Illinois School District Guilty of Discriminating Against Hispanic and Black Students
On July 11, 2013, Illinois Federal District Court Judge Robert Gettleman issued a decision holding that District U-46 (Elgin) discriminated against Hispanic and Black students in the district’s gifted program until at least 2009. Despite the over 40% of Hispanic students in the school district, in most years, they were only 2% of the gifted programs.
Specifically, the Court found the district discriminated against Hispanic students who had exited from the district’s bilingual program by segregating them into a separate gifted program, not allowing them to be in classes with gifted White students. Judge Gettlemen’s decision renewed the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) principle that ‘separate is inherently unequal’.
The Court also found that the policies, procedures and instruments used by the district to screen and identify gifted students resulted in a “serious disparate impact” on Hispanic and Black students. I, Donna Y. Ford, PhD., the Plaintiff’s expert witness in the case, urge all school districts to learn from the case and eliminate barriers to gifted education. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a copy of the opinion, click here