Appendix A: States’ Report Cards

Teaching the Movement 2014
Appendix A: States’ Report Cards

How to Read the Report Cards

State grades were assigned using a weighted formula, where major documents counted for 60 percent of the grade and supporting materials made up the remaining 40 percent.


Major Documents

We defined major documents as state standards and curriculum frameworks, the documents intended to guide social studies instruction statewide. These documents were scored in four areas, with states earning a maximum of four points in each:

  • Content: What content do states specify in their standards? Does it cover a broad range of events, leaders, groups, causes, history and tactics?
  • Sequence: Do states go beyond the “Montgomery to Memphis” timeline? Does the presentation make sense in the arc of American history? Is learning sequenced across grades?
  • Depth: Are the movement’s causes clearly presented? Is the nature of resistance to the movement clear? Are diverse strategies within the movement discussed?
  • Connections: Does coverage connect to present-day events? Are connections to civic education explicit, as well as connections to other movements in the 20th century and beyond?


Supporting Resources

Supporting resources included lesson plans, resource guides, databases, model curricula and other materials that states made available to all teachers in the state. These were scored in three areas, with states earning a maximum of four points in each:

  • Comprehensive: Do the resources cross grade levels? Do they cover many aspects of the movement, reaching beyond those covered in the major documents? Do they include several lesson and unit plans?
  • Promote Historical Thinking: Do resources promote the use of original historical documents? Do they include quality resources for teachers using those documents? Do the resources go beyond the traditional narrative?
  • Access and Presentation: Are materials easy to access online? Are they clearly organized by grade and topic? Are resources presented in a way that makes them easy to use?
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