American History and Civics in Our Schools

Miguel Cardona:

The teaching of civics and history – an opportunity to better understand our past and how our government works so we can engage in and influence our future – has long provided the foundation for students to be active participants in society and help our nation live up to its highest ideals. These values have been championed over the years by Americans of all backgrounds, and they are deeply embedded in our commitment to both patriotism and progress.

One of the ways the Department carries out these efforts is through programs like the American History and Civics grant programs, part of which was first launched in the early 2000’s, authorized in 2017 and supported by bipartisan leaders in the House and Senate. The goal of this program is to improve the quality of American history, civics, and government education in order to provide more students the opportunity to learn about the rich history of our nation and build the skills needed to fully participate in civic life. The program enables higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, and other interested applicants the opportunity to explore innovative and creative ways to support educators and the teaching of history to students, aiming to build a more active, engaged society. This program, however, has not, does not, and will not dictate or recommend specific curriculum be introduced or taught in classrooms. Those decisions are – and will continue to be – made at the local level.

Today the Department is posting the Notices Inviting Applications for this year’s American History and Civics grant competitions. The notices include two priorities that are invitational, meaning they encourage applicants to address topics that are important to the Department. The first invitational priority encourages projects that incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives into teaching and learning. This priority is included because the Department recognizes the value of supporting teaching and learning that reflects the rich diversity, identities, histories, contributions, and experiences of all students. As every parent knows, when students can make personal connections to their learning experiences, there are greater opportunities for them to stay engaged in their education and see pathways for their own futures.


The foreigners in China’s disinformation drive

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It wasn’t to be. Dante’s friend Giovanni del Virgilio promised to secure him the laureate’s crown in Bologna if he produced a poem worthy of it, perhaps a military epic in Latin. Dante declined, just as he had declined the humiliating terms on which the Florentines offered to revoke his exile.

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Many of my predictions in “The most likely outcome for HK” (3-Sep-2019) have come to pass, thankfully without material bloodshed. The civil service, legislature and district councils have been, or are being, cleansed of pandemocrats in a kind of inverse McCarthyism. Pro-democracy media have either been shut or are self-censoring. In schools, the Liberal Studies curriculum has been replaced with “Citizenship and Social Development”, and teachers are being watched more closely. In universities, Student Unions are being derecognised. The public broadcaster RTHK has been reined in (although I still appear on its air, while I can).

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Paris Memories

Elizabeth Von Guttman recently shared a short video clip of the French Foreign Legion Pioneers marching through the Jardin du Lexembourg.

I’ve pondered these scenes while visiting memorials, particulary as the percentage of American veterans continues to decline, now below 10% [1].

The awareness and experience gap must be enormous across the US population, which is rather challenging given the footprint our armed forces have across the globe [2].

1. The changing face of America’s veteran population by Katherine Schaeffer

2. The infographic reveals for the first time that the U.S. is now operating in 40 percent of the world’s nations. Stephanie Savell and 5W Infographics

Posted in Uncategorized.


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“that effort applied to earlier decisions increases errors later”

2 tap fast e-commerce fused with beautiful visual experiences.

The gift of print fostered distrust in institutional narratives, but this new technology did not automatically teach people how to adapt, nor ensure the level of self-education it demanded of them. Protestantism announced itself as a corrective to this, partly by granting interpretive powers to the individual based on the strength of faith alone (sola fide, sola scriptura). Gutenberg’s revolution democratized information and Luther’s revolution democratized knowledge by placing the individual’s sense-making ability on par with men of the cloth.

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Latin & English: Thomas Aquila’s Prologue

Quia Catholicae veritatis doctor non solum provectos debet instruere, sed ad eum pertinet etiam incipientes erudire, secundum illud Apostoli I ad Corinth. III: tanquam parvulis in Christo, lac vobis potum dedi, non escam; propositum nostrae intentionis in hoc opere est, ea quae ad Christianam religionem pertinent, eo modo tradere, secundum quod congruit ad eruditionem incipientium.

Because the Teacher of Catholic truth ought not only to teach the proficient, but also to instruct beginners, according to the Apostle: As unto little ones in Christ, I gave you milk to drink, not meat (1 Cor 3:1–2), we purpose in this book to treat of whatever belongs to the Christian religion in such a way as may befit the instruction of beginners.

Consideravimus namque huius doctrinae novitios, in his quae a diversis conscripta sunt, plurimum impediri, partim quidem propter multiplicationem inutilium quaestionum, articulorum et argumentorum; partim etiam quia ea quae sunt necessaria talibus ad sciendum, non traduntur secundum ordinem disciplinae, sed secundum quod requirebat librorum expositio, vel secundum quod se praebebat occasio disputandi; partim quidem quia eorundem frequens repetitio et fastidium et confusionem generabat in animis auditorum.

We have considered that novices in this doctrine have often been hampered by what they have found written by various authors, partly on account of the multiplication of useless questions, articles, and arguments; partly also because the things such novices need to know are not taught according to the order of the discipline, but according as was needed for commenting on books, or according as an opportunity for raising a disputed question presented itself; partly, too, because frequent repetition of the same things brought weariness and confusion to the minds of the readers.


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