$117 million for professional development in American history teaching

Teaching American History grants support projects to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of traditional American history. Grant awards assist LEAs, in partnership with entities that have extensive content expertise, to develop, document, evaluate, and disseminate innovative, cohesive models of professional development. By helping teachers develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of traditional American history as a separate subject within the core curriculum, these programs aim to improve instruction and raise student achievement. A portion of the award may be used for providing guidance to teachers on the use of technology to provide access to primary-source historical documents, enable cooperative learning efforts, and develop effective presentations of historical content. A priority has been established for projects proposing an evaluation plan that is based on rigorous scientifically-based research methods to assess the effectiveness of a particular intervention. Evaluation methods using an experimental design are best for determining project effectiveness. Thus, when feasible, the project must use an experimental design under which participants–e.g., students, teachers, classrooms, or schools–are randomly assigned to participate in the project activities being evaluated or to a control group that does not participate in the project activities being evaluated. Funding varies per award, based on the applicant’s student enrollment. LEAs may form consortia and combine their enrollments to receive a higher award. ED expects to award from 100 to 135 grants. The deadline is May 16, 2005 for Notice of Intent to Apply and June 14, 2005 for full proposals.

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