CPS Parents Win Major Changes in CPS Student Promotion Policy

Press Advisory: October 3, 2000
Contact: Julie Woestehoff 312/461-1994 (day) 773/973-5548 (eve)

PURE's 1999 discrimination complaint filed with the U. S. Dept. of
Education's Office for Civil Rights results in major overhaul of CPS
policy, stops 5 year misuse of Iowa test

WHAT: Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) will announce the
success of its October, 1999, discrimination complaint in forcing major
changes to the Chicago Public Schools? student promotion policy.
PURE filed the complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the U. S.
Department of Education charging that the Chicago Public Schools (CPS)
promotion policy using student scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills
as a sole measure to determine promotion or retention had a
discriminatory impact on African-American and Latino students. OCR?s
investigation and complaint resolution activities have forced major
changes in the policy.

WHO: PURE representatives, other parents involved in the OCR complaint,
and PURE?s attorney, Elaine Siegel, will gather to proclaim victory and
begin to lay out the next steps in their continuing effort to assure
that Chicago Public School students are given a fair evaluation of their
progress and equal access to high-quality educational opportunities.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 4, 2000 10:15 am

WHERE: 407 S. Dearborn, Room 1400

WHY: For five years, CPS used Iowa test scores as sole measures to
determine student promotion and retention. This practice violated
federal legal and civil rights laws and principles. It resulted in the
retention in grade of tens of thousands of students and sent thousands
more to segregated transition centers despite decades of solid research
that retention does not help, and often hurts students. The drop out
rate of twice-retained eighth graders is 29%. African-American and
Latino students in Chicago have suffered the most under this terrible
policy. By working with the Office for Civil Rights, PURE has brought
about the beginning of the end of this illegal and educationally-unsound
assessment policy.

PURE is a citywide organization dedicated to improving the Chicago
Public Schools.

PURE is a resource for CPS parents for information, support, training,
& advocacy. While there are many groups working on school reform in
Chicago, PURE has a special role in focusing on issues from the parents'
point of view.

PURE's membership and constituency are multiracial, multi-cultural and
economically diverse.

Parents United for Responsible Education
407 S. Dearborn #515 Chicago, IL 60605 Tel. 312/461-1994 Fax:
312/461-1927 pureparents@pureparents.org www.pureparents.org