Mom of 4 plaintiffs testifies at U46 discrimination trial (Sun-Times Media)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

CHICAGO — Tracy McFadden would have liked to have known about School District U46’s high school academy programs, she said. That way, she could have helped her oldest daughter “further her education so she could make better decisions if she wanted to go to college.”

But, McFadden said, she didn’t learn about the academies until Danielle was a freshman in high school. Danielle since has graduated from the Elgin school district.

She also would have liked to have known about U46’s elementary school gifted program for her daughter Dinah, now 13, she said.

That could have meant “a better education for her,” she said.

McFadden and four of her children — Daniel, Danielle, Deonte and Dinah — are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, McFadden v. U46. The Elgin mom of six finally testified in that case Wednesday in the bench trial being decided by Judge Robert Gettleman in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

That lawsuit alleges U46 did not offer students who were black and Hispanic access to its gifted and academy programs. It also alleges the state’s second-largest school district discriminated against black and Hispanic students in its 2004 school boundary plan by placing them in overcrowded schools, and it did not offer appropriate help to ELL (English Language Learner) students.

It originally was filed by nine Hispanic students and their parents in February 2005 and was amended to include the McFaddens in May of that year. The trial began in March 2011.

For the rest of the story, read Mom of 4 plaintiffs testifies at U46 discrimination trial (Sun-Times Media).