Posts tagged ‘cps gifted classical ranking’

The gifted/classical ranking process

A commenter asked about the ranking process on the Gifted/Classical test forms and how kids are assigned to schools.  Here’s my impression and best explanation.  Feel free to add input or stories…

The GEAP offices ranks all the kids by test score, from highest to lowest. There is a separate list for gifted and for classical test scores.

They go down the list from the top and assign each child their top choice of school.  If their top choice is full, they get assigned to their #2 choice, or #3 choice, and so on.  (that includes the Gifted and Classical schools all in one pool.)

In the past, for the North side, Edison was usually the top choice since it was the only Northside program that started in Kindergarten (now there is Edison and Coonley.)

So say you had a kid who scored well, but not outstanding.  If you put down a full 6 schools, you probably would have gotten into Pritzker or the old Skinner.

Then, as families turn down seats, GEAP continues down the list, calling the next highest child who picked that school.  So say a seat opens at Edison in April because a family decided to go to private school – GEAP will call the next child on the list who has a test score and is NOT currently assigned to another gifted/classical program.

So the GOOD news is that you can rank your choices in order of true preference.  The system efficiently will assign your child a seat in your top choices as one comes open.

The CHALLENGE is when you get a spot at, say, your 5th choice.  Do you take the spot so your child is guaranteed something?  If you do, you WON’T get called if something opens at your top choice (or your 2nd, 3rd, etc.)  You have to turn down a spot to be called for another program.  It can feel risky turning down something that is in-hand.  I know of a family who stuck to their guns in turning down 2 decent programs, only through amazing luck of the universe ended up getting 2 children into the same Classical school in the same year.  That is a feat that is hard to duplicate!

So my advice is to tour as many as you can and rank them in your true preference.  There’s really no “gaming” the system or anything.  Although I suppose taking social-econ factors into account might help, although it is harder to figure out than race.  For instance at Coonley, despite the best efforts there are very few minority kids in the gifted program.  A minority family (and likely a Tier 1-2 family) would have a better shot there, I’d imagine than  in a different program.  A look at the school demos might help there, but of course you have to be willing to drive anywhere in the city to get to that school.

One thing I’d add is that it is worth including at least one of each school (gifted/classical) on your list even if you don’t think any would work out.  The year my son started, some people didn’t choose a gifted school since there were none nearby, then at the last minute they opened Coonley.  People who hadn’t tested their child and picked a gifted school didn’t get the chance for entry that year.  I doubt in this financial environment, CPS is opening any new programs soon, but you never know!

EDIT: what makes this all the more difficult this year is the 4-tiered socio-econ groups.  In the past, there were actually 2 lists for gifted and classical; caucasian and non-caucasian.  Now there will be FOUR lists — one for each tier.   So I believe the first 40% of spots per class will be assigned straight off the top of the list (no regard for tier.)  Then the next 60% of spots will use the 4 lists to assign spaces.  The complication could be mind boggling.

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March 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm 8 comments


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