Court strikes down CPS desegregation order

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.

What do you think? Join the conversation below!

  • Do your kids attend a Chicago Public School? Will this affect you?
  • Should diversity be mandated in the form of quotas?
  • Is your child’s school diverse? What does that add to his or her education?
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