Four academic years after a U.S. District Court judge ruled that race could no longer be used as a factor in the makeup of a Chicago public school's student population, a Sun-Times report has noted a steep increase in the number of white students in the city's top four public high schools. Meanwhile, the number of African American students has decreased at those institutions. Before the ruling, no more than 35 percent of a Chicago public school student population could be white.
“We saw that coming in 2009,” Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education, told the newspaper. “I consider these schools to be gated communities for children of privilege.”
At the Near North Side's Walter Payton College Prep, more that 41 percent of the freshman class has been composed of white students over the last four years, while that figure was 29 percent in 2009, newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, the share of white freshman at Northside College Prep increased to 48 percent from 37 percent. At the West Side's Whitney Young College Prep, the percentage of white freshman has been increasing, while the percentage of black students has fallen.
And at the South Loop's Jones College Prep, the white freshman population increased 9 percent to 38 percent this year. Four years ago, the figure was 29 percent.
“Isn’t it interesting that, when the system was based on race, there weren’t as many slots,” Woestehoff said. “I think it would be really great to see these North Side institutions provide more opportunities for black and Hispanic kids.”
Read more about the change in racial demographics at the city's top public high schools here.