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CPS introduces black studies program

Updated: December 12, 2013 12:32AM

Chicago Public Schools unveiled Wednesday a comprehensive black studies program that will be rolled out at its schools next month, officials said.

The program goes beyond prominent black leaders, the slave trade and civil rights — what students are normally taught, officials said.

“The stories always come from a position of servitude and they kind of reminded us to go back deeper and look at the history back in African where they were kings and queens and to make sure we told that part of the story,” said Annette Gurley, CPS’ chief officer of teaching and learning.

The curriculum will be interdisciplinary and be implemented in different classes — literacy, math, science, social science, arts and physical education and health — from kindergarten through 10th grade , officials said.

And it will be aligned to the standard curriculum, said Leaura Materassi, CPS’ executive director of academic support. For example, fourth graders learning about Illinois and the state legislature will now also learn about the contributions of blacks to the state, Materassi said.

CPS is working on a similar program for Latino studies, officials said.


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