Protest Sign

CPS Black Student Achievement Task Force Now in Development

UPDATE on our meeting with Chicago Public Schools–I am pleased to report that after our meeting with Chief Equity Officer Maurice Swinney, he has agreed to work with us on establishing a Black Student Achievement Task Force to focus on closing the gaps that hold back our children.

Here are the hard facts showing why this task force is needed.

In recent years, CPS has lost thousands of Black teachers and tens of thousands of Black students. Black students have the highest truancy and arrest rates. South Side schools wait in line behind North Side schools for capital improvements. Our schools lack teachers and substitutes. Add in the harsh, punitive culture and climate in some schools that creates a negative learning environment and reinforces the myth that Black children are intellectually inferior.

Our Children Are Being Dumbed Down and Beat Down

If this is how we treat our Black babies, is it any wonder we see them struggling to learn? Black males are the least likely CPS students to earn a high school diploma. Only about two-thirds of them graduate.

Black children have been and are being miseducated! This has had a detrimental impact on our entire community. If our students are not being taught to proficiency in math or reading, this could be why it’s harder for them to pass the entry exams for trade school in construction, plumbing, electricity, etc.

If our children are being dumbed down and beat down, this could also be why Black students have trouble getting access to scholarships, getting into college and graduating. And, perhaps this explains why we have the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the city as well.

It’s time to change that narrative!

We are committed to ensuring a new day for Black students in CPS. As Tanesha Peeples, Dion Steele, Brian Mullins and I work through the process of this historic move, we will keep you posted. Our community is in this together!

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Natasha Dunn

A resident of Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, Natasha Dunn has spent more than a decade organizing with parents to help them access early childhood opportunities. Natasha is passionate about promoting greater equity for parents across Chicago. As the mom of three children, including twins, she supports fellow parents in meeting every child’s unique needs.