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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
Youthivism is a student-led organization offering free nonpartisan mini-lessons on current-event issues delivered straight to your inbox every 2 weeks! Each lesson lasts up to 15 minutes and includes a video, discussion-based activity, and take-home project. And the best part? Given that their team is entirely student-run, high school students across the political spectrum and country create and review the curriculum from beginning to end. Find an example & sign up form here:
Register now for any or all of these upcoming distance learning programs that are available for educators, students, and families:
The series offers free online interactive programs with educators from the National Archives and Presidential Libraries for students grades 2-12. Individual students and families can log in using the link that will be provided following registration.
· September 8, Understanding the Great Depression, Grades 7-12
· September 10, Laura Ingalls Wilder at the Hoover Library, Grades 3-8
· September 14, 16, or 18, “George to George”: Examples of the Constitution from George Washington to George Bush, Grades 4-8 (11am ET)
· September 15, Camp David & Beyond: The Middle East Peace Process from Carter to Clinton, Grades 9-12
· September 17 – Constitution Day, The Charters of Freedom: Building a More Perfect Union, Grades 3-6
· September 24, Growing Up an Eisenhower, Grades K-5
· September 29, Understanding Tribal Sovereignty, Native Lands, and the Importance of Repatriation, Grades 7-12
· October 1, Georgia on my Mind: President Carter
· October 6, Tinker v. Des Moines: Constitutional Rights at School, with Mary Beth Tinker, Grades 7-12
· October 8, Red Scare, Spies Among Us?, Grades 7-12
· October 13, Bootleggers, Flappers, and Gangsters – Prohibition, The Noble Experiment, Grades 6-12
· October 15, Use it Up! Sacrifices on the WWII Home Front, Grades 6-8
· October 22, Chemistry Roadshow, Grades 3-8 (11am ET)
· October 27, Truman’s Life Through Objects, Grades 3-8
· October 29, Attic Artifacts, Grades 4-8
Read the latest blog post for more information about the summer and fall distance learning series.
Decoding the Declaration
Presented by the National Archives in Washington, DC students from across the country participated to learn how to analyze the Declaration of Independence through different lenses, examining it as an artifact, as a primary source, and as a persuasive text.
The CLASP Outreach Committee has put together an educator needs assessment meant to inform the K-12 and community college resources and professional development opportunities we will develop in the coming years. The survey is designed to show us national as well as regional data, so we hope to reach as many teachers as possible.
CLASP Educator Needs Assessment: https://stanforduniversity.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0Bel3FfpHRtcMcJ
Target audience: K-12 and community college educators
Survey deadline: July 1, 2020
If you have any questions, please reach out to Molly Aufdermauer at email@example.com.
Social studies education is designed to empower students to ask and answer profound questions about our ongoing fight for basic and equal civil and human rights, how violations of our human rights occur, and how we must all be prepared for a civic life in which the dignity of every individual is embraced, celebrated, and realized.
NCSS presents the following articles published in our three main journals for K-12 teachers: Social Education, Middle Level Learning, and Social Studies and the Young Learner. These articles are grouped by topic for easy reference. We also included our recent current event responses which address racism and call for human rights education.
Continue to take advantage of our resources and connect with diverse teachers throughout the country to build solutions within our Special Interest Communities on the topics of racism, injustice, oppression - and working toward social justice.
Access the Resources
TCSS Executive Committee Statement
June 2, 2020
TCSS is an organization founded on advancing education in social studies through professional learning and growth of Texas educators. We join many in condemning racist acts of violence and police brutality, including the recent senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless others who needlessly preceded them as victims of unjustified violence. Read more...
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