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Board gets more static about African-centered curriculum

Three months after the District 65 School Board agreed to try out an African-centered curriculum at Oakton Elementary School this fall, some residents were still complaining to the board tonight that it should have set up the program at Kingsley Elementary as well.

“You have a responsibility to address the needs of children who are not achieving their potential,” Evanston NAACP President George Mitchell told the board. “The plan you voted on is just not enough,” he said.

Joan Hickman, vice-chair of the Evanston Commission on Aging, said the story of African Americans has been distorted in history books. She asked the board to reconsider the vote on the African-centered program.

“Where is you focus?” Ms. Hickman asked. “It is certainly not on the children.”

Kristen McCall, the mother of two grade-school students in the district, said more needs to be done to help all students failing to meet achievement goals — not just those in the African-centered curriculum program or the two-way immersion bilingual program.

She called for exploration of other options to help these students. “I would venture to say we have more resources than are being explored,” Ms. McCall said.

Board members noted that the district is making efforts to include more multicultural resources in classrooms and libraries throughout the system.

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