Consent Decree Hearing – What Next?

January 25, 2009 at 2:45 pm 2 comments

The consent decree hearing took place last week, where parents were able to voice their opinions on whether CPS should continue to require magnet/gifted schools to keep a ratio of 15-35% white kids.  According to a Tribune article CPS district officials say they have met the goals of the 1980 consent decree that ordered them to set up magnet schools as a way to get children from diverse neighborhoods into integrated schools.

I personally have no way of knowing whether this is true or not.  Yes, the magnet schools seem to be very nicely integrated.  No, my son’s gifted class is not integrated at all (although I believe CPS tried, it was hard to find minority students who wanted to start in a new program on the north side.)  What I don’t know is whether parents of minority kids who are in neighborhoods with the worst CPS schools really feel like they have a decent shot at getting their kid into a Magnet school. 

The Sun Times article reported the following: Wanda Hopkins of Parents United for Responsible Education said she got one child into a magnet school, Andrew Jackson Language Academy, by complaining to CPS about a long list of rejections. 

Wow – CPS responds to complaining?  Who knew?  Wanda is from the group PURE that I’ve raved about – a “power to the people” organization that fights for fairness in CPS and helps teach LSCs to demand reform where it’s needed.

At the hearing, kids and parents expressed the need for continued integration among other things (books, better teachers, etc.)

Interestingly, one article reports that “the district” will ask the judge to let CPS switch to an income-based quota system that will make sure a certain % of lower-income kids get into the magnet program.   This seems like a smart way to do it, given that school performance is typically tied to socio-economic background.  I mean if Obama’s kids had gotten into a magnet school based on race, it wouldn’t really be giving them any race-based edge, now would it? (Oh wait, they went to private school of course.)  But man, what a can of worms if CPS has to be checking everyone’s income for enrollment.  Or will they use the honor system like they do now for minority status?  Interesting times ahead….

So for now, I guess the testimony continues, then a judge will decide whether the the integration efforts will continue in the Magnet schools.  It just seems weird that it is all up to one judge to decide.  I hope this dude knows what he’s doing.,CST-NWS-deseg23.article,0,1895023.story


Entry filed under: Random topics. Tags: .

White People Love Gifted Children New head of CPS: What the F?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dave4118  |  August 3, 2009 at 11:18 am

    i spoke to my wife’s uncle this weekend, he is a harvard Law grad and is knowledgeable about school integration issues and the courts. I asked what his sense of the SACD was, as far as it being terminated. He felt that there was a good chance that the SACD would be terminated, but that the city and CPS would not change much concerning the programs in place, or the mechanisms by which they ‘adjust’ enrollment demographics.He feels that the city is asking for the termination of the consent decree simply because they feel that they have substantially complied with the decree. So….termination of the consent decree would not end the CPS policies concerning race-based selections. BUT…uncle lawer felt that some very really court challenges are lay ahead, in the form of caucasian lawsuits for unfair practices and policies. I.e.-little Jimmy scored 100 and didn’t get in, but Maria scored 92 and did get in.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  August 4, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Thanks, that is interesting. I can totally see what you’re saying about possible challenges if it isn’t a legal mandate. I’ve heard people I wouldn’t have expected making comments about the unfairness of the Jimmies being shut out.
    Already CPS is generous with giving 35% of slots to Caucasian kids when CPS is only 10% white. It’s just hard because of the way the city is so physically segregated by race. There might be a more fair way to allocated the spaces but I’m sure there would be a million opinions as to what that would be.

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