Stem Program Lottery Unfair to Rogers Park Kids

Stem Lottery Unfair to Rogers Park Applicants

If you have a child that will be attending Rogers Park middle school next fall and have entered your child in the "lottery" for the Stem program, you should know that the odds are stacked against you. 

A total of 184 applications were submitted for 100 openings; 131 from Rogers Park and 53 from Broadview.  If you are a logical thinker, you might conclude that your child then has a 100/184 chance of being selected, which is slightly more than a 1 in 2 chance.  Unfortunately for us logical thinkers, that is not how the "lottery" is being run. 

How is the lottery being conducted?  Well, 50 openings are being "reserved for Rogers Park students and 50 for Broadview students.  So, if you are a Broadview parent, congratulations...your child has nearly a 100% chance of being selected (odds are 50/53).  However, if you are a Rogers Park parent, you now only have a 50/131 chance of being selected, which is about a 38%.  So, Broadview applicants have nearly a 100% chance of being selected; Rogers Park students only have a 38% chance of being selected.  Is that fair treatment of our children?  After all, it is about the kids...isn't it?  Or is it just about some of the kids?

By the way, I am aware of the overcrowding issue, but that does not give Messrs. Pascarella, Glass or the BOE the right to discriminate against the kids at Rogers Park. I also question the legality of conducting the lottery in this fashion.  I left an urgent message for the BOE attorney last Friday and have yet to receive a return phone call.  I guess it is time to contact the Mayor's office and Council members.  If you also believe the "lottery" is unfair, I urge you to also let your voices be heard.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

so1 February 18, 2012 at 02:08 PM
If my memory serves me correct, the STEM academy was part of the "Fie Year Plan", and was also a tool to help reduce overcrowding at BMS. It is housed at RP because that is where the extra room was. BMS has a greater chance of getting in, because that is where the overcrowding problem is, they want kids out of there, and offer the STEM program as a place to put them. The STEM was to be the beginning, it was to continue through HS, with satellite schools housed throughout the city in available office buildings that specialized in very specific careers in mind, such as allied health, computers, engineering, etc. Clearly, that "Five Year Plan" never got past the first year! It was a great idea that would have prepared students who had a career in mind, for the real future, and for college..but it has gone no place. The high school has a "STEM" so watered down its not worth calling it STEM. So while your middle schooler may be missing the experience of hands on learning in jr high, which was a great experience by the way, they are not missing much else. Its just another program that never got past the planning stage.
Kevin Haddad February 22, 2012 at 10:20 PM
The STEM program was set up to ease overcrowding at Broadview. There needed to be a carrot to entice parents to send their children to Rogers Park which is not a bad school, however it seems to suffer from a reputation issue. Apparently that carrot is not big enough, based on the low number of students applying from Broadview. STEM can't move to the former Mill Ridge Intermediate building fast enough. Both middle schools will probably need to be redistricted to further solve the inequaties in enrollment.
Jill Amalfitano February 23, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I am not sure these facts are correct. My son is a Broadview-bound student and was not picked for the STEM program. After checking with central office, I was told he is #13 on the wait list. If there were only 53 Broadview applicants, how could this be? I know of several other Broadview kids who were not selected.
Max Z March 01, 2012 at 08:41 PM
that sad truth is, Danbury public schools will only get worse because of overcrowding due to illegal immigration. we're bringing in economically poorer children with poorer language skills many of which have cultural backgrounds where education is simply not valued as highly(not true of all newcomers but true for some). also contributing to lower test scores is economically advantaged parents are taking their kids out in droves and putting them into private schools.
Nancy April 28, 2012 at 08:08 PM
How come the comments on The Patch are 100% more intelligent than those in The News-Times? I may start reading The Patch more regularly.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »