Friday, October 7, 2016

CPS Screening Process Discriminated Against Black Candidates | WBEZ

CPS Screening Process Discriminated Against Black Candidates | WBEZ:

CPS Screening Process Discriminated Against Black Candidates

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Chicago Public Schools has admitted a teacher screening process used since 2012 discriminated against black and Latino applicants.
The process blocked many applicants of color from even getting interviews.
The district agreed the process was unfair and halted it after WBEZ learned of the disparity this year through a Freedom of Information Act request.
According to 2015 data released by CPS, which got the data from the private company that conducted the screenings, 74 percent of the 2,417 white applicants advanced to the pool of potential hires. Of the 430 Latino candidates, 58 percent made it. And of the 729 black candidates, just 45 percent made it.
CPS officials didn’t have an explanation for the disparity. 
“Obviously, when we saw the data it was troubling, which is why we sought to reverse that policy swiftly,” Chief of Education Janice Jackson said. “Obviously, any type of practice that puts people in a disadvantage and -- with this situation where a minority or another subgroup is disproportionately impacted -- we want to shut that down quickly. We want to strike that down quickly.”
But the district could still be in trouble with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for using the screening process, and the numbers call into question if the decline in black teachers is because of the lack of applicants or because of the process.
In 2014-2015, the most recent data available, 22.3 percent of the CPS teaching staff were black, 20 percent were Latino and half were white. Meanwhile, 39.3 percent of students were black, 45.6 were Latino and 9.4 percent were white.
As recently as a decade ago, about 40 percent of CPS teachers were black.
Studies have increasingly shown it is important for black students to have black teachers, who tend to demand more from black students academically and help them build confidence. Black teachers are also role models for black students. 
But studies also found it is important for white students to be exposed to a diverse teaching staff.

‘They can be non-service workers’

Michelle Evans, an African-American teacher at Nettelhorst Elementary School in the Lakeview neighborhood, said she and her roommate, who is white, talk about how her CPS Screening Process Discriminated Against Black Candidates | WBEZ:

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