HISD Receives $1.35 Million To Improve American History Teaching
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Houston Independent School District a three-year, $1.35 million Texas Teachers Teaching American History grant to increase student achievement and teacher knowledge in American history.
The HISD board will vote on acceptance of the American history federal funding at the regular board meeting on Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St.
This grant is the fourth Teaching American History grant that HISD has received since 2001. The goals of the grant are to increase student achievement in American history at targeted campuses and to create strong teams of teachers to support rigorous American history standards.
The total grant award is $1,353,908 from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2011, with a potential additional $835,000 for years four and five.
Ten teams of six American history teachers – two each from grades five, eight, and 11 – from schools in both HISD and other Harris Country districts will work in the program. The teachers and HISD mentors will attend a two-week summer history institute as well as other workshops. HISD will collaborate with the Harris County Department of Education, the University of Houston, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the online library resource Digital History, to help teachers to benefit from the expertise of local historians and scholars.
The Summer History Institute is held at University of Houston in the College of Education. Speakers include history professors from the Department of History at UH and professors from Rice University as well as visiting scholars. The Summer History Institute will be held next summer, in June 2009. HISD will begin recruiting teachers for this grant cohort beginning in August as the 2008 – 2009 school year begins, if the school board approves the grant.
“The primary purpose of teaching American history in depth is to help students develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good,” said HISD’s Manager of Secondary Social Studies Curriculum Angela Miller.
HISD is in the process of conducting a Summer History Institute in partnership with UH for 60 secondary social studies teachers who are involved in a different grant that was awarded to the district in 2005.