Duncan, Daley policies, 'Renaissance 2010' partly to blame... CTU charges Chicago Public Schools cuts have hit African American teachers disproportionately hard and destabilized large parts of Chicago's African American communities

The Chicago Teachers Union has charged that the Chicago Public Schools has been reducing teachers in a manner that has disproportionately hurt African American teachers, and that school closings during the years of the "Renaissance 2010" program hit black schools in a disproportionate manner.

According to a press release and analysis released by the union on September 23, 2011:

Less than two months before Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, on September 15, 2008, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley convened a media event at one of Chicago's nearly 300 segregated all-black public schools to announce that, once again, standardized test scores had gone "up" in Chicago's public schools. The media event, which included soon-to-be U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, was at one of the city's hundreds of segregated public schools. After going over the test scores, whose gains he attributed to his administration, Daley posed with some of the nearly more than 800 children, all of whom were black, from the school. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Disproportionate Number of Teacher Lay Offs are Black and Latino; Predominantly African American schools hit hardest

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CHICAGO – The majority of school teachers recently laid off by the Chicago Board of Education are people of color, and hardest hit are African teachers in schools serving African American students, according to a new analysis released today by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).

An analysis of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) layoffs shows 55 percent of teachers who lost their jobs this past year are people of color. The data are especially troubling because according to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), blacks make up only 30 percent of all public school teachers. Given the push for a longer, better school day neighborhood schools need more teachers not less.

According to the ISBE School Report Card data for 2010:

· 50.6 % of CPS teachers are White

· 29.6 % of CPS teachers are African American

· 15.2 % of CPS teachers are Latino

Yet, a demographic analysis of the 75 percent of laid off teachers for whom data was available on ISBE’s Teacher Service Record reveals:

· 43 % of laid off CPS teachers are African American

· 40 % of laid off CPS teachers are White

· 12 % of laid off CPS teacher are Latino

“Clearly I am disturbed when any teacher is put out of work, however, this is a disturbing trend that has real consequences for the overwhelming Black and Latino student population in our schools who look to their teachers as role models for achievement and success,” said CTU President Karen GJ Lewis. “We want to know what CPS is doing to address this racial disparity. With unemployment soaring in the black community, why is CPS exacerbating this crisis by getting rid of experienced and valuable educators in the first place?”

During the media event praising Chicago's mayor and his leadership team for that year's improvements in standardized test scores, then Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan spoke about the gains, while being cheered by then Chicago Chief Accountability Officer Dr. Ginger Reynolds (above right). During the years that Daley served as mayor and had complete control over the school system, a series of "accountability" and research chiefs, all of them white like Reynolds, provided the mayor and the CEO with the data to prove that black schools were "failing" (and had to be replaced by charters or "turnarounds", with their staffs fired). For two years, Reynolds testified against the black schools that were fated for closing by Duncan's administration, never once mentioning the complex poverty and racial demographics that actually factored into the problems with the test scores. Reynolds had been preceded by a white guy (Dan Buglar) and was followed by another white women (Sarah Kremsner) in the all-important "accountability" post, which was called upon regularly to provide the data to support the policies of the Daley administration. Substance photo September 15, 2008, at E.F. Young Elementary School in Chicago by George N. Schmidt.In addition to the racial disparity in the teacher layoffs, there are disparities regarding the schools from which teachers were laid off. The 930 school-based teachers laid off are 4.4 percent of teachers working in schools. However, these layoffs were twice as likely to occur at schools with greater concentrations of low-income students or African American students.

Throughout CPS, 87 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch. However, these low-income students are not evenly distributed throughout the system. The schools that have a higher concentration of economically disadvantaged students have twice the teacher layoff rate of those schools with lower concentrations of these students, as shown in a chart released by the teachers union (not printed here for technical reasons but soon to be available at

Similarly, 45 percent of all CPS students are African American. Again, because of the segregated nature of CPS schools, these students are not evenly distributed throughout the system. Schools with higher concentrations of African American students have a teacher layoff rate that is twice that of schools with lower concentrations of these students, as shown in the chart below.

Lewis added, “Unfortunately, CPS is destabilizing neighborhoods by putting qualified people out work; continuing its toxic relationships with banks; and, by privatizing neighborhood schools by funding charters.”


September 27, 2011 at 8:34 PM

By: Carlos Ocon

CTU members must practice more racial tolerance among one another.

A more concise study on Latino teachers should be conducted. Is CPS only hiring Latino teachers in positions that fit the "bilingual" stereotype? How many have been hired in non-bilingual subjects such as English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Physical Education? And those who have been hired in non-bilingual subjects, how long have they lasted, before been fired or chased out by hateful colleagues? If you are a Latino teacher in a non-bilingual role for more than 5 years, you are a survivor.

October 2, 2011 at 12:14 PM

By: J. Whitfield

One reeps what one sows

"The Good in what men do lives after them.

The evil is interred ikn their bones."

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