Chicago, for years, has been pushing school choice. Less than 25 percent of students overall now go to their local neighborhood high school, where they are guaranteed a spot. And this year, for the first time, Chicago Public Schools has moved to a new application that tries to better match that choice system and the competition that comes along with it. Applications are due Dec. 22.
Previously, students filled out multiple applications and could get multiple offers. This year, under a new single online application called GoCPS, kids rank up to 20 choices, and then in the spring, they’ll receive just one offer. This includes some programs with special admissions requirements. Students can also match with one selective enrollment school, which require testing to get in.
CPS hopes this will make choice more accessible to a broader range of students, including those who were previously disengaged from the process. In the past, a dizzying array of different applications and processes meant some kids without savvy parents were left out. Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson, who takes over as acting CEO next month, said families get the best outcomes when they have more information.