Nine out of ten of the Chicago Public School students potentially affected by school closings this year are black, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found, a discovery one community activist called a “lawsuit waiting to happen.”
Of those 129 schools located mostly on the South and West sides, 117 are majority black. And 119 of them have a percentage of black students higher than thedistrict average. At the 129 schools on CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s list of schools that could be closed this year, 88 percent of the students are black.
Schools with at least 90 percent black students account for 103 of the 129. Just nine are majority Hispanic.
The racial breakdown of the schools that could be closed is not in line with the overall demographics of the district. Across the city, 41.7 percent of CPS students are African American, 8.8 percent are white and 44.1 percent are Hispanic. The rest are Asian, Native American or members of other racial groups.
* Will Caskey blew a gasket when he read that story. Caskey, who lives in the city and has a young child, was furious at the paper’s analysis.
First, Caskey points out that since Chicago is still largely racially segregated, any given area that changes population tends to do so within one race, for instance…
On September 30, 2000 the CPS racial survey found 226,600 black students (52 percent), 152,031 Hispanic students (35 percent) and 41,890 white students (9.6 percent). As of October 10, 2012, the same survey found 163,595 black students (40.5 percent), 180,274 Hispanic students (44.7 percent), and 36,415 white students (9 percent). That is to say, black enrollment declined by 63,005 (27.8 percent), white enrollment declined by 5,475 (13 percent) and Hispanic enrollment increased by 28,243 (18.5 percent). Overall enrollment declined by 34,157 (437,618 to 403,461).
* He continues…
(T)he Sun-Times’ conclusion (“The racial breakdown of the schools that could be closed is not in line with the overall demographics of the district.”) is nonsense. The closure criteria are not made in reference to the isolated enrollment in Chicago right now. They were made because population shifts left a lot of schools underutilized (and a lot of schools overcrowded). This distinction is, of course, lost on the Sun-Times, probably because crack journalism like looking at the U.S. Census web site is lost on them:
Indeed, the district claims the city has lost 145,000 children from 2000 to 2010, though school enrollment dropped by about 30,000 during the same decade. CPS cannot explain the disparity in the numbers.
Okay Sun Times, let me explain it. Per the 2010 census, there are 621,630 residents in Chicago under 18. Per the 2000 census, there were 844,298. That’s a decline of 222,668 residents under 18. Concurrently there was a CPS enrollment decline of 34,157. That means relative to change in total population under 18. CPS enrollment is actually doing great: in 2000 51.8 percent of residents under 18 were enrolled in CPS, whereas now 64.9 percent are. I know, math is hard. Maybe you should have paid more attention in school.
* The Sun-Times followed up today with a kinda/sorta walkback, presented as a he said/she said story…
Nine out of 10 Chicago Public School students potentially impacted by school closings are African-American because their neighborhoods suffered population losses, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday.
One day after a community activist branded the disproportionate impact on black students a “lawsuit waiting to happen,” Emanuel renewed his commitment to forge ahead with a politically explosive decision that Chicago has avoided for a decade.
“There has been a big change in the city over the last decade … and we need to make sure that our schools are reflective of the change in our city,” the mayor said.
“We have postponed this. It’s actually a postponement that’s adversely affected our children’s education. Now, we need to deal with it in a very sensitive way, in a compassionate way, but achieve the goal, like the longer school day, to give all our children a high-quality, valuable education so they can have a future that is worthy of those children.”
* In other Chicago school-related news, the UNO schools have agreed to allow a union. From a press release…
Chicago ACTS, UNO Announce Agreement Guaranteeing Charter Educators the Free Choice to Form a Union
Chicago—Today the Chicago Alliance of Charter School Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS) and the UNO charter organization announced an agreement that guarantees educators and staff at UNO schools the free choice to form a union. With 13 schools in Chicago, this agreement guarantees more than 300 educators the right to choose to unionize without fear of retaliation. More than 5,000 children attend UNO schools in Chicago.
“With this agreement, UNO teachers have the freedom to join with hundreds of other charter school teachers across Chicago who are using their collective voice to speak out for their profession and their students, said Chicago ACTS President Brian Harris. “Almost four years ago, my co-workers and I formed the first charter school teachers union in Chicago. We are united in the relentless pursuit of quality for our schools, and we are encouraged that UNO teachers now have the freedom to join with us to advocate on behalf of teachers, our students and our schools.”
More info here.
* Emanuel regrets Quinn’s education budget cuts
* Editorial: Close schools over two years, not one