics would not be an issue. The city is cripled because of the politics. I guarantee that every high achieving country wouldn’t dream of Tiers to advance elite education. Go ahead, I already looked it up; China, India, South Korea, Japan. They’re laughing at our trivial concerns in Chicago.

  • 359. neighborhood parent  |  December 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    357 – as a parent of a 2nd grdr & preschooler… I can confirm that there is still some attrition around the kinder year (either before application or after by 1st grade)… but i also live in a widely diverse hood (think west ridge, rogers park, edgewater-ish) and I know recent immigrants and 2nd gen. latino families who have settled here (city neighborhood) and call it home. they are not ‘fleeing’ to the burbs or ‘struggling’ with school admission. I also believe the suburban-tide has changed a little… friends from the North Shore burbs send me news articles about dropping school enrollments and missing kindergartners.
    My tier-4, community minded, immigrant rich, Level 2 & 1 school options world does not mirror the description above – I don’t know anybody with ‘alternate’ addresses or rental plans. I do know folks who have used clout during the pre-tier days. Anecdotally, I think folks are sticking with the city.

  • 360. pantherparent  |  December 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    @327 Ronnie. I do get your argument so fortunately I don’t have to f myself, but I hope you understand mine.

    It’s more difficult for a child in Tier 1 to hit the mean score of 834 at Northside than it is for a Tier 4 kid to hit 894. Any child from any tier that gains enrollment to a SEHS has definitely earned it.

    (Notwithstanding the purely anecdotal evidence cited above “proving” the whole system is corrupt.)

  • 361. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Great project that I’ve researched. Take Aldermans home address and put it into the Tier tracker. Works wonders and opens eyes to the corruption. Next place the home address of ward Democratic workers (or CAPS employees) and compare that to the Facebook pages of kids that attend SEHS. Another eye opener. The only thing that eliminates the corruption (minus test answers being sold) is no Tiers and no principal discretion.

  • 362. pantherparent  |  December 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    @361 It sounds like you’ve done your homework. A blockbuster story like this implicating Alderman, ward workers, students, and test answers being sold would make headlines. Perhaps you are best served by taking this to the Reader or the Tribune.

  • 363. Mamamia  |  December 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    “It’s more difficult for a child in Tier 1 to hit the mean score of 834 at Northside than it is for a Tier 4 kid to hit 894.

    (Notwithstanding the purely anecdotal evidence cited above “proving” the whole system is corrupt.)”

    How ironic is the second part of that comment after that first part with the rock solid evidence?

  • 364. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    To 362:
    It’s already been done. It’s called the IG annual report. Read it and cry for Chicago.

  • 365. JLM  |  December 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    @351MMark – I looked it up, and it appears that NYC requires you to be a resident before you apply for high school. You cannot apply and then move – that’s a no-go.

  • 366. pantherparent  |  December 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    @363 The point I was making is that bringing up the few that game the system does a disservice to the thousands of kids that get in on merit.

    And you are correct, it is simply my opinion that a Tier 1 kid getting into Northside is more difficult than a Tier 4 kid doing the same.

  • 367. CPS Parent  |  December 28, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    358. Counterpoint for discussion – India uses a tier system for public university education entrance. Google: India, university, reservations, backward classes.

  • 368. WesLooMom  |  December 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    My co-workers make the same money, have the same educational background, etc., as I do. But, we live in different tiers. I happen to live in an apartment in Tier 4, very close to Tier 3 and Tier 2 blocks. I do not believe that my child has had more advantages than my co-workers’ children. I do not believe that my child has had more advantages than the kids who live in Tier 3 homes that I can not afford.

    Parents have to be obsessed about CPS, because the City insists on focusing on selective enrollment, instead of good neighborhood schools. Ugh!

  • 369. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 29, 2013 at 10:05 am

    To 367: Sorry CPS Parent your assertions don’t match facts. You appear to be connecting the caste system with the tier system. Having lived in India I’ll go through the exercise…..Per your suggestion…..

    Most Indian universities participate in one or another centralized admission procedure. Many times an Indian institution expects a100% score for gaining admission (sorta like Tier 4). Highlighting the limitations of the admissions process. National tests are organized by an independent body composed of members of the participating organizations. Little weight is given to applicants’ past academic record (so knock out 7th grade grades and ISAT’s) and more to their exam results. Applicants are ranked by exam grades, and submit their preference of universities/programs based on their rank.

    To fully develop your thought, the admission boards have oral interviews and at that time political maneuvers are made. The individual may be a musical genius, world class athlete, or computer nerd, but bombed the test. (sorta like principal discretion).

    In summary, the best scores across the board is what gets into most universities. I say most because there are multiple areas of the country where the political leaders have placed family members of the (backward classes) onto the board thus corrupting the process. The schools that really cater to the backward classes, without calling people out, are regarded as lower caliber. Basically that’s where the backward classes are directed toward because their test scores are sub caliber (sorta like a 810 Tier 1 kid). Ie: The student is saddled in debt but with little chance for a high paying job.(sorta like the 99%’s were protesting that they had $100,000.00 in student debt for an art history degree that only lands them a job at the Art Institute if their father is a political donor to the Democratic party.)

  • 370. PatientCPSMom  |  December 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

    To those commenting on India and Education. Note even India has affirmative action.

    The India Caste System Overview

    At the top of the caste system are the brahmins … historically the priests and by far are the current ruling class (almost every institution) in India today. Then their nearest high-caste cohorts are the kshatriyas (warrior caste) and vaishyas (merchant caste). The vaishyas overwhelming oversee the banking and financial systems in India. The Sudras are the low-caste peoples … numbering over 500 million in India! … who are identified with a particular occupation (e.g. potter’s caste, shepherd’s caste, buthcher’s caste, etc.) And then below the caste system are the dalits or untouchables.

    Here is a picture of the caste hierarchy.

    What is interesting is that the dalits, while still overwhelmingly extremely poor, are often better off than the low-caste peoples. Part of this is due to the affirmative action setup for dalits.

    Source:http://defeatpoverty.com/2007_07_01_defeatpoverty_archive.html

  • 371. CPS Parent  |  December 29, 2013 at 11:25 am

    369. Counterpoint for discussion – you are wrong, 370. PatientCPSMom is right.

  • 372. MZ  |  December 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    So, rather than a color-blind society and individual achievement we should strive for an Indian style caste system with “affirmative action”? Forgive me if I choose to disagree.

  • 373. CPS Parent  |  December 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    We already have something akin to an Indian, non-color blind, caste system and we are also dealing with/curing it it via affirmative action.

  • 374. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  December 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    A “fair” system depends on what you mean by fair. To some, fair means a score ranking off a uniform, one-shot test (a la NYC). To others, it’s grades + one-shot test, adjusted for socio-economic status. For others, just grades. To CPS, its grades + two one-shot tests, adjusted by a proxy for economic status.

    The real problem is the data vacuum. CPS could release scores and admission results for each tier with race, gender, etc. (just wipe the personally identifiable info) and people could see what’s going on. The fact that CPS does not do this leads many parents in Tiers 4 and 3 to assume that many students in those tiers who would otherwise attend do not because they are displaced by many students with lower scores. I thought we had some figures that showed that fewer than 100 were refused admission in this way. But I need to track that down.

  • 375. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  December 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Found it:
    The 2011 BRC did say this about either the 2011-12 or 2010-11 SEHS admissions:

    [O]nly 92 students who scored above 800 were not selected by
    at least one of their choices. This represents about 4% [of what I’m not clear], which is on par with numbers seen under the consent decree. Out of these 92 students, 49 (53%) of them only chose one or two schools, a decision that made it more difficult for them to receive an offer.

    So we have ~45 to 50 students who score over 800 but do no receive offers despite having 3 or more schools selected. The system is probably not fair for most of them (we would need to know exact scores and school choices to determine exactly how much inequity exists). But there are also students who live in Tier 4 who match the socio-economic profile of many Tier 1 & 2 kids; the tier system is unfair for them too.

  • 376. MD  |  December 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    @366 I have to disagree that it is more difficult for Tier 1 student than a Tier 4 student to get into Northside. My child didn’t make it with 891 (lost out on the tiebreaker) & that was with straight A’s, perfect ISATs & a 96% on SEHS exam (one bad day…if you can call 96% bad? cost him his chance). Since a Tier 1 student needed 782 to qualify, they could easily afford one misstep along the way…whether that be a few B’s, mid 80’s on the ISAT, or a 60% on the SEHS exam. My point is…there is more pressure on the Tier 4 student as there is no room for error. Even with his scores…my child felt like he had failed. It was hard to watch as a parent. Thankfully, he is happy at the school he now attends.

  • 377. kim  |  December 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    MD – I feel for your child. I hope he knows that he did not fail – the system failed him. I’m glad he’s happy now.

  • 378. Huh???  |  December 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    @373 Affirmative Action has been around for 50+ years. That’s 3 generation’s worth. If it hasn’t achieved the goal of professional and academic equality in half-a-century, what makes you think it will ever work?

  • 379. cpsobsessed  |  December 29, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    What does “it working” entail? If total perfection of equal opportunity, no, I don’t think it’ll ever reach that in the foreseeable future. But clearly strides have been made which to me indicates success.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 380. OTdad  |  December 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    total perfection of equal opportunity = communism
    performance doesn’t matter, just evenly distribute.

  • 381. MZ  |  December 29, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    It hasn’t been equal opportunity for decades. It’s now equality of outcome.

    It is lost on the Utopians that the most equal society on Earth is North Korea.

  • 382. CPSstepchild  |  December 30, 2013 at 11:54 am

    @51cpsobsessed. Private and home-schooled children are not eligible to take the ISAT. The ISAT 2011 and 2013 test administration guidelines refer to pg 8 of the District and Coordination Manual which clearly states that private and home-schooled students are not eligible for the state test. And on the Chicago Archdiocese website, they note that they have asked and will continue to ask to take the state test – but have been refused.

    So not only do private school students pay school tuition, they are ineligible to take the state test. Instead, they are relegated to use a test that is “normed” against a more competitive set of students.

    We opted for private school because of the failing schools in our “tier 3” neighborhood, and the priority our family places on education. We tried to get into a magnet and gifted program – one child made it, one did not. Not all private-school students come from wealthy families, nor attend for religious reasons. Many of us send our children to private school for the quality education that CPS can only seem to provide to a limited number of students.

    My child is one impacted by the last minute CPS change in policy, and it has been devastating to her. “It feels like I did all this work, and they just tossed it out – like it was nothing”. The CPS argument is that it’s unfair to other students. So change the policy and make it clear and fair. And be transparent about it – don’t do it retroactively.

    Then take a close look at all the accusations of the “unfairness” in this process. Revisit the tiers. Look at giving an extra 25 bonus points to students who live in a neighborhood with a high school with a low or probationary rating (kind of the opposite of bonus points for Lincoln and Jones neighborhood kids). And if you use grades, allow all schools to “norm” them based on a % – so that a 90% is an A from every school. And lastly, let’s all take the same test so that all Chicago children – private or public – are treated fairly.

    We love living in the city – but in hindsight, after the last three years in the SE gauntlet, my recommendation to young parents is to educate your children in the suburbs, and return when they are grown. CPS is ruthless and unpredictable, and the high school SE process is brutal and can have long-term damages. Unless CPS changes, it’s simply not worth it.

  • 383. 19th ward Mom  |  December 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Tier 1 (former Cabrini Green resident) has an apartment rented by “Godmother grandma” in Tier 4 to go to a better elementary school.

    Buried half-way through this article, the godmother mentions that she rented an apartment for a mailing address in Hyde Park for these former Cabrini Green residences to go to a better school. So it appears Tier switching is happening on both sides of the table.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20131230/streeterville/prep-hoops-star-straddles-two-worlds-with-help-from-tutor-turned-grandma

    Something seems off about the location of the apartment or the school name in her quote. Powell is in South Shore not Hyde Park.,

  • 384. another cps parent  |  December 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    382 – you are apparently unaware that until this year any non-cps student had the option to pay an independent company to sit for an ISAT exam and could then submit the higher score of the 2 or 3? tests that they took.

    Everyone is in the same position trying to get their kid in a good school because they value education. Even kids in tier 1.

  • 385. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    How much did the independant company charge to administer the ISAT test to any student that wanted to take it multiple times? If the inference is that children from poor families do not have the money available for such a technique, it’s important to know what the actual cost would have been. If the cost was the price of admission to the V-Live Night Club 3 times a month, or new Air Jordans every 2 months then we have a true understanding of the financial hardship involved.

  • 386. IBobsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    @382 “they are relegated to use a test that is “normed” against a more competitive set of students.” This is not always true, maybe not even often or usually true. A non ISAT test such as the ERB offers schools a percentile rank for their student test takers which reflects their performance normed nationally or normed against other private schools. See http://erblearn.org/achievement/ctp/norms So it is questionable which percentile privates submit, but given their desire to increase their students competitive advantage, it is likely they use the nationally normed percentile.

  • 387. cpsobsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Why didn’t privates just use the ISATs in the first place?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 388. IBobsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    CPO- See above, some have requested to do this, but the state of IL does not allow it.
    Continuing the topic of my post above, other privates and parochials use the Terra Nova or the IOWA. These were designed to be normed nationally and are used by some states as their official standardized test. I can’t find any evidence anywhere that they even provide a percentile using a private school norm. The Catholic schools that use them send home a report with a nationally normed percentile, not normed against other private or parochial students.
    @308 Ward C- My point was that it cannot be assumed that the academics are better at any particular private school. The study you cite http://www.winnetka36.org/sites/default/files/5/ERB_feb2012.pdf shows only that Washburn public school students performance on the ERB is at a lower percentile rank when normed against average private school kids performance. This does not prove that private school instruction is always superior. Private school kids on average do achieve higher. Is this attributable solely to their education or are socio economic advantages like quality preschool, being read to and talked to, high parental expectations a significant causal factor?? It’s probably both. I’m a former private and parochial school parent and have no motivation to bash private school people; I sympathize with the high school plight. Still can’t understand why the private school kids deserved warning. They were not “following the rules”, they were exploiting a loophole. There is no duty to warn before the loophole is closed, because they are not being disadvantaged, only now officially permitted the same circumstances as CPS kids faced-1 try.

  • 389. Chris  |  December 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    “It is lost on the Utopians that the most equal society on Earth is North Korea.”

    Based on …. what? Your desire for a BS strawman?

    Most of the actual ‘inequality’ (open to much dispute, of course) rankings have the Scandinavian countries as the ‘most equal’. *South* Korea also ranks pretty high on some measures.

  • 390. Chris  |  December 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    ““Am I the only one that thinks it’s ridiculous that you can even sit for the SEHS exam if you don’t live in the city at the time of the exam?”
    Yes.”

    Contra MMark’s assertion, I agree with you *completely*. I think it is ridiculous–can have a carveout for those who can demonstrate that they are *in fact* moving to the City before the next school year–how to prove that is difficult.

    I also realize that I *may* be being unreasonable.

  • 391. erickson2013@gmail.com  |  December 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Below is the letter from Hawthorne’s principal stating that CPS will NOT use ISAT in SEHS entrance matrix. If they use the MAP – how can that be compared to the Terra Nova since it’s not a traditional standardized test? Also, I am curious to hear how all the people who signed up for Selective Enrollment ISAT prep course for 7th grade are handling this news – will Selective Prep change the course to suit the new matrix?

    Junior High Families:

    As many of you have heard, the ISAT has undergone more changes for this upcoming year (100% alignment with Common Core), and CPS has decided that it will no longer be considered part of the Selective Enrollment High School (SEHS) application process for students currently in 7th grade and below. It will still be counted for our current 8th graders, who received their scores in this past spring.

    We still do not know what will replace the ISAT as the third metric for the SEHS process. They will still use 7th grade final grades, and the SEHS exam. We anticipate that the third metric will be the spring MAP test, but it has not been confirmed by CPS. MAP is an exam created by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). They create two tests that are being used by CPS, and your students take the MAP test twice this year. Your child’s homeroom teacher should have given them a copy of their winter test results to bring home, as well as a sheet outlining how to read your results. Use this as a way to progress monitor how your child will do on the spring exam, especially if your child is in 7th grade. Talk to your teachers about the results, they are more than happy to help you make meaning out of the report, and discuss plans for improvement.

    Several 6th grade parents have reached out to me regarding Selective Prep courses and their availability for 6th grade, as well as alignment to MAP testing. Selective Prep has stated to me that they are making a shift towards Common Core aligned test prep for this spring, and I am waiting on an answer as to whether or not they will enroll 6th graders.

    I hope you are enjoying your break. Talk to you soon.


    Nate Pietrini
    Hawthorne Scholastic Academy | Principal

  • 392. HS Mom  |  December 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    @382 – I know the feeling. For us it was the 92 7th grade B. He literally cried when he got his very good report card. It was very difficult to watch. I was all over this board (and still am) about fairness. So we rearranged the target schools, got a new favorite and made sure we researched and applied to schools we knew he could get into. Our teaching moment was never to blame and make him a victim of “the system”. He was taught to rise above it and take control of his own path. Even now with college, same issues. The highly select “reach” schools get the kids vested in the application process thinking outside the box and then the kids are devastated when they are denied. He said he was OK with it but I could see he was visibly shaken. But guess what – he applied to the right schools that were the right fit has a scholarship offer and Voila! New favorite! It does work out if you keep to the course.

    @390 – I second that and don’t think it’s unreasonable.

  • 393. cpsobsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Interesting about MAP being a 3 times a year test. Isn’t that a little bit like taking the same test twice? 🙂

    Just kidding I suppose as they can’t choose which score to use.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 394. IBobsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    How obtuse of CPS to finally refuse to accept 2 test scores from privates the same year they use a test GIVEN TWICE. MAP is given Fall and Spring.

  • 395. FredG  |  December 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    “Why didn’t privates just use the ISATs in the first place?”

    The difficultly level is too low to distinguish kids at the top of the performance scale. Also, if you are moving from private to private, the schools require specific tests that meet their criteria for admissions and placement.

    However, I do think all of the privates should take the ISAT first (to keep the publics from whining) and then take whatever private school tests afterwards for private school placements. Of course, using the ISAT would result in an even higher percentage of kids at the selective public schools. Then CPS would need to come up with some other last minute change to disadvantage a group of kids.

  • 396. HS Mom  |  December 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Agreed – obtuse. If I were taking multiple tests where any one might be considered I would certainly prepare for all 2 or 3.

  • 397. FredG  |  December 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    @388 IBObsessed said ” Private school kids on average do achieve higher. ”

    Exactly.

  • 398. HS Mom  |  December 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    “Of course, using the ISAT would result in an even higher percentage of kids at the selective public schools.”

    Just wondering why if private school kids do so much better you would want to attend public schools.

    Yes, privates should give an ISAT test in the spring of 7th for submission to SEHS that would be consistent fair. So now that the test is changing will it not be the same?

  • 399. cpsobsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Why do private schools need to differentiate kids at the top so finely except for their own satisfaction? They’re going to differentiate in class between the hoards of 99s vs 97s?
    Actually, do they even have to test at all other than to please the parents?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 400. Jen  |  December 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    “They’re going to differentiate in class between the hoards of 99s vs 97s?”

    Yes, that is the tests like the I SEE and SAT are for. There are too many 9th because of the simplicity of some tests. When everyone applying is a 99, the test becomes meaningless. The difference between a 97 and 99 may seem small on the isat, but on other more challenging tests it’ll might turn into the difference between a 95 and 85. A test is only one piece of the puzzle but it is a very good indicator of future performance. Yes there may exceptions.

    I will say I have no problem if cups mandated a specific test for admission with no substututea. That is the cleanest solution. Kids can always take other tests if needed for other reasons.

  • 401. Jonathan Goldstein (cofounder of Test Prep Chicago)  |  December 30, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    In response to the recent CPS announcements regarding 7th grade testing…

    I just wanted to let everyone know that Test Prep Chicago, which runs prep courses at schools and in parks around Chicago for 7th and 8th graders, has aligned all of its material to the Common Core standards. We are adjusting the schedules for our ISAT (which are now MAP) prep classes. We are working with each school indivudally to create schedules to accomodate any changes to tests and testing schedules.

    If you would like to learn more about our courses, please visit http://www.testprepchicago.com. Sorry to intrude in the conversation, but I just wanted to let people know about our prep courses and the adjustments we are making.

    Thanks and happy new year,

    Jonathan Goldstein, Test Prep Chicago

  • 402. anonymouse teacher  |  December 30, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    CPSO, can’t remember, have you done a thread on parental right to opt their kids out of tests (one single test or many)? I’d be interested in that if you put it up. I don’t know how many parents are aware they have the right to opt out of basically any test other than ISAT (could result in being retained, even with straight A’s) and I assume PARCC when it replaces ISAT.

  • 403. IB obsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    CPO, @400 and @402 From what I understand the difference between 97 and 99 is maybe ONE additional question answered correctly. On some tests one questions could skew the percentile even higher. This authentically distinguishes the highly qualified from the super highly qualified? Really? When it is based upon so few question(s) doesn’t come down to chance about the question asked and who happens to know the answer? And the ones who don’t know the answer could know the answer to a different, just as difficult question? If so, it seem absurd to put so much stock into the test as a predictor of future success or qualification. Anonymouse, take a look at http://fairtest.org/facts/nratests.htm as a resource for good arguments against the test taking culture.

  • 404. AlCruiz  |  December 30, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    “From what I understand the difference between 97 and 99 is maybe ONE additional question answered correctly. On some tests one questions could skew the percentile even higher. This authentically distinguishes the highly qualified from the super highly qualified? Really?”

    Probably not with a 97 vs 99 on the ISAT. But that is exactly why tests that don’t challenge the high end are worthless for distinguishing among the top performers.

    I can find studies to support any side of an issue I am on. Of course an organization who has a vested interest in either not wanting to be judged on test scores or who kids perform poorly on tests, are going to say tests are meaningless. Excluding the entrance test, if everything else is equal between two kids, I’m picking the kid with the higher test score. Or we could just judge kids future performance based on their smiles or shoe size.

  • 405. cpsobsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks, Jonathan.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 406. cpsobsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    @amouse – no, about test opt out. That is an interesting discussion though. I’ll post it this week.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 407. cpsobsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    @IBobsessed: that is sort of my question about differentiation: how do you teach a 99 vs 94 child differently? Does it matter?
    Yes, sadly it does for SEHS enrollment because of the limited spaces.
    What does a private schools do with that info that actually affects the student? According to the previous poster, all the private schools kids are excelling at the test so it comes down to a fine difference in levels.
    And my input from private school parents is that they like to teach to the norm. Kids who fall behind are “counseled out”.
    So I’d love to know how this fine differentiation among these super-excelling kids affects the education. If it does, more power to em”.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 408. IB obsessed  |  December 30, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    In the best of all possible school systems maybe we would distinguish between high achievers based upon something that cannot be quantified such as grit, perseverance, and emotional intelligence, which have been shown to be significant factors in a successful and happy LIFE, as well as academic achievement. to Letters of recommendation from teachers who know students and their history could play this role.Until then it does seem that we have only standardized tests results as the only kind of standard that a dysfunctional, impersonal bureaucracy like CPS is capable of using.

  • 409. Letters  |  December 31, 2013 at 1:09 am

    408. IB obsessed – last thing I want is for my child’s H.S. fate to be decided on teacher recommendations (there will be plenty of time for that for college). Teachers are extremely unrealiable in providing letters by due date. Plus what would that do to our schools – parents afraid to raise issues about teacher for fear of retaliation/not getting a recommendation? How about transfers who are hurt by teachers refusing to write letters for kids they haven’t known at least a full year or longer? Too easy for additional bribery / shady activity. And do you really think teachers really know all of their students and are in the best position to judge grit?

    Grit can be evaluated in an interview / essay by a a trained professional. Wouldn’t want that to be a teacher.

  • 410. pantherparent  |  December 31, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I think the formula used for SEHS enrollment is fair. It just needs some tweaking. Every 7th grader should take the exact same test in the exact same month of the year. Every 8th grader should take the entrance exam in the exact same month of the year.

    Both tests need to be harder to cause more differentiation. I think the Common Core test will do that in 7th. The entrance exam definitely needs a revamp as every SEHS kid I talk to knocked out 297-300 points on it rendering it virtually meaningless.

    Finally grades are what they are. If you know you need A’s in 7th, then get A’s in 7th. If you can’t, then maybe you aren’t a serious enough student for the top SEHS. I see no legitimate way to normalize grading across elementary schools. An A means you are a top performer in your school. Isnt that what the selectives want?

  • 411. cpsobsessed  |  December 31, 2013 at 9:46 am

    So just as I’m reading PantherParent’s comment about fairness in the test, I get an email from one of the NYC test prep companies. Their system is weird in that they have so much test prep available and even publish the name of the test, I believe. Between that and the $ in NYC the test prep culture seems huge (or that my perception anyhow.)

    Administered just like the NYC G&T exam under the supervision of qualified teachers, our Mock Tests include a detailed write-up report with an estimated stanine and percentile range.Individual Mock Tests (Kindergarten Entry) $190: • Scheduled in-office: DT, UES & UWS Office • All tests are 1-on-1 with a tutor Group Mock Test (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade Entry) $130:       
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 412. HS Mom  |  December 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

    @410 Panther parent

    I was with you up until this point

    “Finally grades are what they are. If you know you need A’s in 7th, then get A’s in 7th. If you can’t, then maybe you aren’t a serious enough student for the top SEHS.”

    There are many students getting A’s that did not earn them and many students getting less than A’s who are working at A level. This happens for many reasons but mostly because they are subjective and not something you can just “get” if you are “serious enough”.

    Tests, on the other hand, are what they are.

  • 413. neighborhood parent  |  December 31, 2013 at 10:52 am

    pantherparent – re: class grades I’d also suggest the following tweak… grades should be based on attainment/proficiency. An ‘A’ is awarded when the student demonstrates proficiency beyond the ‘standard’/common core standard. At our lowly neighborhood school, achieving a standard willl earn you a ‘C’. Exceeding standards will earn the ‘A’, not a curve and not ‘being the top performer’.

  • 414. HS Mom  |  December 31, 2013 at 11:10 am

    @413 – yes, as measured by subject tests.

  • 415. Counterpoint for discussion  |  December 31, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Re the question by 385: How much did the independent company charge to administer the ISAT test to any student that wanted to take it multiple times? If the inference is that children from poor families do not have the money available for such a technique, it’s important to know what the actual cost would have been.

    Thank-you 411 (CPS Obsessed) For a lead on what a test like that would cost: Truncated….. Individual Mock Tests (Kindergarten Entry) $190: • Scheduled in-office: DT, UES & UWS Office • All tests are 1-on-1 with a tutor Group Mock Test (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade Entry) $130:

    Observation: So for possibly a $200.00 outlay, a parent can help their child’s chances on obtaining a better education. Anyone who says that that hurdle is too high is out of touch with entitlement benefit usage in da’ hood.

  • 416. pantherparent  |  December 31, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Without a doubt, grading is the most varied and subjective across the hundreds of feeder schools. Is an A at Lane AC the same as an A at (fill in the blank) neighborhood school? No.

    But I think it’s something that needs to a part of the admittance process. Especially for those kids that are great students but bad test takers. But if we can’t normalize test scores, how can you normalize grading?

    We’ve had people post here that some academic centers give easy A’s because they don’t want to jeopardize a student’s chances of getting into a SEHS. In some ways a gifted school/AC school 7th grade A might be easier than one at Oriole or Edgebrook. To me, that throws out the often suggested idea of weighting grades by school.

    The student, teacher, parent, and principal all need to work together to ensure that that student get an A in 7th. Whatever it takes.

  • 417. cpsobsessed  |  December 31, 2013 at 11:32 am

    @counterpoint : and you are in touch with how things work in “da hood”?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 418. CPS Parent  |  December 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    407. cpsobsessed – Looping back to your question of “fine differentiation” in private schools. Our N-8 private school split kids into four classrooms by third grade for math and second language classes. I would guess that 90% of the kids were performing in the 85 percentile or above. By eighth grade the highest achieving groups were years ahead compared to the lowest group. How much and how well kids can absorb material is dramatically different even within the 85 to 99th percentile range.

  • 419. OTdad  |  December 31, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    @416 pantherparent:
    “..for those kids that are great students but bad test takers.”
    If a student masters the contents that have been taught, why is he still a bad test taker? Top students don’t need test taking tricks because they already mastered what’s in the test.

  • 420. pantherparent  |  December 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    @419 Some students freeze-up/choke/have a bad day on a standardized test. I think having 1/3 of their score determined by something other than that is fair.

  • 421. cpsobsessed  |  December 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Also, others excel more at writing, creative thinking etc which can’t be captured on a standardized test. I’m sure the test is good at weeding out the smart kids. But withouth grades, some smart kids with a diff type of intelligence get excluded.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 422. HS Mom  |  December 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    @421 – the question is how many of those creative writers/ thinkers are penalized by grades anyway. Good at writing not so good at math etc. The grades as a metric aren’t enough to get a kid into a school based upon their organizational, thinking, writing and artistic abilities.

  • 423. CPSstepchild  |  December 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    @392 – We would have done exactly what you suggested if we’d had a chance. And believe me – we have worked hard on opening her mind regarding her target school since this all happened. The main issue has been with the retroactive implementation on this “clarification” of an undocumented policy. We received a formal letter from CPS with the accepted test scores and IB eligible schools (from her second test – which was the Iowa Basics) back in the fall. We attended SE Open Houses based on this information, and skipped private school open houses as they did not appear necessary. On December 11th, 3 days before the final SE application/ranking (we’d already submitted ours) and way after the open houses, we received notification that these test scores would be discarded. I called to find out if she was still eligible for the IB school, and received verbal confirmation. However, we have not received any formal communication from CPS regarding her eligibility. So I hope she is eligible – but I really don’t know. I thought the initial paper we received in the fall was confirmation – but I’ve learned that any confirmation from CPS can be rescinded at their whim and discretion. And that’s the problem.

  • 424. HS Mom  |  December 31, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I totally see your point. You have every right to get on them about this debacle. Would definitely get that IB choice in writing. Sounds like you did the right things with the backup plan. As a general rule, I agree with CPS correcting policy, even retroactively, but can see that they should certainly make allowances for certain situations.

  • 425. kim  |  January 1, 2014 at 10:52 am

    @CPSstepchild — sounds like we are living in the same universe. I have in my hand a letter from CPS indicating that my daughter’s application for SEHS and IB was being based on certain test scores. I have no real information otherwise. I also called IB to ensure that she was still a viable candidate and received verbal confirmation, but nothing else. As far as I am concerned I have a contract, with documentation in hand from CPS as regards her eligibility and what it is based on. For CPS to apply a change they feel is necessary is one thing…to apply it randomly, retroactively, and without full and compete disclosure is nothing less than fraudulent. I hope someone from CPS is reading these threads because come the end of February there will be fireworks gong on overhead and they better get their lawyers ready to deal with this nightmare of their own making.

  • 426. IB obsessed  |  January 1, 2014 at 11:34 am

    They are applying this new policy to current 8th graders who were previously informed in writing by CPS they were points eligible for particular schools, made application plans based upon the letter, and now their eligibility or chances at a school might have changed? Ok, that is completely different than what I thought we were discussing before, I didn’t get that this was happening. It does disadvantage these kids.

    What does it mean that “the test scores will be discarded”? What test score ARE they going to use for these students? Were 2 scores submitted to CPS in the past and and CPS used the higher one? Or did the private school itself submit one, the highest of 2 test scores? It’s never been clear how that worked. If the latter occurred, and CPS had only 1 score from the private school, what would they use if they now discard it?

  • 427. kim  |  January 2, 2014 at 9:31 am

    @426/IB obsessed – yes, that is exactly what is happening – they are discarding scores that they have historically allowed. In the past some private schools have given the Stanford test twice, once in the fall and once in the spring. They then submitted the higher of the two for the student as part of the application process. As every year in the past CPS sent out letters to those students indicating their eligibility based on scores submitted (let me repeat…that they have been historically allowed to submit) and now have decided to renege on that. Allegedly CPS will be discarding the spring (2nd) test scores and are going only with the fall (1st) scores. Second test scores will be discarded. If you are a student that is in this situation and has been told that the first test is a practice run and the second one is the “real thing” you treat it obviously differently. The overwhelming majority of these students did better on the second one since they knew it was “the real thing”. CPS has responded by saying that they are “trying to level the playing field for private school versus public school students applying to SEHS”. Changing this two test process is something I genuinely support. However, to come back on these 8th graders, change the rules AFTER the fact and after, as you said, they’ve all made application plans for SEHS and/or private (FYI this change was made after applications for most privates had closed) and to basically retroactively PENALIZE an 8th grader who was working within their own established system…well that is just ludicrous. To date I have had no communication directly from CPS indicating that they are changing anything. It is one giant mess, and CPS has indicated that they will do nothing to clean it up.

  • 428. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

    @419 Top students don’t need test taking tricks because they already mastered what’s in the test.

    Aside from the points made by @420 & @421, there are “tricks” to the test. In some cases, the literally correct answer is not the answer that is available (in the case of multiple-choice tests). In these cases, one has to pick the “best” answer even when what is best is highly subjective. (For a horrid example from the ISAT samples see this.)

    In open-response math questions, for example, graders follow a rubric. If the student deviates from the rubric, then the response will be downgraded even if the answer is correct. This will happen a lot with allegedly Common Core-aligned tests, based on the samples from workbooks and PARCC, that I have seen. A student who has memorized that 2×5=10 is going to be flummoxed when asked to show the steps to reach this answer. CC test-makers believe that doing this will show that the student understands how to multiply rather than just being able to multiply.

    Furthermore, any test that can be completed in a reasonable period of time merely samples from the domain of knowledge that a student has learned. By necessity, entire sub-domains of knowledge and skills are excluded from standardized tests. This is why grades are used; whatever the subjectivity of assigning them, they represent a much broader range of achievement — the thousand or more hours of learning that a students has during a year.

    Moreover, what really matters for selective enrollment is not how much the student knows now, but how adept he or she is at learning more difficult material later. Few, if any, of the tests given are designed to do that (in part, because that is really hard to do).

  • 429. Chris  |  January 3, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    “In open-response math questions, for example, graders follow a rubric. If the student deviates from the rubric, then the response will be downgraded even if the answer is correct. ”

    That’s how college-level math and math-based (physics, engineering, stats, etc) is typically graded–the answer is not the thing, it is applying the correct *process* for getting the answer. Same thing for a lot of squishier disciplines, too.

    Now, it’s BS for “2×5”, but that’s just starting with the process (absurdly, imo) early. I can speak from experience that not ‘showing your work’ when you are still able to get the answer faster w/o the steps sets a bad precedent for higher level work–in my case, being a petulant kid in 8/9/10 and getting right answers the ‘wrong’ way led to a early maxing out in college math, as I was far too undisciplined to learn everything step-wise.

    I also speak from the currently on-going experience of trying to get the kid who *also* doesn’t want to show all the steps to show all the steps. And I hammer the ‘partial credit’ point–I had many a college class where I could have gotten *every* answer incorrect, but still gotten a strong A for showing all the proper steps–it was not a big deal if, at the end of the formula, you miscalculated “2×5”–if you built the right formulae, then–in the real world–the calculation would be performed by device, not brain power.

  • 430. cpsobsessed  |  January 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    @Chris, that’s helpful. I get very frustrated with all the “show your work” in my son’s homework. He often just KNOWS the answer to stuff (I don’t know how… I need to calculate it.) But you make a good point about him tapping out someday beyond basic math when the answers won’t appear in his head (well, if they do I’ll be damn impressed, but it seems unlikely.)

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  • 432. Leggy Mountbatten  |  January 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I can’t wade through all the comments, but I’m a bit shocked that the private school kids had two bites of the apple here. Amazing. It’ll be interesting to see if it contributes to a lower % of private school kids getting into the SEHS’s.

    Was it fair to do it in the middle of the year, iwhen the policy was unfair to begin with? That’s for you to decide.

  • 433. Chris  |  January 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    “But you make a good point about him tapping out someday beyond basic math when the answers won’t appear in his head”

    EVERYONE does. There’s a point where the most brilliant math minds stop just ‘getting’ everything, and have to start working to figure things out. For them (the most brilliant) it’s sometime in post-grad work.

    For most, it’s much earlier. I hit the wall *hard* when it happened to me, and it colored the rest of my college years. Definitely something I would do differently, if I got a do-over. *Probably* not when I first got a hard time about it in Algebra I in 8th grade, tho (don’t tell him that).

    On my kid’s issue–got some paper back yesterday where he didn’t even actually write down the answer (that’s another struggle–staying on track enough to actually answer all the questions instead of ‘finishing’ early and then reading a book or whatever), but had shown all the work up to actually adding two numbers together for the final answer, so he got half credit–proof of concept!!

  • 434. Anxious but hopeful  |  January 13, 2014 at 11:53 am

    The MAP test builds a unique test for each student every time it is administered. Additionally, it tracks the student’s testing across time so it knows every question that student has ever been asked in all the times they have taken it, and it will never assign a student the same question twice. It evaluates mastery of a range of concepts tailored by the computer in real time based on the student’s responses (“ok, you got this none right but that one wrong, let’s see how you do with this one in the middle”), and that information is reported back to the school for purposes of helping teachers understand which particular areas of study need more support.

    The intent of MAP is to give teachers a tool to evaluate how well ideas are sinking in in the classroom, and to give schools a tool for assessing the effectiveness of curriculum. Taking MAP twice in a year is important and necessary to serving those purposes, and due to the fact that no student will ever receive the same question twice over their lifetime there is no “unfair advantage” possible from taking it twice in the year. And it has a high ceiling, making it more informative at the higher end of the scoring spectrum for making curricular decisions for those students, who deserve to have their educational needs addressed just as much as students on the lower end of the spectrum do.

    If CPS uses MAP for the SEHS admissions process, it seems quite possible that the SEHS point cutoffs will drop across the board for the class admitted in spring 2015. Also, MAP will provide a finer degree of differentiation at the highest end due to its higher ceiling. Then the primary question of fairness that will need to be raised is how to find equivalency with parochial and private schools not using MAP, but instead using a blunter assessment instrument.

    Even given the “fall scores only” decision, it is not impossible that there could still be an overall advantage to non-MAP students because the Terra Nova, Iowa, etc., are very different tests with lower ceilings. But the city’s parochial and private school parents should have access to the SEHS system as well, and it’s not possible to have a perfectly equivalent system unless every applicant takes the same test.

    (As an aside, I reject the idea that private/parochial schools administering a test twice in a year are doing so expressly for the purpose of giving their students a competitive advantage in SEHS; it is far more likely that they are using the fall/spring test combination to assess a student’s growth across the year and possibly also curriculum effectiveness, just as CPS and other schools use MAP for that purpose.

    And if I were a parent in this situation, I would find it very upsetting if my child’s fall scores were judged against another child’s spring scores, given the additional five to six months of instruction involved between the two testing dates. My 7th grader’s private school uses MAP, so honestly I’m just relieved at the prospect that that we won’t have to deal with getting a separate test administered.)

    Further, MAP is designed to make a false high score highly unlikely (a multiple-point drop in scores from fall to spring is a good indicator that it was just a bad testing day for the child) so it would not be at all unreasonable for CPS to use the higher of the fall/spring scores for admission for every student applying, whether they are from within CPS or not; in fact, it would be consistent with the design of MAP and it would introduce a pressure relief valve into this challenging process for students and their families.

  • 435. IB obsessed  |  January 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    @434, No question repeated on the Fall and Spring versions of the MAP would indeed mean that taking the MAP twice gives CPS kids no competitive’practice’ advantage this year. So that’s a significant fact.

    I have never heard of one of the well established private schools routinely administering one of the standardized tests in both Fall and Spring, This is because they do not have the same ‘testing culture’ as public schools. Many do not regard standardized tests as The Criterion by which to measure student growth and adequacy of curriculum , but as just one form of assessment.

    Didn’t know ANY private schools administer MAP. Mind telling what kind of private is yours?

  • 436. cpsobsessed  |  January 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Even if map doesn’t give the same questions I think there’s an advantage to repeated test taking. It seems like most standardized tests have a question style or themes that would become somewhat easier with repeat peformance. Same concept as SAT prep. The questions will change but once I know what the questions will be like I’m in a better position to take the test.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 437. H  |  January 13, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    “That’s how college-level math and math-based (physics, engineering, stats, etc) is typically graded–the answer is not the thing, it is applying the correct *process* for getting the answer. Same thing for a lot of squishier disciplines, too.”

    More or less agreed. (I did have tests were you wouldn’t have to show your work as long as you were right; you’d obviously have to show it to get partial credit if you were wrong.) But the reason they do so is because the questions can be so difficult that few students do everything right and get to the right answer. If they changed to grading students based only on having the right answer, the identity of top scoring students wouldn’t change much, but you’d have a whole bunch of low scoring students with much less differentiation between the kids who got most of it versus those that got almost none of it. Most students would get zeros on the Putnam without partial credit.

    “I can speak from experience that not ‘showing your work’ when you are still able to get the answer faster w/o the steps sets a bad precedent for higher level work–in my case, being a petulant kid in 8/9/10 and getting right answers the ‘wrong’ way led to a early maxing out in college math, as I was far too undisciplined to learn everything step-wise.”

    Without having thought much about it, it seems to me it could be as much an issue with the tests not being stringent enough. I’m not sure what kind of short cuts we are talking about but, assuming they lead to correct answers that truly test your understanding, I’m not sure what would be bad about relying on them. What is the “wrong” way that will consistently lead to the right answers?

  • 438. H  |  January 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    “had shown all the work up to actually adding two numbers together for the final answer, so he got half credit–proof of concept!!”

    Disdaining work that is beneath him. That, I respect.

  • 439. Chris  |  January 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    “What is the “wrong” way that will consistently lead to the right answers?”

    Guesstimate, test, fine tune, write down answer. Worked fairly well up through first ~10 weeks of college-level calculus.

    “get zeros on the Putnam without partial credit”

    never did it. hit the wall before then.

  • 440. Anxious but hopeful  |  January 13, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    @435 My kids attend Science & Arts Academy in Des Plaines. It’s an aggravating commute from the city (northwest side) but it was the right fit for our kids.

  • 441. the Green-Eyed Siren  |  January 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    @435 And it is definitely only one measure of progress at our school. SAA is not a testing-driven environment, certainly, and it doesn’t focus on test prep as part of the curriculum. But they view the MAP data as valuable for teachers in the classroom as they look at individual students’ needs, and the information it can provide about the community’s progress overall is useful for curriculum planning, so that’s why they commit the time to it.

    As a parent, I find that MAP is able to give a pretty good snapshot of learning progress at a given moment, but another important benefit is you can look at the student’s trends over time from subject to subject, which is part of the scoring report they provide.

  • 442. Anxious but hopeful  |  January 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Sorry, that was Anxious but hopeful commenting in 441. I used to be the Green eyed siren in another life. 🙂

  • 443. parent  |  January 13, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    “there could still be an overall advantage to non-MAP students because the Terra Nova, Iowa, etc., are very different tests with lower ceilings.”

    I believe that this is the reason for the delay in OAE’s announcement on which test they’ll use.

    Scoring MAP against Stanford or Terra Nova would be a significant disadvantage for CPS kids. If the number of private school kids getting into P-J-N-Y doubles next year there will be political hell to pay.

  • 444. junior  |  January 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    @434/443

    “Also, MAP will provide a finer degree of differentiation at the highest end due to its higher ceiling. Then the primary question of fairness that will need to be raised is how to find equivalency with parochial and private schools not using MAP, but instead using a blunter assessment instrument….. there could still be an overall advantage to non-MAP students because the Terra Nova, Iowa, etc., are very different tests with lower ceilings.”

    Sure, it would be better if all kids had a more accurate, MAP-like test, but on a non-MAP test is there not an equal chance that a child will produce a faulty underperformance than a faulty overperformance? I think you’re assuming that a ton of kids get faultily lumped at the 99 percentile in non-MAP tests — which is possible if a lot of kids get perfect scores — but if that happens, then it is also likely a lot of kids who might be at 98/97 are getting lumped at 96/95. Seems like added randomness and uncertainty, but not necessarily systematic unfairness to CPS kids.

    “And if I were a parent in this situation, I would find it very upsetting if my child’s fall scores were judged against another child’s spring scores, given the additional five to six months of instruction involved between the two testing dates. ”

    I have heard that some tests are adjusted/normed based on the exact date they are taken. Anyone know for sure?

  • 445. junior  |  January 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    @434/443/444

    OK, I’m going to revise my statement about there not being systematic unfairness, contingent on how the percentile rankings for these tests are derived. There certainly is a scenario whereby some kids would be advantaged in a non-MAP test, but I don’t know enough about how the percentiles are determined to say for sure.

    Here’s a scenario…

    0.5% of test-takers get perfect score
    2% of test-takers get 1 question wrong
    4% of test-takers get 2 questions wrong
    5% of test takers get 3 questions wrong

    So…

    Perfect test takers (top 0.5%) are clearly at 99 percentile.
    Do the next 2% (1 question wrong) get credited at 99 percentile?
    Do the next 4% get credited at 97 percentile?
    Do the next 5% credited at 93 percentile?

    You can argue that getting 1 question wrong puts you in the top 99%, or you could argue that 2.5% of the population got 1 or less questions wrong, and really a more accurate percentile estimate should be the average of the range of the kids who got the same score as you — in this case the middle of the range 97.5 to 99.5, which is 98.5 (i.e., 98 percentile).

    So, how do test companies derive the percentile rank from this type of data? Anyone know?

  • 446. IB obsessed  |  January 14, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    @443 has CPS ever avoided implementing some plan because it would result in political hell to pay? Can’t think of a single instance. Their usual modus operandi is to do whatever the hell they want.

  • 447. Anxious but hopeful  |  January 14, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    MAP tests aren’t about getting a perfect score. No one gets a perfect score. Here’s an example of how it works for math: it gives you a question on basic fractions. Get that right and it gives you a question on mixed fractions. You’re on a roll so it goes with one about ratios. You get that question right, then it jumps ahead to a more difficult question. That one doesn’t go so well so you go back to the easier ratio question. Ok, that one is fine, let’s try the harder one–nope, not working, looks like that’s an area the student needs more help with. So now it moves to evaluating a simple algebraic expression. That goes well, how about quadratic equations? Nope, that’s a little too far, how about a word problem? And so on. The MAP can pull questions (the database is enormous) going up to at least algebra II, from what I’ve heard from fellow parents with math-focused kids, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to calculus as well. The score explanations I’ve seen show it covering material through high school.

    The test isn’t timed, there is no limit. It just goes until it figures out what your level is based on when you reach the point that you consistently aren’t getting questions right anymore. It doesn’t even give you a firm percentile result on the student report, just a confidence range where they predict this student would fall percentile-wise (i.e., 89-90-91 or 97-98-99 or, if the student is a particularly high outlier, 99-99-99), which is why CPS hasn’t accepted it as a substitute for the ISAT for SEHS admission in the past and why it is a difficult challenge to make it work as a point of comparison with a test that is scored very differently. I can’t really picture how they will be able to make the data fit with TerraNova style data, to be honest.

    And just to clarify, I’m not saying that MAP is a perfect test, but it is a different kind of assessment tool than has been used by CPS for admissions purposes in the past. And of course testing in CPS has huge consequences for teachers/schools/funding. At our school we are fortunate that it’s just data that everyone can use to meet the students where they are and help them move to the next level, rather than a scary high-stakes poker game.

  • 448. 2nd grade parent  |  January 14, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    “The test isn’t timed, there is no limit. It just goes until it figures out what your level is based on when you reach the point that you consistently aren’t getting questions right anymore.”

    I’ve heard teachers talk about the literacy part where the student is reading & reading…… for a long time.

    Can you imagine those future SEHS applicants will now be described by their parents as having spent “hours or days” on the MAP test and how that will surely or surely not be indicative of their score?

    Teachers, How long does it take to ‘give’/’take’ the MAP tests? Can this also be reason for CPS’s delay in determining the solution?

  • 449. parent  |  January 15, 2014 at 12:55 am

    @IB obsessed. “has CPS ever avoided implementing some plan because it would result in political hell to pay? Can’t think of a single instance.”

    The tier system itself is an example of bowing to political reality. It was only a few years back when a southside alderman toured Payton and informed the media that, “there are too many white kids here” – the percent admitted from rank was soon reduced.

    You really think that CPS would ignore a potential spike in private school admissions to the top 4?

  • 450. Chris  |  January 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    “I have heard that some tests are adjusted/normed based on the exact date they are taken. Anyone know for sure?”

    If it is done right, each test day uses a (at least slightly) different test. With different question of (probably) different ‘difficulty’ (ie, everyone gets #43 wrong, bc it was drafted poorly, therefor #43 = hard on that test version), there has to be some adjustment to the raw to scaled conversion.

    That isn’t about ‘exact date’ as much as it is about ‘exact version of the test’–whether test version 2014-F was administered on October 15 or March 15, assuming that all the takers got the same raw score each time, there would still (probably) need to be an ‘adjustment’ to make the scaled scores mean the same thing as the scaled scores for test version 2014-C, whenever that version was administered.

    Whether they *also* do individual student age-norming (for the 7th grade and SEHS exams–I believe they are upfront about age-norming at least the K-level SEES tests), I know not. But whether they do or do not, the “test day/version” score *will* be adjusted/normed versus other “test days/versions”, so the discussion thereof is (1) accurate and (2) not indicative of individual student age-norming.

  • 451. CPS dad  |  January 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Anxious – thanks for your info on MAP, thats very interesting.

    In our case my daughter she has scored 97s to 99s on ISATs since first grade. This weekend I looked at her NWEA MAP percentiles for the first time, they are high 80s. Reading your explanation of MAP this makes sense – MAP will keep asking harder questions well beyond grade level (up to calculus) and nationally norm. At her CPS school she has never been exposed to math beyond her grade level, shes literally never seen the math questions she hits at the end of her test.

    SAT10/ISAT test grade appropriate material. MAP tests how far you can go.

    MAP sounds like a good teaching tool, but a poor metric for CPS SEHS. Holding CPS kids accountable for material they’ve never seen? Seems silly.

  • 452. Chris  |  January 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    “You really think that CPS would ignore a potential spike in private school admissions to the top 4?”

    No, I don’t. It may be that they are trying to get a sense of where the scores are–perhaps by back-checking this years 8th-graders admissions rankings, if using non-ISAT 7th grade tests, and also by pairing the current 7th-graders non-ISAT test results against their own prior ISAT results–to have an educated guess at which test will cause the least change in the relative number of private v CPS admits. (certainly, there would be churn on *which* CPS kids get the 290+ scores for the 7th grade test component, but that’s inevitable with a change in reference)

    Perhaps I am giving CPS too much credit, but that seems doable and consistent with a goal of minimizing further piss-off-itude among Chicago parents on an issue where they can actually reduce the risks, while still achieving their subrosa ends.

  • 453. Admissions  |  January 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Our principal told us at the lsc meeting that cps would use Map test for SE. I asked if it was official – said no.

    What if they decide to just do grades and sehs exam?

  • 454. 19th ward Mom  |  January 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    @451 Based on what you indicated, that your daughter doesn’t know math beyond her grade level, it would seem the MAP high 80% would be more accurate than the ISAT 99%. There are a lot of kids that are working beyond their grade level at other schools in her same grade level, and those kids would know more math. In comparing peer to peer, she should score lower than the more advanced kids. I would think for SEHS, they would want to have a complete gauge of a students ability and not just what they can do at their grade level.

    And trust me, I can understand this from both sides. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand how both of my children scored in the high 90s in the ISAT, when one of them seemed to struggle a lot more in school. In fact, the struggling child scored a percentage higher than their sibling.

    Now looking at the MAP scores, the struggling child is 77/85 and the other child is 92/99. Now this makes more sense than what I was seeing through ISAT scores.

    In terms of why they are taking so long to decide, I think it is what a few other people have said. With NWEA giving such different percentiles, they are trying to make sure that private kids percentage in SEHS doesn’t go up significantly. Because if these two examples are any indication, the public schools kids will lose out with having to move from ISAT to NWEA.

  • 455. parent  |  January 16, 2014 at 8:53 am

    @454 “I would think for SEHS, they would want to have a complete gauge of a students ability and not just what they can do at their grade level.”

    Perhaps, but then you should be completely against using MAP as an SEHS test – despite your anecdotal experiences.

    From the NWEA website:

    “Achievement on the NWEA tests is evidence of what a student has learned within a subject area. NWEA calls this the student’s instructional level.

    NWEA’s tests and reports do not measure or report a student’s capacity or ability to learn. NWEA tests are primarily designed to inform the teacher where to begin instruction”

    SAT10: tests how well students learned the material they were all taught
    MAP: tests how well students learned material that some of them have never seen
    SEHS admission test: see SAT10

    MAP is a test for teachers to know where their students are at. It was never meant to be used as an admissions test and has not been accepted as such in the past.

    Initially the nationally normed tests were used to determine eligibility for the SEHS admissions test, no need to go through the time and expense of testing everyone.

    According to OAE website:

    Students are required to submit scores from the ISAT, or from a different standardized test, in order to determine eligibility to take the admissions exam for the Selective Enrollment High Schools/ If your child did not take the ISAT in the 2012-2013 school year, you may submit scores from any of the following tests:

    Terra Nova (normed 2007 or 2011)
    Stanford Achievement Test 10
    Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS)
    Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement 2
    Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test 3
    Wechsler Individual Achievement Test 3

  • 456. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2014 at 9:59 am

    @parent – thanks for laying that out. I wonder how well all those scores correlate? (Meaning a kid who does well on one does well on the others?)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 457. 19th ward Mom  |  January 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    @455 Thanks for that background. It does appear that it would be very unfair to use the NWEA/MAP test against the other tests. Lets hope CPS is doing their research as well and goes against using this test for CPS students for selective enrollment.

  • 458. junior  |  January 16, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Seems like MAP would give an advantage to kids in the RGCs, who by all accounts, are working two grade levels above their age. But, it would be a disadvantage to kids in other CPS (or private) schools who are just as smart but do not get exposed to higher-level work. Seems like the SAT-10 is a fairer option — or, give them something more akin to an IQ test, like what is done for the ACs.

    I think the absolute fairest system would be to eliminate the 7th grade ISAT component entirely and base the entire admissions component on a single SEHS entrance exam (like private high schools do). I would also eliminate the grade component, which varies wildly from school to school, and replace that with a minimum of two A’s and two B’s in core subjects (3.5 gpa) as a requirement for application to SEHS.

    We all quibble about differences in scoring of different types of tests, but really there is far more variation in what grades signify at different schools.

  • 459. HS Mom  |  January 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    @458 Junior – yes, have always had an issue with grades. I like your idea. Why not set the grade portion low like minimum C’s or B’s – similar to the minimum 5 stanine for ISAT now. This way, teachers are free to grade as they see fit without ruining a kids chances, kids are required to at least meet standards and a smart kid would not get burned by one low grade. Then let the tests flush it out. Of course higher grades would keep the applicant pool smaller – if that’s desired.

  • 460. OTdad  |  January 16, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    @458. junior:
    “Seems like MAP would give an advantage to kids in the RGCs, who by all accounts, are working two grade levels above their age.”
    No, if the MAP test limits the contents up to that point.
    “IQ test” is only appropriate at kindergarten stage.

  • 461. a cog in the system  |  January 16, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Dear Mayor Emanuel,

    The lack of communication from the Office of Access and Enrollment about information vital to Chicago parents is shocking and poorly serves your administration.

    CPS has known since early September (over 5 months ago!!!) that the State of Illinois would not provide percentiles in the March 2014 ISAT. The State of Illinois has been very open about this fact. This is not a last minute hot potato that has dropped into CPS’ lap.

    The inability of CPS to announce changes to its admissions procedures by mid January is highly unprofessional. Important changes should be shared with parents at the outset of the academic year — and are still not available.

    Keeping parents in the dark shows that OAE holds parents and students in Chicago in contempt. I am sure that this is not the message that your administration wants to communicate.

    Since improving Chicago’s schools is an important initiative for you, I hope that you replace the the individuals responsible for this situation so that it never occurs in the future.

  • 462. cpsobsessed  |  January 16, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Interrupting for this plug. I keep meaning to spread the word about this woman who is doing a very good thing. She’s not even a CPS parent. You can drop books off on her stoop in Lincoln Park.

    Bernadette is collecting books for the 4th CPS school with no library and high homeless population, Beethoven elementary. Of course our schools should have budgets that allow for something as basic as books/libraries but they all don’t right now. If you want to donate your gently used books or volunteer to help her transport books email booksfirst01@gmail.com. She expressed to me last year that books really saved her as a kid. She wants to share that opportunity with kids who don’t have enough access to literature.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140114/lincoln-park/booksfirst-one-womans-quest-put-dent-cps-library-shortage

  • 463. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

    @451, 454:

    In our case my daughter she has scored 97s to 99s on ISATs since first grade. This weekend I looked at her NWEA MAP percentiles for the first time, they are high 80s. Reading your explanation of MAP this makes sense – MAP will keep asking harder questions well beyond grade level (up to calculus) and nationally norm.

    This is one of those cases where the intuitively plausible is incorrect. The MAP and SAT10 are normed by grade level. The ISAT norms were in fact from SAT10 questions — this is why students who had the same scale score could have different percentile ranks; one answered more, the other less of the SAT10 questions correctly. The MAP has different questions from the SAT10. The content of the tests is different so the performance of the norm group and the individual’s percentile rank may differ across the tests. Each is testing different material.

    Think of it this way: imagine I developed two different math tests with the same scoring system and had each normed. A child could get the same score on each test, but because the norm sample that took the 1st test did worse on it than the norm sample that took the 2nd test did, the percentile rank for the child would be higher on the 1st test than on the 2nd test.

    @434

    no student will ever receive the same question twice over their lifetime

    The MAP question lockout period is usually 2 years. If a question would relevant for their grade and RIT, it could be asked again after 2 years.

  • 464. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 17, 2014 at 10:20 am

    @455, @456: I’m sympathetic to your concern, but this is nonsense. Both tests have been grade-level normed on a national sample — how well they have been normed is a different question. The growth norms are not based on observed scores alone but on a regression method to predict growth trends but we don’t know that they will use growth trends for SE admission.

    It is possible to standardized the scores across tests and then determine the equivalent percentile ranks (equi-percentile method). How accurate this is, however, is another matter. But that problem arises with TerraNova, ITBS, and other grade-normed standardized tests. Not just MAP v. others.

    Under the assumptions behind standardized testing as the basis for admission, it should not matter what test that students are given if all are nationally grade-normed and the equi-percentile method produces sufficiently reliable conversions. The conversion should produce a fair basis for comparison.

    If, however, one believes that the practicing or being trained to take a particular type of test gives the student receiving that treatment an advantage, then there is a problem. But in effect this mean that those children are gaming the system — the tests were designed to work under the assumption that this would not occur or that it would be ineffective.

    Let’s be clear: the test that will be used will affect admission decisions made in 2015 for the 2015-2016 school year, not admissions in 2014 for 2014-15.

    I am a critic of CPS and OAE testing policies. But their decision to deliberate over the test being used is far from unprofessional. It is the professional thing to do.

    If, and a big if, the criticism of CPS/OAE is that they have made it harder for parents to get their children relevant test-training, then tough shit. That’s a good thing if CPS relies on standardized tests for SE admission.

    The initial argument that started this thread — that private school students would be able to pick and choose what test scores they would give — is a valid criticism, if it is correct.

  • 465. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 17, 2014 at 10:20 am

    That should be @461 not at @456. Sorry.

  • 466. junior  |  January 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    @464 ChristopherBall

    Good post, but I might have to disagree with:

    “… it should not matter what test that students are given if all are nationally grade-normed and the equi-percentile method produces sufficiently reliable conversions. ”

    It seems that MAP changes the whole paradigm of SEHS admission criteria from how well a child has mastered their current grade level curriculum to how high above grade level a child has done work. Already there a couple of anecdotes above about large discrepancies between kids’ ISAT and MAP scores.

    That significantly impacts the whole system in terms of which kids are selected and perception of which schools can adequately prepare kids to gain admission into SEHS. If the bar is shifted such that kids must work a couple years beyond grade level to gain SEHS admission, then we are seemingly making RGCs a somewhat exclusive path to SEHS and potentially making neighborhood schools and magnets less desirable for those who aspire to SEHS admission.

    One can see how a kid doing mediocre work at an RGC could score higher on MAP than a kid who is doing outstanding work at a magnet but not getting exposure to advanced curricula.

    At the risk of being hyperbolic, this change could practically mean that we are making SEHS admission decisions at the kindergarten age — which has numerous faults.

    I agree with your point that this decision needs to be deliberated and correct rather than fast.

  • 467. 7th grade parent  |  January 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    There is also a discrepancy between my child’s ISAT & MAP percentile scores…consistent 99/99 (one year 99/98) but just looked at MAP score chart and his scores are 93/95…not high enough for the top 2 SEHS…and he is in a RGC so don’t know if it holds true that they have an advantage.

  • 468. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 17, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    @466 If we believe that standardized tests are accurate, a student can gain a higher RIT # on the MAP if he or she learn more, but that will not necessarily affect the percentile rank on the national norm. What matters is how the nationally normed sample scored on the MAP. The range of RIT scores within the 99th percentile may be wider than the proportionate range of scores within the SAT10, but if the test are truly accurate — a huge ‘if’ — they are pulling from the same 1%.

    When we say that a student is in the 99th national percentile rank, we don’t mean that his or her scale score is literally among only 1% of the scale scores received nationwide. Instead, it means that his or her scale score is in the range of the scale scores of the top 1% of those who were in the norm group.

  • 469. 7th grade parent  |  January 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

    @468 since you seem to know a lot about the MAP percentiles, I never received a official % from the school but rather just plugged in my child’s self reported score from this Fall into the RIT chart/7th grade column to obtain a percentile (I believe the chart is from 2011). Would this be correct?

  • 470. make money by various stuff  |  January 19, 2014 at 10:13 am

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  • 471. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    @469: As long as you make sure that you match up the instructional weeks accurately, it should be correct.

  • 472. New to CPS  |  January 19, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    It seems that everyone knows or has access to their child’s MAP scores. This is our first year. When/how do I get the scores?

  • 473. pantherparent  |  January 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

    What test is used to rank students seems like a moot point. If little Johnny gets a 99% rank on one test and an 85% on another, it would reason that little Sally would experience the same drop from say 98% to 84%. That leaves Johnny ahead of Sally in either scenario.

    Since students are ranked against each other, the rank order will remain essentially the same whether CPS uses the ISATs, the MAP test or any other test that measures aptitutde.

  • 474. 19th ward Mom  |  January 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    @473
    That would be all well and good IF all kids were taking the same test and experienced the same drop. In this case, only CPS kids would experience the drop if they moved to MAP scores and therefore they would be at a disadvantage to non-CPS kids that are taking a different test.

    @472 Ask your child’s school counselor, or homeroom teacher. They can print out a report that shows their scores since 3rd grade and the corresponding percentages.

  • 475. 2nd grade parent  |  January 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    474 – so i’m confused… i thought that if tests were nationally normed then the score drop/increase wouldn’t matter…. your kid didn’t get smarter or less-smart (99% ISAT vs. 85% MAP -or another test). Wouldn’t that always have been the case – ISAT vs. Terra Nova vs. Stanford… etc. I figured that there must be some other ‘norming’ mechanism ??

  • 476. junior  |  January 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    @473 pantherparent

    You are correct only if you assume that the tests measure the same thing. If different tests measure different things, then Johnny and Sally could easily flip places. Especially interesting is the case of MAP, where it seems to be measuring highest instructional level attained instead of mastery of current level.

  • 477. cpsobsessed  |  January 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Which must be why RGC and Classical schools have different tests. And why there are ISATs and the SE admission test both used for SEHS points.
    Someone who knows tests must believe that the tests measure different things.
    Or measure intelligence differently.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 478. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 21, 2014 at 1:08 am

    @473 No. Only if they were taking the same tests.

    Let’s say that Johnny’s HS teacher introduces them to matrix algebra. But if the nationally normed assessment has no matrix algebra questions, then Johnny’s extra learning isn’t worth jack-squat as far as the test is concerned.

  • 479. 7th grade parent  |  January 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I have now spoken to several other parents in my child’s RGC class…every single one performed lower on MAP compared to ISATs. This can’t just be a coincidence. There must be some difference between the 2 tests.
    This would be a non-issue if all children applying for SEHS were taking the same test. Does anyone think CPS is aware of the discrepancy?

  • 480. Kristi  |  January 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Since ALL CPS students will be taking the MAP test will it matter that the scores are lower than the ISAT? Won’t the majority of students competing for spots be in the same situation?

  • 481. 7th grade parent  |  January 21, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Yes, all CPS students will be in the same situation but I think you underestimate the amount of private school children also vying for the same spots. Take a look at the % of private school students currently enrolled at the SESH. I believe Peyton is currently the highest with 30%.

  • 482. Kristi  |  January 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Re: #480 – I see the previous posts now that not all CPS are taking the MAP. What schools aren’t taking MAP? The ISAT is “known” for being an “easier” test than the Terra Nova (which is nationally normed). So it sounds like the MAP percentile is a better gauge of where a child fits within the national norm. In the end it’s probably more fair across the board. I asked a friend who is a principal at a Catholic school in the suburbs whose school does both MAP and Terra Nova. She said the scores were comparable – sometimes higher, sometimes lower – close to what they score on Terra Novas.

  • 483. Kristi  |  January 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    #481 – Where do you get that statistic regarding private school students in a CPS HS?

  • 484. 19th ward Mom  |  January 21, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    @481 7th grade parent
    Do you mind sharing how big of a drop, you guys are seeing in ISAT vs MAP.

    In my situation, for my one child I am seeing a drop of 16 percentage points in Math and a drop of 9 percentage points in Reading. On the scoring rubics, that will cost us an additional 38 points compared to previously using ISAT scores. That is huge. 😦

  • 485. HSObsessed  |  January 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    @483 – Data on private school applicants in SEHS in this prior thread:

    https://cpsobsessed.com/2012/03/09/data-on-tiers-and-private-school-from-wbez/

  • 486. IBobsessed  |  January 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Consistent with the trend reported here, MAP scores this year are higher, but only somewhat, for my 7th grader who took IOWA last year at a non CPS school. 5 %tile points higher in math, 3%tile points higher in reading. Of course, it could be a case of real academic gain instead of difference in the tests.

  • 487. IBobsessed  |  January 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    The trend I am referring to is the antecdotal info posted by @482 regarding the close comparability in scores of non-ISAT tests results with MAP results.

  • 488. 7th grade parent  |  January 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    @ 19th ward
    First off, I feel your pain. In my case, the difference is a 4% drop in math & a 7% drop in reading. This would translate into a 16.5 point drop in the SEHS score.

  • 489. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    @475 A normed test, usually a nationally norm-referenced test, is a test designed to compare student performance. It is designed such that among the norming group — ideally a representative sample of the country’s grade-level population — for each item (what we would call a question), roughly 50% of the the students who give an answer, get the correct answer. In practice, there are some easier and more difficult items. This will give a distribution of scores (usually thousands test-takers are need to to accurately norm in each grade).

    When a child takes the test, his score can be compared to the scores of the norms group. If his score is the same as a student in the norm group who scored higher than 70% of the others, then the child is at the 70th percentile rank.

    Let’s say a year later, he takes the test for the next grade level. His score may go up — he has learned more — but if, in the national sample, other students learned even more than the child, his percentile rank might drop to the 69th. He is not less smart than he was before, he is less smart compared to his peers this year than he was last year.

    @474: “…only CPS kids would experience the drop if they moved to MAP scores and therefore they would be at a disadvantage to non-CPS kids that are taking a different test.”

    No. This is wrong. Let’s say Johnny takes the MAP and his percentile rank is 70th. Timmy takes the TerraNova and his percentile rank is 95th. CPS does some silly and some stupid things, but they are not so stupid that they would take Johnny’s MAP 70th and Timmy’s TerraNova 95th and compare those. Instead, they would use an equi-percentile method to convert the Terra Nova rank into an equivalent MAP percentile. Now, that method is not perfect — there’s always error — but it is not so crude as to make it incomparable. Of course, I wouldn’t want to base a high-stakes decision on this.

  • 490. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    @484 & 489: Percentile ranks are not percentage points. The interval between them is not equal. They are an ordinal scale, like finishing a race. The 2nd place finisher might be 2 secs behind the winner, but the 3rd place finisher could be 20 secs behind the winner. You would not say that the 2nd place finisher was 1 point faster than the 3rd.

    A student who drops from the 80th percentile to the 75th percentile changed his ordinal rank. Likewise a student who dropped from the 80th to the 70th percentile changed his ordinal rank. But the second student did not drop twice as far or 5 points more than the first.

  • 491. 19th ward Mom  |  January 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    @490
    Not sure what you are getting at. We are taking the percentage ranks straight off the NWEA/printouts and comparing it to scoring rubric’s that CPSOAE has previously used in determining the 900 point score : http://www.cpsoae.org/Scoring%20Rubric%20–%20Selective%20Enrollment%20HS.pdf

    We are assuming that CPS is going to do what they previously did, which is take the national percentile rankings straight from those tests (no adding or subtracting of points based on different test types) and translate it into the appropriate points based on that percentile ranking.

    So for example, a child scored 99% on the ISAT reading, and therefore received 150 points. But on the MAP, that child has instead scored 90% (a 9% percentage point drop). So using the scoring rubric, they will now only get 136 points. A 14 point drop.

    Granted we are moaning and groaning prematurely without a decision being announced by CPS. But by all counts, it looks like they are leaning towards using NWEA/MAP scores.

    For me as a nervous 7th grade mom, it helps to moan and groan with other CPS parents in the same boat. It definitely helps to find out via this board that my child was not the only one that has a drop in scores from ISAT to NWEA/MAP. That it appears to be consistent across the board (therefore in theory it should translate into a drop in the score needed for the top SEHS schools if they move to NWEA/MAP as the 7th grade standardized test).

  • 492. IBobsessed  |  January 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    @490 your point is interesting, but is academic and makes no practical difference to SEHS applications. Whether reflecting or ordinal change or percentage point change, lower MAP scores will result in being awarded less SEHS application points.

  • 493. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    @491 CPS is sloppy on that table. They use the % sign but that’s not a symbol for percentile. There isn’t one. They refer to them as percentiles in the italicized text to the right of the columns.

    @492 I raise it because the misinterpretation of percentiles creates confusion. It’s a ranking that is not comparable across tests.

    Why they were using percentiles to create the SEHS makes no sense unless they were trying to compress the distinctions among students at each percentile rank.

  • 494. 2nd grade parent  |  January 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

    19 th ward mom, why would you assume it’s the same rubric? if Terra Nova scores were presented, was the ISAT points rubric used?

    maybe the MAP scoring decision will require CPS to produce another rubric. by all accounts – if the test is changed the rubric would change – no?

  • 495. 19th ward Mom  |  January 22, 2014 at 11:28 am

    @494 As it has stood before in the past, there was only “one” scoring rubric for everyone regardless of what test was taken by that student. This is not a scoring rubric for a specific test, it is a scoring rubric to determine total points for SEHS admission.

    Every test has its own determination of how it determines the “percentile rank”. CPS would then take that rank from that particular test, and use the scoring rubric to determine the equivalent points for SEHS admission.

    As Christopher Ball indicated, “percentiles to create the SEHS makes no sense”. Welcome to CPS, not everything they do makes perfect sense. LOL. They have never had more than one scoring rubric for SEHS (that I am aware of), I cannot seem them changing course this year.

  • 496. Chris  |  January 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

    “Why they were using percentiles to create the SEHS makes no sense unless they were trying to compress the distinctions among students at each percentile rank.”

    Is that really the only reason you see for doing it?

    Isn’t the simplest explanation that using percentiles as the basis for generating a ‘qualification score’ is both (1) the easiest thing to do, as it relies on a frequently used number (the percentile) and (2) the easiest thing to explain to students and parents, as it relies on a frequently used number (the percentile)? It doesn’t matter whether people fully understand what ‘percentile rank’ indicates–everyone understands that higher is ‘better’, and thus using it leads to ‘qualification scores’ which make fundamental (if inexact) sense to students and parents without any further explanation.

  • 497. cpsobsessed  |  January 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I’ve been busy with work stuff. Let’s see what goes down at the board meeting with charters and gym and then we can start a new thread…

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 498. HSObsessed  |  January 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Ha, well given that CPS already published a press release yesterday that there are new arts and PE requirements and didn’t bother to wait for the board to vote on it today, I guess we know the outcome of that one! Gotta love CPS.

  • 499. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 24, 2014 at 12:46 am

    @496 CPS has set up a system to rank-order Chicago kids for admission in Chicago. Using the percentile for the national norm doesn’t help do this. Even among the 99th percentile, students have different scaled scores. On the SAT10 they top off at 999. So in the 99th p.r. you might have scaled scores of 999-929 (we don’t know the true range because you can only get the norm material from Pearson for $72.50 and a school must order it.) But if that range covered the top 1% of test-takers, someone with a 989 scaled score clearly did better than someone with a 929. But using the percentile rank erases that distinction. In some case, the margin of error may be too wide to distinguish between scores, but not in all cases.

    In one linking study from 2012 of the Terra Nova 3 and the SAT-10, the 7th grade SAT-10 95th p.r. corresponded to the 94th T.N. p.r..

  • 500. CPS Parent  |  January 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    School should be canceled on Monday if the weather is as bad as forecasted, and maybe Tuesday, too. CPS should not observe Presidens Day, too many missed days already. Should have cancelled MLK Day too, but the blacks would have had a $hit fit abt that. KIDS IN SCHOOL IS WHAT WE NEED, NOT MADE-UP HOLIDAYS FOR THE UNIONS!

  • 501. Chris  |  January 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    “CPS has set up a system to rank-order Chicago kids for admission in Chicago. [details of how imprecise percentile is] ”

    Okay, and……..? What part of that is remotely in support of “the only reason to use percentiles is to compress distinctions”?

    We can agree that using percentiles in fact does that, but that says *nothing* about the motivations for using percentiles instead of scaled scores.

  • 502. Chris  |  January 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    “CPS should not observe Presiden[t]s Day”

    CPS doesn’t observe President’s Day. Monday, February 17, has been a scheduled day of attendance on the 13-14 calendar since it was announced 12 months ago.

  • 503. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    @50 I’m not trying to divine the motivations of those making the decisions. I’m saying that if you want to to create a rank-order for admissions the only reason to use percentiles over scaled scores is to compress the differences.

    It may be that they chose to do this, as you suggest, because they think parents would understand it, but a scaled score is also one where higher means better, and that is also reported to parents.

  • 504. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  January 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    OAE has this up:

    The rubric for the Selective Enrollment process, which can be accessed here, will remain the same. The scores from the NWEA will simply replace the scores from the ISAT. In line with the new promotion policy, students will need a minimum score of 24% in reading and math to qualify to apply to these programs.

    For non-CPS/non-charter students who do not take the NWEA, scores will be accepted from one of the tests listed below:
    Terra Nova 3 (2011)
    Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test 3
    Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS)
    Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT 3)
    NWEA MAP

    http://cpsoae.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=298072&id=0

  • 505. Kristi  |  January 30, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    @504 Doesn’t a 24% minimum seem very low? Wasn’t it 70% in the past with the ISAT?

  • 506. karet  |  January 31, 2014 at 9:41 am

    A friend who teaches at a Catholic school (2nd grade) told me that her students were required to take the MAP test for the first time this year. Perhaps private schools are moving towards MAP, so that everyone does take the same test? (I’m sorry, I don’t have any information about other schools).

    If everyone took the MAP test, it might make sense to use the RIT scores instead of percentiles. Otherwise, the really high scoring kids just get lumped in with the other 99 percentiles. Then we could have a scenario where kids with an extremely high MAP score could get a “B” and still get into a top SEHS. (Is that right, Christopher Ball?)

  • 507. Chris  |  January 31, 2014 at 11:37 am

    “Doesn’t a 24% minimum seem very low?”

    It seems stupid low [NOTE: My initial reaction was very negative, then I looked at something–see LAST paragraph]. Now, this *may* be miscommunicated somewhat, bc of point that follows:

    “Wasn’t it 70% in the past with the ISAT?”

    Nope. It was Stanine 5 or higher on both Math and Verbal (or whatever they are called) on ISAT OR for Students with an IEP or 504 Plan, the two stanine scores must total 10 (so 9 math & 1 verbal ok). Stanine 5 to 9 capture 60% of a cohort. Needing to be in the top 60% for both (plus 504/IEP) means the net eligible is (probably–guesstimate) between 50 and 55% of 8th graders.

    So, basically, rules for current 8th graders allowed around half to apply and take the 8th grade test. They’re apparently opening it up to Stanine 4, now, too, and (perhaps??) removing the dual-score requirement, but maybe that’s not accurate, and it is some variant. Dunno.

    Just checked the scoring rubric–using *last years* cutoffs, a kid with two 39% on ISATs (that is, a kid with 2 Stanine 4 scores) living in Tier 1 would have been able to get a spot at MOST of the SEHS–Brooks, King, Lane, Lindblom, Westinghouse and South Shore. Lane would have required a 295 on the 8th grade test (ie, a 98%–would be hard to believe), but King and South Shore would have required a 77/78–which, for a kid with all As who just had a really bad day on ISATs, seems quite possible. And the even easier to imagine combo of a 60% on one and 39% on the other (a 5 and a 4 stanine, so non-qualified even with IEP) would get Lane with an 87%, and King/SS with a 66/67. And the weak/strong kid with a 90% in one and a 39% in the other (DQ, unless IEP) would have a shot at *Northside* with a 95 on the 8th grade test, and could have gone to Lindblom with a 56%. So, I completely changed my mind on this–I think that it is a *good* change, and will probably bump up the Tier 1 cutoff scores (I do hope that not many Tier 4 parents change what they do, tho, if PaNJY + Lane are the only ok schools–that 90/39 kid still cant get in).

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