The almost three-decade-old court order that required Chicago
Public Schools to reserve spots for minority students at its magnet
schools was struck down by a federal court on Thursday.
The so-called "consent decree" was essentially a desegratation
order, and gave white students a maximum of 35 perce of spots at
the city's top schools.
The ruling also ended court supervision over bilingual programs
in the school system.
Chicago Public Radio had the story Thursday:
CPS had argued the
district should no longer be bound by the order. The district says
it no longer operates a system that favors white students, who now
make up only 8 percent of the system.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois said without
federal oversight, more responsibility falls on parents and
community leaders to protect the education of minority children, in
an interview with Catalyst Chicago, an online news
site monitoring Chicago school reform.
"We are very concerned
about what this will mean in terms of access to selective
enrollment schools for minority children," [spokesman Ed] Yonka
said. "What clearly will be needed is for parents, activists and
those who really care about school reform in Chicago to monitor the
school district to ensure appropriate representation."
What does this mean for parents looking to take advantage of
school choice in Chicago? Right now, it's unclear.The population of
black and Hispanic students has been falling at many of the city's premier magnet
and charter schools, and with the cap on white students now lifted,
it's possible that more spaces will be open for non-minority
students. But Catalyst Chicago notes that CPS has hinted at using
socioeconomic status rather than race as a criterion in admission
to the city's most selective schools.
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