Evaluating The New Magnet Appeals Process


So now there’s a new appeals process:

Online letter.  May 28 deadline.  In-person followup if requested within 10 days and approved by hearing officer. 

opens appeals process
Appeals Process for Chicago’s Elite Schools WBEZ
Is this any better than the old process, really?  Is this what you expected or think is needed?  Are you going to do it?

CPS announcement below.
Officials Announce Appeal Process for Those Denied Admission
To Magnet,
Selective Enrollment Schools

Mary Richardson-Lowry Also Urges Families to Seek

End of Year

Parents or guardians who believe that
an error occurred in their student’s application for admission to
a magnet or selective enrollment school within the Chicago Public
system can appeal the results through a new appeal process.

Appeals can be filed for applications
submitted in the fall 2009 Options for Knowledge process for seats in
the 2010-11 school year, CPS officials announced today. The deadline
for filing an appeal is May 28, 2010.

In announcing the new process, Board
President Mary Richardson-Lowry emphasized two criteria for
of an appeal:

    • There is evidence that a process
      within the application system was not implemented according to CPS
    • There is evidence that a
      failed to follow CPS policy.


“The goal of the appeals process is
to provide a method for resolving errors that adversely affected a
application,” Richardson-Lowry said, adding that the appeal process
should not be used to change the result of a properly conducted lottery
or testing process. 

“We know that families are frustrated
by the complexity of the admissions process.  We are implementing
the new appeals process in an effort to increase transparency and
confidence in the process,” said Richardson-Lowry.

– more –

The appeal process will have three
according to Richardson-Lowry:

    • Stage 1
      – Filing a magnet or selective enrollment appeal form.
      The form
      is online at www.cpsoae.org
      under “Contact Us.”  If a family
      does not have access to a home or library computer, elementary school
      counselors will be available to assist them in filing appeals using
      a school computer.  


“This first stage of the appeal process
will be conducted in writing,” Richardson-Lowry said. “We regret
that we do not have sufficient capacity to consider all appeals in
so it will be important that anyone filing an appeal provide as much
written detail as possible.”

Office of Academic Enhancement staff
will research the issues raised in the appeal and respond in writing
within 10 business days.  All appeals will be assigned a tracking
number and any correspondence related to the appeal should include that

    • Stage 2
      – Requesting an appeal hearing.
      If a parent or guardian believes
      that the written response by the Office of Academic Enhancement does
      not resolve the dispute, they can request an in-person appeal hearing.

      The request for an in-person appeal hearing must be submitted by
      within 10 business days of the date the written response from the
      of Academic Enhancement was issued.


A request for an in-person appeal hearing

must explain why the written response from the Office of Academic
did not adequately address the issues raised in the appeal and why a
hearing is necessary.  

The request for an in-person hearing
will be submitted to an outside attorney retained by the CPS Law
to provide an independent review of the request for an in-person
This attorney will review the request and determine whether there are
issues of fact that cannot be resolved without an in-person appeal

    • Stage 3
      The appeal hearing. If an in-person appeal hearing
      is granted, written notice will be given and the case will be assigned

      to a hearing officer.   The attorney retained to review requests
      for in-person hearings will not preside over those hearings. 


The parent/guardian and student may make
statements and provide documents in support of the appeal; in addition,
the hearing officer will hear evidence from CPS personnel.  The
appeal hearing will be audio recorded.

The hearing officer will prepare a
report and recommendation.  The hearing officer’s report and
recommendation will be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer or his
designee, who will make a final decision regarding the appeal. 
If the appeal is granted, the Office of Academic Enhancement will work
with the family to implement the appropriate remedy.   

– more

Richardson-Lowry also encouraged parents
and guardians to participate in the End-of-Year Citywide Options
process.  Each year, the district gives students a second opportunity
at the end of the school year to apply to magnet schools and programs
that have space available after the regular application process has

Additional information about the appeal
process for magnet and selective enrollment schools is on the Office
of Academic Enhancement website.  OAE can be contacted by email
at oae@cps.k12.il.us
or by phone at (773) 553-2060.

Any suggestions for improving the Options

for Knowledge process can be forwarded to the same OAE email address. 

Chicago Public Schools serves
409,000 students in more than 670 schools. It is the third-largest
district in the nation.


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  • no one has anything to say about the appeals process? amazing. or maybe you're all too busy submitting your appeals paperwork.

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