Campus: CSU Long Beach -- October 22, 2001
Long Beach Unified School District, Cal State Long Beach Project Receives
$800,000 Grant to Improve Teaching of American History
A joint project between the Long Beach Unified School District
(LBUSD) and the History Department at California State University, Long
Beach has been awarded a three-year, $804,666 grant to improve the teaching
of American history.
The grant was one of 60 awarded nationwide and one of seven received by
school districts in California. In all, nearly $50 million was awarded
to the winning programs.
The goal of the collaborative teaching project is to provide professional
development and support for fifth-, eighth- and 11th-grad American history
teachers at LBUSD.
Donald Schwartz, the CSULB history teacher who will coordinate the university's
part of the grant, believes the key to he proposal's acceptance was its
goal of bringing university professors into closer touch with K-12 teachers.
"Cal State Long Beach is a model for the nation when it comes to
collaboration," Schwartz stated. "We conduct seminars for LBUSD
teachers and work with them through National Faculty, we are a site for
the California History Project, and we participate with them in seamless
education. We have the experience, we have the resources and most importantly,
we have the motivation."
In the program's first year, six LBUSD high school campuses will be matched
with a CSULB faculty member who will work closely with an 11th-grade master
teacher to plan lessons and team-teach once a week. The faculty member
also will conduct a two-hour seminar each month with all U.S. history
teachers at that school and, during the vacation, conduct a two-week summer
In the second year, the project will expand to include eighth-grade teachers,
and in the third year, fifth-grade teachers will be incorporated into
"This grant stipulates the target audience to be underachieving students,"
Schwartz said. "In June 2002, there will be district-wide 11th-grade
exams for students in U.S. history. Then we will see how students do in
their targeted classes compared with the general cohort. In the second
year, we will do the same thing for the eighth grade and in the third
year for the fifth."
Schwartz, who joined the CSULB History Department in 1987, taught at the
high school level for many years in New York City and White Plains, NY,
while teaching as an adjunct professor at such New York universities as
the New School for Social Research and Pace University.
He believes the project is an important one, especially in view of recent
"The terrorist attacks of September 11th remind us that the United
States is part of the world," Schwartz said. "We have to understand
our history and the cultural experiences of other people. That's what
makes this program so timely."