Black News

African-American Chicago Teachers Sue Board of Education For Discrimination

A group of African-American teachers who were fired because of Chicago’s “turnaround” program are suing the Board of Education, classroomclaiming that the programs discriminated against African-American teachers.

CBS Chicago reports:

Donald L. Garrett Jr., Robert Green and Vivionell Brown Jr. blame CPS for a steady decline in black teachers from about 40 percent in 2000 to just under 30 percent in 2010. Since most black teachers are employed in South and West Side schools, “turning around” schools in those neighborhoods by firing all the staff and bringing in an entirely new team discriminates against African Americans, they allege in their lawsuit. All three men lost their jobs when their schools were turned around for weak academic performance; all three say they had satisfactory or better evaluations.

Now, Green, Garrett and Brown and the Teachers Union have filed suit against the Board of Education on behalf of teachers who lost their job because of the turnaround program.

Attorney Robin Potter, who represents the group,  said they’re seeking to get their jobs back, lost pay, damages, an independent monitor to oversee the turnaround process in the future, and a moratorium on turnarounds until a monitor’s in place.

“They weren’t the poorest performing schools, they weren’t the only schools on probation ­ — they were somewhat improving,” Potter said. “There are no published rules as to what schools are going to be subject to turnarounds.

“We’re now at a crossroads in Chicago where between school closings and the turnaround,” she continued, “the racial impact of the policies and practices of this board of education have devastated the African American teaching force in that community.”




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