April 1st deadline for middle schoolers looking to land Lane AC

March 24, 2011
The best, brightest, and busiest Ravenswood students are juggling homework with applications to beat the April 1st deadline for the long-awaited, hotly debated Lane Tech Academic Center. But for many it is already too late. Word of CPS board approval rippled like wildfire Wednesday evening in the path of a fast moving flood of frustrated parents of middle school wannabes. The decision comes in the wake of last week's open house. Principal Antoinette LoBosco, quoting a Local School Committee head called it a 'Lane lovefest' and said the enormous outpouring of support would be heard by CPS, allowing her to be optimistic after 2 years of sweat equity and dashed hope. Lovefests like many love affairs depend on timing that can turn to tension. The passion for a closer to home high achieving school was strained by what many felt was last minute notice. Speaker after speaker took to the open house open mic singing praises of Lane Tech to a heavy blues refrain:
  • "I really want to see more options for the North side, but it's just not fair or equitable if you didn't apply (in time) for 7th and 8th grade students with great grades." Loud ovation, followed by;
  • "I think we deserve a chance at a piece of the pie and when we see others make it on the other side, well my daughter is going to feel its just not right."
The audience cheers as a fellow dressed for success introduces himself;
  • "My name is Glen Hamilton, I'm a 1976 graduate of Lane Tech. When I was in first grade my parents said 'you're going to this place called Lane Tech,' and its been great ever since."
For every Glen Hamilton there was another sentiment of another parent:
  • "This should be about inclusion, not exclusion and whatever administrative headache is created by this will be more than offset by the good will and support of the community who will see this for what it is and that's fairness."
  Lane must play by CPS rules. However one source close to the negotiations "guesses" there might be a way to take some of these students, but did not spell out just how. The fire meets the flood at what promises to be a steamy open house March 27th .Officials from Lane are expected to explain what comes next. And if there is any room for more to walk through the door of the coveted selective enrollment school next fall.  

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