Von Steuben Scholars Essay Prompt For High School

  Click on the link below to apply and for important dates and information. 
Note: We are not accepting any new or transfer applications for the 2017-2018 school year. Please follow the guidelines for the 2018-2019 school year.
Apply today for the Freshmen Magnet Science or Scholars Program

Deadline: December 22, 2017

For those parents and eighth grade students interested in the 2018-2019 school year, you have several opportunities to learn more about the solid academic programs that Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center offers each of its students:
  • If we're at your high school fair, step up to the table and introduce yourself to the representative(s).
  • Attend our Open House on Saturday, November 4, 2017 (see attached flyer).
  • Attend an academic or athletic event to better understand the Von Steuben community.

To apply to Von Steuben's Magnet Science Program, you must have a 24th percentile or higher for NWEA math and reading.

To apply to Von Steuben’s Scholars Program, you must meet the following criteria:

To Apply:

  • Activate your account at go.cps.edu.
  • Application deadline: December 22, 2017.
  • If you qualify and are applying to the Scholars Program, please go to the Scholars page at vonsteuben.org/scholars.
  • For Scholar applicants: Supplementary materials must be submitted online at https://tinyurl.com/Von2018
  • Deadline for Scholars supplemental materials is December 22nd, 2017.
  • Instruction video and essay exemplars can be found under Scholars.
  • Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Please e-mail the Admissions Coordinator, Ms. Escobar, at cjescobar1@cps.edu if you have any questions.
  • Office of Access and Enrollment can be reached at (773) 553-2060.

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” And charter schools.

February 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I’ve spent the day (well, in addition to working) mulling over several interesting Internet articles about CPS about the success (or lack thereof of charter schools.)

I started the day by getting a link to this article that features a video made by some high school students (Sullivan, a neighborhood high school) that purports that Rahm Emanuel (a charter school supporter) “lied” in a recent speech when he boldly stated that “If you take out Northside [College Prep], if you take out Walter Payton, the seven best performing high schools are all charters.”  OK, anyone with minimal knowledge of SE High Schools would immediately know that there’s no way that’s correct.  I don’t need to see any data to know that the other Selective Enrollment high schools would be at the top of that list.  I checked some numbers this morning and confirmed that top 7 scoring schools (PSAE composite 2010 Meets/Exceeds) are all SE schools.  None of the top 10 schools are charters.


It took me about 1 minute to infer that Rahm meant “The Northsides, the Paytons, etc,” meaning all selective schools.  That seemed a little more plausible.

I then happened upon this Trib article about parents getting letters this week about Charter school acceptance.  Charters operate via lottery, like the magnets do (Or did… magnets now include a neighborhood proximity lottery for many schools – elementary at least – doe this apply to HS too?)  The story features a mother who has done a ton of research and legwork in the hopes of getting her kids into charters, which she feels offers small classes, college prep curriculum, longer school day and graduation rates.


 In that article, I saw the following blurb, which is clearly what was driving Rahm’s statement:  Critics have maintained that charters, which get government funding, take resources away from traditional schools. While seven of the top 10 nonselective city high schools are charters, as measured by the ACT average, many charter schools perform no better than their neighborhood counterparts.”

 This confirmed my hunch that the 7-out-of-10 data refers to non-selective schools.  I checked the data they mentioned, and sure enough, charters DO have a strong presence in the top schools.  But… so do magnet schools. And military schools (also selective.. maybe they don’t count.) And Small high schools (which get a special designation under CPS.)

 So does this make a case for magnets?  Kind of.  I think it DOES make a case for schools that use some kind of selection process, even a random lottery.   The lottery pulls out kids from families whose parents are concerned about education and are willing/able to make the effort to seek information, fill out applications, figure out transportation, and have siblings in multiple schools if that’s what it takes.

 Although many of the top non-selective high schools are charters, not all charter HS are excelling.  Worth noting, none of the bottom high schools in the city are charters.

 So the million dollar question is where to funnel limited fund.  Given a horrifying shortage of education funds in out state/city, do we spend money on charters that will benefit the kids who win a spot?  Open more magnet schools?  SE high schools? Or try to find a way to improve the neighborhood schools with limited funds?  The kids’ video says that DeValle is in favor of improving neighborhood schools but doesn’t mention how or with what funds.  Who wouldn’t want to support the kids at Sullivan where 33% are reading at grade level and 22% are doing math at grade level? The question is how….?  (A question I hope to explore a bit more in the next few months.)

 After my day of reading/number crunching, I remain open towards charters (perhaps biased by some of the recent discussion here.)  The charters do appear more at the top of the list than at the bottom of the list performance-wise.  But I don’t think the numbers make a compelling case in favor of shutting them down OR accelerating their presence in the city.  They’re possibly another decent option (or “choice” as CPS likes to call their lotteries) for parents to opt out of the local schools.  Which makes the task of improving the neighborhood high schools even more daunting.  Ergh.  I truly don’t know what I’d do if I were in charge of CPS.

Like this:



Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: chicago charter schools, rahm emauel, top cps high schools.

What’s good about CPSThe more things change….

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