Posted on May 22, 2013

CPS Policies Reinforce Segregation in Chicago, Finds CTU Report

Progress Illinois, May 20, 2013

On the 59-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision to end segregation in public schools, Brown v. Board of Education, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) released a report claiming widespread segregation still exists in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the district’s administration is doing nothing to address it.

In the 2011-2012 school year, 69 percent of African-American students in CPS were in schools with more than 90 percent of the student body composed of the same ethnicity, according to Friday’s report, titled “Still Separate, Still Unequal” (PDF).

“The newest CPS leadership frames the district’s current inequities as an inevitable result of demographic trends,” the report reads. “Their fraudulent attempts to absolve corporate reform of any culpability in our separate and unequal school system are an extension of the resistance that enforcement of desegregation faced in the decades after Brown v Board.”

Of CPS’ schools with a student body that is 90 percent or more African American, one out of every four has been subject to school actions over the last decade, according to the CTU’s report.

The study also reveals that fewer than one out of every 20 schools with less than a 75 percent African-American student body were closed, phased-out or turned around during that time period.

“The way CPS’ policies impact communities, the way they’re constructed, are racist,” said Pavlyn Jankov, CTU research facilitator and author of the report. “These schools have been systematically targeted for decades; African-American students are bearing the brunt of failed policies.”

In March, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced a proposal to close 54 schools, consolidate 11 and turnarnd another six, potentially impacting more than 30,000 students. But, while 42 percent of the district’s population is African American, approximately 80 percent of the students affected by the proposed actions are black.

The study was released on the cusp of three days of massive CTU-organized protests against the proposed actions. {snip}