"Gut Check" For Huberman High School Plan [updated]

UPDATE:  See Thursday links at bottom of this post.

Catalyst first broke the news on Twitter that Huberman was going to add seats at SE schools for kids from the worst elementary schools. Then the Sun Times posted a brief story about the process (and then the Defender Board of Ed. approves proposed school changes).  And now I’ve finally got the full information from CPS (below), showing two key things — the scores and tiers for the SE schools, and the plan to include a small number of poor minority kids at the last minute.  Click the images below to see how the scores and tiers worked out at each school, or download the CPS press release (NCLB press release 3 3 10.doc) to get a sense of the whole shebang.

Thursday AM links:
Kids from Struggling Elementary Schools Get Seats WBEZ
CPS offers elite spots to best students in worst elementary schools

Poorer students have tougher time gaining admission Catalyst

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  • here's what ros rossi has - it's huberman's attempt to make good on the long-ago NCLB promise that kids at bad schools could transfer to good ones.

    "Some 100 top students from low-scoring elementary schools will be admitted this fall into the highest-scoring and most sought-after high schools in Chicago under the latest tweak to Chicago's college prep admission policy.

    "Chicago Public School officials said they were using the

  • I believe that Mr. Huberman and CPS are doing the correct thing in attempting to correct what I suspect was possibly a white majority incoming Freshman class at Payton, Young, NS, and Jones. CPS comes close to admitting this in their press release when they write: "The program (NCLB SE enrollment) also will help ensure continued racially diverse student bodies at the District

  • Let's see what happens when the academic centers and SE elementaries send out their letters. Also, I want to know how magnet (non testing) school fair. This is absolutely a debacle and a travesty. I follow a blog called CPS Obssessed and she is reporting that HUberman has put on the table to balance the budget the elimation of all gifted and classical schools and the bus service to these schools. Has anyone heard about that?

  • I think it's a shame that people assume that because students are not attending a particular school or scoring highly on some dumb test that they are somehow inferior, or don't work as hard as the students who score more highly.

    I attended the high school that boasted the highest average ACT score in the nation my junior year and I don't believe we worked nearly as hard or had half the civic skills that many of our students possess now.

    It's a shame that people insist on judging the worth of youth on some poorly designed tests rather than on their skills and contributions to our shared community.

  • In reply to xian:

    I think a lot of CPS parents feel forced to buy into this way of judging youth because of this two-tiered educational system. It's unnatural and twisted, but it seems to be the only game in town.

  • In reply to xian:

    Was there different criteria for students with disabilities applying for SE schools this year? Rod?

  • In reply to xian:

    This underhanded "Select 100" scam is an insult to the many low income and minority students who paid attention in class every day, studied hard, stayed out of trouble and applied for selective enrollment, and unfortunately came up short. Now Hubie & Co. cherry pick 100 kids from unfortunate circumstances - some kids who didn't even bother to apply or test for selective enrollment - and give them the coveted spots. Wouldn't it have made more sense to dip a little deeper into the # 1 socio-economic pool of qualified students to ensure greater minority representation at SE high schools? No - because you can't placate the black power brokers that way. Playing racial politics with our kids' future. Park Ridge looking better all the time, I suppose that makes me a troll for telling the truth...

  • I thought I recalled an article where Huberman stated that the rank order of the SE Highschools would not matter and supposedly he found that qualified students who didn't rank a school first were not being offered seats enventhough they scored high on the exam. He said that his computer system fixed that flaw and the rank order of the schools by the student would not matter. According to the CPS press realease it states: "Offers were made based on a student

  • From Sarah Karp at Catalyst:
    "Huberman said the policy implemented this past winter will only be in place for one year and that CPS officials will conduct public hearings to come up with an improved process for the future. CPS spent $900,000 to have a private firm come up with the socio-economic and census tract data used for the current policy."

    And we wonder why the district is in financial trouble? Almost a million bucks to develop a program that will be scrapped next year?

  • I know its bad, but my first suspicion here is that these offers are not going to be selectively placed, but tied to Daley's "Reverends" and other African American and Latino supporters. My second thought was that given the high likelihood of dropouts, these sophomore year spaces are also going to be handed out to clouted students.

    I'm sorry but frankly its time to change the source of these doubts in my mind. We need new civic leadership, badly.

  • thursday morning links

    Kids from Struggling Elementary Schools Get Seats WBEZ

    CPS offers elite spots to best students in worst elementary schools Tribune

    http://catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/index.php#574 Poorer students have tougher time gaining admission Catalyst

  • From Catalyst:
    CEO Ron Huberman said Wednesday that he will not publicly release racial and socio-economic data on the students who received offers to attend the coveted selective enrollment high schools.

    The fact that Huberman won't release this information is very telling. I also don't see how he can avoid releasing it to a freedom of information request.

    Also from Catalyst:
    The principals...have been promised $250,000 each for tutoring, mentoring and other supports for the students.

    That's great news! But I teach in a neighborhood school. Can we have $250,000 for 25 of our dedicated, hard working students who need extra "tutoring, mentoring and other supports"? Looking forward to seeing that money soon - thanks, Hubie!

  • Link to FAQs on SE process from OAE's website:


  • I was the person who posted some "unconfirmed" scores in the low 800s who didn't get into any school. Those scores came from child's friends. Either the computer system failed or the children were inflating their scores. My child had a 785 and no offers, but we are in the 4th tier. Someone else posted about a child with a score in the high 800s and a 98% on the SE test with no offers. That doesn't seem plausible based on the charts.

  • In reply to yomama:

    What do these tiers mean?

  • In reply to yomama:

    Tier 4 parents of color who are black and latino need to unite and file a law suit!!! I know many who would have been selected by the previous system but were not get selected in their first choice school! If selected they got into their last choice school for only the south side SE highschools. Lindblom is great and up and coming, Brooks is a mess, and King is too new to determine if our children were short changed! If I were you I would file a class action law suit for discrimination! Just because you sacrificed to live in a safe neighborhood your child needed a higher score! This is BS and should not be tolerated!!! CPS is full of SHI$ The consent decree needs to be reinstated! CPS is about to get away with murder! It's time to unite!

  • If a small percentage of Payton's kids don't meet or exceed, Payton's ranking will plummet fast.

    That, of course, will be the fault of the teachers, at least according to Huberman's performance management team.

  • I thought the whole point of the new socio-economic approach to selective enrollment was to de-emphasize skin color as a criteria. So now the black Preachers and Alderman have caught on to the fact the skin color-based entitlements are eliminated and raise holy hell with Daley to re-instate them or face their wrath on election day. Huberman plays the NCLB trump card to satisfy the black power brokers' demands for designated black seats at elite high schools. Progress? Hardly. Skin color politics, Chicago-style.

    Methinks CPS should be less concerned with the whiteness of Northside, Payton, Young and Jones - and more concerned with the blackness of King (94%), Brooks (85%), and Lindblom (78%). Or is it O.K. for high schools in black neighborhoods to have proportionately black student populations, but not O.K. for high schools in white neighborhoods to have proportionately white student populations?

  • Actually I think we are focusing too much on race in this discussion. There have been no announcements that I have seen that state that these new spots are open to racial selection. What we have seen is that the lowest performing schools were unable to get any (or at least very few) of even their best students into these programs. This is trying to mitigate that problem.

    (Of course we could take this into a larger argument of how the cultures in these environments allow this low performance to be acceptable or even glamorized, or we could open this up to an even more pointed conversation on how this is problem is due to lack of parenting/guardianship, but really why feed the "trolls" here.)

  • "But I guess since more "poor minority" kids will be admitted to these schools there will be more white flight to suburban and private schools."

    That's probably true, but I doubt it's because of the presence of additional poor minority kids gained entrance to the SE white-heavy schools. It'll be because of the white kids who didn't gain an SE spot and refuse to attend the local general CPS high school. --- It's crazy that this happens in education in this city. No good high schools "for all." Sad.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    With Chicago's enforced residency requirement, there will very few moves out of the city.

  • good question, 12:13 -- cps says that the 100 spots are not taking any spots away from tier or test score kids. it hasn't however, explained why these 4 schools or how they're supposed to handle the extra 25 kids. has anyone looked at the accepted totals (pre 100) are as big as they should be or usually are? if a school is listed as only taking 75 kids when it would normally take 100, and "then" is asked to take 25 more, well then it would seem pretty strange. but if not, then maybe its the $250K each school's being given that will go towards extra seats and supplies for the extra kids.

  • Yet another Huberman debacle.....Why does he still have a job?????

  • Actually, there is nothing in the policy explicitly regarding race. It is approached as a NCLB choice provision and it's brilliant to do so because I think that just about makes it law challenge proof.

  • Does this mean that the scores will be even lowered for the second round? 863 in Tier I would only gotten a student into Jones, maybe. This Tier system is very very imprecise. My track was placed in Tier 4 with Edison Park, Sauganash, and Edgebrook, Wildwood. Those policemen and firemen would jump out a window if they had to live on my block with the pit bulls and gangbangers near Steinmetz, yet my children are competing with those children who attend those high achieving schools. My neighborhood school is overcrowded and man of the children do not speak English as a first language. The school's test scores are barely at 50%, yet they are competing with the students at Wildwood and Sauganash. It's very imprecise.

  • I'm sick of reading comments that say some kids are more deserving than others.

    Every child in this city deserves to go to a good school. Let's get rid of the Selective Enrollment schools altogether and focus on building good neighborhood schools.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    I agree 100%. I think schools should be cross sections of neighborhoods, not sorting stations.

  • hi. when did you receive your letter from von steuben?

  • And exactly who are the most deserving? Every student deserves a quality education. I find that some of the parents that want their kids in these SE schools only care about name recognition. Schools throughout the city have to take everyone. Stand up and help the school in your neighborhood become a better one. - Sam

  • here's an article from the defender noting that there are some 400 kids at 87 schools that are going to be up for the NCLB slots -- pretty good chances, right?


    what about the kids at those schools who applied the regular way -- tiers and scores and all of that? how are they and their parents going to feel if someone essentially gets pulled out of line and put in front of them?

  • My child went into the CPS selective high school test with a perfect 600. She would have had a 700 because she was so committed to not missing a day of school. Our track was scooped into Tier 4 erroneously. My neighborhood looks more like Austin than Edgebrook. She received a total score of 876 and did not get into Northside Prep. Will CPS lower their standards for the second round offers. We are only hoping that many of her Tier 4 peers will be declining NSP for Ignatius, Resurrection, Loyola or Fenwick and leave some spots open for her. Thoughts? I can't get this information from CPS, nor the individual schools.

  • I think the extra 25, are just that, 25 extra, that do not affect the kids who tested nor principal discretion. Kids will drop out of Lane, Whitney and Jones. Those kids who are bound for Ignatius or even Loyola should really NOT accept a school such as Jones where the average ACT score is 21. That is nothing to be too excited about if a student has managed the curriculum and homework at a school that feeds into Ignatius. It could be an unfortunate decision with effects for later on.

    I didn't think about those kids hanging onto both NSP and the top Catholic Schools. However, tuition deposits are due on March 8th. They are significant and most are non-refundable.

    Does anyone know about lowering the scores for the second round pool?

  • Yikes, thanks for the correct info.

  • The big difference is that the SE schools are still public schools. That means no tax money going to fund tuition to religious schools. That's my big issue with vouchers. I'm not a Christian and I have no desire to fund the religious instruction of children who are. Even if the money can't be spent for direct religious instruction, it's difficult to separate out religious worldview from courses in history, psychology, sociology and (for some sects) science. I don't expect for Christians to pay tuition for students to attend my local Temple's day school, so why should I be expected to pony up for Christians?

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    great comments, 6:24 and cermak_rd -- very interesting to track the shifts in CPS's attitudes towards the NCLB choice provision.

    here's a list of the 87 low performing elementaries that are going to send the 100 kids to the 4 SE high schools, via CPS:

























































































  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Alexander, where is the list of top-performing white elementary schools that are going to export 100 students into King, Brooks, Lindblom and Westinghouse?

  • Some children are waiting to hear about their financial aid status, I suppose.

  • Wouldn't think about sending a girl to a Jesuit school.

  • interesting post over at CPS obsessed about the small range of scores from tier to tier:

    "At Northside, the Tier 4 kids had an average score of 888 while the Tier 1 kids had 868. Maybe in reality that does give the Tier 1 kids a big advantage. But it

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    My concern, at this late date, is how many people lied about their addresses. And, will CPS ever be able to check on these addresses. Once the child is accepted will the principals or admissions counselors questions the addresses?

  • In reply to Dumont4:

    These are big academic differences/competencies demonstrated in lowered percentile ranks in the core subjects assessed. One child at 888 could have strong pre-algebraic concepts and they are well-prepared to tackle the accelerated Math/Science program at NCP, while the 868 student could still be struggling with decimals and percents which is basic arithmetic processes in sixth grade.

    Will the added 25 seats relieve the pressures on the individual school principals to accept only students with minority status and accept students with high scores, demonstrated competencies and leadership skills? On what do principals base their decisions?

  • The 868 kid could have received a score lower than a 74%ile rank in Math and much higher rankings in Reading/Vocabulary/Language Arts. A student with a >74% could reflect a much differently prepared math student than one with a <95% rank. Testing is a sample of behavior on one day only, yes, but it might actually reflect true understanding of concepts and skills. A bit tangential yes. The Select 100 and the Tier I-II children may require significant academic support to allow them to successfully compete with their "tested in" peers. They should get the support, but talk about stress! You should be taught math at the level in which you understand it. This is a bold social/educational experiment. I am looking forward to hearing that those Select 100 children hung in there, worked their butts off, and did very well. "Changing the trajectory of their lives!" Walter Payton tracks their students in Science per the entrance exam math scores. NSCP does not, so far.

  • Pat Kubistal left in June. 2009

  • In reply to Dumont4:

    she still consults there.

  • Some one asked about the CPS standard for admiting students with disabilities into SE schools. The CPS Board Report that controls this issue is 09-1216-PO3. The new rule only says:

    "Students with Disabilities - Magnet and selective enrollment schools and programs shall strive to meet the minimum enrollment targets of students with disabilities established by the Corey H.
    court monitor. If a school is below the minimum enrollment target, the school and the Office of Specialized Services shall determine whether the placement of a program for students with low incidence disabilities is appropriate to assist the school in meeting the minimum enrollment target. In cases where the IEP of students with physical impairments requires that the children attend
    school in an accessible building and a magnet or selective enrollment school constitutes the closest accessible building that can implement the IEP, such admissions decisions shall be made independent of the aforementioned process and guidelines by the Office of Specialized Services in collaboration with the Office of Academic Enhancement.

    footnote 1 In some magnet high schools and programs, in order for a student to be included in the computerized lottery selection process, a student must have a minimum stanine of 5 in reading and math on the previous year

  • What did your son think of Payton? Just curious -- sometimes it seems to be the school that is left out for some reason.

  • Please do not transfer your child after 7th grade--not a good thing. FYI-ISAT is not a nationally normed test.

  • The Explore is a test that is well-known to give highly inflated scores. That is why Center for Talent at Northwestern invites students to take it and sponsors its administration throughout the city and burbs. They "identify" more students to take their classes. It's a marketing piece. Similarly, the Explore test will be administered to "catch" the Select 100. It yields highly inflated scores. Many of the Catholic High Schools stopped administering years ago for this very reason.

  • Payton uses the visually impaired children and their "boutique" autism program for their numbers.

  • The independent grammar schools vary considerably as well. Some change grades at the end to get their kids in SE schools. Pressure for their parents as well. After they paid 125,000 to get their child through 7th grade their is a bit of "quid pro quo". So sad.

    Give the Select 100 as much as we have to give them the best chances they could ever imagine and hope for the best. They are only children with a dream.That is exactly where we should be spending our money.

  • to me: If indeed your child qualified for an IEP & was denied, you could have valid grounds for appeal. I don't think that the reasons that you cited for a denial above are valid. I would rattle some cages if I were you.

  • Finally, someone is talking about Lane! It does seem like it is passed off as the "middle of the road" SE school but it seems to offer the most. My daughter was also accepted into Lane but it was her first choice. Out of all the open houses, she felt it was the most "real". In the real world, you will be around people of all races, of all abilities, who have all kinds of interests. Of course Northside is an excellent school and she would have attended if given the offer since she might not have had any other choice. But I think some are too involved with who is smarter than the next one.

    It's a wonderful thing to have a bright child but should it stop there? Well rounded children are more likely to succeed in this crazy world we live in. I like the fact that Lane offers electives that my child would have never even thought of but might all of a sudden take an interest in.

    And I don't think "slackers" was the appropriate word to use for those admitted into Lane, esp. at tier 1. Lane is obviously a HUGE school and can offer spaces to a wide range of scores. Tests don't always mean everything. My daughter has a friend who tests very well (97%-99% on ISATS and SE exam) but in class, gets B's and C's. How will that child perform at Northside, for example.

    I admit this whole system is a debacle but as a parent who cannot afford private school and is not interested in moving to the suburbs just for this sole purpose, I have to accept it. But good thing for my daughter, it worked out. If it hadn't, at least she had other options by being accepted into IB programs.

  • A comment on CPS Obsessed says that 27 kids with perfect 900 scores were accepted at Payton this year. Payton is the SE schools that I worry about the most with the addition of the 25 NCLB transfer students. It's much smaller than Northside and Whitney Young, yet it is accepting the same number of transfer students as those two schools: 25. Those 25 are a much larger percentage of the incoming class. If that percentage is offset somewhat by having a high percentage of perfect scores, maybe the impact on the school as a whole (i.e., rankings, etc.) will be lessened.

    Interestingly, Payton admitted 146 kids through the regular admissions process this year. It gets 13 principal discretion spots, which is more than 5%, but the number (according to the admissions director) is based on last year's class size. Combined with the 25 transfer students, Payton's incoming class will be around 184 kids. Assuming all 27 kids with perfect 900s go, they'll make up about 15% of the class. The transfer kids and the principal discretion kids (who, by definition, didn't make the cut through the regular admissions process) will make up about 21% of the class.

  • What a total mess! We always wanted to stay in the city, but now we are moving to a suburb with a good solid elementary and high school and a strong tax base. We don't want our kids going through the kind of horrible pressure that chicago 7th graders experience. And I KNOW the schools on that list of the ones they'll be taking the extra kids from....holey schmoley....the worst of the worst. I wish those children the best, but there is NO way they'll keep up in any class at any of the SE high schools.

  • I agree. It does seem that by arbitrarily reducing the class size, a principal can exert much more influence over an incoming class. For instance, if these numbers for Payton are right, more than 21% of Payton's incoming class next year will be made up of NCLB transfers and kids who were hand-picked by the principal. And, by definition, none of those kids made the cut through the regular admissions process. A little disturbing.

    The interesting thing will be what happens the following year if Payton goes back to its regular size class. Theoretically, the principal discretion picks for that year will be based on 5% of the reduced class size, meaning that the principal will have less than 5% influence for the following year. Then again, this is CPS, so I'm sure they will figure out a way to rig it a new way. The one constant I've learned during my time at CPS: parents are never informed and, generally, lose. Unfortunately.

  • Well, yes and no. I agree that it would be more difficult to have a student admitted through principal discretion this year who did not qualify under the announced criteria and/or who was selected simply because of clout. But we're talking about numbers. And I just don't understand why they are using last year's class to determine the number of this year's principal discretion selections. Everything all over the OAE web site says that principal discretion is strictly limited to no more than 5% of the incoming class. But, at least Payton next year, that's just not true -- it's much higher than 5% of the class.

  • Does the entire application need to be submitted at the same time? My child's school is saying that they will be sending the letters directly to Office of Academic Enhancement as if this is University of Michigan, or a job application. I want to bring the application to Office of Academic Enhancement in person to receive a receipt. I do not trust the mail US or CPS.

  • Again, not the point. If they want to reduce the class size for whatever reason, that's fine. But if they do, then they need to reduce the number of principal discretion slots accordingly to stay within the stated CPS policy of not more than 5% of the incoming class. What they can't do is reduce the class size while keeping the same number of principal discretion slots they had when the class size was dramatically larger. This should not be controversial or a hard concept to grasp.

  • Have you corrected for the fact that it is a 900 point scale this year as opposed to the 1000 point scale OAE had been using? There used to be up to 100 points a kid could get for not missing a day of 7th grade. This year, they took that out.

    If you correct for the change in scale, scores actually appear to have gone up this year. For example, last year, Northside's average acceptance score (or its mean score -- it isn't clear from the chart) was 985. If you remove 100 points from that score, it would be 885. This year, Northside's mean acceptance score was 887, two points higher. I haven't seen anything that breaks out from the total score the result specifically achieved on the SE exam.

  • Just called CPS-OAE-SE....One person reported that CPS didn't know if the second round will occur.

    Another stated that the Second Round is occurring now and parents will be contacted directly regarding second round acceptances, only via telephone and mail. Notices of second round rejection/denials will not be sent.

    For all the money that is spent on consulting dollars - a better Project Management Consultant could have been purchased.

    Will the acceptances be "rolled in" all the way until August?

    Will the Second Round Picks occur and/or are they occurring now? I can't imagine all the parents who were counting on NSCP or Payton and did not want their children to attend Jones or Young did not deny those last two schools.

    Anyone have more information regarding the Second Round decision timeline?

  • CPS-OAE-SE principal discretion- wants the entire file entered at the same time.

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