From Chicago Sun-Times by Rosalind Rossi and Art Golab:
On the good-news front, Chicago Public Schools contributed seven of nine elite “selective enrollment” schools, all with test admission standards, to the top-100 high school list: No. 1 Northside College Prep; No. 2 Young Magnet; No. 3 Payton College Prep; No. 9 Jones College Prep; No. 20 Lane Tech; No. 43 Lindblom and No. 76 Brooks College Prep, which holds the most low-income kids (85 percent) among the top 100 high schools.

Lindblom Principal Alan Mather attributed his school’s jump from No. 107 last year to No. 43 this year to a series of reforms “spearheaded by an amazing faculty’’ over the last three or so years.

That includes Lindblom’s decision to become the first CPS non-charter high school to switch to a year-round calendar. The Englewood school holds 70 percent low-income kids and “summer learning loss is a huge issue with children in poverty,’’ Mather said.

Another factor may be changing the focus of Wednesday “colloquium” days – which several college preps use for boutique electives — to a day of mostly academic or college-going support classes. Now, any Lindblom student who receives lower than a C in any course — or anyone who wants extra help — is put in a Wednesday “colloquium support’’ class.

At the other end of the spectrum, every Lindblom Advanced Placement student takes an AP colloquium support class. The extra time and attention better prepares them for national AP exams, which can translate into college credit, Mather said.

For struggling students, support colloquiums nurture “habits of mind that help students with what it takes to be in a really rigorous setting,’’ Mather said. But in addition, “Most of the students getting Bs and Cs choose to take them. It gives them extra time with their teachers. They are high achievers and they want to keep their grades up.’’

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