The Feds Crackdown on CPS's Bilingual Services

February 22, 2008

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Chicago Public Schools isn't making the grade in bilingual services according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Feds have filed a motion ordering CPS to follow the requirements of its own English Language Learner provisions.

It's the latest battle between CPS and the Department of Justice. This time the Feds say CPS doesn't fully provide services for all of its English Language Learners and special education ELL students, and has failed to give native language instruction for many of its Transitional Bilingual programs.

CPS spokesman Mike Vaughn disputes these claims.

VAUGHN: We're working very hard to provide the best services we can to the tens of thousands of ELL students in our district. And right now, our focus is obviously on continuing to do that.

The Feds say CPS has known about these problems since 2002 and has quote "masked the extent of its failure." They want more accurate information and full cooperation from the district.

The district court judge has given CPS 21 days to respond to the motion.