MALDEF Statement on the Selection of the New Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman

January 27, 2009

CHICAGO, IL – Today, Mayor Richard Daley named Ron Huberman as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). As CEO, Huberman will be responsible for running one of the nation’s largest school systems and a school system that has been under court ordered supervision for over 28 years. Today, the CPS student population is nearly 40 percent Latino. Approximately 14 percent of Chicago Public School students are English Language Learners (ELL). Although ELL students are required under the law and pursuant to the consent decree to receive effective bilingual educational services, many ELL students are denied those services.

On January 22, 2009, the Hon. Charles Kocoras of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois began hearing testimony on whether or not the Chicago Public School system should be declared unitary in all respects in the case entitled: United States v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, No. 80-5124. “The decision of whether or not to declare the Chicago Public School system a unitary system is of the upmost importance to thousands of Chicago Public School Latino children because CPS is required to provide those students certain services,” stated Ricardo Meza, Midwest Regional Counsel for MALDEF. However, government expert reports reflect than many ELL students are not receiving the services they are entitled to receive. The reports show, among other things, that some non-English speaking children—most of whom are Latino—are denied sufficient reading material; non-English speaking children—most of whom are Latino—are provided unapproved reading material and even lack textbooks; and ELL students are being denied special education services.

MALDEF encouraged new CEO Huberman to attend the public hearing in federal court so that he can hear directly from students and parents the failure of the Chicago Public Schools to provide mandated quality bilingual education services to Latino students. “As the new CEO, Mr. Huberman must address the needs of these students so that they finally receive the services they are entitled to receive under the law and can become fully productive, contributing and educated members of the Chicago community,” concluded Meza.

To view the letter MALDEF sent to CEO Ron Huberman, click here.

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund