D209 approves required Black history course

Full implementation to begin next year

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

During a regular meeting on Sept. 8, the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 school board voted unanimously in favor of adding a Black history course to the curriculum that all students will be required to take before graduating.

Administrators said the new course will cost an estimated $300,000 to implement, which includes an estimated $240,000 to hire three more teachers and $60,000 to buy new textbooks.

Dr. Nicole Howard, D209's assistant superintendent for Academics, Student and Family Services, said she anticipates the course launching sometime in the summer of 2021, with full implementation set to start in August 2021. The graduation requirement would apply to the class of 2022 and beyond.

In the meantime, D209 board President Rodney Alexander said he hopes that the implementation of the course is a community concern.

"It is my hope that the community will have full input in the curriculum," he said. "All the way down to the textbooks."

Alexander added that he hopes that "we not just have the course in name, but that the course be so impactful and effective that we send all of our students out of here with a better understanding of the human value of [Blacks] as a marginalized group and when they become police officers and judges they will have been educated properly."

Board member Theresa Kelly said that she hopes the new Black history course does not lean on conventional textbooks, which she said have been problematic in the past.

"Most solid programs don't use textbooks to teach Black history," she said. "Most textbooks are biased and not anti-racist. Most, if not all, solid courses use a variety of sources and build the curriculum themselves most times."

Howard said that her reference to textbook could be a collection of sources. Which sources are included, along with other curriculum concerns, will be worked out ahead of the course launch, she said.

"This is only a first step in District 209 creating an equitable and representative curriculum," said board member Claudia Medina, adding that she hopes the district uses data from a recently competed equity committee to revise existing courses, as well.

"All students need to know this [history]," Alexander said. "It's a great day for Proviso Township highs schools."

Contact:
Email: michael@oakpark.com

Love the Review?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Forest Park Review and ForestParkReview.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Community Guide 2019 - 2020

To view the full print edition of the Forest Park Review 2019 - 2020 Community Guide, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Forest Park.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Latest Comments