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CPS Partners With Harvard In Effort To Enact New Curriculum

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(Credit: Adam Jan/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Public Schools are getting some Ivy League training on enacting a new common core curriculum for students.

The Chicago School Board on Wednesday approved a partnership with the Harvard University Center for Applied Special Technology Institute, in an effort to ensure CPS schools are ready to meet Common Core State Standards in the fall.

The institute at Harvard works to expand educational opportunities for all, particularly people with disabilities, according to CPS.

“Full implementation of Common Core standards represents a monumental stride for the District,” schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard said in a news release. “We know that this high-quality curriculum will be available to all students, but we also know that it’s not a one-size-fits-all initiative. Harvard’s training will give our educators the tools they need to make learning through Common Core accessible to every student across the District.”

The Harvard training will feature a Universal Design for Learning, a set of principles for curriculum development that CPS says “give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.” The plan will provide teachers with strategies to engage students with physical, sensory, and learning disabilities; students with different “linguistic and cultural circumstances;” and students with “varied preferences and motivations for learning,” as well as gifted students.

Harvard will deliver a four-day class on the Universal Design for Learning for CPS administrators, who in turn will train other officials and teachers.

The Common Core State Standards set up expectations for what students are to learn at every grade level in order to be prepared for college and the working world.

CPS did not say why they chose to partner with Harvard, rather than a local institution such as the University of Chicago or Northwestern University.

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