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Teaching American History Academy II

This capital city district serves students who are overwhelmingly minority and who receive special education services at a higher than average rate (20 percent). The district has never made Adequate Yearly Progress, and five middle schools and three high schools are underperforming. The Teaching American History Academy II (TAHA II) will offer two 3-year professional development pathways: (1) the master's track, in which 15 teachers will complete courses worth 30 graduate hours, plus workshops, an annual 1-day field trip, and an annual 4- to 7-day summer trip; and (2) the professional development (PD) track, which will provide 50 to 60 teachers with 100 or more hours of training in meetings during the school year and a 4- to 7-day summer trip followed by a 3-day institute (15 PD track teachers will participate in extra technology training). When cohorts are recruited, priority will be given to history and special education teachers who teach American history in the underperforming schools. TAHA II will focus on building collegiality among teaching colleagues and university historians. History content and instructional strategies will be delivered by historians, museum curators, and National Park historians, and retired mentor teachers. The master’s track teachers will earn a master's of education in curriculum and instruction for history and social studies from the University of Richmond; professional development track teachers will prepare curriculum materials to be posted on the project Web site. Over the course of the project, leaders anticipate that several teachers will attend and present at regional and national conferences.