Economic Diversity Info Is SuperSecret™, Says Board


Wondering what if any effect the new magnet/ selective enrollment admissions plan will have on economic diversity within schools?  You won't find out the answer from CPS -- even though economic diversity was the basis of the student application and acceptance formula they were using. 

Catalyst says that, on aggregate, the economic mix will remain the
same, with families living in higher-income neighborhoods making up
nearly 40 percent of the SE and magnet enrollment (here).  
But there's no school-by-school breakdown of the economic distribution
like there was with race. 

So I asked the Board.  First they said they didn't have it.  Then they said they couldn't give it out for privacy reasons.  But that doesn't really make sense, given that they've already given out the school by school race data and FERPA (the student privacy law) is limited to individual privacy (and they've already reported the NCLB "gut check") numbers, which are effectively income-based.  Where's the information on how the new admissions plan is going to affect economic diversity at Chicago's magnet and selective high schools?  Why can't we see it?  I think everyone wants to know. 


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  • Actually the question of race and economic change in these schools should be a critical issue for the Blue Ribbon committee to look at. I would urge people to contact members of the blue ribbon committee and ask that this data be made public. The members or this committee are:

    Alderman Latasha Thomas, Education Committee Chairman
    Miguel DeValle, City Clerk
    Anna Alvarado, Principal of Hawthorne Elementary
    Alan Mather, Principal of Lindblom Math & Science Academy
    Cynthia Flowers, Black Star Project
    Lisa Scruggs Esq. Jenner &Block
    Bertha Magana, Latino Education Alliance
    Dr. Mary Davidson, PhD, Center for Protection of Children

    Rod Estvan

  • So "Magnet Parent" is content that its child was admitted to a magnet school and couldn't care less about all the children who didn't make it.

    The people who are "obsessing about he minutiae and the numbers" are doing so because they don't trust the Board of Education. A transparent process would alleviate their fears.

    The raison d'etre for magnet schools was to increase diversity in a segregated school system. If diversity doesn't matter, then there's no longer any reason for the magnet schools to exist.

    Frankly, I'd prefer to abolish all magnet schools and send kids to their neighborhood schools.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Amen, Danny. Well said.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    We all have to realize the only measure of socioeconomic status any school has is the free and reduced lunch form. It is a measure of those who are poor, it does not tell us if the students getting into Payton, etc come from more wealthy families than in prior years. It will tell us if more truly poor students are not getting in.

    One of my children went to Payton, and graduated two years ago, our experience was more and more wealthy students who had gone to private schools from Chicago and elsewhere were enrolling. But there is no way to prove that. Even though my daughter graduated from a CPS elementary we too are far from poor and have incomes in the top quartile of the income distribution. Very few of my daughters friends came from poor families while at Payton,and the same is true in relation to her college friends at U of I Urbana.

    As to the comments by Magnet School Parent, we should not wait and see. The CPS has created a blue ribbon committee and this committee needs to hear the concerns of the community in order to recommend policy changes. In order to participate at these hearing the parents and others posting here will actually have to use their real names.

    Lastly, I think some of us confuse economic diversity in magnet and SE schools with having our children in school with children from working class families including children of city workers, fire, police officers, and other non-professional workers who are not really poor by any measure. For the most part truly poor students are the exception rather than the rule in most of these schools. At Payton these students were few and far between.

    Rod Estvan

  • amazing 44 percentage point increase in white admissions at franklin -- WTF? this is craziness, and cps still can't or won't provide a breakdown of sibling, proximity, or SES for each school.

  • sorry -- wrong school. tribune story cites hawthorne going from 26 to 70 percent white -- a 44 percentage point increase: This year, white admissions went up by as much as 44 percentage points in some cases, particularly in majority white neighborhoods. Many of these schools are among the very best in the school system.",0,1237251.story

  • pretty much everyone agrees that diversity has taken a hit under this plan, and the numbers from the tribune haven't been challenged by the board so i'm not sure if catalyst's are any better. so i'm not sure what your point is -- you think the huberman plan has worked? you think the tribune's numbers are wrong, compared to catalyst's?

  • lessons from boston and new york, according to a DC think tank

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