Blog > Teaching American History Evaluation: Need Assessments & the 2011 RFP
Teaching American History Evaluation: Need Assessments & the 2011 RFP
The evaluation for a successful Teaching American History grant starts well before you are finished writing your TAH grant proposal.

Up to 20 points of the total score of your grant proposal will depend on how well you demonstrate the need for the project. How will you accomplish this?

The 2011 TAH RFP says:
Note: The Secretary encourages applicants to provide information on the district’s American history program, including on the number of teachers, the teachers’ qualifications and certifications, the American history professional development currently being offered in the district, and student performance in American history class. The applicant is also encouraged to address how its proposed professional development strategy will significantly improve both teachers’ ability to teach traditional American history content and student performance with regard to traditional American history. Applicants’ responses to the Need for project criterion should address the American history content needs of the teachers, not the socioeconomic needs of the teachers or the students they serve.
In other words, you need to show how a real deficiency in the American history content needs of your teachers and students will be addressed by your grant. As evaluators on over 50 TAH grants over the last decade, we have developed several needs assessment instruments that can be adapted to help you examine the US history content knowledge and classroom practices of your teachers and students. These can be administered either online or via paper; we’ll collect, tally and explain the results. Discovering where your needs are is not only important for your TAH grant application in answer to the RFP. A needs assessment ought to help you design the structure of your grant and write your grant narrative, as it will reveal what your TAH grant ought to be focused on addressing.

As a special service to Teaching American History grant clients, we will consult with you and design and administer a needs assessment free of charge. In consultation with you, we will also assist in designing and writing the evaluation portion of your Teaching American History grant application free of charge. The clock is ticking: call us today to get started! Call (570) 744-1618 or email

Click here and visit our TAH grant page for more.

A needs assessment will also be important this year in order to obtain up to 3 extra points by meet the second competitive priority preference to improve achievement and high school graduation rates, which the Teaching American History RFP defines as:
(a) Accelerating learning and helping to improve high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and college enrollment rates for high-need students (as defined in this notice).
High-need students and children are defined as:
High-need children and high-need students means children and students at risk of educational failure, such as children and students who are living in poverty, who are English learners, who are far below grade level or who are not on track to becoming college- or career-ready by graduation, who have left school or college before receiving, respectively, a regular high school diploma or a college degree or certificate, who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who are pregnant or parenting teenagers, who have been incarcerated, who are new immigrants, who are migrant, or who have disabilities.
The second way this priority can be met is by:
(b) Accelerating learning and helping to improve high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and college enrollment rates in high-poverty schools (as defined in this notice).
High-poverty school is defined as:
High-poverty school means a school in which at least 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or in which at least 50 percent of students are from low-income families as determined using one of the criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. For middle and high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-poverty school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most currently available data.
The general description of what you need to show as far as need goes in the Teaching American History RFP is as follows:
(a) The magnitude or severity of the problem to be addressed by the proposed project. (b) The magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or the activities to be carried out by the proposed project. (c) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses.
As your evaluator, we would help you design and administer instruments to collect this information. This would help you both identify the needs your grant ought to be constructed to address as well as demonstrating that need in your Teaching American history grant application.

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