Shift in Racial Demos at 4 Selective Enrollment High Schools

April 28, 2014 at 5:05 pm 421 comments

Interesting article in the Sun Times today. Thanks to those who sent me links.

Now that CPS cannot balance these schools by race, but rather are using socio economic factors as the balancing tool, White and Hispanic students are getting more seats.


See original link for some nice charts:

I can’t copy the charts, but they show the shifts by race at PaNJY (did I get that acronym right?) Payton/Northside/Jones/Young.

It’s intereseting the Payton is the most white-dominant school of these 4 and has grown increasingly Whiter since the end of the consent decree.

WYoung is the most diverse.

Jones is almost equal on White and Hispanic students.

Northside continues to have few Black students.


More white students are walking the halls at Chicago’s top four public high schools.

At Walter Payton College Prep on the Near North Side, more than 41 percent of freshmen admitted the past four years have been white, compared to 29 percent in 2009, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis of Chicago Public Schools data has found.

At Jones College Prep in the South Loop, 38 percent of this year’s freshman class is white, compared to 29 percent four years ago.

In 2010 — the first year race was no longer used to determine the makeup of Chicago schools — the percentage of white freshmen at Northside College Prep in North Park rose from 37 percent to 48 percent.

And at Whitney Young College Prep on the Near West Side, the percentage of black freshmen has steadily declined in the past three years, while the percentage of whites has risen.

The increase in the number of white students fulfills the predictions of education observers that minority students would be edged out of slots at the city’s top schools as a result of a 2009 ruling by U.S. District Judge Charles P. Kocoras lifting a 1980 consent decree that had required Chicago’s schools to be desegregated, with no school being more than 35 percent white.

“We saw that coming in 2009,” says Julie Woestehoff, executive director of the group Parents United for Responsible Education.

As things now stand, Woestehoff says, “I consider these schools to be gated communities for children of privilege.”

Since Kocoras lifted the desegregation order, CPS has built a new, bigger campus for Jones, allowing the school to increase its freshmen class by more than 100 students this year.

And Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced plans to expand Payton and to build a new selective-enrollment high school on the North Side, to be named for President Barack Obama, that’s set to open in 2017 and eventually will have 1,200 students — all in an effort to keep middle-class families in Chicago.

“Isn’t it interesting that, when the system was based on race, there weren’t as many slots,” Woestehoff says. “I think it would be really great to see these North Side institutions provide more opportunities for black and Hispanic kids.”

The Chicago school system now has 10 “selective-enrollment” high schools. Students are admitted to these based on their standardized test results, admissions test scores and grades, as well as on socioeconomic criteria. Five of the schools — Brooks, King, Lindblom, South Shore and Westinghouse, all on the South Side and the West Side — see few applications from whites and have virtually no white students.

Instead, when white students apply for admission to a selective-enrollment high school, they often target Northside, Payton, Jones and Whitney Young, the highest-ranking schools in Chicago in terms of test scores and also among the tops in the state. They also apply to Lane Tech, the city’s No. 5-ranked high school, where the number of white students has held relatively steady, at 30 percent, the past six years.

“The district values diversity and, as such, strives to find a balance and create socioeconomic diversity in the schools,” CPS spokesman Joel Hood says. “We feel we’ve struck a good balance, as the schools are more successful than ever, and demand for seats is ever-increasing.”

Thirty percent of the seats at each selective-enrollment high school go to the students with the highest scores, school officials say.

The other 70 percent are chosen based on their test scores — as well as a formula that CPS created to divide the city into four “tiers” based on the census tracts where students live.

Each tier includes about 109,000 students. The tiers are recalculated every year based on five socioeconomic benchmarks: median household income, adult education levels and the percentages of single-parent households, owner-occupied homes and non-English speakers.

The system is supposed to make it easier for students from lower-income families to find a spot in a selective-enrollment high school. So, on average, students from the higher tiers must have better scores than those in the lower tiers.

The system doesn’t always fulfill its goal, though, of placing lower-income students on a more-level playing field with students from richer families, the Sun-Times analysis found. In some cases, students from lower-income areas are in the same tier with students from the city’s wealthiest areas.

Here is a breakdown of the four tiers CPS is using to admit freshmen in the coming school year:

• Tier 4 includes the Gold Coast, the city’s richest census tract, where median household income is $304,666. It also includes homes near 95th and Halsted on the South Side, where the median income is $42,112.

• Tier 3 includes 13 census tracts in which median-income levels top $100,000. The richest is in Lincoln Park around Fullerton and Clark, where median income is $191,181. The lowest median income in this tier is $25,150 for a part of Edgewater, also on the North Side.

• Tier 2 includes a Little Italy census tract in which the median income is $79,181 and a section of Englewood where it’s $13,742.

• Tier 1 includes a section of Little Village where the median income is $47,244 and an area around 26th and State, where it’s $10,289.

Chicago school officials have drawn criticism in the past for denying admission to hundreds of students with top admission scores while admitting lower-performing students recommended by politicians and others with clout.

Even with the tier system, school administrators can admit a student with a lower score — for example, an athlete or someone with a disability.

The Sun-Times examination of top admission choices by incoming freshman — the schools they wanted to attend most — found that:

• Last year at Northside, 118 Tier 4 freshman who had scores between 900 — the highest possible score — and 816 were selected for enrollment, according to the CPS data. Another 208 Tier 4 applicants with scores higher than 816 were rejected — including one student whose score was 890.

• Lane selected 205 Tier 4 applicants, whose scores ranged between 900 and 586, while rejecting 664 Tier 4 students who had scores between 830 and 586.

• Young picked 74 Tier 3 freshman who made Young their No. 1 choice, with scores between 900 and 565, while rejecting 442 Tier 3 kids with scores between 859 and 565.

CPS officials say 650 generally is the cutoff for admission to the selective-enrollment high schools.

Contributing: Art Golab, Max Rust

Entry filed under: High school.

New Selective Enrollment High School opening NYTimes article on impactful college essays

421 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dontyellatme  |  April 28, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    This is not surprising. As a group white folks have higher iqs than black folk. By a standard deviation, ie white people have an average iq of about 100, blaxk people 85. Asians have about 108 to 110, Hispanics about 92. Worldwide leaders in iq are ashkenazi jews with about 115 but if the chinese diaspora could be measured I suspect they would be about as smart. Singapore has a lot of chinese diaspora thus they are always near the top of standardized testing

  • 2. dontyellatme  |  April 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Oh, test scores count a lot to get into sehs, and iq correllates well with test scores.

  • 3. pantherparent  |  April 28, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    My first thought was that we will soon see the end of the 30% admittance by rank. Indeed the original article this morning said 20% which worried me but the Sun-Times must have corrected that error.

    But Joel Hood’s quote is telling. They like the balance. And coupled with the fact the Obama College Prep will soon join PaNYJ as an option for middle-class white parents shows me that the Mayor isn’t concerned that these schools are becoming more white. Quite the contrary actually.

  • 4. Chicago School GPS  |  April 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Some of those numbers detailing Tier scores that got in and those that didn’t are confusing, to say the least.

    On a somewhat related note, the CPS Appeals process opened today and runs until May 9th.

    The Options for Knowledge appeals process is designed to provide a remedy in cases where a process within the application system was not implemented according to CPS policy, or where a decision-maker failed to follow CPS policy. The appeals process applies to elementary magnet, magnet cluster, and open enrollment schools, selective enrollment elementary schools, selective enrollment high schools, International Baccalaureate high schools, magnet high schools and programs, Military Academies, and CTE-College and Career Academies for the 2014-2015 school year. In order to be considered, appeals must be submitted between 9 a.m. on April 28, 2014, and 5 p.m. on May 9, 2014.

    IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE that the appeals process encompasses a limited scope of occurrences. An appeal will only be granted if evidence indicates that an error on the part of CPS has taken place in the application process. An appeal cannot be granted simply because a parent, guardian or student disagrees with the result of a testing or lottery selection. For example, appeals based solely on the following premises CANNOT be granted:

    Your child was not accepted to any of the schools to which he/she applied.
    Your child was not selected through the Principal Discretion process.
    You know of a student who was selected with a lower score than your child.
    You disagree with the census tract tier for your home address.

    Appeals such as these cannot be granted if there is no indication that CPS failed to implement the application process according to policy.

    Upon receipt, your appeal will be investigated. You can expect to be contacted within 14 business days with the response in writing to the email address you’ve provided.

    In the event that the written response does not resolve the appeal, you will have an opportunity to request a hearing.

    Your hearing request must be submitted within 10 business days upon receipt of the written response from the Office of Access and Enrollment.

  • 5. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  April 28, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Last year at Northside, 118 Tier 4 freshman who had scores between 900 — the highest possible score — and 816 were selected for enrollment, according to the CPS data. Another 208 Tier 4 applicants with scores higher than 816 were rejected — including one student whose score was 890.

    How is this possible? I thought the schools accepted everyone within a tier by rank.

  • 6. StillWaiting  |  April 28, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Does anyone have experience with the appeals process? I’m curious what kinds of things DO get addressed.

  • 7. Chicago School GPS  |  April 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    @6- I have only heard of instances where a school was not on the magnet list in the notification letter but the family has a copy of the confirmation showing it should have been.

    Also interesting to note in the Selective Enrollment Results Search on the article that it looks like in 2013:
    87 Tier 4 kids scored a perfect 900;
    14 Tier 3s;
    7 Tier 2s and
    2 Tier 1s.
    I think one of the Tier 2 perfect scorers put South Shore down over Jones and was thus placed at South Shore.

    Both Tier 1 perfect scorers put NS as first choice;
    5 Tier 2 put NS first;
    Tier 3 first choices varied between NS, Payton & Young;
    Tier 4 perfect scorers had a definite mix of schools for first choice, mostly NS, P but also Young, Lane and Jones. Of course, I also know many high scoring kids who were at ACs and stayed versus accepting their offer for other schools.

  • 8. Anxious but hopeful  |  April 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    @5 Could that be Principal’s Discretion applicants, maybe?

  • 9. pantherparent  |  April 28, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    @ 5 Christopher Ball I think the numbers reflect principal discretion students as well. So of all Tier 4 kids, the lowest freshman had 816 and the highest had 900.

    The author clearly isn’t well-versed in this process as was evidenced by the 30%/20% rank error made in the original article and some other errors pointed out on another thread.

  • 10. ?  |  April 28, 2014 at 6:42 pm


    Does the lowest teir 4 score of 816 include principal discretion applicants also?

  • 11. CPS Parent  |  April 28, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    @8 and @9, if the totals include the 30% Principal discretion, rejecting an 890 score would mean that ALL of the other Tier 4s had scores between 890-900. I guess that is possible; 118 slots – 36 (30%) = 82 slots (non-discretionary) / 4 tiers = only 20/21 slots for tier 4…@7’s analysis says that 87 kids had a perfect 900 and “most” preferenced NS.

  • 12. SRL  |  April 28, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Just wanted to quickly respond to dontyellatme – not to yell, but to just to remind everyone that IQ scores and standardized tests have historically been created by the upper and middle class to affirm the smarts of the upper and middle class, so you’re right – it’s not surprising that IQ and test scores are correlated. But it also doesn’t reflect much about intelligence.

  • 13. JLM  |  April 28, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I love this: “As things now stand, Woestehoff says, “I consider these schools to be gated communities for children of privilege.””

    At the top 4 schools, the percentage of the student body that is low income ranges from 31.4% (Payton) to 45.3% (Jones). [data from IIRC website] That hardly sounds like any gated community of privilege.

    And way to cherry-pick the data: “In 2010 — the first year race was no longer used to determine the makeup of Chicago schools — the percentage of white freshmen at Northside College Prep in North Park rose from 37 percent to 48 percent.”

    When I look at the chart included in the article, there is a clear spike in white freshmen in 2010, but in 2013, it looks like the % of white freshmen is back at 2009 levels – 37 percent. Asian % is down, Hispanic % is up, and black % is up.

    The article seems to be saying that there are too many whites at these schools (and implying that there are not enough at the 5 South Side schools?) They should bust out a map of the demographics of various city neighborhoods. Everybody prefers a shorter commute to a longer one – this isn’t rocket science!

  • 14. wisegeek  |  April 28, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    So what?

  • 15. dontyellatme  |  April 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    That is why the children of impoverished asian immigrants tend to do the best.

  • 16. Anxious but hopeful  |  April 28, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    @11 Principal’s Discretion only accounts for 5% of the class, as per the CPS OAE website.

  • 17. LP  |  April 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    This article is a mess. Cherry picking years to support their thesis was bad enough but the bullet points at the end are a disaster. The published CPS cutoff scores list provides a clean simple story of admissions. The author manages to take a simple story and make it a cluster f@#$.

    Anyway, the low end scores, that everyone here knows are the 5% PD seats, sure are interesting. I didn’t know that WY was able to get around the 650 minimum for their athletes but clearly they are.

  • 18. pantherparent  |  April 28, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    @11 You’re confusing rank admittance with principal discretion where the principal can add students regardless of score. So an 816 Tier 4 child with extenuating circumstances could definitely have been admitted to Northside.

  • 19. thisisinteresting  |  April 28, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Does anyone know when the principal discretion letters will arrive? Have the students that were chosen already been contacted?

  • 20. Marketing Mom  |  April 28, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Why is this a big surprise? Everyone knows that the tier system is unfair, especially if you happen to be non- white and or non- affluent and live in a tier 4.

  • 21. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  April 28, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    That Sun-Times data yields some interesting data. For 2013, “perfect” scores of 900 were distributed:
    Tier 1: 2
    Tier 2: 7
    Tier 3: 14
    Tier 4: 87

  • 22. Chi School GPS  |  April 28, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Could it be that bi-racial students – for whatever reason – are being reported as White instead of the other parent’s race? That would definitely skew the percentages of the White population.

  • 23. Counterpoint for discussion  |  April 29, 2014 at 12:54 am

    The problem is that CPS does not expel enough problematic students. If neighborhood schools didn’t have the disruptors and bad influences the whole system would work much better. And don’t complain about what race, gender, nation of origin, sexual orientation, religious orientation, weight/health status, economic status, or pregnancy status the problem kids are.

    Kick the problem kids out. It’s for the betterment of the whole group.

  • 24. HS Mom  |  April 29, 2014 at 6:56 am

    @22 I think it has mostly to do with the northside having a majority of the white population and therefore likely to populate schools that are North and central. In addition, high performing southside students are AA, white and latino.

    Another thing to consider is that this graph illustrates the years during the heart of the recession. Many people who could no longer afford the top mostly white private schools entered or returned to CPS. A trend that will likely remain. As a friend put it to me – he put his daughter in Latin because she did not get into Payton….he will not do this with the next child.

    This is another reason that we need to look at a shift in demographics as a kind of natural process of events as it may reflect a good mix of high achievers that does not exclude AA and Hispanic students.

  • 25. North Center Mom  |  April 29, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Slanted data, an agitated quote, and lack of understanding of the process or history of the process is not going to properly inform anyone. So I have to believe that the goal was not to report, but to incite.

  • 26. HS Mom  |  April 29, 2014 at 7:29 am

    One other interesting thing to note about the Northside prep thing. The article was leaned on the jump in white population noting that they continued to have “few blacks”. The shift from race to tiers decreased the Asian population and while increasing the black and hispanic populations. The 2013 graphic actually shows that their diversity has gotten better. Of course they chose not to analyze the change from 2008/2009 to 2013. Especially since 2010 they chose to cut off scores and restrict tier entry.

  • 27. HS Mom  |  April 29, 2014 at 7:49 am

    The article leaned, not “was” leaned….and a few other grammar problems. Too much of a hurry, sorry.

  • 28. klm  |  April 29, 2014 at 8:02 am


    I doubt that’s the case. My kids that are bi-racial and are always checked-off as “minority” when others identify them. Half or more of the “minority” admits (back when whites were limited to 35%) at one of my kid’s RGC class had one non-Hispanic white parent. From that school’s demographic figures, it’s the “minority” part of these kids’ ethnicity that’s being reported.

    Another example of how using strict racialism doesn’t always tell the whole story, so I’m the kind of person that doesn’t look at these kinds of statistics as 100% indicative of “diversity.”

  • 29. klm  |  April 29, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I also agree that this article was glaringly slanted to support somebody’s agenda.

    I’m old enough to remember that in the 1970s “white flight” was discussed at just about the worst thing to happen to America’s then-dying cities: White people were leaving in droves for nice, clean, safe suburbs with great schools and leaving poor minorities to live in crumbling, economically deprived relics of former great cities with all the crime, bad schools, deprivation, etc., that come with them.

    Now that there are white people moving back to cities, there are gripes about them taking “too many” spots at good school, etc.

    I guess that in order to make things “better” (as per the comments in this article), we need another bout of White Flight –that way those white kids won’t be :”taking away” opportunities for minority kids with their presence at “good” urban public schools.

    I guess a mantra for some people should be “Go back to New Trier and stop your fancy-pants high-achievement-grabbing ways. We don’t want your here”!

  • 30. 31st Mom  |  April 29, 2014 at 8:58 am

    A tier 4 rank score of 816 would be for a child with an IEP or disability;
    The SE schools are required to take a certain % of kids with disabilities regardless of their rank.

  • 31. LearningCPS  |  April 29, 2014 at 9:00 am

    @22 As a parent of bi-racial children, we check both boxes or mixed/other when available. I doubt that many parents in our position are only checking white but this article, and others that I’ve seen talking about the reduction of black students in CPS selective schools, don’t usually mention trends on the mixed/other category. The mixed box or checking more than one race didn’t used to be an option, so I would speculate that mixed families who might have been choosing black before may now be choosing differently. I’m sure that isn’t the sole reason for decrease,but possibly a small part of it.

  • 32. Diversity?  |  April 29, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Why is it that the non-diversity in existence at King, Lindblom, & Brooks is never highlighted? Why does the focus of all these articles always focused on “too many white kids”? And in this case, they had to actually cherry pick the data in order to make the point.

  • 33. klm  |  April 29, 2014 at 10:19 am


    I know.

    On some level (although it’s understandable) there can be made an argument that black kids at these schools are taking too many spaces that could to other “diverse” non-black kids.

    But that would be silly.

    Now, we all know that these schools are the way they are demographics-wise because of their location, Chicago’s segregation patterns, genuine concerns about public safety in the neighborhoods where some of them are located, their distance from neighborhoods where lots of white (Sauganash, Edison Park) Asian (Uptown, Rogers Park) and Hispanic (Albany Park, Humbolt Park) kids live, etc.

    But that would require context and a more complete explanation using easily found factual information, rather than the type of factual cherry-picking-to-make-a-point “new story” like the one above.

    I don’t think CPS designed things to keep non-black kids out of Lindblom anymore than I believe CPS designed things (intentionally or non-intentionally) to keep non-white kids out of WY, Payton, etc. Things have just worked-out that way.

    In a perfect world, there’d be no historic segregation patterns, achievement gaps, poverty, bad parenting, violent crime, dysfunctional family patterns, cultural anti-intellectualism keeping some kids down, teenage parenthood, lack of male role models, etc.

    But we don’t live in a perfect world.

    How can we expect patterns to align “perfectly” (whose definition varies depending on who you ask) in terms of CPS enrollment when things in Chicago are so “imperfect”?

    BTW, sorry for seeming to dominate this site lately, –it’s just that I’ve been stuck home with two sick kids and I need some connection to the outside world.

  • 34. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  April 29, 2014 at 10:52 am

    The data in the article is for the freshmen classes for each year but not the school overall. If you compare racial shares of the whole school in AY2009 v AY 2014, you find this (not sure how it will show up):

    Payton 2008 2014
    # % # % % change
    White 332 37% 298 36% -1%
    Hispanic 173 19% 184 22% 3%
    Black 172 19% 143 17% -2%
    Asian 127 14% 86 11% -4%
    Multi 84 9% 38 5% -5%
    NA/Nat A 2 0% 73 9% 8%
    Total 890 819 -71

    Northside 2008 2014
    # % # % % change
    White 399 36% 429 40% 4%
    Hispanic 222 20% 270 25% 5%
    Black 61 5% 97 9% 4%
    Asian 332 30% 196 18% -12%
    Multi 95 9% 46 4% -4%
    NA/Nat A 3 0% 31 3% 3%
    1112 1,069 -43

  • 35. pantherparent  |  April 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I think a more interesting question is why has Asian enrollment been dropping at both Payton and Northside? is it going up at other SEHS’s?

    Or has the tier system disadvantaged that group more than any?

  • 36. IBobsessed  |  April 29, 2014 at 11:11 am

    C Ball, or KLM (since you need a distraction from those kids), when can we look forward to seeing your letter to the Editor to the SunTimes regarding the inaccurate picture of demographics given in the article? It would be a public service to refute the misinformation.

  • 37. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  April 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

    The change is change of percentage points, not % change. My bad.

    Not that clear then, but at Payton, black student % does decline by 2 pct pts between AY09 and AY14. But so does white %, by 1 pt. It is possible that those declaring NA are white, which would boost white % so that it would be 8% higher in AY14. Regardless, Hispanic % rises by at least 3% and Asian % declines by at least 4%.

    At Northside, the black, white and Hispanic % all rise, with black share of the student body actually going up from 5% to 9%. So I’m confused as to how those changed admission shares work through the system. It is true that the white share also rose, but at Northside this was at the expense Asian shares (a 12 pct pt. drop from 30% to 18% and of multi-racial shares from 9% down to 4%.

  • 38. Christopher Ball (@skepticismwins)  |  April 29, 2014 at 11:23 am


    That’s what puzzled me too. Why has the Asian % changed so much? Asian share of CPS pop. rose slightly over those periods, so it is not due to a drop in Asian students within CPS, though there could be a shift in the age distribution.

    The absolute number of African-Americans, however, has declined. In Sep. 2007 there were 189,973 A-A students. In Sep. 2013, there were only 159,134. All other groups except Native American and multi-racial increased. See for the data.

    Another error above in my comments — it is AY08, the 2007-08 academic year, not 2008-2009. Sorry.

  • 39. pantherparent  |  April 29, 2014 at 11:41 am

    @38 I actually noticed this yesterday when looking at the US News and World Report rankings. They have a link to student body numbers by school and it was obvious. At Northside, the number of Asian students by class is:

    12th grade: 79
    11th grade: 71
    10th grade: 52
    9th grade: 45

    At Whitney Young, the 11th grade has 109 Asians out of 490 (22%) while the 9th grade has 63 out of 511 (12.2%)

  • 40. Just a thought  |  April 29, 2014 at 11:53 am

    @38, @39

    Someone told me that there were a couple of factors that go into the drop of Asian students:

    1) a raising of tiers of certain neighborhoods on the far north side
    2) a more robust audit of those claiming residency in a certain Tier II zone by Devon/Western
    3)Increased competitiveness of kids from the Edison Park/Sauganash elementary schools

  • 41. RL Julia  |  April 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    This article had a lot of problems – the biggest being the negative spin – why not highlight the gains in admission Hispanic kids are making?
    @32 – white enrollment is highlighted in these articles because white kids do make up a disproportionate percentage of the populations of the SEHS’s. White kids make up 9.2% of the total CPS population – thus is it suspicious that they are comprising 40% or more of any select high school. On the other hand -African American kids make up only 39.7% of the total CPS population – and so it may be time to examine why Lindblom is 70% African American, South Shore is 96% African American, Brooks is 85% AA, Westinghouse is 64% AA and King is 93.3% AA and NO SEHS is anywhere near predominantly Hispanic even when Hispanic children make up a full 45.2% of the CPS student population.

  • 42. Chris  |  April 29, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    “PaNJY (did I get that acronym right?)”

    Yep. Rolls off the tongue, if not the fingertips.

    Anyone expect this to result in an actual change in the Tier system, and if so what? Obv reduction in the 30% to Rank only is a possibility–any other thoughts?

  • 43. Diversity?  |  April 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm


    Or put another way (per stats at 2013 Chicago Tribune Report Card):

    % of White students at:

    Westinghouse: 1.9
    King: .06
    South Shore: 0
    Brooks: 1

    Nobody ever writes articles about the lack of diversity at these SEHSs…

  • 44. OTdad  |  April 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    @35. pantherparent:
    “…why has Asian enrollment been dropping at both Payton and Northside? is it going up at other SEHS’s?

    Or has the tier system disadvantaged that group more than any?

    Tier system could be a big factor. Another factor could be Asian flight to the burbs. We know 4-5 Asian family with school aged children moved to Naperville, Hinsdale, Winnetka, etc.

  • 45. Kenwood Parent  |  April 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    @ 43 – No one is complaining about the lack of diversity at South Side SEHSs because most white parents do not want their kids attending such schools. However, black parents are more than willing to have their kids attend Walter Payton, Whitney Young, etc. White parents only seem to complain about the lack of diversity South when faced with the reduction of diversity up North.

  • 46. Diversity?  |  April 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    @45 “Most white parents don’t want their children attending such school”

    Not sure that is necessarily true…but perhaps the lack of diversity is part of the problem.

  • 47. Diversity?  |  April 29, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    @45 I don’t consider WY “North”, do you?

  • 48. A Theory  |  April 29, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    One explanation in the drop of Asians could have to do with how they used to calculate the old racial preferences. I believe, someone can correct me, that there was a limit on % of whites who could be admitted, with the rest of the slots going to “minorities.” But I don’t believe there was a distinction made between minority groups in terms of % of slots allotted to each from the total minority slots. If Asian kids tended to perform better on the testing than other minorities, they would have benefited from this system because they had a greater number of slots to compete for compared to white kids and would have been more likely to be at the top of the list of the kids who were eligible for those slots. With the switch to socioeconomic status, the number of slots they are eligible to compete for could have decreased for this group. Just a theory.

  • 49. klm  |  April 29, 2014 at 2:09 pm


    I don’t blame you for feeling a little defensive, but I’m pretty sure that @43 was being ironic, not genuinely upset in any way.

    Also, technically, WY is on the South side (just 1/3 a mile below Madison, though so not by much) –I guess most people feel it’s more “Central”, but for parents of one of my kids’ classmates, when we talk about SEHSs, etc, they’ll say something, like “WY’s a great school, but it’s way down in the Southside, so getting there will take forever from where we live…”. For people that live in Oriole Park or Wildwood, WY really IS on the Southside, even it it’s not so much from the point of view of somebody living in Beverly or Roseland.

    RE Southside SEs:

    If a school like Lindblom or Brooks was located, say, in Hyde Park (a fairly quick zip down The Drive), I’m sure that there’d be more interest from Northside families. Problem is, fair or not, the biggest factor is the glaring public safety issue, not of the schools per se, of course (nobody thinks that it’s unsafe inside) but the neighborhoods around them: mainly taking public transportation (which is how most kids would bet there), etc.

    I swear this is true and I’m not making it us to prove some point: Somebody I know (no longer a teacher) got a job at a CPS elementary (really close to one of the Southside SEHSs) and met the fellow teachers, the principal, etc.before starting work. When she mentioned that she was going to be taking public transportation to get to work, they were all a little aghast. Everybody told her that she HAD to get a car, since it wouldn’t be safe to get to the school on public transportation..

    How would it be safe for one of my kids to same school in the same neighborhood when they are in 9th grade, if it’s not for an adult?

    CPS doesn’t provide buses for HS, do it would have to be CTA or nothing. .

    Plus, the distance from so many neighborhoods, etc.

  • 50. @49  |  April 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    King is located right off lake shore drive…get off at 47th & head west just a few short blocks

  • 51. klm  |  April 29, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Yes, but, right or wrong, there’s the whole Hadya thing –a King student shot to death in the middle of the day —by former King student. And it wasn’t just some crazy person-one-in-10-million-type thing, it was a neighborhood thug shooting at a bunch of people because of some dumb reason related to nothing important.

    I might consider King by the time my kids get to HS, but now, after reading all the newspaper articles following Hadiya’s King friends, all the other violence they talk about, etc., ….King’s off the radar.

    As I said here before many times: Crime and all the fear and worry it creates can and (and does in the case of getting more people to a school like King) ruin everything, including chances for more socio-economic mixing among people. It’s a shame, but it is what it is.

  • 52. RIP  |  April 29, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    @51 Hadiya attended King High School, but she was not killed on the premises. The person who shot her was not a current King High School student. Yet the reputation that King is not safe persists, because one of its hundreds of students was killed, away from the school.

  • 53. @52  |  April 29, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    She was shot while hanging WITH a bunch of friends in a nearby park after a school day at King by men who thought they were local gang members. This shit doesn’t seem to happen by WP, Jones, Young or Northside. A similar event recently happened where a young man was killed after a Morgan Park basketball game at Chicago State University. He was not a gang member.

    If the kids aren’t safe in the nearby environs, it will have a reputation as being a dangerous place to send your kids.

  • 54. RIP  |  April 29, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    @53 A female was sexually assaulted INSIDE of Lincoln Park High School, yet it is still considered safe. On another note, where was the young man killed after the Morgan Park basketball game? Was he killed near Chicago State? Is Chicago State the “nearby environs” to Morgan Park? Because following that definition of nearby, Brooks is an SEHS nearby Beverly, yet the white Beverly families do not send their kids there. There is a racial component to all this, yet it is sometimes couched in terms of safety.

  • 55. HS Mom  |  April 29, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    panther parent/CB – back when admission was race based, admitting Asian kids was a way to comply with race requirements. Our magnet elem. school had almost a perfect pie 25/25/25/25 wh/bl/A/His. In the case of Northside, they were able to fill race requirements and institute a high minimum score by admitting a larger proportion of Asians.

  • 56. HS Mom  |  April 29, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    The article nicely skirts around any stats on Lane. This school has been historically Hispanic majority. Likely another school that Asians now choose to attend.

  • 57. HS Mom  |  April 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    RE King and other SS schools – safety aside (I would personally find a way to deal with it if I needed an option to my neighborhood school – which I do), there are other options, closer, before we hike to the south side. People turn down Lab school on the NS because of logistics in getting there. It’s sad that the people who live nearby don’t view the schools in a positive way and would rather take 3 buses to near North and near South schools or to Lane.

  • 58. @52  |  April 29, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    @RIP Lincoln Park isnt SE.

    Re: MPHS: A white female MPHS student was shot & killed the same year as the young man. When you Hear about this, it doesn’t strike most parents as “normal”, as in “I’m sending my child to a school where other kids are being shot at and killed. OK, that’s normal.”

    Re: Brooks: A commute from Beverly to Brooks on public transportation goes thru Roseland & West Pullman, 2 of the deadliest neighborhoods in Chicago. NO parent, white, black, brown or purple, would think that sending their son or daughter thru that urban war zone would be a safe move. Nice way to try to make it a “Beverly people are racist” issue…

  • 59. @52  |  April 29, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    oh, wait, I stand corrected: You wrote “White Beverly families”…

  • 60. South side obsessed  |  April 29, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    A day late but not a dollar short. @dontyellatme I just want to echo how culturally bias iq tests are. So of course whites have higher iq scores on tests that are designed for them.
    My family is AA. Last year my son was being given an IQ test by a psychologist & I was allowed to observe. The psychologist asked him who was Bill Cosby? I realized that it was the psychologist’s attempt to be culturally sensitive but Bill has not been mainstream in the Black community for 20 years. Then he corrected himself & asked who was Beyoncé? My son stared at him as if he was ET. I just sat there and said to myself “Just b/c we are Black doesn’t mean we do Beyoncé” Then I started to get agitated b/c being aware of pop culture has nothing to do w/IQ.
    At the end of the test the psychologist mentioned concern about my son not being socially aware. So you see how IQ tests are culturally bias & even when they attempt to be sensitive they can’t capture the full range of various sub cultures w/I a culture.

  • 61. pantherettie  |  April 29, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    @51 -klm and @53 – really? Please stop using incorrect information about Hadiyah’s death to discuss why you don’t want to send your kids to a south side SEHS. Just don’t send your kids to a south side SEHS.

  • 62. @klm  |  April 29, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Reposting from other thread;
    Proud King College Prep mom!
    ***also correction below Lindblom received gold medal from USA news world report & brooks received silver!***

    I have a son who is a freshman at KCP! The previous principal left in October & yes she created some leadership issues within the school. We had an interim principal who was the AP for Kenwood who is now the contract principal! He has already improved parental involvement & has a very strong and clear vision for the school. My son & I have been very happy with the school. Is it perfect? No. Does there need to be some improvements–yes (like I would suspect at all schools).
    The work at King is VERY rigorous! My straight A student now has a mix of B’s & C’s and sometimes gets D’s. They are NOT “dumbing down” the work at all. I thought his good magnet prepared him for HS but sadly his grammar did not. Given their lower entry scores King has to deal with some of their students having deficits in some areas. They do an excellent job! If you have ever looked at their Explore scores King has the highest growth! That’s not to dismiss the elite 4 as this blog calls them but when schools have all top scorers it is very hard to move high performers higher.
    We have Posse winners, I believe one Gates Winner & did you know King had 8 students accepted to UofI-Chapaign for Engineering (each majoring in a different area of engineering). We had some of our drama students win some big accolade & have the top band in the country. If any of you had ever gone to one of the open houses then you could see the beautiful art work that our students create! Our arts program is very strong!
    I have left LSC meetings at around 8:15 pm and there is no one hanging around the school. I don’t park in the school parking lot, I park on the street and I am not fearful when I walk to my car. We have a very nice courtyard and when its hot outside the students sit out there and nothing has ever happened to any of them. I do not allow my son to take public transportation and it would not have mattered what school he attended, i am just over protective, however there are many students who take public transportation to King & they make it to school unharmed EVERY day. Another thing that I can’t stress enough is that Hydiya was not killed near the school. She was murdered in a park about a mile away near her home in HYDE PARK not Bronzeville where King is located.
    I do not understand actually why white parents from Hyde Park area don’t send their children to King. I do see one woman who proudly drops both her white sons off at the school everyday. I do also see three Asian females who travel together on public transportation. We also have a few latino students as well. Even though King isn’t very diverse, it could be more diverse if parents of other races would select the school. Parents who live downtown could also easily access King. Metra stpos at 47th & Lake Park then the bus on 47th St. transports the students to Drexel and a few blocks walk north VIOLA you have arrived at King.
    Finally, in defense of Lindblom–I have many friends whose children attend.Lindblom, which has this elaborate shuttle system that transports students from all over the city to the front door of the school. The AC students are able to use the shuttle system or the school buses.Brooks has worked with CTA to have a bus stop actually pick up the students inside the gates of the school.
    Finally to end my rant the US World & News Report awarded Brooks a Gold Medal. Lindblom & King were awarded silver medals. I think no matter what their ranking was there is no way to tell what actually goes on in the building because everything can’t be determined about a school from stats alone. Incidentally, last year Brooks was raked where Lindblom is now and vice versa for Lindblom last year–so not sure what happened there. King didn’t get higher or lower stayed the same. South Shore was not ranked because they don’t have test data & incidentally they will this year but it won’t be just from their SE population. Now sure what happened with Westinghouse but it may have something to do with the number of AP courses offered, taken & passed.

  • 63. tchr  |  April 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    “The problem is that CPS does not expel enough problematic students. If neighborhood schools didn’t have the disruptors and bad influences the whole system would work much better.”

    SOOO true.

    “Kick the problem kids out. It’s for the betterment of the whole group.”

    But wait- Are we trying to save the system or are we trying to help people?

  • 64. klm  |  April 29, 2014 at 9:02 pm


    I said “former” student. I didn’t say “current.”


    OK, whatever the details, it’s not some exagerated paranoia on the part of people removed from reality. I mean, an innocent student was shot to death in an unprovoked manner –it’s kinda’ a big deal. Sorry if you think it should be more of a non-issue, given that the details are more nuanced than I described, but I can’t do that and neither can lots of people.

  • 65. @64  |  April 29, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    @64 The problem is when these events (assaults, gangbangers, shootings, murder) are treated as “just another thing”. Students being shot at is not “normal”. Going through bullet-ridden, dangerous neighborhoods to get to school is not “normal”. Young criminals with semiautomatic guns close to campus is not “normal”.

    We see today about a young woman shot & killed by a 14 year old classmate. The shooter also sent another girl to the hospital with a gunshot wound. All this over a Facebook posting over a boy. You want your kid going to school near here?

  • 66. Diversity?  |  April 29, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I recall that some on this site have suggested Bronzeville as a better location for the new SEHS…and this article in Crains supports that thought. Isn’t King College Prep in Bronzeville?

  • 67. Pantherettie  |  April 29, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    @64 klm – in no way at all did I say or even imply that that Hadiyah;s death was a “non-issue”. I said – quite clearly – that you had the details of her death wrong and you’re using those incorrect details to explain why you think south side SEHS schools are unsafe. It’s not a small detail about where her tragic death occurred and if you can’t remember it and won’t take a couple of minutes to use google to get those details right, don’t use her death in your arguments. There are plenty of other reasons for you to say that you don’t want your kids to go to a south side SEHS.

  • 68. @67  |  April 29, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    @67 Serious question: Would you feel safe walking around the Brooks or King neighborhood by yourself?

  • 69. dontyellatme  |  April 29, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    SSO: I am not sure how to respond to what you are saying. First, post literate iq tests are pencil and paper, to avoid the questions that you complain about.

    Second, for generations they have been designing iq tests not to be culturally biased. This is well known in the psychometrics field. The us military uses an iq test to assign mos numbers.

    IQ exists, it effects real life over populations and to deny it is akin to denying global climate change.

  • 70. pantherettie  |  April 29, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    @67 – Brooks is in Roseland and King is in Bronzeville. Two very, very different neighborhoods. As a woman, I’m mindful about walking around *any* neighborhood in Chicago or anywhere that I’m not familiar with. I have on multiple occasions walked around King high school, during the day time. I felt as safe there as I have in any other working class neighborhood in the city. I have not walked around there at night but – guess what – I wouldn’t walk around the Gold Coast at night by myself either . I don’t have any specific experiences with Brooks but would probably make the same decision. But really – why is that the question? If you really don’t want your kid to attend a school on the south side – just don’t send him/her there. There will be plenty of SEHS in the north side and other “central” locations to choose from.

  • 71. RIP  |  April 29, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    @58 Why mention that Lincoln Park isn’t selective enrollment? Red herring. My point was that it is considered a safe school even though a sexual assault occurred in the building, but King and Morgan Park High School are not considered safe, even though the shootings occurred off the premises, elsewhere in Chicago. Your quote, in pertinent part, is wrong–“…sending my child to a school where other kids are being shot at and killed…” Children are not shot at and killed AT King or AT Morgan Park. Nice way to try to make it a kids are harmed at these predominantly black schools issue.

  • 72. @67  |  April 29, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    @pantherettie I’m an adult and would not feel safe walking around King or Brooks because of all the shootings that take place in those areas. I don’t think anyone would specifically target me or try to hurt me, but I’d be fearful of being near a person (or persons) who were being targeted and I would get close to the action. The fear is bigger for young people who may be mistaken for rival gang members, which is what happened/why the Hadiya Pendleton incident weighs large in not wanting send a non-neighborhood kid to King or Brooks.

  • 73. @RIP  |  April 29, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    @RIP The young man was killed at a school event, even though it was not “on campus”. There was also a shooting at a MPHS football game at Gately Stadium in the same time frame. Is your argument that shootings and assaults at MPHS school events don’t really count because they didn’t happen on the school grounds???

  • 74. King College Prep Mom @#68  |  April 29, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Ummmm…didn’t I say after leaving LSC meetings at 8:15pm at night AND parking my car on the street and NOT in the school parking lot– I NEVER SEE PEOPLE LOITERING AROUND THE SCHOOL AT KING!!!! Hydiya was killed nearly a MILE away from from King! I have not had the occasion to be around Brooks at night or day! At King our children CAN and DO sit in the courtyard before and after school and NOTHING has ever happened to a student! THIS IS CHICAGO AND I DON’T THINK IT REALLY MATTERS BECAUSE STUFF HAPPENS EVERYWHERE! some places more than others then there are the random anomalies, such as where Hydiya was killed and that kind of stuff rarely if ever happens in that part of Hyde Park. If many of you wonder why southside parents don’t often post here, then just read some of the previous negative posts.Last thing, King has a new dynamic principal! Mark my words as the years progress you will be very sorry you didn’t open your eyes and stop having a closed mind! I don’t mean this about King only, I am including Brooks & Lindblom as well. But guess what…I’m glad you snubbing King and other south side SE schools because that leaves more, quality seats for our black students on the south side!


  • 75. @King College Prep Mom  |  April 29, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    OK, I hope you are right and that SEHS on the South Side run circles around the downtown & North Side SEHS! No doubt those kids are smart, hard working and deserve a great education!

  • 76. @75  |  April 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Are you being sarcastic? Ok didn’t unsubscribe but you guys are really misinformed because every south side neighborhood isn’t gang infested! Have you ever heard of pill hill a tier 4 area well on occasion like after our block club parties & our children still want to be outside at 11pm! Guess what we let them play ang guess what again no drive bys etc! They are still alive! Lol!

  • 77. Counterpoint for discussion  |  April 30, 2014 at 12:49 am

    To 74: First off, I come in peace.

    Next, your statement “I’m glad you snubbing King and other south side SE schools because that leaves more, quality seats for our black students on the south side!” is touchy.

    Imagine if the same thing were written but insert Northside CP and white. The accusations of white hooded sheet wearers with Nazi symbols and Republican like monikers would be waved around.

    Fact: Most northsiders are not sending their children far south and most southsiders are not sending their children north. It’s not about race, it’s about safety. St. Ignatius (Roosevelt) is the furthest northsiders really want their children to travel alone, and Southsiders feel about the same with Whitney Young.

  • 78. @ counterpoint  |  April 30, 2014 at 2:02 am

    What’s been written is that African Americans will send their children north but whites don’t or won’t! What I said is great, thanks! The article says there’s been an uptick in Caucasian admissions at the north side SE HSs! Glad you got the facts straight!!

  • 79. @ counterpoint  |  April 30, 2014 at 2:04 am

    I meant don’t or won’t send them south!

  • 80. @King College Prep Mom  |  April 30, 2014 at 6:09 am

    No, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I hope South Side SE schools do really well and the kids get great educations that opens up life-long opportunities for them.

  • 81. pantherettie  |  April 30, 2014 at 6:26 am

    @77 – It’s interesting that this whole blog post is about race and educational access, yet when parents point out blatant misinformation about facts about safety at south side SEHS (and I’m not talking about MPHS – which is not SEHS) then it’s considered “touchy”. When a couple of posters make blanket and incorrect statements about a tragic death as well known as Hadiyah’s and then say things like, “the details don’t matter”. It’s a problem – and not merely being “touchy”. If I made a statement that I don’t want my daughter to attend Oak Park-River Forest High school because of a fantastically serious problem with heroin use in the school and community among middle class kids (my daughter’s demographic) , I would sound incredibly ignorant. People would immediately (and correctly) say that my blanket statement about the school and the community was wrong. I say the same thing about south side SEHS. Be truthful , or at least attempt to be , about the schools.

    I think the real issue is that people don’t want to talk about the other reasons(besides safety) that some white parents don’t choose to send their kids to south side SEHS. It’s hard to really talk about race in a way that puts yourself out there but I’ll start. As an AA parent, I wanted my child to go to a school where she looked around and saw other AA kids, especially girls and women, who enjoyed science and math as much as she does. I did not want her to be the “other” as she may have been at a school like NSCP. She has the rest of her life, particularly if she goes forward to study engineering like she wants, to be part of a small minority of AA women. So for us, sending her to Lindblom was a great choice. There are probably white parents on the northside that would say the same thing about why,aside from safety, they send their kid to NSCP. The issue that this somewhat poorly informed article brings up is that there are probably a significant number of black and Hispanic families on the north side of the city who would also like to send their kid to a school, close to their home and they are not. SEHS on the northside do not mirror the racial composition of CPS and *some* SEHS on the south side do not reflect the racial composition of CPS. Maybe other folks will share their reasons – other than safety. I’m curious.

  • 82. HS Mom  |  April 30, 2014 at 6:46 am

    @71 – interesting you should bring up the LP incident because the two 19 year old “kids” who perpetrated the crime hailed from addresses in the Marshal Field Homes, which will likely be within the new OCP neighborhood area.

  • 83. wisegeek  |  April 30, 2014 at 6:57 am

    A few points:

    @77: I disagree that Ignatius is the furthest south kids North Side kids would go. For public schools, look at Jones (which is in South Loop), and for private there is Mt Carmel as well as UChicago Lab.

    @81: Safety for students getting to and from class is a huge deal. We currently have “Safe Passage” routes, paid volunteers to assist in giving a sense of security to students, police watching out for kids getting to school.

    When tragic events occur, like the shooting of Blair Holt on a cta bus, the beating of Derrion Albert while walking home from school, Hadiya Pendleton shot while hanging out after school on a nice day, it concerns parents because they do not want their child to be put in that environment.

    Most kids don’t have cars, so they rely on public transportation to get to their school. Getting to Brooks and South Shore from the west means taking a bus through neighborhoods with high crime rates/major gang violence. Getting to Jones, Young, or Payton involves getting on a Metra or the Orange/Red Line.

  • 84. pantherettie  |  April 30, 2014 at 7:15 am

    @83 – based on your three examples, any schools south of Jones would be unsafe to travel to?

  • 85. wisegeek  |  April 30, 2014 at 7:29 am

    @84 No. These schools would be an easier commute for North Side students, but even Mt Carmel would be a haul (but the athletics would be the major draw for a HS kid who wanted to be in a good sports program).

    South Side schools such as De La Salle, ChiAg, St Rita, Marist, Mother McAuley, Morgan Park Academy, Kenwood, JUST TO NAME BUT A FEW OF THE VERY GOOD SCHOOLS SOUTH OF ROOSEVELT ROAD can be a pain in the @ss to get to from the northern part of the city.

  • 86. Maureen Kelleher  |  April 30, 2014 at 8:45 am

    To counterpoint: south side parents of many races are sending their kids north in droves. Come down to 47th and Ashland any weekday afternoon and watch the hundreds of kids in Noble Street uniforms getting off the bus from Rauner, Golder, Bulls, Muchin–yes UIC too although it is just south of Roosevelt, but a haul from here. I know kids from Back of the Yards who spent three hours a day riding to Lane and back. I’m convinced a new SEHS on the south side would attract plenty of qualified applicants.

    But to make a south side SEHS work for south siders, Rahm has got to deal with the problem of east-west public transit–i.e. buses. We live a straight shot west of King and I would consider it but the 47th Street bus runs past Tilden. I have ridden that bus after school and as it stands now I would prefer not to put my own child on it because the scene is rowdy. (I have met some great individual kids from Tilden but overall I’d prefer my kid ride the Ashland bus north/south than the 47th street bus east/west).

    Also, I appreciate pantherette’s commitment to an honest discussion of race on this thread. I am a white mother of a mixed (white/Latino) son. in our kindergarten search, while I would have liked to find a truly diverse school (close to 25/25/25/25) I also think the priority while my son is young is for him to develop his Spanish language skills and Mexican cultural identity. (He can eat soda bread with me on St. Patrick’s day.) So he currently attends a mixed Latino/white preschool and as of last week we enrolled him at a mostly Latino Catholic school (St. Procopius) because it is the only dual-language school where he was accepted. When it’s time to look at high schools south side SEHSs will be among the choices, including King and Lindblom, and likely Kenwood, too. I hope we’ll also be looking at our new Back of the Yards HS, which could grow into a great neighborhood school with an IB program along the lines of LPHS and emerging schools like Senn, Taft and Amundsen.

  • […] Shift in Racial Demos at 4 Selective Enrollment High Schools CPS Obsessed: Payton is the most white-dominant school of these 4 and has grown increasingly Whiter since the end of the consent decree. WYoung is the most diverse. Jones is almost equal on White and Hispanic students. Northside continues to have few Black students. […]

  • 88. Counterpoint for Discussion  |  April 30, 2014 at 9:35 am

    To : Maureen Kelleher386 Your statement “I also think the priority while my son is young is for him to develop his Spanish language skills and Mexican cultural identity” is the problem. The issue is that we are a melting pot. We as “Americans” are not supposed to have a priority of cultural identity. We’re americans now not Mexicans……Yes I said it!

    To 83 Wisegeek: Carmel is for South siders. Nice try. Northsiders don’t go to Carmel in any significant numbers. UofC is a totally different class of person. Don’t even place them into this discussion. It consists of the college professor kids, Rahms kids, and the like. Oh, toss in some AA’s for diversity so that they feel good about themselves in their bubble world.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Conversations about race can no longer occur in politically correct America. Everything is masked with Safety, travel times, and the like. It’s reality but progressives have won. Freedom of speech is gone otherwise ostracism will occur. Congratulations Socialists, your have destroyed a once great City.

  • 89. @Counterpoint For Discussion  |  April 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

    OK, thanks for the feedback. It’s nice to get input from all sides of the spectrum.

  • 90. Maureen Kelleher  |  April 30, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Wow, counterpoint, AAs can’t be U of C professors’ kids? Oh wait, those professors send their kids to Ray. (I know some who have, actually. But I’m kidding counterpoint to make a point.)

    And yes, we’re all Americans now, but I personally feel like knowing one’s family cultural heritage is very important. I consider myself Irish as well as American–I have living relatives in Ireland and have considered applying for an Irish passport (I’m eligible). My husband’s family is all in Mexico. To me, the most important thing my son needs to come out of elementary school with is the ability to speak with his abuela. That’s more important than whether he goes to a selective elementary school.

    But he also needs to learn to get along with all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. So if we had gotten into Sheridan or Skinner West I would have had a lot more thinking to do before opting for dual-language in a less diverse environment. But we didn’t. We will make sure he continues to get to know people from all races and economic levels. Because he’s going to a less diverse school, we’ll have to be very intentional about picking extracurricular activities that put him in contact with a broad spectrum of people. And by middle/high school I expect he’ll have a solid grounding in who he is and be able to take that into any environment, even one where he is the only of something–only boy, only mixed-ethnicity kid, only Spanish speaker, whatever.

  • 91. Chris  |  April 30, 2014 at 10:27 am

    “Hydiya [sic] was killed nearly a MILE away from from King!”

    In what world is Harsh Park “nearly a mile” from King? It’s under one half a mile. Just a little further than Payton is from the redline stop at division. If a Payton student were killed outside the redline entrance, do you think that everyone would be drawing the distinction that “it wasn’t really *at* the school”?

  • 92. @ 91  |  April 30, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Harsh park is about a 15 minute walk from the school in a location where typically shootings do not occur. Everyone makes it seem like it happened across the street from the school. If its so bad around king then wouldn’t one of our students get shot everyday. This conversation is getting silly. People get shot all over the city everyday. People do get shot on the north side at times too. I was just speaking from EXPERIENCE since my child actually attends King. Like I said for those who won’t consider King I think you will be sorry because our new principal is dynamic, energetic, knowledgeable and has a clear vision for the school. Also I live on the south side tier 4 pill hill with some homes valued in the 3-4K range & I guess with the way people depict the south side I guess I should be glad I’m still alive….

  • 93. Chris  |  April 30, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    “Everyone makes it seem like it happened across the street from the school.”

    Who? The identity of the location is full of misinformation on all sides.

    “If its so bad around king then wouldn’t one of our students get shot everyday.”

    Ridiculous strawman. Since there is NOWHERE in Chicago where someone is shot *everyday*, there’s no place in Chicago that is “so bad”, right?

    “I guess with the way people depict the south side I guess I should be glad I’m still alive”

    Yep, ig’nace is epidemic. I totally agree that the nervous nellies are overblowing the ‘safety’ issue, and that such things happen all over.

    But it doesn’t help the case to exaggerate in the *other* direction, either. Harsh Park is nowhere near a mile away, and that’s just as easy to google as the fact that Harsh Park is (a) where it happened, and (b) not across the street from King.

    “This conversation is getting silly.”

    It got silly a while ago, I completely agree.

  • 94. HSObsessed  |  April 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Here’s the Trib map of every shooting so far in Chicago in 2014:

  • 95. Counterpoint for discussion  |  April 30, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    To 90″ Your statement of ” I’ve been considering getting an Irish passport” IS THE PROBLEM. To be an American is to shed your loyalities to all other countries and pledge allegiance to the American Flag. Again, your progressive new age idea of mixed loyalities is horrific.
    Diverse is not good with regard to loyalities. We all need to be on the same page, and “Only” be loyal to America. That means no loyalities to a foreign country or idealogy.

    It has infected CPS from ESL to clutural sensitivity training and only the few 1% of CPS students that attend NSCP or WP get the wonderful fruits of a poisoned system.

    CPS is in crisis mode and the reality is that “white” families are also feeling the pinch of the recession and will occupy more seats at more SEHS’s because they want it more. Meaning they will read to their kid more, take more summer classes, go to the museams more, and be more involved in schools. I’m painting with a broad brush which means 1000 people will hate what is being presented, but that’s the reality of more non-CPS students getting into SEHS’s.

  • 96. neighborhood parent  |  April 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    oooooo…. THAT would have been the better article. Or additional paragraphs in the same article….

  • 97. HELP  |  April 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Does anyone when the principal discretion letters will be mailed?

  • 98. Gobemouche  |  April 30, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Can someone explain the dynamics of the 4 SS SEHSs? For example, I often see people post on this site that they need more options for the Mt. Greenwood & Morgan Park areas. Do people there not want to send their kids to Brooks, Lindblom, or South Shore? Please, I mean no snark. Am honestly trying to understand. I wasn’t raised in Chicago and am still trying to understand the north side/ south side thing. I admit to almost complete ignorance about the south side. I just happened to end up on the north. It wasn’t premeditated…just ended up that way. But I’d like to learn more about the south side.

  • 99. Gobemouche  |  April 30, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Also, when we talk about “the south side”, do you all mean south of Madison or do you mean south of Roosevelt? Or something else?

  • 100. Kenwood Parent  |  April 30, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    @ 51 (@ klm ) – Sorry, I’m a little late in responding. I am deeply offended that you believe that King or the surrounding neighborhood is unsafe . I live a few blocks away from King (in Kenwood), and I can assure you that crime is not widespread in the area. Hadiya’s death is sad, but such things happen all over the city. Kenwood has had one homicide within the last year. Are you saying that all northside SEHSs are within neighborhoods having zero homicides per year? I’m sure I can pull up statistics to the contrary.

    Whitney Young has not experienced that same thing? I remember being a kid (6th grade) and having the choice between Whitney Young, Kenwood, and Morgan Park for 7th and 8th grade. Even though I was closer to Whitney Young (I lived Near North), I chose Kenwood because it was thought to be safer. Maybe things have changed, but the “Whitney Young neighborhood” was not considered safe relatively recently.

    Furthermore, I attended Jones in the late nineties. A classmate of mine (sat right behind me) shot and killed another classmate from my division class in broad daylight, in downtown Chicago. Point being, this can happen anywhere.

    But perception is what this is really about. We all have our perceptions, accurate or not. And what often clouds our perception is the racial makeup of the neighborhood we are commenting on. I assume because Kenwood is mostly black, crime will seem much worse, even if the neighborhood is statistically comparable in crime to a number of Northside neighborhoods (e.g., Near North Side). The fact that Kenwood’s average income is well above city average, my neighbors are doctors, engineers, professors, etc. mean nothing when evaluating our neighborhood because we are black. This is a sad fact of life in Chicago and continues to be very frustrating for many black residents of this city.

  • 101. @100  |  April 30, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Well said! Heck, a young man was killed last night at Fullerton and Ashland in Lincoln Park. It can (and, unfortunately, does) happen anywhere.

  • 102. wisegeek  |  April 30, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    @Kenwood Parent: Gang shootings don’t happen everywhere, though. They don’t happen in Edison Park, Hegewisch, Mt Greenwood, Beverly, Roscoe Village, Ravenswood, North Center… These aren’t chalked up to “well, that’s just living in the City for ya”.

    Kenwood, Hyde Park are great areas and I enjoy visiting those areas. They are in a bubble, though.

  • 103. Counterpoint for discussion  |  April 30, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    To99: For a Chicagoian, the south side is south of Roosevelt rd.

    For a sociologist of hood mentality it’s a state of mind.
    ex: He’s so south side. Could be changed to say, he’s so low class or deceptive.

  • 104. cps celeste  |  April 30, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Chicago Tribune Shootings Map of Chicago for April 2014

  • 105. cps celeste  |  April 30, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Chicago Tribune Homicide Map of Chicago to date 2014

  • 106. Even One More CPS Mom  |  April 30, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    @105 cps celeste Something seems odd about that map to me. It shows 0 homicides in Uptown for 2014 and 1 in 2013. That can’t be right. I remember multiple news reports of homicides in the Uptown area in 2013, both on Lawrence Ave. and on Wilson alone. Am I reading this map wrong?

  • 107. shootings  |  April 30, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Were they homicides or just shootings (as if shooting but not killing is OK)?

  • 108. Even One More CPS Mom  |  April 30, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    @107 shootings. Good point. I want to say homicides, but maybe one was a homicide and the others were shootings…..darn. Lots of gang/narcotics activity in that area. Now I want to know. May have to do some research when I get a bit of time.

  • 109. Kenwood Parent  |  April 30, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    @ 105 Thanks for posting the map. Kenwood and Oakland are colored in white, meaning no homicides this year and a few last year. This rate is on par with communities further north including the Near South Side and the Near North Side, which many consider to be “safe” neighborhoods. King is in Kenwood (2 homicides in 2013), Jones is on the Near South Side/loop area (2 / 4 homicides in 2013), and Walter Payton is on the Near North Side (5 homicides in 2013), but somehow King is the only school of the three in a dangerous area?

  • 110. Stressed By CPS  |  April 30, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    @97, Principal discretion letters were mailed Monday 4/28 so if you are expecting one, you should have received it by now.

  • 111. @109  |  May 1, 2014 at 2:19 am

    Thanks! I left an LSC meeting yesterday meaning (4/30) at King at 8:23pm AND absolutely no one was hanging around! Car parked on the street and felt completely safe!

  • 112. Just thinking in writing  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:10 am

    WOW! Hey guys, there’s a few blood spatters left on the floor here…..

    SO, I see both sides of this coin. The idea that the South Side promises sure death for your child is one that is perpetuated by those on the outside looking in. I grew up in Roseland, I have lived South all my life and I have never seen anyone killed or shot. There are indeed some areas that I would not feel comfortable riding the bus in, but not for fear of death….just discomfort and aggravation. If I were a teenager, I think my view would be different.

    I agree with the poster who said the North Side (upper middle class, over-protective, WASP, recent Chicagoans, etc…pick one) parents are not sending their kids South to SEHS for more reasons than the commute. I plan on sending my child to LP everyday to attend school from Hyde Park and I know a lot of South Side parents who are sacrificing or paying a lot of money for transportation to these far-from-home schools that are luckily (strategically, purposefully, accidentally…. pick one) located in “better” neighborhoods. Largely because the system,( fate, race, socioeconomic background, choices in life, etc..pick one) affords us fewer options for our children on the South Side. I have no qualms sending her North for a decent education, despite the commute. The commute is an excuse.

    One poster asked if another would send their kids through Roseland to school. No, I wouldn’t. I believe that there is a lot of targeted crime happening in Chicago. I know that innocent bystanders get shot many times, especially if they happen to be AA, male and/or related to a gang member, or standing near a gang member. Much of it is not random, just bad shooters.
    Do I think that a kid from up North (upper middle class, over-protected, WASP, blond, doe-eyed, etc…pick one) has a much lower chance of being a victim on the South Side than his AA counterpart….yep. Let’s just say he doesn’t fit the demographic for the kind of crime you are worried about. So I understand your concerns, I just feel like they are a bit exaggerated. Put the kid on the Metra and tell him to use the common sense you beat into him all these years.

    The fact of the matter is there are a host of socioeconomic, cultural, racial, and made up reasons that people don’t want to send their kids to predominately black areas (South) and predominately black schools or vice versa. I personally don’t want my kid going to a school that is 99% AA and I love my people. It just isn’t a reflection of the real world and it robs them of the chance to be exposed to other cultures and ideas. Likewise, I would not send my child to a school that is 99% Caucasian for the same reason. I know parent’s who check the racial makeup first, and go with the “whiter” school. She believes that the “white” schools get more money. She may be right. Maybe the parents are good fundraisers or maybe it’s true that Chicago diverts more money into those areas.

    Chicago has a long history of racism. It is evident in the neighborhood services, in the resources, in the money given for funding of schools. It is why a lot of people believe that you will die if you ever go South of Roosevelt. (whispers) there are black people down there. It is why some douche posted that the “white” parents will read to their children and take them to museums (which she spelled incorrectly, further displaying her douchiness). I read to my children and take them to museums and on vacations and out of the country (yes, black people have passports, lady).

  • 113. @112  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:31 am

    @112 You’re right, the blond, over-protected, doe-eyed, upper-middle class WASP kid from the North Side would likely be less of a target than the mush-mouthed corn’rowed pants-on-the-ground Obamaphone bro from the South Side.

    /stereotypes. Is that how they work?

  • 114. really  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:31 am

    112 was all that necessary?

  • 115. luveurope  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:32 am

    114 forgot “gun totin”

  • 116. Pantherettie  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

    @112 – I’m so glad that you posted. Your views really help reflect the diversity and complexity of opinions within AA communities about where to send our kids to school. I totally agree with you regarding the perception vs. reality of south side communities. I’m also glad that you shared your reasons for your decision to send your kid to LP to school from Hyde Park. I don’t know if you have high school age child or if you’re talking about public or private school in LP, but I do understand your perspective about not wanting your child to attend school that is not racially diverse. I know that many, many parents feel the same way. In fact, in some ways I do as well – which is why I would not want my daughter to attend an HBCU (a whole other conversation). BUT, I think that there is the perception, if we put aside the conversation that is only about safety, by many families – regardless of race – is that schools on the north side of the city are *inherently* better than those on the south side. I’ve been at city wide competitions with my daughter and families and kids from NS and WP have expressed utter surprise (almost disrespectfully) that kids from Lindblom could even attend, let alone compete with them. So, as a parent, I feel that during the day, I want my daughter to attend a school where her race is doesn’t make her different and does not play a role in the expectations her teachers, counselors or peers have of her. What that also means is that her life outside school needs to reflect the diversity. Living in HP it’s pretty easy to live that. I also seek out extracurricular activites, and summer camps that are diverse – racially, geographically, socially. AND she does have a passport and has traveled outside of the country too.

    @86 – Thank you as well for sharing. I totally understand and respect why you would want your child to attend the school he does. In a world that requires human connection and emotional intelligence, being bilingual and understanding and respecting multiple cultures is the key to being a fully educated person. I wish that there were more schools – public and private – that offered that opportunity to kids.

  • 117. klm  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:45 am


    You have a point, of course.

    Then again, if for example, a LPHS student was innocently shot to death during the school day (by a former, recent LPHS student –what kind of people attend that school?!) at nearby Oz Park, don’t you think LPIB wouldn’t suddenly become a no-way-in-hell option for many Chicago parents not from the neighborhood?

    People would argue: but Lincoln Park is safe, etc., No matter, it’s going to be a place many people won’t send their kids, because it’s “unsafe.” A student from that school was shot there during the day. End of discussion: “Call me paranboid, I don’t care –a LPHS student was shot to death during the day by a thug gangbanger, for God’s sake!”

    As I said before, crime can and does ruin things on so many levels. I wish that it weren’t true, but it is.

    Also –and I know that there’s aways an element of of people that hate when people bring this stuff up (althoughj I can’t understand why, personally), there’s the fact that King doesn’t seem to really stack up academically, in terms of measureable achievement. At least, that’s true as far as the kinds of scores its students achieve or don’t achieve.

    It may change, but King doesn’t seem to be rocking it, in terms of producing kids that “exceed” standards, score high, etc. And yes, I know that this can’t change if people with the kinds of kids that score hight won’t send their kids there in the first place –it’s a bad circle.

    All the elements of another Payton and Jones are there, more people just need to start sending their kids there, I know that. It’s just that who wants to be one of the “first” from Bell RGC to send their kid to the school where Hadiya was shot?

    If King had Jones or WY-type scores it would be on the radar, believe me. But it doesn’t. Plus, given the whole Hadiya thing, its distance for many people, …..

  • 118. reenie  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Wow, the one person who calls counterpoint out for a racist rant about how white people are the only ones taking their kids to museums and want SEHS more than parents of other races, gets slammed for stereotyping. Blood on on the floor indeed.

    I lived on the north side for nearly 20 years before buying a home south of Roosevelt a decade ago. Yes, 113, I think 112’s comments were on point and worth a read. I can say from experience of being the only white person in a many-block radius (not at home but in neighborhoods I have visited for work) is that people tend to ignore you unless they ask if you’re lost. I spent a lot of time in South and West side neighborhoods over the last 15 years and never had anything bad happen; only felt unsafe once or twice. The only crime I’ve ever been a victim of was having a checkbook stolen out of my backpack at the Bryn Mawr el station in Edgewater.

    Having had these experiences as an adult, I don’t know what it would be like for a lone white teen passing through Lawndale or Roseland, but I tend to agree that if you’re obviously not from the neighborhood you are less likely to be a target of trouble. And of course “obviously not from the neighborhood” is code for white in a majority African American or Latino neighborhood.

  • 119. Blond minority child  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Another experience: I have a quiet, blonde, green eyed child who attends a fairly racially balanced school on the far northside. The other white children tend to be darker skin/ hair 1st or 2nd generation ethnic. She tells me she does not want to go to a HS where she is a visible minority. We are not WASP; she is 2nd generation ethnic, we are not upper middle class; rent a flat, and shop at Target. She has worked hard socially to overcome the assumption (resentment?) by some Latinos, AAs, and other ethnics that she is a priveleged, stuck up, airheaded blond who lives in a house in some place like Lincoln Park and has never experienced any crime or hardship, She will not take to school the Vera Bradley lunch bag or the North Face jacket her grandma got her for her birthday. I tell her she has had an experience most white people never get: feeling judged and left out because of the way they look. I am curious what others in similar situations have experienced.

  • 120. 19th ward Mom  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:30 am

    @112 Good post! Thanks for sharing your opinion.

    I was curious about this Jones shooting on State Street, so I did what most folks do nowadays and Googled it.

    It was from 1995 almost 20 years ago! And before Jones was a SEHS school. Kind of like comparing King College Prep to King H.S. (and trust me, we don’t want to go there, King was out of control but it did have a heck of a basketball team).

    Another sad point to that Jones shooting. That family seemed to have some type of target on their backs. All 4 siblings from that family, were all shot and killed within 13 years.

  • 121. Counterpoint for discussion  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Take the top 100 scoring whites and the top 100 scoring blacks on the 900 scale. Stand them up and see who scores better. I’ll bet 1mil the white kids score better even with 30 to 40 of the black kids that have parents that have been given 130,000 dollar a year jobs by the city/county/or state for political favors. Oh FYI my family is involved with security at the museums and they have the racial numbers to back up the claim that white parents take their children to the museum more that black parents. I’m sorry that the truth stings. A conversation where you call me a douche shows your lack of debating skills. Hopefully you passes that onto your daughter so that my kids can take their spot on corporate boards in the future.

    I love America.

  • 122. IBobsessed  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Lord, Counterpoint, Please take your bitter, ignorant, racist, Anti-American misinformation elsewhere. Your drawing of a conclusion based upon the antecdotal observations of your security guard relatives demonstrates how you have formed your opinions. You are proof ignorance and stupidity are not exclusive to any race. Signed embarrased white person.

  • 123. luveurope  |  May 1, 2014 at 11:09 am

    122 just an opinion so calm down already

  • 124. Pantherettie  |  May 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

    @122 – Thank you!!

    @121 Counterpoint – you, sir or madam, make statements that are racist, mean-spirited and almost comic in their stupidity. I think that you must enjoy having a place where you can say your ignorant and hateful statements behind a veil of anonymity and have a bunch of people respond to them. I wish the best but I won’t respond to anything else that you write on this post or any other. Maybe you’ll change your name, but my feeling is that your special brand of nasty, rude and racist comments will shine through and you will continue to be easy to spot.

  • 125. @124  |  May 1, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Methinks s/he is just a silly troll.

  • 126. IBobsessed  |  May 1, 2014 at 11:32 am

    @125 People like that are out there, and I don’t think s/he’s only pretending to have this view of things. You only have to drive 150 miles South of Chicago to find whole towns that think similar. I grew up in one.

  • 127. LBo  |  May 1, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Counterpoint for discussion is Donald Sterling’s daughter.

  • 128. Chris  |  May 1, 2014 at 11:54 am

    “122 just an opinion so calm down already”

    “Just an opinion” can get you banned from the NBA, and forced to sell a billion dollar asset.

  • 129. Kenwood Parent  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    @ 120 – It was indeed before Jones was a SEHS. Many people sent their kids to Jones because it was supposedly in a “safe neighborhood.” The shooting happened in the subway in DOWNTOWN Chicago. If proximity to non-SEHS students is of worry to you, sorry unnerve you, but non-SEHS students continue to pass through the Loop and areas throughout the city, some areas adjacent to SEHSs. Furthermore, Jones turned SEHS only a few years after this incident. The school and the area were not stigmatized because, after all, Jones resides in a largely white neighborhood.

    I highly doubt that if Hadiyah or anyone was killed before King was a SEHS, northsiders would send their kids there because “that murder happened before King was an SEHS.” We both know that the stigma would still stand today.

  • 130. Chris  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    “the one person who calls … out … a racist rant ”

    I think most are subscribing to the “don’t feed the troll” approach.

  • 131. Kenwood Parent  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    @ 117 I personally respect using academic achievement as the main factor when choosing a school. King HS is not at the academic level of Northside College Prep, Whitney Young, Walter Payton, etc. (although on par with many suburban schools). When we are considering schools for my 3 year old and child yet to be born, academic performance will be at the top of our list. However, I cannot respect parents justifying their choices based on assumptions about neighborhoods they probably have never visited or know virtually nothing about. Maybe I’m misdirecting my exasperation, but I’m quite tired of assumptions being made based on a neighborhood’s racial makeup. Please look at crime statistics before making such assumptions.

    I’m also not convinced that a murder at LP HS (or a northside SEHS) would lead to a mass exodus of students/parents. If this happened, I believe the situation would be explained as some outlier. Black schools/neighborhoods are not accorded the same considerations.

  • 132. wisegeek  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    @Kenwood Parent: Jones Commercial was more of a business/trade school before it became SE and the South Loop wasnt nearly as nice as it is today. Jones’ next-door neighbor was Pacific Garden Mission, the biggest homeless shelter in the city!

  • 133. IBobsessed  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    @131 The rape in a stairwell at LPHS a few years ago did not lead to a mass exodus of northsiders, and so gives credence to your point. It is explained as some outlier (“It was her boyfriend” etc.)

  • 134. Maureen Kelleher  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    In response to kim’s comment that King College Prep is sub-par academically compared to other SEHS. Let’s first of all remember that all the SEHS schools, north side and south, are bubbles of achievement much higher than what many suburban kids encounter in high school. Just for kicks I went to U.S. News and World Report to compare King College Prep with my own alma mater, Mt. Pleasant HS in Wilmington, Delaware.

    First off, King is nationally ranked–Mt. Pleasant is not. King’s College Readiness Index: 26.5; Mt. Pleasant: 18.3. Math and English proficiency rates are pretty close: 2.6 and 2.9 for Mt. Pleasant, 2.6 and 2.7 for King.

    Mt. Pleasant is 53 percent minority and 43 percent low income. King is 99 percent minority and 75 percent low income. Yet King is generally performing better. I looked up the bottom-line stat–graduation rates–and King outperforms here, too, 86 percent for King vs 83 percent for all the high schools in the district that includes Mt. Pleasant (couldn’t get a separate rate for each school).

    I also took a quick peek at Glenbrook North and Oak Park River Forest, both of which blow King and Mt. Pleasant out of the water by the numbers. So yes, maybe you’d want to move to the top Chicago suburban high schools before you’d settle for King if you didn’t get into the Big Four. But it’s worth remembering that there are middle-class suburban kids out there for whom King would be a stronger option than their own high schools.

  • 135. Maureen Kelleher  |  May 1, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    And by the way during my high school years somebody came in and bashed a student over the head with a lead pipe. So bad stuff happens in the suburbs too. It was explained as an outlier, and apparently it was since I don’t recall further incidents of that nature.

  • 136. Chris  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    “@131 The rape in a stairwell at LPHS a few years ago did not lead to a mass exodus of northsiders, and so gives credence to your point. It is explained as some outlier (“It was her boyfriend” etc.)”

    Agreed. The point is completely solid.

    HOWEVER, the supposition that “commute is just a pretext for racism” is just BS. Those who say “I send my kid from 55th to LP” are eliding the fact that they are doing so to send the kid to a school that is “better” than the options which are closer. If the “best” or second “best” (however defined) HS in CPS were located at King, and, despite the otherwise demonstrable superiority of the school, northside parents said “we don’t like the commute”, then there’d *probably* be a basis for the accusation of pretext.

    King *may* be a top 10 program, which leaves it certainly behind PaNJY, Lane, LPIB, Brooks, and no better than on par with Lindblom, Von Steuben, LP double honors, etc etc. Saying that the commute is too far *for a school that is not demonstrably better than a closer option* is not veiled racism. Just like the whiteness of NSCP is not about racism, but distance–if I lived south of Cermak, and had a kid who might score 900, I’d strongly encourage leaving NSCP off the list, bc of the distance–it just doesn’t make sense, just like Brooks is *totally* crazy if you live on the NW side.

  • 137. 112...still thinking  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Yes, @113 it was. Did you learn anything?

    @114 and @115, I’m sad that you missed the point. In parentheses I offered other choices to fill in for what some may believe or hear when you say “North Side”. It was trying to point out that there are stereotypes/misconceptions on both sides.

    @121 A conversation where you use your underemployed family of security guards to back up your lie clearly shows your lack of debating skills. The rest of your conversation shows a lack of grammar skills. If, in fact, you have $1 million to make a bet, let me suggest you use it to shore up your educational shortcomings.

  • 138. Chris  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    ” So yes, maybe you’d want to move to the top Chicago suburban high schools before you’d settle for King if you didn’t get into the Big Four.”

    But, if you live in Bowmanville (or, worse, Sauganash), is ranking Lane ahead of King because of the “commute” a pretextual excuse for racism? Which has been strongly implied in this thread.

  • 139. Maureen Kelleher  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Chris, try again, Lindblom is a way better statistical performer than King or Brooks, not to mention Von, LP double honors etc. It’s not quite as strong as Lane but it is pretty close. Again, I’m using US News as my data source for this. But Lindblom is a highly competitive SEHS and North Siders generally don’t realize that.

  • 140. Maureen Kelleher  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    And no, it’s not racist to rank Lane ahead of King if you live in Bowmanville. I used to live there and if I still did you bet I’d be thinking Lane ahead of King. But if I lived at the southern end of the north side near a red line station I’d be thinking hard about putting LIndblom on my list. Or Curie IB, which is right at the Pulaski Orange LIne stop. I should stop saying this stuff to keep the South Side’s best-kept high school secrets. 🙂

  • 141. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    103. Counterpoint for discussion | April 30, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    To a REAL Chicagoian, the south side is South of Madison.

  • 142. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    140. Maureen Kelleher | May 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Would you consider Chicago Ag for your child? It’s a fantastic hidden gem of a school!

  • 143. Pantherettie  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    @139 – Yes – you’re right about Lindblom and based on some of these comments on this board, I’m glad that there are some schools on the south side that can remain best kept secrets for while longer.

  • 144. Chris  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    “Chris, try again,”

    Thanks, no. I wasn’t attempting a definite ranking, just pointing out that, if you live north of Fullerton and/or west of Ashland (ie, 90% of the Northside), there are about half a dozen *non* PaNJY options that are as good or better than King and have a much preferable commute.

    Simply a rebuttal to the implication that saying “the commute to King stinks” is a cover for racism, said implication buttressed by “we live in Hyde Park and send our kid(s) to the northside to a school *better than* King, so choosing [northside school X over King] must be bc of some level of racism”.

  • 145. wisegeek  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I’m wondering if we’ve all gotten trolled by the SunTimes story, in that it got ppl upset over supposed racism/favoritism in SEHS when the numbers were cherry-picked and the “news” was more opinion-based than basic facts.

    With that, most ppl I know aren’t going to send their kids on a CTA bus thru Chicago’s roughest hoods, meaning King & Brooks will be a tough sell for non-locals. If my kid wanted to go to Brooks, it’d have to be via carpool on Bishop Ford/111th St., but then again, my kid would want to go where his friends were going. If it was Jones, WY, De La Salle … I’d just want him to be happy with his group of friends, not ME making some big social statement of “I AM NOT AFRAID TO SEND MY SON TO …’

  • 146. Chris  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    “To a REAL Chicagoian, the south side is South of Madison.”

    So, Jones and Young are on the South Side? Guess there’s nothing to complain about–half of the “Big Four” are on the South Side!!

    To this Chicagoan, there’s the South Side (which may or may not include the Southwest side), the West Side, the Northwest Side, and the North Side. The Loop/Downtown is everything in the middle that doesn’t fit well into one of those–I think of that as *roughly* Division to Roosevelt, west to not quite Ashland (further east close to the N/S edges). So, Jones is Downtown, Young is Westside, NSCP is North or NW, and Payton is on the edge bt downtown and North.

  • 147. Chris  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    “send their kids on a CTA bus thru Chicago’s roughest hoods, meaning King & Brooks will be a tough sell for non-locals”

    If you’re on the northside and taking transit to King or Brooks, the Electric makes a lot more sense, but doesn’t make the commute manageable time wise, either.

  • 148. Diversity?  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    @139 Lindblom is strong academically…but if you live on the NS it is, as you concede, a hike. When considering HSs with my child, we took public transportation to every single open house so that he could get a sense of the commute. As being driven to school was not an option, I thought it was valuable in making any decision that he be well aware of what the daily commute would entail (after all…he was the one that would be losing the extra sleep/free time, not me). He did rule out several schools as a result of this process…so yes, commute time (even for a 14 year old) is an important factor to consider.

  • 149. Maureen Kelleher  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Chris, I totally agree with you that commuting time is not simply a veil for racism. In, fact SoxSideIrish just asked me a great question about Chicago Ag–which is a wonderful school that would be a long commute from our house. I would have to decide whether I thought it was an especially good fit for my child to make it worth the haul, and do some serious transit research to figure out whether we could get there. King or LIndblom would be a lot easier to get to from here.

    But I’m going to challenge you on your response that you weren’t attempting a definitive ranking of schools, you were just trying to say commute matters. Your comments about King versus Brooks, LIndblom etc. showed that really you don’t know the South Side high schools well enough to judge their quality relative to each other or to PaNJY, Lane or other central and north side schools. To be fair, I suspect you’re not alone among many who read this blog.

    I wonder if the recession/recovery’s effect of keeping families in the city who might otherwise have left will eventually pressure more North Side parents (especially those not on the far NW side) to look more carefully at options south of Roosevelt, or if the new Obama High is a taste of things to come as the city tries to hold on to families with high-scoring kids. It does gall me that city leaders call it “centrally located.” The geographic center of the city is actually somewhere between Pilsen and Bridgeport. And as a mid-south sider I’m totally biased and want neighborhoods near me to get a piece of the SEHS action. 🙂

    For anyone interested in more on where is the geographic center of Chicago:

  • 150. Diversity?  |  May 1, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    @149 As a mid-south sider, which SEHS is closest to your home? Will it be at the top of your list? If not, why?

  • 151. IBobsessed  |  May 1, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    @138 Chris, I agree the phenomena of northsiders not considering the s-side schools isnot soley attributable to white racism. The commute is a big factor. We are less likely to tolerate long commutes in order to get quality academics, because we are not accustomed to having to do that. Why? We have more choices of quality ( whatever the cause, discrimination in funding, family dysfunction and intergenerational poverty etc. ) elementary schools on the northside and are more likely to have the $ to go parochial or private if we don’t win the CPS lottery. I will talk my kid out of Lane and WY because we live on the far northeast side and she has always needed lots of sleep. I fear the impact of sleep deprivation on academic performance.

  • 152. Chris  |  May 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    “Your comments about King versus Brooks, LIndblom etc. showed that really you don’t know the South Side high schools well enough to judge their quality relative to each other or to PaNJY, Lane or other central and north side schools. To be fair, I suspect you’re not alone among many who read this blog.”

    With where we live, there is *no way* I could in good conscience recommend to my kids the travel time to Lindblom or King (even if either them were, in fact, *better* than Payton and NS), which both plot out at about an hour more per day (ie, r/t) than Young or Jones, and two hours more than the further north schools. And we aren’t and won’t be in a position to drive them even one way, so that’s not an alternative.

    And that’s that–there’s basically no reason for us to seriously contemplate it–transitioning from a 5 minute roundtrip to school to a 3.5 hour roundtrip ain’t happening, and expending time and mental capacity on knowing the relative quality of King/Brooks/Lindblom/South Shore is just a waste for me. And that has nothing to do with the neighborhood around those schools and *everything* to do with the distance from our home.

  • 153. klm  |  May 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm


    Exactly. I’ve learned not to give trolls “troll food.” Do that and they stick around forever –just like wild rats and pigeons..

    People: Don’t feed trolls! They’ll make a mess all over the place, if you do.

  • 154. Chris  |  May 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    ” I fear the impact of sleep deprivation on academic performance.”

    I fear the impact of sleep deprivation on family quality of life, too, along with the obvious (potential) issues with school performance.

  • 155. Maureen Kelleher  |  May 1, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    150 asked what is the closest SEHS to my house and whether it would be our number 1 choice. Remember, my DS is not even in K yet so who knows what his preferences or academic standing will be, but our closest SEHS is Lindblom–two miles away, an easy drive and also convenient by public transit plus shuttle–so it would certainly be high on our list. As to our first choice, I honestly hope our new neighborhood high school, Back of the Yards, will grow into a great school and then my child could walk or ride a bike to school. But maybe he will want to ride the Ashland bus to Whitney Young or the Orange Line to Jones. Both are longish but not outrageous commutes from here. King is four miles away and could also be an option as I said before, though at least for now I’d rank Lindblom higher because it is closer and has better stats.

    Given that we have eight years before we get serious about high school selection, we will also be watching the turnaround in progress at Juarez HS in Pilsen. The current principal, Juan Carlos Ocon, is amazing and Juarez just started growing an IB program.

  • 156. Maureen Kelleher  |  May 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Pantherettie you will laugh but the only downside in my mind about Lindblom right now is that it does not offer Spanish. Though I’m open to the idea that my DS could take on a third language in high school and I love that they offer Mandarin and Arabic, I also want him to have strong enough Spanish that he could choose to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country in college. So if we went to Lindblom we’d have to maintain his conversational Spanish and find some way to keep pushing more complex content in the language even if he weren’t getting it in school. Jones used to have one of the strongest Spanish programs in the city; not sure where it stands now.

    This is all to say that for me, just like for all the other parents on this thread, making a decision about high school requires weighing many factors, not just stats and location. But stats and location certainly are important factors.

  • 157. Diversity?  |  May 1, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    @155 Thanks for responding…you are fortunate to have a good SEHS option relatively close to your home.

  • 158. averagemom  |  May 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Maybe I’m alone with this thought, but I’m fairly certain my kid would do about the same at any SEHS. As long as the school has enough kids able to do the work in the honors and AP courses, how any particular kid will do is mostly due to that kid’s ability and effort. So, we go to the closest SEHS to us. I have my doubts that my kid would learn more at another school just because it has more higher scoring kids.

  • 159. dontyellatme  |  May 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Averagemom: you are exactly right. The quality of the school has much more to do with the native intelligence of the kids admitted than anything else. Charters, which take the same kids as regular schools, have the same results as regular schools. The magnets self select for kids whose parents are looking for better schools (smart people want good schools for their kids) and sehs literally take the smartest kids.

    The reason to go to sehs is that your kid are going to school with smart kids who are unlikely to be violent, will be offered a challenging curriculum and allow your kid to hang out with a better sort of friend. I don’t hang out with dropouts and don’t want my kid to hang out with dropouts.

    It is the same reason people move to fancy suburbs and why most people join country clubs.

  • 160. @158  |  May 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    YOU HAVE MADE MY DAY WITH YOUR COMMENT! My son attends King! The curriculum IS VERY RIGOROUS! We had four Gates Finalists and one of the students won the scholarship! This means that in order to get the scholarship she had to learn what was being taught & it must have been pretty hard. Some of the other SE high schools or the elite 4 or 5 as you all commonly refer to them on this blog have Gates Finalists/Winners too! So doesn’t that mean the curriculum at King is just as rigorous???

    BTW-South Shore International is closer to my home than King BUT I didn’t put it down on my son’s application because it didn’t have PSAE/ACT data yet. Therefore, I do understand the rationale by traveling a bit father if you think a school is stronger academically. Remember when you look at average ACT scores that means that some children scored higher & some scored lower. I am sending my younger son to Kenwood’s AC. They have a great, rigorous trajectory for the curriculum if you allow your student to stay for high school. I looked at the average ACT score & it’s decent, but I am well aware that it is not a SE school, it is a neighborhood school that also has a magnet program for students who reside out of the neighborhood boundaries. If my son wants to stay then he can. The students were passionate about the school and I thought the curriculum was strong with lots of rigor. It also is more convenient because I pass it everyday on my way to King. I was VERY interested in Lindblom for both kids but since the oldest got in King, I ranked Kenwood’s AC higher than Lindblom. I also noted that Kenwood usually gets the MOST scholarship $$ for their students (even the SE high schools) & for the first time last Jones beat them by a couple of million when Kenwood has always led the pack!

    We all have to understand that there are various things to consider when picking a school for your children. HOWEVER, I don’t believe we should think that a lesser performing SE high school means that your child will be less prepared for college than if they went to one of the higher performing SE high schools.

  • 161. Kenwood Parent  |  May 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    @ 160 I think Kenwood’s AC is a great choice. I went through the program many years ago (OMG – 20 years!), and kids and teachers were top notch. Approximately half of the kids left after 8th grade, and the other half pretty much dominated the class rankings. A few kids went on to Ivy Leagues. If you are planning to keep your kid there for high school, just make sure that he chooses the right courses (honors, AP) and he will be fine. Of course, he will be well qualified to get into one of the SEHSs, if that’s your plan.

  • 162. @161  |  May 1, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Now Kenwood retains between 85-90% of their AC students! They do make them take nearly all honors & AP classes. Also, junior year they are dually enrolled in college courses! Kenwood has a partnership with U of C & you need a certain (high) GPA but it escapes me right now to go there & if you don’t have the GPA threshhold you want then the students are dually enrolled in one of the City colleges! I like that when you take the college course you actually get the college credit whereas with AP you need the 3 or more to get the credit AND some colleges don’t even accept the credit. I know that not all colleges accept credits from city colleges but I will be sure if he stays he picks something general enough to count for most colleges. I am very excited about the oppurtunity and he & I both are looking forward to the experience! I know it will be a rough transition from his magnet to the AC but I think he can do it! Thank you for the words of encouragement because some of my friends are questioning my decsion because the HS isn’t SE & he may lose points gradewise if he doesn’t get the 4 As. I will push but I won’t be crazy about it! I am just relieved that if I choose not to go through the SE HS process or even if he tests I won’t have to be so stressed waiting for the results! Overall I believe I will be pleased with Kenwood & I am very pleased with King, as well! Both my boys tend to be a bit lazy academically & I don’t believe either is working at their full potential so that is my goal for the next school year—getting them to realize their full potential and working harder to get/keep high grade averages!

  • 163. it's all about GPA  |  May 1, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    162, you might let your sons know that unless they keep their GPAs at a 3.0 or higher research indicates they will have a rough time in college.See figure 4 of this report:
    The figure 4 data comes from UChicago’s Consortium on Chicago School Research but I can’t find the report–it’s note 8 in this brief and I have to go.

  • 164. it's all about GPA  |  May 1, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    As the table shows, a 3.6 is a much better goal than a 3.0.

  • 165. Angie  |  May 1, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Here we go. Get ready to lose more, if not all, merit-based admissions.

  • 166. @163  |  May 1, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Curious is that weighted or the unweighted GPA??? I always have my issues with the honors classes. First semester my oldest had B’s in his honors classes & sometimes I just can’t help but wonder if it was a “regular” class would he have earned an A! I know rationally that the honors classes will prepare him for the ACT better & college as well but when colleges look at the unweighted GPA it makes me nervous because he has C pluses right now…ugh! He’s doing a little slacking the second semester 😦

  • 167. @166  |  May 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    that is unweighted GPA.

  • 168. OTdad  |  May 1, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    @165. Angie:
    Those politicians are racists. Why keep mentioning race when there is nothing about race? It’s about how good you are, no body cares whether you are black or white or green.

    What happens to “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”? Those racists should realize after nearly 50 years it’s time to make Martin Luther Kings’ dream a reality.

  • 169. wisegeek  |  May 1, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    @166 Way to go, Alderman Dowell! You’ve just essentially said that WY, Payton, Jones and Northside are WAYYYYYYYYYYY better than those also-rans of Brooks, King and South Shore! In fact, there needs to be hearings to see why African-American kids have to go to these second-rate schools which are clearly inferior to “The Top Four”! What a boost of confidence the students must have, knowing that no matter how hard they try & how well they do, they won’t be in the “best” schools in Chicago BUT you are on the case!


  • 170. local  |  May 1, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Where do the elite college recruiters stop to shop among CPS high schools?

  • 171. FedUpTaxpayer  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Last I checked, 2+2 = 4, scientific theory, sentence construction, etc. were colorblind concepts.

    So if the schools are test based for admittance, then blame the black students and their parents for not taking their primary education (K-8 grade) seriously.

  • 172. Eclectic Educator  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    @162: Kenwood is a good choice. My son attends the HS part time (we homeschool) and I have been very happy with the school. They are determined to make it possible for every child to succeed and the place has a warm, positive feeling. As I explain to my friends, most of what separates the SE high schools from the others is their students. The teachers aren’t actually any better, they just start with students who are further ahead in 9th grade and end up with students who are further ahead four years later. Kenwood is very good about having multiple tracks and letting kids move between them. My son is taking an AP course, with an excellent teacher, and I can’t imagine how the experience would be any better at another school. I think you and your son will be pleased.

  • 173. abc  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    @170 wisegeek

    roger that!

  • 174. abc  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    oops, @169 wisegeek

    roger that!

  • 175. RIP  |  May 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    @117 “It’s just that who wants to be one of the “first” from Bell RGC to send their kid to the school where Hadiya was shot?”

    Hadiya was not shot at King High School. King is not “the school where Hadiya was shot.”

  • 176. What is current Per Pupil Funding?  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Sorry – posting this here since it has more traffic and I am hoping for an answer.

    What is current Per Pupil Funding for 2013-14? I heard another $250 or so will be added but this will just cover the 2% teacher pay hike and the cost of inflation. However, what is the amount per pupil today?


  • 177. klm  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:11 am


    Well, no, obviously.

    But the perception is as much.

    Even the roughest schools are safe INSIDE. It’s what goes on when kids leave to hang out, etc., that worries parents. Hadiya and her friends walked from school to a nearby park to hang out and a thug gangbanger (we also had attended the same school) started shooting at them. One person was killed.

  • 178. anonymouse teacher  |  May 2, 2014 at 6:16 am

    @177, I disagree that the roughest schools are safe inside. I personally walked out of several subbing situations because it was truly dangerous for an adult, let along a child and I am talking at the 3rd and 4th grade level, weapons and all.

  • 179. pantherettie  |  May 2, 2014 at 6:21 am

    @156 – Maureen – I think that the choice of language options is absolutely a big deal and should play a part in decision making about a school. My dd took Latin for 4.5 years in elementry school. She had a fantastic teacher, loved learning the language and participated in various city wide events with the school’s Latin students. So she was disappointed to learn the Lindblom only offered Arabic and Mandrin whereas her second choice AC, Kenwood, offered a strong Latin program. In her case, language study didn’t come close to the science/math differences at Lindblom for her. This is not a dig at all towards Kenwood’s strong and very well regarded AC. It just means that it wasn’t the best fit for her. So Maureen, when the time comes you’ll have to look at all of those factors and see what’s best for your child. What I’m glad that you’re open about is the possibility of considering all options – including rising neighborhood schools.

  • 180. klm  |  May 2, 2014 at 7:33 am


    I know, but every time I’ve brought that up, there are people ready to pounce on me, so I don’t. do it any longer. Sadly it often becomes another whole ‘veiled racism’ accusation/issue (which is alway funny to me since my spouse and children are black –all my black family and friends have the same exact concerns as I do [why wouldn’t they?]), so I leave it alone.

    I should have said that all CPS SEHSs are safe inside, which I don’t think anybody would seriously argue about.

  • 181. @ pantheretti  |  May 2, 2014 at 8:12 am

    You are a wealth of info! My son & I discussed the language options at kenwood & we settled on Latin! He’s had a little Spanish in elementary school but there wasn’t a lot of exposure. I told him that Latin will help him with English vocab. I’m hoping he will want to take more than 2 years of it but kenwood has so many electives to offer that he almost said he wanted to take all of them!

  • 182. Counterpoint for discussion  |  May 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

    To 124 and 127

    Open your eyes, your point of view isn’t awesome and opposing points of view are always weak. Have the discussion and defend your positions that advance/give preference to people based on race. Your positions are the racist ones when you defend the current CPS policies.

  • 183. B&W  |  May 2, 2014 at 9:36 am

    @ 182. Counterpoint for discussion

    Pssssst… your crazy is showing again. You might want to tuck that back in.

  • 184. Anonymous  |  May 2, 2014 at 9:55 am

    klm @180 (and re other klm posts) The fact that a white person chooses a black spouse does not mean that they are therefore qualified to conclusively judge when something is racist or not..Or that there is no way they could miss when something is wholly or partially due to a racist outlook. Unconcious racism is insidiously present in the minds of everyone in our culture.

    And in case you’re wondering, I’m white, so I’m not pointing this out because I resent you for having a black husband.

  • 185. Patricia  |  May 2, 2014 at 9:59 am


    OK, let’s move to screw up one of the few things in CPS that is actually working. I guess that is politics in Chicago?

    Essentially, the way things currently stand, with a 650, a Tier 1 student can get into a SEHS. (250 points off the 900 rubric.) If Tier 1 truly reflects lower socioeconomic circumstances, while some may disagree, IMO it is a good thing to give these kids (regardless of race) an advantage. And I agree with posters up-thread that any SEHS will offer an outstanding education.

    The spread from Tier 1 to Tier 4 of the “top” SEHS mentioned (Although I want to reiterate that I think all the SEHS will offer a great education which the Alderpeople seem to ignore.)

    Northside – T1=804 vs. Tier 4=894 difference of 94 points
    Payton – T1=838 vs. Tier 4=896 difference of 58 points
    Young – T1=806 vs. Tier 4=877 difference of 71 points
    Jones – T1=805 vs. Tier 4=883 difference 78 points

    So for Northside, Tier 1 can essentially get all B’s, or 75% on both reading and math ISAT and a B, or score 119 on the entrance exam. Compared to a Tier 4 student who will NOT get into any of the above with one B (25 points) meaning game over. Over 90% on ISATs. Also, score at least 228 on the entrance exam with all other perfect. You get the point and can create many scenarios with all pointing to an advantage for Tier 1 by design.

    The argument cannot be validated based on “fairness” in the admissions criteria.

    The argument may have a point if the Tiers 1/2/3/4 do not have enough AA students. Are white students in the same Tier taking away spots from AA in the same socioeconomic situation? I do not know. But even with this point, shouldn’t the student who scores higher get the seat? If someone is in a Tier 1 that should be Tier 4, that is an argument that may have merit.

    Since race could not be used, the tier system was implemented. We all know the enormous impact tiers have block-by-block and I do think CPS constantly attempts to have tiers reflect reality. There are always posters each year who got bumped from T3 to T4 and are not economically advantaged! What is the alternative? Have parents submit tax returns? Have students go through a process like college admissions financial aid? The cost and time to implement something like this within the legal parameters seems unrealistic.

  • 186. former sub  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Re: safety inside the roughest high schools. I’ve subbed in a number of them and I would not say they are 100 percent safe all the time.

    I would tend to agree with the assertion that all CPS SEHS are safe on the inside, but it would be good to know the suspension stats for high-level offenses before assuming that is true (not sure they’d be absolutely zero anywhere).

  • 187. Angie  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:18 am

    @185. Patricia : “What is the alternative? Have parents submit tax returns?”

    I would say yes. Establish the income levels by tier, and have the applicants claiming tiers 3 and below submit their tax returns or welfare paperwork when accepting the seat at SE school. If they cheat, they get disqualified. And anyone who does not wish to disclose their income, for whatever reason, will have to apply as Tier 4.

    This will only add a couple of minutes per person to the registration process at the SE schools. It’s not expensive or time consuming at all.

    That said, my guess is that with so many elections coming up, and everybody needing the African American votes to win, they will reduce the merit admissions once again.

  • 188. IBobsessed  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

    @185 I’m not sure I’m convinced that having parents submit income tax forms is an unworkable alternative. CPS manages to sort applicants into Tiers by their address on their applications and deals with paper test score reports from private school applicants. Why would the addition of one more document to complete an applicant’s file bring the whole system to a screeching halt?

    Doing alot of theatrics like calling for hearings (they won’t end up changing a thing about the SEHS process. Rahm and the BOE are king.) are the easy thing for the ‘concerned’ alderman to do.
    Working year round to challenge Rahm and the BOE, and improve the system and AA elementary schools, so these students can score into SEHSs, is something we won’t see, because most of the time these alderman are too busy feathering their own nests and kissing the mayor’s behind.

  • 189. Patricia  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Can a school district require tax returns or welfare paperwork for a public school? I do not know the answer but was under the impression that it is not legal. Others on this blog may know.

    If not difficult to implement, I like your thought to “complete the registration process”. I was thinking for everyone applying which would be much more paperwork. If it is legal, they should be doing this now.

    The funny thing is, while this would have an actual effect, I think the political slant of the Alderpeople is to churn negative press coverage (which they will get) in an election year as you pointed out.

  • 190. @ 186  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

    You can see suspension rates if you go to & in find a school look up the school go to reports & scroll down toward the bottom.

  • 191. Pantherettie  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:32 am

    @178 – I don’t doubt that there are many schools that are unsafe inside. However, I don’t really think that’s the case for any SEHS as they would not be considered, by any stretch of the imagination, to be among the “roughest” schools in CPS. I think that it’s a problem to equate the safety inside of an SEHS with the safety concerns (many of which are very legitimate) about commuting to and from the school.

  • 192. Patricia  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Good point. I was thinking upon application, but it may be manageable upon acceptance. Yes agree that there already is a lot of paperwork.

    So true about the political banwagon theatrics. They will push to lower standards before trying to meaningfully improve the elementary education of the students in their wards.

    I would have one wish for you statement to change one word. Instead of “Working year round to challenge Rahm and the BOE, and improve the system and AA elementary schools, so these students can score into SEHSs, is something we won’t see..”

    I would like to change “challenge” to “collaborate with”. However, politics will get in the way of solutions every time.

  • 193. parent  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:43 am

    This homicide tracker is pretty interesting. On the right side, you can enter any neighborhood and see the data going back to 2007:

    Lots of homicides in Rogers Park and Albany Park. Anyone nervous about sending their kids to Decatur or Edison?

  • 194. IBobsessed  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:45 am

    @187 Angie. I think you’re mistaken about where the power center is in this city. I do not think Rahm is running scared because south side blacks might be mad about SEHSs. More blacks take the CTA than have high school age kids.

    Terry Peterson, David Axelrod, and other mayoral advisers maintain that the voice of opposition—black, white, or Hispanic—always gets too much media attention. And that in reality many black voters contentedly and quietly believe the mayor’s doing the right thing.

    Think of them as the silent majority, as President Nixon might put it.

    According to the Peterson-Axelrod theory, once the CTA rebuilds the south-side Red Line, most black voters—at least those on the south side—will return to the fold.

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  • 196. OTdad  |  May 2, 2014 at 11:29 am

    @189. Patricia:
    “Can a school district require tax returns or welfare paperwork for a public school?”
    CPS already requires income papers for Pre-K, not much a stretch to do the same on high school for Tier assignment.

  • 197. JLM  |  May 2, 2014 at 11:41 am

    @149 and @134 Maureen – Pilsen/Bridgeport is the geographic center of the city in much the same way that the geo center of the contiguous U.S. is Lebanon, Kansas. I think it’s a lot easier to get somewhere close to the Loop, the transportation (and financial and cultural) center of Chicago than Pilsen/Bridgeport, just as it’s a lot easier to get to Chicago or Houston from anywhere in the U.S. than Lebanon, Kansas.

    And as far as the College Readiness Index (CRI) is concerned, King’s 26.5 may beat your alma mater, but it doesn’t beat the 45.5 of my alma mater in a middle class suburb of another state, the 59.1 of Lane Tech, or the 93.3 of Northside. For many well-educated non-racist families of any race, the numbers at King don’t warrant a 3-hour round trip daily commute. We could up and move our family to Mt. Prospect (CRI=53.9) instead.

    @165 – Saw that article earlier today. Very disturbing. I’m not as confident as others on this board that a change won’t be made to reducing the % of students who get in based on pure rank.

  • 198. wisegeek  |  May 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

    @196 Wouldn’t solve the problem seen by the black Aldermen who only want ONE thing: More black faces at WY, Jones, Northside & WP. Essentially, they want it back to quotas, where no magnet school could be more than 35% white.

    White kid could be dirt-f*cking poor, black kid could come from a wealthy family, Ald. Dowell wants the black kid at what she sees as the Top 4 SEHS schools, regardless of the economic situation of the individual student.

  • 199. wisegeek  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    For the record, I’m for quotas based on an economic data, as there are very poor kids of every color in this city, and very wealthy kids of every hue.

  • 200. OTdad  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Ald. Dowell is a borderline racist. Nobody deserves preferential treatment, whatever your skin color is.

  • 201. Angie  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    @194. IBobsessed: “@187 Angie. I think you’re mistaken about where the power center is in this city. I do not think Rahm is running scared because south side blacks might be mad about SEHSs.”

    It’s not just Rahm. Aldermen want to keep their jobs next year, too, and we also have elections for state representatives and other officials in November. Southside aldermen would love to deliver more SEHS seats for their voters.

    Funny how things work. When white people can’t get into the most competitive SEHS, they are expected to suck it up and go elsewhere. But black people in the same situation scream racism and demand to kick more white people out to make room for them. And that’s in spite of needing much lower scores to get into the SEHS in the first place.

    “According to the Peterson-Axelrod theory, once the CTA rebuilds the south-side Red Line, most black voters—at least those on the south side—will return to the fold.”

    Not if Karen Lewis and others like her continue to stir the turd and cry racism when things don’t go their way. A lot of people already bought her BS about school closings being racially motivated, and rich white people robbing black children of public education.

  • 202. It's not about the schools  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    What is frustrating and short-sighted about newspaper articles and aldermanic theatrics like this is that the root of the problem is not that these four particular, so-called “best” schools don’t admit more black students. The problem is that more black students don’t qualify for these schools. You could kick all the other races out of these four schools tomorrow and fill the schools with black kids, and the schools would no longer be “the best” (based on test scores), because that mantle would go to whatever school the higher scoring kids you kicked out ended up attending. Meanwhile, there are four majority black SEHS schools on the south side, and, as others have suggested, these are undoubtedly equally “good” schools in terms of quality teachers, resources from BOE, parental commitment, motivated kids, and so on. They just don’t happen to have as high test scores, which makes some view them as “worse.” But this is not because the schools THEMSELVES are worse, but because the kids who attend them have lower scores than students who attend the big four. And why is that? Because there is a well documented achievement gap between the races. And that problem won’t get fixed by tinkering around with who gets into PaNJY. The achievement gap is where all this effort and theatrics is better directed.

  • 203. Kenwood Parent  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    @199 I think its safe to say that the City of Chicago has very few white students living under the proverty line.

  • 204. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    “once the CTA rebuilds the south-side Red Line”

    Um, they completed the rebuilding 6 months ago:

    Yes, the re-construction of the 95th station hasn’t started, but that is step one to the [possible/promised] extension down to 130th. Which will (eventually, in the most likely scenario) put a redline stop two blocks from Brooks.

    Also, anyone have any idea what is with all the citation on here to articles that are over 12 months old, as if they just happened?

  • 205. wisegeek  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    @Kenwood Parent: Go to Hegewisch, Rogers Park, near Midway, Mt Greenwood, Canaryville, Edgewater, any place with a large Russian or Eastern European immigrant population and yes, hard as it may be to believe, you will find some POOR WHITE PEOPLE in Chicago!

    Hey, are there rich black families in Chicago?

    /Of course there are. Shame on you! 😉

  • 206. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    ” I think its safe to say that the City of Chicago has very few white students living under the proverty line.”

    Really? Why do you think that?

    It certainly is *relatively* few, but the number is 9%, and I don’t think that constitutes “very few”.

  • 207. Kenwood Parent  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    @180 klm, people pounce on you because you make blanket statements about neighborhoods you know nothing about. Also, the shooter was a student at King? Where do you get this information? Both of the guys convicted were > 18 years old, and the shooter wasn’t even from the neighborhood. Did one attend King before it became a SEHS? I’m confused.

    I believe you are quite ignorant with regard to the subject matter you are commenting on. A look at the map below (posted by someone upthread) explains why:

    Whether your husband is black and your kids are black is irrelevant. Do you regularly visit the south side? Do realize that the President of the United States resides in the neighborhood that you deride?

    My husband is white and my kid is white. That doesn’t mean that I am not ignorant about some facet(s) of white culture or white neighborhoods.

  • 208. IBobsessed  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    @206 Chris, anyone who looks at the hyperlink can see the article is from 3/13, so the date was not misrepresented. The date of completion of the CTA project 6 mos. ago does not change the relevancy of its possible impact on S-side voters’ support of Rahm part 2. If 12 month old articles are still apropos, why not cite them?

  • 209. Kenwood Parent  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    @ wisegeek – I have no shame. If you do not understand the term “relative,” I have no answers for you.

    @ chris – yes, in Chicago, a poverty rate of 9% (I’m assuming that is the percentage of whites under the poverty line?) is quite small compared to other groups.

  • 210. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    KP: You did NOT type “relatively few”. You typed “very few”. Which says something very different.

  • 211. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    KP: “Also, the shooter was a student at King? Where do you get this information?”

    Every time I’ve seen it posted, the modifier “ex-” or “former” has been included. Was the shooter *never* a student at King?

  • 212. Kenwood Parent  |  May 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    @ Chris, my mistake. I assumed that you were quoting me. I think “relative” is an appropriate term, especially when discussing the topic at hand (selective admissions).

  • 213. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    “anyone who looks at the hyperlink can see the article is from 3/13, so the date was not misrepresented”

    Didn’t mean to imply there was a misrepresentation in your post, but I have seen about half a dozen links on here this week to year old articles speculating about a future which is now the past.

    Your excerpt from it specifically was one of those things–since we are 6 months past the completion of the Red Line, where do polls stand on the Peterson-Axelrod theory? It’s at least partly testable at this point, isn’t it?

    And, anyway, Rahm could cure cancer and the common cold, donate the proceeds of the patents on the medicines to the Chicago pension funds, double funding for CPS, while cutting property taxes in half, and triple the Chicago job base, and Ben Joravsky would STILL find something to hate about Rahm. Ben may be right about a lot of things in Chicago politics and policy (tifs, in particular), but his abject hatred of all-things-Rahm-related colors everything he writes about him.

  • 214. @210  |  May 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Pray tell, Chris, what percentage constitutes “very few” to you?

  • 215. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    KP: “I assumed that you were quoting me”

    It is a little hard to distinguish between double-quotes (“) and my ubiquitous asterisks for emphasis (*) in this font, especially depending on one’s reading device. The first line from my 206 post was the quote of you, and the apparent quotes after that are my emphasizing each phrase.

  • 216. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    “Pray tell, Chris, what percentage constitutes “very few” to you?”

    Oh, so if 9% of American kids lived in poverty, you’d deem that “very few” and have us believe that America had no problem with childhood poverty? Great.

    I’d consider the number of kids in poverty to be “very few” if we were talking about a few hundred–which would mean less than 1% of white Chicago kids. That’s “very few”. Near 1 in 10 ain’t “very few”.

    It is, nonetheless, far less than the %age–and number–of non-white Chicago kids living in poverty and far less than the %age (and of course number) of all Illinois and all American kids living in poverty.

  • 217. wisegeek  |  May 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Doing some quick math (using 2010 stats): 351, 694 kids under 10 in Chicago, 18% of which are white =63, 305 white kids under 10. If 9 percent of total Chi white kids are at poverty level, 5697 white kids are at or below poverty level. The number is probably HIGHER BC it doesn’t include kids 11-18.

    To put it in perspective, every poor white Chicago child could fill the seats at WY, Payton, Jones and NCP (5,234 seats).

    It’s kind of a dumb argument (“White kids are poor too!” “Yeah, well not as poor as minority kids!”), because when you’re a kid at poverty level life is really hard, no matter your skin color.

  • 218. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    “It’s kind of a dumb argument (“White kids are poor too!” “Yeah, well not as poor as minority kids!”), because when you’re a kid at poverty level life is really hard, no matter your skin color.”


    But do note that CPS could have set up the Tiers based on purely economic data, but did not, so it is relatively unlikely that they would transition to purely economic data *even if* they were to switch to fully individualized “tier” assignment. Among other things, for a small business owner, gaming the system to show low income in any given year is not especially hard, and not illegal. So, you could have very wealthy folks documenting the ‘failure’ of their fortunes “conveniently” times to admissions years.

  • 219. Angie  |  May 2, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    @218. Chris: “Among other things, for a small business owner, gaming the system to show low income in any given year is not especially hard, and not illegal. So, you could have very wealthy folks documenting the ‘failure’ of their fortunes “conveniently” times to admissions years.”

    How is that different from people gaming the current system by claiming the relative’s address or renting an apartment in a lower tier?

  • 220. IBobsessed  |  May 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    @218 There will always be cheaters, and no system will ever be cheater proof. Let’s support a system that is generally fair, and less cheater friendly; That is tax returns instead of tiers. I hear CPS families openly and casually talk about claiming relatives addresses for school purposes. (And also had a teacher suggest to me to do this). I ‘ve never heard anyone admit to falsifying their income on their tax return. There are penalty fees and potential jail time if discovered guilty of tax fraud, but not for falsifying your address for school.

  • 221. wisegeek  |  May 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    @220: Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. TONS of ways to cheat: If you get paid in cash (tips, under the table payments), if you own your own corporation & pay yourself a modest salary …

  • 222. IBobsessed  |  May 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Do most Americans cheat substantially on their federal tax return ie. hide large amounts of real taxable income? (ie. beyond inflating the value of deductions or items donated to charity etc.) I don’t think so. While hiding income is routine and expected in some european countries, I don’t think it is here. Maybe I run with the wrong crowd.

  • 223. Kenwood Parent  |  May 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    @ 217 wisegeek – Under our current tier system, since minority students are more likely to live under the poverty line, minority students will benefit the most from the tier system. I do not know if you’re anti-tiers, but some posts on this blog are against such a system.

    I personally think that the system should remain pretty much as is. I feel that the more wealthy families (black and white) should understand that the system is actually beneficial to them. Education is the quickest pathway out of poverty. Poverty often breeds the crime that many on this board are afraid of. How can increasing the number of college bound kids who are currently living in poverty be bad for the city or our society as a whole?

    As you said above, being in poverty is pretty hard no matter what your ethnic background. Although, one can make the argument that people of “preferential’ ethnic backgrounds may have an edge later in life just based on appearance.

    I certainly know how hard it is to live under the poverty line and how difficult it can be to work your way out. Put it this way: it’s just as difficult as working your way up from the middle class to the upper class. Almost impossible. However, living at the other extreme, I also know that my kid whose parents are both college educated, whose mother is a Ph.D. scientist from the University of Chicago, is more likely to be OK in the end. We know the American educational system. Many kids are not in that situation. We will try to get our kid into a selective enrollment, but I won’t be too bitter because I know that he has an educational edge. I think this is the attitude that more parents need to have.

  • 224. newbie  |  May 2, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Newbie here to the Chicago tier system. Trying to figure this all out and keep up.

    Discovered this today.
    Article from fall 2012 (I know, kinda old, but full of current information) enlightened me a bit. So for all the newbies out there…

    Click to access Non-Income-Figures-Distort_web.pdf

  • 225. IBobsessed  |  May 2, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    @223 Since you haven’t yet been through the admissions process (?). maybe this is not apparent, but the tier system does not accurately identify who is economically disadvantaged. You can be against the present systems way of sorting people in to tiers based upon census tracts and still support the tier system. It would simply more effectively reach its goal of distributing educational opportunity if your tier was based on income. (And arguably also based on level of parental education). (Is all of Kenwood Tier 4? Presumably, kids with a parent who has a doctorate, belong in Tier 4) I can move literally across the street from tier 4 to tier 3 and increase my not-disadvantaged kid’s chances of admission to Payton.

  • 226. klm  |  May 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm


    No, but I’ve lived long enough and been around enough people to know when there’s: 1) racism and 2) people that use “anti-racism” to lesson other peoples’ opinions to a subtle (and not so subtle) extent because they to decide to attach those views and opinions to “racism” –it’s empowering to reduce anybody whose views one doesn’t like to something “bad” like racism. Then they’ll say something like: “You may not realize it but you have it inside you.” Like it’s some asymptomatic disease or hidden talent like wood-working I don’t know about or something. People throw it around to lessen others’ comments and attach a “suspect” label to others’ opinions –as if they really ever know what’s in somebody’s heart and mind.

    I guess it’s possible for a racist white person to marry a black person, have black children with that person, etc., but how likely is that? I guess my black spouse may be secretly racist, too –funny that I haven’t notice anything other that a genuinely wonderful, accepting person, but the “racism” has got to be in there somewhere, since it’s “in the minds” of everyone. maybe that’s why my spouse doesn’t always do what I want –it’s the “hidden” racism! Thanks. Now I know

    If everybody’s racist, then nobody is.

    Sorry for the snarkiness, but “racism” is the worst thing one can attach to somebody in this country. I’m not a fan of using it when I don’t know what’s motivating somebody’s opinion that I don’t like.

  • 227. wisegeek  |  May 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Tiers are arbitrary, as many working-class neighborhoods (for example Hegewisch & Mt Greenwood) are rated as Tier 4 while Obama’s house is in a Tier 3. Sooooooo, per the tiers, the son of an unemployed truck driver on the Southeast Side has had more educational advantages than Sasha and Malia.

  • 228. newbie  |  May 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    according to this article, 84% of tier 3 and 4 are lower middle class, under $75k households.

    Click to access Non-Income-Figures-Distort_web.pdf

    I am just getting up to speed here, but so far, this system is bonafide nuts.

  • 229. klm  |  May 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm


    Wow. I don’t want to get ugly. Anybody that’s read my posts know I have family and friends in the Southside (Chatham, Pill Hill, yes AND Kenwood). We’re at “Veg Soul Food’ a lot. We go to the Target near there after to shop, etc.

    I remember reading more than once that the suspect was a former King student. The reports could have been wrong.

    I guess I mention that my spose is black because (as has happened) some people that don’t like what I have to say, lessen my opinions to “racist” connotations. I mention that I have a black sposue and kids to let people know that, no, I’m nor an isolated person that doesn’t talk much to black people, etc.

    I’ve been to Bronzeville, Kenwood, ….those are nice places, but people I know that live there DO think about crime.

  • 230. newbie  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm


    who created the tier system? the mayor? the board appointed by the mayor? cps president? teachers union?
    how did if get approved (by alderman? voters?)
    its so mysterious. Even the internet doesn’t know.

  • 231. pantherettie  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    CPSO is it possible to have a specific thread focusing on south side SEHS?

  • 232. IBobsessed  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    @229, maybe what people are trying to say is it makes no more sense to justify or make un-challengeable your opinion by pointing to your black spouse than it does for others to try to de-legitmize an opinion they don’t like by crying racism without proof.
    Reasons for viewpoints are what convince.

  • 233. Diversity?  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    @228 newbie

    Very interesting charts in the article you cited…for all arguing the income only v. tier system it is worth a look

    Income only:
    Tier 1 under 36k
    Tier 2 36k-47k
    Tier 3 47k-60k
    Tier 4 60k up

    Question? Wouldn’t using this model advantage single parent/divorced households.

    Also pretty clear why so many families that find themselves in Tier 4 are surprised when ‘some’ individuals on this blog refer to them as wealthy:)

  • 234. klm  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:13 pm


    I think that some people are forgetting that the tiers are not designed around “income” as much as “race” and “ethnicity” Since the old Consent Decree was ended (all consent decrees are meant to be temporary, not permanent) the Supreme Court ruling that race can’t be used in enrolling K-12 public school students is the law, The Tiers are not designed to increase chances for low-income kids, as much as for Hispanic and AA kids –hence the emphasis on census factors that are more common among those groups.

    I recall a CPS meeting re: Tiers where they said as much. Race can’t be used, so we’re making legally permissible “socio-economics” to try to get as many minority kids enrolled to be “equitable” in a wat that’s not illegal.

    Accordingly, it’ not a big shock that Tiers don’t necessarily align with income. Income diversity is not the prime goal of the tiers, racial and ethnic diversity are.

  • 235. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    “Do most Americans cheat substantially on their federal tax return ie. hide large amounts of real taxable income?”

    No, they don’t, and I was in NO WAY suggesting that anyone would. But, if you own a business, or are otherwise self-employed in *certain* fields, it is simple enough to recognize extra income in December of 2013, and January of 2015, to minimize your “reported income” for 2014.

    I get that many of you think that the *ONLY* thing that should be considered is family income. I think that’s hooey (actually, I think its something worse, but dont want to coarsen the discourse as much as my real feeling would) (and–to be clear–my family would not qualify as anything other than T4 under *any* reasonable ranking system, so this isn’t about self-interest), and family income is simply **not** the sole consideration of ‘disadvantage’ that CPS should be considering.

    I also think that some of CPS’s chosen criteria are….questionable, at best, especially as applied across a census tract and even *more* especially when a census tract contains two opposite ends of the spectrum–like the tract that contains the Cabrini Rowhomes *and* the Montgomery condo building. But I think that doing it on an individual basis judged solely on AGI from a single year tax return is worse.

  • 236. pantherparent  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    The inherent unfairness of tiers is a constant theme from what I assume are Tier 4 parents. I always suggest they take advantage of the system and physically move to a Tier 1 neighborhood.

    Enjoy the daily fear of your child getting shot going to school. Enjoy the substandard schools. Enjoy a school with little parental involvement. Enjoy teachers that want to go elsewhere.

    But no one ever seems to want to do that.

  • 237. dontyellatme  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Iirc the tier system was part of the consent decree that ended the desegregation consent decree at cps.

    What it is a crude effort at making sure black and latino students have a shot at sehs. TPTB did not want a Stusevant situation. Stusevant is the most prestigious high school in NYC and admission is solely by a single test. This is mandated by state law. As a result Stusevant is 72% asian, 23% white, 2% hispanic and 1% black. This is unacceptable to some people because they think that the test is biased somehow. Why the test would be biased for the kid of a CChinatown waiter and against the child of a black doctor is never fully explained.

  • 238. newbie  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    dug a little deeper…found the answer to my @230 question.
    It is the board appointed by mayor.

    here is their presentation on how they concluded tiers were necessary.

    Click to access boardmeetingmagnetselectivepolicypresentation.pdf

  • 239. wisegeek  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    @236 The surrounding area of King High School is Tier 1.

  • 240. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    “I recall a CPS meeting re: Tiers where they said as much. Race can’t be used, so we’re making legally permissible “socio-economics” to try to get as many minority kids enrolled to be “equitable” in a wat that’s not illegal.”

    Bingo. I think that the second half of that (“to try to get as many…”) was not so explicitly stated, but that it was in fact the only reasonable conclusion.

    Anyway, I’m neutral on that goal, but do think that income alone would not properly identify the most “disadvantaged” kids, so something more is needed.

  • 241. IBobsessed  |  May 2, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Well, what else should count, Chris? That and level of parental education seem reasonable. English language speaking?

  • 242. klm  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:10 pm


    There were two men arrested and charged with Hadiya’s murder. One of them, Kenneth Williams did indeed graduate for KCP, two years earlier. I checked to be 100% sure that it wasn’t wronf information. The other suspect (actual shooeter) Michael Ward went to Morgan Park, apparently.

  • 243. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    “Well, what else should count, Chris? That and level of parental education seem reasonable. English language speaking?”

    Yes, and yes. Single parent makes sense, too, tho I don’t believe that having single parent *neighbors* is a disadvantage (tho it counts that way for the tiers).

    And the homeowner vs not is 100% an attempt to place certain tracts at the top and at the bottom. But it fails ridiculously at times–the ‘highest’ T3 tract from 2013 is 99% on income and education, 98.8% on ISAT, but bc ownership is below the 3rd% (yes, only 2.95% of Chicago kids live in tracts with lower ownership % than this one), it’s T3 rather than T4. Which is crap. As is the tract that is dead middle on income (under 1/3 the median of that other tract), is 13% on Education, 15% on english, but is T3 bc it is 93d% on home ownership–take out ownership, it’s a clear T2 tract.

    Don’t know exactly how they ‘count’ the educational achievement factor, but I bet I wouldn’t like it (the categories are: less than HS, HS, some college, college grad, grad school, combined into a ‘score’ that ranges from 0.285 (66% dropout, no grad school) to 0.89 (61% have Grad School and no HS dropouts). I think it should count for *something*, even on the tract level, bc being around people who dropped out of HS normalizes it, and vice versa with being around those with grad degrees.

    Not digging into research on a Friday PM, but there are probably other, better-correlated-to-disadvantage factors, too, that would be ‘preferable’.

  • 244. klm  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm


    I’d be happy to live in the luxury apartments with my family near the Whole foods at North Clybourn.

    It’s Tier 2 and I’m pretty sure that my kids won’t get shot there. One block north and then you suddenly in “safe” Tier 4 territory.

  • 245. Patricia  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    @238 newbie. It is a lot to figure out at first, thank goodness for Google! As others stated above, the real reason leading to tiers is because the supreme court said CPS can’t use race as a factor for admissions. It used to be that you declared your “race” on the application and there were quota percentages for each race and seats were filled accordingly along with the admission rubric score.

    So while BOE did create the tiers, it was not driven by BOE. I think they would have left it quota based if they could. Actually, I have seen it stated that the BOE did not have to do anything and could have it all be based on the rubric only. Others may know more than I do on the transition.

    Interesting in the slideshow from back then that you posted says, “diversity” is the goal and all the justification seems to center on socioeconomic factors.

  • 246. Stats Geek  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Everyone keeps talking about unfair percentages. Then they state how compared to the entire CPS population the number of white students that attend SEHS is so much higher than the number of AA students. But, the entire CPS population does not apply for SEHS. I’d be interested to know of the 16,000+ applications for SEHS what is the percentage breakdown (of races) that apply and then compare that to the percent that get in. Just curious.

  • 247. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    236 (patherparent): “The inherent unfairness of tiers is a constant theme from what I assume are Tier 4 parents. I always suggest they take advantage of the system and physically move to a Tier 1 neighborhood.

    Enjoy the daily fear of your child getting shot going to school. Enjoy the substandard schools. Enjoy a school with little parental involvement.”

    But the whole point is about getting into a SE-ES or HS, and then they wouldn’t have to deal with the substandard schools or the little parental involvement.

    Anyway, for anyone interested in T1 accommodations *without* the gunfire risk, let me recommend Atrium Village–right next to Payton. Yes, It’s true: Walter Payton College Prep is in a T1 census tract. And the census tract does *not* include any portion of the Cabrini Rowhomes. It makes it into T1 bc of (1) Jenner’s ISATs, (2) very low ownership %, and (3) very high single parent households.

  • 248. pantherettie  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    The tier discussion on this board is a proxy for a discussion about race for people who are new to Chicago or this board.Earlier up thread there was an interesting ( although at times frustrating) discussion about south side SEHS that actually showed some interesting views of race by posters. But now we’re back to the old tried and true – the tier debate. Where tier 4 parents express outrage at their victimization at the hands of undeserving tier 1 kids vs. “everyone else”. The debate is important but wow – I could read most of these comments on any thread about SEES or ACs or SEHS. What’s my suggestion – please can we talk about the “fairness” of tiers *and* other things about this topic?

  • 249. PTB  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    “That Sun-Times data yields some interesting data. For 2013, “perfect” scores of 900 were distributed:
    Tier 1: 2
    Tier 2: 7
    Tier 3: 14
    Tier 4: 87”

    Of the 2 Tier 1 kids with 900s, 1 declined the offer to their top choice (Northside).

    Of the 87 Tier 4 900s, about 70, or 80%, chose either NS or Payton. Of the 70, it looks like 38 are Payton offers and 32 Northside offers. Of those offers, 2 of the Payton offers were declined and 3 of the Northside offers were declined. This is assuming “Acceptance Status: Declined” means an offer was turned down.

    Didn’t go through Tier 2 or 3 of the other schools.

  • 250. Chris  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    ” Where tier 4 parents express outrage at their victimization at the hands of undeserving tier 1 kids vs. “everyone else”.”

    [cue response that “i live in a T4 neighborhood, but am not “really” T4″ in 5, 4, 3…]

    The Tier discussion (*not* the “it’s so unfair to meeeeeee” part, of course) in integral to the issue raised by the Aldercritters, and an adjustment to the Tier system is the easiest way to adjust the admissions to *maybe* respond to the issue.

  • 251. pantherettie  |  May 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I agree Chris – the tier system must include a discussion about race but it feels to me a lot like the “it’s so unfair to meeeeeee” .

  • 252. Maureen Kelleher  |  May 2, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Chris and IBObsessed, you may find this article interesting. Maybe Axelrod’s theory about fixing the Red Line had a point, though the article misses that factor entirely:

  • 253. CPS Parent  |  May 2, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    It’s funny, because CPS wanted to find a way to maintain the 35% white quota system, they tried a VERY unfair way to do it, resulting in more white kids than the black leadership thought would occur, and now they want to change it and screw the white kids again.

    Pat Dowell basically said SEHS other than Jones, Young Payton and Northside are second class, way to put down your own kids, dipshit.

  • 254. Statistician  |  May 2, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I find it important to emphasize a point touched on by just a few people here: what one desires from a school is that it develops its attendees minds well. A school accepting high-scoring kids that is terrible at teaching and fails to develop them will *still* end up having great test scores for its graduates. It is far too easy to confuse high test scores with a good school.

    I don’t claim to know a lot about the various SEHS in Chicago, but one could certainly make a case that King, etc, are significantly *better* than PaJYN, since they take in more kids who have typically been through troubled neighborhood schools, and graduate them with good prospects.

    I have not visited King, but to my surprise I found myself somewhat disappointed when I looked into Payton. It admits students largely on the basis of standardized test scores, yet the test scores of Payton’s graduating classes appeared less remarkable than those of the entering classes. It’s almost like it’s going backwards! This could well be due to a statistical measurement phenomenon called “reversion to the mean” but still, it did not look appealing.

  • 255. Rocket scientist  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    The so called statistician is comparing apples and oranges with entrance and exit standardized tests. And he or she has no idea the populations used for entrance percentiles. That is no statistician, but rather an uneducated and clueless troll. And don’t worry about Payton, “Statistician”, because neither you nor your spawn would have a chance at entry. Enjoy that world class King! Lol.

  • 256. pantherettie  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    This thread is just getting nasty. That last post has finally ended it for me. Unsubscribing.,

  • 257. pantherparent  |  May 2, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    @244 and @247 Of course you can find a block here or a block there to “prove” your point about the unfairness of the tier system. I was trying to make a larger point that Tier 1 kids are at a marked disadvantage to Tier 4 kids.

    Not a racial disadvantage but a systemic disadvantage simply because of where they live. And the tier system is an attempt to level the playing field.

    Is it a stretch to say a Tier 1 kid with straight A’s and 89th percentile on ISATs and the high school admission test has earned admission to Payton? Because that’s what’s needed for him to get in.

    I think that’s as impressive as a Tier 4 kid getting 896. So in my world, they both get in. And both will be better for it.

  • 258. OTdad  |  May 2, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    ” tier system is an attempt to level the playing field.”
    Leveling the playing field or tilting an already leveled playing field? There are million excuses for a student to under achieving, why just “leveling” just income? How about those with low IQ? Broken families? Those with extremely busy parents?…..

  • 259. facts  |  May 3, 2014 at 12:10 am

    @257 pantherparent

    “you can find a block here or there to prove…”

    Can you read?

    Tens of thousands of children are categorized in the wrong tier.

    Read the facts:

    Click to access Non-Income-Figures-Distort_web.pdf

  • 260. Kenwood Parent  |  May 3, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Wow. This has turned into quite a whining session. I live in a Tier 3 and 1 block away is Tier 1 (which engulfs King). I was initially disappointed and then I realized that families on my block in general ARE more affluent. There is no longer a race-based admissions process. We ALL have the option of moving to a Tier 1. But it is quite obvious that most parents on this board are unwilling to sacrifice their “comforts” for SEHS entry.

    If the articles above are indeed true regarding the inaccuracies of tier tracts, maybe CPS should revisit how tiers are determined. But, it appears to me that many posters on this board would not be satisfied until tier-based and race-based admissions are eliminated. That’s fine. Just be honest about it and stop hiding behind “the tiers are drawn unfairly.”

  • 261. Numbers looking at ALL SEHS  |  May 3, 2014 at 7:20 am

    As this article was only focused on 4 SEHS…I took a look at the numbers across all 10 SEHSs.

    Per Chicago Triibune report card for 2013:

    Total number of students at SEHSs: 13,085
    Seats held by students divided by race:

    Black. 35% (4,526)
    White 23% (2,999)
    Hispanic 30% (3,869)
    Asian. 9% (1,222)
    Other. 3%. (469)

    Of those totals, Lane Tech (student pop. 4,173) accounted for a large % of White & Hispanic students enrolled at SEHSs.

    For example, of the 2,999 seats held by White students, 1,298 (or 43%) are at Lane & of the 3,869 seats held by Hispanic students, 1,957 (or 50%) are enrolled at Lane.

    For Black students, Lane accounted for 350 seats (or 8%).

    Ranking the SEHSs by % of low income (lowest to highest):

    Payton 31.4%
    Northside 35.9%
    WY 37.2%
    Jones 45.3%
    Lane 58.2%
    Lindblom 65.9%
    Brooks. 69.4%
    King 72.2%
    Westinghouse 81.1%
    South Shore 87.4%

    Found this interesting…

  • 262. re: statistician  |  May 3, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Statistician is right that the point of high school is to develop from whatever the starting point is. I find it really annoying that many posters here appear to want their children in some kind of exclusive club of extreme high scorers. They won’t spend the rest of their lives in such a bubble, believe me.

    But regression to the mean is not the only explanation for underwhelming-appearing change over time at Payton. I would suspect much of the Payton kids’ growth can’t be reflected on the state tests because many of them hit the ceiling on entry and at the end, and you can’t measure change. Meanwhile, anyone who regressed at all toward the mean will be measured.

  • 263. wisegeek  |  May 3, 2014 at 8:26 am

    @260 I’d be happy if Affirmative Action-type admissions were made based on the individual student’s financial situation.

    Poverty is poverty; a kid whose Mom is a baggage handler at Midway and a Dad who’s MIA will likely have a tougher road than a kid whose parents are together and living middle-class. The kid could be of ANY color.

    IMHO, race should be thrown out the window, as should zip code. Why should it be considered at all?

  • 264. Statistician  |  May 3, 2014 at 8:37 am

    @262 I agree that many of those kids are at and near the state ceiling, making it essentially impossible for them to do better on state tests.

    What I recall looking at (and this is some time ago now, so you’ll have to forgive the ambiguity, and potential errors in detail) was Payton versus Hinsdale. I looked at state tests on entry, and of ACT/SAT performance on graduation.

    I am quite sympathetic to your point that unmeasurable aspects of growth at SEHS are equally or perhaps more important. I like those extra student-chosen projects they do at Payton.

    Unfortunately, the parts that *can* be measured were clearly indicative of a cohort of “extreme high scorers” and not so clearly of great educational progress.

    I will also say in Payton’s favor that standardized tests at all levels (even the GRE!) are terrible at measuring quality for advanced work in math. By “advanced” I mean the type of independent research project I would expect from future professors in math or physics and not merely of engineers.
    The math education at Payton seemed well-adapted to handling top math students who would not be properly measured by any standardized test, though that’s a small fraction of the cohort even at a Chicago SEHS. (Jones, BTW, seemed less ready for these cases).

  • 265. HS Mom  |  May 3, 2014 at 10:00 am

    @257 That all depends on your perspective and the elem education. RGC’s and magnets all have tier 1 students getting arguably the same education as tier 2,3,4. So the flaw is that a lower tier student with the same education and possibly same income and ethnicity as a higher tier student is allowed admissions based upon lower scores and all the students of any tier in between are denied admission altogether.

    That’s not to say that I don’t agree with the tier system because I do. I think it performs a needed function of providing diversification but let’s not portray all tier 1 kids as having a systematic disadvantage while tier 4 kids are at an advantage.

  • 266. Angie  |  May 3, 2014 at 10:12 am

    @260. Kenwood Parent: “But, it appears to me that many posters on this board would not be satisfied until tier-based and race-based admissions are eliminated. That’s fine. Just be honest about it and stop hiding behind “the tiers are drawn unfairly.””

    No problem. All SEHS admissions should be based on merit rather than on skin color, and applicants who don’t have the scores for most competitive schools should suck it up and go elsewhere. If these aldermen are not happy about the racial breakdown of SE schools, they have to figure out why the black children are not getting the education they deserve at the elementary school level, instead of demanding that higher scoring students of other races should be kicked out of SEHS.

    Happy now?

    Also, these aldermen might want to take a look at this lawsuit recently filed in California, alleging laws governing teacher tenure, firing and layoffs violate students’ constitutional right to an education.

    “In another study cited in court testimony, students in the Los Angeles Unified School District lost a full year’s worth of learning when they were placed with teachers in the bottom 5 percent of the district in terms of effectiveness. Assuming that 1 percent of the state’s roughly 275,000 teachers are ineffective, it would take more than 12 years to dismiss them all, according to the plaintiffs’ closing brief. And according to the plaintiffs, students who are black, Latino or poor are far more likely to be placed with a low-performing teacher than their white and more affluent peers.

    “Even if funding and time in school are equal, students still cannot be assured of equal educational opportunities unless they have equal access to effective teachers,” Mr. Boutrous wrote in the final brief, submitted last week.”

  • 267. klm  |  May 3, 2014 at 10:30 am


    At my kid’s RGC, when it’s time for 8th grade SEHS admission letters, tiers are all kids and parents talk about. Everybody knows that it usually comes down to which tier the kid’s family lives in, not which kid scores highest. I know peoples’ tiers already because it’s what we talk about at birthday parties, end-of-year picnincs, etc.

    Somehow the kids know this too by 7th grade. Kids (at a RGC everybody’s pretty bright) already know who’s a soo-in or not for NSCP or Payton, depending on their tiers. They share info, so they know who got in where, etc., with lower scores.

    I can’t say that there’s an atmosphere of “isn’t it wonderful that CPS has engineered a less-achievement results system, so that others can get with lower scores?” Iit’s more like everybody knows which lower tier kids got into NSCP because of their tiers, not because they’re the smartet. I won’t say it’s a “stigma,” but people will say: Wow, he got into NSCP? Oh, yeah, but he’s a tier 2, so….”

    People will think I’m making this up, but it’s true (at the school).

  • 268. wisegeek  |  May 3, 2014 at 11:22 am

    @267 That’s a really good point. Take a school like Lenart or Keller, where classmates of all Tiers receive the same education.

    When the kids apply to a SEHS, why on earth should one student get a handicap over students living in a higher Tier? The Tier 1 kid had a worse experience than the Tier 2 kid and should get his/her score padded?

  • 269. karet  |  May 3, 2014 at 11:50 am

    @267, 268 Last year or the year before I suggested on this blog that it would make more sense to create tiers based on the quality of the elementary schools students attend for HS admission. Nobody seemed interested, but I still think it’s a decent idea.

    It seems to me that the quality of your elementary school is by far the most important advantage or disadvantage that anyone has at that age. (I guess it would be imperfect since people do move around from school to school, but it still seems better that what we have now).

  • 270. elem school quality a factor in tiers  |  May 3, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Quality of elementary school is a factor in the current tier system. At least that is my understanding. I am not sure how much it weighs in, but I suspect the fact that our block is in the attendance area for a Level 1 elementary school is the major reason we were bumped from Tier 1 to Tier 2 a few years ago. Not much else here has changed–I’m told violent crime is down, but someone was murdered on our block within the last month.

    Although our neighborhood school is level one it is still struggling to bring reading scores up. Math scores are quite strong. However, we are not sending our child there for elementary school, at least not yet.

  • 271. Questioner  |  May 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Trying to understand something…if a Tier 4 student gets into an SEHS, is that the same as getting in by rank or by merit, since Tier 4 students have to have higher scores to get into SEHS?

  • 272. Numbers looking at ALL SEHS  |  May 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    No, 30% of the seats at each SEHS are decided by score only. The remaining 70% of seats are divided into equal buckets for Tier 1, 2, 3 & 4. Generally, a student in a higher tier needs a higher score to gain admission into a SEHS. The tiers are based on several socioeconomic factors.

  • 273. karet  |  May 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    @270, Yes, I know it is one of the criteria in the current system. It doesn’t really make sense as it is though — why should a kid who goes to an SEES get a break because his neighborhood school is poor? My idea is that you would be assigned a tier based on the school you attend / graduate from in 8th grade.

  • 274. Numbers looking at ALL SEHS  |  May 3, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    @273 It would be interesting to see how your idea would affect the number of students in each tier if implemented accurately (would most of us move to tier 1 (lol)..but obviously, the tiers would need to have an equal number of students so I’m sure that would cause some issues.

    Would everyone then be arguing that my school X should not be a tier whatever school?

  • 275. averagemom  |  May 3, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    They tried something like this the first year they used tiers. When they found the schools were not diverse enough, they offered spots to kids from some of the low performing schools. Someone must know how well that went. If it was successful, maybe some slots could be set aside for that. The decrease in rank score percent and increase in tier percent was supposed to fix the problem the second year.
    I know someone whose kid went to Latin, who told me that lower performing kids from Latin got into Payton because they live in the expensive housing in tier 2 near there. So many of the lower tiers have some amount of tier 4 type families that the tiers are not helping as many kids as it should.

  • 276. newbie  |  May 4, 2014 at 8:55 am

    “Diversity is a multidimensional, broadly inclusive concept that acknowledges and embraces the richness of human differences. As a practical matter, it is vital that a school board define diversity with sufficient clarity, given the inherent ambiguity of the term and the frequently ill-informed debates that surround it.” –the America School Board Journal.

    I wonder if the CPS Board ever “engaged the community” in how tiers were defined as suggested in the above study?

  • 277. HS Mom  |  May 4, 2014 at 10:49 am

    @276 – The community was initially involved and it turned out to be a disaster. Community meetings were held to give CPS input on the new system given the court decree. Somewhere along the way CPS stopped answering questions as their information was often contradictory or subject to change. The forums became a pedestal for people to air their own grievances and personal issues with no resolutions. Others, contrary to law, would just demand a return to the old system. Not knowing anything about the legality of what was being done various individuals and groups reacted by consulting attorneys who had their own interpretations of the situation. I’m sure that CPS was sorry they asked. CPS was successful in putting together a community panel who did analyze the initial results and put together recommendations, some of which were instituted (added a 6th tier, changed the rank % etc)

    Given what happened, I personally see the value of the decision makers within CPS instituting policy and amending as the situation calls for it.

    Re the shift in demos – I have to give Ms. Dowell credit for her comment

    “I’m not looking at the gated community thing. I’m looking at creating pipelines to colleges across this country,” she said.

    “If you come out of one of these selective enrollment schools — especially top-tier ones — you’re pretty much guaranteed a seat at a good college anywhere in this country. We need to make sure our children, African-American children, have access to that pipeline.”

    She’s right. But as others have mentioned, these opportunities are available to kids from all the SE’s and top performers in neighborhood schools – as testified in this forum by parents who do not have their kids at the “top 4”. Anecdotally, through out our college search we keep running into kids from Lindblom. In particular someone we knew from our old elem school at an admitted student college reception. This average student applied to something like 20 schools, was being sought after by many and certainly had no intention of accepting the school that was one of our top choices.

  • 278. pantherparent  |  May 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    @259 I appreciate the link and I did read the report. I think the part you left out is tens of thousands of kids are in the wrong tier IF you look only at income. There are 5 other factors.

    Look, I fully understand the idea that the highest scoring kids should get into a SEHS regardless of any other factor, but after seeing how diversity has positively affected my kids at their SEHS, I’m for the tier system, although imperfect.

  • 279. @panther  |  May 4, 2014 at 7:04 pm


    “but after seeing how diversity has positively affected my kids at their SEHS, I’m for the tier system, although imperfect.”

    That … Or, as you’ve stated in the past, you live in a lower tier and are thus a direct beneficiary of the tier system.

  • 280. RFR6231  |  May 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    273- interesting point. DD attends a near west side SEES elementary. We are tier 4, most of her friends are tier 2-3. They have all had the same education since K. DD will likely not get into her choice of SEHS due to this difference, her friends will have a better chance. I suspect all these kids will do as well in HS, but not be given the same chance at the outset. Aside from the stress this causes, it would be interesting to see outcomes 6 or 8 yrs down the road.

  • 281. pantherparent  |  May 5, 2014 at 7:57 am

    @279 I live in Tier 4 as we did when my kids were applying for SEHS. That may have been someone else you’re thinking of. Seems to be various “panthers” on the board.

  • 282. Family Friend  |  May 5, 2014 at 9:31 am

    This thread is about how to allocate scarce public resources – seats in high schools that provide a rigorous college prep education. I don’t think anyone admitted to a SEHS, from whatever tier, is incapable of benefiting from the education offered. The question under discussion is whether to award seats based on scores alone or to include other factors that increase diversity. I believe in diversity, even when it affects my family negatively. ( I say this from the comfortable position of a parent of two well-educated adults, one of whom attended Payton when it was much easier to get into.)

    SEHS seats are reserved for those with a good elementary school education, but there are not enough to go around. Despite this, the vast majority of CPS students do not qualify even for consideration for admission to the SEHS. We need to figure out how to do two things: in the short term, increase the number of available seats in rigorous programs – Obama Prep is a step in this direction, as is the increase in IB programs. Second, improve elementary education so more students are well-prepared for a rigorous high school curriculum. This will have the effect of raising the bar at neighborhood high schools. Of course, both of these solutions are fraught with practical and political issues, particularly with respect to improving education across the board. We are embroiled in a number of chicken-and-egg discussions. Can poor children handle a tough curriculum, or do we need to make significant inroads into poverty before we can see a general improvement in educational results? Must children have motivated, involved parents, or can we see that even a child with a fractured home life and functionally illiterate parents gets a good education?

    I don’t want to wait for these questions to be answered, if they ever are. Generally, I want to do what I can to increase, as soon as possible, the number of Chicago students who have access to a good education. On a personal level, I want ensure that my protege and her brother have the chance to maximize their potential. I would love for the discussion on this board to shift to those topics, rather than continue to focus on whether we make our decisions based on race and preconceptions about race (for the record, I think we do, we can’t help it, but we have an obligation to do our best to minimize that component of our decision-making).

    We all want to do the very best we can for our own children, but I think most of recognize that the ultimate, long-term, best must involve doing what is best for all of Chicago’s children. The original purpose of this forum was, I believe, to focus on the former, but I am glad to see it has evolved to include a lot of people concerned about the latter.

  • 283. klm  |  May 5, 2014 at 10:33 am


    Well, yeah, I think everybody else wants all kids in Chicago to be well educated. That’s quasi-constant mantra on this site. I’m always going on about the achievement gap and how we need to do something about it.

    That said, if middle-class and upper-middle-class families feel like things are too stacked against them, in terms of getting a good HS education in Chicago, they’ll leave –and these are people that we want to stay in the city.

    As it is, people already leave in droves once their kids reach HS age. Two families on my block have done so in the last year –and these were smart kids, the parents just didn’t want to have their kids dealing with all the 99th-percentile-yes vs.97th-percentile= no SEHS admissions stuff.

    More people might be for social engineering for SEHS if (like in higher education admissions) 10-20% of the class is given special consideration with lower scores and grades to create a more “diverse” student class –that would still leave 90-80% up to “real” by-the-numbers competition, fair and square. In the case of CPS SEHS admissions many people would be happy with 70%. But with CPS SEHS the majority of kids are admitted not according to grades and achievement, but by where they live. It’s not only, mean, ignorant-of-history, oblivious, care-only-about-my-own-kids-and-not-about-poor-ones people that have issues with it, believe me.

    People who pay their taxes to pay for public education for everybody’s children, not just their own, live in a city where there are relatively few places at “good” public HSs, and are entitled to the rights of citizenship (1 person, 1 vote, not 1 person plus and extra 30% added for some people because of where they live= 1.3 votes for some), sometimes feel put upon when things are socially engineered in a way that hurts their children, for not other reason than they’re not the “right” kind of student (depsite having higher greades and test scores) a PUBLIC school that their parents pay taxes to support. People that have issues with current SEHS admissions with tiers, etc., are not nothing but privileged whiners who are too “unaware” or just too plain selfish to understand why it’s a really great thing that it’s easier for a Tier 1 kids to get into NSCP than a Tier 4 kid to get into Lane.

  • 284. Chris  |  May 5, 2014 at 10:49 am

    pantherparent: “@247 Of course you can find a block here or a block there to “prove” your point about the unfairness of the tier system.”

    Um, excuse me? “MY” point? Do I really give the impression that the tier system (in general–obvious some fine-tuning would be nice) bothers me?

    Ok, I need to ask the assembled: Do I com across as asserting that the Tier system is “unfair” based on a few outlier cases? To be clear (if I haven’t before): I think the Tier System could *definitely* use some tweaks, but that it is generally ok, given resources.

  • 285. Counterpoint for discussion  |  May 5, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Just change the curriculum to SEHS in 10 neighborhood south side schools. Prediction: 85% will flunk out. Then when can move on with why the demographics are what they are at SEHS’s on the northside. Okay race baiters.

  • 286. Chris  |  May 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    “Quality of elementary school is a factor in the current tier system. ”

    Quality of the attendance area school(s) for the census tract, as measured by ISAT (soon to be MAP) meets (and maybe exceeds??) %age. And that criteria is equal weight with the other 5, and is not influenced at all by the kids in the census tract who go to other schools than the a-a school(s).

    Dunno how you account for the school of *actual* attendance in creating the tiers, tho.

  • 287. pantherparent  |  May 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    @284 Chris I misinterpreted your post to be showing that you can cherry pick the report to find Tier 1s where they shouldn’t be.

    We are in agreement then. Determining what block is what tier is imperfect and could use some improvement, but unless you start going house by house, this is about as good as one could expect.

  • 288. Chris  |  May 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    “I misinterpreted your post to be showing that you can cherry pick the report to find Tier 1s where they shouldn’t be.”

    “Shouldn’t” wasn’t the intent–“surprising” might have been. And the reasons for the ‘surprise’, which relate to things that I would tweak, were I made Tsar (or Czar, if you prefer) of Tier Criteria Determination and Weighting.

    I do enjoy the irony of so many b’ing about King being in a scary T1 area then Payton is *also* in a T1 area. Which only means that “Tie 1” isn’t indicative of too much about any given area.

  • 289. Chris  |  May 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Oh, and I want to re-emphasize that, notwithstanding the feeling that it should *only* be about income, the ‘disadvantages’ to be remedied are about more socio-economic factors than just dollars, and I would object to making it just about $$.

    And, also to reiterate, we’re a T4 family under any reasonable adjustment to the criteria. So I’m not talking my book in any way.

  • 290. wisegeek  |  May 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I dunno, we are Tier 4 & I realize just how rigged the system is to keep throwing monies into the “needy” communities while ignoring the ones who are footing the bill. NCP notwithstanding, it seems that new capital dollars are spent either downtown or in places like South Shore, Brooks, Westinghouse…

    I’d be okay with it if largely white areas (Far North or Far South Sides occasionally got a nice new school), but we dont , so it kinda blows when not only do we not get $hit but are told to suck it up ‘cuz we already got it soooo good.

  • 291. Chris  |  May 5, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    “I dunno, we are Tier 4 & I realize just how rigged the system is to keep throwing monies into the “needy” communities while ignoring the ones who are footing the bill.”

    Strangely, the *opposite* is exactly the complaint from half the city about the Payton expansion and the chosen location for Obama CP. And about every time that $2.50 gets spent to improve a northside elementary, even if $10 from the same pocket is being spent on non-northside schools. *Everyone* is aggrieved by CPS budget allocations and priorities.

    And we have one of the “leading light” aldercritters saying that South Shore, Brooks, Westinghouse simply don’t measure up, so some/many don’t care about those dollars being spent, and (I guess) consider them a waste.

    I would note that Jones–which you dismiss as “downtown”–is in a “largely white” area. And that “far south side” certainly encompasses Brooks–altho it’s clear that you mean “Beverly”–Sure it would be nice if every ward got their own selective enrollment HS, but how do we pay for 40 more high schools? And where do you put a new HS in Beverly where it’s convenient enough for the locals, but hard for outsiders to get to?

  • 292. wisegeek  |  May 5, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I’m not dismissing anything or any place. We’ve gone over & over again about how Brooks (Roseland), Lindblom (Englewood) and King (Kenwood) are good schools but the commute to get there takes children thru some of the roughest neighborhoods in the City.

    Re: Beverly and a SEHS: Why shouldn’t there be a SEHS in Beverly, Mt Greenwood and Scottsdale/Greater Ashburn?

  • 293. Angie  |  May 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    OT: get ready for another CTU strike.,0,7861997.story

  • 294. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    291. Chris | May 5, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Since you asked, MPHS would have been a wonderful place to become an SEHS (starting this fall it will be a W2W IB school)~very convenient across the city to get to. Rock Island stops 2 blocks away and they already have an Academic Center.

  • 295. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    293. Angie | May 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I don’t think it will come down to a strike. After the last strike, Rahm won’t want to have that happen again right b4 election. Hopefully, both side will sit down and get that contract negotiated.

  • 296. pantherettie  |  May 5, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I was planning not to say anything else on this thread but really wisegeek – are you just throwing bombs and waiting for people to respond or do you really believe that south siders don’t pay their fair share of taxes? If you really feel that way I’m *super* glad that my kid would not attend a school you’re involved in any way.

  • 297. wisegeek  |  May 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    @297 Brooks is 69% low-income
    King: 72% low income
    South Shore: 87% low income
    Westinghouse: 81% low income
    Lindblom: 66% low income

    Payton: 31% low income
    Jones: 45% low income
    NCP: 35% low income
    Young: 37% low income
    Lane: 58% low income

    ALL SEHS on the South Side are predominantly low-income. You seem like a smart person, so it should not be hard to accept that most (but not all) low-income families do not own their own homes, meaning they do not pay property taxes to the degree that a homeowner does. Additionally, many low-income families receive housing aid, food assistance, and transportation assistance, utility assistance, etc.

    I think assisting these families is the right thing to do, as well as giving poor(er) kids good schools to break out of the poverty cycle. However, when no South Side SEHS is located in or by an area that has high-crime, and Tier 4 folks pay a ton in property taxes for schools which don’t fit their needs, it can be a bit resentful.

  • 298. Chris  |  May 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    “MPHS would have been a wonderful place to become an SEHS”

    And where would the kids who can’t get into it go, then? Do they get to trek across “some of the roughest neighborhoods in the City” to get to an attendance area school? Or do you figure they’ll all just give up and dropout?

  • 299. Angie  |  May 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    @295. SoxSideIrish4: ” Hopefully, both side will sit down and get that contract negotiated.”

    Not going to happen. The current contract includes the optional 1 year extension, already negotiated between CPS and CTU, and Lewis is saying no to that.

    It’s not like the city finances have improved since the teacher strike, so there is no extra money for higher raises and benefits. Then what is the point of her grandstanding, if not to prepare for another strike and get herself more TV coverage?

  • 300. wisegeek  |  May 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    @Chris: Julian is 1 mile away, Fenger is 1 mile (or so) away, and ChiAg is 3 miles away. Interesting question, though, what happened to then-current King students when it switched to SE?

  • 301. anonymouse teacher  |  May 5, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    @295, I have no stake in the matter, as my kids are out of the system and I am leaving CPS at year’s end. But there is an awful lot of talk in the ranks about the upcoming negotiations. I think it really depends on a lot of things. One thing I believe is a given is that there will be no 4th year extension of the 3 year contract. Fall of 2015 there’ll either be a new contract or a strike. If I had to wager, I’d say it’ll be very messy, at best.

  • 302. Patricia  |  May 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    @295 SSI4
    “I don’t think it will come down to a strike. After the last strike, Rahm won’t want to have that happen again right b4 election. Hopefully, both side will sit down and get that contract negotiated.”

    Agree that Rahm does not want another strike. What mayor would? However, it is clear from Karen Lewis’ statements that she has NO intention of sitting down to get a contract negotiated. She has declared that there is NO WAY will she agree to anything before the election.

    She is leaving an already negotiated 3% deal for her membership. Maybe she will ask for that 30% raise again.

    It is clearly all about the politics and press coverage she will get. She has not intention of doing anything that makes sense for the kids. She will grandstand to get negative press coverage against Rahm. It really is that simple.

  • 303. Patricia  |  May 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    @301 mouse

    Sad day for your students 😦 Sorry to hear you are leaving and hope you enjoy your next chapter.

  • 304. pantherettie  |  May 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Actually, wisegeek, what I found problematic was your blanket assertion that ‘the southside’ (really meaning Black and Hispanic people because you pointed out that there should be a distinction made about white communities on the far south side) don’t pay their fare share of taxes whereas the white north siders (and white south siders in certain neighborhoods) do. I’m offended because as an educated AA who lives on the south side who pays significant property taxes every year. I’m also offended for my mother-in-law who owns a home in the heart of a ‘tier 1’ west side neighborhood because due to infamous redlining in Chicago that’s where she could buy a home in the mid 70’s. I’m offended for *all* of my friends, family members and acquaintances on the south and west sides of the city that pay property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, ect. that help fund education in our city. So – go ahead and post the % of low income kids at SEHS on the south side, those numbers are true. I’m totally cool that my property taxes are spent on schools that are successful and give a *variety* of kids a chance to attend a SEHS. I’m just calling you out for your latest blanket comment that seems to ignore the fact that there are people of value – of all races and ethnicities – other places than just north of Roosevelt road.

  • 305. prop tax  |  May 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    This site (property shark) map pulls up all of cook county tax. It loads up at Barrington town line, but If you zoom out twice, you can scroll around the whole of Chicago to see property tax rates for every house, north to south.

  • 306. wisegeek  |  May 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    @304 Do you think there should be an SEHS in Beverly/Mt Greenwood?

  • 307. @300 WiseFreak  |  May 5, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I found this excerpt from an article:
    In 1998, King stopped accepting freshmen and Vallas hired Dyson, a founding teacher and staff recruiter for the high-performing Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, to take over as principal and oversee King’s conversion for a fall 2001 reopening.

  • 308. @30^  |  May 5, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Well won’t there be a SE school in Beverly since Morgan park is going Wall to Wall IB & they have an AC, as well???

  • 309. CPS Parent  |  May 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    @309 Yeah, that’s weird … are other wall to wall IBs considered SE? What other schools are wall to wall IB now?

  • 310. SutherlandParent  |  May 5, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    @301, CPS will be the worse off for you leaving, but I wish you the best of luck!

    And @309, no, the MPHS will still be a neighborhood high school.

  • 311. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    298. Chris | May 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Very few kids from the neighborhood attend the neighborhood HS~MPHS~so they could go where their home school truly is located.

    299. Angie & 302. Patricia

    I understand your thinking, but I think a contract will be negotiated before a strike ensues.

    301. anonymouse teacher | May 5, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    What a loss for CPS kids! Good luck!

  • 312. HSObsessed  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Interesting story in the Reader about Wells High School on Ashland, with profiles of a few students and many of the staff members there. It’s underenrolled, with 600 kids enrolled in a building that has a capacity of 1400. They’re trying to change the rep of the school from “We Educate Low- Life Students” to “We Educate Life-Long Scholars”. The new principal plans to offer bus trips next year to kids from nearby K-8 schools so they can see all that Wells has to offer as a high school option.

  • 313. Kenwood  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Look @ this great story about Kenwood which is in Hyde park!
    My son was accepted to the AC for the fall! They have a rigorous curriculum specifically for the AC students eventhough it’s a neighborhood school that also has a magnet program! They retain anywhere from 80-85% of their AC students. I think I’m just going to let my son stay if he wants & say to heck with the SE process!

  • 314. Kenwood  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Oh & I bet 3 if not all 5 probably started at the AC!

  • 315. wisegeek  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:32 am

    I’d never expect CPS to do anything in the interest of “fairness” (largely b/c you’d have so many ppl saying “You did *this* for *(group)* but didn’t do it for us! Be fair!”). When you look at where SEHS are located, 4 are either in or close to high crime areas (Brooks, Lindblom, King, S Shore), 3 are downtown (WY, Jones, Payton), 2 are far North (NCP, Lane) & 1 is west (Westinghouse). There’s no SEHS near the South Side communities of Beverly, Mt Greenwood, Greater Ashburn, Chatham.

    When it’s brought up, for whatever reason, some people react by saying “Send ’em to Brooks!” Or “There’s MPHS! That’s good enough!” But seldom “Yeah, you know, they do pay a metric @ssload in property taxes, and don’t have a SEHS nearby. Maybe one should be located there.”


  • 316. @ wisegeek  |  May 6, 2014 at 9:10 am

    You don’t know the south side south shore international is near Chatham….

  • 317. know your history  |  May 6, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Wisegeek, you might find this story from Catalyst, 2005, interesting. It seems pretty clear the south side SEHSs were an afterthought while most of the attention went to NSCP and Payton. Thanks to Alan Mather for pulling Lindblom out of the wilderness CPS left it in at the beginning.

    I would say the siting of Obama College Prep shows the mentality has not changed. City Hall seems unaware that middle-class people of all races with interest in high schools of the caliber of PaJYN live south of Roosevelt Road. We’re just lucky they let us put our kids on a bus or a train to get there. 😉

  • 318. wisegeek  |  May 6, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Depends on where you are in Chatham. If you’re closer to 79th & Cottage Grove, yes; If you’re at 83rd & Vincennes, no.

  • 319. Diversity?  |  May 6, 2014 at 9:36 am


    Were Jones & WY also afterthoughts?

    Why do we not hear more about Infinity Math & Science HS located at 31st & Kostner and ranked #11 by US News & World Report?

  • 320. Chicago School GPS  |  May 6, 2014 at 10:25 am

    @319- Infinity Math & Science is an interesting one. It is one of 4 schools in a Little Village Campus that came up out of a hunger strike calling for a high school in the area. Here is what their website says:

    The Campus History
    On May 13th, 2001 fourteen community residents of Little Village neighborhood staged a nineteen day hunger strike demanding the construction of a new high school. The high school had been promised, but was put on hold for monetary issues. Almost four years later the Little Village Lawndale High School Campus opened its doors to four hundred students in the fall of 2005. The campus is comprised of four autonomous small schools: Multicultural Arts H.S., World Language H.S., Social Justice H.S., and Infinity: Math, Science, and Technology High School. Each school has its own principal and teaching staff. Each school will houses approximately 385 to 400 students from the neighborhoods of North Lawndale and Little Village. Our learning communities are specific to each theme of the school, but some facilities are shared. For example, students share the library, swimming pool, courtyards, auditorium, dance studio, child care center, gyms, health center, long distance learning labs, and the literacy center. Thus, students get the advantage of a tight-knit school environment without sacrificing the advantages of a larger facility. The architectural structure of the campus has won numerous awards, and has been replicated in other parts of the country. Students from every school participate in the same sports and after school activities. All four schools are public, neighborhood schools, open to every student within the boundary area. All teachers and staff are Chicago Teacher’s Union Members.

    The Campus Small School Design:
    When the activists of the hunger strike continued to advocate for control of the school model, they collectively went door to door asking parents to create an ideal situation for their children to learn in. These surveys produced fascinating results. Parents responded that they wanted a safe, small, and academically rigorous place for their children. They wanted the school to value bilingualism and biculturalism: World Language High School. They wanted the school to celebrate art, dance, and music as part of the curriculum: MAS; Multicultural Arts High School. Additionally, parents called on the educators to prepare students for the ever increasing jobs requiring strong math, science, and technological skills: Infinity; Math, Science, and Technology High School. What surprised some educators and activists the most from the surveys was the concept of “keeping the values of peace and equity” that came out of the hunger strike alive. Parents wanted all the children who graduated from the new high school never to forget the physical, spiritual, and communal struggle it took to achieve justice. Out of this desire came the fourth school: The School for Social Justice. This Spring of 2009, each school will graduate its first Senior class. Almost ten years later from the start of community meetings and organizing in 1999, children will join their parents in celebration of both the struggle of the community to achieve this milestone, and their personal academic and social journeys into the adult world.

  • 321. Diversity?  |  May 6, 2014 at 11:13 am

    @Chicago GPS
    Thanks for all the info…very interesting!

  • 322. Counterpoint for discussion  |  May 6, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    To 321 via 320: Exactly, no diversity, Diversity is generally mandated onto the white culture, but the opposite is praised by/for other races. It’s a total double standard. In 320’s statement “They wanted the school to value bilingualism and biculturalism”; it stinks of racism. Imagine an Irish CPS school on the northside lets say “Taft”. Implement the same concept but with an Irish flair at Taft and watch the social liberals erupt.

    This city/county/state/ and country are toast due to multiculturalism. Our culture is America and we speak English, it’s for the common good. Comprende.

  • 323. Athenia  |  May 6, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    @ 322 My kids’ school is practically red, black, and green for the month of Feb (AA History). It is all green for March (St. Patty), and Green, White, and red (Mexican flag) for May. This does not include all the holiday celebrations in December (Christian, Jewish, Muslism, etc). I have yet to know of one parent to complain. America is multicultural, why shouldn’t our kids be exposed to the reality of this.

    Quote: Our culture is America and we speak English, it’s for the common good.”

    Who exactly are you referring to when you say “Our” culture is America? The last time I looked at America we were made up from lots of different backgrounds to form this America.

  • 324. wisegeek  |  May 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    @323 counterpoint is a troll, FYI…

  • 325. Counterpoint for discussion  |  May 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    To 323: An American is one that sheds his/her affiliation to a foreign country and becomes loyal to the USA, which includes assimilating to the current US culture. That’s what America is all about, you can’t reinvent greatness.

  • 326. Chris  |  May 6, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    “4 are either in or close to high crime areas (Brooks, Lindblom, King, S Shore), … There’s no SEHS near the South Side communities of Beverly, Mt Greenwood, Greater Ashburn, Chatham.”

    Um, Brooks is “close”, but you’ve excluded it for being also “close” to a “high crime area”.

    Guess what? IF (as SSI suggests) MPHS were converted to a SEHS, then IT TOO would be “close to or in a high crime area”, and thus *still* disqualifiable. Morgan Park has has 2.5 times as many homicides as Kenwood since 1/1/2007.

  • 327. 19th ward mom  |  May 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm


    Not quite correct. Morgan Park west of the expressway vs east might share the same community name but are very different in terms of crime and safety.

    Use the Metra tracks as a divider and then it becomes even more drastic of a difference in crime stats.

    For the sake of MPHS, just being west of Vincennes puts it just within that okay area. Since the kids will be traveling either via Metra or coming from the west, I think that is where it becomes okay for most folks in that area. Never mind the police station is right next door.

  • 328. Chris  |  May 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    @327: According to the Redeye homicide map, since 1/1/07 there have been at least 3 homicides closer to MPHS than Harsh Park is to King.

    Besides: The stated standard is “close to”, and, frankly, most of Beverly, Mt Greenwood, Greater Ashburn, Chatham can *easily* be considered “close to” “high crime areas” especially if the environs of all of Brooks, Lindblom, King, S Shore are consider to be either “high crime” or “close to”.

  • 329. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    328. Chris | May 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    As 327. 19th ward mom stated ~ “Morgan Park west of the expressway vs east might share the same community name but are very different in terms of crime and safety.”

  • 330. 19th ward mom  |  May 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    @328. I am not sure where the proximity to bad areas had to do with someone asking where in our corner of the city we would like to see a SEHS.

    For sake of the kids coming from the 19th ward, they would not travel through the bad parts of Morgan Park to get to MPHS.

    For me personally, we have crossed King off our least due to the areas my child would have to travel through to get there.

  • 331. local  |  May 6, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I’m not sure Chris has even been south.

  • 332. local  |  May 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    @319. Diversity? | May 6, 2014 at 9:36 am

    WY was originally a magnet HS designed for racial integration.

  • 333. Chris  |  May 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    @330: Um, I wasn’t talking about where to put an SEHS in Beverly–I was responding to Wisegeek’s statements of:

    “4 are either in or close to high crime areas (Brooks, Lindblom, King, S Shore), … There’s no SEHS near the South Side communities of Beverly, Mt Greenwood, Greater Ashburn, Chatham.”

    Wherein SEHS that are “close to” (perceived) high crime areas are dismissed for not being “near”. MPHS is *no doubt* “close to” (it’s one longish block to the expressway you define as the border) an area that you and SSI both admit is a notsogood area.

    Basically, y’all are saying a “neighborhood” SEHS for Beverly would be great. Sure it would! But that isn’t a priority for more than the 4% of Chicago in the 19th and 21st.

  • 334. Chris  |  May 6, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    “I’m not sure Chris has even been south.”

    I’m pretty sure that most of the people saying that Kenwood is scary have never been to Kenwood (or there *is* a less flattering alternative explanation).

  • 335. Diversity?  |  May 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    @ 332 lo and behold..a CPS success story!

    @ 19th ward: Are there any SS SEHSs on your list?

  • 336. 19th ward mom  |  May 6, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    @335 Diversity
    We really wanted to consider the south side SEHS. We have gone to visit every single SEHS except Northside
    & Westinghouse.

    But for our family and work schedules, my child needs to get themselves back and forth on public transportation to school.

    None of the south side SEHS work for us for that reason. All for us would involve traveling through high crime areas. We even rode the 111th bus to Brooks to actually try it. It wasn’t a good experience.

  • 337. Hey what the heck  |  May 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I say make MPHS a selective school. Relocate the existing kids (because we know how easy that will be) and then see how many of the parents bitching that they need a SE school in their back yard will send their kids there. More room at WY and Jones….anyone? Bueller?

  • 338. North Center Mom  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Hi 19th ward, I just had to Google a ward map to find you. It looks like half of your boundaries are neighboring suburbs and half are city neighborhoods. Is there any path from your neighborhood to any other city neighborhood that doesn’t require going through a dangerous neighborhood? I say that without snark; I just really don’t know the south side very well.

  • 339. anonymouse teacher  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I have often wondered if anyone other than us made school decisions partly on commute time alone? We had a plethora of reasons to opt out of CPS altogether, but looking ahead at the likely commute time for our future high school students (safety aside-which would have been a huge additional concern) was just one more nail in the coffin so-to-speak.

  • 340. wisegeek  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    @337 I’m just wondering, when King, Westinghouse & Lindblom were changed to SE, where did the students who used those schools as their neighborhood high schools go? Kenwood? Gage Park? Calumet?

    Also, why rule out building a brand-spanking new building for SE for the South Side, like was done for South Shore, NCP, the new Obama SE, Jones, etc.? The old Luther South High School at 87th & Kedzie would be a good site.

  • 341. wisegeek  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    @338 Western Avenue is fairly safe.

  • 342. 19th ward mom  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    @341. Western is safe until 79th street on the bus. Some might disagree and say only to 87th.

    Anything within the boundaries of the 19th ward are safe. Outside of that, most students traveling to schools on public transportation use Metra.
    There is a stop at 35th for DelaSalle, or downtown for a walk to Jones or they are hoping on the trains for young, Payton or Lincoln Park.

    Other options are Kedzie, Pulaski or Cicero. Which would make for a long commute depending on where they are going.

  • 343. newbie to Ogden  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    my daughter got accepted into the IG program at Ogden. This way I dont have to worry about what high school she will be going to.
    I thought about leaving her in her nice comfy magnet school till 8th grade but the thought of the high school rat race got to me. The ogden IG program goes from 6 thru 12 th grade. Im sure Ogden HS will be a good choice. It is centrally located, small in size, diversity and Gifted IB. It wont stay at a level 2 for long.

  • 344. wisegeek  |  May 6, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    @342 I would disagree with that. 79th & Western is St. Rita High, which is used by many Beverly, MtG & Morgan Park young men. The 49 CTA bus seems to be fairly consistent & safe.

  • 345. 19th ward mom  |  May 6, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I am perfectly fine with 79th to Western. But not all in this area agree with that opinion. There has been a shoot out or two, at that corner in the recent years. I want to say that one even occurred in the bus depot area.

  • 346. another cps parent  |  May 6, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    @340 “why rule out building a brand-spanking new building for SE for the South Side, like was done for South Shore, NCP, the new Obama SE, Jones, etc.?”

    Ummm. The tiff funds.

  • 347. wisegeek  |  May 7, 2014 at 10:13 am

    @346 This is super-duper pie-in-the-sky, but why build Obama College Prep less than one mile from Payton? Build it in the 19th Ward…

  • 348. Diversity?  |  May 7, 2014 at 10:39 am

    @ Wisegeek

    Lack of money & location not accessible for majority IMO. What are the neighborhood HSs like in the 19th ward…is EVERY HS in your ward also “not an option”.

    It seems that it would be smarter & benefit the entire SS community to resolve the problems with transportation to SS SEHSs. If there was a safe transportation avenue to either Lindblom, King, or Brooks…would you then send your child to any of these SEHSs?

  • 349. wisegeek  |  May 7, 2014 at 11:14 am

    @Diversity? Neighborhood school is MPHS, magnet high school is ChiAg. It’s irrelevant, though, because there is not an SEHS in the 19th Ward.

    Unless Brooks (Roseland), Lindblom (Englewood) and King (parts of Englewood) were moved to areas that didn’t involve commuting thru some truly dangerous areas, its a non-starter. And they never WILL BE moved, so it’s a moot point.

  • 350. Diversity?  |  May 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

    @349 well, I assume these same children travel thru “dangerous areas” to get to the SEHSs downtown..but that transportation appears to be ‘ok’ in the minds of parents…so why shouldn’t developing safe transportation to SS SEHSs be a priority? Unless there is ANOTHER reason SS parents are not taking advantage of the SEHSs closest to their homes… BUT safe transportation is the reason cited over & over again on this blog.

    FYI: most people don’t have SEHSs in their ward…you are not alone. There are 50 wards & 10 SEHSs

  • 351. Diversity?  |  May 7, 2014 at 11:37 am

    @349 I would also add that having MPHS & ChiAg is not irrelevant if they are ‘good options’. Being the next door neighbor to Northside doesn’t matter if your child can’t get in (i.e. scoring in the top 1%).

  • 352. HSObsessed  |  May 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Congrats to Lindblom Principal Mr. Mather, who occasionally posts here, on his being awarded the very first Golden Apple principal award today! From the article:

    “For over 25 years, Golden Apple has been awarding teachers and our group decided that it was long due that we honor those who make great teachers operate well,” Belmonte said. “We were saying things like, the principal has to be an outstanding person who recognizes excellent teaching and helps it to grow, kind of like what Alan Mather does at Lindblom. And the principal also has to be someone who’s really good in the community, like Mather does at Lindblom. And someone who has to be innovative, kind of like Mather.”

  • 353. Kenwood Parent  |  May 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    @ 349 wisegeek – King is not anywhere near Englewood. If you knew Chicago geography, you’d know that Englewood is located on miles to the south and west, the other side of interstate 90/94. Aren’t you a south sider?

    King is in Kenwood, which is arguably as safe as Beverly (didn’t Beverly have a few murders in recent years?). Traveling from Beverly/Mt. Greenwood, you may have to travel through dangerous neighborhoods to get to King, but northside kids would not be required to travel through any dangerous neighborhoods to attend King. i must admit, I find it quite difficult to relate to other parents on this board when we obviously have no understanding of each other (even geographically).

  • 354. Vikingmom  |  May 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    @352. What a great story! What an amazing, committed, and open-minded principal. The changes he has brought to Linblom (as mentioned in the article) in just ten years are fabulous. Congrats to him!

  • 355. pantherettie  |  May 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Really great story about Lindblom. Big congrats to Mr. Mather! His leadership is fantastic and a big part of Lindblom’s continue success. I’m so glad that this school is a south side gem.

  • 356. Chris  |  May 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Mouse: “I have often wondered if anyone other than us made school decisions partly on commute time alone?”

    When it comes to HS, commute time will be a *huge* factor for us.

    But be careful, someone might accuse you of using “commute” as a pretext.

  • 357. @ Kenwood Parent  |  May 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you Kenwood parent! My son is a freshman at King and I stopped earlier in this thread trying to defend the school. We have a new dynamic principal who is already doing fabulous things! My son is completely challenged and the work is very rigorous! I find the school both inside & out to be safe! There are so many people making negative comments about King and they have never stepped foot in the neighborhood or the building. King is another hidden gem on the southside and it lacks diversity because white parents choose not to send their children to King. It is easily accessible via Lake Shore Drive or Metra (with a short bus ride and walking a couple blocks). It’s great and it leaves more seats for south side parents who want a great education for their children!

    Kenwood parent is your name Kenwood because you live in Kenwood or because your child attends Kenwood Academy or both? I am just asking because my 6th grader will be attending Kenwood’s AC in the fall. Thank you for your support!

  • 358. anonymouse teacher  |  May 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Chris, haha. No hidden meaning in my commute time issue.
    My family actually opted out of CPS altogether for many reasons, but the commute was one of them. Our kids were in a great school, but they were on the bus for nearly an hour each way. Totally not okay with us. And then, looking ahead at high school, safety aside, the commute would have been even longer. We just didn’t feel it was acceptable for a kid to have such a long commute. Heck, I don’t think adults should have a hour one way commute, ever. (I’m talking door to door, and yeah, I know some people have to do it, but it doesn’t mean its a good thing)
    I know some kids like the bus ride and or like the ride on the CTA. So, no judgement intended for anyone whose child has a long commute. It just wasn’t acceptable for our family.

  • 359. Kenwood Parent  |  May 7, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    @ 357 I live in Kenwood and I’m a parent, but I do not yet have a kid that goes to Kenwood Academy (my son is only 3). I attended Kenwood Academy’s AC sometime in the dark ages 🙂 (I’m in my thirties). Ironically, I never lived in Kenwood/Hyde Park until I started graduate school at U of C almost a decade ago. After I graduated in 2010, we decided that we loved our neighborhood so much that we decided to stay.

    I get frustrated with the constant put downs regarding Kenwood, King High School, and well, anything associated with the south side of Chicago. Because there are some crime-prone areas, I assume due to convenience and racism, people lump every south side neighborhood together as if there are gangland shootings happening on every corner. I’m not sure if this is your experience, but I have this interaction constantly with people and must constantly defend my neighborhood and my lack of desire to live on the north side of Chicago. I lived near north (oak & lasalle) as a 10 year old kid and up (my grandmother lives right across from Payton), lived in South Shore under 10 y.o., had my first apartment in Rogers Park, and lived in Bartlett in my early twenties. I actually have experience with at least a few neighborhoods in Chicago. As a result, I experienced enough to refrain from nonchalantly criticizing other people’s neighborhoods because I know that each has its pluses and minuses

    Regarding Kenwood’s AC, I believe the program is one of the main reasons why I was academically prepared to attend an institution such as U of C. Congrats to your son! Do you live in the neighborhood?

  • 360. pantherettie  |  May 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    @Kenwood parent – I agree, King is a strong school and a south side gem. I hope that more families consider it and other south side schools as options if they feel the school meets their student’s needs.

    @mouse – I don’t think that every person that states that the commute to any school is a proxy for race. Being in HP, there is no way that Lane, NSCP or even WP would not be even a remote possiblilites for our family due to the commute times. I totally understand and respect what you (and others) have said in that regard.

  • 361. @Kenwood Parent  |  May 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I live in Pill Hill–tier 4 surrounded by tier 3 on the south side! I grew up in the South Shore area then moved to Calumet Heights when it was time for high school! My in-laws live in Hyde park & when my husband & I first got married we lived in Hyde park. While pregnant with my second son we decided to move to a less congested area—I was tired of hunting for parking spaces 🙂 I attended catholic schools for 12 years because at that time both my parents (mom is a retired cps teacher) who went to public schools decided that catholic schools provided a better education back then (I’m in my mid-40s)!

    Well soon you will enter the world of the SE madness or hope to win the lottery. But….you have some great neighborhood options as well! I wish you the best of luck! I’m glad to hear Kenwood prepared you well & I know the AC is even better than when you attended so I guess I am in for a treat! The best thing is that I pass Kenwood every day on my way to King! I’m sick of the school bus schedule(youngest attends a magnet in Beverly), so I look forward to driving them both to school every day!

    My boys tend to be a bit on the lazy/slacker side so that’s the part I don’t look forward to! I think the oldest is still adjusting to the rigor of King because he attended the Beverly magnet which teaches at grade level, so he needs to put forth more effort. He WAS a straight A student! My 6th grader is a straight A student too will probably perform better with the rigor at Kenwood BUT I still expect issues due to higher expectations and the volume of work! Sooooo….I will probably have my foot up both of their you know whats next school year 🙂

  • 363. Angie  |  May 7, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    RE: article posted in #392 – always consider the source.

    Salon article writer Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News.

    Random Lengths Newspaper is “proud of the readership and support from the Harbor Area labor unions, who allow us exclusive distribution inside most of their union halls.”

    And the original report is published by Integrity in Education, a vehemently anti-charter group that “exists to shine a light on the people making a positive difference for children, and to expose and oppose the corporate interest groups standing in their way.”

    Oh, and “Integrity in Education is funded principally by donations from a diverse group of individuals and grassroots supporters, not by corporations or outside interests.”

    No, of course not. It is most likely funded by the teachers unions.

    And in other news, CTU just officially joined the opposition to Common Core Standards. Dumbing down the education and not holding teachers responsible for the results of their work is such a noble cause for the teachers union.

  • 364. Miss F  |  May 8, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Angie, cut veteran some slack, he is not the brightest bulb on the tree. He can think to well for himself, but he is great at cutting and pasting. Most likely educated by a unionized “teacher”..

  • 365. Chris  |  May 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    KP: “I get frustrated with the constant put downs regarding Kenwood, King High School, and well, anything associated with the south side of Chicago.”

    And the ironic thing is that *many* of the comments (here at least) leading to your frustration have come from other south siders.

  • 366. Pantherettie  |  May 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    @365 – I’m not sure about that. There have been some south side parents who may have led to the frustrations that KP expressed. I would also say that many of the south side posters you’re referring to don’t live in the neighborhoods in or around King or Kenwood, they live in the 19 Ward and Beverly neighborhoods.
    I would suggest that there have been many south side parents on this board that have not made negative comments about the south side and have been adamant and vocal supports of King and Kenwood.

  • 367. wisegeek  |  May 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    @365 I like Kenwood & am impressed with what King’s doing. The kids there seem smart, hardworking and they deserve a great school.

    What’s not up for debate is taking a CTA bus from Beverly or the 19th Ward to King takes kids through some pretty rough parts of Chicago. Same thing with Lindblom & Brooks. I wouldn’t want to have to wait for a bus or take a bus down Ashland Avenue thru Englewood, or 111th St thru Roseland. As a parent, I’d be even more of a nervous wreck every day.

    The point of an SEHS in the 19th Ward is b/c getting to current SEHS is either an hour(s)-long trek downtown on Metra AND a trip on the bus (WY), el (Payton) or walk to school (Jones), or taking a bus thru very dangerous areas (Brooks, Lindblom & yes, King). Slap that commute time on to 2+ hours of schoolwork, it’s even more of a hassle.

    Re: Other HS options: By that argument, b/c Kenwood is a really good school then King should not be an SEHS?

  • 368. H  |  May 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I was curious about the $191K median income tier 3 neighborhood around Fullerton and Clark, so I looked at the data. That neighborhood was the highest socioecon hood in tier 3 and made it because its owner occupied housing score was so low (in the 3rd “percentile”), which if you think about the neighborhood is not that useful a metric at least in that circumstance.

    More generally, I question what the language other than english metric is. On the data sheet from CPS, it is listed as “% of Population Speaking a Language Other than English” while on the CPSOAE informational page it is listed as “percentage of homes where English is not the first language”. Those two metrics are obviously related but differ significantly for tiering purposes. Which is it?

    Also, just eyeballing but I would at least want to investigate the family variable that is described on data sheet as “% of Single Parent
    Households”. I’d want to make sure that it did not include single individuals in the numerator. It is described confusingly on the CPS information page as “percentage of single-family homes”.

  • 369. H  |  May 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Just for the heck of it, I ran correlations between each of the 6 socioecon variables and the overall socioecon score:

    median income 0.89
    education 0.78
    single parent family (or whatever) 0.73
    owner occupied 0.58
    foreign language 0.07
    ISAT 0.75

    This raises questions for me about the language variable. This is not to say that it can’t make sense to include a variable that’s not closely correlated with the others because it IS telling you a lot that the other variables do not. But you’d better make sure that it makes sense.

  • 370. Veteran  |  May 8, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    An ad hominem ( Latin learned from a non-union nun) attack usually means a nerve was hit.

    Another interesting article regarding charter schools and how they impact children in gen ed schools and children with disabilities…..I think the readers on this blog are intelligent enough to read my cut and pasted article and decide for themselves as to whether charter schools meet their child’s needs.

  • 371. Chris  |  May 8, 2014 at 6:22 pm


    Either I wasn’t clear, or you didn’t read clearly–many of the *comments* that are making KP nuts are made by folks who live on the southside. Yes, as you correctly identify, mainly the 19th, but that’s still, definitely, the southside

    There are also many comments from many southsiders that are agreeing with/supportive of KP.

    But KP was complaining about putdowns of the southside, and many, many of the comments frustrating her are *from* southsiders.

  • 372. Chris  |  May 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm


    “in the 3rd “percentile””

    Having dug into it a bit, the % rank is generated from a numerator that is the number of school-aged kids (usu 5-18) in census tracts with a ‘worse’++ score on the criteria divided by the total number of school-aged kids in Chicago. So, it’s sort of a hybrid “percentage”

    Then, they just tote up the 6 criteria percentages, and divide by 6 to get a six factor score, and pick roughly equal cut points–T1 is the smallest, bc the lowest T2 tract has 1400 s-a kids. T3 is the second smallest bc the lowest T4 tract has 900 s-a kids. The diff bt the biggest and smallest tiers is 1,032 kids, so can’t get closer to even.

    Your number crunching confirms my (shared) eyeball-test result–the non-english and renter factors are the screwiest, tho I suspect there is only marginal (ie, only maybe a dozen tracts would change tiers even if *both* were taken out) effect.

    ++worse=lower median income, lower “educ score”, higher single parent %, lower % owner-occupied, higher % non-english, lower ISAT scores at a-a school.

  • 373. pantherettie  |  May 8, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Ok Chris. No disrespect intended. Looking over the thread, I guess I’m not seeing the same thing. I agree that there are varieties of opinions on this board by south siders about south side SEHS – some in agreement with a group of 19th ward families (who I totally agree are south siders) and many who live in the HP, Kenwood, Bronzeville area who have been supporters of King and Kenwood.

  • 374. Chris  |  May 8, 2014 at 6:48 pm


    “I was curious about the $191K median income tier 3 neighborhood around Fullerton and Clark, so I looked at the data.”

    That tract has the 7th smallest number of s-a kids out of 796 tracts. So it’s a tiny group (50 kids, while the largest is 1891, and there 97 with over 1,000), which *also* inevitably affects the Single-Parent ranking (of the 8 smallest kid-pop tracts, 6 of them are either all single parent or zero single parents, out of 48 overall with all or none).

  • 375. Chris  |  May 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    ” I guess I’m not seeing the same thing.”

    You don’t see southsiders saying things that KP is taking issue with? Really?

    It seems to me that almost everyone (ie, except klm) slagging King and Kenwood in this thread has been a southsider. (Almost everyone saying something nice has been a southsider, too, but that’s irrelevant to my original comment about it)

  • 376. H  |  May 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    “only maybe a dozen tracts would change tiers even if *both* were taken out) effect”

    I get changes for 198 out of the 713 (I did the cutoffs just based on e.g. less than 25 percent of kids, without trying to minimize difference in number of kids in different tiers). No more than a 1 tier change though.

  • 377. pantherettie  |  May 8, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Ok Chris – you win.

  • 378. H  |  May 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    “The diff bt the biggest and smallest tiers is 1,032 kids, so can’t get closer to even.”

    I get a bigger difference. Tier 4 is abnormally small in my spreadsheet. I must have lost some rows somewhere (which doesn’t significantly affect most of the numbers I report above).

  • 379. wisegeek  |  May 8, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    @Chris — I don’t have time (or interest) to go thru the thread, but aside from Ald. Dowell, what bad things were said about King etc. Specifically about the school(s)?

  • 380. Not Chris  |  May 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    @379 Between this thread and the Obama HS thread a south side resident states that King is not an option for the south side because it is a selective school “in name only” and does not have the scores.

    Others go on to mention that the scores are lower for SS SEHS’a indicating that supply/demand has been met on the south side…a good thing, no?

    There are multiple discussions about the neighborhoods on the SS in particular the area where King is located.

    There’s a troll likely using more than 1 name with bigoted remarks bashing everything – probably doesn’t even have any kids in CPS.

    There is a distinct faction of SS parents who want a new SE school located in the area of King (even though it’s “unsafe” to get to) or to the extent of taking over an existing WTW IB school serving the AA community.

    And we have the comment in Kenwood that it’s understandable for SSer’s to be fearful of the route to King but it’s the Northsiders that should easily get to king and should be ashamed for dissing it. Regardless of the fact that your neighborhood school is Lincoln or that you would potentially pass up 5 highly successful SE schools, 3 WTW IB programs, at least 2 successful charters, a couple of good magnets, Ogden IB and a double honors program on route to the SS.

  • 381. Supply and Demand  |  May 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Not Chris and others have tried to argue that lower admissions scores for the south side SEHSs means that the supply is meeting the demand. I don’t think you can make that argument until you account for the number of south side students in central and north side SEHS who spend more than one hour a day to get there. Not sure how you would figure it out, but I bet you south side kids are spending a lot more time on the bus to get to Payton, Jones, Young and Lane.

    It would also be interesting to compare the “brain drain” (kids leaving CPS) from 8th to 9th grade by north vs south side. I honestly have no idea what that would show but it would be interesting to see how they compare.

  • 382. lincoln park high school  |  May 9, 2014 at 9:52 am

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  • 383. Diversity?  |  May 9, 2014 at 11:04 am


    I live on NS. It is a 1 hour commute (door to door) to Jones. If you live on the far southside OR far Northside, your child will have a longer commute. It is what it is…

  • 384. Counterpoint for discussion  |  May 9, 2014 at 11:39 am

    To 380: Your statement “Northsiders that should easily get to king and should be ashamed for dissing it.” is puzzling.

    Take the scores of NSCP or WP and put them up against King. NSCP and WP win. A northsider will “never” send their child to King when the difference is so striking. To say a northsider should be ashamed for dissing (slang for disrespecting) is great, because we should all strive to be like Jesus, Mohammad, or the like (meaning peaceful and loving), but really King has a ways to come to get credit for being an academic powerhouse.

    King is great if your a southsider, but “not really” for a northsider.

  • 385. @ counterpoint  |  May 9, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    King’s students don’t come in at the same levels as they do at WP & WY. They do a wonderful job growing the students. I think the point is that the northsiders who don’t get in WP & WY should give the nearest southside SE HS a try and stop saying there not enough seats or that their child just missed the cut off. There are plenty AA students traveling from the south to the north everyday and they manage to make it home alive. Some people don’t understand why the reverse doesn’t happen.

  • 386. Pantherettie  |  May 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    @385 – well said

  • 387. wisegeek  |  May 9, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Then the statements about King, Lindblom, South Shore & Brooks not measuring up to WP, WY, Jones & NCP are true … disappointing.

  • 388. pantherettie  |  May 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Why do you say that Wisegeek?

  • 389. wisegeek  |  May 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    When King students are said to not “come in at the same levels as they do at WP & WY”, it sure reads like “King students aren’t as academically prepared as WP & WY students”.

  • 390. Counterpoint for discussion  |  May 9, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    To 385: Some people don’t understand why the reverse doesn’t happen.

    Really? An AA kid going to the Gold Coast (WP) or Albany Park (NSCP) is NOT going to get jumped with the same frequency as a EA going to North Kenwood (King). Pease read the Uniform Crime Statistics for the City of Chicago and gain insight. Yes, the crimes are racially divided. A progressive attitude is great but, an unrealistic one is hurtful. Especially to the EA kid that gets jumped upon in North Kenwood and blames his/her parents for advising him/her to go south to try the road less traveled. The reason it’s less traveled is because it’s more dangerous!

  • 391. Kenwood Parent  |  May 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    @384 I think 385 made a great point. Many northsiders complain about the “lack of SE seats,” but if their kids’ scores are at the levels they claim, they would easily have a seat at a southside SE.

    I assume you’re saying that a northsider would “never” send their kids to an southside SEH based on test scores. But plenty of northsiders move to the suburbs “for the schools,” even though Lindblom, King, etc. are on the same academic level as the average suburban school. I’ve seen people move to Bartlett, Schaumburg, etc. and tout how great the schools are. Unless your kid can’t get into any SE CPS school, the assertion that you’re moving “for the schools” is ridiculous at best (assuming you’re not moving to Wilmette, Deerfield, or the like).

    Schaumburg High School – average ACT score – 20.9
    Bartlett High School – average ACT score – 21.2
    King College Prep – average ACT score – 21.0
    Lindblom College Prep – average ACT score 22.4

    @380 – You should only be “ashamed” if your kid can’t get into any of the aforementioned programs.

  • 392. suburbs8  |  May 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    391 looks like all schools you listed have ick act scores. No thanks.

  • 393. Kenwood Parent  |  May 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    @390 Yes, white kids (EAs) are getting jumped everyday in North Kenwood. I jumped one yesterday just for the hell of it! 🙂

    There are plenty of whites living in North Kenwood (even some white kids) . I’ve never heard such crime occur, and I actually live here. Please show the black-on-white North Kenwood crime statistics that you are referring to.

  • 394. wisegeek  |  May 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    @391 No offense, but the suburban scores capture every student, from AP Honors to the sub-par student…

  • 395. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 9, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I posted the other day on the WY film thread~WY won IL State Math Championship again this year~second year in a row~only CPS school to ever win 4A in Math. Also, many SouthSiders on the team! Please note that WY is an hour door to door, but I still hate that my kids have that commute.

  • 396. Patricia  |  May 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    @395 SSI4
    Wooo Hoooo!!!! Way to go WY. Thank you for posting.

  • 397. Counterpoint for discussion  |  May 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    To 393: Why would I waste 10-15 minutes looking for the stats that I had to read for a thesis I wrote 6 years ago. Yes, the lions share of the input date is the same in 2014. It would be akin to me asking you to provide the date that backs your affirmation of you never hearing of black on white crime. Waste your own time not mine! Again it’s called the Uniform Crime Statistics for Chicago that is published by the FBI.

  • 398. Kenwood Parent  |  May 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    @ 397 Yes, your thesis….You have no hard facts, especially regarding North Kenwood. Please just stop.

    #394 That is true. However, your point is irrelevant with regard to my point.

  • 399. wisegeek  |  May 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    @Kenwood Parent It’s not an accurate comparison of the two types of schools, just as comparing Bogan or Schurz to Whitney Young is not an accurate comparison.

  • 400. Kenwood Parent  |  May 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    @ 399 With regard to the level of instruction and challenge your kid will receive at the two institutions (e.g., Schaumburg HS vs. Lindblom College Prep), I think its a fair comparison. Overall, I do not believe that kids receive a better education at most suburban schools compared to any of the CPS SEHSs. In fact, if you do indeed believe that schools such as Schaumburg have students with a wide-range of academic abilities, one could make the argument that a SE such as King or Lindblom would be superior. If your statement is true, a kid attending King, Lindblom, or any comparable SEHS would work side-by-side more consistently with higher achieving, more ambitious students.

  • 401. wisegeek  |  May 9, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    @400 I’m not disputing the talent of the kids at King or any other So Side SEHS. But it is a comparison of Selective Enrollment High School vs. (in essence) a neighborhood high school.

    Turning it inside out, a comparison of Illinois Math & Science Academy vs a non-SEHS with an AP Honors program would also be inaccurate.

  • 402. SoxSideIrish4  |  May 9, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    400. Kenwood Parent | May 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    “Overall, I do not believe that kids receive a better education at most suburban schools compared to any of the CPS SEHSs.”

    I agree.

  • 403. Kenwood Parent  |  May 9, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    @ 402 – This is one of the main reasons I’m planning on staying in Chicago. My sons are only 3 years old and yet to be born, so I’m sure the system will be vastly different by the time they enter high school. I remember mapping out an elementary school strategy during my first pregnancy (yes, I’m that person); South Loop was near the top of my list. Within the span of a few years, the school became a neighborhood school. Oh well.

    I’m sure your kids are getting a top notch education at Whitney Young. I passed up the opportunity many years ago, and I sometimes regret the decision (not that a 6th grader can be trusted to always make the best decisions). You must share with us how you raised two Whitney Youngers.

  • 404. Pantherettie  |  May 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    @ 392 I think that there are so many things to consider about a school in addition to their ACT scores. For example, do the schools that you said ” ick” to have lower percentage of the students getting accepted into strong 4 year colleges? Is their matriculation rate for college lower (or higher) than their peers who attend Payton, Jones, WY or NSCP? Do they have a lower (or higher) percentage of students completing their college degrees?

    I would also say that if the main goals for SEHS students are to attend strong colleges with the financial support, academic readiness and emotional strength needed to complete the degree, then I think that south side SEHS are doing pretty well.

    I know that this kinda a “third rail” topic, but maybe the deal is that many minority students who attend south side SEHS don’t always need a 27+ to get into a strong college or to be considered for pretty plum scholarships. Maybe strong grades, volunteer involvement, work experiences, ect. is enough for some kids at these schools to have seats right next to a kid from a Chicago “top” SEHS or an exclusive east (or west) coast boarding school. I am not saying that kids at south side SEHS are not striving to get perfect scores or that any SEHS school is not striving to have kids have fantastic, near perfect scores. I’m just saying that a well-rounded student with respectable ACT scores has significant chances to attend top schools.

  • 405. ASOK  |  May 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    @404 your saying you need another handout and I say NFW!!!!

  • 406. pantherettie  |  May 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    @405 – Nothing about what I wrote suggested that I need “another handout”. I’m not sure you even know me enough to know if I ever got one. Many colleges value racial and ethnic diversity and look at student beyond their ACT scores. Many minority students at south side SEHS benefit from this as well as the school and non minority students who have the opportunity to attend racially, ethnically and economically diverse educational communities. If you’re aware that most selective and highly selective colleges and universities (aside from large state schools like the U of M and the U of California system and othersthat have lost legal battles to consider this) consider a range of ACT scores and that the scores needed for entry sometimes change based on your gender, race, legacy status, sports abilities, ect. then maybe you would think that my comment indicated that a hand out was needed, request or expected.

  • 407. pantherettie  |  May 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    @405 – I meant to say that if you’re *unaware* that most selective and highly selective colleges and universities consider a range of ACT scores…….

  • 408. Counterpoint for discussion  |  May 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    To 398: I don’t have the inclination to show you hard facts. I told you where to find them, and when you see them for yourself, I’ll get your apology. I’m not holding my breath.

  • 409. OTdad  |  May 9, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    @404. Pantherettie
    “…well-rounded student with respectable ACT scores has significant chances to attend top schools.”
    Getting admitted is one thing, excel in school is another. In top engineering/science schools, the percentage of black/Hispanic students are still very low.

  • 410. Pantherettie  |  May 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    @409 – I totally agree with you. Getting into a school is no guarantee for success or even completion. That’s why I suggest that one of ways to assess the quality of a school is see what % of the graduates remain in college and finish their degrees. It’s also important to see how a school that has a focus on math and science prepares students to excel in college STEM majors.

  • 411. Chris  |  May 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    H: “I get a bigger difference. Tier 4 is abnormally small in my spreadsheet. I must have lost some rows somewhere”
    “I get changes for 198 out of the 713”

    I have 796 census tracts on my spreadsheet, so you are missing a whole page worth from the pdf.

  • 412. anonymouse teacher  |  May 9, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Some of the things I think about when looking at suburban vs. SEHS are (or suburban vs. gifted/classical/great magnet elementary):
    a) better to compare the scores and achievement of honors suburban high school students to SEHS students and this will give a more accurate comparison (kind of like comparing Von Steuben’s honor’s scores, which are great, to the overall scores at Lane or Jones) than comparing SEHS to a suburban school’s overall scores.
    b) class size
    c) commute time
    d) needs of the family, for example–are you okay with children going to different schools if you have more than one child? What if one child can get into a SEHS and the other child can’t get into any SEHS? What if one child is really just average? Are you okay with neighborhood high school regular program X?
    e) Look at the district’s finances and how it affects day to day operations.
    f) Look at the district’s/school’s policies
    g) Are teachers happy? (in my mind this is a HUGE indicator of a school I want my kids at) Do teachers (or would they if they could) send their own kids to the district/the school? What is the staff retention rate?

    Not saying any of this to tell anyone else what to do, just listing out all the things I looked at when thinking about schools. I think its important to flesh out thought processes rather than just “MY choice is good, person over there–their choice is bad”.

  • 413. what to look for in a high school  |  May 10, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Just wanted to say 404 pantherettie’s points on what to look for in a high school are right on target.

  • 414. HS Mom  |  May 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    @404 Pantherettie – I agree with everything that you say.

    Since this thread is completely prompted by a Suntimes article proclaiming that the halls of the top 4 schools have gotten “whiter”….Do you think that this same situation

    “minority students who attend south side SEHS don’t always need a 27+ to get into a strong college or to be considered for pretty plum scholarships. Maybe strong grades, volunteer involvement, work experiences, ect. is enough for some kids at these schools to have seats right next to a kid from a Chicago “top” SEHS or an exclusive east (or west) coast boarding school.”

    would pertain to white students? Could white students actually be at a disadvantage attending a primarily black HS that top colleges look to recruit minority students from? My question is not intended to be snarky or disrespectful and you may understandably not have an opinion about this, but your post prompted me to consider this aspect. Also, depending where anyone sits on this issue, I believe that it is a consideration for many white families as they consider, “What school can I afford to send my child to that will give him/her the best opportunity for higher education and future career/life”.

    Kenwood parent – In my opinion, this is the reason why Northside parents (and in case you didn’t notice, there’s more than a few Southsiders too) feel that there are not enough SE seats even though they could go to King. Because King is a “selective enrollment” school does not in and of itself make it a choice for Northsiders. If there are other non-selective programs closer to home that fulfill the needs better or even equally to King, why would people chose to travel?

  • 415. pantherettie  |  May 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    HS Mom – I’m really glad that you brought your points to the thread. I didn’t think that you were being snarky at all! As I was writing yesterday, I was thinking along the same lines as you – being at a particular school may not be as advantageous for certain kids. I totally get your example and I think that you may be right. The flip side of your example of a white middle class kid in a school like Lindblom, King, Kenwood, Brooks would be a low income minority kid who goes to a school that’s not as plugged into colleges and scholarship opportunities specifically for them. I think of the number of Gates scholars at Lindblom and Kenwood this year. I could be wrong(and I hope that I am) but I don’t think that WP or NSCP had as many scholars. I strongly believe that there are many minority kids who attend those schools who probably exceed the eligibility requirements for that scholarship, but I believe that school doesn’t put as much emphasis on that type of scholarship opportunity because it applies to a small population within the school.

    I’m absolutely not saying that things should remain like this. I think that it would be better if students’ access to support and scholarship opportunities was the same at various SEHS around the city.

  • 416. 19th ward mom  |  May 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I think you are right about the focus on scholarships at certain schools ( Kenwood & Lindblom).

    For the gates scholarship: Payton – 3; Young -1; Northside & Jones -0;

    Lindblom – 4
    Urban Prep- 5
    Kenwood – 5

    Here is the full spreadsheet:

  • 417. Gates Winners  |  May 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Brooks-1 & King-1 none for Westinghouse or South Shore

  • 418. edtitan77  |  June 23, 2014 at 5:47 am

    So basically poor Whites & Hispanics are edging out poor Blacks. What’s the issue here?

  • 419. college admissions  |  July 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Now I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming again to read
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  • 421. Deloris Guest  |  April 10, 2015 at 2:37 am

    The article was informative. I had four children out of five to graduate out of the Academic Center/ high school. The fifth child was my average child, an 80/85 percentage scorer. I sent him to a good private school, scored high on the ACT and easily gained access to the University. of ILL at Urbana. He graduated and is in grad school. One of my daughters taught College Statistics/Calculus at Northside Prep when it first opened for a few years until she relocated.
    I would like to know if the same procedure and time is put into BROOKS and Kenwood. We all know the answer. WHY NOT? WHAT IS GOING ON. THESE SCHOOLS ARE NOT HIGH ACHIEVERS BECAUSE…….. THEY ARE A SMALL TOKEN TO make contentment to the minorities…. NOT SO!!!!!

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