According to the latest Catalyst Chicago article, this year’s trial admissions process for selective enrollment and magnet schools did not spur dramatic shifts in their racial makeup, but CEO Ron Huberman admitted there’s room for improvement, with some of the city’s best schools struggling to hold onto their black student population.
“We have lost some ground,” said Huberman at a press briefing on Tuesday. In addition to announcing preliminary results from the admissions process, he announced a blue-ribbon committee of parent activists, lawmakers and lawyers to review what happened under the policy this year and make recommendations about possible improvement.
Other interesting points revealed by the data, according to Catalyst:
- Students in socioeconomic tier 4—the most well-off—are over-represented, making up almost 40 percent of students projected to enroll at selective enrollment and magnet high schools and elementary schools. This was also the case in 2009, when CPS was still using a race-based admissions system.
- As many predicted, white students captured a bigger share of the seats in magnet elementary schools. They now make up 21 percent of students in such schools as LaSalle Language Academy, Drummond and Hawthorne Scholastic. Some of this can be attributed to the set-asides for students who live nearby and for siblings, since many of the higher-performing magnet schools are located in predominantly white, North Side neighborhoods.
- There was an up-tick in the number of Latino students projected to enroll in selective enrollment high schools, gifted and classical elementary schools and magnet schools. Huberman notes that the number of Latino students in CPS is growing, while the number of black students is decreasing.
- The Asian student population dropped among all those admitted to the different types of schools. CPS General Counsel Patrick Rocks noted that under the consent decree, Asian students were considered minorities and their enrollment was not capped, as it was for white students. Now, mixed with all other groups of students, there’s been some attrition in the numbers.
I am a lifelong Chicagoan, a pastor at River City Community Church, and an author who writes a lot about resisting and confronting white supremacy from a faith lens.
Our church was founded in January of 2003 in the west Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, and is centered on the core values of worship, reconciliation, and neighborhood development. We long to see increased spiritual renewal as well as social and economic justice in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and entire city, demonstrating compassion and alleviating poverty as tangible expressions of the Kingdom of God. It is also through the gift of this faith community that I have learned to see the profound historical and spiritual impact of the stronghold of white supremacy, and where I have been challenged to broaden and deepen my understanding of discipleship in the hopes of becoming a serious enough Christ follower who is able to meaningfully participate with those who have risen up in defiance of this evil principality.
The lessons learned in this journey have been captured in a pair of books on race. The first, White Awake, explores the barriers that white people tend to face – white Christians specifically – when we attempt to awaken to and understand white supremacy through a faith lens. I spend a lot of time here addressing the internal defenses that are bound to go off when this journey is taken seriously, and I chart out a path for developing a resilient spirit that steadfastly moves towards truth, justice, and equity. The second, White Lies, further builds out the path for the white Christian who longs to actively participate in the resistance and confrontation of white supremacy. I spend a lot of time here exploring why it is so hard to tell the truth about race, as well as expose the lies that sustain it, within white, Christian, Bible-believing environments. I then propose nine practices that position us for engaging in this task.
On the personal front, my career started in the marketplace, as I was part of three dot.com startups in the 90’s. My vocational path shifted when I joined the staff of Willow Creek Community Church in 1998, and I spent five years working there. I started River City Community Church in January 2003 and have been happily serving here ever since. On the education front, my undergrad was in Business (Purdue University), my graduate degree in theology (Moody Bible Institute), and my doctoral degree in community development (Northern Seminary). On the family front, my wife is a Professor of Psychology, and we have two amazing children (Xander and Gabriella).
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