Race and poverty roundup: Chicago Teachers Union sues for discrimination, education gap grows and city stickers are a no-go

What's moving in the world of race and poverty, on Chicago Muckrakers weekly.

In a school system that's highly segregated, race is a contentious issue. The Chicago Teachers Union and four tenured teachers filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying that the Board of Education's layoff policy in the 2011 school year disproportionately impacted black teachers. In 2011, 29 percent of tenured teachers were African American, while 43 percent of tenured teachers laid off were black, said the Chicago Teachers Union.

The education gap continues to grow between rich and poor, The New York Times reported this week. The gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students "had grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s." Even along racial lines, the class issues is still apparent, the article said: It "is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites."

Meanwhile, a Catalyst Chicago investigation found a gap in Chicago's bilingual education. Of the 58 districts visited by state monitors in the last three years, zero met Illinois' education requirements for English-language learners. And with more than half of Latinos living outside of metro Chicago, demand is only increasing.

A $26 million settlement reached with five of the biggest banks--Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Ally Financial, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup--accused of processing fraudulent foreclosures. President Barack Obama called the settlement a success, but some activists say there is still a long way to go to get justice.

Attorneys in Chicago reached a long-awaited settlement with protesters arrested during the 2003 anti-war marches. The final payout? $6.2 million.

The winner of a Chicago city vehicle sticker contest got an unfortunate surprise when city officials said Wednesday that they would not print the design because it may have contained gang signs.

© Community Renewal Society 2012

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