Your NPR news source

Tighter Controls Over "Principal Picks" at Elite City High Schools

SHARE Tighter Controls Over "Principal Picks" at Elite City High Schools

Principals at Chicago’s top public high schools can handpick five percent of their students. Today the district is announcing tighter controls for how those kids can be selected.

The “principal pick” policy has come under increased scrutiny since a federal grand jury began investigating admissions to the top schools last year. CEO Ron Huberman admits there were problems.

HUBERMAN: If someone wanted to engage in wrongdoing, the mechanical systems and controls to stop an individual from doing that were not robust.

Now the district and auditors will review principals’ selection of students. Two aldermen admitted last year their children got into Whitney Young High School after they appealed to the principal to let them in.

An outside auditor hired by CPS recommended that principal picks be scrapped altogether. But Huberman defended the picks as a way to admit students who show some exceptional talent or who have overcome significant hardship.

The Latest