Teaching American History

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Louisiana 2006 Grant Abstract
Archived Information

Grantee Name:Jefferson Parish Public Schools, LA
Project Name:The Thomas Jefferson Liberty Fellowship
Project Director:Carl J. Dermady, Jr.
Number of Teachers Served:No Information Available
Number of School Districts Served:1
Number of Students Served:52,367
Grade Levels:K-12
Partners:the Bill of Rights Institute, the American Institute for History Education, the D-Day Museum, the New Orleans Historical Museum, and Learners Online
Topics:year 1: the Empire versus the Colonies, year 2: the Agrarian South versus the Industrializing North, and year 3: Liberal Democracy versus Totalitarianism
Methods:summer institutes, fall and winter seminars, CD-ROMs, online historical resources, and museum visits

Even before becoming victims of Hurricane Katrina, the school system's students faced enormous poverty. For the school year 2003-04, 13.7% of families were living below the poverty line, as well as 20% of children. Standardized test scores for grades 4, 8, and 12 are below state averages. Although all high school teachers have a state social studies certification, most of them did not major in history. The project will significantly improve teacher knowledge of traditional American history, which will result in measurable improvements in student achievement. Teachers will design traditional, though innovative, American history curricula and lesson-units that will provide students with a substantive historical continuum, not a series of disconnected events, interspersed throughout a social studies curriculum.

Last Modified: 12/28/2006