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I hope this finds you well.
As you may know, TEA is developing Texas Home Learning (THL), an optional set of resources for Texas educators including instructional materials, aligned professional learning, and technology supports during this new learning environment.
Before being released, THL Instructional Materials undergo a rigorous review process that includes input from Texas Educators. This review process helps ensure that released materials are of the highest quality, meet state standards, and meet the expectations and needs of all our districts.
The THL team at TEA has reached out to us to ask for our help in nominating folks to participate in this process. In particular, TEA is looking for individuals with expertise in K-5 Social Studies, though they welcome anyone with experience with Social Studies instructional materials in Texas. Through a series of focus groups, participants in this review process will help define what the final materials include in order to support all Texas teachers and students, as well as the implementation support and training publishers and TEA will provide through THL. The TEA THL team has worked to streamline this process as much as possible given the time constraints educators are currently under. Nominees are encouraged, but will not be required, to participate in every focus group over the course of the year, which would include 1-2 one hour sessions per month.
Please take 1 minute to think about educators you know who may be a good fit as a focus group participant and nominate them using this form! You may also use the same form to sign up yourself.
This is a great opportunity to #engageintheexperience. Thanks in advance for your leadership.
Educating for Democracy Act of 2020
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the bipartisan Educating for Democracy Act of 2020, S.4928, November 30th. This is a measure to significantly increase federal level investment in civic and history education. This is the Senate companion bill to the U.S. House version of the Educating for Democracy Act that was introduced on September 17th by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK).
This comprehensive, bipartisan legislation would authorize $1 billion in federal investment in civic and history education, including research, innovation, and teacher professional development, and would require the National Assessments of Educational Progress (NAEPs) in civic and history education to be conducted every two years at grades 4, 8 and 12, with state level results made publicly available. The full bill summary is available here.
The measure establishes new grant programs for state and local education agencies to strengthen and improve their approach to civic and history education. The bill provides funding for non-profit entities to develop or expand access to evidence-based curricula, instructional models, and other educational programs to enhance student knowledge and achievement in civics and history. Grants would be provided to higher education institutions to assist in developing and implementing programs to train elementary and secondary school teachers in methods for instructing and engaging students in civics and history.
If you are in support of this measure, consider reaching out to your legislators.
NCSS offers Social Studies Virtual Conference First-Timer Scholarships.
Any first-timer to an NCSS Conference may apply and they also have a
donor who wants to sponsor scholarships for social studies teachers of
color who want to attend.
For an application go to--
NCSS Virtual 2020 registration includes the content of three national conferences (NCSS, NCGE, AGA) available until April 30, 2021 as on demand. Most sessions and speakers are scheduled Sat Dec. 5th and Sun Dec 6th. See https://www.socialstudies.org/conference for more details. Spread the word.
TEA Social Studies Update
View the presentation
Download the update from TEA
(c-8) Beginning with the 2022 2023 school year, an assessment instrument developed under Subsection (a) or (c) may not present more than 75 percent of the questions in a multiple choice format.
It is almost here -- #TXCSS2020 Power of Community Oct 1-3 virtual conference. There is still time to register and the great news is you can register for three conferences in one process -- TSSSA, TCSS, and TAGE.
If you have already registered -- look for an email, coming soon to the email address noted in your registration, for the link to the conference microsite and unique access credentials. This email and credentials are for all conference events Oct 1-3 that you registered for. Note that the microsite will not be "live" until 12:00 AM Oct 1st, so you will get a message the event is not available if you try to log in before Oct 1st. For previews of sessions and speakers, navigate over to https://txcss.net/tcssconference.
Thank you to the numerous sponsors, presenters, officers and volunteers whose efforts made this event possible. It is amazing to watch the Power of Community focus on quality social studies education, and our teachers, students, and communities will reap the benefits.
September 29, 2020
Silver Spring, MD -- The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Board of Directors recently approved NCSS to sign on to a statement authored by the American Historical Association (AHA) and supported by over three dozen additional organizations condemning the recent “White House Conference on American History,” deploring the tendentious use of history and history education to stoke politically motivated culture wars.
The AHA is a nonprofit organization founded for the promotion of historical studies, which provides leadership for the discipline by protecting academic freedom, developing professional standards, supporting scholarship and innovative teaching, and helping to sustain and enhance the work of historians.
Both NCSS and the AHA strongly encourage you to share the statement with your networks.
Read the Statement
We are delighted to let you know that on September 17th, Constitution Day, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) will introduce the bipartisan ‘Educating for Democracy Act’ of 2020, a measure to significantly increase federal level investment in civic and history Education. Congresswoman DeLauro is the Chair of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Congressman Cole is the Ranking Member of that Subcommittee.
This comprehensive, bipartisan legislation would authorize $1 billion in federal investment in civic and history education, including research, innovation and teacher professional development, and would require the National Assessments of Educational Progress (NAEPs) in civic and history education to be conducted every two years at grades 4, 8 and 12, with state level results made publicly available. The full bill summary is available here.
What is the Educating for Democracy Act of 2020?
This legislation would allocate $1 billion for civic and history education. The measure establishes new grant programs for state and local education agencies to strengthen and improve their approach to civic and history education. The bill provides funding for non-profit entities to develop or expand access to evidence-based curricula, instructional models, and other educational programs to enhance student knowledge and achievement in civics and history. Grants would be provided to higher education institutions to assist in developing and implementing programs to train elementary and secondary school teachers in methods for instructing and engaging students in civics and history.
Click here to read the full bill summary
Why is the Educating for Democracy Act of 2020 important to endorse today?
It’s no coincidence that this bill is being introduced on Constitution Day, and we see no better way to celebrate the importance of comprehensive history and civic education than to use the holiday to show that civic education is and should be a national priority. It is vital for us to show support from our community for this significant legislation. This Constitution Day, let's join together to seize on the momentum of our movement and use our collective voice as a field to unify behind the message that states, districts, educators, non-profits, and others deserve to receive the support they need to educate, empower, and equip all K-12 students with the knowledge and skills needed to be informed and engaged civic participants.
Representatives DeLauro and Cole are introducing this bill on Constitution Day to build support for history and civic education and secure additional congressional co-sponsors. We anticipated that they will move forward to reintroduce this legislation in the new congress in January, but it is important to persuade elected officials to co-sponsor the bill now to show their constituents and the nation where they stand when it comes to ensuring quality, comprehensive civic education for all.
If you are interested in supporting the legislation--
On Constitution Day contact your Congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives, and ask that they sign-on to the bill as a co-sponsor. You can use our template script to assist in your outreach.
To reach your U.S. Representative:
· Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, ask for your House member, once connected to their office, ask to speak to whomever handles education issues for the Congressperson (you may have to leave a voicemail). Ask that staffer to ask the Member to co-sponsor the ‘Educating for Democracy Act,’ introduced by Representatives DeLauro and Cole, that would dramatically improve civic and history. Offer to send the staff member the summary of the bill.
· Email or write to your U.S. Representative by visiting www.house.gov, and entering your zip code in the box in the upper right hand corner. From there, you can go to the member’s website, where you will find their mailing address, phone number, and a feature for constituents to make requests or send comments to the House member. Please send all communications to their Washington, DC office, not their district offices.
Please note: We are not contacting U.S. Senators about the legislation at this time.
What if I still have questions?
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ted McConnell, CivXNow Sr. Policy Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Constituting America is celebrating Constitution Day with nine 25 minutes workshops. This event is virtual and begins at 9:45 am - 3:00 pm CDT. Visit their website to sign up and see the schedule.
A reminder -any one who signs on to watch during the September 17 presentation receives a week extension to turn in an entry for their contest. This includes teachers turning in lesson plans for a chance to earn $2,000.
Each year, during the week that includes September 17, Texas schools honor Celebrate Freedom Week (TEC § 29.907) to highlight the values and ideals on which the United States was founded as well as the sacrifices that were made for freedom in the founding of the country. Students learn about the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. Students also examine the relationship between the ideas in these documents and subsequent American history.
Click here for a links to related resources curated by TEA
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