It's teacher hunting season!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet Chicago Public Schools, the Most Segregated Big City School System


See the graphic at the upper left on the following link at the NY Times. America's top cities figure among the most segregated; and Chicago's schools are the most segregated of all major cities.
Ford Fessenden, The New York Times, May 11, 2012
"A Portrait of Segregation in New York City’s Schools"

Graphic at left shows Chicago's residential segregation.

George N. Schmidt, Feb 6, 2009 –CPS demonstrates massive segregation:
“American Apartheid: Chicago school officials announce that 42 segregated all-black elementary schools could have been put into 'turnaround' this year, but only five were targeted” [reprinted below]

Parent activist and Chicago Teachers Union ally Matt Farmer spoke on Up with Chris Hayes Sunday morning (September 16, 2012) about racial disparities in the distribution of resources, such as libraries, in African-American and Latino south and west Chicago, as compared to white-American-populated north Chicago.

Nerissa Kunakemakorn, The Opportunity Agenda, on Mon, November 23, 2009
"Racial Segregation in U.S. Schools: Illinois Terminates Chicago’s Desegregation Decree"

Anonymous, The Chicago 77, January 21, 2009
“Chicago is America’s Most Segregated City”

Anonymous, The Huffington Post, January 31, 2012
“Chicago Most Segregated City In America, Despite Significant Improvements In Last Decade”

Whet Moser, Chicago Magazine, June 29, 2012
“How Segregation Is Evolving (And Not Evolving) in the 21st Century”

Whet Moser, Chicago Magazine, April 30, 2012
“Chicago-Area Schoolkids are the Second-Most Economically Segregated in the Country”

Liz Dwyer, Good Beta, Jul 9, 2012
“Is School Segregation Still Legal? Chicago Teens Reflect on Their Racial Isolation” – 40 percent of Latino and 70 percent of black students in Chicago area attend extremely segregated schools."

Linda Lutton, WBEZ, June 27, 2012
A segregated education, K-12: Students offer reflections on 13 years of segregated schooling

George N. Schmidt - February, 2009
"American Apartheid: Chicago school officials announce that 42 segregated all-black elementary schools could have been put into 'turnaround' this year, but only five were targeted"
Officials of the Chicago Public Schools have quietly made public a list of 42 elementary schools that they say could have been targeted for so-called "turnaround" this school year. In addition, Substance has learned that the majority of the remaining general high schools in Chicago (schools that serve the general populations, anybody who walks in the door and lives in the community) also meet most of the "criteria" for "turnaround."

Under CPS guidelines, "turnaround" is actually the process known to the rest of the nation as "reconstitution." Under "reconstitution" the entire staff of a supposedly "failing" school is fired, and a new staff, supposedly trained in better teaching methods, is brought in to replace those who have "failed."

What has not been noted in the carefully scripted hearings aimed at condemning the teachers and other staff at the schools on trial this year for failure is that two federal laws governing how schools and children are supposed to be treated are being carefully ignored as Chicago goes through its annual ritual of reconstitutions. The laws? The first are federal desegregation laws that go back to the famous 1954 case in Brown v. Board of Education. The second are federal laws and court decisions governing the treatment of students with disabilities. In Chicago, both are governed by federal consent decrees, both of which are still being monitored by federal judges. The desegregation consent decree governing Chicago was put into place in 1980 after Chicago mayors tried for more than 20 years to claim the city hadn't segregated itself or its public schools. The special education consent decree, under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been in place since the mid-1990s under the "Corey H" decision. The federal desegregation consent decree is currently being monitored by U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras. The Corey H consent decree is being overseen by U.S. District Judge Charles Gettleman. Despite the long list of legal precedents cited by CPS officials at each of the hearings calling for the reconstitution of the schools, neither federal law or consent decree is noted, either by CPS officials or the hearing officers who are hearing the cases. In the view of many observers, this is not an accident. Instead of being examples of the failures of the teachers, parents, principals and students at the schools targeted this year for reconstitution, the schools -- and dozens of others -- are examples of the fact that Chicago remains the nation's most viciously segregated city.

Also, Chicago has systematically deprived children with disabilities of their right to public education in the least restrictive environment. As long as CPS officials and their hearings officers are allowed to ignore federal law, the current reality will continue. The list of elementary schools that have "failed" according to this year's CPS criteria includes two schools -- the so-called "Sherman School of Excellence" and the so-called "Harvard School of Excellence" -- that are currently managed by the "Academy for Urban School Leadership" (AUSL). AUSL is currently slated to receive more schools for "turnaround" after hearings that are taking place this month and a vote by the Chicago Board of Education on February 25. The full article will be available in the print issue of Substance.

Forty-two elementary schools could have faced 'turnaround'. Five do.

This school year, five Chicago public elementary schools have been targeted for reconstitution (which in Chicago is termed 'turnaround' using the corporate jargon currently in vogue. All five of those schools meet what CPS officials call the 'turnaround criteria' based on low test scores.

But the five schools -- and the remaining 37 schools on the list that CPS officials say could have been targeted for 'turnaround' -- meet another criteria as well.

All of them are located in the heart of Chicago's ruthlessly segregated ghettos.

All of the students at the majority of the schools are African American. The vast majority of those students have been living in heart breaking poverty since long before the current economic crisis hit the middle classes and the wealthy.

And the majority of the teachers who teach in those schools are viewed in the community as sources of stability and continuity that does not exist in most other parts of the lives of these children, all of whom are victims of the most segregated city in the United States of America -- Chicago.

Thirty years ago, the existence of these schools -- and their problems scoring well on so-called 'standardized' tests -- would have been utilized as evidence that Chicago segregates its public schools in violation of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. That decision ruled that racial segregation in public schools was inherently unequal.

But in 2009 in Chicago, the problems faced by these same schools are considered -- in the eyes of those who run CPS -- as proof that the teachers and other staff at the schools should be fired and replaced with teachers who are supposedly experts in new methods of teaching and can, in the jargon of corporate Chicago, 'turnaround' the schools.

Forty-two of Chicago's most segregated elementary schools listed as being 'turnaround' candidates. Black teachers and staff face firing for teaching the children of the poor in the largest ghettos in the USA

The following is the list of the 42 Chicago elementary schools that could have been subjected to reconstitution this school year under the three criteria outlined by the Chicago Board of Education's Chief Executive Officer during the early February hearings on the proposed reconstitution (known locally as 'turnaround') of Bethune, Dulles, Holmes, Johnson and Yale elementary schools. All of the schools are located in the heart of the city's vast south side and west side segregated black ghettos or on the border with a nearby Latino barrio.

The list below includes each school's name, followed by the address (in parenthesis), followed by the total number of students attending the school this school year, followed by the percentage of students who are African-American.

Segregated African American Elementary Schools which could have faced reconstitution at the end of the 2008-2009 school year based on the Chicago Board of Education's three "turnaround" criteria. [Schmidt then lists 42 highly segregated schools and their segregation rates.]

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