Report from Terry Davis
March 3, 2011
Dear Friends of History:
As the current debate about American education continues to focus on reform and the encouragement of new innovation, it is also important to highlight evidence about programs that are demonstrating success.
In that spirit, I’m pleased to share some exciting new evaluation results from one of AASLH’s partners, the National History Day (NHD) program, which demonstrates the ability of history education to improve academic achievement and build 21st century college- and career-ready skills.
The NHD program works with both students and teachers to improve the teaching and learning of history in schools. Since its inception, the NHD program has successfully served 2.2 million students and teachers in 50 states; two American territories; the District of Columbia; and in Department of Defense and International Schools overseas. Each year, students pick topics and conduct extensive research which culminates in project presentations and an awards ceremony.
The NHD Program’s first national, independent evaluation validates the success that we have understood anecdotally throughout NHD’s 30-year history — and proves the effectiveness of the program’s innovative, immersive approach to history education.
Specifically, NHD’s national evaluation findings show:
- NHD students outperform their non-NHD peers on state standardized tests in multiple subjects, including reading, science and math, as well as social studies.
- NHD students learn 21st century college- and career-ready skills and are strong critical thinkers and better writers.
- Participation in NHD has a positive impact and increases engagement among all students, including those whose interest in academic subjects may wane in high school.
In short, National History Day is fostering outstanding achievement for students across all disciplines and performance levels, demonstrating the importance of providing a well-rounded education.
Visit the NHD Program website to learn more about this important project.
As a supporter of documented success in history education, I know that you will join us in celebrating this information,
AASLH President & CEO