Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chicago schools open probe into 'clout' enrollment

From Greg Hinz. First it was the University of Illinois now it's enrollment to our city's top public schools!
CPS boss Ron Huberman announced Wednesday morning that he's launched a probe into possible irregularities in the district's selective enrollment practices, "based on information that recently has come to" his attention.

"Existing policies may not have been followed," Mr. Huberman said in a press release, adding that he has directed the system's inspector general to review the matter.

Mr. Huberman also said he's hired an auditing firm to "review the current process and report whether additional controls are recommended," and he indicated he will appoint a new "data integrity unit" later this week to boost controls on electronic and paper files.
Focus, the magnet grade schools and college prep high schools!

BTW, that report from Hinz was posted at about 11AM this morning. This has some more details from Chicago Breaking News (Tribune):
The CPS advertises the selective enrollment program as a way "to meet the needs of Chicago's most academically advanced students." It is meant to steer such students into schools which offer a curriculum of mostly honors and advanced placement courses.

School officials say the process is highly competitive, with thousands of applications submitted each year.

Last year, a staff member at Sabin Magnet school was fired when the inspector general found she had helped students get into the school by falsely claiming they had siblings at Sabin.  Siblings have a better shot of getting into highly selective schools than do other students.

At the time, then-CPS chief Arne Duncan insisted the selective enrollment program was free from bias. Duncan said a lottery system used to select students worked as intended, despite rumors that students were admitted based on other factors.

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