TN schools get millions in history grant money - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TN schools get millions in history grant money

By David Carroll

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that
five school districts in Tennessee are among 124 districts nationwide to
receive grants to improve the quality of teaching American history in
our nation's schools.


            A total of $115.3 million is being awarded.  School
districts in Tennessee that will receive grants are:


*        Hamilton County Schools, Chattanooga: $999,156.

*        Anderson County Board of Education, Clinton: $968,809.

*        Sequatchie County School District, Dunlap: $499,956.

*        Bledsoe County Schools, Pikeville: $998,667.

*        Bedford County Schools, Shelbyville: $999,981.


            The Teaching American History grant program aims to enhance
teachers' understanding of American history through intensive
professional development, including study trips to historic sites and
mentoring with professional historians and other experts.  Projects are
required to partner with organizations that have broad knowledge of
American history, such as libraries, museums, nonprofit historical or
humanities organizations, and higher education institutions.


            History is one of the core academic subjects under the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act. 


            Teaching American History grants are funded for a three-year
period.  They are being awarded to school districts in 40 states, the
District of Columbia, and American Samoa.

.TN -- CHATTANOOGA -- Hamilton County Schools, Janis Kyser,, $999,156.

.           TN -- DUNLAP -- Sequatchie County School District, Henry
Camp,, $499,956.

.           TN -- PIKEVILLE -- Bledsoe County Schools, Janis Kyser,, $998,667.


Program Title: River City Teaching American      This program will serve:  170 Hamilton County4th- 12th

History Program                                     grade teachers of US history, annually for a potential                                                                                reach of over 600 over the life of the grant

Districts and Schools to be served:

Hamilton County Schools targeting the 11 NCLB High Priority Schools


The River City Teaching American History Program is a collaborative project between the Hamilton County School District and its partners: Lee University, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLI) and the Center for Civic Education (CCE), National Archives and Records South East Region, Howard Baker Center on Public Policy, Tennessee Center for Civic Learning and Engagement, Museum at Five Points, Red Clay State Park, Rhea County Historical Society (Scopes Trial), The Chattanooga History Center, and the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association.


The River City Teaching American History Program will provide intensive professional development to enhance teachers' content knowledge, teaching skills and understanding of traditional American History thus improving student achievement. In each year, RCTAHP will provide a standards aligned course of study of traditional American history content utilizing the eight NAEP chronological periods from "Beginnings to Contemporary America." Teachers will learn to use content related teaching strategies including primary documents, artifacts, first hand accounts, illustrations, and study tours to translate freshly mastered content into classroom lessons. The primary goal of the project is to build local capacity by creating a core of teachers with enhanced knowledge of American history and sharpened pedagogical skills. Proposed professional development design consists of six components:

  1. 1.       Masters / Educational Specialist Degree in Teaching with Emphasis in American History: 30 high implementation teachers will be provided with 36 graduate credits over a span of three years.  Five sessions will be held each semester for fall and spring, with a summer institute held annually. These teachers will become history leaders and will develop local capacity by creating a core of teachers with enhanced knowledge of American history and sharpened pedagogical skills.
  2. 2.       Partner teachers:   30 teachers will have access to all classes and professional development and will receive instructional and content materials.
  3. 3.       Pre-Service Teachers: 10 pre-service history educators at Lee University will attend class with history practitioners and complete their internship with high intensity participants
  4. 4.       Consortium of history teachers:  100 Hamilton County history teachers will be provided professional development provided by renowned historians.
  5. 5.       Web based professional development: Teacher participants will have access to the eLesson Learning System.  This site provides access to over 200 American History content lessons correlated to state and national standards, detailed evaluations and assessment reports.  This aspect of the grant will provide sustainability as the license is perpetual.
  6. 6.       Data Informed History Instruction Model (DIHIM):  Participants will have access to assessments correlated to NAEP eras and standards for pre and post formative assessments used for differentiated instruction.

An independent external evaluation of student and teacher outcomes will be conducted by the University of Tennessee professors, Dr. Ted Miller, Dr. Lloyd Davis, with support from Jack Bareilles and James David.

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