Key Questions

1. How does the admission policy in CPS affect the profile of Selective Enrollment High Schools (SEHS) students in Chicago? 

2. What effects do SEHSs have on students?


In the 2015-16 school year, 75 percent of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) ninth-graders opted out of their assigned high school. These students could choose from more than 300 programs at 138 public high schools. SEHS were among the most high-profile and most sought-out options: 13,400 students applied for 3,600 seats in 11 SEHS. 

SEHS aim to provide high-achieving students with a challenging academic experience and admit students based on prior academic performance. Many of the SEHS are consistently ranked as the top schools in Illinois by U.S. News and World Report. However, criticisms about these schools include concerns that they disproportionately serve affluent students and drain resources from neighborhood schools.

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