CHICAGO — Some Chicago aldermen and parents are calling for an investigation after Chicago Public Schools quietly changed the way it reports covid cases in schools
They are calling for more transparency.
A group of aldermen said hearings are necessary to restore public confidence in CPS after allegations from parents and others that CPS reporting on Covid infections has been flawed.
Northside Chicago Public Schools parent Jakob Ondrey, a software engineer said he discovered what he says is a discrepancy between CPS’s raw data on Covid infections and what parents and students see on the public dashboard.
“That’s unconscionable to me,” he said. “On my dashboard I would see 20 cases at a school and their dashboard showing zero cases at the school.”
CPS spokespeople deny there was any attempt to disguise the infection numbers. They said changes were made in December with the arrival of the Omicron variant in an attempt to provide more accurate numbers of closed positive and confirmed cases while better protecting the privacy of students and staff.
(Closed cases reported at the school are cases that have been reviewed, verified, and investigated by the Contact Tracing Team, according to CPS’s website.)
But the district is responding to parents and is promising changes.
“In light of the Omicron surge and in the interest of broader transparency, we are reevaluating our data reporting and exploring reporting all open reported cases as well as closed cases at the school level,” a statement said.