Top 100 Best High Schools 2013 – Whitney M. Young Magnet High School – Newsweek – 55/100
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
School Classification: M, S
AVG SAT: –
AVG ACT: 27.4
AVG AP SCORE:4.2
NEWSWEEK SCORE: 3.69
211 S Laflin St, Chicago, IL 60607, United States
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (commonly known as Whitney Young) is public 4-year magnet high school located in the Near West Side neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is operated by Chicago Public Schools. Whitney Young opened on September 3, 1975 as the city’s first public magnet high school. The school consistently scores among the top high schools in the U.S. state of Illinois. In 2009, Whitney was accorded the Blue Ribbon Award. Admission to Whitney Young is granted based on entrance exam performance and elementary school grades, and is open to all residents of Chicago. Admissions are based on academic grades, standardized test scores, and entrance exam results. The school was named after Whitney M. Young Jr, a prominent civil rights leader.
Plans for a public magnet school on Chicago’s Near West Side began in 1970. A proposal called for a high school to be built at 211 S. Laflin on an empty lot burned out during the riots following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968. The school opened on September 3, 1975, as a selective enrollment school under the school’s first principal, Bernarr E. Dawson. The founding teachers developed and planned the initial curriculum and policies for the school: Joe Korner (English), Jory Chelin (Math), Melanie Wojtulewicz (Science), Larry Minkoff (Social Studies), Roger Stewart (Tech), Sandra McKinley (Librarian), and Dr. William Marshall (Hearing Impaired). The Principal’s Secretary was Lillian O’Neill. They met for many months unpaid in the unused John Phillips Sousa School Building while the Whitney Young facility was being constructed.
The Academic Decathlon team has won many city and state titles and has finished as high as second place in the nation. At the 1995 Illinois State Championship, Whitney Young was outscored by the team from Steinmetz High School, though it was later revealed that Steinmetz had obtained a copy of the test in advance. The Steinmetz team was stripped of the title and it was awarded to Whitney Young. This was dramatized in the HBO film Cheaters.