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CPS High School Admissions: Cut-Off Scores

Usually I hate the whole high school admissions process in Chicago Public Schools–it puts 7th-graders under undue stress and reminds us forcefully of the system’s baked-in inequity of opportunity.

However, last night it was a pleasant relief to see parents on my Facebook feed celebrating their children’s high school acceptances. So, in hopes that talking about high school admissions is a welcome return to normality and a respite from The Virus, I’m sharing this cycle’s admissions cutoffs for selective enrollment high schools and–is this new-new or just new-to-me?–cutoff scores for choice programs within high schools that aren’t formally selective enrollment.

The “Choice” schools and programs include International Baccalaureate programs, arts schools and programs (including ChiArts), medical and health careers, the “pre-” programs (pre-engineering and pre-law) and military-themed high schools and programs.

Here are their cutoff scores:

Admissions cutoff scores for CPS “Choice” high schools and programs.

And here are the cutoff scores for the selective enrollment high schools:

CPS Selective Enrollment 2020-21 admissions cutoff scores.

One interesting thing I noted is that at Brooks, Lindblom and Westinghouse, the cutoff for Tier 4 census tracts is actually a lower score than the cutoff for Tier 1. That bucks the usual trend and could be of interest to middle-class parents living within reasonable commute of those South and West Side selective enrollment schools.

For an app to examine your child’s potential admits for next year, check out this Chicago Unheard post. (Note the app referenced in the post may not yet be updated with these latest cutoff scores.)

Photo by Andy Li on Unsplash

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Maureen Kelleher

Maureen Kelleher

Chicago Unheard blog manager Maureen Kelleher also serves as a senior writer and editor at brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and brighter future for every child. Before joining the brightbeam team, she spent a decade as a reporter, blogger and policy analyst. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. Between 1998 and 2006 she was an associate editor at Catalyst Chicago, the go-to magazine covering Chicago’s public schools. There, her reporting won awards from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the International Reading Association and the Society for Professional Journalists. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of an elementary student in the Chicago Public Schools. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

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