Hard To Get In (Unless You're White)

It's a mix of topics in today's news roundup -- the struggles of getting into an SE school from a top tier (and the increase in the proportion of white kids who get in anyway), the violence on the South Side last night, a new study about principal turnover, and Louder Than A Bomb 2012.


Scoring a slot at some CPS college preps: Near perfection required Sun Times: Nearly perfect scores — and perfect grades. That’s what it took this year for many eighth graders to win admission to the most selective of the city’s selective-enrollment public high schools. ALSO: Did your neighborhood change CPS tiers?



Minorities fail to get into top grammar schools Chicago Reporter:  While white students’ overall enrollment has shrunk, the share of white students attending the city’s strongest grade schools grew by 2 percentage points between the fall of 2009—when a federal judge lifted a long-running desegregation consent decree—and the fall of 2011, the analysis shows.


Students Return To Class After Deadly School Stabbing CBS Local: AMI Kids is the private, Florida-based company under contract with the Chicago Public Schools to operate the school for students with behavioral and emotional problems.

Family of teen killed in stabbing at school: ‘We are not good’ Sun Times:  The sister of a 17-year-old boy killed at a South Side school Thursday said her brother wanted out of the school. “He said all the kids did at that [new] school was gangbang,” she said. The teen accused in the attack, which also injured another student, is in police custody.

CPS board member responds to student stabbing WBEZ: The nonprofit that runs the school says no security guard is on site for the roughly 20 students there, but staff is trained in managing behavior and de-escalating conflicts. The school serves students with behavioral or learning problems.


Bd of Ed Vice President Jesse Ruiz takes calls on 'Schools on the Line' WBEZ: Questions about the recent school closings and turnarounds were on the minds of callers during the March broadcast of Schools on the LineRuiz also talked about a rumored contract proposal from the Chicago Teachers Union to pay teachers 30 percent more over the next two years.

Principal Turnover Bodes Poorly for Schools EdWeeK The mix of principals studied included those who came through New Leaders training, as well as those who attended other leadership programs.

Louder Than a Bomb WTTW:  Young poets and storytellers compete this week at the Louder Than a Bomb festival. We talk to the co-founder of the fest and one of its stars.

Map via Sun Times (see link above)


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  • murder? beatings? rape?

  • from Substance: Las Casas closing behind death of 'alternative school' kid - http://ow.ly/9pLMs

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    I'd love to hear from Rod Estvan about this Las Casas issue. I heard that Las Casas had drifted away from helping ED students and filled with more BD students. Where are ED studentsc getiting educated in CPS these days? Isn't Montefiore closing too, after a recent reprieve?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CPS has been quietly closing alternative schools and farming the students out to cheap contract schools for several years. The latest were the three alternative high schools for adjudicated youth that closed this past summer: IDOC/Healy North, IDOC/Healy South, and Center Factory. Students who need the most experienced educators in the building are getting the cheapest instead.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I am out of town on vacation until Thursday so my comment on the special school stabbing will be limited. CPS has contracted with private providers at as low of a rate as possible. There are some private special education schools that will not contract with CPS at the rates they are paying and others will.

    The bottom line is most of the students in the private special education sector require intense monitoring and from the description of the stabbing waiting in line for a body search at the school it appears the school had limited staff at the door. But if the same thing happened at a traditional CPS high school in the line for the metal detectors would the traditional school had more staff to deal with it?

    The truth is these students are expensive and no one wants to pay the cost of educating them either in private or traditional schools. That is why families of students who have money file due process and often get placements at more expensive private special education schools.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    What's the future in CPS for placements at more expensive private special education schools? Any sense of it?

  • How in hell could this story skip the race angle? "Scoring a slot at some CPS college preps: Near perfection required" By ROSALIND ROSSI AND ART GOLAB Staff Reporters March 1, 2012 9:18PM.


  • Read Jaime Melero's commentary on the Affirmative Action case going before the Supreme Court on Hancock High School's blog "Whatchoo Got to Say?"


  • Just wondering if anyone knew why Dr. Shaun Smith is leaving Burnham Network. He was pretty good when he was in our area (Area 13), but our school went to Adrian Willis this year. Is he a part of central office who are leaving because they "know" the storms that are coming?

  • In reply to unknown teacher:

    Dear unknown teacher, Shaun Smith is leaving because he knows what CPS is doing with the school closings is wrong. Shaun supported his principals and he can not take any more of this _ullshit! P.S.- Good luck Shaun Smith in your new job.

  • WOW!! Now this makes me very concerned. He really was a good leader and listener. Another loss of a true education professional. (Thanks RP for the info)

  • Can someone help me understand the role of teacher reps on an LSC when it comes to selecting a new principal?

  • In reply to scooby:

    Teacher reps are supposed to provide a representative voice of the staff, however they are in a sticky situation if the principal or candidate already has the support of the majority of the LSC. It is difficult to "vote your conscience" if it means casting your ballot against a vindictive boss.

    Many LSCs are bought off by principals for a few measly pieces of silver. LSCs are an example of the worst kind of "small town politics".

  • The tier system is a joke. Altgeld Gardens and Beverly View are in the same "high income" tier as the Gold Coast and Sauganash?!? Many middle and lower middle class kids are competing for slots with the children of the elite who have every advantage handed to them on a silver platter. There should be MANY more tiers at the top income brackets.


  • Duncan pledges $550M for big districts, Chicago mayor offers $25K for best principals http://ow.ly/9qM4L

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Almost sounds like barrels of free money! And a great incentive for principals: fire a few tenured union teachers and make 25 grand!

  • Sounds like Lane Tech is the big winner in this year's brutal enrollment year http://ow.ly/9qMqA

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    the parent of every child who applied to SE this year has posted his or her child's acceptance letter at CPSobsessed


    no, not really -- but 900 posts

    via @sethlavin

  • Gery Chico weighs in: Longer public school day — done right — is essential - Chicago Sun-Times http://ow.ly/9qMfk

  • What a stupid thing to say. Hard to get in unless you are white. The hard working white parents in tier 4 are completely aced out by the fact that your boy Rahm changed the game by changing large blocks of tier 3 on the north side to tier 4. This was in an effort to placate the poor blacks and latinos which are his voting constituency. So the hard working parents lose again to the free lunch, after school program, free coats, free school supplies takers in tiers 1 and 2. So now all you liberals who voted for Emmanuel whose kids were rejected can either send them to the jungle, drug infested, gang banger schools in an attempt at the "urban experience" or go into more debt by sending them to private schools. Keep on voting for Emmanuel and Obama and this is what you get.

  • New Web App Makes It Easier For CPS Students To Get Into The Schools They Want: Chicagoist http://ow.ly/9xTvF

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