California School District Denies Proposing Ebonics Curriculum

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - The San Bernardino City Unified School District in California has announced that it is not planning to and never considered a proposal to incorporate Ebonics into the school district's curriculum.

"There is not now, nor was there ever any intention to include Ebonics as part of that program," said Corina Borsuk, a spokeswoman for the school district.

A July 17 article in the San Bernardino County Sun reported that the school's new policy would incorporate Ebonics to help low-achieving black students excel academically.

The Sun reported that the pilot, known as the Students Accumulating New Knowledge Optimizing Future Accomplishment Initiative, or SANKOFA, had already been implemented at two city schools.

But Borsuk said the article was "misleading" and the school district never planned to implement a curriculum that uses Ebonics to teach students.

Instead, the school's new program, the Targeted Instructional Improvement Board Policy, described as a "bold approach" to "providing the best education possible to all students," will "address the need to increase academic achievement of African-American students."

The program uses "measurable outcomes" for black students and other students who are lagging behind in academic achievement, which would include increasing the number of black students in preschool programs, advanced learner, college prep and "gateway" courses such as Algebra.

"We fully believe that all our students must learn the state English language arts content standards, which are in place in every California public school. The mission of our District is to create a learning environment that prepares our students to be the leaders of tomorrow," the school district said in a statement.

"Our emphasis will continue to be to promote an excellent kindergarten through 12th-grade experience and a greater vision for our students to pursue higher education goals that include a four-year college degree," the school district added.

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