Educational Equity Issues in Chicago Public School Selective Enrollment Schools

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Laura Davalos
Darin Stockdill


On the surface, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) selective enrollment system seems to provide students with many opportunities and offers students access to a quality education at high-performing schools. Recently, however, both students and teachers have been speaking up about discrimination at these schools. This paper will evaluate the different types of discrimination that students experience within the top five selective enrollment schools and discuss possible solutions to ending discrimination. This paper specifically examines the question: How do students with marginalized identities actually experience educational equity, or the lack of equity, in selective enrollment schools, in particular in Chicago Public Schools? Qualitative methods were used to analyze the student experience at these schools. We collected data from instagram posts from BIPOC Instagram pages from four of the five schools that were studied. Teacher interviews and local school council meetings were also used to gather information on the student experience at these schools. From these sources we found that racism and other forms of discrimination from teachers and staff members often can make students feel as if they are not wanted or do not belong at their high school. This paper also explores possible solutions for these issues of discrimination, which include anti-racist staff training, minority teacher recruitment/retention, listening to student input, anti-racist curriculum and creating an anti-racist culture at schools.

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How to Cite
Davalos, L., & Stockdill, D. (2022). Educational Equity Issues in Chicago Public School Selective Enrollment Schools. Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning & Community-Based Research, 13(1), 15–32.
Research Articles