Every year thousands of eighth grade parents and students in Chicago Public Schools must decide what high school to enroll their student in. Parents and students searching for a school have many options to choose from; they can choose their neighborhood school, a selective enrollment school, a charter school, or one of many other high school academies. However, the process of choosing a school is not simple. Choosing the right school could have great consequences for a child’s future. In addition, gaining admittance to one of the top performing schools in the city is no easy task. Choosing a school in Chicago is a complicated task. The first option parents and students consider are neighborhood schools; these are schools where children are guaranteed acceptance if they live in the neighborhood located around the school. While there are many excellent neighborhood schools in the city of Chicago, there are also plenty of failing schools. There are also selective enrollment schools; these are schools that are still a part of CPS, but students must apply to gain admission. Then, there are charter schools; these are schools that are run by private organizations, and are often smaller, and have a specific focus. In choosing a school, families should closely consider the school’s high school graduation rate and college going rate.
There can be a very big difference between selective enrollment schools and neighborhood schools. Let’s compare Dyett High School to Whitney Young High School. Dyett is a neighborhood school; there are no requirements to get into the school. In 2010, only 55% of students graduated from Dyett. Additionally, only 4.7% of students met Reading standards and only 6.3% met Math standards, meaning that the vast majority of students are not ready for college. This is very different from Whitney Young. Whitney Young is a selective enrollment school. 96% of students graduate from Whitney Young. More importantly, 100% of students that graduated in 2010 went to college. Clearly, choosing the right school is a very important decision for families. Unfortunately, families must not just choose the right school; they must be admitted to the right school. The many schools of Chicago have different admissions requirements. However, in general, to even be considered for a selective enrollment school students must achieve at least a 77% ranking on their combined Math and Reading 7th grade ISAT score. For this reason, many experts urge parents to really start preparing their students beginning in the 5th grade. In addition to ISAT scores, schools heavily consider students’ grades during their 7th grade year, as well as their performance on additional tests administered by the school. Getting into a high performing school is something that families and students must work towards.
Going to high school is a fun and exciting time for families and students. However, students and their families must make sure that they make the best decision possible when choosing a high school. More importantly, they must start planning early in order to ensure that their student will be able to attend the best possible high school.
John Foster Dulles School of Excellence
Drawing Conclusions Extended Response
Day 1: Identifying the Main Idea
Directions: Answer the questions below in a complete sentence. What is the main idea of paragraph 1?
__________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________
What is the main idea of paragraph 2?