Posts tagged ‘cps selective enrollment high school admission’

2012 High School Admissions and Principal Discretion Part 3

The PD handbook was supposed to have posted last night on  The application period will run March 9-23.

Continue to post high school admission info and questions here.

Please put any comments about the Tier debate here:

FYI: Lake View High School is still taking applications this week and is having a community info session Weds 3/7 at 6:30.

March 6, 2012 at 5:38 am 202 comments

Selective Enrollment High School Scandal? You knew this one was coming….

While the whole U of I thing played out, in the back of my mind I had to wonder if the same thing has been going on with Chicago selective enrollment high schools.   The high schools are probably HARDER to get into than most universities and unlike colleges, there aren’t a wide ranges of choices available.  And you don’t have to worry about your child becoming a gang member if they don’t get into certain colleges.

So thanks to a couple readers for posting the links it does in fact look like clout and connections have been used to get kids into these top high schools.

For those who haven’t heard of the high school admissions process yet (expect me to be blogging about it big time in 6-7 years) there is a scoring process that’s used to get in the schools.  Scores are based on grades, 7th grade ISAT test scores, and attendance.  There is a formula used to rank students for admission.  North Side College Prep is the hardest to get into.  That school has the highest test scores of any IL high school.  Others that are highly coveted are Whitney Young and Walter Peyton.

In theory, CPS goes down the ranked list offering spots just as they do for the Gifted/Classical elementary programs.  But from what I’ve heard a kid pretty much knows ahead of time which school/s they have a shot at based on their score.  So although there are tons of applications, most of them probably don’t stand a chance of getting in due to their grades or test scores.  It’s always been competitive to get in but now with more people wanting to stay in the city the pipeline will get even more clogged.  The kids who are getting in have nearly all A’s, top ISAT scores, and miss only a day or 2 in 7th grade (why yes, there are tons of sick 7th graders being sent to school – call it survival of the fittest.)  It can make a parent want to crack down big time or just give up now when you see what it takes to get in those schools.

So of course it makes sense that people with connections use them.  The thing that makes this slightly less objectionable to me thant the U of I scam is that in Chicago each principal gets to fill 5% of their spots using their “discretion.”  So at least CPS is open about this.    I was surprised to hear that this applies to selective enrollment high schools (since I don’t think it applies to gifted/classical schools that also require testing for admission) but it does work that way.  So a principal can select a student who makes a good case to get in (good grades, strong leadership, but doesn’t perform well on standardized tests,) a parent could make a case for the family (mom is a scientist and will help lead a science initiative at the school,) or hey, maybe even money talks.  The thing is that CPS schools desparately need these resources so to some extent I get the discretion thing.  Schools even need the support of local politicians for things like extra funding, new programs, etc.  Is it wrong to help out the Alderman’s kid if that means getting a great resource on your side?  Maybe, maybe not.  Having Michael Jordon’s son at Whitney Young certainly brought the school (and even CPS) good attention. Hmmm… does blogging about CPS get me points or does it get me on some shit-list?  Must ponder that one.

I’ll be curious to see how this pans out and who has pulled strings to get students in (and how sub-par they are.)  I’m also curious to see if those students could actually cut it in these top schools.  I’m sure the local press will be revealing more soon.

July 23, 2009 at 9:16 am 16 comments




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