December 12. 2013
CHICAGO—Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barbara Byrd-Bennett today announced the inclusion of a new interdisciplinary African and African-American studies program across all core disciplines and in all schools and starting in January 2014. This new program was developed to heighten students’ understanding and awareness of African and African-American history and culture, while also fulfilling CPS’ commitment to ensuring that students are 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound.
“CPS has taken great pride in developing a yearlong, interdisciplinary African and African-American studies program that will enrich the understanding and appreciation of African and African-American history and culture to help build stronger and more cohesive student communities,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett.
The CPS Interdisciplinary African and African-American Studies curriculum supports schools in ensuring that every student:
- is knowledgeable of and appreciates the richness of the African and African-American cultures and their contributions to the building of our society – locally, nationally, and globally.
- is exposed to African and African-American histories that span beyond the typically-covered topics of slavery and the Civil Rights movement and will now include the African-American perspective throughout history.
- is taught this history over the course of the entire year and across disciplines – not just during Black History month or in a social science course.
Developed by a group of cross department specialists, external support organizations, African-American scholars, and District teachers, the Interdisciplinary African and African-American Studies curriculum guides are seamlessly interwoven across academic subjects – Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, the Arts, and Physical Education and Health – in grade levels (K-10). The curriculum is also grounded in the Common Core State Standards as well as other national, state, and local standards. It is aligned directly to the CPS Content Area Frameworks. The Illinois House Bill 2859 and ISBE mandate that every public elementary school and high school include the instruction of a unit of African-American studies.