May 2004 Show Resources—American History, Humanities & Civics
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Online resources and organizations

Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII)

The Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) develops promising educational interventions, including reforms that expand parental choice and information. Among its many efforts and grant programs, OII manages the "Teaching American History Grant Program."

  • Teaching American History Grant Program
    The Teaching American History Grant Program is a discretionary grant program. Its goal is to demonstrate how school districts and institutions with expertise in American history can collaborate over a three-year period to ensure that teachers develop the knowledge and skills necessary to teach traditional American history in an exciting and engaging way. This site also offers a comprehensive resource section on teaching and learning American History.

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

This site contains hundreds of Federally supported teaching and learning resources collected from more than 30 Federal agencies. The site adds new teaching and learning resources every month.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. They serve and strengthen our Republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. This is accomplished by providing grants for high-quality humanities projects in four funding areas: preserving and providing access to cultural resources, education, research, and public programs. One such program is "We the People," an initiative to explore significant events and themes in our nation's history, and to share these lessons with all Americans.

Learn and Serve America Program

Learn and Serve America is a program funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service. Its mission is to support service-learning programs in schools and community organizations. The program helps nearly one million students from kindergarten through college meet community needs, improve their academic skills and learn the habits of good citizenship.

USA Freedom Corps

This government agency works to strengthen and support community service, promote good citizenship and help find opportunities for every American to start volunteering. Visit their website to learn more about the recently created President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.

National Park Service (NPS)

The National Park Service is a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior. NPS works to preserve our nation's national parks and preserve our nation's history and historical places. The site is a tremendous resource for students, teachers and families. There are four major areas NPS focuses on: Parks and Recreation; History and Culture; Nature and Science; and, Interpretation and Education.

The National Council for History Education (NCHE)

The National Council for History Education is a non-profit corporation supported by the contributions of individuals and organizations who's Board of Trustees is dedicated to promoting the importance of history in schools and in society. The NCHE provides a communications network for all advocates of history education, including schools, colleges, museums, historical councils and community groups.

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. The Gilder Lehrman Institute offers a variety of resources to assist teachers and students and has pioneered new models of history schools and programs with proven success in improving academic achievement. It creates history-centered schools and academic research centers; organizes seminars and enrichment programs for educators; produces print and electronic publications and traveling exhibitions; and sponsors lectures by eminent historians..


No Child Left Behind

Helping Your Child Series

The Helping Your Child publication series focuses on providing parents with the tools and information necessary to help their children succeed in school and in life. The two newest titles in the series are "Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics" and "Helping Your Child Learn Science."

No Child Left Behind—Especially for Parents Page

On this site the U.S. Department of Education offers information about public school choice, supplemental services, testing and accountability, as well as parenting tips on reading and homework.

  • Tools for Student Success: Selected Publications for Parents and Teachers
    This catalog provides brief descriptions of a number of publications featuring the latest research and most effective practices in subjects such as reading, homework, and staying drug free, as well as information on how to obtain these publications in hard copy or online.

  • No Child Left Behind: A Parents Guide
    This is the essential guide for parents, and provides answers to questions about No Child Left Behind and what the law means for parents, in an accessible and easy to understand format.

  • Questions Parents Ask About Schools
    This pamphlet provides answers to commonly asked questions on topics such as Getting Ready for School, Monitoring School Work, Helping with Reading, and Working with Schools and Teachers.



Michael Petrilli serves as the Associate Deputy Under Secretary at the Office of Innovation and Improvement. In this capacity, he oversees approximately two-dozen discretionary grant programs that support a variety of education reforms, including alternate routes to certification, teaching American history, and more. Mr. Petrilli also coordinates the Office's evaluation and dissemination activities and works to promote promising innovations in education. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Petrilli served as Special Assistant for Policy and Planning in the Office of the Deputy Secretary where he led the U.S. Department of Education's strategic planning process and revamped its approach to program evaluation. Previously he served as Program Director at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation where he led school reform efforts in Dayton, Ohio and edited education policy reports.

Myra Luftman is the principal of the newly formed High School of American Studies at Lehman College, which is a specialized public high school in New York City with a focus on American history. The school is the product of a collaboration among New York City, the City University of New York (CUNY), and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Mrs. Luftman was educated in the city's public schools and graduated with honors from the City College of New York, later earning her master's degree in history from the CUNY Graduate School. The High School of American Studies, which is now in its second year of operation, is located on the campus of Lehman College, where Mrs. Luftman is also a member of the adjunct faculty in the Department of Middle and High School Education.

Cynthia Mostoller has taught American History at Alice Deal Junior High School in the District of Columbia Public Schools System for the past 17 years. Over her teaching career, she has studied and traveled with the National Geographic Society, the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, worked with the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Newseum Educational Advisory Board, and the National History Day program. Ms. Mostoller currently serves as the coordinator for the District of Colombia Geographic Bee, and is the Teacher Trustee for National History Day. She has won the Richard Ferrell Award for history education and the History Channel Outstanding Educator Award. In addition to her classroom duties, Ms. Mostoller co-advises an active student government and serves as a mentor teacher for new hires in her building.

Robert Hu (Via Satellite) is a teacher of American Civics and Ethnic Studies at Mililani High School in Mililani, Hawaii. During his tenure, Mr. Hu created the Ohana Project, where his students learn to care for others in the school, the state and the world through community service experiences. The ethnic studies students trace family trees and learn to respect and appreciate ethnic differences and similarities. He has taught for over 32 years and holds leadership positions with state teaching associations. Mr. Hu is Hawaii's 2004 State Teacher of the Year.

James Percoco has taught American history at West Springfield High School in Springfield, Virginia for over 24 years. In addition to his classroom duties, Mr. Percoco designs American history curriculum and trains teachers for the Fairfax County Public Schools. He currently serves on the National Teaching Standards Board United States History Test Design Team and a recent past board member of the National Council for History Education. With his extensive experience in teaching American history, Mr. Percoco frequently contributes to publications, workshops, and presentations at the international, national, regional, state and local levels.

Cathy Gorn is the executive director of National History Day and an adjunct professor of history at the University of Maryland at College Park, the institutional home of National History Day. Dr. Gorn is a national expert on history education and designs professional development modules for history and social studies teachers. Dr. Gorn leads an organization that works with more than two million people annually and interacts with historical and education institutions across the U.S. The National History Day organization works to impact and influence issues such as teacher development, education standards, technology in the history classroom, primary source research, historical institution outreach, best practices and effective education reform.

Lee Ann Potter is the head of education and volunteer programs at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, Ms. Potter develops educational materials and publications based on archival documents for a variety of audiences and conducts a wide range of courses on teaching with documents. She is responsible for the Digital Classroom section of the National Archives web site and represents the agency on a number of inter-agency committees related to education and technology. In 2000, she was honored by The History Channel and National History Day as the year's "Outstanding History Educator." Prior to her employment with NARA, she worked for the Smithsonian Institution and taught U.S. history and geography at Clear Lake High School in Houston, Texas.

Ruben Zepeda directs the Los Angeles American History Institute for the Los Angeles Unified School District, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Teaching American History grant program. In addition to these duties, Mr. Zepeda oversees the Cesar E. Chavez Citizenship Program, a service-learning initiative between Los Angeles City Schools and the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, and serves on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors for the National Council for the Social Studies. Mr. Zepeda was a recent speaker at We the People: The White House Forum on American History, Civics and Service and the first Congressional Conference on Civic Education.


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Last Modified: 08/09/2013