Who gets in to magnet schools?

Chicago’s highly regarded magnet schools will change admissions rules  to drop race as a criteria. Instead, there will be more places for siblings and neighborhood children; socioeconomic status will replace race as a diversity factor.

Only 12 percent of all applicants won admission to elementary magnets this year, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to sources, CPS officials hope to look at annually updated census tract data reflecting several socioeconomic variables of the area in which applicants live. That could include the area’s median family income; adult education level; percent of single parents; the level of owner-occupied homes; and the percent of children living in homes where a language other than English is spoken.

Via the Ed Next blog.

With most magnet schools located in “nice” areas, neighborhood admissions will favor affluent whites and Asians, writes Alexander Russo. Of course, such families are a very small percentage of public schools’ enrollment.

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  1. Ah yes, the district schools which actually practice the selective enrollment policies which charters are charged. I wonder if there’ll ever be enough honesty in the district system to make “political influence” one of the enrollment criteria?

  2. Allen beat me to it. No doubt about it in Philadelphia. Insiders, people with a hook.

  3. tim-10-ber says:

    Our district did away with quotas into the academic magnets eons ago as the seats held for the blacks (only true minority at that time) went unfilled and highly qualified whites could not get in. Now, the magnets reflect the racial make up our city — seems right. However, since no transportation other than public (no yellow buses) is offered the magnets do not have the poorest students in a large amount. This needs to change as the economics tend to be middle and upper middle as they are the families that can make arrangements to get their kids to these inner city schools.

    We do have minimum academic requirements which I believe need to be raised due to educators horrible use of grade inflation…and the weakness of the TCAP…

  4. I don’t think that there should be a sibling preference except as a tiebreaker. One of the things that really bothered me when I was looking at schools for my oldest is how few slots were available to non-siblings. At some schools, 90+% of the slots were filled by siblings of current students.


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