Department of Education Announces TAH Grant Awards

Sun 26 2009

On July 14, the U.S. Department of Education announced the 2009 Teaching American History (TAH) grants awarded to 123 school districts in 38 states.

According to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, "These grants give school districts an ideal opportunity to partner with other organizations that possess content expertise to embark on a journey to enhance American history education and student academic achievement."

The Department of Education is at the mid-point of a four-year evaluation of the effects of TAH grants.

TAH programs work to improve student achievement by focusing on teachers, offering ongoing professional development on history content and teaching strategies. But have they worked? According to the Nation's Report Card on academic achievement in American history education, overall improvement in history at all grade levels is evident, although less than 25 percent of those students who were tested performed at the highest level.

In 2007, the Department of Education began a four-year evaluation of the program to examine the relationship between teacher participation, teacher content knowledge, and student achievement. Congress, however, is questioning the program's value in the face of other funding priorities for education.

The Labor, Health, and Education fiscal year 2010 appropriations bill (H.R. 3293) passed by the House (264-153) would slash the TAH program by $19 million from the current fiscal year's level, down to $100 million, according to The National Coalition for History.

Visit the TAH Grants section of the Clearinghouse for highlights of achievements of TAH grantees and lessons learned from teachers, administrators, and partnering organizations.

About the Author

Lee Ann Ghajar is a digital history associate in Public Projects at CHNM and a PhD candidate in American history at George Mason University.