SUBSCRIPT: CPS continues Orwellian nonsense about 'high quality seats'

Given some of the destructive silliness of Chicago Public Schools jargon, a question arises this week: What is a "high quality seat"? Is it a throne? Or maybe a Louiv XVI chair (with a Marie Antoinette wig on it)? For a couple of decades, CPS has been creating false austerity, and bashing the teachers and schools in most of Chicago, They do it by prattling in some creepy code about about "high quality" "seats" and, GOSHHOW AWFUL!, the other kind. They talk as if there were another kind, and over time the brainwash takes hold in many people's minds.

Rumor has it that these "high quality seats" are being installed in certain locations on the fifth floor at 125 S. Clark St. and 121 N. LaSalle St, but armed guards are keeping the proletariat from taking a careful look.But then after 20 years of mayoral control sabotaging the city's real public schools and a dozen years of the corrupt expansion of charter schools by Arne Duncan, Ron Huberman, Jean-Claude Brizard and now Barbara Byrd Bennett, maybe the people who wrote for the CPS Ministry of Propaganda don't know the difference between fact and nonsense. So some of us have gone back to George Orwell's great essay "Politics and the English Language" to learn more about Becky Carroll's little imperial outpost on the sixth floor at Clark St.

Here is the latest about those thrones....


More CPS Students Than Ever to Receive Selective Enrollment Offers for High Quality Seats as District Adds More Options Notification Letters for Selective Enrollment, IB, Magnet, and CTE Programs Sent to Families this Week. February 22, 2013

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) this week offered more students than ever before high quality seats at CPS high schools for School Year 2013-2014 (SY 13-14). Late this week, CPS mailed approximately 4,340 offer letters to anxious students who will fill approximately 3,200 high-quality seats at CPS’s 10 selective enrollment schools, recognizing that some students receive offers to other programs or choose an alternate school. The number of freshman seats available for next year is 335 more than for this school year and represents the largest offering of high quality seats in the District’s history. The increase is directly related to the District’s efforts to add high quality options.

“This is an historic moment for CPS, as we continue to increase the number of high-quality options for our students across the District,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “With 18,000 selective enrollment applications received this year, the demand for these high-quality opportunities is clear and we are committed to working with families and communities to provide a high-quality education in schools and academic programs in every corner of the city.”

The selective enrollment high school selection process, which begins annually in the fall, requires interested and academically eligible students to undergo admissions testing and submit an application, ranking their top six choices. Applicants are selected based on a final point score and in accordance with the tier system outlined in the magnet and selective enrollment schools admissions policy.

Thrones rumored to be readied for installation at 125 S. Clark St. and 121 N. LaSalle St. in the throne rooms of the "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago and the CEO of CPS.The CPS tier system is specifically designed so that student applicants to magnet and selective enrollment schools have equal access. Every Chicago address falls within a specific census tract. CPS takes into account five socio-economic characteristics for each census tract: median family income, percentage of single-family homes, percentage of homes where English is not the first language, percentage of homes occupied by the homeowner, and level of adult education attainment. In addition, the achievement scores from attendance area schools in each census tract are considered.

Students receiving offers will be required to send confirmation forms to accept or decline each offer received. Eligible, non-selected students can apply through the Principal’s Discretion Application process. This allows principals to select five percent of the incoming freshman class. The Principal’s Discretion Application process will open March 12th with a deadline of March 22nd.

Students and their families can find additional information at the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment (OAE) website at Cut scores by tier will be available on the site on Monday, Feb. 25. Parents can also call 773-553-2060 for guidance.

Since 2011, CPS has announced plans to add more than 18,000 high-quality opportunities for students across Chicago. This school year, five new Early College STEM Schools opened as well as a new selective enrollment program at South Shore International College Prep High School. Next fall, CPS will double the number of students who have access to the rigorous IB Program with five new programs and six new wall-to-wall IB high schools. A Jones College Prep expansion was also recently announced, which will more than double the schools’ high quality seats by SY16.

In addition to selective enrollment, notification letters for magnet, International Baccalaureate (IB), and career and technical education programs also were mailed this week. Military and STEM letters will go out next week.

About CPS. Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

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February 25, 2013 at 10:10 AM

By: Paulette Lane

Are these 335 seats at Jones College Prep?

A comment above states that "The number of freshman seats available for next year is 335 more than for this school year and represents the largest offering of high quality seats in the District’s history."

Question: Are the 335 high quality seats primarily related to Jones College Prep, due to their expansion??

February 25, 2013 at 7:36 PM

By: Ken Derstine

High Quality Seats

Do they talk about "portfolio"s too? The term "high quality seats" was thrown around in Philadelphia too until it was criticized as showing its corporate reform origins. (i.e. The Broad Foundation). I asked on a school blog if I could get one of those high performing seats for my school to entertain the kids before they had to take another test.

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