Civil Rights office launches investigation into CPS flunking policy

US Department of Education logoThe US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun an investigation of the CPS elementary student promotion policy triggered by a discrimination complaint filed last month by parents of retained students and PURE. The complaint seeks relief from OCR on behalf of students who have been flunked under the CPS elementary student promotion policy based on an arbitrary cut off score on state standardized tests.

The notification letter from OCR states that the agency is opening an investigation into the allegations made by PURE and parent Linda Hudson, whose son was retained in 6th grade and who had also filed a complaint.

According to the letter, OCR will investigate the allegations ‚Äúthat the District’s promotion policy discriminates against students on the bases of race (African-Americans) and national origin (Hispanic) because it inappropriately relies on the use of a single state standardized test in determining whether a student will be promoted to the 4th, 7th and 9th grade and does not take into account other factors, and the policy does not provide parents/guardians a meaningful appeal process.

Full press release.

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Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.