Board Could "Adjust" (ie, Cut) Neighborhood Magnet Acceptances

Watch out, white families who live near popular magnet schools and whose kids test well.  Their spots might get taken away at the last minute if not enough poor, low-scoring black and brown kids get in.  After several days of frustrating confusion and ambiguity, Board spokesperson Monique Bond finally clarified the whole "gut check" issue:

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"The "up to 40%" provision does allow for us to make adjustments. We
could theoretically go below that percentage, but not above. The review
will occur in January and early February before selections are made for
magnet and selective enrollment schools."

This is confirmation of a completely under-publicized provision in the revised magnet acceptance plan that will likely confuse and enrage parents who learn about it.  Read below for the back story.

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As you may recall, Huberman's team originally proposed to reserve 50
percent of spots at magnet elementary schools for neighborhood kids. 

Then the Huberman team brought that down to 40 percent in response to widespread concerns about resegregation. 

Little-noted in the revised proposal made and passed on Wednesday -- only Catalyst paid any attention at the time -- was that the revised proposal reads "up to 40 percent" (meaning that the actual percentage could be lower than 40). 

There was widespread confusion about the details, however, and Bond has
given confusing statements about how the process would actually work ("Gut Check" Confusion).


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  • Alexander--are you confused here? Ron keeps changing the rules, the stories, the proceedures. There is no interest in history or protocol, or parents input or students here--Ron does not care, does not ask for it, does not want to be botherd. You are getting a real taste of what CPS employees are going through. This guy does NOT know what he is doing! This incompetence is now beig felt on the classroom level! Who is on first? There is no program to buy since it is super secret and if there was a program, it would be nullified as it was being published. Ron is a mess.

  • Your post neglects to mention that the magnet schools currently reserve 30 percent of their slots for neighborhood schools. The 40% setaside is actually an INCREASE over the current 30% set aside. This policy, combined with removing the 35% sibling cap, effectively reduces opportunities for students living in marginalized communities to attend high quality magnet schools.

  • In reply to Valeriefleonard:

    There is actually a *Decrease* in "neighborhood" acceptance. The old policy was 30% (or 50% at my school) of the total slots. The new policy is (up to) 40% of slots remaining AFTER siblings are accepted. That will have a very significant impact on the school my daughter attends. Siblings could take more than half of available K slots if this school year is any indication.

  • got it--in the short and long run, Ron and CPS will do what it wants! What he does want is less busing. It will take nosey reporters to get the story and probably a lawsuit by parents to get this honestly hashed out. The poor schools will still go without no matter what.

  • agreed, district299reader, that it's a mess. i'm doing my best to untangle best i can (to the extent it's untanglable).

    and yes, valerie -- good reminder about the original (current) status of just 30 percent. thanks.

    i am thinking that a lot of neighborhood parents only heard that it was going up to 50 percent and thought that they were in the clear. not so fast, apparently. they will be disappointed, i think -- as south and west side parents will be pleased.

    thanks again for the comments
    / alexander

  • Considering that sibblings are guaranteed a seat that means that the current balance will be somewhat maintained depending on the number of children in each family. Neighborhood parents have always complained that their children have to take buses that are much further away so I think the 40 percent was fair (actually I would have liked the 50 percent) but it shouldn't go much lower than that. Unless there is a good neighborhood school in the area, neighborhood kids should be able to go to the school closest to them.

  • Robo call from CPS. Anyone else get the automated call with a recording from CPS announcing the magnet (and SE?) school application changes yesterday?

  • I got the automated call too and kind of wondered about it. I guess they called everyone in the system. I don't know why the push is so strong.

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