A Selective HS For The SW Side?

A Selective HS For The SW Side?

The big news of the last 24 hours is that CPS is planning to make the SW Side’s Hancock High School into a selective enrollment school.  City Hall and CPS present this as a big win, while others (see Catalyst coverage) question the move.  The Sun-Times story has some teacher reactions (on camera — see video), and there’s also reference to a SIG grant the school received that might have helped. As to the notion that there shouldn’t even be SE schools, Ray Salazar (who teaches at Hancock) has this response: “I’ll stop the fight for a Selective Enrollment high in this part of the city when Jones, Payton, Young, and Northside are options for all students in this city.”  What do you think should happen, or will happen — and how will it all turn out?HANCOCK

Hancock High on Southwest Side turning into selective enrollment school Chicago Sun-Times: Teachers and staff at Hancock College Preparatory High School learned Wednesday morning that their Southwest Side school is expected to turn from an ordinary neighborhood high school within Chicago PublicSchools that educates mostly poor Hispanic

Hancock High may get selective enrollment status Chicago Tribune: A high school near Midway Airport will likely become the city’s 11th selective enrollment high school next year and the first on the Southwest Side, Chicago Public Schools officials said Wednesday.

Hancock to become a selective admissions school Catalyst: The decision, which still must go through public hearings, prompted criticism from one of the leaders of a well-regarded University of Chicago initiative that works with neighborhood high schools to improve academics and increase college-going.

Chicago’s Hancock High School to become Selective Enrollment White Rhino (Ray Salazar): We kinda knew this was coming.  A colleague saw Mayor Emanuel at a restaurant not too long ago.  When my colleague told him he is a Hancock teacher, the mayor said we’d be Selective Enrollment next year. According to the CPS official who spoke with staff this morning, at least one prominent Chicago Teachers Union leader also knew about this. The surprises are few.  The reactions are mixed.


CPS grads can qualify for new city college scholarships Chicago Tribune: Qualified graduates of Chicago’s public high schools will be eligible for a free ride at one of the city’s seven community colleges under a scholarship program announced today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman.

Former Peace Corps Teacher Annisa Wanat Challenging Ald. Deb Mell in 33rd  ChicagoNow:  Wanat wants to see a movement away from a top-centered, Mayor’s Office control of Chicago Public Schools. She says we need an elected school board; a moratorium on charter schools; and a review of the CPS budget.


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  • What a slap in the face. The Southwest side finally gets a selective enrollment high school, but it is in an old, dilapidated facility. Northside, Jones, Payton, Westinghouse, and "Obama" all get brand new buildings, while Hancock Prep will result in further overcrowding at Curie and Hubbard. Hancock is an exemplary neighborhood school and should have been allowed to stay. The community wants it to stay. Why don't TIF dollars on this side of town fund construction of a new building instead like the Northside gets?

  • $60 million for "Obama Prep" which will be just blocks away from the expanding Walter Payton High School, which is getting an infusion of $17 million to expand. Meanwhile the vacant Near North Metropolitan High School is just a block from the proposed "Obama High" site.

    They finally throw a bone to students and families on the Southwest side, but at what cost? A measly $10 million to fix an 80-year old building with massive structural issues- narrow hallways, heating and cooling problems, water leakage, no sports fields, etc? Why couldn't they have infused $10 million into Hancock before the selective enrollment proposal? Despite the poor facility, it is a popular school. CPS takes away a successful neighborhood school, and will thus push more students into already overcrowded schools surrounding Hancock like Hubbard, Solorio, and Curie. Not only is CPS tone deaf, they are ignorant. Hancock is not the "Far Southwest Side"- that would be Beverly, Mt. Greenwood, and Morgan Park.

    All of this to score political points?

  • Hancock the brave.When Hancock first opened it was in a former elementary school at 79th and Kosner.That was less than a half mile from Bogan, in fact it was within the Bogan attendance area.My
    wife got a job there as a cadre sub.
    .I was a librarian at Bogan so we had the real pleasure of driving together.Even back then, 2000, it seemed odd that a new school would pop up so close to Bogan,which was not overcrowded.The Hancock students were suppose to be an " Overflow" from Gage Park High School.Something was real fishy about those kids.Every
    day i picked my wife up I could not help but notice the lack of black students.As far as we could tell,Hancock had no attendance area of it's own and several Bogan parents got the run around about sending their kids to the school.Later on Hancock even rented some classrooms at Daley College When they moved to the old Lourdes
    building it was officially called Hancock College Prep School.My point
    is that it has run a game for years,a sort of " Joe sent me"attitude on
    enrollment.But now perhaps it will come full circle and the younger
    siblings of the Gage Park 'Overflow"who do not make the cut can go to school there.

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