ELIZABETH, NJ - The Elizabeth Public Schools released a progress report on their implementation of the Amistad Mandate Friday.

The progress report was put together by Dr. Davida Lindsay-Harewood, a consultant hired by the district to evaluate the Amistad curriculum’s implementation across schools. In her initial evaluation, Dr. Lindsay-Harewood found that the 7th grade social studies curriculum had the best inclusion of the Amistad Curriculum across the district. 

In December 2019, the Elizabeth Public Schools joined the Amistad Collaborative, a group of community members who are dedicated to making sure that the Amistad Curriculum is implemented in schools. In this progress report the collaborative indicated their desire to replicate the success of the 7th grade curriculum across grade levels.

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The Elizabeth Public Schools have been implementing, revising and re-implementing curricula that comply with the Amistad Mandate since 2002. The community came together to hold an Amistad Forum in November 2019 to discuss the district’s implementation and success. This progress report is the next step in the district's final goal of having a full Amistad Curriculum across grade levels.

 “EPS will establish goals and allocate additional resources for professional development for its teachers and administrators,” the report states. 

Dr. Lindsay-Harewood will also begin classroom evaluations that had been suspended when schools closed in March. Moving forward, the Elizabeth Public Schools have made it a goal to increase public awareness and understanding of the Amistad Mandate and what it means for students.

The Amistad Mandate is a law to ensure that New Jersey public schools incorporate African and African American history into the social studies and language arts curriculum at all levels. Assemblymen William D. Payne and Craig A. Stanley sponsored the bill, which was passed by the New Jersey State Legislature in 2002.