Despite repeated requests, CPS still won't let anyone talk to me about the proposed magnet schools plan. But it did manage to let Catalyst snag some unsatisfyingly vague answers from Rick Kahlenberg, the DC-based Century Foundation scholar who helped CPS design the plan. Argh. Gak.
Kahlenberg pretty much admits that the boost for neighborhood kids is a sop to affluent and politically active parents. (No wonder there's been no outcry from the North Side.) He ducks answering what the proposed plan will do to high-demand magnet schools in more affluent areas. (Make them whiter and richer, probably.) He claims that the plan will bring greater diversity to some of the wealthier SE schools (but doesn't explain how that could possibly happen). He claims that community census data is the best that's available (ignoring troves of easily verifiable individualized social services data).
Perhaps, underneath it all, the new plan is designed to eliminate clout. Who needs clout when all the folks with it are already going to get in?