#BlackTeachersMatter. U.S. Judge Milton Shadur calls CPS response to teachers discrimination lawsuit, “totally irresponsible.”

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Judge Milton Shadur.

In 2011 the Chicago school board carried out large-scale layoffs of teachers and paraprofessionals.

African American board employees bore the brunt of the layoffs just as the board’s closing of neighborhood public schools two years ago mainly impacted African American communities.

As a result of the layoffs in 2011 the Chicago Teachers Union and three impacted teachers filed suit.

As I understand it, a law suit like this has three components.  First, the plaintiffs must show that they represent a class of people by a preponderance of the evidence. They were not just individual victims. It was not a coincidence that they were mostly African American. The judge is asked to certify that it is a class action before the case can move on to trial and a ruling of damages.

On Friday, Senior U.S. Judge Milton Shadur ruled in favor of the CTU and the three teachers.

However Judge Shadur didn’t just rule in the plaintiff’s favor.

The Judge was scathing in his rebuke of the CPS board.

“What does Board say on the critical issue of disparate impact in this critical case? Here are Amended Complaint 7 and 8 and Board’s “responses”:

7. In June, 2011, the Board terminated the employment of 931 classroom teachers through a round of layoffs. 480 of these teachers were tenured. African Americans made up 42% of the tenure teachers terminated, although constituting less than 29% of all CPS tenured teachers.

ANSWER: The Board denies the allegations of paragraph 7.

8. Defendant’s pattern and practice of targeting schools with high African American teaching populations for layoffs has a disparate impact on African American tenured teachers and staff.

ANSWER: The Board denies the allegations of paragraph 8 and further states that the Board does not “target” schools, or any demographic of teachers or staff, for layoffs under any circumstance.

And that’s it — the sum total of Board’s purported input on the subject of disparate impact, which is of course the essential linchpin for class certification purposes. Board has said not a word, then or since then, about the claimed basis for its unsupported ipse dixit “denial.”

In candor, that is totally irresponsible. This action has been pending for just short of 2-1/2 years: Plaintiffs filed their initial Complaint on December 26, 2012, and Board has known from day one about plaintiffs’ disparate impact contention and about the asserted numbers upon which those contentions rely.”

Judge Shadur’s ruling and order then proceeded through each requirement for certification as a class and sided with the teachers on each one.

He concluded:

Board’s only challenge to certification under Rule 23(b)(3) is its broken-record-type reassertion that individual principals fired plaintiffs, so that common questions do not predominate on that skewed premise. And that means Board has simply failed to raise any substantial challenge at all to plaintiffs’ arguments.

The case now will proceed to trial and damages.

2015.5.22 Memo Order Granting Class Cert

10 thoughts on “#BlackTeachersMatter. U.S. Judge Milton Shadur calls CPS response to teachers discrimination lawsuit, “totally irresponsible.”

  1. So glad to see that these Chicago teachers will get their due, unlike the horrible ruling in New Orleans. Kudos to Judge Shadur.
    Also, can’t mention this w/o the same to the IL Supreme Court Justices who declared SB 1 unconstitutional,
    Proving, once again, that yes, WE did, yes, WE can & yes, yes WE WILL!!

  2. I wonder what Emperor Bruce and his little side kick, 9 fingers will think! They probably think the judge is corrupt because he won’t do their bidding!!!

  3. When you have a Board run by 1%ers who expect that their word is final and needs no proof, what would you expect?

    Also wondering how these 1%ers could possibly bankrupt the school system. With their obvious financial acumen, perhaps they were put in place to do exactly that – bankrupt the system, opening the door to lower wages, state control of all contracts, more charter schools, etc.

    The games being played by CPS at the expense of children is both amazing and terrifying. These people have no ethics or morals, just like their puppeteers, the rahmmonster and brucey. Bravo to the ISC and to Judge Shadur as voices of reason in this swamped out state of corruption.

    1. And SDO interesting that CPS Board Member Andrea Zopp is running for Mark Kirk’s seat–she lists her connection to the Urban League (such as in the odiferous testing Counterpoint editorial in the S-T the other day RE: testing), but leaves out the fact that she is a CPS Board Member.
      You know, same board that approved $20.5 million SUPES no-bid, not to mention the smelly (literally) Aramack building maintenance deal.
      Hope Duckworth runs & zaps Zopp!

      1. From Huffington:

        “Apparently, Zopp got her poll results back.

        But “positive,” as far as a primary goes at least, must be an assessment fixed firmly in the eye of the beholder.

        According to a new poll of 1,051 Democratic primary voters commissioned by The Illinois Observer for its subscriber e-newsletter, The Insider, Duckworth is cleaning Zopp’s clock, winning 50.8 percent to 5.2 percent.

        Brutal. Positively.”

        But beware of the “insider” Duckworth too.

  4. This is being going on since 2001 with a code of silence enforced by CTU and CPS. 4,500 Black Teachers were terminated from 2000-2010 where CORE and Karen Lewis was elected. In 2010 Black teachers were 29.6% of about a 30,000 member union. Approximately 9-10,000 strong. CORE ran on a platform to stop the systemic racist firings of Black teachers. Days before the CTU election in 2010, CORE filed an EEOC complaint getting publicity and the trust of it’s CTU membership. After winning, the the 2010 election in a runoff, CTU refused to continue it’s pursuit of protecting Black educators. From 2010 to today the number of Black teachers terminated under Lewis and CORE has almost doubled. Today Black Teachers are 22% of a shrinking 23,00 member union. Between 4-5,000 left after dropping in 4 years from 9.000 to 4,500 under Lewis. To add insult to injury, after getting elected CORE and LEWIS began to engage in racist firings at the CTU, terminating Black CTU employees. I guess if most of the African American teachers are gone, why would you need Black union workers. See the document below written by the African Americans who work for CTU.
    http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/citizensforciviceducation/pages/88/attachments/original/1446668161/CTU_Racism_Allegations.pdf?1446668161

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