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Chicago Public Schools under federal investigation for civil rights violations in school closings.

January 30, 2013

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From WBEZ:

National education officials are investigating how Chicago Public Schools has handled closing schools in recent years.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education confirmed Tuesday that CPS is one of six urban school districts being investigated by the department’s Office of Civil Rights. School districts in New York City, Philadelphia, Newark, Detroit and Washington, D.C. are also being investigated.

The investigations come as activists from 18 different cities are in Washington, D.C. speaking against the common practice of shutting down low-performing or underenrolled inner-city schools. Chicago has been closing schools for various reasons for more than a decade.  

The investigations stem from complaints filed by the activists in each city, who charge that closings have hurt minority students disproportionately and in some cases are discriminatory.

“The fact is they pushed us to where we have to start a real movement,” said Jitu Brown, an organizer from the South Side of Chicago. Brown said the various groups from across the country plan to continue working together to fight back against school closings.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan heard from the activists during a hearing Tuesday. 

 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2013 9:08 am

    Yes..the Feds should look at the privatizing of the South Side…schools and Midway Airport

  2. January 30, 2013 9:32 am

    Interesting that I was on the troubled West and South sides the last few weeks working with the homeless, and listening to issues of fraudulent foreclosures, primarily against monorities, which were hit disproportionately hard. Built on the wreckage of racism and slavery, this country has built a system of neglect, latent segregation that feeds dysfunction, which we then use to blame the victims of all that. I have seen firsthand the oppression imposed on these communities. I do not think they will sustain it much longer. The reaction so far has been to ignore the plight of these communities, and to impugn or criminalize those who dare speak out.

  3. Pam Verner permalink
    January 30, 2013 9:44 am

    Of course the closing of public schools a civil rights issue. That it is now being investigated as such is the best news I have heard in years! Perhaps this is the beginning of a public school system that is sustainable and fair to all. Thank you activists!!!

  4. January 30, 2013 10:28 am

    Fred,

    Did you see this piece by James Cersonsky in the American Prospect on the civil rights lawsuits being leveled against school districts around the country?

    http://prospect.org/article/fighting-education-shock-therapy

    Best,

    Micah Uetricht

  5. Jerry permalink
    January 30, 2013 11:51 am

    Asking the lord of school closings to investigate school closings? Hmmm…

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