Every year, a high-stakes gamble begins.Parents across Chicago take their children to be tested for selective elementary schools and programs, the first step in a potentially make-or-break scenario. The district has 16 schools and programs for gifted students starting as kindergarteners—plus 10 more for older elementary students—and these schools and programs send large numbers of students on to the district’s gems: the selective high schools that invariably score at the top of the heap on state achievement tests and offer students a broad array of rigorous courses, engaging electives and enriching after-school activities.
The Achievement Gap: Winter 2013
A special diversity initiative has given promising black students from the worst elementary schools a seat in top high schools. But the program’s success won’t close the gap for poorer students who need better prospects for a good education.