CPS Fails Too Many, Suit Says

A disproportionate amount of African-American and Hispanic students flunked in school

A parent group is stamping a big red "F" on promises from Chicago Public Schools.

Parents United for Responsible Education, or PURE, is filing a complaint Wednesday with the U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights, alleging the nation's third largest school district unfairly failed or forced students to repeat a grade, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

About 100,000 students repeated a grade since 1996, a program that cost the school system about $100 million a year, according to the complaint.

PURE called those figures "wasteful" and "extravagant" especially in these economic conditions.

"With the $100 million on the line, why continue to harm children?" questioned PURE executive director Julie Woestehoff.

The group's complaint urged CPS to identify struggling students and promote them instead of flunking them and provide them with additional support to improve in their weak subjects.

PURE alleged CPS failed to live up to its promises to revamp its promotion policy after agreeing to do so in 1999. The organization claimed the lack of changes harmed African-American and Hispanic students, who are disproportionately flunked.

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