Chicago Roundup: Magnet Mess, Charter Converts, and More

As has been reported over the past couple of weeks, it seems clear that the process for applying to and getting into magnet and selective enrollment schools in Chicago is somewhat of a mess. What will it take to make things better?


Despite an ever-increasing (and substantial) amount of choice, the demand still far exceeds the supply. The application process has gotten overly complicated, despite recommendations from a blue ribbon panel to simplify things and beef up outreach and support functions beyond publishing a big book and answering the phone.

In addition, there are simply too many different types of programs to apply for (charters, magnets, selective enrollment, and NCLB transfers, to name a few), instead of one integrated process. And the attempt to expand magnet-like academic themes to neighborhood schools, called the magnet cluster program, seems to have done little to stem the parental interest in non-neighborhood schools.

The solutions? A streamlined application process, an integrated choice program, parent resource centers in each area or region. A more transparent process.

Deadline extended for magnet school applications CST
Magnet-school enrollment deadline extended 1 week Tribune
Getting in to magnet schools Tribune
Kids vie for coveted preschools Tribune

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Proposed junk-food ban 'goes too far'
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