February 4, 2014
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced today the formation of the Latino Advisory Committee (LAC), the District's first-ever, Latino-focused task force designed to increase engagement with the Latino community and to enhance the educational success of Latino students. The LAC seeks to accomplish its mission by uniting Chicago's Latino leaders in order to provide support to Latino students, teachers, administrators, and families at CPS.
The LAC will make recommendations to the CEO on policies, programs and curriculum that would affect the Latino community, including students and parents who are English Learners (ELs). The committee will engage in developing and implementing solutions for select initiatives in partnership with departments acrossthe District, including but not limited to: Teacher Certification & Talent Pipeline, Seal of Bi-literacy, and Parent Universities.
"We look forward to working alongside our community partners to inform District policies and practices that will best serve the unique needs of all our students and families," said CEO Byrd-Bennett. "The new Latino Advisory Committee will enhance the ongoing dialogue between the District and the communities in which we serve, and will help us to improve student access to the programs and curriculum that are fundamental in ensuring our students are 100 percent college-ready and college-bound."
The 13 Committee members will reconvene for their second meeting with CEO Byrd-Bennett and senior leadership in March. The Committee members represent a vast array of community voices that are vested in the future of Chicago's children. Committee Members include:
- Manuel Medina, Arturo Velasquez Institute
- Nora Moreno Cargie, Boeing
- Beatriz Ponce de Leon, Chicago Community Trust
- Caroline Crozier, CSC Learning
- Dr. Sonia Soltero, DePaul University
- Omar Duque, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Josie Yanguas, Illinois Resource Center
- Juan Salgado, Institute for Latino Progress
- Irma Snopek, ISBE
- Sylvia Puente, Latino Policy Forum
- Dr. Teresa Garate, Neumann Family Services
- Dr. Ana Gil-Garcia, Northeastern Illinois University
- Jose Lopez, Puerto Rican Cultural Center
In recognition of the importance of both language education and inter-cultural learning, the Committee will collaborate on the development of a new CPS Interdisciplinary Latin and Latin American Studies Curriculum (ILLASC), in conjunction with the ILLASC Development Committee. Similar to the District's new Interdisciplinary African and African-American Studies Curriculum, this content will be developed as a framework to foster a deep understanding of cultural issues, and a sense of global citizenship. Expected to be in place next school year 2014 – 2015, the Latin American studies will be Common Core-aligned and will serve as a general guide for teachers to develop units that will apply for lessons of all cultures and ethnicities.
The work of the Committee will align with the vision of CEO Byrd-Bennett's Strategic Five-Year Action Plan, ensuring that every student, in every neighborhood has access to a rigorous instructional program that will prepare them for the 21st century. Committee members will serve as stewards of the plan, delivering community feedback to inform District decision-making on how to provide students with high-quality education options that will prepare them for success in college, career and life.
Chicago Public Schools serves 400,000 students in 658 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.