District 205 receives $1 million to improve teaching American history

Rockford School District in Illinois has been selected to receive a $981,539 grant to improve the quality of American history teaching, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced.

Paige said: “These grants will deepen teachers’ knowledge and, in turn, give students a greater understanding of and appreciation of our nation’s rich history. Students who are well-grounded in history will become active, informed participants in our democratic society.”

The Teaching American History grant program supports three-year projects to improve teachers’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation for American history through intensive ongoing professional development. Projects must be in partnership with 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 landmark No Child Left Behind Act. However, the National Assessment of Educational Progress—i.e., “the Nation’s Report Card”—which tracks both civics and American history understanding among K-12 students, shows that less than one-quarter of America’s students are proficient in either subject. The No Child Left Behind Act supports the belief that students will perform better if their teachers have an in-depth knowledge of the subjects they teach.

The Teaching American History program will award 122 grants worth $118 million to school districts in 40 states nationwide plus Puerto Rico.

More information about Teaching American History grants available at: http://www.ed.gov/programs/teachinghistory/index.html.

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