It’s flunking season in CPS – here are some ideas about what to do

We are already getting calls and e-mails from parents who are getting those unwelcome letters from Chicago Public Schools telling them that their children will not be able to participate in eighth grade graduation, and, along with some third and sixth graders, will have to go to summer school in order to be promoted.

Usually these notices come as a complete surprise to parents, who have been paying attention to their children’s report cards and have seen little to indicate that there was a problem.

That’s because in CPS, it’s primarily the student’s state test score that triggers the summer school requirement and possibly flunking.

Please help us get the word out to parents that they can challenge the decision – especially the one barring students from eighth grade graduation. We urge those parents to go immediately to the school principal. Some principals allow students to walk even if they are going to have to go to summer school.

To challenge the non-promotion decision, parents need to call the Office of Elementary Areas and Schools: (773) 553-2150. If she is still there, ask for Alice Painter or whoever is doing what she did.

Unfortunately, CPS still has a promotion policy that requires students to “pass” both the state reading and the state math test in order to graduate from eighth grade or be promoted from third of sixth grade without having to go to summer school.

Parents can ask for a review of the decision but that review mostly consists of looking at the test scores again.

PURE filed a complaint last December against CPS with the Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education over this policy. We are still waiting to hear the results of their investigation.

Here’s a tip sheet for parents with more information and ideas for dealing with this immoral, ineffective, and expensive policy: What to Do if your Child is not Promoted.

Parents should also contact us for more assistance.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
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.