High School Letters 2016

February 29, 2016 at 10:51 am 719 comments

SEHS Cutoffs 2016_17

As expected, many of the cutoffs for SEHS went up this year, compared to last year.  The exception being the traditionally top-scoring schools: Young, Payton, NSCP.  Payton has the highest cutoff scores this year, indicating that it’s been inching out NSCP.  Tier 4 students need a 890 to get into Payton.   Jones is up quite a bit.  FYI I noticed the sheet doesn’t indicate the # of students this year.

In any case, big thumbs up to OAE for posting these early Monday morning!


Entry filed under: High school, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

College Admission 2016 SEES GIFTED and CLASSICAL Elem Thread

719 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 10:52 am

    International Baccalaureate High School
    Cutoff Scores — 2016-2017 School Year
    School Name
    Cutoff Score
    Amundsen 560
    Back Of the Yards 620
    Bogan 350
    Bronzeville 415
    Clemente 444
    Curie 675
    Farragut 350
    Hubbard 570
    Hyde Park 350
    Juarez 500
    Kelly 306
    Kennedy 550
    Lincoln Park 820
    Morgan Park 425
    Ogden 520
    Prosser 575
    Schurz 350
    Senn 550
    South Shore 427
    Steinmetz 350
    Taft 825
    Washington 530

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Taft has the highest IB entry score again this year!

  • 3. Marketing Mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for providing the comparison.

  • 4. North Center Mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I know that many readers of this blog focus on tier 4, but these cutoff scores also tell a different preference story about tier 1. Min scores for tier 1
    Jones 788
    WY 777
    Payton 769
    NS 754

  • 5. LSmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:08 am

    @north center mom … and congrats to those kids in tier 1 that work so hard and able to attend SE! those cutoffs are still very high and a reflection of hard work in a complicated CPS system (this is coming from a tier 4 mom)

  • 6. Parent of 6th grader, on pins & needles  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I’m STILL confused about the scoring. I have a current 6th grader and I just want to know when the letters for Academic Centers be mailed out. I know we live in a “low-income” area, so I guess we are Tier 1. I did the application back in November, she took the test at IIT in January and now I’m just waiting. We (I’m vested in this process) applied to Whitney Young, Lane and Taft.

  • 7. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:10 am

    @6 Parent – AC is considered elementary so those will come out at the end of march.

  • 8. cpsmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Are these definitely the scores for the 2016-2017 school year? I don’t see them posted on the COAE website.

  • 9. crownfeif  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Can you please include the link to this year’s cut-off scores? I can only find the link to last year’s scores.

  • 10. cpsmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I am very anxious for my dauhter.

  • 11. LSmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Academic Center letters are going out March 25th

  • 12. cpsmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:14 am


  • 13. Stressedoutmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:18 am

    So is it true that even if your child has a school’s minimum cutoff score for their tier they might not be accepted to that school?

  • 14. cpsmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:20 am

    @Stressedoutmom I think It can come down to the tiebreaker process and the way they ranked their schools

  • 15. HSObsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I support the tier system in that I think it does make sure there is socioeconomic diversity in the schools; however, the spread of minimum scores between Tier 4 and Tier 1 is pretty astounding. For some of the most sought-after schools, the difference is 120 points or more, even for a very big school like Lane. In that regard, Jones is the most “egalitarian” in that the difference is “only” 89 points.

    I’m also surprised that the cut off scores for IB programs beyond LP and Taft are not going up much. Huge drop off from cut offs of 820/825 for those two, and then 560 or below for Amundsen, Ogden and Senn.

    Also: If your Tier 4 kid got one B and test scores averaging just below the 90th percentile, he or she will have lots of great company in the LPHS double honors program!

  • 16. Northside Mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:21 am

    @13 yes that unfortunately might be the case. Dependent how many seats are filled prior to when your child’s name is up on the list. What they say is true, it’s harder getting into a SEHS than several elite colleges. So far I’m 1 for 2 in this process with another one coming up next year.

  • 17. neighborhoodmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Senn sent out e-mails this morning! I wish more schools would do that.

  • 18. Following  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:24 am

    @13. Correct. Here is how the break a tie breaker in that situation.


  • 19. chicagomom60630  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Here is a great link explaining how seats are filled for Selective Enrollment Schools:


  • 20. CPSparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Amundsen has an IB program but their average ACT scores average 18. LP and Taft are more established and respected IB programs, This is the reason why it is hard to give these other IB programs a chance, those are very low cut off scores, very low.

  • 21. NWSMomof4  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:30 am

    @9: http://www.cpsoae.org/SEHS%20Cutoff%20Scores_2016-2017.pdf

  • 22. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:43 am

    @20, in contrast, the SE cutoffs are very very high. So I think having some programs that include kids who are “above average (average being 50th percentile+ or so) gives another good option to kids who aren’t the super brainy/super school types to learn among other kids who want a more stimulating curriculum.

    In CPS output (ACT) tends to follow input so I think the real question is how YOUR child would do in the program, rather than how other kids have done.

    But I hear ya…. that is an obstacle to the neighborhood high schools that is hard to overcome. the main way it’ll change is a change in demographics just like has occurred in the elementary schools.

  • 23. mom2  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:47 am

    For anyone interested, I just read that Lake View HS is adding rowing to its sports offering. I think that is very cool, not just propaganda 🙂

  • 24. CPSparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:50 am

    @23 mom2 rowing? how so? through CRF?

  • 25. HSObsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:51 am

    @23 – Don’t go dangerously demanding that others jump on the rowing bandwagon. 🙂

  • 26. Hopefully letters will come, too!  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Any info on Von Scholars?

  • 27. CPSparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:59 am

    @23 and @25, exactly! i think this is LV propaganda!

  • 28. lawmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    I think the only reason Payton’s scores are higher than NS is that it is a more popular school. NS is perceived as having little social life (geeky/nerdy school), so the more socially inclined students prefer Payton or Whitney Young.

  • 29. 8th Grade mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    I know parents, teachers and students that love Von, and have opted for it over NS/Lane. It is different in that it is a smaller community of high achieving students, within a “regular” magnet school. The scholars get a lot of attention and enrichment, and I’ve heard the college counseling (admissions, scholarships) is tops! I’m hoping for admission for my daughter. Though I think she prefers a larger community and will go with WY or Lane, given the choice (crossing my fingers and holding my breath.)

  • 30. 8th Grade mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    @28 Payton is also more central, and therefore accessible to more. NS is not right by a train, it’s over a mile to the Brown line. And I agree on the NS rep; my student wants to commute to WY or Lane rather than walk to NS, sigh…

  • 31. Following  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Haha!! I have a good friend who’s kid is at Payton. VERY social, and doing well. Not a geek. Not a nerd. Out most weekends. Football, baseball team. Really healthy social lifestyle,.

    Just saying, #28, that’s quite a statement.. You sure?

  • 32. Hopefully letters will come, too!  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    @ 29 I was wondering about Von scoring…

  • 33. nwsidemom  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I believe that the IB cutoff scores are set by the principal at each school.

  • 34. stories to tell  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    thank you for posting cutoff scores, majorly bummed, child’s scores just under by a couple of point for 2nd choice Young and about 10 points under 1st choice Jones

  • 35. 8th Grade mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    @31 @28 None of us are “sure”. These are opinions, theories. @28 stated her opinion that more socially inclined students might prefer Payton. Seems to align with your observation.

    Slightly higher cutoff scores to not translate to “better” school or better experience for your student.

  • 36. 8th Grade mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    @32 If I understand correctly, Von builds a pool of qualified applicants and then they go into a lottery. So it’s not quite as cut and dried as IB or SE.

  • 37. mom2  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Read this on their web site: “Thank You to Chicago Rowing For Introducing the Sport to Lake View Students
    We are excited to offer the sport of Rowing to Lake View students for the first time this year. Here’s to our new tradition!!!”
    No pressure for anyone to row if they don’t want to – lol

  • 38. pantherettie  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:27 pm


  • 39. first time HS application  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    wow … score is the cut off … now have to wait for tie breaker. What happens to the slots if student does not accept offer? Do those go to PD, or to the students who came up short on the tie breaker and/or below the cutoff? Thanks for the blog!

  • 40. LR  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Hmmm…surprised Payton’s scores stayed as high as they did, even with 100 more seats open this year. Theoretically, it would have been a very good year to transfer there as a sophomore, junior or senior.

  • 41. CPSparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    @37 CRF is where kids are doing rowing these days because it’s the only place available, LV doesnt offer rowing, LV might have kids that do rowing at CRF.

  • 42. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    @39, students turning down seats doesn’t create additional seats from what I understand. The schools know what their usual turn-down rate is an build that into the offers. Sometimes there are more or fewer acceptances, but they just work with that. (There are supposedly some schools that do a second round, I don’t believe the north side schools do.)

    I’m not clear on the tie breaker cutoff. So a kid can get the lowest score listed and not get a spot because of a tie-breaker?

  • 43. LR  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    But, because of the addition, Payton should be able to take 100 kids in each class next year, not just the freshman class. So transferring as a soph+ this year would have been a good strategy.

  • 44. CPSDad  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Students with matching scores who don’t receive a spot must apply PD. Some principals will admit these students, others don’t.

  • 45. first time HS application  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks for the seats answer.

    I am assuming that many students scored the minimal score, therefore they would be subject to the tie breaker process.

    Just have to wait for the mail. Patiently. Trying.

  • 46. AnxiousDad  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    @42 that’s my understanding. They keep filling seats using the total score, working their way down, and stop when they get to a score such that the total number of applicants with that score is greater than the number of remaining seats. That’s the minimum score. They then rank all kids who got the minimum score looking at the SEHS composite score, then (in case of further ties) the SEHS math score, etc. (not sure about the order), and allocate the remaining seats to the top students according to this new ranking.

    So yes, a student may get the minimum total score, yet not get a seat due to the tie-breaking process. We were worried that this might be relevant for us, as dd got the same percentage score in the MAP and the SEHS. So, she would lose out to a hypothetical student who scored, say, 1 percentage point higher in the SEHS and 1 percentage point lower in the MAP (hence, same total score, but higher tie-breaking score). [Luckily her total score ended up being above the cutoff, so we’re happy—still, waiting for the official letter to be 100% sure!]

  • 47. mom2  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    @CPS Parent – Just looking at Lake View’s web site. Shows a picture of kids rowing in their pool, I think. No idea. Just trying to share.

  • 48. HSObsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    @42 – Payton’s addition adds 11 new classrooms and new capacity of 300-400 students. However, unless CPS is going to do something radically different from what’s been done in the past, they’re likely just going to fill the building gradually, starting with an additional 75-100 spots for freshmen next year.

    That’s what Jones did three years ago, when they got an additional capacity of 600+ — a bigger freshman class only, which are this year’s juniors.

  • 49. Village Idiot  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I wish people wouldn’t spread the characterization that a school with a lower minimum cut-off score is a “bad” or risky choice. It does a great disservice to hardworking, smart kids who don’t have the super high scores to get into SEHS. For some of our kids, a school with a minimum cut-off score in the 500’s is a great fit. By the way, it would help tell a more complete story if OAE also published the highest scores of those admitted to the IB schools, just like they do for SEHS, not just the lowest.

    To be clear, this message is not intended as propaganda or guilt. Send your own kid wherever you dang want.

  • 50. 8th grade nervous parent  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    So If you child scored well above their schools cutoff for their tier, that does not mean they will get a seat either right?

  • 51. HSObsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Sorry – meant to type @43! I need to proofread before I post comment.

  • 52. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    @Anxious Dad – thanks for the explanation. Good to know, given that I foresee my kid being on the borderline next year.

    I do recall a family from the past posting about not getting entry even though their kid had the cutoff score. That has got to be the worst.

  • 53. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    My text to my son this morning….

    When the 8th graders start talking about where they did or didn’t get into high school, please be gracious and supportive. Love, CPSObsessed.


  • 54. AnxiousDad  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    @50 no no, if your child scores *above* a school’s cutoff, even if 1 point above, by definition they secure a seat. The tie-breaking only applies if your child’s score equals the cutoff.

  • 55. Chicago School GPS  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    @50- if your child scored well above their chosen school’s cutoff for their tier, then they WILL get a seat. It’s only the students who got the same score as the MINIMUM score in their tier who are not guaranteed, as stated in the explanation in @46.

  • 56. Village Idiot  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    @53 cpsobssesed – Awww. Very thoughtful advice.

  • 57. 8th grade nervous parent  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    @55 Thanks so much for clarifying.

  • 58. North Center Mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    @48 regarding Jones’ growth: Jones first big freshmen group was the Class of 2017. The first year of the new building, they DID open up about 100 transfer spots for sophomores, Class of 2016. So this may have been a good year to transfer to Payton.

  • 59. SmartAsh  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Your son calls you CPSObsessed?

  • 60. SmartAsh  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Mail just arrived…….

  • 61. 8th grade nervous parent  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    @ 54 just saw that too. Thanks!

  • 62. CPStressed  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:13 pm


  • 63. CPStressed  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    @#43, last I checked with WP, there were not taking transfer students as Soph, Jr or Srs for 2016/17. Just making a larger Freshman class.

  • 64. Chris  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    “this message is not intended as propaganda or guilt.”

    propaguilta? Or guiltaganda?

  • 65. WayNorthSider  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Mail Arrived! Got his 1st choice, Jones!

  • 66. edgewatermom  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    @5 LSmom “@north center mom … and congrats to those kids in tier 1 that work so hard and able to attend SE! those cutoffs are still very high and a reflection of hard work in a complicated CPS system (this is coming from a tier 4 mom)”

    This Tier 4 mom could not agree more. No, the system is not perfect, but I don’t think that there is any way to make it “fair” for everybody. It is not fair that some kids grow up in a poor neighborhood without access to many of the resources that we enjoy.

    Every year parents in Tier 4 whine about how unfair the system is. I have yet to hear anybody suggest a feasible system that would be considered “fair” by everybody.

  • 67. Village Idiot  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    @64 Chris – If the definition of guiltaganda is encouraging people not to talk smack about other people’s school choices, then I am guilty of guiltaganda.

  • 68. susan  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:33 pm


  • 69. realchicagomama  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    @67 – virtual high five!

  • 70. Chicago School GPS  |  February 29, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    In selecting SEHS students, 30% of a class is selected by Rank, irrespective of Tier. Hypothetically all these spots could go to Tier 4 students. The remaining 70% of the class are equally divided by Tier, so 17.5% of seats are slotted for Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 each. Hence, theoretically 47.5% of a freshman class could be from Tier 4 while there would be only 17.5% from Tier 3, Tier 2 and Tier 1.

  • 71. CPSparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    @47 mom2, that’s the CRF rowing tanks. thats not Lakeview HS.

  • 72. Nervous Mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Any news on acceptances? Please let us know your scores and school rankings if comfortable! Best of luck to all.

  • 73. North Center Mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    @66 edgewatermom Please don’t misinterpret my post. I simply found it interesting that the usual tier 4 order of preferences (as determined by points) differs from tier 1 order of preferences (as determined by points). I thought that my post would generate some responses along the lines of “we prefer jones or wy because of commute/facility/programs/awesome principal” or such. Because I am genuinely interested in how other parents perceive these schools.

  • 74. Waiting mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:20 pm


  • 75. 8th Grade mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Illinois, and the overall US, educational system is unfair. I read an interesting article recently…what is often overlooked in discussion of Finland’s educational system is that the goal was equality; the outcome was excellence.

  • 76. edgewatermom  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    @73 North Center Mom. Sorry, I think I did misinterpret your post. I was assuming that you meant something along the lines of the post from “Chicago Dad” in the pre-show thread.

    If a Tier 4 student applying to Payton got an 889 (an almost perfect score), he didn’t get in.
    If a Tier 1 student applying to Payton got a 769, he did get in!

    You are right, it is interesting how the “ranking” of schools changes by tier. My guess is that geography has a lot to do with it, but I am not sure.

  • 77. Mommie_23  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:38 pm


  • 78. North Center Mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    @76 no harm. I could have elaborated a bit. It’s a tense day.

  • 79. pantherparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Letters have arrived! Two from CPS, one from Lane and one from Taft. Assuming that means acceptance at Lane for SEHS and at Taft for IB. So a decision will need to be made. She’s at Taft AC right now and loves it. I’m sure where friends go will be a factor.

    And I’m not worried about other 8th graders gloating about their acceptances. Her brothers have already taken care of that by telling her she is “too stupid to go to Northside” since they both went there and her scores aren’t high enough.

    Who needs friends to make you feel small when you’re family can do it instead?

  • 80. pantherparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I meant “your” not “you’re”. Apparently I’m too stupid to go to Northside as well.

  • 81. stressedoutmama  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Letter arrived. I was very much expecting no offers, and he got in to Northside – his first choice. 898/900 score

    Good luck to all!

  • 82. CPSparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    @81 what tier?

  • 83. CPSparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    @81 Congrats!!!!!

  • 84. stressedoutmama  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Tier 4

  • 85. CPSparent  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    this is where i get so confused, how can a parent say “i was expecting no offers” when a child is 2 points away from perfect score? @81 @stressedoutmama

  • 86. stressedoutmama  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    @85 Because two years ago, he didn’t get any offers to Academic Centers even though he had straight As and 99 and 98 percentiles on NWEA.

  • 87. stephani  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Son missed the cut-off of top-choice Lane, (and we thought he might). We got an offer from Westinghouse though. Anyone have thoughts on Westinghouse? I missed the tour. Westinghouse was a late pick for us. A few people recommended the school to us after I told them of my concerns about my son’s scores. I know the neighborhood isn’t great, but we live in Wicker Park so it’s not a long commute for us. I’m going to sign my son up for a shadow day regardless.

    He also got offers for Ogden, Senn, Amundsen and Prosser IB. Ogden is very close to our house, but I wasn’t impressed with their open house. I also know a family who took their son out of the program after his sophomore year and transferred him to another school. So I’m definitely on the fence with Ogden.

    I think our other best option is Senn even though it’s a hike from our house. One of my daughter’s best friends is a freshmen there, and she and her parents have been raving about it, so I have some comfort know other people there.

    Have not heard from Lake View. Do you know if they send out only acceptance letters? I only ask because my son’s counselor thought Lake View would be a good option for us.

  • 88. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    @79: Panther – hahaha, that’s what siblings are for…

  • 89. mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    @86 @stressedoutmama did you contact CPS then? what did they say when a child has almost perfect scores and meets the cutoff and doesn’t get in

  • 90. mom2  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    @CPSparent – thank you for the clarification of the location of the photo. From the sound of their post on their web site, I think it means that they will be offering rowing as one of their sports, but it most likely would be at CRF facilities (or something like that). I don’t think they would say, “We are excited to offer the sport of Rowing to Lake View students for the first time this year” if they are not offering the sport. Right? Anyway, I’m dropping this. I was just sharing in case it helps someone that doesn’t get the letter they were hoping for today. I think it is cool that they are offering new things, new opportunities, etc.

  • 91. Waitisover  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Letter arrived . Got her first choice Lane. Im supper excited for her. We are in t4 873/900. Good luck everyone!

  • 92. stressedoutmama  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    #89 It was his selective enrollment exam score that was not high enough. There are three components to getting in: grades, NWEA percentiles, and the selective enrollment exam score. That is the wild card. Last time, he had two of three in his favor (grades and NWEA percentiles), but his selective enrollment exam score was not high enough for Tier 4. This time he kicked butt on the exam.

  • 93. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Does the letter show their percentile ranking on the SE admission test?

  • 94. mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    @87 @stephani – My humble opinion is that you take a look at Amundsen. its a straight shot on the damen bus from Wicker park, the principal is doing amazing things there. Senn is far far north, and westinghouse too far also.

  • 95. stressedoutmama  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    @93 At the very bottom of the letter, it shows the Entrance Exam National Percentile Rankings for Vocabulary, Reading, Language, Mathematics, and Core Total. It also shows how many exam points out of 300 your child earned and how many total points out of 900.

  • 96. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    “My humble opinion is that you take a look at Amundsen. its a straight shot on the damen bus from Wicker park”
    While I am a huge fan of Amundsen, I drive up Damen (north of Irving) every morning at 8am and night at 5:30 and it’s never a straight shot. 🙂
    Maybe reverse would be better…. I do see a lot of kids getting off that Damen bus heading into Amundsen.

    Oh, my goal tonight is to post start-times for the schools. I know that would influence my (night owl)’s decision in all likelihood.

  • 97. mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    @92 thank you for clarifying, i assumed he had all 3 components and still didnt get in.

  • 98. hydeparkmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Five letters arrived today – two from Lincoln Park and three from CPS. Child texted right after I collected them from the mailbox asking if they came. She said she does not want us to open them, so we’ll wait. Good thing I have a powerful kitchen light. 🙂 I did get a congratulatory email directly from a SEHS Friday at 5:12 p.m. so we know how that worked out.

  • 99. stressedoutmama  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    @97 No problem. I’m a pessimist by nature. So this time around, I was expecting the same results. I’m glad that wasn’t the case.

  • 100. Chicago School GPS  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    To clarify the confusion between the AC process & SEHS process: While both take into consideration final grades & MAP testing (5th grade for AC & 7th grade for SEHS), the wildly different component is the entrance exam which is the last 300 point element. For AC it is the same test as the Regional Gifted Center and International Gifted tests and is an aptitude test. There are no subject areas being test. The 8th grade SEHS entrance test is an achievement test with four subject areas of reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary and math word problems.

    While both entrance exams are worth 300 points, it is far more difficult to score 300 points on the AC aptitude test. Plus, there are far fewer spots for AC seats than SEHS (about 120 each for WY and Lane ACs). Hence, taking one’s result for AC as an indicator of SEHS success is not accurate and prompts worrying more than necessary in some cases, as shown by the super high score of @95’s student. Congrats!

  • 101. Patricia  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    @92 Congrats! The test for AC is different from the test for high school admittance. So kids can perform very different (or the same) as they are different types of test, one is more of a “how you think/IQ” and the other a straight achievement test.

  • 102. stressedoutmama  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    @100 and @101 Thank you for the explanations. It helps me understand why he didn’t get AC offers two years ago.

  • 103. mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    @96 straight shot for a high kid 😉 not for an adult commuter 🙂

  • 104. mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    @96 – meant to say “high school” kid

  • 105. CPSnightmare  |  February 29, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    and also there no way to know scores for AC and SEHS entrance exam until those letters go out, right?

  • 106. Chris  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    @92: “It was his selective enrollment exam score that was not high enough. ”

    Test prep either time? If not, for the AC test–any prior info on the test format?

    Can see any given kid who does well on MAP/isat tests not doing well on the AC test, as it’s very different. Honestly, I don’t know how kids who go into AC test cold (no test prep, either classroom or books) do well, absent mad test-taking skillz.

  • 107. Cindy K  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    @100 Thank you for the clarification. My child is in 4th grade at Catholic school, scoring As in Math & Reading, is doing both advanced reading & advanced math (1 grade level above), rocks Terra Nova (top 98th/99th percentile) and at the top of his class.

    However, every time he tested for Gifted enrollment, he receives test scores of Average. I bring this up because I am thinking of testing him for WY AC, but it sounds like the same weird testing thing going on.

  • 108. lawmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    @28, 31 and 35 — My son attends NS and loves it. He is definitely not sophisticated socially. My daughter, a freshman in college, attended WY and I carpooled with 3 other girls. When I was looking for a placement for my son, I asked them if they would ever consider attending NS — they said no because there was little social life there. These were all pretty, bright, popular girls. I am just saying that these schools have their own personality. NS is a great place for my son and I love it more than WY by a long shot. I was responding to the question of why Payton’s cutoff number was higher and I think it has a lot to do with location and “personality”.

  • 109. NWSMomof4  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    1st choice Lane, 891/900, tier 3, no test prep or other such preparation

  • 110. 8th Grade mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    The mail came early today! Received letters from WY (1st choice) and LPIB, and several CPS letters. They are on my daughter’s desk for when she gets home.

  • 111. NWSMomof4  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Chris, I’ve had two take the ac test cold – no test prep, no studying – and both were accepted to ACs. One went, one opted to stay neighborhood. i have no idea what is on it, but could it be that test prep wouldn’t help if the subject matter wasn’t…..academic/standardized test type of stuff? (sorry…searching for words and thoughts before having had my coffee)

  • 112. Finally!  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    As a Tier 4 parent, I was frustrated that my oldest son did not get into Young or Jones because he was a couple of pts shy. So I had to send him to a private school.

    My 2nd son made it into Young with 873!
    He was hoping to go to private school w/ his brother, but I know he’ll be better off at Young. He’ll get over it.

    Good luck everyone.

  • 113. AW  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    @Stephanie, another big vote here for Amundsen. I live a couple of blocks from the school and volunteer there. Have your child go to one of the shadow days and meet the kids and the principal (she’s a rock star!) Also, if your son is interested in baseball, soccer, swimming or band, the school has great programs, not to mention a beautiful 40 acre park (Winnemac) out the back door for gym class, AP Environmental research and sporting events.

  • 114. Northside Mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    @106 I’ve been through the AC process twice, neither child test prepped. One is a test wiz and would have gone to Lane if we selected that on the app based on scores, but we kept it close to home and picked Taft. The other chose Lane but was shy of 10 points and went onto 2nd choice Taft. First kid said the test was hard, the second said it was easy. I would love to know if it’s the same test. Happy that next year is our last hoorah in this process. Good luck to all!

  • 115. Chicago School GPS  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    @87- definitely check out Westinghouse, as I tend to think of it as a true hidden gem. The facilities are top notch, the faculty I met is very committed (I think Lake View’s principal Scott Grens came from Westinghouse) and it has some unique programs including the competitive Northwestern Medicine Scholars program which is not available at any other SEHS. Certainly worth checking out. http://www.newwestinghouse.org/index.jsp

  • 116. LPmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Just got letters today. My daughter got into Payton and LPIB. LPHS is also our neighborhood HS. She’ll be able to walk to Payton which is a plus.

  • 117. Logan Square Parent  |  February 29, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    @87…Did your kid get offer from Westinghous CTC or SE?? I heard Westinghouse tends to lookout more for CTC students than SE..Congrats on your selections.

  • 118. stephanibodekuehn  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    @115 Thanks for your input on Westinghouse. One of our friends works with CPS. and she told us that she was really impressed with what Westinghouse has to offer. Unfortunately, the neighborhood continues to be concern for many parents. We clocked the drive, and it was 15-20 minute to drive there from our house. I could drive him in the morning, he’d be on this own after school. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to drive him up to Admundsen or Senn since both are in the “wrong direction”

    @117 He got into SE program. I hadn’t heard that the students were being treated differently. Definitely something to consider.

  • 119. worried tier2  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Anyone received an email from the SEHS to notify about acceptance?

  • 120. Chris  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    ” i have no idea what is on it, but could it be that test prep wouldn’t help if the subject matter wasn’t…..academic/standardized test type of stuff? ”

    I got a copy of a test-prep ‘assessment’ practice test. I took it (un-timed, not fully focused) and was at sea on a lot of it. And fwiw (ie, not much) I’ve always done well all sorts of standardized tests.

    Pattern recognition stuff that I was unprepared for, etc. Had I gone in cold in school, would have been a bad day. Can totally understand how a very smart kid could do very average on it.

    Also can understand how a smart kid could do very well, of course.

  • 121. Chris  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    @114: “I would love to know if it’s the same test.”

    Which tests?

  • 122. stephanibodekuehn  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    @87 Thanks for the input on Amundsen as well. We attended the open house. While the facilities were amazing. For such an old building, it is exceptionally taken care of. However, the tour didn’t light a fire for either me or my son. We’ll consider it though.

  • 123. edgewatermom  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear the squeels of delight coming from my daughter’s room right now. She was accepted to Senn IB and Fine Arts and chose IB. She could NOT be happier. She liked Jones and Lane, but neither was the best fit for her. She loved the IB program and everything about it felt “right”.

    Thank you CPSO for providing so much info on this site over the past few years. Without reading everything here, we may have been more likely to be stuck in the “SEHS or nothing” mindset and probably would not have made the best choice.

    I hope that whatever the news is today, every 8th grader ends finding a school that works well for them.

  • 124. 8th Grade mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    tier 4, 891. Accepted to WY first choice; also Von Scholars, LP, Taft, Amundsen, Senn IB, Mather pre-law.

  • 125. edgewatermom  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    * or even “squeals”. Can’t seem to type today…

  • 126. 8th Grade mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    yes, thanks CPSO this community is such a great source of information and support!

  • 127. mom2  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Congratulations edgewatermom! I can’t tell you how happy it made me to hear that your daughter was “squealing” with delight over Senn. That is exactly what should be happening all over CPS. This made my day. Please stay in touch next year about how things are going there!

  • 128. Squealing too  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Re: Squeals, My daughter was thrilled with being offered Senn Dance and IB as well. Isn’t it a wall to wall IB … so the fine arts would also have IB curriculum?
    Won’t get the other letters until I get home! But, we are both very happy with the Senn options.

  • 129. edgewatermom  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    @128 Yes, it is wall to wall IB. I believe that all of the teachers have IB training, not just those in the Diploma Prep program. I am sure that they will be able to give more specific info at the orientation session on Saturday.

  • 130. stories to tell  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    dumb question, is the orientation at Senn just for the students that are committed to going there, or is it open to those who are accepted, but undecided/still waiting for other possible invitations????

  • 131. Incoming WY  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    @73 – We live right across the street from Jones.
    900 points (early testing), WY is the first choice. No letter yet, but I don’t think there can be any surprises there.
    Looked at WY, Payton, Jones, Lincoln Park IB
    Did not even look at Northside because of the distance.

    Reason #1 – Why not Jones: Jones uses Integrated Math. Which might be great fit for a kid on standard schedule, i.e. starting geometry in 9th grade, but probably will not work well for anybody, who is already ahead. Could not find anybody, who started Jones after completing Algebra 2 in 8th grade and did not want to experiment on my own kid. At WY this is not a problem – there are a lot of kids like this, every year about 10 kids in the AC start 7th grade with Geometry plus some advanced kids come in for the 9th grade.

    Reason #2 – Why not Payton: already have another kid at WYAC and navigating inner workings of two different schools seams like too much trouble. Plus driving kids to school is much faster then taking the train. but this works only if I can drive them together. If she were the only child or if the age difference was bigger and other kids were not yet in HS, Payton would have been the first choice.

    Lincoln Park IB was our plan B – if something went wrong on the SEHS admission test, we knew that she had 600 point from MAP and grades, so at least she would have got in there. Math was fine there, humanities are great, what I did not particularity like was the science curriculum – biology and chemistry are fine, but not much physics and no option of taking second science class as an elective. But I did not really dig into the whole IB idea too deep, as we got test results in early December.

  • 132. edgewatermom  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    @130 Not a dumb question at all! I think that it is for any student that was accepted at Senn. I suspect that they hold it so early so that people who are on the fence can get another look at the school and programs before making their decisions. You could always email David Gregg just to be sure (or if you have any questions about the program)

  • 133. SutherlandParent  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Tier 4, 886, first choice Jones.

  • 134. Taysha  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    It is crazy how high they are this year. Well my kids didn’t get in and they are all A students that deserve it.

  • 135. Incoming WY  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    @130 – everything that is before the acceptance deadline is for everybody who was offered a spot. They know that many kids will have more than one offer, so this is their way of helping you to make the decision

  • 136. Incoming WY  |  February 29, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Looking at the numbers – anybody knows why King has the same cut off for all four tiers? Or they don’t have any tier 4 and 3 kids at all and this number is just something to put there?

  • 137. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Keep in mind that if you add up the top 4 scoring schools, that represents about 5% of the current 8th graders. And even less if you take private school students into account. So probably more like top 4% of 8th graders.

    I think there are enough challenging programs for A students across the options, but to get into the top-top SE schools, yes, you do need to be in the very top.

  • 138. mom2  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I was thinking that 600 might be the minimum in general for any SEHS. Could that be it?

  • 139. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Can any of the potential Senn parents let me know (or be on the lookout) as to whether the arts program there seems very female-focused? (I say this demographically — apparently calling people females is un-PC in some circles.) The performances I saw at the open house and anyone I know attending have been girls and I’m curious if the gender split is equal.

    It may be skewed by their strong dance program and perhaps the other programs are more balanced, but I’d be curious to hear more.

  • 140. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Looking at last year’s info (which lists the # of students) King did have a lot of Tier 3 kids (101), 28 Tier 4 kids. So I believe 600 must be the minimum to get in.

  • 141. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Every school had Tier 3 and 4 students admitted last year. Can’t tell this year as they did not publish the # of students.

  • 142. stories to tell  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    @139, didn’t notice, thinking back to tour day, black box theater seemed a mixed group, visual arts classroom can’t remember?

  • 143. Relieved mom  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    891 accepted into Lane (first choice)! Have to owe it to Selective Prep for the 300/300 on the entrance exam.

  • 144. Been Through This...Hang in There!  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    My daughter, who lives in Tier 4, was ridiculed by classmates when she did not get into her top 2 schools. (She had higher scores, but lives in hardest tier.) It was a terrible day for us last year. I am happy to say she went to Von Scholars and could not be happier. I am very impressed with that school and their programs. It is a very rigorous program and I feel she will be well prepared for college. Please tell your children to be kind to all. It all turns out in the end.

  • 145. zhuzhou02  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    We have yet to receive our mail today. Sometimes it doesn’t come at all! Are letters sent only to those who are accepted, or does CPS also send “We regret to inform you…” letters?

    I know my daughter is in at Taft, Senn and Amundson IB based on scores, waiting on a letter about Von Steuben Scholars. We will go to every information session, and are touring Niles West next week. I’ll be glad when this is decided and we can move on.

    CPSObsessed – thank you so much for everything you have done over the years for CPS parents. We appreciate you.

  • 146. hydeparkmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    We opened the letters – and she was accepted to Lincoln Park IB, Lincoln Park double honors, Ogden IB and Gwendolyn Brooks. Tier 4 – 859 score (857 for IB). She is number 259 (!) on the Jones pre-law CTE wait list.

    We also applied to the accelerated magnet program at Kenwood (also our neighborhood school) but apparently they don’t notify until March 25.

    She really liked Lincoln Park and is very happy as are we!

  • 147. Chris  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    “I was thinking that 600 might be the minimum in general for any SEHS. Could that be it?”

    Yes, that’s the minimum.

  • 148. Momof3fish  |  February 29, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    889 NCP tier3

  • 149. Lane2020  |  February 29, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Tier 4- Score 873 – Accepted at first choice Lane and very excited. Big fan of Selective Prep!

  • 150. Momof12  |  February 29, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    No letters. Tier 3.

  • 151. stressedoutmama  |  February 29, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I scanned and emailed the confirmation form to the OAE to accept the offer, as directed on the letter. Does the OAE confirm receipt somehow? I didn’t receive an email back. Does anyone know how the OAE acknowledges receipt of confirmation forms?

    Sorry if this is a dumb question.

  • 152. stories to tell  |  February 29, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    @151, someplace I read they take mailed or hand-delivered replies, maybe that is just for principal discretion??

  • 153. stories to tell  |  February 29, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    does anyone have advice?
    going by newly published cutoff scores,
    offspring scored:
    3 points under 2nd choice SE cutoff,
    13 points under 1st choice cutoff,
    husband and I decided not to talk about with student until official letter comes

    we haven’t received SE letter yet (or any mail for that matter today) the question(s):
    I understand a student can apply for principal discretion to 1 school only,
    has anyone here submitted and received principal discretion in the past?
    which SE, 2nd or 1st, choice seems likelier?
    how many seats might be available at a school?

  • 154. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    @153: PD spots are 5% of the class, so if you look up the school size and estimate the class size you can get a sense of the # of open spots. Likely only 5-10 at any given school.

    I suspect that the likelihood of PD success depends on your student’s talents and the “needs” of that school. A big sports school may want that. A different school may want other talents. Or perhaps if your child can articulate an interest in something specific that the school offers and how they might contribute to that could help?

    From what I’ve read here, wherever the student can verbalize their best fit/success would be your best chance.

    As a note on PD, from stories here, some schools seem to prioritize siblings — so unfortunately that seems to factor in for a few slots (I’m sure these students have other talents too, but as tie-breaker that seems to have had an impact.)

  • 155. Jen  |  February 29, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    @153, what about your 3rd or 4th choices?

  • 156. AnxiousDad  |  February 29, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    OK, really paranoid question. Is it safe to submit our acceptance with three “scan and fax” method? I like webby things in general, but for something so important, I would rather drop it off in person… Anyone had any prior experience with this? Thanks!

  • 157. Jen K  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    @151 and 156 – I faxed our acceptance to OAE as directed. Called WY to ask if they wanted it, too, and the answer was a resounding yes. I suggest calling your school to see how they want to handle it. I was asked to scan and email it to WY.

  • 158. Jen K  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    * last year…

  • 159. Edgewater  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Last year I scanned and emailed my daughters AC acceptance and requested an email confirmation, which I got the following day from the Office of Access and Enrollment.

  • 160. Jzzyj1  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    @156, I feel ya, last year I scanned and mailed, and received email confirmation within 24hrs for the scanned document!

  • 161. DH Dunne  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    What is the likelihood of a second round of selections? Is it an all or nothing proposition? For example, if my child turns down choice #1 & no 2d round occurs, is he out of 1st choice? Or if 2d round occurs & he does not get in to 2d choice, is he out of choices 1 & 2? He is three pnts above minimum @ WYHS. I would like to try the 2d round of selections, but I don’t want to gamble his HS choices away on The Price Is Right…

  • 162. Scores  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Yes Jones went up quite a bit but look at Lindblom and Brooks too…..considerable increases.

  • 163. AnxiousDad  |  February 29, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    @157, @159, @160 thank you!

  • 164. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    @161 – WY hasn’t had a second round in a few years (none of the top scoring SE schools have.) That could change, but I wouldn’t turn anything down unless you confirmed via the school or OAE that a second round is possible. The schools have learned how many offers to give out to get the class size they want within a close range of estimation, so they haven’t been doing the 2nd rounds as they did in the past.

    Readers have reported some of the SEs may do this, so possibly worth checking but unlikely it would be WY.

  • 165. JM  |  February 29, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Back to the huge variance of IB cutoff scores – I thought the max score was 650 (300 for grades and 300 for MAP, and a bonus 50 if you’re in the neighborhood). So it would appear the IBs that are associated with SEHS are also including the SEHS test. Can anyone clarify?

  • 166. JM  |  February 29, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    @20 meant to tag you on my post above about IB scores

  • 167. Freshman Mama  |  February 29, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    @151 StressedOutMama congratulations! My daughter started NCP this fall and absolutely loves it. It has so much to offer. I was biting my nails this time last year and can empathize. Good luck to all!

  • 168. cpsobsessed  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:08 pm


    IB is Map and Grades, each 50% of 900 points.

  • 169. AW  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Amundsen’s IB cut-off went up 30 points this year, 10 points higher than Senn’s IB. And it had a big jump the year before. Definitely trending in the right direction. ACT for IB students is much higher than the general population score, which of course includes the special ed population.

  • 170. Clueless  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    I am helping an 8th grader through this process but I know very little. She was admitted to Lane Tech, LP IB and fine arts, Senn IB and fine arts. She is also waiting on Von Steuben. Tier 1. Can anyone give me any insight? Is it a no-brainer that she should accept at Lane Tech? All these school are roughly equidistant from where they live. Thanks.

  • 171. LV365247  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    payton tier 4 896. for parents with kids coming into the process, strongly recommend taking the FIRST test date, so you and your kid will get the score **before** applying. lets you look at the prior cutoffs and set expectations/manage stress, since you’ll be able to pretty accurately predict your odds at the various schools.

  • 172. stressedoutmama  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    @167 Thanks so much, Freshman Mama. No one was more shocked than we were. My son actually said, “I was expecting to be disappointed.” Two years ago, he was in tears when he received no AC offers. I’m so happy that he was accepted into his first choice.

  • 173. Lakevi  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Very confused. My daughter got into Whitney and LPIB, but not Lincoln Park double honors. How is that possible?
    She wanted Whitney anyway, but she’s confused about Double Honors (me, too!) Anyone? I thought DH was a lower scale than IB at LPHS? I’ve got another one coming up next year, so would be good to know. (Sophomore at Payton, too…loves it for anyone on the fence! Lots of work, but great staff, great building, and a really nice bunch of kids.)

  • 174. JM  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    @168 thanks for the link CPSO I had heard something different about totals, but clearly I had heard wrong. I guess I’m still scratching my head as to how the scores could have that much variation, with such an odd distribution. I sorted them so I could look at them more clearly:
    Taft 825
    Lincoln Park 820
    Curie 675
    Back Of the Yards 620
    Prosser 575
    Hubbard 570
    Amundsen 560
    Kennedy 550
    Senn 550
    Washington 530
    Ogden 520
    Juarez 500
    Clemente 444
    South Shore 427
    Morgan Park 425
    Bronzeville 415
    Bogan 350
    Farragut 350
    Hyde Park 350
    Schurz 350
    Steinmetz 350
    Kelly 306

  • 175. M  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    not accepted with a 827 to lane what are second round chances?

  • 176. LSmom  |  February 29, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I wish they would publish a breakdown of scores. How many, across all schools, score a 900? How many of the 896-900 rank scores at Payton were each #, for example?

    Tier 4, score 900, no test prep. My son said the test was easy.

    @106 For AC test, my son took it cold with no prep and no idea what would be on it. He said he didn’t have time to finish it, since he was not used to budgeting his time, but still got into AC last year, rank score.

  • 177. HXM  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Tier 4 with a score of 878 was accepted at Jones (1st choice). Feel very fortunate given that my son’s score is only 1 below the minimum cutoff for tier 4! Best wishes for happiness and success for all the incoming 9th graders, no matter what school they will be attending in the Fall.

  • 178. cs22  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:42 am

    @171, have to disagree. As of today I have 2 T4 kids in Payton, both took the last test date. (one last year, one today) They used the time to prepare, but also to procrastinate and ignore the stress. To each their own. Yes it’s a bit stressful not knowing but they both thought the entrance exam was the easiest part of the process (and both got 300). I get the perspective of your advice completely but for my kids they wanted the time, not the certainty.

    @176 why do you care? Congrats on the only 900 that matters.

    Best wishes to all. Agree with the comments that personality is a big big deal, don’t force your kid somewhere he or she will be uncomfortable. Lots of great success stories at all these schools.

  • 179. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2016 at 1:44 am

    @176 – this was a few years ago, but 112 kids had a 900 score.

  • 180. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2016 at 1:48 am

    @JM regarding IB cutoffs. I think its that a few schools have traditionally been very selective and then the rest basically… not very selective? That seems to be shifting upward a bit, I think as people look to consider neighborhood schools, and use IB as a way to get more rigor. It is a wide spread, as you point out.

  • 181. Jdub  |  March 1, 2016 at 6:38 am

    @173. Lincolnpark HH is a lottery among those qualified as I understood the program when I toured several years ago. I believe this is still the case, but you could check with the school. My daughter is now a junior in the choral program, and has taken mostly HH classes as well as AP this year. Might explain why your daughter scored high enough to be accepted to IB but did not get into HH.
    Fyi.. I couldn’t be happier with LP for anyone who just received acceptance letters.

  • 182. yay  |  March 1, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Just opened the letter. My son got 867/900 Tier 3 – Payton.

    Thanks for all the great advice out there….looking forward to hearing all the good news!

  • 183. Broke Dad  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Can anyone tell me their (their child’s) experience with Lincoln Park HH? It would be greatly appreciated. My daughter was accepted there and we are considering it. She has also been accepted at a private school and I have a son headed to college. She is leaning toward the private school where a lot of her friends will attend from the Oak Park area. Needless to say, “free” sounds much better to me! However, I really don’t know anything about LP high school. Thanks.

  • 184. edgewatermom  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:11 am

    @170 Clueless

    I am helping an 8th grader through this process but I know very little. She was admitted to Lane Tech, LP IB and fine arts, Senn IB and fine arts. She is also waiting on Von Steuben. Tier 1. Can anyone give me any insight? Is it a no-brainer that she should accept at Lane Tech? All these school are roughly equidistant from where they live. Thanks.

    It is not a no-brainer that she should accept at Lane Tech. It is the most competitive of the schools listed and it is a great school. The most important thing is finding the one that is the right fit for her. Which school does she prefer? Can you attend events or shadow days at the schools that she is most interested in to help her decide?

  • 185. Jdub  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:17 am

    I feel that my daughter’s experience at LP has been amazing. She is in the performing arts program, but is also eligible to take several HH classes and now AP. The courses have been challenging and she has had some extraordinary teachers. I think the leadership is great. You may be able to reach out to more parents for thoughts at LP, but overall it has been a fantastic choice for our family. Good luck with your decision.

  • 186. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:28 am

    >Lane Tech vs LP IB and fine arts vs Senn IB and fine arts.

    Few thing to think about:
    1. Is there a possibility of music/dance major/minor, music or dance scholarship? For that to happen she should already have 5-6 years of classes under her belt and be good at it. If this is the case, LP or Senn make more sense than Lane.

    2. Congratulations on getting into Lane! But. We are talking about tier 1, right? How is her score compares to everybody else? Not just tier 1, but the whole incoming class? In school classes are not separated by tiers, if she is at the cut off score for her tier, it will be very difficult to keep up. I am not sure about Senn, but at least at LP all classes are offered at three different levels – regular, honors, AP/IB. So if things get way over her head with IB she can always take lower level classes in the same school. And she will not be alone – about half of kids that start IB program are still on track for the IB diploma by their senior year.

    3. How is her writing? Yes, she has an A in LA from her current school, but does she enjoy written projects? IB involves a LOT of writing. Which might be a good thing as it prepares kids well for college writing, or it might be a bad thing for those that are not quite ready for it. So if writing is a struggle for her, IB might not be the best choice. I know that for one of my kids it was a viable option, while for another it is a no-no.

    4. Commute. How much time difference will be between getting to these three schools? If the difference is 30 min or more, I would go with the closer option. 30 min each way is an hour a day, I would rather my child had an extra hour of sleep.

    Go to info sessions to all three schools, ask a lot of questions and see what feels right.

    It is hard to make decisions like this, but it is great to be in a position when one has to make it.

    Good luck!

  • 187. Stephanie regas  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Does anyone know how to apply to Lincoln Park double honors?

  • 188. Lakevi  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Thank you so much jdub @181 that makes total sense!

  • 189. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:40 am

    @187 – they have their own applications, but those were due December 11:

  • 190. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Just opened our LP IB letter – they offer shadow days. DO IT! And sign up for it early, because these do fill up pretty fast.

  • 191. pantherparent  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:47 am

    @171 I disagree with taking the test early so you know your score. It provides no advantage on the test and make actually be a negative in the process.

    What if my child has an 883 and looks at last year’s cutoffs? He may decide there is no way he’s getting into Northside and doesn’t even list it as a choice. But lo and behold, scores drop and he would have been admitted this year.

    I agree it helps set expectations but I would not use the score to determine which schools to apply to.

  • 192. Lakevi  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:47 am

    @187 you apply to LPDH through a separate non-electronic application. At our school, we filled it out (paper) then gave it to the guidance counselor who then attached our daughter’s grades and then submitted it for us. But that was due in December for Fall 2016.

  • 193. SutherlandParent  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:10 am

    @134 Taysha, it is crazy this year. And it worked out for our 8th grader, who is an A student and an excellent test taker and got accepted into Jones. But we have a 7th grader who is a B+ student and a good test taker, and we’ve already explained that B+ students from Tier 4 don’t get into Jones or WY (harsh, but true…). So we’re already explaining to our 7th grader that she’s not a “failure” if she doesn’t go to an SEHS like her older sibling.

    We took a long look at Lindblom for AC and were very impressed with the school. But there is no good way to get there via public transportation from the Far Southwest Side. And this is not a kid who is motivated enough for a two-plus hour commute to school every day. Brooks is nowhere near where either SutherlandSpouse or I work, so that’s off the table.

  • 194. 8th Grade mom  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Thoughts on testing: Our school counselor recommended December testing – late enough to absorb 8th grade coursework which will be on the test, but not as late as January when 8th graders tend to “check out” a bit after the holiday break.

    I agree that having the score in advance would not be especially helpful, since the cutoff scores vary from year to year. The SE test scores tend to fall at or above the MAP scores – so you’ll have a ballpark idea of where your students scores are likely to fall. I’m sure there are exceptions to this, but in general you can use your 7th grade tests as a rough approximation.

    No test prep, perfect score on the SE entrance exam.

  • 195. HSbound2016  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Yes you get not accepted letters and wait list letters too. We received a not accepted letter for IB schools because we did not attend the info session. We did attend but I am not arguing it because we received our first choice.

    @clueless Take Lane it offers fine arts too!

  • 196. Broke Dad  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:30 am

    @185Jdub – Thanks for your response re: LPHH! We plan to take my daughter for the tour of the school so we can get a better feel for it. I’m hoping she likes the school. Right now she is leaning toward the private school, where the majority of her friends plan to attend. As I alluded to earlier, I’d rather keep that $$$ in my pocket now and use it for college later. I might have to make another executive decision as I did with my son when he was accepted to Jones as a freshman, but also had his sights set on the private school where all of his friends were going.

  • 197. Clueless  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:34 am

    @Incoming WY. I was wrong. She got into LPHS double honors, not IB. Writing is not her biggest strength. She is from an immigrant family and her writing is average or even possibly slightly below average because she came here in middle school not speaking any English. I too think IB would be a struggle for her. You make great points about the work load and level. She had a 724. Not sure what to make of that re: Lane. Thanks for your insight.

  • 198. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:35 am

    From the previous thread: HSObsessed’s review of LPHS:

    I feel like I haven’t done enough to promote LPHS as a very good choice for high school, so I’m finally doing that now with my list below. I may re-post this occasionally on other threads to make sure others who may be interested see it. I write this from the perspective of a parent of a kid who had several other options for high school, chose LPHS, is completely happy, and never looked back.

    Why is Lincoln Park High School a great option for a high school in Chicago?

    Classes offered at a variety of levels of academic challenge in every core subject

    Interdisciplinary teaching methods and philosophy of the International Baccalaureate program used for all students in all grades (LPHS is one of the “wall-to-wall IB” high schools, so teachers have undergone special training)

    Students who are admitted into the double honors/AP program take honors classes in their freshman and sophomore years, and then have the freedom to select individual IB and AP courses junior and senior year based on their interests or strengths

    20+ AP subject courses available, and encouragement of all students to enroll in them

    Very strong music (chorus, orchestra, band), theater and arts programs

    Complete offerings of sports, clubs, activities and events like football games, homecoming dance, prom

    Good leadership from principal, who has led the school for several years, lives in the district, and sends his own elementary school children to CPS schools

    ACT and PSAE scores very solid (22.7 schoolwide ACT average, covering the entire spectrum of academic abilities within the school)
    78% of graduates enroll in college

    Student population of 2,200 that is diverse in all respects: racial/cultural, geographic, socioeconomic, academic level

    About 35% of students enroll from within the school’s boundaries, 65% from outside the boundaries (accepted after applying for admission)

    No tier system in place for citywide admissions (highest qualified students receive offers, regardless)

    Located in a lively and safe neighborhood, near the intersection of Armitage and Halsted

    Convenient, safe access via walking, biking, bus and L train (brown or purple line L stop five-minute walk away)

    Beautiful, park-like campus, with pedestrian mall, and bordering Oz Park

    Separate freshman building allows for a transition from elementary to high school environment

    And what will your kid NOT get at LPHS?

    Flashy, impressive presentation during the open house events for potential applicants

    Sparkling new building, classrooms, or sports facilities – they are beautiful and historic, but not dazzling

    Highly personalized, nurturing attention – it’s a big, busy school

    Sheltered environment that keeps your kid away from problems that crop up in a large, diverse high school – but hey, you live in a city and not in Rolling Meadows 🙂

  • 199. jdub  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I hope that you and your daughter are able to talk to some students while you are there. Whether LP was public or not, I do believe this was the best choice for my child. Each family will have their own experience, but I would say that my daughter has made fabulous friendships and does truly love her school. I also recommend taking one of the choir classes as option. This is a school with many creative kids, and it really compliments the experience. Good luck.

  • 200. momof3fish  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    @161 I would accept #1 choice and use the PD for #2 choice and explain why you would prefer that school. if you turn down #1 you risk not getting into anything.

  • 201. Broke Dad  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:47 am

    @199jdub. Thanks. Very much appreciated it!!

  • 202. stressedoutmama  |  March 1, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Just FYI for everyone: If you scan and email the acceptance form, you should receive confirmation after the form has been processed. It can take up to 48 hours. Check your spam folder too, if you don’t see the confirmation in your regular inbox. (This is the information I received after calling the Office of Access and Enrollment.)

  • 203. tess  |  March 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

    @155 Jen, no notification from 3rd choice either, heard from friend her daughter, and other students got in, they received e-mail notification from school yesterday, we got nothing, my stomach is tied in knots, can’t imagine how hard for child, no mail at all yesterday

  • 204. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 11:32 am

    @ Clueless, 197
    OK, since you did not mention anything about it, we are talking only about the academic side, no advanced level of music or dance here.

    To figure out her level relative to other kids look at the bottom of the CPS letter that came about Lane. Letters about LP and Senn don’t have it, but the Lane one should have a table with her entrance exam percentiles section by section. There are 4 sections – vocab, reading, language (i.e. grammar), math. For somebody who was here just a few years I would ignore the vocab score, it will move up a lot with time (been there, done that 🙂 and recalculate her total points based on that. My guess this will improve her overall score a lot and make it much closer to an average score of the incoming class at Lane.

    Anyway, if she was able to go from no English to getting into Lane in 3 years, I would not worry about academics – she will do just fine anywhere, so go with the strongest academic option, which is in this case Lane.

  • 205. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 11:35 am

    @155 – we did get our letters, both from schools and CPS, but no e-mails, and these are acceptance letters, not rejections. So don’t worry much about not getting anything through e-mail – your paper mail will be there soon.

  • 206. Random Mom  |  March 1, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Wow..There’s a huge advantage for Tier 1. Everyone should live in Tier 1 then.

  • 207. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I agree students should take the test early, if possible. While the cutoff score would be from the previous year~one uses it as a guide.

    161. DH Dunne | February 29, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    There will be no round two at WY. Please read #200. momof3fish’s response, which should be beneficial to your child should you do PD.

    Good luck to everyone!

  • 208. mom2  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Tess and others with no “good news” letters about SEHS, if you have Senn, Amundsen or Lake View as a choice, send your kids there. If everyone with kids with all A’s but some issues with test taking (or great test takers with B’s) send their kids there, imagine how great things will be for all of us? You know that is all these schools need. They already have great staff, improving or already wonderful facilities, excellent programs (with more coming as the student population’s needs change). Just do it and bring your friends along. It really will be fine.

  • 209. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    That was a joke, right?

    I am not the biggest fan of the current system, my kid did not got into WYAC by a few points because we are tier 4, but I would not ever joke about moving to tier 1.

  • 210. 8th Grade mom  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Do any parents here have any experience with the programming at WY? I’m wondering about the number of classes I’d like my daughter to take at the honors vs. regular level. She does well in all subjects, but is 5 Honors classes too much work?

  • 211. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I have a 7th grader there – all honors, half of them HS honors and he is doing just fine. We just finished his six year plan and for 9th grade he will have six honors and one AP.

    My daughter will start as a freshman at WY next year, she will have all 7 honors classes. I don’t expect any problems with that.

  • 212. 8th Grade mom  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    @211 Thanks! I’m inclined to go with as many honors classes as the counselors recommend; the Regular classes might not be challenging enough. I’m just worried about too much homework on top of commute. I’m hoping that Honors means deeper, not busier:)

  • 213. Maj Ramirez  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Everyone who didn’t get mail yesterday, please check with your neighbors and postal carrier. We got our letters but also other mail for one of the people next door. Sometimes we get a letter for someone blocks away!

  • 214. majaramirez  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    @80 – join the club! 🙂

  • 215. tess  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Yes, today I wrote and rubberbanded notes to neighbors’ doorknobs asking for redelivery. I redeliver things to several neighbors 2-3 times a week. Several times, I found heaps of mail dating back months on neighbor’s doorstep with note to carrier saying adressee does not live here. Well that addressee was us, so neighbor compounded mail carrier’s mistake by months!!! by not bothering to walk it a few feet to our door slot.

  • 216. majaramirez  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    @stressedoutmama – dear daughter got great scores in three of those four, and not a horrible score but not what I’d expect in (I think) reading. Can you elaborate on these – where they got them, why they don’t (seem to) add up – ?

  • 217. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    212. 8th Grade mom | March 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    When you and your daughter go and sign up for her classes, you will receive an envelope with the classes that she will be allowed to take. I’m sure it will be all honors. If for any reason, a class is not going well for her, she may go be put in a regular class.

    I would try and take only honors and then AP classes later as her upperclasses~that’s a good track to be on. It’s very difficult (although it can be done) to go from a regular track to an honors.

  • 218. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    careful with counselors recommendations :))
    For incoming 7th and 9th graders they tend to push an idea of taking an instructional support class – which is just a time to sit in the library and do your homework. And they are really good at giving a lot of reasons why this is such a great idea to lower the load for the transitional year. The only reason my son did not sign up for it is that he needed to start French and really wanted to play in the band, so that took both of his electives. And, by the way, are both HS honors classes for a 7th grader.
    Now he tells me that all his friends that do take instructional support think that this is a complete waist of time – in theory they could be doing h/w, but in reality they play on their phones. So unless kid has a ton of afterschool commitments like plays serious sport or is in three different music groups, don’t do it.

  • 219. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    218. Incoming WY | March 1, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    As an ackie, your son should have no problem taking the classes, but sometimes kids just coming into WY might want that added time for hw or just down time~between commitments and commuting~it’s the longer day is really just that~a longer day. Also, when my son was an ackie, he saw kids who had never had the amount of hw that was given at WY so some kids do take instructional support…even some frackies!

  • 220. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    @ 216
    I am talking about two different kids – one is a 7th grader who is now at the WYAC, another one will be WY freshman next year.

    I know that there are some kids that do need it. This is just our experience. The main problem is that counselors don’t really say who will benefit from the instr. support and who doesn’t need it – they just recommend it to everybody.

  • 221. Just curious  |  March 1, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Typically what have Tier 4 people done when their child does not get into their school of choice, and simply are not happy with 2nd, 3rd choices? Just curious…

  • 222. IB cutoff scores questions  |  March 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    @#1 The listed cutoff scores accepted were determined by the schools prior to applications being sent. Orientation at Senn, Amundsen, LPHS and Taft IB all had their minimums available in their informational materials. So, my question is, what scores were actually accepted at the schools? Did any kids at the lower end of the accepted cut off actually get in?

  • 223. eager to hear  |  March 1, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    @179 cpso-how did you mine the data re: the # of 900s? Would be curious to see how many students applied this year and how many received 900s with the increased difficulty associated with the NWEA testing.

  • 224. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    OEA gave me the info a few years ago. Now it has to go through an FOIA request. I’ll compile a request for # of students etc to submit some time this week.

  • 225. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    For us WY/Payton/Jones was the first choice, LP IB second, homeschooling third. Don’t think that this is very typical solution though :)) I had already planed it all out with a mix of CC classes, online classes, tutors and self-study. Glad that we will not have to it, at least two oldest are all set for now, both will be at WY.

  • 226. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    @221 – Ideally you would have cast a net with other options if there was only 1 SE option that was likable.
    If not, there are charters that may still take students.
    If you have some $, there are probably some privates/parochials you could explore.
    Neighborhood programs are an option.
    And enrolling in #2 or #3 are likely a good bet, as kids tend to end up liking the SEHS once they get there. Possibly looking at a transfer down the road.

    This could help you as well:

  • 227. Mom  |  March 1, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I sent mine to LP IB. She hated it. 😦

  • 228. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    She hated the IB program or the school in general?

  • 229. Janet  |  March 1, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    This was for the parent that asked what do tier 4 people do when their kid doesn’t get 1st choice …. But yes, unfortunately the whole experience was awful, the IB program was just intense homework and poor teaching and the rest of the school was just awful. Keep in mind every kid is different … just keep in mind LP has 3 or 4 different programs so you have kids on the IB, HH , drama and the neighborhood all mixed in one school. It’s a very urban in all sense of the word. Complete opposite to Payton, NS, Jones and WY. It’s sad but unfortunately kids that don’t make it to SE do tend to attend LP. I’ve yet have to meet someone who picked LP over SE.

  • 230. Just curious  |  March 1, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    @225 and @226 – Thank you both for your responses.

    My daughter received an offer letter from LPHH and she has also been accepted to a private school in Oak Park. So I have some options. I was just curious as to what other fellow Tier 4’s do. This stuff is so crazy to me! This whole tier system is ridiculous. I went through this with my son 4 years ago. He attended Jones, but was also accepted into the same private school in Oak Park, where most of his friends were going. We were prepared to send him there if he didn’t get into a SE. We had to make an executive decision to send him to Jones.

    It seems that it wasn’t as difficult to get into Jones back then, although Jones was competitive even then. Perhaps not as many people wanted to go to Jones as a first choice back then, but with the new building and the increased popularity, it has ostensibly become harder to get into every year since that time.

    @226 – My son is heading off to college this year, so I am trying to avoid paying for private high school if at all possible. I will do a bit more exploring into LPHH and see what parents (and hopefully students) have to say about their experience. I’m sure my daughter would like to go where many of her friends are going – to the private school – but I may have to make another executive decision.

    I remember growing up and just going to the closest school or any Magnet school. Boy, have times changed. : (

  • 231. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I know one family where both kids went to LP IB without even taking the SE test. The mother there is a LP IB graduate herself and was 100% set on the IB program for her kids. A lot changed in the last 20 years, but for her it did work out well – after IB diploma she was able to graduate from a 4 year college in just two years. I am not sure if this is still possible, but this was her goal for her kids.

  • 232. Just curious  |  March 1, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    @229 – Janet – Thanks for your input. Not very encouraging. : ( It’s sad that kids have to deal with disruptive students or other issues in a learning environment. Was there anything about the school that your daughter actually liked?

    I’m a bit surprised that there would be issues because I would think that if kids were applying to get into SE, but didn’t make it for whatever reason (Tier, score, etc.) that those same kids would be bright kids and motivated, and thus not knuckleheads or trouble makers in whatever school they attended.

  • 233. Tier4Momma  |  March 1, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Does anyone have any knowledge of Ogden IB program, that’s the only program we were offered.

  • 234. LSmom  |  March 1, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    @224 Thanks! I was curious, with scores seeming to get higher, is there a trend correlated to hyper-test-prep, although lots on here, like us, seem to have done fine with no test prep. Of course the scores jumped around a bit with the switching of the tests, but I wonder if historically and generally, more and more students are scoring higher and higher. I wonder if they keep data on trends over time.

  • 235. Janet  |  March 1, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    @ incoming WY. Please let not base our own experiences from 20 yrs ago. Some people do chose LP IB without testing for SE. I was referring to the kids who do wish to attend SE and end up with LP as last option.

  • 236. Janet  |  March 1, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    @ just curious. At LP you have the kids who didn’t get into SE but you also have the kids in the “neighborhood ” programs and a few others. If it was only SE “with no SE offers” it would have been okay. Unfortunately, nothing about the school was worth staying for. 😦
    Every kid is different but it is very sad that options are “acceptable” for our kids are very limited.

  • 237. Von Scholars?  |  March 1, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Accepted Von Scholars. Can any of you chime in about their experience? I like the average ACT of 26. Elected NOT to endure the pain of the SE testing ….. as I’m sure some at LP chose…not necessarily because couldn’t get in….

  • 238. Just curious  |  March 1, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    @236 Janet – It is very sad and frustrating. No parent in Chicago (with a child that is motivated to learn and succeed) should have to stress themselves out over this stuff or send their kids to private school due to limited spots at good schools and a lack of quality neighborhood schools. : (

  • 239. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    221. Just curious | March 1, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    We applied to only one school~WY. It was the only school we liked. If they didn’t get into WY, they would have gone to a Catholic school.

    We do know two families who are doing the LPHS IB program, love it and will graduate from that program. LPHS was not a last option for them.

  • 240. P. Joseph Powers  |  March 1, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Congratulations to the Jones College Prep Class of 2020! Be sure to attend our Freshman Welcome program on March 7 (last names A-L) and March 10 (last names M-Z) at 6:00 pm in the Robin Bennett Theater, Jones South Campus, 700 South State Street. The building will be open at 5:00 to welcome you, tour the campus, meet with Friends of Jones members, and pick up your first “Joneswear.” We are very excited to welcome our new Jones Eagles! See you then.

    Dr. Joe Powers

  • 241. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    233. Tier4Momma | March 1, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I don’t know anything about Ogden, but I’ve researched the IB programme and I think it’s the best program in CPS. Have your child shadow at Ogden and see if it’s right for him/her.

  • 242. jdub  |  March 1, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    @236 and 238
    I am sorry that your experience was different than mine at LP. I would have to say that overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with the way high school has been going for my daughter. We have found most teachers to be fantastic, and certainly I feel that my daughter has been surrounded by very motivated classmates. She has been challenged with her HH and AP classes, as well as the top notch performing arts program. Maybe each student has their unique experience and each child has their own right fit for school. Wishing everyone good fortune with their choices!

  • 243. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I don’t see the options being limited. I’m kind of starting to think that there are too many decent options at this point, which continues to limit the momentum of rallying around the neighborhood school — as so many of us say we want to happen.

    Between SE, magnets, double honors, IB, arts — there seem to be plenty of free choices for the kids who apparently are all above average. 🙂

  • 244. edgewatermom  |  March 1, 2016 at 5:53 pm


    …there seem to be plenty of free choices for the kids who apparently are all above average. 🙂

    Chicago – the new Lake Wobegon 🙂

    I agree that there are many great options for high school within CPS. It does take a bit of work to figure out which ones would be right for your kid, based on academics, geography,personality (of the kid and the school), and many other factors. If you limit yourself to the top 5 SEHS that are easily accessible to north-siders, it does feel like there are not many choices.

  • 245. majaramirez  |  March 1, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Tier4momma, we went to open house at Ogden, and hubby, on going to the boys’ room, discovered there was gang graffiti in the stalls!
    No thank you!

  • 246. ELT  |  March 1, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    @131-My kid’s at Jones and tested into Math3B (advanced geometry). She loves IMP and is doing great with it. Going to be doing AP Chemistry next year in part due to her math scores.

  • 247. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    246. ELT | March 1, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Will she get to do AP Calc her junior or senior year? The strongest math programs are at WY and WP.

  • 248. LSmom  |  March 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm


    The tier 1 students may require to get a lower score than the tier 4, 3, and 2, but you need to remember the fact that the students in tier 1 do not receive the same education that a higher tiers. So technically it is not an “advantage”. Be grateful for what you have. (I am a tier 4 myself)

  • 249. Addison  |  March 1, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    @pantherparent Actually, CPS grades the tests that were taken later differently from the tests that were taken earlier. I presume they grade the tests taken later more strictly because students know more. CPS does not recommend any prep. for the exam. (Source: CPS OAE) I’m sure CPS reads these blogs to make each year’s process advance more rigorously. It’s sad, but true.

  • 250. pantherettie  |  March 1, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Why are those considered the strongest math programs? Is it the variety of the courses offered, the progression of the courses or something else? Just curious.

  • 251. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    @250 – look at the AMC10 and AMC12 results (American math competition for students grade 10 and younger and grade 12 and younger) and count how many high results you have for each school. That should answer your question :))

  • 252. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    “I’m sure CPS reads these blogs to make each year’s process advance more rigorously. It’s sad, but true.”

    I think CPS’ paid blog readers (part of PR) have all been laid off.
    There were 2 people who used to regularly contact me. One for propaganda, the other to be helpful.

  • 253. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    2015 results – students from Chicago that got to the next level.
    124.5 A PIETRZYK 10 Whitney Young
    127.5 R DE 10 Whitney Young
    126.0 V AUDUONG 10 Whitney Young
    126.0 A KALGHATGI 8 Whitney Young
    123.0 J CHEN 9 Whitney Young
    123.0 L MELITON 8 Whitney Young
    123.0 K WU 9 Whitney Young

    124.5 E DU 9 University of Chicago
    100.5 B LORENZ 12 Latin School of Chicago
    106.5 C BAKER 11 Oakton Community College
    118.5 A FINE 12 University of Chicago
    103.5 A CHANG 12 University of Chicago
    121.5 J KUTASOV 10 University of Chicago
    112.5 R AGGARWAL 12 University of Chicago
    115.5 A BLOCK 12 Whitney Young
    117.0 E SARGENT 12 Whitney Young
    118.5 G ZHANG 12 Whitney Young
    111.0 J LIU 11 Whitney Young
    114.0 K SARGENT 12 Whitney Young
    123.0 T YOU 12 Whitney Young

  • 254. cpsobsessed  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    What is University of Chicago? Is that the Lab school?

  • 255. Parent  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    There is more NCP students listed above, than Payton students, so why would Payton be stronger than NCP? Also, you can take AP Calc junior year and Northside, not coming from AC, by testing out of Algebra.

  • 256. Parent  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    I meant at Northside, not “and”

  • 257. pantherettie  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    @Incoming WY – thanks for sharing those results. While it’s great to see the schools represented there, I don’t believe that the results of self selected students on competition math exams really gives a full picture about the math program for all students at the school. Any additional insights? Are the program’s considered “the best” because of the availability of the most advanced courses? The sequence of courses? The teaching staff? Just curious.

  • 258. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Yes, I think Univ of Chicago is the Lab.

    I don’t know how math compares between NCP and Payton, I was mostly answering the WY part of the question :))

  • 259. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Of cause they are self selected. But for some reason they self selected to be there and not somewhere else. So we just followed the herd 🙂 So far I like what I see – class placement, teachers, math team.
    Disclaimer: I have a 7th grader there, so all that I know so far is about advanced AC math. But since teachers are the same, I don’t think it will change much in real HS.

  • 260. AnxiousDad  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Sorry to rehash this here, but hey, I *am* an anxious dad 🙂 We submitted our scanned confirmation (acceptance) form by email last night, requesting an acknowledgement. As of today, I have not heard back. Has anyone received a return email *this year*?

    I am considering just dropping off the form in person… Thanks!

  • 261. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    @ AnxiousDad

    Sent in the scanned form today at 3:30 pm, 5 min later got this:
    Dear Parent:

    The Office of Access and Enrollment is in receipt of the confirmation form(s) you have submitted for the 2016-2017 school year. Please allow 3-5 business days, from the time you sent your email, for your forms to be processed. If you have any questions, please send an email to oae@cps.edu or call our office at 773.553.2060.

    Office of Access and Enrollment
    P: 773-553-2060
    F: 773-553-2061

  • 262. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 1, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    In 2013, WY was the first city high school to win the state championship in the most competitive division.


  • 263. Just Curious  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    @239 – Thank you for your response. We’re considering the Catholic school that my daughter was accepted at (I don’t really like the price tag on it) : ( We’re also considering LPHH.

    I have received some very helpful feedback on LPHH (both negative and positive, although more positive). I will schedule a visit with the school and also try to talk to some parents and students.

  • 264. stressedoutmama  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    @260 – I emailed the confirmation form on Monday at 2 pm and still no response. I called the OAE earlier today, and they told me it might take up to 48 hours. I am anxious too!

  • 265. AnxiousDad  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Thanks @261. Did you email it to the address on the form, or a different address. Thanks @264 too… So maybe I should wait before I march to Madison Ave…

  • 266. Incoming WY  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    emailed it to oaeconfirmations@cps.edu

  • 267. pantherparent  |  March 1, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    @249 I’ve heard that as well that the tests are adjusted based on when they are taken, but I’m not as convinced that’s actually true.

    Ultimately, I think when to take it is up to each student. My daughter wanted to take it late and if that gave her a little extra confidence then that’s half the battle. She ended up at 297 so it worked for her.

  • 268. klm  |  March 2, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Re: LPHS

    I know several years ago I was kinda’ creeped out by some of the students’ behavior (M-F-ing loudly in public, dumping trash, walking against the light in the middle of traffic, rolling dice on the sidewalk, pants around the knees, etc.). For whatever reason, there seems to be less concerning negative behavior from its students, from what I can see as somebody that lives in the neighborhood. Maybe because Cabrini Green’s now been torn down, lots of kids that are in gangs are now zoned for Wells instead of LPHS…(?)…

    Finally, I’ve known quite a few people that did LPIB and almost all went on to say it was a really good (great faculty, great preparation for college, etc.) place to get an education. These are people that went to really rigorous colleges (U-Chicago, Swarthmore, etc.) and they would say how well prepared LPIB made them feel –often more than fellow braniac students. These are really successful people (Harvard Law School, med school at Michigan, etc.), so it means something when they say a school’s “good,” academically.

    I know somebody that went to Latin N-8 then LPIB for HS. I tried to politely ask about the experience with LPIB and s/he went on gushingly and said it was “amazing.” This person now has a c.v. with Ivy all over it.

    When I asked about some negative behavior I’ve seen, they all chalked it up to the fact that some of its students come from “rough” places, but mentioned that it was never an issue at school.

    I’ve gone from “no way!” to “why not?” with LPHS. People really should feel good about it, too, if it’s an option for their kids.

    I’ve also know neighborhood kids that have gone on to great colleges (Duke, U-Chicago, Georgetown, etc.) and their parents have all been happy with LPHS.

    Again, this is all anecdotal, but from my experience, so many people can’t be wrong.

  • 269. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2016 at 8:27 am

    From ChicagoSchoolGPS on Von:

    A few years back I heard Von Steuben Scholars moved well into the hundreds. I definitely expect all the magnets to move, but whether it’s to 150 or to 450, it’s hard to say.

  • 270. Annoyed parent  |  March 2, 2016 at 8:36 am

    @klm this is the reason why I need to stop reading this blog. Those are just a few kids. The school inside is rough. No doubt about that and here we go again , adults measuring a “good” school but saying so and so go into an IV league school. Come on people! Success is more than a few kids getting into IV league.
    I would not send my kid to LP. It is pretty rough. If you have a kid that can handle rough, then it’s okay. Signing off from CPSO. @klm made me do it. I can’t read more comments like this.

  • 271. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:08 am

    To the point of klm and Annoyed Parent, I don’t think you can label a school as “good” or “rough” overall based on certain individuals. Different humans exist in different schools. LP has kids who have the ability and means to go to Ivies and kids who come from less fortunate backgrounds who are rough.

    That’s why many of us live in the city — for the mix of humans and the ability to interact among a wide range of humans (and why I personally would not do well in most suburbs.)

    Some kids are not ideal for that environment. Some thrive on it. So far I know 3/3 who have thrived. I suspect others opted not to pursue LP and it was the best decision for that kid.

  • 272. HSObsessed  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Just to reiterate, if any of you are interested in reading the review of LPHS from a current parent (that’s me!) of a current student, CPSO was kind enough to re-post my review in this thread at comment #198 above. Weigh the credibility of commenters who base their opinions on a single event or playground rumor from years ago. Schools evolve.

  • 273. newtoCPS  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:40 am

    What will be interesting to see is the effect of the impending strike and CPS budget woes on offer acceptance rates when a child/family has the opportunity and means to attend a private high school. It may be anecdotal, but 9/10 kids in my son’s private catholic grade school received acceptances to Payton. While certain kids were probably going to go private regardless of an acceptance, I have heard several parents are so worried about CPS that perhaps less than half will accept and instead will go to Ignatius or Loyola.

  • 274. CPS_Clueless  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:47 am

    This is my first experience with CPS. I’m a relatively new Chicago resident with a daughter choosing between LPHS IB|HH (which I honestly don’t even understand how HH fits with IB) and NCP. She is in an urban public district on the west coast, so zero experience with CPS.

    My daughter is intrigued by IB. But chose NCP as her first choice on the SE list. Basically from having simply walked around the grounds of NCP, WY, Jones and Payton on one of the days she was in town for CPS testing. And, of course, reading the propaganda of national rankings.

    I wouldn’t call her a nerd, precisely. But she’s the sort of personality that does homework as soon as she’s able. Very practical and pragmatic about getting work done. My head tells me NCP is the obvious choice. My heart wavers on whether she’d be more comfortable with some diversity and the expansive worldview of IB.

    With so little time to mull this decision. And the fact that she’s on the other side of the country and unable to attend informational meetings, I’m looking for all the info I can get.

    It’s been instructive to hear the differing opinions about LPHS. The diversity and experience of dealing with a range of students with differing academic abilities and backgrounds sounds good. But then I think about the guilt I’d have if it turns out there are fights and generally bad/dangerous behavior around her.

    Is NCP really the utopia of curious student body of ambitious learners? Is LPHS IB as rigorous and simply a different curriculum?

    Help. Please.

  • 275. Incoming WY  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Just for the sake of those still considering LP

    I don’t know much about the school, been there only at the IB info session. But I do know a lot of kids that attend music program there – these are great kids and this is the main reason why LP was our plan B in case SE did not work out. My kids go to the Merit School of Music (it is just a music school, not gen. ed.) and I would say about quarter of the top band there attend LP. These are very dedicated to music kids, many of them will end up doing music majors, some will do music minors, but I am sure all of them will have music in their lives one way or another.

    I am sure there are all kinds of other kids there as well, but we applied the same herd mentality here as with WY and math – if these music oriented kids can make it through LP and love their school, then the school is doing something right and my kids would be fine there as well.

    For the same reason LP was also plan B for some other Merit musicians. I talked to quite a few parents, we see each other year after year at recitals and competitions, and none of them dismiss LP on the grounds of bad environment. For many northsiders NCP or Payton is the first choice, with LP being a strong second.

  • 276. Northside Mom  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:16 am

    @274, Tomorrow night is the Admitted Student information session, you can come without her if time permits you. There will be many parents and faculty available to answer your questions. As a mother of a 10th grader, it was the best choice and my child is completely happy there. She works hard, has a ton of fun and has made so many different types of friends. We had 4 options when going through this process, beyond grateful for that too, but this one felt just right. Best of luck to you.

  • 277. stressedoutmama  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:21 am

    @265 Anxious Dad, I just called the OAE again. They said the confirmation email is auto-generated. I told them I did not receive one. They suggested I resend the acceptance form. I did, and a minute later I received the confirmation email. Hope that helps!

  • 278. stressedoutmama  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Northside Parents, did you all receive you packet of information from Northside yet? We did not. My son said that one student he knows did, but the others haven’t received the packet either. I called the school and was told the packets went out on Friday evening. Just wondering if others received their packets yet.

  • 279. AnxiousDad  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:37 am

    @265 stressedoutmama thank you!!! I just resent the form and got the confirmation right away. So now we need to wait “3 to 5 business days” for further processing I guess.. Thank you very much once again!

  • 280. AnxiousDad  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:38 am

    @277 stressedoutmama sorry for the wrong “@”. I guess I really need to relax now!

  • 281. Seeking More Math Info  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:53 am

    @131 Incoming WY:

    Wow, thanks for the breakdown on your thinking! It is really helpful to have that information about math curriculum. My Kindergartner and 1st grader are both working 4-6 years ahead in math, and I am looking down the line.

    You say that at WY there are a lot of kids who have completed Algebra II in 8th grade – are these all kids who have gone through the WY AC? If not, do you know where these kids are getting the opportunity to take Geometry in 7th and Algebra II in 8th grade?

    Stepping back from that: where are they taking Algebra prior to 7th? Or are they learning it outside CPS and then testing out?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated! We love our current SEES, but I don’t see the sort of math support you are talking about for the later grades. If there is a SEES that provides algebra in 6th grade or earlier, I’d love to know about it. Thanks!

  • 282. Mia L.  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:54 am

    I hate to share this with all of you disbelievers, but kids say the F word at all schools. I work at an SE school and hear it everyday-out loud and sometimes in front of adults. My kids are at a suburban school…guess what? I hear it there too. AND kids from both schools still go to Ivies as well as other great colleges.

  • 283. lawmom  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Yes and there are drugs and sex at all the schools as well, both private and public.

  • 284. lawmom  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:13 am

    @274 – Yes- NCP is a great school. My son is a freshman there and we all love it. Great student community and teachers that care. I was concerned about the block schedule with my son (short attention span) but it has been great for him and they have fun projects on Wednesdays (colloquium) for the students to indulge in many different areas of learning. For example, the physics teacher is teaching a Wednesday class on fermentation.

    I loved the IB program at LP for my daughter — she is a gifted writer — my son is more math/computer oriented. The thing about IB is beginning junior year you start all college level courses. Know your kid and whether they are up to this challenge and really want this experience. NCP physical plant is awesome, while LP is old and pretty decrepit. I would have gone to the IB program, but you can’t go wrong with NCP. All nice kids too.

  • 285. Marketing Mom  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Of all options, we keep going back and forth between Lane and Ignatius. It is such a short window of time to make a decision that will impact your child for the rest of their lives.

  • 286. Need to Decide  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:22 am

    We’re having the same dilemma- even though a good one – Young & St Ignatius. The politics of the public school system has me leaning towards St Ignatius.

  • 287. Marketing Mom  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Glad to know I am not the only one. As a tax-paying citizen part of me is leaning towards Lane. But the uncertainty of the financial mess that CPS is in, is very concerning to me. I don’t know if many of the SEHS schools will still be a better choice once all the bells and whistles are stripped away. The current financial system is not sustainable as the city is losing its middle class over this increasingly stressful process.

  • 288. North Center Mom  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:44 am

    DD got an offer to Jones. Very happy about it as DS already there.
    Have any of you new Eagles received your Jones packets yet?

    Regarding Jones math for AC students: I know that my son has classmates who attended various AC’s. I would ask the school math department about that directly. The school is in its 3rd out of 4 expansion years since getting the new building. So what you heard at an Open House a year or two year ago is no longer the complete story across all departments.

    It’s a long commute to Jones from North Center, no denying it. But we have felt it is worth it.

  • 289. Math  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

    @ Incoming WY What math classes does WY offer after Calculus BC? From experience, know Jones & NS offer multivariable Calculus (but not linear algebra – at least not yet)

  • 290. Newcomer  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    @cps_ clueless- Come to Northside! Tons of opportunities for kids to be their true selves. Hugely supportive community of kids and teachers, wonderful art and music departments, great balance thanks to the block schedule and “free day” on Wednesday. We have lived on three continents and my son really wanted diversity, and he feels comfortable at NCP. The only reason not to go there is if you are living very far south. Good luck in the decision process.

  • 291. SutherlandParent  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    @285 Marketing Mom, I know several families seriously considering turning down spots at WY and Jones in favor of Ignatius, largely because of the CPS mess. While we were biting our nails and waiting to hear about acceptance letters, we told ourselves that at least we would have one kid out of the CPS system if our 8th grader didn’t get in to an SEHS.

    We are taking the spot at Jones and figuring if CPS goes straight to hell in the next four years, Marist HS will always let our kid transfer in 😉 (although that may not be true of Ignatius…).

  • 292. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    How big is St Ignatius? How religious/conservative in the teachings? (Just curious.) Will paying for it affect college options? will going there open other doors down the road? Can you change your mind and enroll/transfer later in Freshman year/soph year?

    Those are questions I’d ask.

  • 293. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I might have my head in the sand (which I kind of try to do about CPS financials) but CPS has been in a mess since I’ve been involved (8 years) and there have been strikes, and we’re still somehow plugging along. I’m not really sure how…. but I feel pretty certain that the SEs will be in decent shape for the next 4 years.

    The high school kids are actually the ones mobilizing lately to protest the budget!

  • 294. 8th Grade mom  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    @269 cpsobsessed What measure are you referring to “von moving in the hundreds? ”

    We are on the fence between Von Scholars (close to home, big fish in a small pond, great teachers) and Whitney Young (larger school, all selective admission/student body, more offerings) but further from home.

  • 295. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    @294 – Von moving down their wait list to call people with a # in the 100-199ish range. Or even lower on the list possibly.

  • 296. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    (Actually I’m not sure if that applies to the Scholars program… I don’t know a lot of the details about Von just yet.)

  • 297. LSmom  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    @281 If that kind of math support is available at SEES, I was never able to find it, so I homeschooled my children. CPS offers the Algebra exit exam on one specific date to non-CPS students. You’d have to find out when that is, but that is your golden ticket. You may have to be the squeaky wheel. In a sea of every parent thinking their kid is special, it took a bit of effort, but my son took the exit exam and passed it. He did Algebra II in 7th grade at LTAC and geometry this year (that is how Lane wanted to do it), but even then it was a stretch for them. I guess by law they had to have a teacher who is middle-school certified in order to teach a middle school student, even though all the other kids in the class were high school students, so the teacher would have been certified in both. I don’t know what the circumstances at WYAC are, but my son was an anomaly at LTAC, where students started either Pre-Algebra or Algebra I in 7th grade.

  • 298. Seeking More Math Info  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    @297 LSmom:

    Thanks so much for your reply! We do a lot of ‘afterschooling’ with math – not in any intentional, didactic way, but because my kids never stop asking questions.

    Can I ask where you found the Algebra exit exam date/information? Was it through CPS OAE? Or another department? I’d like to keep tabs on that.

    Good to know both that your son was an anomaly at LTAC and also that they were able to provide him the math classes he needed (though I realize it may have been after a fair amount of advocacy).

    I really appreciate the information!

  • 299. Seeking More Math Info  |  March 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    In case anyone else is interested, I found this:


    and this:


    though the first isn’t dated, and the second was from last year.

  • 300. Clueless  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    As mentioned above I know a student trying to decide between Lane and LPHS HH or fine arts. To follow up on a question above, no–she is unlikely to get scholarships for music. She plays the flute but I think only casually and not at all competitively, unless she were to really ramp it up in high school. I have mentioned to the family that she can continue playing an instrument at any of these schools, so I personally think HH or Lane are the way to go. Any advice? Thanks.

  • 301. LSmom  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    @298 I think it was through LTAC itself that I got the info, because he had already been accepted, and the test was in May, I think. If your school offers it to 8th graders, you may be able to convince them to let your children take it when they are ready. However, CPS schools are not known for flexible thinking, and it may be more of a stretch for your children to be tested from within the system than it was for us from outside the system. But it is one of those “only once a year” deals, so you can’t miss it. Even if they don’t pass, I think the high schools have their own placement exams, and you can request that the student take that if you think they have made sufficient progress between the exit exam and the date of the placement exam, though I think this would be more haggling than with the exit exam. Lane didn’t really want to consider this option, so thankfully he passed the exit exam. The doubt came because with homeschooling, we don’t necessarily start and finish things on the yearly cycle. He had just started Algebra in January, and I wasn’t sure if he’d be ready by May, but I didn’t want him to have to go back and start Algebra all over again at Lane. It was worth the push to get him ready, because he loved the Algebra II class and his teacher as well.

  • 302. AB  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I have a Senior at Senn Arts – phenomenal program. He’s received a lot of college scholarships. I also have an 8th grader at Peirce who will attend Senn IBDP. While both kids got into other “top” schools, Senn has proven to be great and happens to also be our neighborhood school. No school is perfect, I have heard cons to go with pros for SEHS, etc. Anyone who wants more info. hit me up!

  • 303. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Math ~ Keller (SEES) kids take geometry in 8th grade, some n’hood schools have HS algebra in 8th grade. No matter where your child needs to be mathematically, WY will have them in the appropriate math class, regardless if they are an ackie or starting 9th grader.

  • 304. Incoming WY  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    @281 –
    About the kids that are taking geometry in 7th grade at the WYAC:
    – few are from Skinner West. They took Algebra 1 in 6th grade AND took CPS Algebra exit exam, so they did not need to test out of Algebra at WY.
    – the rest are from all over the place, but all were tested at WY. At least three studied Algebra not at school, they took “The Art of Problem Solving” online classes (my son included)
    In total there are seven 7th graders in Geometry this year, next year all of them will be taking Algebra II/ Trig.

    Since you still have time, make sure your kid takes this Algebra exit exam before entering AC or SEHS – having paperwork on hand makes things much easier. It can be done through school, but does not have to be – you can register yourself and take it at some central location. Not sure yet how exactly this works, but will know in a month.

    @289 – math classes at WY after AP calc BC
    Some years they had extra year of Calculus, few years ago I remember they had Linear Algebra class, I think at some point they were teaching diff. equations. In the current class catalog (2016-17) there is only statistics, but it all does not matter much. What they do is they take the group of advanced math oriented AC kids and put them in the same Geometry section in the 7th grade, then in 9th grade, when these kids are in pre-calc, they add few 9th graders there and then keep these kids together for the rest of the HS. If there is an appropriate class on the schedule for the junior and senior years – great, if not they put them in some sort of seminar and work on advanced topics there. I know few kids did some very advanced math research in the upper grades and on paper it was listed as a “self-study seminar” or something like this.

    If my kid was the only 7th grader in Geometry, I would be worried about what he is going to do in a few years, but since he is part of the group, I trust the school, or their math couch to be exact. I don’t think they will leave the whole group hanging.

  • 305. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    @Math~how do you *know Jones & NS offer multivariable Calculus*? They may offer it, but are students taking the class? I didn’t see that class on either of the school’s programming list.

  • 306. tier3exhaustedmom  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    anyone have experience with the waitlist progress for jones? curious to know if the list is ever used. gauging odds as we make our decisions.

  • 307. Seeking More Math Info  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    @304 Incoming WY:

    Thanks for the info! I am delighted to hear that Skinner West is offering algebra in 6th grade, as I thought the classical schools were more restrained in what they are allowed to offer when.

    We liked AoPS Beast Academy books, and have heard good things about their more advanced classes as well.

    Can I ask, did your child take the AoPS class while also enrolled in a CPS school? And if so, was there any difficulty in his being allowed to take the algebra exit exam? Or was it relatively straightforward?

    Thanks again!

  • 308. Incoming WY  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Found it! They call it “Honors Advanced Math Topics” and which specific topics they do each year depends on the group. Since they have to combine kids from at least two grads to have a full class, I would guess they rotate topics on the biennial basis.

  • 309. Incoming WY  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    @307 Seeking More Math Info
    My 7th grader never was not in a traditional CPS school prior to WY and he did not take Algebra exit exam – I found out about this exam only after he was accepted into WYAC and by then it was too late to register. So he had to take couple placement tests at WY – first to get into algebra I, then to get out of it :))

    I also have an 8th grader that was just accepted into WY and will start there as a freshman. She is also few years ahead and SHE is the one that will be taking Algebra exit exam this year. So far I e-mailed CPS about it and they said that registration details will be available later in March with exam sometime in May.
    She will still need to take placement test at WY, but that would be to get out of Algebra II, not Algebra I.

  • 310. stories to tell  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Would love to hear from any Lane parents with insight, with children who are true introverts–how does child cope with being in such a large school? Any tips?

  • 311. stories to tell  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Sorry, adding scattered thoughts–
    how are visual arts classes at Lane, Senn, Lincoln Park?
    Also any general thoughts about Senn visual arts program in particular? Senn academics in general? Trying to figure out decision, incorporating commute via CTA from Wicker Park for night owl.

  • 312. Confused  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    If LPHS is “wall to wall IB,” how can they offer AP classes? AP is rather antithetical to IB.

  • 313. Seeking More Math Info  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    @309 Incoming WY:

    Thanks for the additional info! (I think you meant your 7th grader was not in a traditional CPS school, yes?) As far as testing in, and then out, of Algebra: ha!

    Good luck with the testing of your 8th grader!

  • 314. Logan Square Parent  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Our acceptance letter finally arrived!!! Our #1 choice-Westinghouse it is!!

  • 315. Incoming WY  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    LPHS has 4 different programs under one roof:
    – IB
    – double honors
    – performance arts
    – neighborhood school

    Kids from the IB program are on their own track, but everybody else move between regular, honors, double honors (I have no idea what that is) and AP classes. Kids that drop out from the full IB diploma path still have chance to take AP classes.

  • 316. cpsobsessed  |  March 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    “how are visual arts classes at Lane, Senn, Lincoln Park?”

    I can’t actually comment on the art classes at Senn, but when I toured, I though the art on display was highly impressive (I was an art person in high school and I was pretty wowed by what I saw.) Don’t know anyone in the arts program though (only dance, which apparently is awesome.)

  • 317. Marketing Mom  |  March 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Can someone comment on Lane’s Alpha STEM honors program? Sounds interesting, but just wondering if anyone has a child in the program.

  • 318. averagemom  |  March 2, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    wall to wall IB is the IB middle years program. All 9th and 10th graders are taught using that. It’s not like the diploma program, it is not a gifted program, more like teaching around themes. Your kid could be in any level course and it would be taught with the IB middle years process. There is a 10th grade project to get the middle years diploma, but it is not equivelant to the IB diploma.
    For 11th and 12th grade, some kids are in the IB diploma program, the others have the option to take AP courses or some IB courses, without being eligible for the diploma program

  • 319. CPS Mother  |  March 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    @314…Congrats! You will be thrilled with the program there.

  • 320. NWSMomof4  |  March 2, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I’m a Lane parent, with a current freshman who went through the academic center and an incoming freshman who just received her letter. If those of you considering Lane have questions, I’m happy to respond directly to emails with as much info/personal experience as I have. Suzkus@gmail.com

  • 321. LSmom  |  March 2, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Anybody know which schools allow shadow days for accepted students? A friend of mine said a form was included in the acceptance packet for her daughter when she was accepted to WY a few years ago, but there isn’t anything about that in the packet from WP.

  • 322. Incoming WY  |  March 2, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    WY has shadow days, the first one will be this Friday, March 4. Registration is online, no paper forms.

  • 323. Yay  |  March 2, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I think they cover all of those dates at admitted night meeting on Monday

  • 324. Yay  |  March 2, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I think they cover all of those dates at admitted night meeting on Monday

    Also LS Mom…are you on Northwest side?

  • 325. jenben  |  March 2, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    WP has shadow days. I believe the info eventually arrives in an email that lists possible dates, and then you can sign up via online form.

  • 326. LSmom  |  March 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    @325 Thank you. Do you know if they happen before the confirmation is due? It doesn’t sound like it would be possible.

    @324 We are in Lincoln Square. Looking at the top comments, it looks there is another poster who used LSmom as well. Oops.

  • 327. Yay  |  March 2, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I think it was April or May last year

  • 328. eager to hear  |  March 2, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    WY has shadow days that you can sign up for on-line. Look at the page for incoming Freshman. There are three separate days, but limited spots.

  • 329. 8th grade mom  |  March 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I recall seeing a chart a year or two ago that showed the feeder schools to the SE Schools. Anyone have any ideas on where to find that?

  • 330. curious  |  March 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    anyone hear back from chiarts yet?

  • 331. proud mama  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    My beautiful, kind, thoughtful, social, highly intelligent daughter got a perfect score: a 900. This was no surprise. She is in a gifted program elementary school wise, and always performs well in school and on standardized tests. She said that the entrance exam was the easiest thing she’s done all year. She got into her first choice, WP. I, for one, am absolutely shocked that a kid with a score 131 points lower than hers got into a school. It’s supposed to be a good school, no matter some stupid tier.

  • 332. stressed out  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    this process is so stressful

  • 333. tess  |  March 2, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    @330, we got email yesterday (tues) that child is on waitlist,
    so sad about not being admitted,
    (no numbers assigned, nicely written “don’t call us, we’ll call you” type of message, I wrote/emailed back to accept waiting spot,
    did not get mail (yet)
    160 students accepted of over 1100 applications,
    friend got earlier email (mon) that her child did get in
    good news travels first,
    try checking spam & spouse’s too

  • 334. mvp  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Can someone provide information on Westinghouse? There surrounding are is no the best

  • 335. sick of it  |  March 2, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    @331: I feel sorry for all the people around you who must be sick to death of hearing about your perfect kid with the perfect scores and complaining about having to go to school with kids with less than perfect anything. Pro-tip? Everyone can smell the brag on your breath and it’s absolutely cringe-worthy.

  • 336. Oh no!  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    @331. Haha. My 13 yr old daughter at this comment and said “oh gosh I feel for that kid. I would be so embarrassed to have a parent like that. She doesn’t belong in the city!”

  • 337. Confused  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    @ proud mama. Is this a joke ? Please tell me this post it’s a funny joke. Do people still think this way in the city? This has to be a “joke” kind of post.

  • 338. Kim Czarnopys  |  March 2, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    @330 We also got an email that our daughter was on the wait list at Chi Arts for the Visual Arts program. She did get a second callback but they only take 30 kids. This was her first choice so she was pretty disappointed. I responded to the email and they said the “wait list letters” should be arriving soon in the mail.

  • 339. LV365247  |  March 3, 2016 at 12:11 am

    @331 i think you’re trolling, but if not, my son will be a classmate of your daughter at WP, and the diversity at the school is one of the things we’re most looking forward to. he didn’t go to a gifted school. he’s tier 4, so that means he has more opportunities than most kids in chicago. it’s not a bragging point. it’s pure luck. and having to get a high test score isn’t much of a payback for not having to live in poverty. he went to a school we all loved, largely because it wasn’t a gifted school, and it reflected the real world. he’s pretty kind and thoughtful, though. he – and we – understand that not everyone comes from the same place. some folks deserve a helping hand. and test scores are sort of “meh” anyway when it comes to identifying good people who will make the world a better place. again, i think you’re spoofing, but if not, please don’t bring your attitude to the school. it’s bad for the kids, and for the world.

  • 340. LPmom  |  March 3, 2016 at 5:15 am

    @331 I know you are a troll because no parent says ‘[my child] is in a gifted program elementary school wise”, ” Elementary school wise” really?? that’s just bizarre English.

  • 341. Incoming WY  |  March 3, 2016 at 9:35 am

    @340 LPmom,

    Not that I in any way support this degree of elitism, but you do realize that about half the kids in any of the top SE schools have at least one parent that was not born in the US? So what looks as bizarre English to you might be just about right to a lot of parents.

    7th graders at WYAC had a unit on immigration in the Social Science class this year and the teacher asked those who had at least one immigrant parent to raise their hand. Half the hands went up. And this was not math or chess team, it was a regular class.

  • 342. SWsidemom  |  March 3, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Daughter recieved her letter on Monday. Got an offer to Northside College Prep.
    Tier 1, currently attending AC program at Whitney Young. She’s really considering the offer, the commute for us would be killer since we are on the SW side of Chicago, and the school isn’t really close to an L stop, drop off wouldn’t be an issues its the commute home that concerns me. Any other NSCP parents out there with commute dilemmas or suggestions?

  • 343. Newcomer  |  March 3, 2016 at 10:17 am

    @SWsideMom: At the end of each day there is a city bus that picks up the NCP students right in front of school and takes them to the El stop. I hope that helps, it’s a wonderful school!

  • 344. Incoming WY  |  March 3, 2016 at 10:26 am

    If you don’t mind me asking, why is your daughter even considering changing schools? It would be great if you could list the things that she does not like at WYAC, just for the rest of us to know what to look for.

    I understand that every kid has different experience even at the same school, but the kids leaving WY for another CPS school that I know of, are northsiders, so they were looking to cut the commute time. Which is not the case for you.

  • 345. Dennis  |  March 3, 2016 at 10:48 am

    @AB would love to hit you up for advice about Senn.

  • 346. Chris  |  March 3, 2016 at 10:49 am

    “why is your daughter even considering changing schools?”

    Lotsa kids just want to have options and fully consider them. Having choices is (usually) a good thing.

  • 347. Incoming WY  |  March 3, 2016 at 11:01 am

    @346 Chris

    In theory yes, choice is good. In practice this is not really an equal option – at WY kids that come from AC are usually kept somewhat together and are a bit more advanced group than those that come in later. NCP does not have an AC, so by transferring there this student will loose most of the advantage of being at the AC. Even if it is possible to transfer HS credit from WYAC to another HS, she will be one of very few kids in that situation, not like it will be possible to fill whole sections with these kids.

    At least this is how I understand this at the moment.

  • 348. Nervous_Mom23  |  March 3, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Still haven’t got a letter! But if you weren’t accepted to one of your top choices do they give you a waitlist number for Selective Enrollment?

  • 349. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 3, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Her hs grades will transfer. But that’s a very long commute. I would research their math program b4 I would let her transfer.

  • 350. LSmom  |  March 3, 2016 at 11:54 am

    @347 Maybe this is just because Lane is bigger, but my 7th grade son was in 2 classes with only other high school students, except 1 other student. They do get mixed in with the general population of the HS once they hit 9th, with maybe pockets of students from the AC, but this didn’t seem like a problem. Of course there was a gap, but this didn’t bother my son. Also, while there may be pockets of students coming to SEHS from certain feeder schools, a lot of kids are also “starting over” with a new crowd when they reach HS.

  • 351. Chris  |  March 3, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    “Even if it is possible to transfer HS credit from WYAC to another HS”

    How could it not be?

    I completely agree the “why would she want to leave?” is a legit, important, question. But I think it’s different from “why did she even apply?”

    And, as SSI sez, that’d be a *very* long commute. She’s gotta do that at least once, before the deadline.

  • 352. SWsidemom  |  March 3, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    @Incoming WY to be honest our kid just wanted to have options and fully consider them. As @Chris stated, “Having choices is (usually) a good thing.” We know if she does decide to accept, as parents we will be making a big commitment to the commute. As far as differences in academics and elective options both schools do have their differences, but both are highly rigorous as well as challenging. In the end we all want what is best for our kids, with that in mind I’m thankful to have the opportunity to have such great schools to choose from.

  • 353. tier3exhaustedmom  |  March 3, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I applaud every one of us as we try to navigate this process. Lordy, it’s tough.
    I envy the parents of 800-900 range kids. Not saying that I begrudge any of those kids their success. I am very happy for them! Well done to all!
    Maybe I am just looking to commiserate with anyone like me: with a kid in the 700s.
    My daughter is so very clever and bright but is not an A student because she does not try. Getting her to do her homework is always a struggle (understatement). She loves to write stories and get lost in her imagination. She has a short-story blog. With real followers – not just grandma. 
    She has been at an RGC since 2nd grade and they average 1-1.5 years ahead in work. She is a B student. An RGC B student that never does her homework unless the internet access is threatened or withheld. She scored a 297 on the test and her nwea’s are in the 90s. But 7th grade results: B,B,B,C. Boom. There it is (n’t).
    So we had a 733 heading into this and we tried our best to manage her/our expectations.
    We applied everywhere – to be “safe” — since our neighborhood school, Wells, is a No.
    Our acceptance choices to date: Noble/UIC college prep, Ogden, Westinghouse, Crane (I know…”everywhere”), w/l Ignatius, w/l #25 Jones CTE. We have yet to hear from chiarts (her #1 choice).
    Spouse wants her to go to UIC for the discipline and to get her ready for college….but it scares me. She wants to go to chiarts but without word back and such a small class (110?), we are assuming it’s a No. I consider both opposite sides of the spectrum and was hoping for something more in the middle. I am leaning towards Westinghouse (if that jones w/l becomes an reality, hecks yeah) since they have accelerated/AP offerings so that freshman year won’t be a repeat of 8th grade… which I think would just lose her interest for good.
    She really has no opinion about any of this (except that she does not want to wear a uniform. yeah. That’s her top concern.) But with just about everyone in her class going to Jones/WY/WP or moving away… she will be starting fresh anywhere we go.
    Which has to be decided in 8 days. Lordy.

  • 354. SWsidemom  |  March 3, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    @Newcomer thank you for that bit of info on the bus option! Do you currently have a student who attends? Any other details you could share would be greatly appreciated! My daughter decided she would like to attend the informational session tonight for students who recieved offers, before she makes a final decision.

  • 355. westrogersparkmom  |  March 3, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    @342 – re: NS from an AC. NS traditionally gets a large cohort of kids from Taft, and others from WYAC and LTAC. Their high school credits do transfer but I remember from the open house that they had a separate required English class for freshman from AC’s that already took survey of lit.

    @353- re: ChiArts- check your spam and maybe even give them a call. People have reported acceptance and wait list emails. In prior years there HAS been movement on the ChiArts wait list, because when push comes to shove students/families don’t want to make the 8-5 committment/ attend the school without sports, limited electives etc./ or deal with the commute (and if you are a Northsider the Western Ave. construction is slated to last until late 2017).

  • 356. mom2  |  March 3, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    @353 – I hate this system. I’m pretty sure we will be in your shoes next year but I have a kid with great grades and low test scores. Outcome is the same. Thinking positive thoughts for you!

  • 357. Logan Square Parent  |  March 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    @353…Take the Westinghouse Offer.. Pre-Orientation is March 8,2016 5.00-7.15pm

  • 358. Been there  |  March 3, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    @tier3exhaustedmom. Your amazingly bright daughter might not be lazy, she may have ADD. I urge you to talk to the school psychologist and have her evaluated. Especially before high school when the academic demands are much higher, She could benefit from a resource block for homework that an IEP can provide. She is not alone. MANY really bright kids have ADD and are not diagnosed leading to feelings of failure when they really want to do well. I am a parent speaking from experience. All the best.

  • 359. AB  |  March 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    @cpsobsessed Visual Arts at Senn is incredible.

  • 360. AB  |  March 3, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    @dennis You can email me at amib@mac.com for Senn info.

  • 361. west-town-represent  |  March 3, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    @353 We are in the same boat with our son. A/B student. Smart kid but hates testing, which was reflected in his SE scores. Our neighborhood school is also Wells, so I absolutely feel your pain. It’s also been difficult for him that his older sister coasted into her first choice school: WY last year. He was hoping for offers from Lane and Lincoln Park HH, and both didn’t happen.

    Plan B, right? We have offers from Westinghouse, Senn IB, Ogden, Amundsen, Lake View, Alcott and CICS Northtown. We are turning down the Northtown spot; registration deadline for that is today. Alcott will also be a “no” and probably Odgen too. Both schools are small, which will appeal for some families, but I have concerns about the sustainability of both schools, and my son hated the Odgen open house (and I want him to be onboard with what ever school we pick).

    Right now we are leaning toward Senn, even though it’s probably the longest commute from our house. We know a couple of kids who are currently at Senn, and they and their parents are happy there. My son likes Senn, which helps. We are all going to the orientation event on Saturday to give it another look.

    Westinghouse has an pre-orientation meeting on Tuesday evening. My son and I are going to that. The issue with Westinghouse is the neighborhood. The commute isn’t a problem. I work on the westside and could drive him there in the morning, and pick him up on some days. But we never got a chance to really look at Westinghouse in the fall. We missed their open house. So this will be our one chance to really see the school.

    My son also likes Lake View, and I’m probably will be fine with it, but my husband is not. He used to belong to a community group that regularly used Lake View’s performance space, and he says didn’t like the kids he saw hanging around after school. Granted, this 5+ years ago, and I know the school has made a lot of strides in the last few years.

    So, as I said. Probably Senn. This is so stressful.

  • 362. mom2  |  March 3, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    @361 – you could call Lake View and ask for a shadow day. It would give you a chance to see the school and students in action and see how things have changed over the last 5+ years. Pretty sure it has changed a ton since then.
    I’ve also heard good things about Senn and their student body improving over the last few years. Senn is further away but also a great choice.

  • 363. LSmom  |  March 3, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    @355 Is the same true of WP? Do they also get a number of students from Taft, LTAC, and WYAC?

  • 364. Just curious  |  March 3, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I would be very interested to hear from other parents of WYAC kids who are planning on leaving. My son, who is in WYAC, and for whom it is a very good fit, has been very sad lately that a few of his friends are considering other schools.
    I would just want to learn the reasons why kids are leaving. For SWsidemom’s daughter I understand it is a daily commute, anybody else?

  • 365. Questions  |  March 3, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Hello. My child got accepted into wpcp, and I was wondering if some fellow parents could tell me about their thoughts and experiences? Thank you!!

  • 366. genxatmidlife  |  March 3, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    I’ve seen a few comments on here about Tier 4 vs. Tier 1. I know several kids who’ve received spots at SE schools who are in Tier 1 who come from the same “background” as my family in Tier 4, meaning they attend the same private schools, enrichment activities, etc., as my kids do. The only difference is real estate.

    Granted, having a Tier system probably helps some Tier 1 kids who have fewer opportunities than many Tier 4 kids, but this should not be an across-the-board assumption.

  • 367. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2016 at 10:48 am

    @361 – you win the “Cast a Wide Net” award for 2016! Let us know how it ends up…

  • 368. CPS tier system  |  March 4, 2016 at 11:14 am

    >The only difference is real estate.
    Even that is not always true. My favorite example is 437 W. Division. CPS calculator has it this year as tier 2. It is a large condo building, 1bdr/1bth go there for about 230K.

  • 369. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2016 at 11:41 am

    @368: I can’t image that advantage would last many years. Either the neighborhood continues to shift and suddenly Jenner becomes the hot new elementary school as condo-owning/expensive stroller-pushing parents embrace it. Or it doesn’t change and the neighborhood remains Tier 2. It’s a trade-off.

  • 370. Brynmawrmom  |  March 4, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Still no word from Chiarts! Anyone else actually receive acceptance? Very frustrated as we have to make a decision soon.

  • 371. CPS tier system  |  March 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    The building is about 10 years old, prices there always were at this level, right now 2bdr/2bth are in the 350-400K range, when we looked at it few years back it was a bit less, but not much. The idea was to move there, send kids for couple years to a private elementary and then have an almost guaranteed admission to Payton. We did not do it and the kids got into WY from our tier 4 address, but this option was considered and would have worked just fine.

  • 372. 8th Grade mom  |  March 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    We’ve settled on WY as our choice! Has anyone looked at the Freshman summer reading list? It’s quite lengthy. Is this a suggested reading list, or is it a required reading list? Also, any experience with Freshman connection? I’m figuring we’ll do it so my daughter can make friends, but I wish it was one week rather than 2. Summer goes by so fast.

  • 373. Incoming WY  |  March 4, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Just got an e-mail form LPIB:
    Full day Shadow days are March 7, 8, 9, 10
    Appointment is required
    Students who plan to visit the school must attend with a parent

    If somebody is considering this school but not sure yet, this is a great chance to see the school in action.

  • 374. cpsobsessed  |  March 4, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    FYI, from an IB program principal on the cutoff scores:

    “We each decide our own cutoffs. It can be based on who applied, but schools kind of know the “trend” of their previous years’ applicants and make decisions whether they want to be more inclusive or more selective.”

  • 375. parent  |  March 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    @371, The area around Skinner North / the British School / Target (near Division and Halsted) is all tier 2. There are no single family homes, it’s in the Jenner attendance boundary, and its the former Cabrini Green neighborhood (there are still some row houses south of Division). I doubt there are a lot of families in these 1 and 2 br condos living there just to get a leg up on their HS admissions. I mean, sure there are occasionally blocks that seem to be in the wrong tier, but this doesn’t seem too bizarre.

  • 377. stories to tell  |  March 4, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    @370, friends received chiarst acceptance via e-mail Monday, we received waiting list spot via e-mail Tuesday, usps letter Thursday, check spam and spouse’s & child’s e-mail/spam, also you can e-mail the admissions office & ask

  • 378. Lose The Tiers  |  March 4, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    The tier system is terrible. We are tier 4 and it has not been a problem for us yet but I am sure it will be.

    Our next door neighbor is a different situation…50 year old carpenter (single dad), never finished high school or made over 40k/year. His poor kids (A students, really good scores) have to essentially be perfect to get into top high schools. What a surprise, they did not get in to any of their top choices.

    I also know folks who are a double lawyer couple who live in Rogers Park (tier 2) and their average student son got into WP. Like the a-hole lawyers they are they are laughing about it. They will celebrate while on their Italian vacation this summer.

    Total BS system. It helps some while hurting others totally based on BS data.

  • 379. luveurope  |  March 4, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    378 Your comments have been made each year by various parents. Yes, the tier system stinks especially for tier 4.

  • 380. 8thGradeMom  |  March 4, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Can someone calculate how many students Jones, Walter Payton, or Young will be accepting through princpal dicretion? My daughter and I trying to decide which school would be best to apply to

  • 381. LSmom  |  March 4, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    If so many scholarships for programs take AGI into account, or colleges consider FAFSA, why can’t CPS use a similar measure? We also are a Tier 1 type income living in a Tier 4 neighborhood by accident. Thankfully, it didn’t cause trouble for my son, but it easily could have.

  • 382. LSmom  |  March 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    @ 380 I believe it is 5%, of what, I’m not sure, but that does mean the larger school will have more spaces.

  • 383. Logan Square Dad  |  March 4, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    @361..Come visit Westinghouse on 03/08/16. You’ll be impressed with what they have to offer. Public transportation drops students off on both sides (Homan/Kedzie) of school

  • 384. Incoming WY  |  March 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Today at the end of the shadow day at WY they had a short info session for parents. I asked about the reading list – it is just suggested reading, not a required one.

  • 385. Peter P  |  March 4, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    @317 My son is doing Alpha STEM for second year now. You really have to be into math/science/engineering to like it. Maintain As & Bs, otherwise you are out. And mandatory science fair participation first 2 years. My younger one is graduating LTAC, so he will be in Alpha STEM as well in 2016.

  • 386. old town dad  |  March 4, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    @365, can only speak for my freshman, but, the WPCP experience, while early, has been above our expectations. We were a bit worried about both cutthroat competitiveness (e.g. New Trier culture) and kind of a nerd factor (no offense intended to anyone)….it’s been the opposite. The curriculum speaks for itself but the supportive culture is underrated and the sports are really entering a new level. At the same time, the “jocks” go out of the way to celebrate the successes of the math team (or chess team or debate team or what have you) and vice versa. I’m sure I’m still in the naive stage, but it’s really different than what we expected.

    One more thing, today, every year, March 4th (3-4, Walter’s #), there is no school and every kid is out doing some sort of community service. Jarrett Payton, Walter’s son, led a pep rally to start the day.

  • 387. old town dad  |  March 5, 2016 at 12:03 am

    @378 couldn’t agree more
    @ 374, in the context of a huge thank you for all you’ve done here, no one cares about the long term unless they have many kids. Only thing that matters is if the “tiering” is “right” the year your own kid goes through it. Impossible to trust the system.

    All, how nervous are you about Karen Lewis’s oh-so-subtle WE’LL STRIKE APRIL 1 reaction to the notion of 3 furlough days?

  • 388. NsideDad23  |  March 5, 2016 at 12:23 am

    @361 See if you can have your son shadow at LV this Thursday. It looks like there are still some spots available. My son did the shadow and loved it and actually talked about how friendly kids were – even the non ambassador type kids.

  • 389. Incoming WY  |  March 5, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Could not care less about the strike until today, when I realized that WY scheduled incoming freshman programming for April 2, the day after beginning of strike. Placement tests and auditions are also scheduled for the same day. So if there is a strike, they will have to move this to another day and this might become a huge mess. Or not. Hopefully we will never find out.

  • 390. 8th Grade mom  |  March 5, 2016 at 10:09 am

    @384 Thanks! We’re looking forward to our shadow day next week!

    In advance of programming day…I’m trying to figure something out. My daughter has several years orchestra experience. But her first choice fine arts elective will be drama, and probably dance or guitar after that. I wonder if she should still audition for orchestra in case she doesn’t get her first few choices? or do students tend to get their first arts choice? I can ask at shadow day, but curious now since it’s a week away.

  • 391. Incoming WY  |  March 5, 2016 at 10:22 am

    So far I have experience only with the electives for AC kids – most of them got the first choice and all of them got their first or second choice. Since fine arts electives are the same for AC and HS, I don’t see why your daughter would not get her 1st or 2nd choice.

  • 392. 8th Grade mom  |  March 5, 2016 at 10:36 am

    @391 Thanks!

  • 393. yay  |  March 5, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Hi, thanks for this about WPCP. My son is so excited about getting accepted. I’ve been worried about the environment, but my sense is the program is designed to provide a ton of support – the end of day enrichments, the peer mentors, etc. Really happy he got accepted and looking forward to joining the Payton family. My son is on a block schedule right now, but more of the traditional block where every Wednesday is Seminar day. How does your child do with the rotating block? Seems confusing to have your classes be on different days all the time. Also, do teachers do a good job of posting homework ahead of time, so kids can plan their activities around homework assignments and projects?

  • 394. Payton carpool next year?  |  March 5, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Any Payton families on here from the Northwest side? We’re trying to figure out if there’s a carpool to be organized. We are in the Irving Park/Independence Park area.

  • 395. old town dad  |  March 5, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    393, no issues at all with the rotating days, he has a good handle on what’s on orange and what’s on blue days. Seems to know well what homework is expected, when everything is due, etc. Definite adjustment period for the first few months though, but the support system is pretty incredible. HAVE to be disciplined and organized, especially if you’re doing any extracurriculars. Nice article here:


  • 396. Chicago School GPS  |  March 5, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    From CPSOAE regarding # of spots for SEHS Principal’s Discretion:

    1. What is Principal Discretion?
    Principal Discretion allows the principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to fill up to 5% of the total seats through a process outside of the regular selection process.

    2. How many Principal Discretion seats does each school have?
    Below is the number of Principal Discretion seats at each Selective Enrollment school:
    Brooks: 12
    Northside: 14
    Hancock: 5
    Payton: 12
    Jones: 18
    South Shore: 3
    King: 9
    Westinghouse: 10
    Lane: 58
    Young: 22
    Lindblom: 16

    3. When can I apply?
    Applications will be accepted by the Office of Access and Enrollment between March 7th and March 18th.

    More FAQs at http://www.cpsoae.org/FAQs%20-%20Principal%20Discretion%202016-2017.pdf

  • 397. Ugh!  |  March 5, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    @353 and 361–It was good to read posts from parents stressing to find a place for their less-than-800 score children. It gives me hope. Thanks.

  • 398. klm  |  March 5, 2016 at 7:03 pm


    I’m a little hesitant to leave a comment, since my last one apparently lead a reader to respond angrily about how I upset him/her so much in discussing LPIB that she can’t bring herself to read this blog ever again….

    So, WARNING: Don’t read on if you’re sensitive and don’t want to hear what I have to say because maybe you’ll read something you may not like or (God forbid, apparently) disagree with.

    Anyway, concerning the luxury real estate being a “low Tier” and seeming unfair: Conversely, there’s the low-income public housing project on the corner of Orchard and North that’s Tier 4. It’s by definition, entirely low-income and virtually 100% black –as if those kids are “paying for test prep” the way people like to generalize when they imagine “Tier 4” being rich families living in luxury homes.

    I would be more in favor of the Tiers if they accurately represented the life circumstances of individual kids –but they too often don’t.

    Also, let’s not forget that the Tiers were never set up to simply reflect family income. They were expressly set up on to maximize the number of black and Latino kids using the only legal way permissible, per the U.S. Supreme Court after the old consent decree (limiting white enrollment at SE and magnet schools at 35%). Experts studied the census tract and other data and cherry picked inputs to use in maximizing black and Latino enrollment. There were public meeting where this was explained several years ago, some of you may recall. I went to one of the meetings where they explained it.

  • 399. Helping a Friend  |  March 5, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Can anyone offer insight on the Lincoln Park IB program versus the Taft IB program? Thanks!

  • 400. Tuff Gong  |  March 5, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    I know this site is primarily for SEHS info, but has anyone accepted private school offers? Latin? Parker? Lab? CAA? Catholic schools? Will families (or prosecectives) from any of these schools able to share information? Much appreciated

  • 401. HydePark  |  March 5, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    @131: Just to echo @246, there were several students in this year’s freshman class at Jones who took Algebra II in 8th grade, and tested in to Math 3B. My daughter will take Calculus (likely BC) in her junior year. FWIW, the math program at her middle school was very strong, and she’s liking IMP math @Jones.

  • 402. neighborhood parent  |  March 6, 2016 at 9:21 am

    old town dad – my answer….. I’m not nervous but if there is a strike on April 1st… I don’t see a resolution …. April 1 strike = early summer vacay.

  • 403. parent  |  March 6, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    @402, It sounds like CTU is backing off the April 1 strike date, especially since it would be illegal according to state law (as CPS lawyers have repeatedly pointed out).

    “Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said the union will stage a ‘Day of Action’ on April 1 but was vague on details. ‘It could be just a nice big rally downtown, it could be a whole lot of things,’ Lewis told reporters.

    Asked if the union was backing off the threat of an April 1 strike, which would be outside a timetable prescribed by state law, Lewis said: ‘I’m not not saying it, either. It’s still on the table, just like that 7 percent pension pay cut is still on the table.'”


  • 404. LPParent  |  March 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    @398 do not hesitate to post helpful, useful, objective information just because someone who had clearly already made up his mind didn’t want to hear a contrary view. I’m opposed to the tier system myself, but I doubt in the climate that we are in that CPS would do away with it. My T4 daughter missed Jones by 3 points (would’ve made it last year), got in to Lane but we are opting for LPIB, in part because we live literally across the street. I can say as a resident who sees LP HS kids every day (and have for the last 18 years that I’ve lived here) there has been a noticeable change. Less litter, fewer boys with pants hanging to mid-butt, less rudeness/swearing/bad behavior when the kids are out of school. While these are purely my own impressions, they are based on living in such close proximity to LPHS, and I have heard many positive views on LPHS from parents of kids attending there are really no negative views. Not saying there are no negative views, but parents need to make their choice taking into account not just academics, but environment and where your kid would be comfortable. My daughter is very urban and worldly, has gone to a magnet school with rich kids and homeless kids. As others have said, LPHS is very diverse and not for everyone, but it is right for some. When we went to the LP open house, she felt really comfortable and excited. Frankly, I was more disappointed about Jones than she was. There are many factors to take into account when making the HS decision and no one choice is right for every kid.

  • 405. walker  |  March 6, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Does anybody consider IMSA? or it’s too far and to early for kids to live along?

  • 406. Jen  |  March 6, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Yes, my family is looking at both IMSA and Exeter Academy. We do live only about 45 minutes from IMSA, so that helps. We’re happy with our high school, suburban, but our daughter is so far ahead academically that we at least want to leave those doors open. I don’t know if she’d go for it, she has a tight group of friends. If not, she’ll do well wherever she goes, and we’ll just keep as many opportunities available to her as possible.

  • 407. Seeking More Math Info  |  March 7, 2016 at 12:01 am

    @401 HydePark

    Great to hear your daughter is having a good math experience at Jones! Can I ask where she went to middle school?

  • 408. Anabel  |  March 7, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Are there any parents here whose kid has been accepted or will be going to Hancock? Do you have questions or comments about the school? My daughter who is a freshman at Hancock mentioned to me that this past Saturday the school had an event to welcome the new freshmen (2016) and she saw lots of diversity among the new students. By contrast, last year which was the first year for Hancock as a SE high school I was a bit disappointed by the lack of diversity. The majority of my daughter’s classmates are Hispanic (so is my daughter) and although is not a big issue I did expect more of a mix of race / ethnicity / religion.

    I’m very happy to see that for this upcoming year we will see more of a mix of people!

  • 409. stressedoutmama  |  March 7, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    @405 My son is very interested in IMSA. However, IMSA is for grades 10-12. Most kids apply for IMSA when they are in 9th grade. I know that 8th graders can also apply, but IMSA accepts only very few 8th graders. Those who are accepted skip 9th grade. About 15 percent of the students leave IMSA because they become homesick. For some kids, it’s too hard living on their own at that age. It really depends on your child. It is supposed to be a phenomenal school for math and science. The one negative that I’ve heard is that many kids end up with lower grade point averages than they would have had, had they gone to another high school. These lower GPAs hurt their college applications.

  • 410. stressedoutmama  |  March 7, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    @405 One other negative thing about IMSA is the student fees. Even though it is a public school, the student fees are high: about $6700 for grade 10, $5,000 for grade 11, and $5,000 for grade 12. See here:


  • 411. Incoming WY  |  March 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    on the other hand, you don’t need to feed a teenager, which can be rather expensive, especially with athletic boys :)) I would guess that’s about $200 per week.

  • 412. P. Joseph Powers  |  March 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Just a reminder: All students accepted to Jones (and their parents, of course!) are invited to our Freshman Welcome program tonight (last names A-L) or Thursday, March 10, (last names M-Z). Doors open at 5:00 pm and our program begins at 6:00 pm in the Robin Bennett Theater. See you then!

    Dr. Joe Powers

  • 413. Logan Square Parent  |  March 7, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Received acceptance letters from Lincoln Park-Double Honers/Westinghouse SE/Jones-Pre Law. Will turn down L.P. & Jones in favor of Westinghouse. Looking to do P.D. for W.Y..

  • 414. North Side Mom_5  |  March 7, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    @Logan Square Parent | If you mind me not asking, what was your final point score for SEHS??

  • 415. Jen  |  March 7, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    @409, And many kids who attend have trouble being a little fish in a big pond or being considered “just average” when compared to peers, after years of being the best of the best, wherever they matriculated from.
    The fees are charged on a sliding scale, so don’t let that keep anyone away.

  • 416. North Side Mom_5  |  March 7, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    @413 Logan Square Parent | If you mind me not asking, what was your final point score for SEHS??

  • 417. JenFG  |  March 9, 2016 at 10:26 am

    408. Anabel: Thanks for the info. Hancock is on our radar for my middle child who is in 7th grade. He is a great student but he misses points on standardized testing. We’re on the SW side, so he’d appreciate the short commute. I’m looking forward to open house this fall.

  • 418. ELT  |  March 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    @247 – sorry for slow response. Maybe I’m missing something, but according to their course catalogs, the progression of math courses is the same at JCP, WY and WP. All start with Algebra then Geometry, then some sort of Advanced Algebra/Trig then Pre-Calculus, then AP Calculus. (with othe options along the way, i.e. statistics, etc.) The only question is whether a student entering each school tests out of Algebra their Freshman year.

    Am I wrong?

  • 419. ELT  |  March 9, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    @305 Multivariate Calculus is indeed offered at JCP.

  • 420. CPS_Clueless  |  March 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    @276 Northside Mom and @284 lawmom – Thank you for the encouragement. We chose NCP.

  • 421. Incoming WY  |  March 9, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Look at the detailed description of the classes for JCP:
    “Honors Integrated Math 3B”. It is subtitled “Advanced Algebra with Trigonometry”, but in the class details they are talking about coordinate geometry. Why? Because it was not included in IM2, but is covered in any normal Geometry course.
    On the other hand, they have expected values in IM2 (Geometry!), which I think supposed to be in the statistics class.

    Don’t get me wrong, this Integrated Math approach might be the best thing ever, but I don’t see how it will work for somebody coming to all this in the middle of the program.

  • 422. Incoming WY  |  March 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I think any HS in Chicago, SE or not, supposed to recognize results of the Chicago Algebra Exit Exam. So starting with Geometry should not be a problem at any school.

  • 423. About math  |  March 9, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    It’s really not complicated. Jones and Northside use IMP. Plenty of freshmen start in IMP 2. Some even start with IMP 3.

  • 424. lawmom  |  March 9, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    You won’t be disappointed with Northside. Welcome!

  • 425. X Jones  |  March 9, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    @422 – “I think any HS in Chicago, SE or not, supposed to recognize results of the Chicago Algebra Exit Exam”

    That would not be correct. In order to place out of Math 1 (Algebra) students must perform at a certain level on the school placement test. A student could still be required to start at entry level even though they passed the city test.

  • 426. @ X Jones  |  March 9, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    What “school placement test?” Who took a school placement test? We were informed only to take the CPS algebra exit exam. Even with a “low pass,” my kid still started in Geometry at NCP. Do other schools offer a “school placement test?” That seems redundant.

  • 427. LSmom  |  March 9, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    @426 Some schools have them, some don’t. LTAC only wanted the Algebra exit exam, although Lane itself has math placement exams for the high school. WP requires all incoming students to take their placement test, regardless of current level, levels completed. or the exit exam.

  • 428. Mvp  |  March 9, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Ogden or Westinghouse??? HELP!!

  • 429. Gee-Gee  |  March 9, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    @428 Mvp
    Try to visit if you have time before the deadline to accept. If nothing else, drive past each school during dismissal to get some sort a feel. Troll the school websites, Facebook/ Instagram pages and even news articles..maybe this could help a bit.
    Good luck!

    P.S. I have no personal knowledge of Westinghouse, but have some experience with Ogden. It’s a really small school, dedicated teachers but it really depends on your family’s needs ( large or small school? Sports teams or IB? Location, school culture, etc).
    Again, best of luck to you and your student!

  • 430. Incoming WY  |  March 9, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    WY has placement tests for incoming freshman that want to get out of Algebra 1. One can take Algebra exit exam only in a handful of middle schools and not everybody knows how to take it if the child is not in one of those schools.

    I am not sure what happens if the kid passes the city test, but fails the school placement. This question was asked at the parent meeting during the shadow day, but was not really answered 🙂

  • 431. Newcomer  |  March 9, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    FYI, I called OAE and scheduled the Algebra Exit Exam. Anyone can do that. As for particular schools who require an additional placement exam, I was not aware. Thanks for the info.

  • 432. Incoming WY  |  March 10, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Who did you contact at CPS to schedule the exam?

    I e-mailed Faylesha Porter, as her information is listed here: http://cmsi.cps.edu/ViewNewsDetails.aspx?pid=3557&id=9212
    And she said that registration will open in the end of March.

  • 433. Mia L.  |  March 10, 2016 at 9:42 am

    @430…I would not totally rely on passing the CPS exit exam in order to elect a class for HS. I have seen too many children with barely passing scores not take Algebra 1 in high school and suffer through Algebra 2.

  • 434. LSmom  |  March 10, 2016 at 10:34 am

    @ 433 Alternately, if your child barely passes the exit exam, you can make sure they are prepared for whatever is next over the summer by buying an algebra book and answer key. Have them complete the end of chapter review or test for each chapter, and then the questions they get wrong tells you what they need to go back and strengthen, and you can concentrate your efforts that way.

  • 435. Newcomer  |  March 10, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I’m talking about last year. Yes, registration should be in the spring.

    Mia, my child barely passed the Algebra Exit Exam and is happily taking Math 2 / Geometry this year. Depends on the kid. Like I always say, no need to fast track and end up with calculus as a senior.

  • 436. Incoming WY  |  March 10, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Oh, got it. Thanks.

  • 437. Math is Math  |  March 10, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m wondering if there’s some misinformation floating around WY re: 7th grade algebra. I don’t know where your information that only a “handful” of middle schools offer it comes from but it is incorrect. It is a Citywide Test. Interestingly, at last year’s open house, the WY math teacher wasn’t aware that seventh graders outside the ACs actually took Algebra and sat for the test. It was rather embarrassing as several parents had to explain it to her. Like WY, and probably other schools, Jones has a separate test that it administers in the Spring to determine where to place incoming freshman. One can pass the city test but still be placed in Math 1 based on the school’s test results.

    I think the main difference, as someone pointed out earlier, is the chosen curriculum at Jones and NS is IMP as opposed to more traditional math curricula at other schools.

  • 438. Math is Math  |  March 10, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I haven’t seen data for the past couple of years, but back in 2013 over 200 middle schools offered the test. That’s almost 50% of CPS middle schools.

  • 439. Logan Square Parent  |  March 10, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    @428…Take the Westnghouse offer!

  • 440. parent  |  March 10, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    @ Math is Math, Incoming WY has been posting misleading information about math at Jones and Northside since the fall (I am almost certain it’s the poster who previously went by “HS newbie”). Her kid(s) went to a “Virtual” Charter school (some sort of homeschool type situation) and, although she seems to have learned a lot in the past 6 months, often makes incorrect generalizations based on what she sees on different school websites (course descriptions and so on). I don’t know why she doesn’t call the schools or talk to some actual parents whose kids attend Jones or NS to get more reliable information.

  • 441. Newcomer  |  March 10, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Remember, you don’t have to take the Algebra Exam at your school, you can register for it via OAE. You can also find a practice exam for it! You can, and should, ask yourself if it’s really necessary that your kid starts an accelerated track. Does he really want to end up in Calculus? Or would he be perfectly chipper just getting up through pre-cal? Finally, if he flubs the exam and is super bummed that he won’t be able to take calculus in high school, a lot of schools offer pre/cal over the summer.

  • 442. Mia L  |  March 10, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    @435 Math 2/Geometry is not Algebra 2. My concerns are with students who do not do well in Algebra 1 and and continue on an accelerated track to A2-PreCalc-Calc. I have seen MANY students struggle, where they should have just taken A1 at the high school level and then double up or take a summer school program to get ahead.

  • 443. gigi  |  March 10, 2016 at 11:22 pm


  • 444. tess  |  March 11, 2016 at 2:37 am

    for the parent who was turned off at Ogden by what looked like gang graffitti, according to the police it was faked, this came to my in box
    (I previously signed up for e-mail updates):

    Dear Ogden Community,

    We want to give you an update of the situation at the West campus, which continues to remain under control. As communicated earlier, there was a graffiti threat found in a bathroom. Chicago Police responded within minutes and through their assessment of the situation, quickly deemed the threat not credible. The threat is believed to be a fake copy-cat action, modeled after the previous incident that happened last week.

    We take safety and security very seriously at Ogden. As you might understand, students can make very bad choices, and it appears that this was one such example.

    The school is equipped with numerous surveillance cameras and these will be used in aiding in the investigation, as well as preventing future re-occurrences.

    We believe that it is imperative that we notify parents of any threats to our school, regardless of the credibility level.

    Moving forward, we are considering additional security measures to prevent further copy-cat threats. Please be aware that this might lead to potential inconveniences and we appreciate your support in ensuring that our school continues to be safe for all of our students and staff. We will provide further updates as they become available.


    Dr. Michael Beyer, Principal

  • 445. walker  |  March 12, 2016 at 10:30 am

    @Jen and @stressedoutmama Thanks for your input about IMSA!

  • 446. RJ  |  March 14, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Has anyone had experience with Principal Discretion at Jones? Just curious about actual success with going that route.

    Also do people really end up coming off of the wait list there for CTE? Do they admit so many people that they expect to fill every slot without going to the wait list?

  • 447. Jim Ramirez  |  March 14, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    My son got accepted in ChiArts and I still cannot believe it! Does anyone know which school Chi Arts replaced?

  • 448. Music expert  |  March 14, 2016 at 6:36 pm


    You mean the building? I believe it was Lafayette Elementary. The school has a small population, they fit just fine. Chi Arts is awesome, I’ve worked with some of the students there before. It’s the kind of place you really have to see to believe. Best of luck to your son

  • 449. Northwest side mom  |  March 15, 2016 at 11:35 am

    The CPS uses tier base selection for children entering kindergarten. Can somebody tell why they do this again when it is time for AC and high schools? At this point many of the children are already in the esteemed CPS getting top notch elementary education for about 7 years. Is it possible for CPS to eliminate tier system criteria for kids who have been in the CPS already. How does the suburban kids gets selected for high schools. I understand many kids from suburbs apply for city ACs and high schools which makes the pool even smaller for city kids.

  • 450. Chris  |  March 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    “Is it possible for CPS to eliminate tier system criteria for kids who have been in the CPS already.”

    That ain’t gonna happen.

    “I understand many kids from suburbs apply for city ACs and high schools”

    I’ll say it again: I think this is a scandal, and should cease forthwith.

  • 451. NicoleElaine  |  March 15, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    @400 Tuff Gong, my daughter got accepted to WY and Jones CTE but she chose a private HS. I support her, mainly because of my personal opinion of Karen Lewis and CTU. 9 years of CPS behind us; loved, trusted and respected every teacher she ever had. Politics ruined it for us.

  • 452. Northwest Side Paren  |  March 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    @ Chris

    I am not sure I understand your comment about suburban kids. What is a scandal?

    I know for sure that suburban kids apply to CPS and then move to city when they get in. Anybody can apply, the only criteria is that the kid should have a Chicago address at the of registration which is after the selection. How they calculate the tier of a suburban kid, I don’t know.

    So essentially kids who live in the city throughout the elementary education still compete with suburban kids for AC and then again high school seats. The tier system plays a role at elementary, middle and again high school level again.

    If CPS believe in its education standards then one would think that there should not be tier system for ACs and High school. After all the kids are in CPS ( whichever part of the city they are) and any competitive tests there on should be purely merit based. This tier system essentially is telling us that even after being in CPS for 7 years some kids still need push. Then one more push again in high school. Is there an end to this helping the lower tiers? With so many pushes will the kid still be cope up with such accelerated programs?

    If CPS thinks that the schools are for city kids ( because you have to have city address to go to these school) then city kids should be given priority.

  • 453. Northwest Side Paren  |  March 15, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    @ 451

    Does anybody know some of the private middle and high school choices?

    Between CTU, CPS budget crisis and tier system, it is better to know of options.

  • 454. lawmom  |  March 15, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    High Schools: St. Ignatius (high school only), Parker, Latin, Lab (at U of Chicago), Waldorf School, Near North Montessori (middle school – no high school). You can look into other Catholic or religious schools for middle school and high school. Chicago Academy for the Arts (high school). The top high schools are very expensive and very difficult to get into. It helps to know someone on the Board at those schools and/or outstanding child.

  • 455. College mom (formerly HS mom)  |  March 15, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    @452 Suburban High schools do not permit students to even apply unless you live in the suburb and have proof. Many feel that it should be the same for the city. And yes, there is a tier issue. And yes, based upon what I’ve seen, address fraud is an issue contributing to difficulties that city kids have getting into these schools.

  • 456. edgewatermom  |  March 15, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    @452 NorthwestsideParent Are you saying that you think that kids who spent 9 years at a school like Jenner (just randomly chose a school that is at level 2) where kids are testing in the 14th and 17th percentiles have had the same advantages as kids who go to Hawthorne where kids are testing in the 99th percentile?

    I know that the tiers are not a perfect system, but I believe that we have to do something to give kids a fair shot.

  • 457. Parent  |  March 15, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I am sorry, but you are comparing apples to oranges. A student do not have to test in to get into suburbian school, all they have to do is live inside the district. So once the child resides within the district, he/she can start attending the school immediately.

    What if a family is moving from a different state, not the suburbs of Chicago, should those children be given an opportunity to test while still enrolled and finishing the academic year in their current state of residence?

  • 458. Northwest side parent  |  March 15, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    I am posting this without doing my research on Jenner but I get a sense it is not a good school.

    First off, why Jenner?? That kid and the parents had the opportunity to test the kid into a gifted or a classical school in KG itself with tier advantage!!! They had the same chances to get in a magnet school. Secondly, if we have to do something about this system, we should try to make Jenner a better school so the elementary kids test better and are ready to take the tests for ACs and high schools.

    It feels like Tier 4 kids are at disadvantage now when it comes to ACs and high school. Nobody seem to care about these hardworking driven kids.

    I really have no issues when it comes to lottery because that does not tell a kid that they lost a competition because they live in a certain area and other kid who tested significantly lower but still got in.

    I am not very familiar with colleges but does this sort of trend continue there? Does this continue in real world?

    The tier system already played a part for elementary school and that is where it should end.

  • 459. Northwest side parent  |  March 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    There are schools in suburb that has accelerated programs for which a kid needs to test. There is no tier system in play there. You have to still live within the boundary to go to the school and then test to get into accelerated program.

    The tier systems are supposedly for CHICAGO kids and so if a kid has a genuine chicago address at the time of application like the rest of us city folks by all means it is fair and square.

  • 460. Parent  |  March 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    @Northwest side parent: yes, a kid would have to test into the gifted program, but there is not a limited number of spaces in that program, normally if the child meet the criteria, he/she will be offers a spot. That is shy they can test once their kids once the kid is already enrolled.

    If you don’t allow children with non-Chicago address to test, you will effectively say that new to Chicago families have to live in the city for at least half a year before their children are eligible to test into selective programs. The application is due in the mid of December, so a family who is planning to move should have an opportunity to test the child while the child finishes the academic year in the current school. According to existent rule, as long as the kid moves before the registration deadline (which is in July), the kid is eligible to attend the school for which he/she qualified.

  • 461. Incoming WY  |  March 15, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    @ Northwest side parent
    >I am not very familiar with colleges but does this sort of trend continue there?
    That was a joke, right? You never heard about affirmative action as it is applied to college admissions? Need based scholarships?
    Google them, you will find a lot of interesting reading :))

  • 462. Northewest Side Parent  |  March 15, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    @ Incoming WY

    I am not joking. Scholarship with reference to CPS tier based system is not relevant I think for our discussion. If a kid has credential but no money the yes school should waive the fee if they want. That is not harming my kid from getting in.

    Affirmative action – I just did google search and the first 10 links gave me an idea that even the minorities probably don’t think it is helping them. A group of students file a suit against it. I think there is definitely some problems with that as well.

    As for as CPS goes, we need to help lower tiers get into good schools and the opportunity is provided at the beginning for elementary schools. I just don’t agree to ignore higher tier kids systematically over and over again.

  • 463. Northewest Side Parent  |  March 15, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I am all for testing kids from all over the country but making the entire process purely merit based for ACs and High school.

    I don’t know for ACs and high school as I don’t have enough information but I know for sure that for elementary school a tier is decided for somebody applying outside of Chicago. Now, how CPS does that is unknown to me.

  • 464. karet  |  March 15, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I have said before on other threads that I think it would make more sense when applying to high school if your tier were determined by the quality of your elementary school. We already have level 1, 2 and 3 schools. Convert those to tiers. (I also think anyone applying outside the district or coming from a private school should be in the highest, or most competitive, tier).

    It doesn’t make sense to me that kids who attend exceptional schools like Edison or Skinner North should have any advantage when applying to HS. I do understand the tiers when applying to elementary school — your family at that point has been the most important influence on your education.

    FWIW, I live in tier 4 and my kids both go to schools that would be in the most competitive tier (so neither system would help us). Just seems more fair to me.

  • 465. College Mom  |  March 16, 2016 at 6:06 am

    @460 – “If you don’t allow children with non-Chicago address to test, you will effectively say that new to Chicago families have to live in the city for at least half a year before their children are eligible to test into selective programs”

    I said that people should not be able to apply for Chicago schools until they live in Chicago. Maybe that means that schools should accept applications earlier or later……but apply, not test. It’s not up to the system to work with personal deadlines that are all over the place. Someone transferring mid year should have the same consequences as anyone else who misses a deadline or declines to apply…..neighborhood school, program with an opening or private.

  • 466. Northwest side parent  |  March 16, 2016 at 8:31 am

    If a kid is already in a good CPS then why should again tier be a criteria when applying to ACs and high school. How many times will this advantage be given lower tiers?

    It feels that this tier system is helping lower tier kids at the cost of a higher tier kids. Tier 4 kids are expected to get 890 as opposed to 769 for tier 1 for payton. The difference is just appalling and increasing each year. Does CPS not see how this system is adversely affecting the tier 4 kids?

    Lower tier matters, but does that mean that higher tier kids don’t count at all?

  • 467. Moving to Chicago  |  March 16, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Kids coming from outside of Chicago have their Tier determined by the census tract in which they live at the time of application. My family moved to Chicago AFTER my child was tested for SEES. I’d like to think that our move to Chicago added value to the city, but I suppose if you knew us, you might find that a bit far fetched.

    Of course, if you really want to hate me, you should ask what I think about the Tier system….

  • 468. genxatmidlife  |  March 16, 2016 at 11:40 am

    The primary issue with the tier system is that many feel the schools that use it are the only schools worth sending their kids to. The issue with Tier 4 is competition — too many nearly equally qualified kids going for an extremely small number of spots.

    The tier issue could be relieved to a great extent with stronger neighborhood high schools. For example, if someone living in Rogers Park felt they had a really strong neighborhood high school (or strong enough), they’d be less driven to go for a school that is by most people’s standards very far away (let’s say WY or Jones).

    Speaking as a Tier 4 parent whose child did not get into a SEES with a 98th percentile score, I have felt the frustration. This sense of unfairness then begins to have an impact on questions such as how to handle families moving into the system, etc.

    It’s a question of supply and demand. Our demand for strong schools that offer academics that will meet the needs of a straight-A student scoring in the 92nd percentile on tests or the A/B student scoring in the 80th percentile on tests (these are just examples of the many scenarios that exist) FAR outweighs what we perceive to be the supply. The desire for those spots is pretty fierce — think about what we do to try to get one (test prep, test prep, test prep, etc., etc.). If the stakes didn’t feel so high, we’d be less frustrated that a kid in Tier 1 got in with a 792 when ours didn’t with an 823.

    If stronger neighborhood schools extended into Tier 1, a parent might feel less inclined to commute their kid more than an hour on public transportation to attend high school. Think about that. Assuming this Tier 1 kid’s family meets the criteria the system hopes it does, that would be one less thing for them to manage in their lives.

    In short, our tier system is far less messed up than the issue of quality of neighborhood schools (whether it is perception or not).

  • 469. Music expert  |  March 16, 2016 at 11:50 am

    @466 The system isn’t perfect, but what is more unfair- a tier four kid not getting into a highly selective school, or the fact that this likely is the only chance a tier one kid will ever have to get a decent schooling? Go into virtually any school in a tier one neighborhood, ask them basic math. Ask them to read a simple passage. Ask them to point out the US on a map. The results would likely be appalling. These kids deserve a chance to get a good education, and if it comes at the expense of tier four kids, so be it. And it’s absolutely most important at the high school level, the high schools in tier one areas can be some of the worst in the state.

    Ditto on neighborhood schools- they just need to get better, for every kid in the city.

  • 470. Northwest side parent  |  March 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Yes, the system is not perfect and so we give the kid who is in tier 1 elementary school not able to read simple passage or not able to point out the US on a map, give a seat in one of the ACs where the curriculum is challenging even for a kid who test into 99%?

    That should fix it?

  • 471. genxatmidlife  |  March 16, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    @470 The Tier 1 kids who get the spots are pretty strong. Getting a 769 on one of those exams (actually that number reflects two exams and grades) indicates a fairly strong academic performance, though it may not be as strong as an 810. Still, none of those Tier 1 spots are going to kids who can’t handle the basics of math, reading, etc. IDK if you have gone through the test prep with a kid, but I can assure you that the math and reading comprehension that is in the test prep booklet is pretty challenging.

  • 472. Lose The Tiers  |  March 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    The biggest problem with the tier system is that it is based on total BS data, not reality of individuals situations…see my post @378 for an example.

    We are in tier 4, my brothers is in tier 2 (albany park), he makes more more money, travels more, can afford the test prep, etc.

    To me the short term solution is better neighborhood high schools, especially in tier 4 for the kids who get screwed, and MORE SE schools to give kids from crappy neighborhoods a way out.

  • 473. southsider  |  March 16, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    When such a huge city has only a few desirable schools, it is impossible to design a perfect system of selection.

  • 474. mom2  |  March 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    “To me the short term solution is better neighborhood high schools, especially in tier 4 for the kids who get screwed, and MORE SE schools to give kids from crappy neighborhoods a way out.”

    I know I sound like a broken record but the way to get the better neighborhood schools for those tier 4 kids is for the kids that just missed out on the SEHS’s to go to those neighborhood schools. Instead of parents moving to the suburbs or paying for private schools, just send the kids to those neighborhood schools. If you have 200-400 A-/B+ kids suddenly attending those schools, what will happen to their average ACT score? It will skyrocket.

  • 475. southsider  |  March 16, 2016 at 2:01 pm


    Call me selfish, but I would not jepordise my child’s future to fix the system.

  • 476. concernedparent  |  March 16, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    anyone have experience with Lycee Francais?

  • 477. mom2  |  March 16, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Question for southsider – Do you really think it would jeopardize your child’s future if your child went to their neighborhood high school along with all their friends and their friends? Wouldn’t the school staff have to add more honors classes and structure courses and opportunities to fit their new type of student? Is the school building the issue or the kids that currently go there? Do you not trust the administration and the teachers? Is it a safety issue due to the neighborhood or the students? Just trying to understand it.

  • 478. genxatmidlife  |  March 16, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    It’s chicken-and-egg. If higher-performing students are redirected away from their neighborhood school for SEES/private/suburbs, then there will be fewer to bring the test scores up. But it is a hard thing to do to be one of the first to take a chance on a school that previously wouldn’t have been in the consideration set.

  • 479. southsider  |  March 16, 2016 at 3:43 pm


    I believe big change takes time. If what you are suggesting would magically happen, the system could change, but it would take a few years. Our children only have one chance to be in high school…. Selfish, I know.

  • 480. westrogersparkmom  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    @464 and others that think tiers should be abolished after entry year

    Do you realize the amount of extra resources you give your child without batting an eye that many true socio-economic disadvantaged familes cannot? Even if the children attend school together a Tier 1 child is likely not too have the opportunities of after school enrichment, classes at places like Northwestern Center for Talent Development, tutoring, etc. A tier one child is less likely to attend after school activities because they are relegated to 1 1/2 hour bus rides every day to and from their high performing school since the parents don’t have the ability for drop off or pick up. A Tier 1 child likely can’t stay after school for tutoring, do homework on-line, etc. While $400 dollars for you for a Selective Prep is insurance to increase your child’s self confidence, the Tier 1 classmate sitting next to your kid will likely not get that opportunity. A tier one kid is less likely to have parent ‘help’ with group projects, less likely to have real world experiences like summer camp or travelling experiences etc.

    So, I completely disagree with your position that Tiers should only be used for entry level elementary years. And yes I realize that the Tier system is a representative sample and there are exceptions both ways around (Well-off familiies living in low Tiers/ struggling families in Tier 4) but on balance it is there to level the playing field for bright kids, who need the extra boost when they get so few advantages in life.

    The stats are somewhere here on this blog— a Tier 4 chld has a higher chance statistically of being admitted to a SEHS than other kids. Many of these children come from private school and have the advantages of the private school education; the MAP test prep; the admission test prep: etc. My kid didn’t do test prep for MAP or the admission test but this year it seems like everyone who can afford it is taking test prep. Kudos to the Tier 3, Tier 2, or Tier 1 kid who gets in with that additional assistance. Don’t begrudge them– embrace them.

  • 481. Northwest side parent  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    @472 you are correct, I think this tier business has lived way past its glory. For a magnet school where there is no test involved, keep the tier but when it comes to a test, let it be merit based only.

    @ 471 if the kids are ‘pretty’ strong then why not go for a complete merit base test.


    Yes, I guess it is ok to be selfish and work the system to your advantage while the system and many more on this blog selflessly still think that it is ok to snatch the seat from a deserving tier 4 kid and hand it to tier 1 kid to bring the change.

    I think the the time has come for tier 4 parents to unite and become a little ‘selfish’ for their kids. After all, it should not entirely be on Tier 4 kids save tier 1 kids.

  • 482. southsider  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:35 pm


    I hear some resantment from you. I am a selfish Tier 4 parent, who would not send a kid to a neighborhood school. If neighborhood school was the only option, I would probably homeschool or as a last resort move to the suburbs.

  • 483. southsider  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Sorry the above comment was meant for @481

  • 484. Northwest side parent  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:37 pm


    From what you describe and what I did not want to bring – this whole issue not about education anymore. This is about family support system. I don’t agree about financial part because I don’t think many tier 4 parents can afford CTD, selective prep etc. I am definitely not talking about private schools kids. I am only talking about city kids, in city school testing for city ACs and high schools.

    When did education became everything BUT education. Let education be education only and the other issue should be dealt separately. Schools are not for education anymore, it has become a place for ensuring safety, fighting hunger and providing family support.

    Tier 4 kids are at disadvantage now because their family takes the time to do homework and projects together? They are at disadvantage because they go on vacation with their family?

    I don’t have any first hand knowledge of how bad it is for tier 1 kids. It should not be like this. I know for sure this is not good for tier 4 kids as well to go through such an unfair system for no fault of their own.

  • 485. Chris  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    @NW SIde Parent:

    “If CPS thinks that the schools are for city kids… then city kids should be given priority.”

    regarding what I consider the scandal–

    I think it is scandalous that non-city resident kids get to apply, AND can get a tier spot, AND only have to show any intent to move after they are admitted. It’s a load of crap.

    NYC schools require one to be a resident to *take the test*. While there are certainly games played there, too, that’s how it should work–city schools for city kids.

  • 486. edgewatermom  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    @480 Very well said and I completely agree. Honestly, I get very frustrated with other tier 4 parents complaining about tier 1 kids “taking away” seats from their tier 4 kids.

    There are many problems with CPS, but having SEHS schools filled with Tier 4 kids is not going to solve any of them.

  • 487. Chris  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    westrogersparkmom & edgewatermom:

    Agree with both of you.

  • 488. mom2  |  March 16, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Not selfish. Makes total sense to care about your children and only want the best. I’m just trying to figure out what is wrong with the neighborhood schools and I didn’t really get an answer from you. The building? The teachers? The administration? The neighborhood? The kids? If it is the kids, wouldn’t massively changing who goes there make this work? Why would it take years? Is there a fear of the older kids that still go there? I guess there would be that issue if the kids are really bad or dangerous. If they are just less “smart”, that wouldn’t really be an issue, would it? I want what is best for my kids, too. But I also think we could all fix this issue for ourselves if it was a massive group effort. I’m beginning to think I’m totally alone in this, though.

  • 489. LSmom  |  March 16, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    @484 When my son was at LTAC, I met a dad of a girl from the far south side. He said he had never heard anything about options for schooling, but that his daughter’s SWIM COACH of all people told him that his daughter should take the SEES test for Academic Centers, and that she got into LTAC. He came faithfully to all the parent meetings–he was a retired firefighter. He was the only dad at any of the meetings, and he was the most interesting person I met of all the parents there-intelligent, humble, thankful, and with a world of experience I can’t even begin to imagine. The *rest* of the parents there seemed like high-stress “my kid this, my kid that” hyper-involved parents, with one other notable individual I met. Where were all the other Tier 1 parents? Probably working and unable to be there.

    The travesty is that people like this DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT THE TEST or their options. Nevermind whether the test is fair or not. We spend all this time obsessing about what to do–myself included, and talking ourselves in circles.

    CPS is broken. The test should be given, and based on student scores, MINIMUM standards of education and access should be given. As in, if a student has a certain qualification, he or she should have access to courses commensurate with that score. Instead of offering all qualified students educational opportunities to match their abilities, they provide a few high-quality opportunities for citizens to squabble over. I went to a small town, unaccredited (by the state) high school in an economically depressed area–I was told at the time that we were the 3rd from the bottom in our state–and they still tested kids and started middle school kids in Algebra. There were only 8 of us in a class of 120, but we got advanced math and science courses. The school offered no AP courses, but the teachers would hold afterschool sessions to prepare kids for the tests if the students wanted to. Even if the school didn’t have resources, it at least did as right by them as it could.

    As regards to going to the neighborhood school, I told my son who is homeschooled, why don’t you just take (a specific course) at the school (Amundsen). He said, “No way, the kids there are horrible to be around.” Troublemakers, foul language, etc. He used to go there for various activities. I’ve been in the girls’ restroom there. The signs there are about what to do if you are pregnant, or resources/services for parenting while in school, and about female body image. Maybe those have changed, but if those are the felt needs of the student population…

  • 490. rjoubert  |  March 16, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    As someone who spent the last 10 years in one of the top private schools I can say that we avoided the neighborhood shook for a number of reasons. We spent one year in public school.We can start with the facilities, which tend to not be the most up to date. The teachers were not progressive as they felt completely compelled to teach to the middle offer very little individualized teaching. The class sizes added to this issue. I hate teaching based on testing but we also don’t want to continue to spend sooooo much $$$$$$ when we pay taxes in what has recently been deemed a Tier 4 neighborhood.
    This has a lot to do with the horrible segregation that has a long history in Chicago offering very little ethnic or socio-economic diversity within each neighborhood.

  • 491. Northwest side parent  |  March 16, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    @482 I truly apologize. In my passion to advocate for tier 4 kids I misunderstood.

  • 492. tier reality  |  March 16, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    @469 and @480 – The notion that the Tier 1 kids who get spots are kids who have no other decent chance at a good education or are disadvantaged is fiction. I love that romantic idea, but it is not reality. The tiers are set up on wide-sweeping census tracts. By design, Tier 1 includes many folks that do not socioeconomically fit the Tier 1 criteria (as does every Tier). Yes, there are children living in Tier 1 who don’t have a chance of a decent education elsewhere, but those kids are not the ones getting SEHS spots. Think about it. The Tier 1 kids who get spots are the most advantaged of Tier 1 – the kids that are socioeconomically no different than their Tier 3 or 4 counterparts. Their performance stands above the rest of Tier 1 merely because income is #1 indicator of academic success – and they have relative affluence in an otherwise low-income tier.

    I would love to see exactly what that socio-economic picture of the admitted Tier 1 students looks like and be proven wrong, but CPS does not track it. The only thing they track is race . . . which is a good reminder of why tiers exist and what it is designed to accomplish. It is not to give a lower socio-economic kid a better chance. . . .it is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who are admitted without actually considering their race.

    If you support the tier system – do so because you agree that increasing the number of admitted underrepresented minorities is a valid goal and you believe that this system accomplishes that in the best way. . .or because you think we should encourage and reward families for gentrifying disadvantaged neighborhoods. If you support the tier system because you think it is giving poor disadvantaged kids a better chance – you are misguided because it isn’t designed to do that, and isn’t actually doing that.

  • 493. Northwest side parent  |  March 16, 2016 at 5:26 pm


    Yes, you are entitled to your generous thoughts while some of the tier 4 parents do feel that the system is not fair towards their kids.
    There are problems with CPS and I don’t think denying tier 4 kids a rightful spot is going to solve it either. Address fraud and other sorts of fraud will come into play if a fair competition is not held.

  • 494. Chris  |  March 16, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    “The tiers are set up on wide-sweeping census tracts”

    Wide sweeping? most of them are 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile or smaller.

    “Address fraud and other sorts of fraud will come into play”

    Um, they are fairly common already.

  • 495. southsider  |  March 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    mom2, I love your enthusiasm! What you are describing is a revolution that requeres for the whole community to take action. I believe that is exactly what happened in Nettelhorst.

    I said earlier that I am just too selfish to send my kid to the neighborhood school because I think he wouldn’t be challenged there. I think that the school system in the US is broken, especially when it comes to math and science curriculum.

    I am not addressing your specific questions because I don’t know the answers.

  • 496. College Mom  |  March 16, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    @472 – “To me the short term solution is better neighborhood high schools, especially in tier 4 for the kids who get screwed, and MORE SE schools to give kids from crappy neighborhoods a way out.”

    Don’t we have this already?

    If you check out the cut off scores at the top of this blog, I count 2 schools accepting students at the lowest cut off of 600. Another taking kids in the 600’s – an indication to me that there are enough SE schools to service qualifying students in lower tier neighborhoods.

    The next question invariably becomes why do tier 4 families complain about not enough space in SE when they can easily get into one of these schools. The answer, usually, is not just about distance or lack of diversity but that there are reasonable and desirable options for their child much closer to home.

    The “complaint” really is “why can’t my child get into the top ranked 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5” or whatever your threshold. Simple answer – there is not enough space for everyone that wants to get in. Thankfully, there are enough options. Speaking as a parent who would not consider our neighborhood school, we found plenty of options including other neighborhood schools.

    This all starts again with college. People who jump through all the hoops and don’t get into an Ivy….etc. Not getting your number 1 pick and feeling rejected and, if you’re honest, a bit resentful of those that do.

  • 497. College Mom  |  March 16, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    @492 – Very well put. As an example, I work with a south side tier 1 mom who is a middle income graduate of Whitney Young. Her 7th grade son attends a magnet. No test prep, but he tests well. Wants WY or Jones but also looking at Chi Arts, Urban Prep, Westinghouse, Lindblom or one of the catholic high schools……he will not be attending his failing neighborhood school.

  • 498. Newcomer  |  March 16, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Instead of arguing about how Tier 4 kids are getting screwed, why aren’t we arguing about why ALL CPS elementary schools are not doing a good enough job educating our kids? If all the elementary schools were adequate, then all of our 8th graders would be on the same playing field and we wouldn’t need the Tier scoring. This is unacceptable, nobody can dispute that.

  • 499. klm  |  March 17, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Re: Tiers and fraud

    If somebody thinks Tiers are “unjust” and that it’s OK to ignore an “unjust” system set up to make it much more difficult for their kids to get into a “good” school (especially if they are not ‘money’ people and have fewer options, therefore more resentments, etc.), then it’s so easy to game the system.

    One parent could rent a studio apt. in a “Tier 1 or 2” ‘hood, be sure to have their name on lease, utilities, etc. It’s none of CPS’s business where a couple that’s separated or never married/together chooses to arrange their lives, as lone as they have 50/50 custody and can say the kid spends 50% of the time with each. It’s kinda’ full-proof.

    I’d never, ever do it, since it IS totally unethical and wrong, I believe –but it would be so easy to do, that I’m sure it happens. I just wonder how often.

    CPS does not have the resources or legal authority to get so involved in private family stuff to root out this kind of stuff, so …….

  • 500. LV365247  |  March 17, 2016 at 9:06 am

    @495. southsider – i know a lot about the nettelhorst turnaround, and now that we’ve moved on to the SEHS world, i understand that somewhat, too. nettelhorst is, i think, an example of what the tiered system is trying to achieve (not a perfect example, but close). ten years ago, the student population at nettelhorst was clustered towards the left end of the socioeconomic spectrum, and over the past decade has spread across it such that you now see represented a pretty broad mix of incomes and “support levels” in the home (yes, the are more right of the spectrum kids each year it seems, but…). when you look at test scores over those ten years, the free and reduced population’s scores track up and to the right along with those kids that are not free and reduced. This suggests that there is some value to a mixed cohort when it comes to academic performance, though i’m admittedly no statistician. but i do imagine that this plays out at other “walk in” schools that have seen a similar evolution of the student body – low income (or “tier 1” in SEHS speak) kids would be likely to see improvements when they are in an economically blended classroom. beyond test scores – and only my opinion – its been my experience that students going to a walk in, mixed income school play out their formative years in a more real-world mirror of society than they would at a purely low income or purely high income school, and the higher tide raises all ships in the school. at payton, for instance, the free and reduced population is 31%, compared with new trier’s 2% or so. 31% is about what nettelhorst was when we started there, so it would be interesting to see tracked performance for tier 1 at the end of their four years a WPCP, and see if they experience similar score improvements that could be tied to a mixed-income cohort.

  • 501. Chris  |  March 17, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    “CPS does not have the resources or legal authority to get so involved in private family stuff to root out this kind of stuff”

    Which is why we have census tract based info, instead of individual applicant info for the Tiers.

  • 502. Why Not?  |  March 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    499, 501
    Not sure about the resources, but CPS does have legal authority to ask for family income – if it can ask for it on the free and reduced lunch form, then why not on the application? In most other situations it works like this – either you want to have some advantage and submit paperwork to prove your income, or you don’t want to submit anything about your income and you automatically go to the top earning category. In terms of tiers it can be something like this:
    tier 1 – show proof of some government assistance to the family (housing, food, medical – anything)
    tiers 2 and 3 – W2 or 1040 if you want to be in these tiers
    tier 4 – don’t need to show anything.

  • 503. Chris  |  March 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    “Not sure about the resources”

    Really? You’re “not sure” about CPS’s lack of resources to review 25,000 files?

    And, the Tiers won’t *ever* be solely income-based. So then you bake in the other 5 criteria.

  • 504. Why Not?  |  March 17, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    It was more like “not sure how much additional resources needed to do this” rather than “not sure if CPS has them”. Right now CPS does not really review proof of residence papers for admitted students – it is done at the school level. So there will be one more piece of paper to look at on the registration day. Is it such a big deal?

    Quality of neighbourhood elementary school can be taken into account as well – the same 1 to 5 scoring that already exists. No additional resources needed for that as computer can calculate that based on the stated address. And address is verified by the school the same way as it is done now.

    Note that I am talking about neighbourhood elementary school, not the actual school that the child attends. Because if a tier 2 family saves every penny and sends the only child to a parochial elementary school for 8 years, it should not be penalized for that. Or if a tier 1 family living on government assistance decides that they don’t want to send their kids to a not so safe neighbourhood school and homeschools them instead.

  • 505. Local Parent  |  March 18, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Add “Tiers System” to the ever-growing list of why families think CPS sucks.

    1. Striking teachers that shred the academic calendar,
    2. Unclean/unsafe schools
    3. Overcrowded classrooms
    4. Upper- and middle-class neighborhoods having shitty facilities while underprivileged areas have new buildings (Compare South Shore or Simeon to Lincoln Park, Lake View and Morgan Park)
    5. The CONSTANT demand for more More MORE taxpayer dollars at the same time that positions are being cut.

    Screw it. I’m PRAYING that vouchers becomes a reality because CPS is such a money pit and CTU couldn’t care less about doing their jobs of educating kids.

  • 506. Chris  |  March 18, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    “It was more like “not sure how much additional resources needed to do this” ”

    It would require more. There is a over half billion deficit of resources.

    *ANY* more is more than CPS has.

    “So there will be one more piece of paper to look at on the registration day.”

    On *registration* day??? So, everyone applies, but there is no check until after they are admitted. Wanna talk about opportunity for fraud!

  • 507. Chris  |  March 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    “Upper- and middle-class neighborhoods having shitty facilities while underprivileged areas have new buildings (Compare South Shore or Simeon to Lincoln Park, Lake View and Morgan Park)”

    South Shore is a SEHS and should be compared to Jones and Payton.

    Simeon is one newer (2003) neighborhood school on the south side. Which others are there? Most of the newer buildings are SEHS or charter. Back of the Yards, yes, what else??

  • 508. mom2  |  March 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    @505 – add the middle school stress and the ridiculous amount of homework given to middle school students in order to try to get them into SEHS. They are sucking all the fun out of learning. For us, it has been a total disaster this year. I’ve been a real supporter of sticking with CPS and forcing change from within, but we are starting to talk about the suburbs, too. I never thought I’d consider it, but I know my kid has friends from the burbs that can’t understand why we have to decline hanging out because we have too much homework to do. They say, “Really? Homework? Why?”

  • 509. Why Not?  |  March 18, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    @506 Chris,
    The only additional resource involved that I can see is time spent on updating application form and the system that this information goes into. No matter how big deficit CPS has, I don’t believe that they can’t spare couple days of programmer’s time for this.

    Right now nobody looks at residence papers until registration, so there would be no more fraud than now. Either one can produce papers by early April or they just loose the spot and it goes to the next kid in line.

  • 510. Chris  |  March 18, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    @Why Not?

    Look, it ain’t gonna happen. So the why not is “because it won’t”.

    And, anyway, how are you determining who is T2 v T3 in your system? If you use pre-set cutoffs, then they will be “wrong” and lead to really imbalanced student counts in each tier.

    Also, if “any” public assistance counts for Tier 1, then 80%+ of CPS is Tier 1. Would you like it if 80% of the non-rank seats were given to Tier 1?? Is that an improvement?

    Oh, you’ll say:: “they’ll look at the applications and sort them and break it down so it’s ‘fair'”–and you’ve just made it so that there are actual resources (ie employees) being used.

  • 511. cpsparent-teacher  |  March 18, 2016 at 6:21 pm


    I’m a CPS teacher with CPS kids.

    Your comments are kinda’ funny, not because I don’t take what you say seriously (there’s truth to what you say), but because my friends and other people I know/have talked with in social situations, etc., with kids in what are considered “high-powered, Ivy-pipeline, competitive public school environments” suburbs (e.g., Winnetka, Hinsdale,….and in other states places like Grosse Pointe, Okemos, Falls Church, Carmel…) will often act almost smug in their concern about all the school work their kids have to do, but act like it’s kinda’ par for the course/inevitable/natural, given all the demands that go along with the high-achievement environment of the “excellent” public schools for which they paid extra, relative to the areas with “lesser” public school. It’s sometimes like they’re complaining but also want to let people know how high-powered their kids school are, in some cases (but, by no means all, of course –most people are down-to-Earth, everywhere).

    I’m not exaggerating, some really are that annoyingly snide about the “inner-city” environment they suppose I work in or where my kids go to school (and nothing could be less true, without going into detail). Some are almost pitying, given all the national news stories about CPS being broke and kids being beat to death after school (people are thinking/imagining Detroit meets outer-borough NYC circa 1975, at least in terms of the public school environment).

    I’m not sure which suburbs you are referring to, but from what I understand, there’s lots of homework everywhere these days. I’m not sure that your kids would have lots more free time if you moved to Evanston, Ladue, Dunlap or wherever, at least in terms of school work. I don’t doubt your kids may be getting too much work, but I have experience with some of the best CPS schools (among the best in the state, even, test-score wise) and I’ve found the homework comparable to the excellent private “name” school where I once worked and to the excellent suburban public schools where I used to live and work.

  • 512. One and Only  |  March 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    When discussing tiers, let’s not forget that a certain percentage of all selective enrollment spots go to top scoring students, regardless of tier. I would be curious to know the tier make-up of those spots. My guess would be that those spots go primarily to tier 4 kids, resulting in tier 4 kids taking up a majority of the selective enrollment spots. The complaining about how unfair the tier system is to tier 4 kids has an air of entitlement to it. The tier system is an attempt to have the selective enrollment schools more accurately reflect the city population at large. I don’t know if it succeeds, but it seems unfair not to try – more unfair that the perceived unfairness of the tier system to the more advantaged kids in tier 4.

    As for the notion that neighborhood schools should be improved – that is such a nice simple idea. Unfortunately, it ignores so many complex problems. People seem to think that teachers or individual schools are to blame for poor performance, and this simplistic under standing is not helping anything. A child’s home life – access to regular meals, getting enough sleep, regular attendance to school, family’s socioeconomic and educational levels – all have a huge impact on a student’s (and therefore school’s) performance. All of these factors are outside of a school’s control, meaning that there is no easy fix for underperforming schools. It is a complex problem that will not be solved easily.

  • 513. Jen  |  March 18, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    @508, you don’t change CPS. It changes you. Period.

  • 514. LSmom  |  March 18, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    @512 It would be interesting to know those statistics. I hadn’t thought of it like that before. We are Tier 4 (with a Tier 1 income), but my son scored in the rank percentage for WP.

  • 515. Jen  |  March 18, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    @511, some suburbs do go way overboard with homework, absolutely. My kids’ suburban school does not. One kid never has homework and the other has about 15-30 minutes a night. Lots of time to ride bikes around the neighborhood, play sports and be in clubs. I think it helps that we don’t live in a brand name education suburb that has an Ivy bound or bust mentality. Schools vary wildly in their policies and practices no matter where you go.

  • 516. zhuzhou02  |  March 19, 2016 at 12:18 am

    My daughter attends a non-selective northwest side neighborhood elementary school, typically ranked in the top twenty CPS elementary schools. She had 30 – 60 minutes of homework in the middle grades (4 – 6) and far less now. She is in the 8th grade and we have no conflict over homework because she has almost NONE. Projects and writing assignments of more than a page are rare. It is a topic of concern among parents, and very strange.

  • 517. Momof3fish  |  March 19, 2016 at 7:58 am

    I didn’t have time to read all the posts but if you look at the acceptances, tier 4 has most of the acceptances based on tier and rank. To say that a tier 4 student is always passed up is ridiculous. Yes the tier 1 has a slight advantage but those kids worked their butts of and are probably just as driven,. The tier map has so few locations for tier one. And quite honestly most of the people who are complaining are people who’s kid did not get into his/her first choice. I’m sure there is address fruad going on but did you see where most of the tier 1 addresses are? Many of the students who live there often do not apply to se schools.

    I sort of look at it like sports and Olympics. For example, the swimmer who has been the top 2 for years and on the day of trials missed the spot by .01 sec by a newcomer. Should he go? Of course not. That’s just how it is.

    My sec child did not make it into LT. We were bummed but immediately went into disaster recovery mode, Applied for principal discretion, and planned for the an undesirable outcome. Luckily it worked in his favor but if it didn’t we would have figured it out.

  • 518. Logan Square Parent  |  March 19, 2016 at 9:55 am


  • 519. Local Parent  |  March 19, 2016 at 10:30 am

    We are Tier 4 and even if our kids got into Jones or Payton, we’d have to think long and hard before enrolling in a CPS school. CPS and CTU are so f*cked up with their dysfunctional relationships with each other, and the kids are caught in the middle. I don’t want to have my kids to be in this bull$hit so it will likely be private or suburbs for my family.

  • 520. really?  |  March 19, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    @Local parent,

    Good for you, but what are you doing here? Why bother reading through hundreds of messages about something that you are not planning to ever use?

  • 521. genxatmidlife  |  March 19, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    @512 I see your point about fixing neighborhood schools. Performance measures are really measures of the students and not necessarily representative of the teachers/administration/programs. Assuming this is the case the question becomes if these schools could successfully serve students who are not inhibited by such issues — those who are strong students but don’t score high enough/don’t pursue selective enrollment.

  • 522. Local Parent  |  March 19, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    @521 I’d love to use CPS and I pay for public schooling through my property tax dollars. Please forgive me for my insolence in thinking that I may comment on this board!

  • 523. Local Parent  |  March 19, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Should be @520

  • 524. cpsparent-teacher  |  March 20, 2016 at 7:54 am

    As mentioned previously, I am a CPS teacher.

    Everybody needs to know that many, many CPS teaches understand how monumentally messed up the finances truly are at this time. There’s a movement within the CTU for teachers not to show up for work on April 1 as some kind of protest-related “day of action.” I’m sure many of you read/heard about it.

    At the latest CTU meeting at my local school, it was all about the “bad people” (Rahm, Rauner, 1%, etc.) that won’t raise taxes to “fair” levels. For example, raising the top state income tax rate to 9.9% —more than doubling its current rate. Combined with the highest sales tax in the country, plus high property taxes, this would no doubt make Chicago the worst place to live in the country, in terms of taxes, by far. Gee, I guess this would have absolutely NO CONSEQUENCES whatsoever in terms of the long-term economic climate here. I mean, you may as well as pay for people’s U-Haul rentals and totally eliminate Chicago from Site Selection professionals’ radar. Who needs all those jobs and consequent payroll and sales taxes to run things, right? Capital fight worked out great for Detroit, Rockford and Flint, why not Chicago?

    I’m voting against the “walk-out” (a/k/a not showing up for work April 1st, which is technically a fireable offense) and so are many teachers I know. Privately, many CPS teachers I know understand that there’s no pot of gold out there, if only “mean rich people” would man up and pay “their fair share” (i.e, the kind of taxes that send people packing to Florida, London and Santa Fe, 6 months and day/per year).

    Why stop at 9.9%. Why not 15%? 20% it would mean more money to provide poor kids with what they need, right. Problem is, Chicago would be a Detroit-like economic no-go area for business and commerce (i.e., what is necessary for job opportunities, public funding for schools, families that have jobs and raise a family with kids to send to CPS, is it not?).

    Nobody’s thinking about the unintended but totally foreseeable consequences of raising taxes more, more, more….

    I love living in Chicago, but it’s not THAT great. People with options will move if we keep the economic climate moving in a direction where we penalize people with good jobs and that worked hard to get where they are. Even if there are people that have inherited wealth, don’t we want those people here, too, to pay taxes and support local charities and cultural institutions.

    “This year’s disgruntled taxpayer is next year’s non-taxpayer.” An appropriate quote, in this case.

    I’m a CTU member and appreciate its efforts in terms of protecting my salary and benefits, but all the “it’s us against the rich meanies that won’t pay their ‘fair share’ ” rhetoric is making me and many other teachers upset in its simplicity and apparent lack of consideration for the long-term consequences in terms of a vicious cycle that may very well end with us not having enough students (after so many people leave) to teach in CPS schools to keep us employed.

    I’m not rich, but I know enough that Chicago needs all the rich people it can get –and keep– in order to help pay for all the stuff we want and need. Taxing the he** out of them and punishing them for their good fortune and/or success will make them move or avoid ever moving here in the first place. What good will that do, long-term?

    I will not vote for a “walk out” on April 1 and I will likely show up for work. Please know that many CPS teachers think like me, but are often afraid to say so out loud. I mentioned, with the encouragement of a few fellow teachers from my school at a morning union meeting that CTU does not enjoy the near-universal, wide-spread support among CPS parents and Chicago taxpayers that many CTU leaders suggest exists. My view was dismissed outright by my school’s union rep and I was treated like a traitor to the cause of good people that care about children over those who want rich people to have more money at the expense of the most needy. Whatever.

    Some people in Chicago live in their own “bubble” of like-minded people, so they find it easy to dismiss other views, since everybody they know thinks just like them. CTU is full of those.

  • 525. momof2nwside  |  March 20, 2016 at 8:43 am

    @524- thank you for your thoughtful assessment of the situation, for sharing your viewpoint, and for all that you do for CPS students.

    This is a situation of everyone’s making – but here we are (and to the CTU – why didn’t you speak up all of those years when the pension payments were being deferred??- you cannot just put this all on Rahm/ Rauner). I am at a loss to predict what the end game is on this (similar to the state budget standoff) but I think at both a state and CPS level we are starting to see the impact of both sides unreasonableness- and that in the coming weeks/ months it will become grim unless people start acting like adults (modeled so beautifully by 524) work together to solve this situation.

  • 526. CPS Obsessed Regular  |  March 20, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    @524 – I’m awed by you. Thank you

  • 527. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 21, 2016 at 8:32 am

    @524 cpsparent-teacher~I’ve talked to many teachers who are very candid and they don’t share your view. Many, many will vote for the walk out and there are a lot of parents that support them.

  • 528. parent  |  March 21, 2016 at 9:17 am

    @524 — The walk-out is a fireable offense? Maybe that’s CPS’s plan. Let the teachers walk out. Then fire them all.

  • 529. Mom  |  March 21, 2016 at 9:56 am

    My daughter is 13 years old, and we are thrilled with her CPS teachers at WYAC. This is her third school: she spent the first five years in a very fancy private school outside of Chicago, then two years in the highly regarded school district of one of the Chicago suburbs, and I can say without any hesitation that WYAC is the best academic environment she has experienced so far.
    The teachers are dedicated, professional, and treat the students with respect.

  • 530. Chris  |  March 21, 2016 at 11:50 am

    @512. One and Only: “The complaining about how unfair the tier system is to tier 4 kids has an air of entitlement to it.”

    Nah, not an air of entitlement. A stench of entitlement. Smells like Eau de Trump, to me.

  • 531. CPSAppalled  |  March 21, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Chris, thank you for bringing a smile to my face.

  • 532. Chris  |  March 21, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    @514 LSMom: “We are Tier 4 (with a Tier 1 income)”

    There are 6 components. Income is only one of them. If you are on the “good” side of the other five, then you’re a T4 family, regardless of income:

    Local School–if LS = Logan, then ‘average’; if Lincoln, then ‘good’
    Native english speakers? Yes = good
    Married? Yes = good
    Own or Rent? Own = good
    You/spouse went to college? Yes = good

    4 “good”s = at least Tier 3.

    Also, on the income standard, the threshold for bottom 25% of households is closer to $25,000 than it is to the higher median incomes of T1 tracts which are in the mid-$40k range, or the 25th %-ile census tract that’s at about $37k by median income.

  • 533. Local Parent  |  March 21, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    @Chris — It’s becoming a moot point. Tier 4 parents are pulling their kids out of CPS school (I know 6 families who are going either Catholic or homeschooling) because of all the bad moves by CPS and CTU. Too many strikes, schedules that are all f**ked up, overall feeling of “We’re doin’ it for the kids!!!!…. except YOUR kids!”. Enough.

    After the Tier 4 families leave CPS, what will CPS and CTU do?

  • 534. Chris  |  March 21, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    “I know 6 families who are going either Catholic or homeschooling”

    And I know a family who dumped one of the prestige privates for CPS (*pre* HS). Anecdata isn’t data.

    That said, moving has entered the personal discussion, but the classroom aspects of CPS (as opposed to the fiscal/budget aspects) are at the bottom of the list of reasons.

  • 535. What if?  |  March 21, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Let’s face it: For exceptional students CPS is able to provide exceptional education, regardless of the kid’s Tier, it is a fact. The problem is in providing education for “regular” A-B students. Those are the families that are fleeing to the suburbs. Parents of those kids are frustrated with the Tier system, and are advocating for their poor Tier 4 kids. And, as a parent, and I can see why.

    We need to have more schools that provide a similar educational environment to those suburban schools. The only way I see how to achieve it is to have another layer of Selective Enrollment high schools. We already test all applicants, so why not offer the kids who didn’t make it to SEHS by a certain number of points a spot in a new school that would provide more academic rigor then most neighborhoods schools provide?
    I know more brain drain… Or maybe not so much? Most of those kids are leaving CPS system anyway, so let’s offer them an opportunity to stay, let’s keep their parents’ tax money in our city.
    As a parent, I wouldnt gamble with my child’s future by sending her to an underperforming neighborhood school, but if I knew that everyone in the school didn’t make it to SEHS by a small margin, I would feel much more comfortable sending her to such school.


  • 536. mom2  |  March 21, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    @535 – I’d love that, but I think that was the goal of IB. I know it is selective within a school, but I think that is what they were hoping with that. A selective program within a school. I’d prefer a whole school of kids that just missed the scores for SEHS but I think they are trying to improve the appearance of neighborhood schools by having selective programs within them. Just not sure everyone is willing to send their children to these schools even if they are most often only going to be with the other selective kids. (I’m still waiting for Lake View to have this selective program they promised about a year ago. They supposedly received all sorts of money to make it happen, but I haven’t heard anything about it. That’s one school I’d be willing to consider even if it is only a program within the school vs. an entire school).

  • 537. Chris  |  March 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    “if I knew that everyone in the school didn’t make it to SEHS by a small margin, I would feel much more comfortable sending her to such school.”

    Ok, sure. The school is going to be at 63d and Ashland, across from the Green Line station.

    Tier 4 parents can *currently* send their “just missed Lane” kids to a school where everyone *made it to an SEHS*, not just “barely missed”. What’s the problem?

    [note: I *am* the one that sez all the time that south of Roosevelt is too far from my house. That’s a legit explanation, but not a justification for “we need another school on the northside!!”]

  • 538. Local Parent  |  March 21, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    @538 Hey Chris, great idea! Parents should have no problems sending their kids to a school with 7 shootings in a 1-mile radius JUST LAST WEEK. But wait, we *KNOW* you’re going to give rides to and from Lindblom to the Green Line for kids involved in after-school activities, right? Or you’re cool with just having children walk to the CTA in one of the most crime-ridden area of the city?

  • 539. pantherettie  |  March 21, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    What happens when Tier 4 parents pull out their kids. The world keeps turning on its axis and the school system continues. Stench of Trump….

  • 540. pantherettie  |  March 21, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Local Parent – enough about the safety around Lindblom. Just enough. My kid goes to Lindblom. It’s a great school in a poor neighborhood. I want my kid to be safe. I want the kids, faculty and parents at Lindblom to be safe. There a things in place to keep our kids safe. It’s not perfect but it’s what we do. I live in Hyde Park within walking distance of U of C and the president’s house and Lab In the past month there have been 2 shootings and 3 strong armed robberies. So yeah – Englewood isn’t safe. Hyde Park isn’t safe. Chicago isn’t safe. If you don’t want your kid to go to Lindblom don’t send him/her there. Just stop the nasty, sarcastic and belittling comments. Enough already.

  • 541. cpsparent-teacher  |  March 21, 2016 at 7:51 pm


    I get that. Many fellow teachers at my school feel the same.

    However, we (CTU teachers) received a copy of a rallying -type CTU informational sheet (I wish I had it with me, I’d quote it directly, but I left it at work) going on about how we need to simply follow Oregon and have the 2nd highest top state income tax rate in the country @ 9.9% and ignore the technical illegality of not showing up for work one day, because anybody that’s a decent person is on our side, including most CPS parents, we all know that, etc. Anybody that thinks differently is cold-hearted and uncaring, right?

    But guess what? There’s no sales tax in Oregon –but we already have the highest in the country. No use tax in Oregon, either. We already have the highest in the country. So, for example, people that lease a car and that live in Chicago pay an extra 18% (8-state, plus another 10 for living in Chicago) on their monthly car lease payment, whereas in Oregon they pay 0%. Plus, property taxes in Oregon are lower than in Illinois.

    In Illinois and Chicago, especially, we are already taxed up the wazoo. And this isn’t paradise enough to keep people here, “no matter the taxes.” What concerns me is the way some people think that we should just raise taxes even more and anybody that disagrees is part of the evil Rahm/Rauner/1% trifecta that’s standing in the way of solving our financial problems and giving kids what they need, so let’s not show up for work (something that would get many people fired n other work environments), get our supporters on board and shut down the city (‘Shut it down!’) —-anybody that cares about children, please join us in letting Rauner, et al., know that we care about education and kids, etc., unlike the selfish 1% and their banker friends that caused all this mess, blah, blah, blah…..

    Again, where’s the “big picture” perspective? Where’s the consideration for the negative consequences of making Chicago the Taxation Capital of America?

    Again, I’m a CPS teacher. My paycheck, health benefits for my entire family and retirement are on the line. I’m worried as much as anybody. However, I understand that other people are paying for all that through taxaion and know that they are already among the most highly taxed in the nation. I kinda’ get why they might be upset to pay even MORE in a significant tax increase, after they just had a record property tax increase and already pay the highest sales tax in the entire USA. So now CTU wants me to not show up to work and support a movement to “only” more than double the income tax –no big whoop, right? What happens when many people just throw up their hands and get the heck out? When businesses avoid setting up shop or move? Where will the money come to pay me and give my kids health insurance and buy them gummi vitamins?

    There’s no much thing as a free lunch. Somebody’s gotta’ pay and having the highest tax rate for everything is not a recipe for keeping Chicago going, long-term. I know I’m not the only CPS teacher that feels the same and I’m sure as heck not the only Chicago taxpayer that’s getting fed up.

  • 542. Local Parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 8:37 am

    @540 — Sorry, but I don’t want my 13 year old walking around 63rd and Ashland in the afternoon, or in Roseland, or on the West Side. These are some of the most violent neighborhoods in America. Since my kids would be taking public transportation to get to school, I’m not sending them on the CTA to King, Brooks, Westinghouse or Lindblom.

    You can spin the numbers as much as you want, but these areas are simply not safe for non-neighborhood kids to be going through.

  • 543. @local parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Ummm…have you visited King before???? I’m not sure what you are talking about as far as violence! King is in Bronzeville which is on the outskirts of Hyde Park. I leave plenty of times from parent meetings and no one is out. As I have stated before King is amid brownstones & houses that cost in the 250-350K range. Hey but shhhh!!! I don’t want word to get out because that’s more seats for Black students!! Geez I tell you there are some on this blog that have such ridiculous notions & have never stepped foot in the neighborhoods. If you have never visited a school I think you shouldn’t post things that are untrue!

  • 544. Local Parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 9:19 am

    @543 Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m sure the area around King is very nice. It’s the idea of children GETTING to King on public transportation that doesn’t make it work. I’m not comfortable sending my kid on the Green Line to get off at 43rd St in the heart of a slum, then wait for the bus. It’s simply not a safe area for kids from outside the neighborhood — look at the murder of Hadiya Pendleton 1/2 mile away from King’s campus. She and her friends were shot at because they were mistaken for rival gang members.

    I’m not risking my kid’s life by sending them to a school in an area like this,

  • 545. pantherettie  |  March 22, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Local Parent – nobody’s spinning anything. Clearly you don’t want your kid to go to Lindblom. So don’t send him/her there. I’m just saying stop with the nasty and sarcastic comments to other posters about the school. There are PLENTY of other kids who want to attend the school. BTW – 99% of the kids who attend Lindblom are not waking around the neighborhood before or after school. You know NOTHING about what happens regarding safety discussions or plans with the students, parents or staff. Just like you don’t know what happens regarding safety at Jones for downtown safety. Normally, I’m measured in my response but you keep banging the drum that there are not SEHS options for “tier 4” families which is a not true. You have every right to not send your kid to Lindblom- but you comments are mean spirited and I have had enough.

  • 546. Local Parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 9:29 am

    pantherite — Correct. The commute on public transportation through gang infested areas is too risky in a city like Chicago. King, Lindblom, Brooks, South Shore and Westinghouse are simply not viable options for families who will be using public transportation.

  • 547. mom2  |  March 22, 2016 at 9:34 am

    @cpsparent-teacher – Thank you so much! I wish more teachers would be willing to step up and express these feelings. I know there are more of you out there and you really do understand things.

  • 548. Jaguar Bronco Mom  |  March 22, 2016 at 9:57 am

    I have a son who attends King & one who attends Kenwood’s AC. The schools are literally a 5 minute drive. If you live north then you get in metra, get off at 47th street (in Hyde Park) then take the 47th street bus to Drexel. Honestly, King seems to be in Hyde Park if you ask me. After the bus you walk a couple of blocks to King. I see numerous kids doing it everyday. Everyone makes it to school safely even those coming from the south side. I’m with Pantheretti! Local parent needs to knock it off! BTW-lindblom has an extensive shuttle system that drops students off at the front door of the school. The CTA bus drops students within the gated campus at Brooks. I have friends who send their kids to Brooks & Lindblom and all of the students make it to school safe & sound!

  • 549. Chris  |  March 22, 2016 at 9:59 am

    @cpsparent-teacher: “support a movement to “only” more than double the income tax”

    Do they mention that that plan would require an amendment to the IL constitution?

    Do they consider the *FACT* that Springfield would *still* screw CPS on the funding formula?

  • 550. Another local parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 10:14 am

    >all of the students make it to school safe & sound
    Until one day they don’t.

    Of cause most of the kids most of the days get to their schools just fine, if each and everyone was shot at every day the area would have been under the marshall law a long time ago. But when you are thinking about CHANCES of this happening, it is hard to argue that one is much more likely to run into problems traveling to King than to Lincoln Park. How high this risk really is everybody has to decide for themselves, but no matter how you look at it, it will still be much higher in the south part of the city.

    As a side note: you are referring to Hyde Park as something being really good. Well, UofC campus plus 2-3 blocks around it are OK. The rest of Hyde Park is an area where I would not let my kids walk home on their own. Brownstones and other nice old buildings are there because they were build long before general decline of the area. Move the same house few miles north and a 300K house suddenly becomes a 1.5 mln house. I wonder why :))

  • 551. Local Parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 10:17 am

    @548 That’s great to hear! Unfortunately, I don’t feel the commute is safe. Also, I don’t want my kids to be afraid to hang out with their friends after school or if they need to stay late for sports or activities. It’s better news for you because then we won’t compete for the same spot! 🙂

  • 552. Yet Another Local Parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I HAVE stepped foot in the neighborhoods you mentioned LOTS of times AND my children, husband and I are non-white; guess what? There aren’t enough 350K homes in the area to supersede the fact that I wouldn’t send my kids through any of these areas for school. Violent crime is becoming an issue everywhere, but let’s not pretend it’s not tenfold higher around certain schools.
    Why do you try to shame people because your level of comfort is different? You’re comfortable sending your kids to certain schools because some of the area homes now sell @ 350K… Great!
    But how dare you expect others to do,the same when they may have a totally different idea of what’s acceptable for their children.
    Shame on you.

  • 553. Another local parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 10:48 am

    By the way, King and South Shore have basically no selection at all – if you get the minimum required 600 points, you are in. There are probably some kids there that got much higher score then the minimum, but my guess is most students did not put these schools as their first choice.

    People are talking here about LP HH as being second rate because it picks up students that did not get into top 4-5 SEHS and you suggesting sending these kids to one of the bottom two SEHS instead?

  • 554. Bronzville parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I live in Bronzville, and I am white and so is my husband and children, and there is no way I would let my children walk from Green Line or even from Red Line home. I don’t think my desicion would be different if I was non-white.

  • 555. pantherettie  |  March 22, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Another Parent – why do you think that it’s ok to shame and be-little parents who send their kids to Lindblom, King, Brooks and Westinghouse. Why is it a problem to for parents of kids who actually attend the schools supposed to sit back and not share our experiences as a counterpoint. We are parents our children, our treasure means the world to us. Guess what – we want your kids to be safe too. If you don’t think that these schools are right for your kids don’t send them. But how dare you say that our experiences are meant to shame. It’s wrong of you to tell us that our opinions and experiences don’t have validity and are not worth sharing.

  • 556. Yet Another  |  March 22, 2016 at 11:20 am


    Not interested in taking the bait.
    Everything you just wrote are YOUR words, your interpretations and spin… not mine!!! I won’t dignify your words and accusations because they have nothing to do with what I said. Further, I clearly addressed another person’s comments. Butt out, and bye-bye.

  • 557. pantherettie  |  March 22, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Yet Another – not trying to bait you. Just want to say that it’s really not cool to make the blanket statements you have about several schools and to parents who share their experiences. You did use strong language to belittle another poster and “shame” them.

  • 558. Yet Another  |  March 22, 2016 at 12:20 pm


    I couldnt understand why you kept mentioning high school names and blanket statements when I knew I didn’t list any schools by name… So upon re-reading, it appears you weren’t addressing me directly in your initial response. You replied to “Another local..” And I used a (confusingly similar) signature “Yet Another Local”…So my bad, after all. I’ll have to find a more original moniker.

  • 559. Gibby  |  March 22, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    @553 Basically, King, Lindblom and South Shore are SLIGHTLY better than the neighborhood schools in the surrounding areas. These schools are an inverse SE High School– it tests *IN* the local kids who MAY actually graduate high school, and screens *OUT* the dumb ass black kids who will go to the local neighborhood teenage daycare center a.k.a. local “high school”.

  • 560. feeder schools  |  March 22, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I guess for anyone speaking or writing to an audience using his or her own experience, it’s important to qualify that experience or at least specify its uniqueness, especially when the speaker or writer knows perfectly well that he or she is, relative to that audience, somehow a minority – racial/ethnically, economically, religiously, etc. In other words, the speaker or writer might prefer proactively downplaying his or her experience’s broad applicability. If this notion of public politeness is offensive to anyone, let’s not forget an innate feature of democracy is the majority’s violence, physical or mental.

  • 561. southsider  |  March 22, 2016 at 1:08 pm


    Gibby, that is harsh!
    I have no knowledge of King or South Shore, but I have met teachers from Lindblom, and they are amazing (a few that I have met).

  • 562. Local Parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    @559 OK, Gibby. While I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with what your post, it does bring up the question whether Selective Enrollment schools are providing the same curricula/educational experience for all schools. The fact that one school requires students to have a passing score of 600 while another requires nearly 200 points more just to get in makes me think they don’t …

  • 563. Chris  |  March 22, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    @560: sarcasm, I hope.

    If not: Ironic!!

  • 564. Another local parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you! That is exactly what I wanted to say but did not want to step on anybody’s toes too much :))

    @561 – southsider
    They might have the best teachers in the country, it still will not help much. We are talking about group instruction, not private tutoring, and in class setting the teacher has to teach for the middle (at best, usually a bit below middle) of the class. But this middle will be very different if the cut off score is 788 or 600.

    @562. Local Parent
    Of cause different SEHS do not provide the same educational experience! Otherwise the only thing people will look at when selecting the HS will be location of the school. And we know that it is not even remotely so – there are enough southside kids in the NSCP that spend hours on the road every day instead of going to a much closer SEHS.

  • 565. mom2  |  March 22, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Just to clarify something, you said, “The fact that one school requires students to have a passing score of 600 while another requires nearly 200 points more just to get in makes me think they don’t …” Actually, all SEHS require a passing score of 600. The only difference in getting in is that more kids with higher scores select those other schools as their top choices. It isn’t that those schools require a higher score.

  • 566. pantherettie  |  March 22, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    @559/Gibby – please back your comments up with facts. Exactly which neighborhood schools in the surrounding areas are “slightly” worse than Lindblom when it comes to ACT scores, college acceptances, college persistence rates and college graduation rates? Which have “slightly fewer” Gates scholars? Which have “slightly fewer” Posse recipients? Which have city and state debate champions? Which have multiple kids participating and advancing to state level at the CPS science fair? Which have similiar AP scores (3+) starting in 9th grade? Which has a robotics team in Australia RIGHT NOW participating at an international competition. I can’t and won’t speak for King and South Shore because I don’t have intimate knowledge of those schools, but I can tell you that my child – who was an AC student at Lindblom currently takes AP Human Geography, Honor English II, Honors Chemistry, Honors Advance Algebra/Trig and Art II and Honors Arabic III. These are *not* offered at any neighborhood school, other than Kenwood, on the south side of the city. Most the kids who attend Lindblom did not score in the top 800-900 range to get into the school. But just because the kids scored in the 600’s 700’s and 800’s that does not indicate that the students are not incredibly smart and are not taught at a very rigorous level.

    Gabby, your comments were ignorant and not based on any reality that exists in CPS today. You insult the kids and parents of our schools and you are encouraged and supported by other ignorant, disgruntled parents like “Another Parent” (564). When “Another Parent” was called out for her/his nasty and sarcastic comments about safety, he/she promptly jumped on your bandwagon of finding another way to insult people.

    You know, I’ve read some of the most nasty, condescending and down right rude statements about Lindblom on this board. For some reason, it’s ok to make these comments to demean the schools, parents and neighborhoods. Not just pointing out differences or speaking from positions of knowledge, just nasty blanket comments that are meant to separate “us” from “them”. I’m finally tired of it. Overall, I like the idea of CPSO, but some people on this board remind me of some of the people who support our worst political candidate.

    For all of us parents who care about our kids and read this board for support – please know by *not* saying that the ugly and untrue comments about south side SEHS schools – you’re telling us that we are not welcome in this internet community. That we south side SEHS parents should expect to be insulted and belittled and that the rest of the community will sit quietly by and say nothing. I’m done with CPSO and I’m sharing with everyone I know in IRL who previously considered this site as source of information, to be aware of the experiences they might have here. To me it’s like attending a Trump rally.

  • 567. rjoubert  |  March 22, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I stated previously that I was saddened by the way people are behaving. I will say that my daughter has spent her entire school career in one of the Elite private schools so I have avoided all things CPS. However, we will now be venturing into this world because it is sooooo much $$$ tons maintain and frankly, we have paid for the creation of this ridiculous system.

    I came to this board to seek out information and I don’t know if it has helped or just stressed me out more.

    Sitting in “silence” is simply a result of a lack of knowledge. I don’t comment on things I know nothing about.

    I will comment,however, that the tone that people take here is so disappointing, as I really hoped to find other parents just doing their best for the children they love.

  • 568. mom2  |  March 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    @pantherettie – I can’t speak for all the parents on this site, but maybe for a lot of those of us on the north side. I’m pretty sure if you took Lindblom (all of it – students, staff, curriculum, etc.) and placed it on top of Northside, Payton or Lane, it would be filled with north side students (tier 4 or whatever) the very next year. For many of us, the lack of interest is really only based on location and not based on anything else about the school. I’m sure it is fantastic and rigorous and full of amazing opportunities. Most of us are not putting the school down even a little. Just the location. You are actually lucky it is there and there are so many of us that just don’t want their kids spending that much time on public transportation every day.

  • 569. Lose The Tiers  |  March 22, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    @566 I am not trying to separate any “us” or “them”. I am glad that the south side SE schools are doing great. As I said above, I think CPS should build more SE schools all over the city…especially the north side based on the demand shown by the insane high scores needed to get in.

    I was complaining that to get into any of the SE schools close to my house my kids need to be almost perfect….which is wrong. We are not interested in south side schools because they are far away, not because of perceived (true or untrue) neighborhood problems.

    Whatever joker above said Tier 4 parents should stop whining since the cutoffs scores of some of the schools at the top of this thread are in the 600s knows they are being disingenuous. I really am not interested in having my HS kids commute 45-60 minutes each way to school.

    The tier system is a BS system because it is built on BS data.

  • 570. pantherettie  |  March 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    @568 & 569 – I absolutely understand why you would not want your child to travel 45 – 60 mins. one way to school. I wouldn’t want that for my child. Which is why Lane, Payton and NSCP were not even considered in our family. I’m writing about the comments that are are ignorant blanket statements about Lindblom, King, Brooks, and Southshore students and parents.

  • 571. Jaguar Bronco Mom  |  March 22, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    I am with you Pantheretti! I started to respond to Gibby but I decided not to feed the trolls. I guess I will lurk & probably shouldn’t even do that! Actually, since my son’s a junior at King & my Kenwood AC son is staying at Kenwood, I need to change focus anyway to getting college information. I’m done too!

  • 572. Gibby  |  March 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    @pantherettiie– There are honors students at every school. King & Lindblom compare with Evergreen Park Community High School, when you compare overall scores and PSAE. Sure, King may be better than Dunbar but that’s not a great feat.

  • 573. pantherettie  |  March 22, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    @572/Gibby – Evergreen Park Community High School is no where near Lindblom. In fact, it’s not a CPS school because it’s NOT IN CHICAGO. Try again. BTW, at Lindblom, all of the classes are taught at the honors level – there are no non-honors classes available for students to take. My kid’s class schedule is the norm for the 150+ AC 9th graders. For incoming Freshmen (about 300), they would take Biology and Geometry at the honors level instead of Trig and Chemistry. So – yeah – try again for your next insult to stick.

    Jaguar Mom – I know that I said that I’m done, so this is it for me. I wish there was a place that wasn’t filled with the rancor found among so many of the parents on this board to talk about south side SEHS. I too need to help my kid to start thinking about summer opportunities and life beyond high school. I wish you and your kids well.

  • 574. Local Parent  |  March 22, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Just playing Devil’s Advocate:


    Evergreen Park Community High School: Avg ACT 21.3, PSAE was 55.5% met or exceeded standards

    Lindblom: Avg ACT 23.7, PSAE was 89.4% met or exceeded standards;

    King: Avg ACT 21.5, PSAE was 64% met or exceeded standards;

    Jones: Avg ACT 26.5, PSAE was 98% met or exceeded standards

    Draw your own conclusions.

  • 575. pantherettie  |  March 22, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Truly my last comment – Local Parent – Evergreen Park Community High School is not in the city of Chicago. It is not even close to Lindblom or King. They are not in the same neighborhood or even the same city. But since you insist – for parents who want a different perspective – use US News & World Reports May 2015 info for a better picture of the important metrics of the school. Lindblom = Gold Medal School, ranked 17th in the state. Check out the list and then draw your own conclusions.

  • 576. Local Parent  |  March 23, 2016 at 6:26 am


    Someone brought up Evergreen Park High School as a comparison to Lindblom & King. From the data I was able to find, Lindblom scored higher than Evergreen Park by 2 points on the ACT & rocked the PSAE, while King and Evergreen Park were nearly the same.

    Interestingly, Evergreen Park is 6 miles away from Lindblom, so it’s probably the closest suburban school for comparison with Lindblom and King.

  • 577. southsider  |  March 23, 2016 at 9:09 am


    Local Parent, what kind of conclusions should we draw from your data?

    It appears that Lindblom is doing a great job, better then Jones!

    Let’s consider the fact that the kids who get into Jones have much higher projected ACT scores then the kids who enroll into Lindblom (I think it is fair to assume that higher MAP and CPS entrance Exam scores are good predictors of ACT scores). So the fact that Lindblom and Jones ACT scores and PSAE scores are so close tells me that Lindblom academic rigor is perfect for their student body.

    Kids who get into Jones are guaranteed to have high ACT scores at the end of their high school carrier just because of their past performance. Lindblom kids and their teachers have to work much harder during high school years to get the same results, and from the data you provided, it looks like they are doing fantastic job!

    I am sure that there are individual kids in Linbdlom who scored high enough to get into Jones or Payton, or Northside. But, since I am adressing the post that quoted very general data for the whole student body, I am comparing the averages, and disregarding the outliers in my analysis.

  • 578. michele  |  March 23, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Think there is a new SES High School called Hancock at Pulaski and 56th – I didn’t see anyone mention this school. Seems like this is a welcome addition to the SW side, Guess CPS is looking at locations beyond the North side based on the growth of student population. Hopefully, this school will be successful and well attended. I also hope students on the SW side by Hancock have many good traditional Neighborhood high schools as well. There are lots of kids on the South side who deserve much better school choice beyond Charters and South side traditional magnet schools and SES with neighborhood components are steps in the right direction.

  • 579. Questioner  |  March 24, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    No teaching. No learning. Wouldn’t “Day oh Inaction” be a more appropriate name?

  • 580. charter  |  March 24, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Charter schools will be open tomorrow. May be this is the way to go?

  • 581. Chicago mom  |  March 25, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I realize there’s a lot of controversy about the current PARCC EXAMS. Is there any update as to when, and if, those tests will replace the NWEA? What I understand, CPS is no longer under contract with the NWEA folks and PARCC was supposed to replace NWEA as the test used for AC and SEHS admissions. My initial instinct is to opt out of the PARCC exams, however if this will become the new test that is used, perhaps extra practice can’t hurt. Does anyone have insight as to what tests will be used for the selective enrollment process next year?

  • 582. Tammy Evans  |  March 25, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Has any one received their2016 acceptance letter to any High Schools or any Academic Centers?

  • 583. NWS Mom  |  March 25, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    @582: high school letters (for admission in the fall to freshman year) were sent out in mid March, so if you have not received that letter, I would call OAE on Monday. The academic center letters were to have been sent out 3/25, but that day was made a furlough day by CPS so my guess is that the letters will be sent out on Monday 3/28.

  • 584. majaramirez  |  March 27, 2016 at 4:41 am

    583/Tammy Evans – all kids in my daughter’s school got their letters – all of the letters – a few weeks ago, so check to see if mail was misdelivered to a neighbor or call CPS to see if it maybe was returned as undeliverable.

    That being said, nine years ago, the “neighborhood” school, Lincoln, told us she was NOT accepted! If I’d made a stink I’m sure they would’ve HAD to, but she got accepted to LaSalle I.

    405/walker, my daughter said it was out of the question to live on campus even for “only” weekdays – even though she leaves us in the dust math-wise, kids mature at different rates.

    She had some test prep at Drucker Center, got a near-perfect score, and is accepted at Payton. Whew.

    Good luck to all.

  • 585. stories to tell  |  March 28, 2016 at 10:24 am

    has anyone who has child on waiting list at chiarts heard back, either yes or no?
    mar 22 was deadline for accepting invitation to attend or
    to save waiting list spot

  • 586. incoming WY  |  March 28, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Question to the parents of kids, that started WY in 9th grade, but had to transfer some HS credit. How does it work there? They asked for HS transcript to evaluate it, our current school e-mailed it directly to the WY’s Director of Admissions. And nothing. That was couple weeks ago, last week I e-mailed asking what credit my kid gets and if they needed any additional information, but never heard back. The programming day is this coming Saturday, I think we do need to know one way or another before that.

    Any ideas who to contact?

    PS: I know about math placement. Most likely math credit will be decided based on the placement results, not just the transcript. But what about other subjects?

  • 587. incoming WY  |  March 28, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Never mind, got my answers from the school.
    Are they monitoring this board? :))))

  • 588. dd  |  April 2, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Please can anyone tell me what is the number ( or percentage) of Taft AC kids that actually got accepted into other SEHS?

  • 589. Taft AC  |  April 2, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Got accepted into SEHS or actually accepted a seat at another SEHS? I can’t see how anybody, short of CPS, could know the first number.

  • 590. dd  |  April 2, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Well, I’m asking if your child is currently in 8th grade there, just wondering about them and how many of their friends qualified for another SEHS. I know no one would know exact number…just trying to get feeling from what people have shared. Some comments from other posts on this sight are insinuating that certain AC’s “sabotage” (their words not mine) the kids’ chances from going elsewhere. I would just like to hear it from people that really know what the truth is. I read the report that many kids have chosen to stay put but others are questioning if that’s because they wanted to or had to. I mean no disrespect by restating their doubt, I’m just curious. Thanks.

  • 591. dd  |  April 2, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Let me just add that I’ve read every single comment on AC’s posted since 2013 from this site and am deeply regretting it 🙂

  • 592. LSmom  |  April 2, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    @590 Regarding AC to SEHS… At the new student night at Payton, my son said there were about 10 kids he knew from Lane AC. I don’t know if everyone goes to these meetings, but that was what he gathered.

  • 593. WYAC parent  |  April 3, 2016 at 8:33 am

    @dd, my kid is a 7th grader in WY. He is friends with quite a few 8th graders, and is reporting back to me that a lot of them went throught the SE process this year, and most of those who did, got excepted into their first choices. Coming from WYAC the first choice is always either Payton or Northside. About 10 kids (my only source is my kid) are leaving. Most of the kids who are leaving are going to Northside. The number one reason is commute.
    Last year, when we were applying to WYAC, I was also alarmed by the rumors of AC sabotaging kids’ grades to lessen their chances of getting into another SEHS. I haven’t seen any evidence of such claims in WY. Now that I am witnessing the process from within, and not through the eyes of spsobsessed readers, these rumors seem unfounded to me.
    WYAC hates to lose their best students to NorthSide and Payton every year: the teachers hate it, the principal hates it, and most of all other kids hate it. But they hate to lose the best ones, not the ones who are struggling (and then claim that they were sabotaged)! There are plenty of kids in 7th grade with straight As. Out of the four As that are important for SE, two (Science and Math) go straight on the High School transcript. If this subotage was a common practice, I assume I would here about it.
    From my personal experiance, I can honestly say that no one, except my son, is suboraging his grades now. He got a B in one of the courses last semester because he forgot to hand in the last homework. Without the homework his grade in a class was 89, had he handed in his homework, it would have been 91. He knew what was at steak (the class bears High School credit), he knew that he was getting a low A, he should have paid attention. It is an elective class, and doesn’t effect SE process, but it effects his high school GPA.

  • 594. dd  |  April 3, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Thank you @WYAC PARENT for taking the time to answer! I figured these rumors were unfounded and most likely coming from those with no real information, but they are still VERY scary to read when you are trying to make such a tough decision. After reading many, many posts it seems that all of the schools are fine schools and the kids seem to be happy where they end up, I just want my child to have the choice to stay put or leave by her own ability. Like you said, if it’s my child’s doing that’s one thing, but if there is some “dark agenda” like some imply, well then, that’s clearly another. Honestly, shame on some people!

  • 595. LSmom  |  April 3, 2016 at 11:45 am

    @594 My son also said that the group of students from Lane AC that got into Payton were those that should have gotten in. He said that a LOT of the students at Lane AC really didn’t care and spent a lot of time goofing off and acting proud of how poorly they were doing or how poorly they were behaving, but that these were mostly boys. So maybe some boys aren’t as ready to bear the responsibility for a high school record/GPA at the AC age, and I can see how this would definitely bear a negative impact for these students. I had to explain the whole GPA/credits thing to my son, and he had a hard time fully “getting it.” A year and a half later, the significance is finally starting to sink in. There is a huge learning curve with turning assignments in on time and how that impacts grades, especially because there is a lot of homework. There were some nights where he had to choose which homework to do based on how it would affect his grade in which class (i.e. can he afford the points?) This is not easy to do for a 7th grader, and couldn’t be done without the online grade portal. Also, A LOT of homework is on computer. This was a huge challenge for him and us, and also sometimes gave him trouble with keeping up his grades. I do think the challenge for many with the grades was with the 7th grade English class. My son is generally really solid in English, and it was still a hard class. He said to me about his teacher one day, “It’s too bad she has to be the English teacher. She’s not a bad person, but no one likes her because they don’t like her class.” I think these are some of the factors that go into making or breaking students at the AC level. I hope this perspective helps.

  • 596. dd  |  April 3, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you!

  • 597. anotherMom  |  April 3, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Does anyone know the neighborhood boundaries for the Jones CTE Law & Engineering program — or what the admission scores have been?

  • 598. LVMOM  |  April 4, 2016 at 10:43 am


  • 599. SouthsideTier3  |  April 4, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Can someone explain to me why Tier 3 students need more points than Tier 4 students for some of the SE high schools listed? Linblom and Brooks. I always thought Tier 4 students had the highest cutoff scores.

    Maybe those schools have more Tier 3 students applying than the other tiers? Just guessing. Answers anyone? Sorry this question isn’t about Young or Lane.

  • 600. tier 4 mom  |  April 4, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Every tier gets the same number of seats. After that cut off can be anything above 600, there are no pre-set numbers.

    Given where Linblom and Brooks are located, there are not that many tier 4 applicants – longer commute, less safe area. Given that many northsiders have better non SEHS options much closer to home, why would they choose those schools? Some do, but there are less of them than kids that live much closer to these schools, which means that they are in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas.

    At Brooks even Tier 2 has higher cut off than Tier 4. I am guessing the order of preference for northsiders is top SEHSs, Lincoln Park, Senn, probably couple other schools in that area, and only then lower level SEHSs.

  • 601. pantherettie  |  April 4, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Tier 4 Mom – Lindblom and Brooks are not “lower level” SEHS schools. They are just not the choice for many northside parents and students. I’m really, really, really sick of the comments made on this forum like that. Your comment was correct that more kids from tier 2 and tier 3 neighborhoods apply to the schools, making the competition for those kids tougher than for tier 4 kids applying to the same school. Why throw in the last nasty comment about them being “lower level”? Parents reading this blog – if you want to know accurate info about Lindblom, Brooks or Kenwood or King please reach out to the schools. Ask for contact info for parents, LSC members, ect. for an accurate picture.? This blog is full of arrogant, mean spirited elitists who look take every opportunity to diminish the schools. Please get your info elsewhere. This is not the place.

  • 602. tier 4 mom  |  April 5, 2016 at 12:02 am

    @ pantherettie

    And I am really sick of people not understanding the simple idea of ordering. Are you going to argue with the statement that NCP, Payton, Jones and WY are the top four schools? I hope not. Lane is close fifth. Everything else in the Chicago SEHS universe is by definition lower. Call them “lower level schools”, or “not the top schools”, or anything else you like, it will not change a thing. If there is a TOP part of the list, there has to be a BOTTOM part of the same list.

  • 603. pantherettie  |  April 5, 2016 at 6:13 am

    @ Tier 4 Mom – I completely understand what ordering means. I also understand what it means to provide additional, unnecessary commentary. You correctly answered the questioned regarding tier 3 scores and then went on to make additional comments. Maybe I was wrong. Perhaps you are not the same person who has made other judgmental comments regarding SEHS schools on this forum. If you are not, then I apologize for my response. I encourage readers of this forum to go back and read the comments of “Tier 4 Mom” to judge for themselves if your intentions were just to provide information about schools you know nothing about other than the test scores required to get into the school.

    That said, all it takes is for people to read this forum to get a clear idea of the kind of comments made that are based in fear, ignorance and entitlement. I continue to say, here and in real life, that this forum is not a place to gather accurate information about southside SEHS. In addition to parents, kids read this forum. Kids from all over the city and suburbs. Haven’t we had enough of people telling lies and 1/2 truths and saying that it’s ok to do so. I’m saying something clearly and strongly because the way the Lindblom and Brooks are routinely characterized on this forum does not even come close to a fair picture of the schools, despite multiple attempts to try to provide an accurate one.

  • 604. SouthsideTier3  |  April 5, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Maybe I should have mentioned that I myself am a Lindblom alum. I have a Masters degree in education from DePaul. Many of my former classmates went on to Ivy League colleges. About a quarter of us are educators, including professors. So be careful before you judge. Many of us live comfortable middle class lives. Was the neighborhood ideal? No. I was bussed or dropped off. But it’s a viable south side option. My first choice is Young of course because of academics and diversity. Lindblom or Brooks will be number two. Thanks for your responses.

  • 605. tier 4 mom  |  April 5, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Sorry pantherettie,
    Looks like I stepped into middle of some long running argument you had with somebody else. I don’t see any comments above 600 from the same nick as mine, so probably it was used in the comments to another post.

  • 606. Momof3fish  |  April 5, 2016 at 7:59 am

    ncp, payton, jones, wy, and really any “top” school are up there because the students are already at the top. If you place those exact same students at any other high school then that school will be at the top. I know students who chose Lindblom. Besides, wasn’t it modeled after ncp after some faculty transferred there from NCP? Btw, NCP’s current principal came from Lindblom.

  • 607. Annoyed with Tier 4 mom  |  April 5, 2016 at 8:02 am

    I’m an educated tier 4 mom and I cannot believe this ignorant comment from this tier 4 mom. Clearly she makes tier 4 look bad. There isn’t any lower SE woman!!! You are very annoying and probably voting for Trump!

  • 608. tier 4 mom  |  April 5, 2016 at 8:11 am


    PSAE (2014) and ACT results from http://www.greatschools.org:

    NCP: math 100%, reading 100%, ACT 30
    Payton: math 99%, reading 99%, ACT 30
    Jones: math 98%, reading 100%, ACT 28
    WY: math 97%, reading 97%, ACT 28

    Lindblom: math 90%, reading 89%, ACT 24
    Brooks: math 81%, reading 96%, ACT 22
    King: math 58%, reading 70%, ACT 22

    So no, the difference between SEHSs is not only the entrance scores, at the exit the difference is still the same.

  • 609. Momof3fish  |  April 5, 2016 at 8:23 am

    But you are also talkjng about children who attend Lindblom who do not have access to the extra help that ncp students have. Many of the students at n,j,p,w go to test prep, tutoring, etc. I’m sure there are students who have great act scores. Those are just averages.you cannot judge everyone based on an average score. Besides not everyone tests well.

  • 610. pantherettie  |  April 5, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Ok Tier 4 mom- those scores indicate that Lindblom and Brooks are “lower level” SEHS. That’s the only way to judge schools and the only thing parents should consider when making a decision regarding schools. That totally justifies calling them “Lower Level”. In fact, let’s keep saying that. In fact let’s build a wall around the “top SEHS” and make the southside tier 1,2,3 ( there are no tier 4 southside communities) pay for it. Let’s take back CPS. Let’s make CPS great again.

  • 611. SutherlandParent  |  April 5, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    @610 pantherettie, there are actually Tier 4 neighborhoods on the South Side in Beverly and Mt. Greenwood.

    But that doesn’t make some of these comments less obnoxious. True, commute is an issue to many of the South Side SEHS’s, which may make them less attractive–but that’s largely because the El system is so much less extensive on the South Side than the North Side. Consider that the Red Line goes to the Evanston border on the North Side, but terminates at 95th Street on the South Side, which is miles away from the southern edge of the city.

    Just another example of “them that gots, gets.” It’s also why we need the tier system, however flawed it is, to balance out some of the fundamental disparities that exist in Chicago. (And to clarify, I live in one of the South Side Tier 4 neighborhoods, so the Tier system certainly doesn’t work in my favor…)

    Lindblom is a great school, with a very impressive principal, and we took a long look at it. But as ridiculous as it is, Jones is the easiest commute from where we live on the Far Southwest Side of the city because of the Metra.

  • 612. LV365247  |  April 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    tier4 mom: my son is going to payton out of tier 4 (so i suppose I have earned social authority to speak at your altitude), and i imagine it will be a good experience, but test scores don’t make good people/citizens. i’m sure madoff and the execs at enron etc. all scored high on their tests and attended “top” schools. who cares? if a kid winds up becoming a jerk and doesn’t contribute to betterment of the world, who cares if they went to an sehs at all? test scores are all we have, but they don’t answer the right questions. and your obsession with engaging about north vs. south comes off poorly and creates an unnecessarily toxic environment. CPS is bad enough already without this sort of stuff.

  • 613. Annoyed  |  April 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Amen! I’m also tier 4 and cannot believe this moms comment. Clearly not a “true Chicago tier 4” person but a transplant from some toxic place outside tier 4 (outside Chicago!)

  • 614. pantherettie  |  April 5, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    @611 – I was just being sarcastic. I know that there are tier 4 neighborhoods on the south side. I live in one. I’ve got many friends who live in Pill Hill and other southside tier 4 neighborhoods. I know that I was probably too snarky in that comment. Just let my frustration get the better of me….

  • 615. enough already  |  April 5, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Dear Parents! You are being annoying and childish… We, your children, read these forums, and get soooooo ashamed when our parents are recognized by our peers.

  • 616. mom2  |  April 6, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Is there anyone at all on this thread or another one I missed that has an 8th grader that is going to a neighborhood high school next year? Not a special IB program or performing arts. Just high school and maybe honors classes. I’d like to hear about how that decision was reached and any back lash from family or friends, etc. If people can do this at the elementary level, they could do it in high school in some places – at least those areas where the school and surrounding community seems safe (I know no where in Chicago is a guarantee these days).

  • 617. Monika  |  April 14, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Does anyone know where my child can take Stanford 10 test in Chicago?

  • 618. LSmom  |  April 14, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    You can actually find online services. It is much more convenient and my son used it several years ago for 5th grade testing for SEES AC.

  • 619. Nice try  |  April 15, 2016 at 8:10 am


  • 620. mom of 2  |  April 15, 2016 at 4:32 pm


  • 621. @620  |  April 15, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    King is located in the Hyde Park-Kenwood Neighborhood amid homes that cost 350K-500K. This neighborhood is pretty diverse. If you haven’t been to visit the school or the area then you shouldn’t comment about it. Please note to mom of 2 & nice try I am very happy your children don’t go to King. I wouldn’t want your children who you probably have ruined with your racist & elitist attitudes and ideology anywhere NEAR my child. Tier 4 mom please watch how you “describe” or “characterize” schools you have not visited.

  • 622. CPS mom  |  April 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    How on earth can you be so racist and ignorant ?
    And why doesn’t cpsobssed monitors what’s goes in here. I’ve noticed many ignorant and racist comments. Do people still think this way!?

  • 623. tier 4 mom  |  April 15, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    What does this have to do with me? I am neither “Nice try”, nor “mom of 2” :)) And I actually did visit King few years back and worked in the area for a while.

  • 624. harry potter  |  April 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    I’m actually surprised Marist and St. Rita only have an average ACT of 26. I’d expect paying 10-15K in tuition, with a student body of kids either economically privileged or from extremely motivated families educationally would do much better than that. U of C Lab has an average of 30.

  • 625. @623  |  April 15, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    I think there are two Tier 4 moms. My comment was meant for the parent(s) pantheritti was commenting on. Harry Potter I like your style 🙂 !

  • 626. mom of 2  |  April 15, 2016 at 7:24 pm


  • 627. Momof3fish  |  April 15, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    @619/620 ummm pay for private schools… no one is forcing you to send you kid to a public school. And seriously, why bash a school? At least the kids who are attending those schools have a shot at decent education.. Quite honestly people on this forum who are pissed or have awful things to say are those ones whose kid didn’t not or cant get into one of the schools and have to moan and groan about it. I didn’t complain or cry or make people feel like crap when my kid didn’t get in. We went into damage control and outlined our game plan. I thought that what the forum was for to help each other, not make people feel like sh@#.

  • 628. Tier 4. CPs mom.  |  April 15, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Amen! Well said. Agree 100%.
    It’s like the one who say we got into Payton and Northside but we decided to go to Lane. Hilarious. You only get to one school people and at the end these are kids we are talking about. Please be nice. There is so much anger in here. My kid reads this blog and cannot believe the way adults talk.

  • 629. harry potter  |  April 15, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    @626, U of C Lab doesn’t present itself as selective enrollment either. Wonder why their results are so much higher? I mean, you can’t get into U of I with a 26.

  • 630. Laugh at Trolls, don't feed them  |  April 15, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Well, at least the child of Mom of 2 (@620) will have an awesome college essay someday — “How I Dealt With My Crazy Racist Mother”

  • 631. pantherettie  |  April 15, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    You know – there are people on this forum who bash Lindblom, King and Brooks just to be ugly, hateful racists. As I stated before, I can’t speak for specifics at King or Brooks, but I can speak for Lindblom. I actually don’t know why folks on this board make ignorant comments other than racism. Lindblom has a very high percentage of students who enroll in highly selective private colleges – Bates, Pomona, Cornell, Vanderbilt, ect. There are some who attend big ten state schools. Thr counselors work hard to steer kids to colleges who really want them, will support them and provide them
    with fantastic funding. Last year Lindblom students received 43 million in scholarship funding. It’s not concentrated in a handful of students.?If you think that kind of money came from Chicago State and Eastern ( no disrespect) then you’re a asshat and a racist. The college persistence and graduation rates are among the highest in the state. This year there are at least 3 Posse scholars and there a 6 Gates scholar finalists. Scholarship money is not finalized yet. So, I’m sure that some folks will say that Lindblom still sucks and is no better than school x or school y. That’s fine. There is nothing that anyone can say that will make the school “good enough” for Nice Try and company. So all I can say is that you and your kind should go to Hades and rot there. You and your children are not welcome in Lindblom. We don’t welcome people who feel the need to step on someone else and belittle others to feel of value. Let me say again that CPSO should be monitoring this thread and at least require that blatantly racists comments are addressed by a moderator.

  • 632. pantherettie  |  April 15, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Actually they are not trolls – that’s the problem. Nice Try and Mom of 2 believe that they are entitled to make the comments they do and write them so that they get supportive feedback for it. There comments are racist, demeaning and ugly. For some reason they have the need to belittle schools based on their neighborhoods, SEHS admission scores and ACT scores (and perhaps other testing metrics they will provide in response to this comment). However, their comments are based upon the fact that the students who attend Lindblom, King and Brooks are African American and Hispanic and therefore acceptable targets to insult. They represent the meanest and ugliest part of this country – those who use the internet to spout hate under the cover of anonymity. I wish, dearly wish, that Nice Try and Mom of 2 would use their real names and let people know who they really are and what they feel. Instead, they will say that “the race card” was played and they are somehow victims. So yeah, I’m playing the race card and I’m calling you both out as bigots who are somehow angry that you children are not able to attend, for free, the school of his/her choice.

  • 633. pantherettie  |  April 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Incorrectly used “There” instead of “Their” in the 2nd second sentence of post 632.

  • 634. cpsobsessed  |  April 15, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Hi, just a reminder that CPSO has a full time job, a hungry kid, and takes care of her elderly mother. 🙂

    You may have to look at obnoxious comments for a few hours, but I know you all know it’s better to ignore blatant trolls until the comments can come down.

  • 635. cpsobsessed  |  April 15, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Perhaps we can agree to call the SEHS with the highest test scores the “Most Selective” schools? I think that’s how the newspaper tends to refer to them. Actually they sometimes say “elite” which is a word I don’t like.

    Several comments have been removed. Some of the discussion is valid (why do some schools have lower scores going in/coming out than others) but I think comments can be phrased in a way that isn’t racist/classist/offensive.

    Many thanks.

  • 636. Local Parent  |  April 15, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    @631 The problem is YOU are trying to convince people that Lindblom is just as good as WY, Jones and Payton, when clearly it is not when compared head to head. The school has lower test scores, is an unsafe area and is simply not as good as the aforementioned schools, no matter how hard you try to spin it. Bottom line: A Chrysler is not a Cadillac, and most parents will not list this school as a #1 pick for high school.

    Additionally, Brooks & King are not just a no, but a HELL no, for similar reasons.

  • 637. pantherettie  |  April 16, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Local Parent – I am not interesting in comparing Lindblom to WP,WY, J or NS. If you look back at this long conversation you will see I am always responding to the insulting, racist remarks made about the schools by folks – like you – who have a need to point out that they are “not selective” and have the same outcomes as non-selective schools. I’m somewhat baffled by the ongoing going need to say that given the fact that most families on this board won’t consider southside schools – no matter their outcomes or student body – due to distance and location. So, if they are not options, and you know nothing about them other than the test scores on the website, why discuss belittle them? It’s absolutely cool to ask why is there an entrance score difference and why are ACT scores different and to have a robust discussion about that. What’s not cool is that no matter what parents say about any of the “less selective” schools, it’s met with derision, disbelief and often insults. It’s almost as if when folks like you are met with a real experince by actual parents about the schools you can’t believe it. I think the real deal is that Lindblom isn’t an option for you and your kid(s). Maybe that’s due to their tests scores/grades, maybe it’s due to the racial makeup of the student body, maybe it’s due to concerns about the neighborhood, maybe it’s due to the distance from your home. I just don’t know. But I do know that you’re pissed that it exists in the same category as the other SEHS and you feel that it should somehow be diminished in the eyes of folks reading this blog – even if they have no interest in sending their kids there. That’s what’s racist and classist. My hunch is that several folks, like yourself, who felt the need to “educate” and “discuss” Lindblom from a position of inferiority have no interest in having a discussion about the various aspects of the school aside from location or ACT scores and actually resist hearing points of view that challenge your views.

  • 638. pantherettie  |  April 16, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Thank you CPSO!

  • 639. feeder schools  |  April 16, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I’d say the gap in test scores between those Black majority schools and their White+Asian majority counterparts is jarring and real. And people should have freedom to draw any personal conclusion from the data about their students, teachers, programs, school environment, etc. However, we must be aware that, in terms of college admissions and funding, particularly at elite colleges, the gap doesn’t matter. The existence of affirmative action policies means there is really no point comparing pools of candidates across races. How many times have we heard of a student getting into all the Ivies but is not Black? Again, academic gaps between the races don’t really matter practically and, therefore, are not worthy of much discussion.

  • 640. Local Parent  |  April 16, 2016 at 11:57 am

    @637 It’s racist and classist to say that Lindblom is in a dangerous neighborhood and their students don’t achieve as high as north side schools?

    Look, SEHS is supposed to be for kids who excel at academics. When you look at Young, Payton, and Jones (which are all diverse), they rock the standardized tests, which is a good way to compare the schools. When you look at Lindblom, King or Brooks, they don’t.

    So, what gives? If you put a Lindblom kid in Payton, would their scores increase? Why or why not? Conversely, if you sent a Payton kid to Lindblom (which has like a ZERO % likelihood of ever happening, btw), how well would they do?

    Bottom line: Send your kid to Lindblom. Hopefully they’ll have a great life. Just don’t try to mislead people in to thinking that Lindblom, King, Brooks & South Shore are equal alternatives to schools north of Roosevelt Road. They’re simply not.

  • 641. tier 4 mom  |  April 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Finally somebody said it and it wasn’t me to bring it up first :))

    White kids from not legacy families (and I am assuming there aren’t too many legacy parents on this board) can not afford the same test results as non-white kids if they want to get into the same colleges! Their results have to be much higher for them to have any chance to get into a selective college. For asian kids it is even worse.

    If we are talking about a white kid from a middle class family with college educated parents, he has to either invent a cure for cancer while still in HS, be an olympic champion, play couple solo recitals at the Carnegie Hall, or forget about scholarships – he will not be eligible even to apply for most of them.

    So the fact that kids from a particular school got that much scholarship money should lead tier 4 white parents to what conclusion? That this is a great school and they should consider it for their kids? Even if the test results suggest that THEIR kids will not be even accepted to the same colleges with these results, let alone accepted with a full-ride.

    We can argue for a long time weather this is fair or not, it does not really matter. It is a fact of life and I don’t think it will change much in the next 4 years. So we, the white tier 4 parents, have to plan accordingly.

  • 642. CPSteacher  |  April 16, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Young is diverse. Payton and Jones not so much. You may want to take a look at the demographics on the CPS website.

  • 643. pantherettie  |  April 16, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    @640 & 641 – You’re both right. There is no way that you should choose a school that does not provide the best fit for your child during high school and beyond. I’m not a white tier 4 parent, so I guess I’m not in a position to understand what it means to be college educated and middle class and make education decisions based on my child’s best interest.

    “Local Parent” summarily dismisses anything about Lindblom other than the narrative that it is “less than” other schools. I never once suggested that anyone should send their kids to a school that did not fit them academically or socially. YOU decided that my voice should not be heard unless I placed Lindblom in a position that is inferior to north side SEHS. YOU decided that the school must always have a sidebar that lets people on this board know that it’s not for “their” kids – because it’s not safe, not academically successful and basically no better than “a neighborhood school”. You are a racist and classist. Your nasty comment sums you up well. “Go ahead and send your kid to Lindblom. Hopefully they will have a great life.” What the hell is that supposed to mean? The idea that a kid will or won’t have “great life” because of the high school he or she attends is stupid. But, you wrote it purposefully to once again to dismiss anything I said that indicates that Lindblom does have value. Would you say that to the kids who attend Lindblom in person? Would you say it to your employer/employees/business contacts? Would you want your kid to read it?

    “Tier 4 mom” – glad that your kid is attending (or will attend) a north side SEHS that will pretty much *guarantees* a super high score on the ACT. I realize that is important to you because you’ve repeatedly stated that your child is at a disadvantage due to his/her race and socio-economic class. I only brought up scholarship money because of the incorrect and racist comment that was removed by the moderator. Of course, as a “white tier 4 parent” you should do what is best for your child.

  • 644. tier 4 mom  |  April 16, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Jones is not diverse?? I don’t see any race there having a majority, nobody even close to 50% – 37% white, 30% hispanic.

  • 645. cpsobsessed  |  April 16, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    From cps.edu race:

    Asian 15%
    AfAm 23
    Hispanic 29
    White 29
    Other 4

    Asian 12%
    AfAm 17
    Hispanic 30
    White 37
    Other 4

    Asian 15%
    AfAm 14
    Hispanic 22
    White 44
    Other 6

    Asian 19%
    AfAm 9%
    Hispanic 28
    White 31
    Other 13

    Asian 11%
    AfAm 8
    Hispanic 42
    White 35
    Other 3

  • 646. cpsobsessed  |  April 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    So numerically, of these 5 schools, Young and Northside are the most non-white.

    Payton is the most skewed white (and has a more imbalance towards 1 race than the others)

    Young is the most evenly balanced.

    North Side is “diverse” but very low on African American students / high on Asians (go tiger moms.)

    Overall, I believe these 5 are all infinitely more diverse than any other CPS high schools.

  • 647. tier 4 mom  |  April 16, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Pantherettie ,

    Here we go again! You are seeing what you want to see and then argue with it. I never said that one has to be white tier 4 to be college educated and middle class. When I mentioned college education and income, it was in the context of college applications and scholarships – low income and/or first generation college bound kids do get in with lower test scores due to colleges looking for diversity and do have access to scholarships closed to everybody else.

    Please understand, I am not saying that this is good or bad, fair or unfair, helps or harms the society in general. All I am saying is that it is what it is and we can’t just ignore it.

    If you agree that we too have the right to look for the best interest of our kids, then why do you try to shut up anybody, who brings up test scores and points out that they are not the same across the SEHSs?

  • 648. pantherettie  |  April 16, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Tier 4 Mom – I don’t shut down people sharing info about test scores. I’ve got a HUGE problem with the “Lindblom’s not an option for my kid – look at those low test scores and horrible neighborhood” comments. Objectively speaking, the entrance scores and ACT scores of Lindblom are lower than the “most selective” SEHS. My argument is and will always be that the schools should be judged on more than that. I highly object to the narrative that those – including yourself – have repeatedly stated that the schools are some how “inferior” without looking at a bigger picture – like 4 year college graduation rates and acceptance into highly selective 4 year colleges/universities – really is at Lindblom.

    BTW – in your previous post you mentioned your race and the need of “white, tier 4 parents” to look out for their kids best interest. You didn’t say in your remarks that anything about low income or 1st generation college attendees. You implied minorities took the space/money/ect from your child. Do you have any idea what percentage of students at Lindblom are *not* 1st generation college attendees? Do you know how many are not eligible for financially based scholarship based on their income? Do you have any idea how many merit based scholarships were awarded? How about how the school performs on AP tests or on the debate circuit or in science fairs. I’m just saying that it’s unfair and mean spirited to use only one set of metrics to judge a school and then expect people to shut up and take it. Nope. Not going to happen. If that means you feel you are being shut down – sorry about that.

  • 649. Local Parent  |  April 17, 2016 at 8:52 am

    @648 and @cpso — South Shore, Brooks, King and Lindblom are nearly 100% AA. Why is it a big f*cking deal that Payton is 44% white? Seriously, why is this an issue AT ALL?

  • 650. mom of 2  |  April 17, 2016 at 11:35 am

    @649: Why is it a big deal? Because blacks MAKE it a big deal. “44%? No no no, way too much.”

    Doesn’t matter anyhow, the percentage of parents sending their kids to the good high schools are gonna go down. Parents don’t wanna put up with the bullshit of CTU, one-day strikes, 2 week strike threats, we’d rather spend the cash on our kids education (by going private or moving out of CPS-land. Congratulations CTU, you’ve killed middle-class interest in your dog crap product.

  • 651. harry potter  |  April 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I highly doubt that anyone who either chooses or is stuck in the city will pay for private just because of strikes if their kid is in a school they love. Now, if the system tanks like it looks like it is going to, that’s another story. CPS is counting on a strike so it can make its budget for the rest of the year. Without a strike, it doesn’t appear able to make payroll. The strike will conveniently let CPS not pay out millions of dollars in payroll.

  • 652. tier 4 mom  |  April 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    @ harry potter,

    Nobody will move out of the city or switch to a privates school just because of strikes if they are happy with the current school. But people do think twice about it when the time comes to choose a HS. At that point kids will have to change the schools anyway and when the choice is between SEHS and private, I do know two families that decided that they do not want to risk it even though kids there got into NSCP. One went to St. Ignatius, another one to Latin. The main reason that was voiced in both cases were the strikes and uncertainty of school funding.

    Wouldn’t say that the WHOLE middle class is pulling out of CPS, but some families do. I think a good indicator of this trend would be a second round of admission letters going out. As far as I know, this did not happen. Which means that school’s predictions on the number of those that will not accept their seat was about right.

  • 653. cpsobsessed  |  April 17, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    @649 Local Parent – I don’t understand what you mean about it being an “issue.”? We’re discussing race composition by school as part of an examination of race/geographics/test scores within Chicago. I don’t see the “issue” part of that.


  • 654. cpsobsessed  |  April 17, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Yeah, I’m gonna agree with Harry Potter. With all going on in CPS, doubtful a strike is going to be the thing that makes people move to the burbs or spend their entire college fund on private high school/real estate taxes.

    If someone moved because of a strike, they were clearly on the fence anyhow.

    I’m not sure what my final breaking point would be. I suppose schools getting cut to true bare bones offerings would do it. But that’s just me.

  • 655. cpsobsessed  |  April 17, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    As a side note, my mom reminded me recently that when I was growing up there was a 40 day strike when I was in kindergarten. Somehow I managed to gain entry into college and become employed.

  • 656. ZhuZhou02  |  April 18, 2016 at 3:03 am

    @Harry Potter, we are moving to the suburbs for high school and it is due solely to the CPS budget crisis. My daughter was happy and excited to start high school in the Von Steuben Scholars program. However, I don’t see the budget crisis resolving without additional cuts to services, sports, extracurriculars and ultimately teaching staff. And Von Steuben and other schools like it (I exclude the Peytons, North Sides and the Lanes, etc. from this) are already close to the “bare bones” referenced by CPS Obsessed.

    Her best options for private schools were in the suburbs (Loyola, Regina). This would have been extremely challenging logistically as I work downtown. If she was going to go to school in a suburb we might as well live there. We toured Niles West and were sold on the academics, the sports programs, the extracurriculars and the support available should she need help adjusting or with a specific class. (The Assistant Principal told us we were the sixth family from Chicago in the past ten days who had requested a tour.) Niles West is suburban but it is also extremely diverse racially and economically. This was a big plus for us. Additionally our new house is four blocks from the high school – Von Steuben would have required a bus ride and a transfer.

    I am most definitely a city person. My community and support system are all in Chicago. I am single. I made the decision I thought was best for her, and she agrees, but this is so so hard for me.

    This process has been grueling and it shows in the fear, anger and frustration voiced by parents on this board. Everyone is scrambling to figure out how to work what is inherently an unfair and dysfunctional system. That it is most unfair to the majority of low income kids from disadvantaged homes who have no chance of attending an academically solid and appropriately funded school doesn’t even seem like it is on the radar screen for many posters. Some of you act as if the sole determinant of a child’s value or worthiness to obtain a decent education is their total point score for selective enrollment. And to those people (thankfully only a few) who condescendingly and with great unkindness put down the choices and views of others to make themselves feel superior, stay in your bubble. I can only imagine how unpleasant it would be to meet you in real life. I’m glad I won’t.

    I really appreciate those who tried to keep the dialogue thoughtful, polite and informative. Thank you CPS Obsessed for your posts and moderation.

  • 657. Chris  |  April 18, 2016 at 8:44 am

    “If we are talking about a white kid from a middle class family with college educated parents, he has to either invent a cure for cancer while still in HS, be an olympic champion, play couple solo recitals at the Carnegie Hall, or forget about scholarships – he will not be eligible even to apply for most of them.”

    Only if “middle class” as used here means north of $150k AGI.

    Kids with $60k (or less) family incomes get *tons* of college aid, if they get in.

  • 658. Vikingmom  |  April 18, 2016 at 10:49 am

    @616 My current 8th grader will be attending Amundsen as a “regular” this fall. SEHS were out for him as he didn’t have the grades, and he’s definitely not IB material. He’s the proverbial kid who tests extremely well but always “forgets” homework, projects, etc. It’s almost a full time job to stay on him and with his sister gone away to college this fall (simultaneous sob and sigh of relief) we’ll be able to monitor him more with ease. As many readers know, it has been a a very positive four years at Amundsen with my daughter in the IB program, and kid #2 is looking forward to attending, and, importantly, will be attending with some of his good friends who, due to the efforts of the amazing principal, staff, GROW community, aldermen, etc. now see this school as a very viable alternative.
    A word about scholarships — my daughter received large ones at every school she applied and was accepted to (except UIUC, no surprise). These were merit scholarships given by the school—nothing to do with finances. And she was definitely not out there curing cancer or anything. Just working hard, getting very good grades, participating in some extracurriculars, and staying out of trouble. What I think most of us parents want for their kids.

    I have to say though, it is with not without trepidation that we are committing to another four years of CPS. I do hope we’ll be able to go through with it….but who knows what will happen? There is so much to worry about. Frankly, this is also a main reason why my daughter won’t be attending UIUC, even though I am an alum. Who knows what little money she was offered will be around next year or even in the spring? And compared to other state universities the school is no bargain. My sister took her junior daughter to a visit at the University of Kentucky this weekend. They both loved it, and said the overwhelming majority of attendees at the event were from out of state.

  • 659. cpsobsessed  |  April 18, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    @656 ZhuZhu – aw, sorry to see you go, but it feels like a very well thought out decision and an admirable “sacrifice” in leaving your Chicago network for your child’s education. My one Niles West friend is now a very wealthy trademark attorney 🙂

    You’ll still be very close to the city. When I was buying a home 4 years ago my mom wanted us to live in Skokie and I remember thinking “I cannot live in Skokie as a single person!!” So I feel your pain. But it really is an amazingly diverse town.

    Keep us posted and thanks for contributing here.

  • 660. harry potter  |  April 18, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    @656, I completely understand. The budget issue is out of control. I cannot imagine any scenario in which CPS is going to get better. Niles West is a great school. A family member worked there for a while. And Skokie is close to Evanston which I personally love. Good luck to you!

  • 661. Chicago School GPS  |  April 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Latest 2016 Illinois high school rankings from US News: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/illinois?int=9abb08

    Top 10 include Northside, Payton, Young, Jones and Lindblom.

  • 662. westrogersparkmom  |  April 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    @661 – Chicago School GPS – … and Lane !

  • 663. Incoming WY  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Do you know what parameters they looked at?
    I can’t imagine a meaningful matrix that will put Lincoln Park in 14th place and New Trier in 22nd. Unless they compared only IB and HH kids from LP to everybody at NT, but that would be a very strange comparison. Arts program kids at LP never were very strong academically, which is understandable, given how much time they have to spend on dance or music, but they always brought LP test scores down. So how come now they are above one of the best suburban schools?

  • 664. Incoming WY  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Algebra Exit Exam

    I remember we talked about Algebra Exit Exam with couple people on this board, sorry, meant to get back to you sooner.

    Exam this year will be on Saturday, June 4.
    Registration is open till April 22.
    To register, you need to fill in an online form and fax a copy of a report card showing enrollment in the Algebra I class. Per Lisa Sherwood (Department of Student Assessment) a HS transcript showing higher level classes (Geometry and/or Algebra II) are also accepted.

    If you child took Algebra I (or Geometry, or Algebra II) not in his school, but somewhere online (EPGY, CTD, AoPS, ALEKS, etc. ) and you have paperwork showing his grade(s), it might work as well, but do ask first. We have a regular HS transcript, so did not have to use online certificates of completion.

    There are also two sample exams available online.


  • 665. Chicago School GPS  |  April 19, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Sorry about the inadvertent Lane omission. Typing on spring break from my phone and that is always fraught with peril.

  • 666. parent  |  April 19, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    @Incoming WY,
    You can see on the website that they used a “College Readiness” index.
    According to the website:
    College Readiness is based on the percentages of 12th graders who were tested and passed the AP exams. The maximum college readiness index is 100.
    Lincoln Park got a 57.2 – 74% Tested, 52% Passed
    New Trier got a 51.3 – 52% Tested, 52% Passed

  • 667. Incoming WY  |  April 19, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    @ parent,

    There is something strange with the passing rates, because your numbers are the ones from the list where each school has one line, but if you click on the school name and go into details, they show something completely different:

    Advanced Placement® (AP®) Student Performance

    Lincoln Park:
    Participation Rate 74%
    Participant Passing Rate 69%

    New Trier:
    Participation Rate 52%
    Participant Passing Rate 97%

    97% passing rate! That means that almost everybody is passing each and every AP test they take!

  • 668. CPSteacher  |  April 19, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks for the updated list of top schools. Glad to see my Alma Mater Lindblom is in the top 10. Not too shabby. 🤔😁

  • 669. parent  |  April 19, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    I could be wrong, but I think that at LP, 74% of the student population took an AP exam, and 52% of the total student population passed. 69% of those who took the test passed.

    At New Trier, 52% of the student population took the test, and 52% of the total student passed. Roughly everyone who took an the test passed (97%). It seems like the number for those who passed from the total student population should be slightly lower, though (more like 51%).

    Not sure how the numbers are adjusted for students who take multiple AP exams.

  • 670. Incoming WY  |  April 19, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Oh, I see. They compare passing rate for the whole school, not just for those who actually took any AP tests.

    They have PSAE results on the same page and those are the way I would expect them to be:
    New Trier: meets or exceeds state standards in reading 92%, in math 92%3
    LP: reading 66%, in math 69%.

    This looks like a more reasonable way to compare schools instead of spreading passed AP tests on the whole school.

  • 671. USA Rankings  |  April 19, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I actually think USA News is looking at data from two years ago & not last years data. My son’s Junior class is notoriously small and when I looked at the demographics they used, I noticed the smallest class size was Freshman year. He is a Junior now. It seems odd that the data is two years old. I can see one year behind but not two, but maybe they have some sort of rationale for using data from two years ago. I guess it takes a lot of time to plow through a whole states data.

  • 672. pantherettie  |  April 20, 2016 at 6:26 am

    I agree – the data is at least 2 years old. The college readiness/AP section indicates that the data is from the 2013-2014 school year. Because so much of the school’s ranking is based on that score, it seems to me that this information should be clearly stated at the top of the rankings. I also agree that it’s interesting that the scores place so much emphasis on the AP “pass” rate (which I guess is 3<) and the % of kids taking APs. Feels like this is too narrow a scope and too volatile a data point. 3 may be passing but it doesn't get college credit in many highly selective colleges. It doesn't really say the distribution of kids taking APs and which ones. For example, at Lindblom all Academic Center freshmen take AP Human Geography. That increases the % of kids taking APs. The course is designed for kids to work hard with the goal of getting at least a 3. BUT the primary goal is for them to be introduced to AP courses early in their high school career even if they might not be ready for the rigors of an AP course in 9th grade. By the time kids reach 10th grade, the number of students decreases and the pass percentage increases ( at least according to data that was shared internally regarding 2014-2015). I wonder how many schools are in the same situation?

  • 673. pantherettie  |  April 20, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Made a mistake – should say the pass rate is 3>

  • 674. Was that taught there?  |  April 22, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    To: Pantherettie

    From : Was that taught there?

    The oppressed masses scream about injustice. Tier 4’s screams about injustice. The oppressed are seeing change, are tier 4’s seeing positive changes for them?

    Still waiting for the change.

  • 675. HSObsessed  |  May 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Interesting article in the Atlantic about the under-representation of black and Latino students at the nation’s highly selective public high schools. NYC released its data about the incoming freshman class of their SEHS — where admission is based solely on test scores and nothing else — and the class will be made up of only 3% black students and 5% Latino. There’s a paragraph quoting a Latino student at Payton here in Chicago and his experiences at that school.


  • 676. HSObsessed  |  May 17, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    … and I should add that the NY result illustrates why we do and should have a tier system in place, in my opinion. There is value in achieving diversity at these schools.

  • 677. feeder schools  |  May 17, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Tiers probably won’t be much of a remedy for NYC. The “problem” there is that poor, recently immigrated Asian students test too well. CPS hasn’t seen a similar effect mainly because its Asian population is only at one third, or less, of NYC’s ratio.

  • 678. feeder schools  |  May 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    On another note, it appears that, among Chicago’s SEHSs, the most sought-after ones have demographic profiles quite similar to elite colleges’, e.g., up to 20% of Asians, 10% each of Blacks and Latinos, with Whites and internationals filling up the rest. Perhaps this is indeed an optimal situation.

  • 679. pantherettie  |  May 18, 2016 at 3:39 am

    @Feeder schools – you feel the most ideal situation would be for the racial makeup of “elite” schools across the country to underrepresent large groups of people?

  • 680. feeder schools  |  May 18, 2016 at 8:31 am


    I have no idea how elite colleges’ demographic profile SHOULD look like. But for high school graduates who get into them, coming from a similar setting would certainly ease the transition a lot.

  • 681. Chris  |  May 18, 2016 at 10:22 am

    “CPS hasn’t seen a similar effect mainly because its Asian population is only at one third, or less, of NYC’s ratio.”

    NYCPS overall demos (using NYCPS categories):

    Black: 27.1%
    Hispanic: 40.5%
    White: 14.8%
    Asian: 15.5%
    Other: 2.1%
    Low Income: 76.5%

    Stuyvesant HS Demo:

    Black: 0.6% (20 out of 3,327)
    Hispanic: 2.6% (88 out of 3,327)
    White: 19.1%
    Asian: 73.4%
    Other: 4.3% (142 out of 3,327)
    Low Income: 42.7%

    Bronx Science Demo:

    Black: 2.2% (67 out of 3,010)
    Hispanic: 5.3% (160 out of 3,010)
    White: 21.0%
    Asian: 62.2%
    Other: 9.3% (280 out of 3,010)
    Low Income: 44.0%

    Northside has has 91 Af-Am (CPS designation) kids–so more than Stuy and Bronx Science *combined* in a school that is less than 1/6th the size.

    Keep in mind that (tho it is hardly as simple as the following implies, of course) the ~70% majority of Chicago voters about evenly split between black and white, and about 20% of voters are hispanic–that is, the hispanic vote is enough to be a “coalition maker” with either half. So everyone tries to play nice with the other major groups. The racial breakdown (and the interest group lines among/.between them) are a lot different in NYC–it’s really pretty hard to find (free) info about NYC voter demographics.

    It’s all about politics. And for you T4 Rahm haters–ain’t anyone else, including an elected school board, that’s going to make it easier on T4.

  • 682. Disney II High School-help!  |  May 19, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Can someone shed some light on the high school portion of Disney II? Is it an average high school or above average. What school would you compare it to? Is it as good as the Von Scholars program or Lincoln Park or Taft IB?

  • 683. Lane Budget cuts  |  May 24, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    These budget cuts are about to wreak havoc upon all of our schools. Look what Lane’s principal is saying: https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160523/roscoe-village/lane-tech-85m-budget-cut-jeopardizes-textbooks-ap-classes-principal

    God Bless us all at CPS! This sounds so ominous…

  • 684. harry potter  |  May 24, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    My district is actively trying to “steal” (recruit) bilingual and special education teachers directly from CPS buildings. Those are typically the only openings we have but they are hard to fill. Our principals are finding that CPS teachers are in denial about the cuts that may happen even though they may regret not taking a job elsewhere when theirs is cut. In past years experience, with CPS, the apocalypse is always on the verge of happening. So who knows, maybe there’ll be some short term fix and instead of 40% cuts it will only be 10-15%.

    What is curious to me is CPS says they’ll soften the blow by redistributing poverty funds so that schools only see 25-30% cuts. I want to know where those poverty funds are going now if not the classroom? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

    There is quite a lot of talk in teacher circles about the possibility of CPS not opening at all this fall. The whole thing just blows my mind. And being a suburban teacher, my district has reassured me that we are in no danger of cuts or of not opening. How in the world does this only affect Chicago and not the rest of the state? It seems to me that budget funding is problematic all over. Or are we just a year or two behind CPS in collapsing too?

  • 685. lawmom  |  May 24, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    God bless teachers. This state is really screwed up on budget problems and yes, we need o find a way to fund CPS schools to avoid the every year panic of the “sky is falling”. We deserve better and so do our children, many of whom strive to get into the best schools offered. I am really tired of this and will let my elected officials know about this.

  • 686. Chris  |  May 25, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    “How in the world does this only affect Chicago and not the rest of the state?”

    School districts in the rest of the state don’t have to make pension payments.

    They also didn’t have Richie Daley cratering their pensions to avoid hard decisions.

  • 687. Rev Rum  |  June 6, 2016 at 6:21 am

    “This state is really screwed up on budget problems and yes, we need o find a way to fund CPS schools to avoid the every year panic of the “sky is falling”. ”

    Too many overpaid teachers & too large an administration. Even if those are “fixed” an even bigger problem are the pensions. The unfunded pension burden is huge and the only options are significant pension/benefit cuts or a tripling of property taxes. The high taxes have already driven population and jobs out of the state. Politicians made promises they knew could never be funded, but it got them votes. They didn’t care because it’s not their money and they knew they would be long gone by the time the SHTF. The chickens have come home to roost.

  • 688. Chris  |  June 6, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    “a tripling of property taxes”

    hahahahahahahaha. No portion of the city’s property taxes needs to be tripled.

    If the CPS levy were tripled, there’s be sooo much cash at CPS that the pension deficit could be filled in less than 3 years, and all of the district’s debt retired in about 5. Then taxes could be cut dramatically–which, of course, wouldn’t happen, no matter what, it would just be a ginormous slushfund.

    The levy last year was $2,375,634,875; tripling it would mean an extra $4.7B in revenue–or $3.7B more than the deficit (which is somewhat exaggerated for political purposes).

    And, even with a tripling of the CPS levy, the result would be “only” [haha, “only”–total murder, still] a doubling of the overall property tax bill, bc CPS is “only” [haha, again] about 50% of the tax bill.

  • 689. harry potter  |  June 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    @686, Are you sure the rest of the state doesn’t have to make pension payments? Don’t we pay these through taxes just as Chicago does? I understand Chicago pays into both systems, unfairly, but the suburbs still have to pay taxes to fund their systems don’t they? Or can you help me understand how this works? What am I missing?

    I do know that state legislators DID raid our TRS as it is not even half funded. There is a long range plan that is in place to fully fund it.

    I think I’m also wondering, so, there’s all these teachers who quit the profession before they are ever vested into the pension system. 50% leave before the 5 year mark and there’s evidence to indicate this is growing. Those who don’t remain still paid into the pension fund, yet don’t keep a penny. Doesn’t that help the pension systems?

  • 690. cpsobsessed  |  June 6, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Welp, now the Lane Tech principal has resigned after 1 year on the job (following the Lake View high school principal who just resigned after 2 years.)

    Please, Illinois, don’t make me move to the suburbs.

  • 691. Chris  |  June 7, 2016 at 10:09 am

    “Are you sure the rest of the state doesn’t have to make pension payments? ”

    The districts are not responsible for the employer’s share. ONLY Chicago has to pay the employer share; everyone else gets it paid by the state.

    This is hugely to the detriment of *downstate* too–given the much higher teacher pay (and thus higher pensions) in the collar counties as compared to (say) Galesburg. The state’s contributions to TRS are a bigger subsidy to the wealthier districts than anyone else.

    Yet the downstate crowd is totally fine supporting Naperville and Lake Forest, but hate on Chicago…I wonder why that might be?

    “I do know that state legislators DID raid our TRS”

    That was the “Edgar Ramp”–the kick the can down the road plan that allowed everyone to get re-elected in the 90’s and left the pain for the dystopian future that we know live in.

    “Those who don’t remain still paid into the pension fund, yet don’t keep a penny.”

    Sure, and for a CPS teacher who works for 4 years, that’s about $5,000 paid in. That’s a rounding error however you look at it.

  • 692. mom2  |  June 7, 2016 at 10:17 am

    @cpsobsessed – I just heard about Lane’s principal. I’m beyond frustrated with our city and our state. Why can’t our “leaders” keep working every day (not be allowed to go home) until they find a balanced solution to our financial issues? They act like their pride and getting reelected is more important than our kids. It may be to them, but that makes them evil in my book.

  • 693. harry potter  |  June 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    @691, people dislike Chicago, imo, in part due to racism and classicism. And in some areas, the city is viewed as inherently dangerous. I don’t believe this, but some do.
    It is completely unfair that CPS has to pay that employer portion. How did that start, other districts not paying the employer portion and CPS paying it?

    I think its more than 5K paid in. CPS teachers with a masters and on step one make about 50K. Most teachers get a master’s degree these days. 9% of that is about 4K per year. 4 years in and then quit, that’s 14-16K lost, gone. CPS has about 30,000 teachers or so. If every 5 years, they lose 15,000 teachers, that’s 200 million dollars or so. Plus then what about the portion that the district pays. That’s another 9%. However I’ve been wrong before and if you can explain it better or show me how I’m wrong, please do!
    That does not include the teachers they lose to suburbs. That’s only those who leave teaching permanently. I’m not exactly sure about those who leave for the suburbs other than the systems are reciprocal and those who leave can roll their years over into TRS like I did.

  • 694. Chicago School GPS  |  June 8, 2016 at 10:58 am

    An article from Catalyst Chicago regarding the slew of CPS Principals leaving: http://catalyst-chicago.org/2016/06/dozens-of-principals-quitting-cps-even-from-plum-schools/

    Dozens of principals quitting CPS, even from “plum schools”
    By Melissa Sanchez | 18 hours ago

    CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson, shown here at a 2015 board meeting, says that “the longer Gov. Rauner stands in the way of equitably funding education, the more CPS will be at a competitive disadvantage for retaining our best principals and teachers.”
    Photo by Max Herman
    CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson, shown here at a 2015 board meeting, says that “the longer Gov. Rauner stands in the way of equitably funding education, the more CPS will be at a competitive disadvantage for retaining our best principals and teachers.”
    Chicago Public Schools officials say 54 principals have resigned or retired so far this school year, the highest number in the past four years.

    The number could go even higher as the school year comes to an end, given the looming threat of budget cuts and no end in sight to the financial impasse in Springfield.

    District officials say the number of departures is in line with previous years but blamed Gov. Bruce Rauner for standing “in the way of equitably funding education.”

    In a statement, Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson said that “the longer the Governor’s intransigence drags on, the more concerned we’ll become about potential losses” of principals and teachers.

    But principals say that CPS is mostly to blame for the big wave of departures, including those from prominent, well-regarded high schools such as Lane Tech, Lake View, Schurz and Foreman, as well as Palmer and Edison Park elementaries.

    “They’re leaving what were considered plum schools,” says Clarice Berry, outgoing president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. “These are people with schools that at one time were the best of the best to have. When principals are walking away from those schools, you know there is trouble.”

    Berry says she’s heard from several more principals who are thinking about submitting their resignation letters at the end of June.

    A CPS spokeswoman did not immediately respond to questions Tuesday about how many principals have completed the district’s eligibility process and are available to work next fall.

    The high-profile departures come as CPS says it will expand its Independent Schools Program, which was started last fall to give top-performing principals more freedom and flexibility. On Monday, district officials said it would double the size of the program to 54 principals.

    “It’s just like locking the barn door after the horses are gone,” says Berry. “Principals are beleaguered.”

    Former Stevenson Elementary Principal Katherine Konopasek says she was turned down for the program last year and decided to take an early retirement in January. She’s one of 21 principals to retire so far this year.

    “If they would have given me that independence that I deserved, I wouldn’t have left when I left,” says Konopasek, who had three years left on her contract at the top-rated school, which is on the Far Southwest Side.

    Konopasek says the district has “devalued, demeaned and demoralized principals. They don’t support principals. They don’t listen to what principals know is best for their building.”

    No support, no money, wasteful spending

    Last fall, a survey from the Chicago Public Education Fund found that 40 percent of principals said they will look for a new job in the next three years.

    More than two-thirds of those surveyed said they want to spend less time on compliance and paperwork, such as filling out forms related to teacher evaluations and completing data requests. Just 33 percent wanted an increase in pay.

    Former Blaine Principal Troy LaRaviere, who is taking the helm of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association next month, says principals are looking for jobs in districts where “the political leadership has demonstrated commitment to supporting schools and students.”

    He says three interrelated factors are to blame. “We have a state that won’t pass a budget. If they do pass a budget, we have a [state] funding formula that is inadequate. If they correct the funding formula, you have a district that’s proven that it will spend money recklessly and wastefully… All three of those things have at some level or another created a degree of uncertainty and frustration among principals.”

    It’s not just principals who are looking to leave CPS. At Orr High School, seven teachers have already announced they’re resigning at the end of the school year. That’s close to a third of the tiny school’s teaching staff, says Cy Hendrickson, an eight-year math teacher at the struggling Austin school. He says cuts to personnel and support services, including a clinical mental health counseling program, have made it an impossible environment to do well in.

    Last week he decided to take a teaching job in Oak Park.

    “One of the reasons I felt like I had to leave is I didn’t see it getting any better,” says Hendrickson, who worries about the students he’s leaving behind. “At least in the near to medium term I only see it getting worse. Even if [the district] keeps current per-student funding levels the same next year, that’s still way too few resources for a school like Orr.”

    A CPS spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for details on the number of teacher retirements or resignations, although she said the retirement rate was similar to that of recent years.

  • 695. Chris  |  June 8, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    @693: HP

    On point one: I agree with you. I stay away from bringing it up, bc then the non-Chicagoans have to confront their biases, but I’d rather they think ‘what good people we are to support those awful, awful Chicagoans’ and pitch in.

    “How did that start, other districts not paying the employer portion and CPS paying it?”

    The CTPF has been around since well before the TRS. It used to be funded thru a separate levy, but that went away with Daley’s “takeover’ of CPS (in ’95). The state “agreed” to pay a bunch of $$ into CTPF, but never did, and Daley (the worm) never pushed it. So, it was a series of things that lead to TRS being state funded to the tune of over $2 BILLION per year, and CTPF getting a couple of bucks tossed its way.

    “I think its more than 5K paid in … 9% of that”

    It’s only 2% that they pay in, the rest is the “pick up”, and since it’s not an individual account, the pick up is really just a part of the Employer obligation, which, negotiated percentage or not, is an obligation to make whole on the aggregate obligation, and not really a fixed dollar amount.

    But that’s really semantics. Your view of it isn’t wrong, it just isn’t the only accurate view.

    Per the CPS website, there are all of 21,670 teachers, not 30,000. And, from what I find, that 50% five-year turnover is on a *per school* basis, not for CPS as a whole. So, a teacher moving from (say) Fenger to Westinghouse counts in that 50%. Can’t quickly find a “leaving CPS” percentage.

    Also, it seems that *nationally* almost 50% of teachers quit teaching altogether within the first 5 years. So if CPS is only slightly worse than that, I think that that is actually a pretty good stat.

  • 696. Ricardo  |  June 8, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    @688 “If the CPS levy were tripled, there’s be sooo much cash at CPS that the pension deficit could be filled in less than 3 years, and all of the district’s debt retired in about 5. Then taxes could be cut dramatically–which, of course, wouldn’t happen, no matter what, it would just be a ginormous slushfund.
    The levy last year was $2,375,634,875; tripling it would mean an extra $4.7B in revenue–or $3.7B more than the deficit (which is somewhat exaggerated for political purposes). ”
    You’re kidding right? You are only looking at the current annual deficit for CPS. But the problem is the unfunded liabilities across all government entities in the state. We are talking a minimum of over $100 billion in unfunded liabilities:

    “Illinois’ unfunded pension liability now up to $111 billion”
    Source: Crains

    And that is assuming overly optimistic rates of returns on the funds. A more likely level of liability is over $200 billion (yes, billion).
    Source: Illinois Policy Org

    So whether it is a tripling of property taxes or income taxes or a combination, there are huge tax increases required. A few years ago when the state increased the income tax rate by 67% (from 3% to 5%), the budget deficit actually continued to increase. Tax more, spend more. Keep voting for the same!

  • 697. Chris  |  June 9, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    “You’re kidding right? You are only looking at the current annual deficit for CPS. ”

    Um, duh! The reference was to a tripling of PROPERTY tax.

    Property tax paid in Chicago goes to a discrete set of governments:

    City of Chicago (including TIF $$ reallocated from the others)
    Cook County
    Chicago Parks
    City Colleges
    Forest Preserve

    NONE of those have anything to do with the State Pension and TRS deficits. TRS is over $60 Billlion of that $111b; Not one red cent of Chicago PROPERTY tax goes to TRS, or the other state-level pension funds.

    The aggregate property tax paid in Chicago last year was a little over $5 billion; tripling that would add $10 billion per year to the take, and the aggregate pension debt for all of the governments who get $$ from Chicago property tax is around $40B (and that includes the MWRD and Cook, so some of that is spread around)–thus, the deficit could be retired *in whole* in 4 years. A few more years after that, and all of the City’s and CPS’s bond debt could be retired, too.

    Now, will *other* taxes paid by Chicagoans (income, sales, etc) need to go up to pay for the state-level pension deficit? Yep. But it’s not PROPERTY tax.

  • 698. harry potter  |  June 10, 2016 at 7:52 am

    The Shurz principal resigned. Friend down at CO say a few more are coming in the next week or two that they know about.

  • 699. Monakique  |  June 16, 2016 at 7:16 am

    For Chris, math is hard. CPS graduate?

  • 700. Chris  |  June 16, 2016 at 11:22 am

    “math is hard.”

    Show me the error! Otherwise, you’re just a Drumpf-ite.

  • 701. Chris  |  June 20, 2016 at 10:59 am


    Still waiting. I guess that math *is* hard.

  • 702. Wanda T  |  June 21, 2016 at 11:53 am

    ^ at least Chris is man enough to admit it and is not embarrassed about it. Kudos to you!

  • 703. Chris  |  June 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Harhar! G.O.!!

    Since neither of you can elucidate the supposed error, I guess you’re not a sharp as the average Drumpf voter. I mean *together*.

  • 704. Kelly M.  |  June 22, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Is it too late to get into WY? My kid has made the cutoff score for WY, but we accepted Lindblom, which was our first choice.

  • 705. CPSparent  |  June 22, 2016 at 8:35 am

    This blog is not CPS. Contact the CPS office downtown. Hopefully there is still a chance.

  • 706. HSObsessed  |  July 19, 2016 at 9:42 am

    PSA: Lincoln Park HS is accepting applications for transfer students for grades 10-12. Application period ends on July 26, 2016.


  • 707. cpsobsessed  |  July 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    ^ interesting. good reason for kids not to slack off in 8th grade in case they want to investigate a transfer.

  • 708. cpsobsessed  |  July 19, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    I had an interesting conversation with my new handyman this week. He attended Lane Tech in the 70’s so of course I had to ask him about naked swimming (males swam naked there back in the day.)
    He confirmed it and recalled clearly the horror of the summer before freshman year anticipating it.

    His class was the first one to have girls in it. Girls were ~10% of the class he said. And (surprisingly) nobody objected to letting girls into the school. They took the shop and tech classes just like the boys did. But they didn’t swim naked. I assume some time after that, the naked swimming came to an end, but it lasted into the late 70’s at least. :0

    Love these old CPS stories.

  • 709. HSObsessed  |  July 20, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    @cpso – I would have loved to be there to see you casually bringing up your knowledge of naked swimming in his high school in the 70s to your handyman like it’s no big deal! LOL.

  • 710. incoming WY  |  July 20, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    @ HSObsessed
    there was a story about it on NPR, so probably that could have been a topic starter :))

  • 711. tier3exhaustedmom  |  July 23, 2016 at 11:17 am

    tier3exhaustedmom on March 3, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I have an update: we were enrolled at Westinghouse and moving forward from the SEHS process. On Monday night we had a voicemail that our Waitlist number #25 at Jones CTE came up. We have joyously accepted. Just when you think it’s set, you can still be surprised.

  • 712. karet  |  July 25, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Even co-ed schools used to have the naked swimming! My father-in-law swam naked in gym class at Steinmetz in the 50s. My dad also did, at a public school in Kansas City (50s). He still talks about the trauma for some boys. The girls wore swim suits. I wonder when the naked swimming stopped?

  • 713. cpsobsessed  |  August 18, 2016 at 10:35 pm


    I see Lane Tech has chosen a new principal. Breaking a long-standing trend, they’ve hired from outside the school, bringing in an AP from Taft. He’s also been at Von Steuben and Whitney Young and is apparently CPS-committed.

    I’m sometimes blown away by the shear number of people in Chicago who have attended Lane Tech, given the schools size. I run into people of all ages who attended the school over the decades. It’s kind of amazing to think how many *thousands* of kids this guy could be the principal to over the next 10+ years.

  • 714. Wondering  |  September 2, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Does anyone have any insight on how math placement is done in CPS high schools – i.e. honors class vs. regular?

  • 715. Angela Trevino  |  April 15, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    What happens if my daughter only applied to Selective Enrollment but she did not get accepted into any. She got an 876/900 for everything which includes he NWEA and the SE test score. What do I do if she does not get into Whitney even with Principal’s Discretion.

  • 716. cpsobsessed  |  April 15, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    @714 – I am not super familiar with the high school math stuff as other parents are, but I know that all 8th grades take an algebra placement exam of some sort that can be used to place them into the right level math class in HS. I think this may vary by school too, as the high school my son will attend gives all students their own test that they use to place the kids.

  • 717. cpsobsessed  |  April 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    @Angela, you have the option of your neighborhood high school, other neighborhood high schools that might have space (in the Lake View and Amundsen areas and child in either zone can attend either school for example.) Some of the charters might still accept applications later as well since they are not part of the central process.

    Or of course you could explore private.

  • 718. harry potter  |  April 15, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    @715, if your daughter scored 876, she’s above the cutoff for the highest tier, tier 4 for Young. She should have received an offer. Or did you mean 776? Or am I misunderstanding something?

  • 719. Angela Trevino  |  April 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    @cpsobsessed my bad she got an 844 out of 900

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