According to the latest Catalyst Chicago article, this year’s trial admissions process for selective enrollment and magnet schools did not spur dramatic shifts in their racial makeup, but CEO Ron Huberman admitted there’s room for improvement, with some of the city’s best schools struggling to hold onto their black student population.
“We have lost some ground,” said Huberman at a press briefing on Tuesday. In addition to announcing preliminary results from the admissions process, he announced a blue-ribbon committee of parent activists, lawmakers and lawyers to review what happened under the policy this year and make recommendations about possible improvement.
Other interesting points revealed by the data, according to Catalyst:
- Students in socioeconomic tier 4—the most well-off—are over-represented, making up almost 40 percent of students projected to enroll at selective enrollment and magnet high schools and elementary schools. This was also the case in 2009, when CPS was still using a race-based admissions system.
- As many predicted, white students captured a bigger share of the seats in magnet elementary schools. They now make up 21 percent of students in such schools as LaSalle Language Academy, Drummond and Hawthorne Scholastic. Some of this can be attributed to the set-asides for students who live nearby and for siblings, since many of the higher-performing magnet schools are located in predominantly white, North Side neighborhoods.
- There was an up-tick in the number of Latino students projected to enroll in selective enrollment high schools, gifted and classical elementary schools and magnet schools. Huberman notes that the number of Latino students in CPS is growing, while the number of black students is decreasing.
- The Asian student population dropped among all those admitted to the different types of schools. CPS General Counsel Patrick Rocks noted that under the consent decree, Asian students were considered minorities and their enrollment was not capped, as it was for white students. Now, mixed with all other groups of students, there’s been some attrition in the numbers.