Chicago Public Schools is the fourth largest district in the U.S., with over 400,000 students enrolled across nearly 700 schools. An early adopter of the Common Core State Standards, the district has been getting assistance in implementation from the Quality Teaching for English Learners initiative at WestEd. This help is focused on two areas:
- Designing policy and curricular documents
- Building educator expertise in planning and enacting rigorous standards-based lessons with English language learners
WestEd is providing whole-school professional development in five pilot schools in Chicago’s South and Westside neighborhoods to help teachers implement Common Core standards in English and mathematics.
Workshop teacher participants at these pilot schools are gaining a deep understanding of the disciplinary practices students need to develop in order to be successful meeting the standards. Similarly, participants are learning to design instruction that supports full participation and success in rigorous academic instruction by English language learners, as well as with other students who need to develop their understanding and use of academic language.