Pasadena ISD wins $1M for history teaching

April 3, 2008 10:40:18 AM PDT
The Pasadena Independent School District in Pasadena, Texas, has been awarded a three-year $949,434 Teaching American History grant designed to raise student achievement by providing teachers with in-depth, professional development in American history, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced today. This year, the Teaching American History program will award 121 new grants worth $114.7 million to schools districts in 40 states nationwide."The Teaching American History grant program offers educators opportunities to work with colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, libraries, or museums to learn more about our country's history, culture, and democratic tradition," said Secretary Spellings. "By providing professional development for teachers, we can help them support young people in becoming active, informed citizens."

Fifty-three percent of students who attend Pasadena Independent School District are limited English proficient or bilingual and, therefore, have limited or no generational knowledge of American history. To remedy the knowledge gap, the "From Kings to Presidents" project will provide quality American history content and intense training that improves teacher instruction. Through collaboration with various organizations and Texas A&M University, 170 teachers will receive interactive, high quality American history content training.

The Teaching American History grant program is designed to improve student achievement by enhancing teachers' knowledge of traditional American history through intensive ongoing professional development in both content and research-based teaching strategies. Grants fund projects for up to five years, and grantees must partner with one or more organizations that have extensive knowledge of American history, including libraries, museums, nonprofit history or humanities organizations and higher education institutions.

History is one of the core academic subjects under the No Child Left Behind Act. The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as the "Nation's Report Card," shows some overall improvement in history performance at all three grade levels, however, less than one-quarter of America's students in grades 4, 8 and 12 are performing at the highest, or proficient level, in American history.

More information about the Teaching American History Grant program is available at: http://www.ed.gov/programs/teachinghistory/index.html.

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