More trials ahead for Chicago?

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The winds of change are blowing in Chicago and ushering in challenging times for CPS's new leader, Barbara Byrd-Bennett. In response to school turnarounds implemented in 2012, the Chicago Teachers Union has filed a lawsuit against the district for discrimination against African-American teachers and staff. No surprise here -- CTU leader Karen Lewis indicated lawsuits were in the works during last fall's teacher strike.

CTU is seeking a moratorium on turnarounds and wants greater transparency in the process, claiming that turnarounds are unfairly impacting black teachers on Chicago's West and South sides. Meanwhile, in a belt-tightening move, the district plans to close schools with low enrollment in those same areas. CPS's current criteria for closure focus on space utilization; should they add racial balance -- of students or staff -- to the list?

This is certainly a tumultuous start for CPS's new leader. We're hoping things move ahead in a productive and non-acrimonious way so that Chicago can get on with the business of educating its students.