Teachinghistory.org recently announced that an addendum to the 2010 Report on the State of History Education is now available. This supplement tracks policy changes regarding the teaching of U.S. history between August 2008 and September 2010 in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
The new addendum offers additional data about state policies governing the teaching of world history, and history and social studies end-of-course tests. These additions help create a more complete picture of the current state of history education in the United States.
Findings include the following:
- The educational policy landscape has changed since the last report. Common Core State Standards, President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, state finances, the creation of the Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction program, and the Consortium for a Well-Rounded Education have impacted state standards and policy.
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September 2008 and August 2010, twelve states and the District of Columbia revised their history/social studies state standards. Iowa remains the only state without any history/social studies standards, preferring local control of the curriculum.
World history trails U.S. history in state requirements: thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia require a course in U.S. history for graduation, while only twenty-two states and the District of Columbia require a course in world history. Out of twenty-six states that require history testing, twenty-four include American history content, while
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only 15 require world history assessment.
- Social Studies/History testing included more constructed responses such as essays or short answers in 2010 than in past years. Of the twenty-six states that required history/ social studies testing in 2010, half required some kind of constructed response as opposed to 42% (11 out of 25) in 2008.
To complement the report addendum, Teachinghistory.org has also updated its database of state standards to reflect changes since 2008. This is the only comprehensive compilation of state standards available online. It is fully searchable by state and grade.
Teachinghistory.org, a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, is a leader in helping K–12 history teachers access resources and materials to improve U.S. history education in the classroom. Funded through the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement’s Teaching American History (TAH) program, Teachinghistory.org builds on and disseminates the valuable lessons learned by more than 1,000 TAH projects designed to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge and understanding of U.S. history.