Magnet Schools: Race Returns

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Amazing.  First the Board said they couldn't use race as a factor in crafting a new student application and assignment plan. Nope.  Not allowed.  They said (it wasn't true) that the court prohibited it when vacating the consent decree. Siblings and proximity were boosted.

Then they reassured us that they had studied other cities and done the work and come up with a plan that wouldn't re-segregate the magnet and selective admissions schools.  They'd done computer projections.  They had a team working on this. Experts.  Charts.

Then, yesterday, they rolled out a revised proposal that would reduce the emphasis on siblings and proximity and -- surprise! -- indicated that would add race back into the mix if necessary, through some sort of unwritten (secret?) "gut check" process that is sure to drive Board-watchers and parents crazy (and send them to court).  Sun Times here. Tribune here. Catalyst here. Fox Chicago here.  WBEZ here. The good news?  Application deadline extended until January.


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  • I have an 8th grader applying to Selective Enrollment high schools. On the FAQs posted on the OAE web site for several weeks, there was a question that expressly asked whether the applicant's race needed to be filled in on the application. The answer was simply "No." So we didn't fill in my child's race. Yet Ron Huberman is quoted in several news reports (e.g., Catalyst Notebook, WBEZ, etc.) as saying the following at yesterday's board meeting:

  • that's a really good point, stevekub --

    my guess is that everyone who didn't put race in there is going to have to resubmit and add it.

    or perhaps there's some advantage to not indicating a race assuming that the numbers come out so that they have to let more black and latinos in.

    if you're white, then, it'd be better not to have it on the list.

    but again -- i don't know what the real procedure is going to be and CPS is not saying. i've asked them for more details but they're not giving any -- it really just seems like they made it up at the last minute or something.

    / alexander

  • as you can imagine, the folks from black star are pretty excited about having gotten the board to change its mind. they just sent out an email including all the mainstream story coverage.

  • OAE staff can determine the race of students who attend CPS by checking on IMPACT. What about students who do not attend CPS??

  • I can't believe how bad FOX news is and how misinformed the Beasley boy's mom is. His sibling status has NOTHING to do with whether he gets into a SE high school.

  • On or about November 10, 2009 CPS released a power point presentation on the new magnet school and selective enrollment process. Six public hearing were held and that power point presentation was used at these hearings. The percentages used for magnet school admissions for the proximity lottery and 4-group based lottery in the power point presentation that was used at those hearing were not the ones that was voted on by the Board yesterday. Nor were the percentages used in the Selective Schools admissions process of students admitted by citywide scores and by 4-group based scores used at those hearings were also not the ones that were voted on by the Board yesterday.

    There is no requirement in CPS Board rules that public hearing be held in relation to a change in these admission rules, nor did Judge Kocoras require that public hearings be held in relation to the plan for these schools created by the desegregation decree that he vacated. So those meetings called

  • "Laura", a commenter on the Catalyst web site nailed the issue. She said, (paraphrase) "So what kind of Huberman data will be mined for checking guts?" Thanks Laura

  • How does CPS figure the race of students? Teachers make a guess when they look at each student! And what about bi/tri-racial students. Whatever happend to just being Human?

  • Ron has a bad habit of opening his mouth without thinking about the ramifications. Then he turns around and insists that his staff 'make it so'. It creates chaos at CO.

  • Gee, it's as if they're making up the rules as they go along.



  • He has been creating chaos in the schools. Ron is a demolition derby. He is breaking us all apart with no recovery. The children are suffering.

  • huberman is a criminal who hurts all of the children of the city of chicago. his decisions have no educational merit that are dangerous and illegal with no regard for a childs' best interest or education. if a teacher did anything close to what huberman is doing as the ceo of a school system in their classroom they would be removed from the school building. this guy is beyond a joke he is is just out right criminal. he makes duncan look good.

  • ok so now we finally get some clarification from CPS spokesperson monique bond about what she calls "adjustments" or "review" and others have been calling the gut check. says bond:


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