The Board of Education of the City of Chicago is committed to educational excellence and equity for all students. This commitment is for all, but it is especially directed toward educational equity for students of every race, creed, color, national origin, gender, and including students with disabilities. The Board believes that this commitment requires the establishment of a policy on multicultural education and diversity. Multicultural education is an approach to teaching and learning characterized by:
- academic content that covers a broad range of knowledge in all disciplines and details relevant perspectives and values of all cultures with particular emphasis on those cultures and events which have been historically omitted or misrepresented in standard school curricula;
- educational materials that are accurate, scholarly, unbiased, and judged as relevant by the indigenous groups represented:
- effective teaching that evidences subject matter expertise and that is innovative and culturally responsive and appropriate;
- assessment material that covers a diverse core of knowledge and permits student achievement to be measured by criterion-referenced tests, standardized instruments, and other alternative performance-based assessments that are culturally relevant; and
- guidance and counseling that are sensitive to the student's cultural point of reference and allow for meaningful communication.
Consistent with school reform, the Board of Education supports the right of each school to choose an African-centered curriculum or any other ethnically-centered curriculum as an approach which reflects this policy and which is consistent with the Chicago Public Schools Objectives and Standards.
The Board of Education of the City of Chicago-
- acknowledges that cultural identity is inseparable from language and encourages all staff to affirm the importance of respecting the language of each student, with second language proficiency being a desirable goal and a reflection of a precious cultural heritage;
- recognizes the critical need to incorporate a focus on multiculturalism and diversity in the total school environment which includes meeting the access-needs of students with disabilities and centering on all features of the school culture, such as corridor displays, bulletin boards, assembly programs, newspapers, newsletters, dietary guidelines, food choices, and exhibits;
- believes strongly that staff recruitment and inservice training must actively aid in diversification and appreciation of the cultural pluralism of our school system. All personnel can contribute to student growth and development through positive communication as they interact daily with the youngsters in our schools;
- asserts that all students are entitled to a learning climate free from practices which foster attitudes and/or actions leading to discrimination against students, parents, or staff; and
- invites the participation of local school councils, parents, teachers, principals, community-based organizations, and institutions of higher learning as vital partners and resources in this challenge and responsibility.
The Board must be proactive in cooperation and collaboration with local schools in addressing racism and other issues of diversity as institutional problems at all levels to ensure equitable outcomes for students. Local school councils should reflect this policy in their school improvement plans.
The Board of Education of the City of Chicago, by adoption of this policy on multicultural education and diversity, commits itself and its resources to the support of multicultural education. The Board of Education of the City of Chicago, in alignment with the 1988 School Reform Act, directs the General Superintendent and staff to design a comprehensive plan for multicultural education and diversity that is consistent with the powers of the Board of Education, the General Superintendent, and respective local school councils and that includes all aspects of the curriculum and school environment as defined by this policy.
|Legal References||Consent Decree 1980, Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 122|