State of Washington Uses National History Day Program as Model for Completing Statewide Assessment

December 26, 2010

College Park, Md., (PRWEB) November 10, 2005

The Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has recommended National History Day, Inc. as a program to help teachers and students in the state of Washington meet new social studies assessment requirements.

The Washington legislature passed HB 2195 in 2004 requiring that all districts have assessments or other strategies to ensure students are meeting state standards in social studies. The legislation also called for the creation of new Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) that provide an in-depth and complex assessment model for schools and requires that school districts implement CBAs or another approved assessment model by the 2008-2009 school year.

“National History Day is an excellent way to help students meet the CBA requirement,” state Social Studies Curriculum Director Caleb Perkins said. “It’s a proven program that challenges students to think in complex ways about historical topics, research and analysis.”

The Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is working with the Washington State Historical Society, National History Day’s institutional sponsor in Washington, to publicize the potential of the CBA-National History Day link to educators statewide. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has also developed a bridging document, which shows a step-by-step alignment between National History Day and the CBAs

Social Studies CBAs are grouped by topic–history, civics, geography, and economics. Within each topic, different CBAs are available for different grade levels. Students will complete projects on the following themes: “Technology Through the Ages,” “Cultural Interaction,” “Analyzing Artifacts & Sources,” and “Conflict.”

Each theme provides specific guidelines and completion requirements. Once the project has been completed, it is scored according to a rubric developed by the State Office of Public Instruction.

At the middle school and high school levels, National History Day projects could be used to complete the “Analyzing Artifacts & Sources” CBA. This CBA requires students to create a project using primary and secondary sources relevant to a particular time period or event, organize their research, then analyze, interpret and present it.

For more information on the CBAs, and to see the National History Day bridging document, visit and click on “Washington CBAs.”


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