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CPS racial disparity grew under Daley: UIC profs

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



A study by two University of Illinois at Chicago professors Thursday dumped on the idea of a Chicago Public Schools “miracle’’ under Mayor Daley and pushed for an elected — rather than appointed — school board to move city schools forward.

The disparities between black and white students and between Latino and white students have grown larger under Daley, creating a “two-tier” public education system, according to the analysis by Pauline Lipman and Eric “Rico” Gutstein.

School leaders appointed by Daley created “world class,” high-achieving, selective-enrollment public high schools but they are three times whiter and three times less poor than the system as a whole and only serve a small slice of kids, the study said.

Meanwhile, African-American and Latino students have “disproportionately experienced a string of punitive and destabilizing policies,” including “drilling’’ for standardized tests, being forced to repeat a grade, school closures and high teacher turnover, Lipman said.

The authors conceded that some numbers have improved under Daley but pointed to evidence that Chicago scores on a national test have not improved as much as other large cities. And although the dropout and graduation rates of all racial groups have improved, they have improved more for whites, widening the black-white and Hispanic-white gaps.

“The evidence we collected for this report does not support the ‘Chicago miracle,’ ” the study said.

At least two other national studies indicate there is “no conclusive evidence’’ mayoral control of schools is more effective in raising achievement, the authors said in pushing for an elected school board.

CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond said an appointed board is more efficient and allows voters to hold the mayor responsible for school performance.

“How come parents in Winnetka and Highland Park aren’t making the same claim of needing efficiency?’’ said Jackson Potter, staff coordinator for the Chicago Teachers Union, who joined the authors in calling for an elected school board. “To me it smacks of holding Chicago to a different standard.”

Mayoral candidates Rahm Emanuel and Gery Chico have rejected elected boards, but say they’d consider adding a teacher. Miguel del Valle has said he would consider an elected school board under certain conditions, including setting election spending caps and allowing for public financing of board member elections.



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