Updated High School Report Card

As promised earlier this morning, The Bulldog has updated its popular Chicago Public School High School report card.

The report was updated following the release by the Chicago Public Schools of the School Progress Reports.

Below you’ll find all the selective enrollment high schools for the North Attendance Area and all the neighborhood schools serving Ravenswood students.


Download the PDF of the spreadsheet

North Attendance Area High Schools report

***Dec. 2, 2011 @ 4.09P An updated map and spread sheet on this subject is available. ***

How would you rank our area public schools?

In the next week parents will be sent a new report by the Chicago Public Schools. According to media reports, the ‘progress reports’ will accompany student report cards starting today.

The reports will emphasize students reaching benchmarks to go to college, according to the Chicago Tribune. Other indicators will include “teacher and staffing information, graduation rates, school climate, leadership and parent satisfaction,” the report says.

All of these measures are available through independent sources gathered here for you by The Bulldog.

Using surveys published within the past 18 months by Newsweek and Chicago Magazine, test scores compiled and analyzed by the Chicago Sun-Times, input from parents, students and community members on GreatSchools and in a University of Chicago survey and finally data provided by the Chicago Public Schools, The Bulldog set out this week to understand our public school system.

It is a difficult system to navigate. In the Ravenswood area there are four area public high schools: Lane Tech, Amundsen, Lake View and DeVry. In addition, a high school student has a wide choice of other schools. And a small part of our coverage has attendance at other schools, Roosevelt and Senn.

Mistakes made by parents and adults are paid for by children.

And we find this very frustrating: virtually no one in politics takes responsibility for the problems. They blame unions, parents, ‘the schools.’ We might look no deeper than the TIF issue to understand how this sorry situation has been twisted to benefit long-time politicians.

The Bulldog chose to start by creating a database that presents in one place a place for you to examine all the information on your school choices. We’ve presented this information to you as a searchable Google map and as a spread sheet that you can use to sort, filter and examine the information.

Today, we move on, providing information gathered about area public high schools.

In addition, we’ve added an outline so that parents who don’t live in Ravenswood or the North Attendance area can follow along and develop their own database. (For questions, see our report on elementary school posted yesterday.)

Did you have a suggestion? Did you see an error? Drop it in the comments and we’ll try to deal with it.


*** Update to table on Nov. 8, 2011 @ 11.24A. ***

A sharp-eyed reader asked about the ACT scores for Amundsen. We checked all the ACT scores and discovered that Amundsen and Lake View were incorrect, based on the CPS.edu site. In addition we added the ACT score for Northside Learning. The table has been corrected and the map should reflect the new results going forward.

We apologize for the error.


Mashup of Public High Schools for Ravenswood students


The Ratings and Rankings


Further Notes on the Schools

The instructions to follow regarding locating your neighborhood high school’s attendance districts are similar to those presented for the elementary schools. However the maps are in a different location. So, for instruction, finding information on schools not in our report follow these links to see a map of high school attendance districts.

North: http://www.cps.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/Zone%20maps/HS_North_Near_North.pdf

West/ Central and South: http://www.cps.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/Zone%20maps/HS_West_Central_South.pdf

Far South: http://www.cps.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/Zone%20maps/HS_Far_South.pdf

Bell and Lane top Sun-Times school report card

Two area public schools were named among the top 50 in the state in the annual Chicago Sun-Times ranking of Illinois schools.

Bell School was one of 13 Chicago Public Schools that met the standards for the top 50 elementary schools. The neighborhood school was one of just six District 299 schools that did not have eligibility requirements for enrollment and still was ranked by the newspaper.

Bell ranked 29th among CPS schools and 33rd in the state, the report says. The middle school classes ranked 19th in the state.

At a recent meeting of the Bell Local School Council concern was expressed that parents were pulling students from the school for the middle school Academic Center at nearby Lane Tech.

That might cause the school to experience a lower score in the future.

Although Bell was highly ranked, the school still failed to meet the requirements for the No Child Left Behind Act due to lower than accepatable reading scores among its disabled population.

Lane Tech was ranked 20th among all Illinois schools in the ranking. The large school boasts having a larger minority and low income proportion of its student body than many smaller magnet schools.

Six of those smaller schools, including nearby Northside College Prep, were ranked above Lane. The newspaper said the top three public schools in the state were all in Chicago: Northside, Whitney Young and Walter Payton.

Lake View High School was ranked 470th among 638 high schools. Amundsen ranked 536th on the same scale. Both schools were identified by the newspaper as in need of improvement for the ninth year in a row.

Lake View, the report says, is struggling with low math and reading scores among its entire population, with low scores for Hispanics and low-income students.

The problems the report highlights at Amundsen are similar, but more pronounced with lower composite scores.

Among the neighborhood elementary schools Blaine followed behind Bell, being ranked 103rd statewide and 52nd among middle schools.

Audubon and Coonley followed Blaine. Audubon was ranked 308th for elementary grades and 204th for middle schools. Coonley was ranked 388th for elementary and 391st for middle school.

Other schools and the ranks for elementary and middle school composite tests in the Sun-Times ranking:

    • Audubon ranked 308 and 204.
    • Bell ranked 29 and 19. The school did not meet AYP due to low reading scores among its disabled students.
    • Blaine ranked 103 and 52.
    • Budlong ranked 999 and 834. The Budlong composite was hurt by low reading scores. The composite fell to 80.9 percent from 81.4 the previous year.
    • Bell ranked 103 and 52.
    • Chappell ranked 1198 and 691. The composite score rose to 82.3 percent from 75.3 percent.
    • Coonley ranked 388 and 391. The school composite score fell to 90.8 from 92.0 the previous year.
    • Courtenay ranked 991 and 346. The school met the AYP, but had falling scores of 90.8 percent v 94.5 last year.
    • Hamilton scored 1422 and 880. Hamilton did not meet AYP due to reading scores. Composite has increased to 78.2 from 69.0.
    • McPherson ranked 1444 and 920. The school did not meet AYP due to reading scores and Hispanic reading scores (which actually exceeded that of the general school population) but had rising composite of 78.5 v 75.7. McPherson has been identified as in need of improvement by the newspaper for the 10th year in a row.
    • Ravenswood ranked 1698 and 1395. The school had a composite rank of 71.8 percent, up from 67.3 percent. It did not meet AYP due to math and reading scores. It has been identified as in need of improvement for the third year in a row.
    • Trumbull was ranked 1843 and 1035. The school did not meet AYP due to both math and reading scores. Trumbull has a falling composite score of 68.4 percent v 77.2. The school has been identified as in need of improvement for the first year.
    • Waters was ranked 1218 and 528. It did not meet AYP due to math scores. The school had rising composite scores of 81.1 percent versus 78.9 the previous year. Waters has been identified as in need of improvement for the 10thyear in a row.

Dunbar Cruises After Lane Tech Grabs Early Lead

Dunbar (4-3) visited Lane Tech (2-4) in Chicago Public League action on Friday, in what started off as a stalemate after the first quarter. Both teams were trying to figure each other out when Lane Tech scored in the second quarter on a run by running back Victor Gonzalez. Dunbar matched the Gonzalez TD with a score of their own and a 2-point conversion to take an 8-7 lead. After a 3-and-out by the Indians… Dunbar coughed the ball up on a 4th down punt to give the Indians great field position late in the 2nd quarter. Lane Tech would eventually score on a QB keeper down near the goal line by Indians QB Jack McLaughlin to take a 14-8 lead. After that score, the Dunbar defense stepped it up after making several encroachment penalties… and held the Indians scoreless the rest of the way, as their offense got red hot.

Dunbar QB Darvell Harris, WR/DB Jayton Dorsey and WR/DB Travon Harris put on a 3-man wrecking crew the rest of the way. Connecting on several long passes and even a defensive fumble recovery for a touchdown was all that the Lane Tech Indians could handle, as the score got out of hand in a hurry. After the 3rd quarter ended with a 36-14 lead, the Mighty Men of Dunbar added 20 more points in the 4th quarter which saw an acrobatic one-handed grab for a touchdown by senior Travon Harris to put an exclamation point on the victory. The final was 56-14. Photos taken by Jason Davis of the Welles Park Bulldog.

Chicago Consortium results for schools; Mixed results

A study by the University of Chicago released this week is highlighting strengths and weaknesses in Chicago Public Schools. The study is based on results of surveys of students, faculty and parents at each of the more than 600 CPS schools, including charter schools.

The Chicago Consortium study, which asks questions pertaining to five “essential” areas summarizes the survey results as they pertain to those five areas of culture and climate.

The publication of the results is being criticized as now, according to critics on the District 299 site, schools will try to game the system.

But the results offer a detailed look at the system by researchers independent of the schools and the union.

In Ravenswood there were a number of surprises. There were schools that are well perceived by the public that had weaknesses exhibited, and some strengths too.

In general, community support for the schools is strong. That is reflected by students noting the variety of services and support in places like Lane, Blaine and Lake View.

The provision of basic classes in math and English are keys to a fulfilling adult life. Yet, some schools are disappointing, with students noting they have not experienced types of instruction needed to grow these skills.

The study puts the issue into perspective: Principals should prioritize the school’s improvement efforts; teachers should reflect on needs in and beyond the classroom; and the public should engage and support the efforts of the schools.

Below is our summary and links to finding greater detail for each of our neighborhood public schools.




Lane Tech, considered a jewel in the CPS system, received a low score for math instruction. The result, based on student surveys, dragged down the overall student approval of a higher than average course clarity and English instruction giving Lane a yellow.

A low response rate among teachers limited the scoring at Lane. However students identified the Human and Social Resources in the Community as strong. The result indicates students believe they come from communities where there are adults whom they trust and who provide a save environment.

This was echoed by students saying they feel safe in and around the school building and in their travels to school.


Read the summary of the Lane Tech report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Lane’s results.




Teacher response to the survey at Lake View was so low that none of the measures of their impression of performance were published.

However, the students were enthusiastic about the Human and Social Resources in the community, scored as slightly below that of Lane students on the same resources.


Read the summary of the Lake View report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Lake View’s results.




Students at Amundsen criticized the math courses. The survey measured student interaction with course material to build and apply knowledge.

Teachers at Amundsen identified issues with the principal. The principal was criticized in the survey by teachers for failing to provide instructional leadership. The survey also pointed to issues with teacher and principal trust. Together, and with below average scores in other measures, the survey indicated weaknesses in instructional leadership at Amundsen.


 Read the summary of the Amundsen report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Amundsen’s results.




The only charter school in the area, DeVry Advantage, did not have a high enough response in any area to be noted on the survey.


What does it indicate if there is a low response rate (from the study site)


What was the response rate for DeVry?






Students gave Blaine a score of 99 out of 100 on Human and Social Resources in the Community and in school safety. Blaine students also scored their trust of teachers very high. Together they pushed Blaine into a strong area on the score of Ambitious Instruction and Learning Climate.

The Blaine students also scored the math instruction as strong and noted the course clarity provided clear learning goals.


Read the summary of the Blaine report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Blaine’s results.




Students were disappointed by the course clarity, math instruction, academic personalization, the ‘academic press’ or expectations from teachers.

Other weak scores were found among teachers who noted a low measure of a collective responsibility in such areas as student development, school improvement and professional growth. That was mirrored by a lack of teacher to teacher trust in the school.

As a result the school scored two areas of concern without any clear bright spots.


Read the summary of the Budlong report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Budlong’s results.




Chappell performed well for its family and community ties. This result was not due to doing an outstanding job in any one area, but instead of being having overall strong survey results across a broad area of concern.


Read the summary of the Chappell report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Chappell’s results.




Coonley scored very well in a number of areas related to family and community ties including 95 out of 100 points in human and social resources in the community, a student result, and teacher-parent trust, which was a teacher survey. Teachers also noted the school has strong outreach efforts to parents.

The final result was that Coonley scored one of the few ‘dark green’ among Ravenswood school in this area of concern. Dark green indicates Coonley is very strong in this general area.

Students noted they feel safe at the school, contributing to a healthy learning environment, according to the survey.

The only weakness, according to the survey of students, was that math instruction was weak. The students scored math so low that it dragged down other scores among the ambitious instruction area.


Read the summary of the Chappell report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Chappell’s results.




Courtenay scored 99 out of 100 among its students for course clarity. It had other areas of strength among students in the area of ambitious instruction and scored a dark green in this area.

Students also noted two other areas where they scored the school as 99 out of 100: student-teacher trust and school safety. A very strong score in academic personalization and above average scores in other survey results indicated students felt the learning environment was dark green.

Overall, Courtenay received two scores of exceptional strength. It was the only Ravenswood-area school to do so.


Read the summary of the Courtenay report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Courtenay’s results.




A strong English program, scored 99 out of 100 by students, led the Hamilton report. However, a low level of ‘quality of student discussion’ dragged the potential for Hamilton to score well in ambitious instruction down to an average overall score.

Teachers noted the school has a low level of collective responsibility. That seemed to stem from a lack of professional trust among teachers as they scored low in that area also.


Read the summary of the Hamilton report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Hamilton’s results.




Although McPherson scored well among students for its human and social resources, it suffered from a below average scores in a number of measures of creating an ambitious academic instruction leading to a red mark in that area.


Read the summary of the McPherson report.


Go to the original report to explore further into McPherson’s results.




Math instruction was very poorly ranked by students, receiving just 10 of 100 points.

In general, average scores in other areas did not allow Ravenswood to stand out.


Read the summary of the Ravenswood report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Ravenswood’s results.




A red note on creating an ambitious academic environment was lead by students scoring only 13 of 100 points for English instruction at Trumbull. Math instruction was also scored low, with students giving the school just 22 of 100 points.


Read the summary of the Trumbull report.


Go to the original report to explore further into Trumbull’s results.

Lane budget meeting Wednesday

Lane Tech was the scene of a contentious budget presentation Wednesday.

Lane Tech was the scene of a contentious budget presentation Wednesday. Credit: Patrick Boylan

About 150 – 200 people attended a Chicago Public Schools budget Wednesday night at Lane Tech, according to Barb Hass-Litwin, who attended.
The Board of Education presented a fifteen minute overview of the budget, Hass-Litwn said. Led by the Treasurer and the budget director, the Board presented its $600 billion 2012 budget, along with estimates of the needs and priorities of the Board.
The presentation noted the board had proposed $320 million in spending cuts and increased property taxes to the limit allowed.
Media reports have estimated the annual tax increase on a $250,000 home to be about $84.
Hass-Litwn said the public comments were hostile to the budget. Unions, including the Chicago Teachers Union and the Service Employees International Union, parents groups and others objected to the budget during an extended public comment period.
“Unions said they were not invited to the table,” Hass-Litwin noted. She said SEIU objected to cuts to its members that would cause hardships to families. The CTU and parents groups objected to a lack of transparency and input from stakeholders outside the Board.
“I was there as a first time observer of a budget hearing,” Hass-Litwin, a CTU member said. “I was surprised by the accusations of lack of transparency by experienced people.”
The Board will continue to hold budget hearings with a hearing scheduled this evening for Westinghouse High School; 3223 W Franklin at 7P and Simeon High School; 8147 S Vincennes, on Friday at 7P.

Read the Chicago Public Schools Budget Overview.

Read the Chicago Public Schools Budget Book.

Resumen del presupuesto in Español.

A web site with other documents from the Chicago Board of Education.

Chicago Teachers Union press release protesting the budget.

WGN interviews Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis regarding the budget.

Chicago News Cooperative story on the CPS budget.

Statement by Raise Your Hand’s Sonia Kwon regarding declaring TIF funds surplus.

A primer on education funding from the Raise Your Hand coalition.

Ultimate Frisbee at Lane Tech

A large crowd was on hand to cheer on the home teamSome estimates as high as 1.000

The fast paced and lively sport of Ultimate Frisbee came to Lane Tech on Thursday evening. Ultimate Frisbee combines elements of soccer, basketball, and football into an exciting up and down game. It was first created in the 1970’s and according to officials it now boasts more than ten thousand players nationwide and enjoys ten percent growth yearly. The game is played with seven players on each side. Each team attempts to move the frisbee up the field to the other team’s goal. If the frisbee is dropped, hits the ground, or is intercepted, the other team takes over. Every time a player catches the frisbee, they must establish position and then can only pivot, a la a basketball player. There is no contact allowed, and one nuance of Ultimate Frisbee is the lack of referees. Much like golf, players are expected to make calls themselves.


Lane Tech hosted a robust crowd of more than one thousand people on Thursday. The top men’s team in Chicago, the Chicago Machine, hosted a group of College all stars knows as Next Generation (Nex Gen). The collegiates have joined from colleges all over the country including Georgia Tech, Colorado, and Harvard. The event included sponsorship from two of the biggest suppliers of Ultimate Frisbee equipment: Panagratia and VC Ultimate.


The game began with a sputter as each offense made miscues and there was no score after each side had several attempts. Finally, the Machine started the scoring. Their best player on this evening, Rory Gallagher #2, was in the middle of it. He caught a long pass down the field, a la Randy Moss. Then, he found Kevin Cho for a score. The Machine scored again minutes later and it appeared the rout was on. In fact, there was a rout but counter to the play in the opening minutes. Nex Gen ran off the next five goals to make it 5-2 before Gallagher made another nice play to stop the bleeding and make it Nex Gen 5 Machine 3. Gallagher was all over the field all day and had three goals. It wasn’t enough. Nex Gen never trailed again. They took an 8-6 lead at half time. Half time occurs when one of the teams gets just over half the goals necessary to win.


The two teams traded goals capped off by a nice catch in the goal area by Taylor Kramer #29 for the Machine. That made the score 12-8. The Machine never got any closer. Ollie Gordon, #14, scored a goal to make it 13-8. Meanwhile, Nex Gen’s best player was Dylan Freechild, #5, from the University of Colorado, as he accounted for three goals.


The game ended mercifully at 15-9. Nex Gen continues on a whirlwind multi city tour. Meanwhile, fans in Chicago got a glimpse of an up and coming sport.