Deseg Forum On Tuesday

Some parents from Dummond Montessori Magnet sent me this notice about an event on Tuesday for those interested in the consent decree, which comes up for review in November.

It seems to me that the consent decree is all but gone -- but what do I know?

Click below for event details.

Drummond Families Together

empowerment · equity · excellence

PRESS ADVISORY FOR: Contact: Sumi Cho (312) 362-8082;

September 23, 2008 Mary Zerkel (773) 704-8155 ;

For Immediate Release:


Judge Considers Releasing Chicago Public Schools from Desegregation

Consent Decree; Existing Racial Diversity Goals in Magnet Schools would

be Abolished

Event will discuss the history of desegregation in Chicago schools and the threat of re-segregation

Chicago, Il ─ A forum on September 23rd, 2008 held at Casa Central, 1335 N. California at 6:00 p.m., will

set out to educate Chicago parents and community members about why and

how magnet schools came to exist in Chicago, how they are related to

the civil rights movement to provide quality education to the

least-served students of color, and how such a model for integration

and diversity face a pending threat.

Magnet schools and the “choice” model have prevailed nationally

among local schools districts as the preferred and primary vehicle for

integration and maintaining racial and class diversity since the 1970s.

Chicago Public Schools followed this national trend when it entered

into a “consent decree” with the U.S. Department of Justice in 1980,

modified it in 2004 and again in 2006. Through the consent decrees, CPS

agreed to desegregate its schools in part by developing magnet schools

that would attract voluntarily, a diverse student body based on the

particular specialized instruction offered by the magnet school. CPS

also made commitments to providing more services for and reporting on

education for English Language Learners (ELL) and special needs


On November 10, 2008, federal judge Charles Kocoras will convene a

judicial hearing to consider whether to declare that CPS operates as a

“unitary” system—i.e., one no longer in need of federal oversight to

desegregate. Such a declaration of “unitary status” would abolish the

existing consent decree and its racial diversity goals in all of

Chicago’s magnet schools, as well as CPS’ identified commitments to

English Language Learners and special needs students. The future

of racial diversity in CPS would then be limited by the recent U.S.

Supreme Court decision in Parents Concerned in Community Schools v.

Seattle (“PICS”), in which the Justice Roberts majority prohibited

racial balancing goals in public school K-12 admissions.

Parents from Drummond Montessori Magnet School in Chicago have come

together with civil rights and progressive education organizations to

highlight this important issue.

WHO: Drummond Families Together, Cook County Commissioner Roberto

Maldonado, American Friends Service Committee, DePaul University

College of Law Diversity Committee, Parents United for Responsible

Education (PURE), Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education,

Center for Anti-Oppressive Education; UIC Institute for Research on

Race & Public Policy, Small Schools Workshop, The Civil Rights

Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles

WHAT: Diversity & Desegregation: The History of Chicago Magnet Schools & the Pending Threat of Re-segregation

Speakers: Ricardo

Meza from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund,

Valerie Johnson from DePaul University and Moderator Roberto Maldonado,

Cook County Commissioner. All available for interview after event.

WHERE: Casa Central, 1335 N. California at 6:00 p.m.

Filed under: Events & Deadlines

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