Magnets: Blue Ribbon Panel Presentation

Thanks to readers who tipped us off that this is out and asked us what we think:

Blue Ribbon Community Forum presentation

Filed under: Parents and Parenting


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  • Well the Blue Ribbon Committee completely ignored comments made by myself and several parents of students with disabilities on the problems with admissions standards at selective schools for high functioning students with disabiliites. I guess I should not be shocked. Our comments made on August 3, 2010 our 17 page paper made the following recommendations:

    Access Living Recommends

    1. That CPS modify for all students with identified disabilities except those who receive services for speech language impairments only its application scoring system for these selective schools admissions. We believe that reducing the weight of formal testing in the scoring system will increase the possibility that higher performing students with disabilities will gain admission to the best high schools Chicago has to offer. The application score for admission to these selective schools currently consists of:

    The entrance exam (33 1/3% or 300 points)

    7th grade reading and math test results (33 1/3% or 300 points)

    7th grade reading, math, science and social studies grades (33 1/3% or 300 points)

    We recommend it be modified to:

    The entrance exam (22.2% or 200 points)
    7th grade reading and math test results (22.2% or 200 points)
    7th grade reading, math, science and social studies grades (55.6% or 500 points)

    2. That CPS should eliminate any data suppression rules related to student enrollment data at magnet, classical, and gifted elementary schools. There is no legitimate confidentiality basis for this data suppression.

    Rod Estvan

  • You mean our recommendations still may see the light of day! How amazing praise be.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rod, why don't you turn up the heat on the Office of Academic Enhancement and get some answers re: Blue Ribbon Committee recommendations. You can be very persuasive.

  • If a student has ADHD and does not have an IEP legally they would not qualify of an accomodation. If they have ADHD and have what is called a section 504 plan they would be legally entitled to an accomodation. If the student's family has opted to keep the student out of both the IEP process and 504 process legally they are not entitled to any modification under existing laws relating to k-12 education. At the college level they can apply for an ADA accomodation based on medical condition, but not at the k-12 level unless they have gone through either the 504 evaluation process or the IDEA IEP evaluation process.

    Rod Estvan

  • Is it possible that if this plan is kept in effect, it will lead to a certain amount of "gaming" of the system where wealthier people move into lower tiered census tracts between censuses so that they're children have a better change at admittance? And if that's the case, might it not be good for the neighborhoods by causing a certain amount of social stratum integration?

  • My guess would be the state fair system. Figure out why state fairs issue blue ribbons as first prize, and you'll have your answer.

  • One of the bigger flaws of the system. Consider John Palmer Elementary, located in a Tier 4 tract yet the student population is 75% free/reduced lunch. Sadly the more affluent families are sending their children to magnets or parochial schools, but the lower income students still have to achieve super high Tier 4 point totals to get into a decent high school.

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