Equity & Diversity

Judge Ready to Scrap Chicago Desegregation Order

By Darcia Harris Bowman — January 29, 2003 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The federal judge who oversees Chicago’s 22-year-old school desegregation order signaled this month that he’s ready to throw out the plan because it is “passé.”

“We need a clean slate,” U.S. District Judge Charles P. Kocoras told lawyers for the Chicago school board and the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a transcript of a Jan. 10 hearing. “The whole complexion of the city has changed. The school system has changed dramatically. So somebody tell me why this case should stay alive.”

The Chicago school board’s 1980 court-ordered desegregation plan called for the creation of racially mixed magnet schools, a 65 percent cap on white enrollment at schools, and a racial composition of each school’s faculty that falls within 15 percent of the racial makeup of the district’s total teaching force.

Judge Kocoras’ apparent interest in ending the case surprised lawyers and officials on both sides of the desegregation case, but a spokeswoman for the district said the school board should soon be ready to replace the decree with its own policies.

In late 2001, the board hired a team of consultants to review the policies adopted under the consent decree and recommend how to revise them to fit the district’s current demographic mix. The 432,000-student district’s white population is just over half what it was in 1980, and the number of Hispanic students attending city schools has climbed dramatically, according to district officials.

“The review is winding down now, and we should have recommendations in the next few months,” said district spokeswoman Joi M. Mecks. “Absent that, we’d have to start from scratch” in the event the judge decides to end the court-ordered desegregation plan.

The judge set a Feb. 27 hearing to decide the consent decree’s future.

Related Tags:

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Student Achievement Webinar Examining the Evidence: What We’re Learning From the Field About Implementing High-Dosage Tutoring Programs
Tutoring programs have become a leading strategy to address COVID-19 learning loss. What evidence-based principles can district and school leaders draw on to design, implement, measure, and improve high-quality tutoring programs? And what are districts

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity The Vast Majority of School Boards Lack Latino Voices. What Can Be Done About It?
Diverse school board members means more opportunities for equitable policies, Latino leaders say
5 min read
Stephanie Parra, Governing Board Member at Phoenix Union School District and Executive Director of ALL in Education Arizona, sits for a portrait at the nonprofit’s space at Galvanize Phoenix in downtown Phoenix, Ariz. on Nov. 15, 2021. Phoenix Union is majority BIPOC students, but school board and educator demographics in Arizona lag behind in representation and opportunity.
Stephanie Parra, Governing Board Member at Phoenix Union School District and Executive Director of ALL in Education Arizona, sits for a portrait at the nonprofit’s space at Galvanize Phoenix in downtown Phoenix, Ariz. on Nov. 15, 2021. Phoenix Union is majority BIPOC students, but school board and educator demographics in Arizona lag behind in representation and opportunity.
Caitlin O’Hara for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Infographic How Do Educators Feel About Staff Diversity? We Asked
Educators of color and white educators have different opinions on whether and how administrators should address the lack of staff diversity.
1 min read
Image of chairs lined up.
marchmeena29/iStock/Getty
Equity & Diversity Opinion 'What Are You Doing to Help Students Understand Systemic Racism and Combat It?'
Creating the conditions for effective dialogues and incorporating student voice are two ways to help students become anti-racist.
11 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Equity & Diversity Opinion Anti-Racist Teaching Strategies for Predominantly White Schools
Creating common vocabulary and safe places for students and strengthening their critical-analysis skills support anti-racist teaching.
12 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty