US History


inspiring, accurate history that encourages patriotic citizenship

Our students deserve better

The history instruction of American middle and high school students is in need of a major overhaul. The most recent test administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), sometimes called “The Nation’s Report Card,” shows continuing decline in already low history and geography scores, and flat-lining in civics scores.
 
These subjects are vital to the education of American citizens, yet too often, teachers are not provided the quality instructional materials and preparation they need to properly instruct the next generation. History, especially, is given short shrift or neglected.
 
Quality and accuracy are sorely lacking in the history textbooks and programs of study that dominate American education today, where a combination of incoherence and ideological bias have combined to obscure, and even disparage, the larger meaning of American history. That is one reason our schools are floundering, for all the money and effort that we pour into them.

Our nation requires better

This shameful state of affairs cannot be permitted to continue, without the United States suffering profound and lasting damage. The stakes are just that high.

In the increasingly unhinged quality of our public discourse, we see a growing willingness to disparage our past indiscriminately, a perspective that is as ignorant as it is destructive. When we lose a sense of our past as a vital and worthy heritage, and as the expression of our shared memory as a people, we lose one of the principal sources of our national identity. Continuing along this path, we will cease to know who and what we are, just as surely as individuals suffering from memory loss cease to know who they are.

From there, the path to tyranny is short and well-marked. As George Orwell wisely observed, those who control the past also control the future. Something will fill the vacuum left by the past we have erased, but what? Certainly not truth.

AAT has the answer

AAT has designed a powerful curriculum, in consultation with a team of outstanding scholars, that effectively counters this destructive trend. It helps teachers, parents, and school leaders focus on the content that belongs at the core of a first-rate high school course in U.S. history and the strategies to ensure comprehension. With clear objectives, an outstanding text and an array of supportive resources and activities, it can be used in classrooms, at home and in hybrid settings, with equal effectiveness.

Through its ambitious and rigorously designed instructional materials, AAT aims to fuel student excitement and interest in history and develop a healthy patriotism, abiding respect for American values, and more informed civil discourse.

A patriotic approach that can unite Americans

Our curriculum is designed to educate young Americans to be informed, active, and constructive citizens of their country. It takes a patriotic approach to the study of our collective past, with “patriotic” understood in its fullest and richest sense as something far greater than mere loyalty.
 
Patriotism rightly understood includes respect for dissent and contention, and does not attempt to flatten out differences or wash away failures. But it does take seriously the fundamental moral obligation to honor the remarkable achievements of those who came before us.

The core text: Land of Hope

At the center of AAT’s curriculum is Wilfred McClay's new, highly engaging U.S. history textbook, Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story (2019). Widely regarded as the best up-to-date textbook in American history, Land of Hope provides a truthful narrative history of America with a compelling story line and heroes worth emulating.
 

The Constitution, Declaration, and other original sources

AAT's U.S. History instructional units include carefully selected historical documents that are central to its curriculum, including the U.S. Founding Documents, George Washington’s Farewell Address, and Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. Deep understanding and analysis of such original sources is a key element of AAT's instructional approach.
Calling All Patriotic Citizens in Support of Accurate, Inspiring History!
 
In 2020, AAT received a limited grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to begin work on the U.S. History instructional units for teachers. Completing the full curriculum will require additional support from those who share our belief that

  • The strength of our republic depends on an informed citizenry
  • There is much to celebrate in the accomplishments of our forebears
  • Patriotism requires that we preserve what is good and improve what’s needed to extend the promise of our founding principles and our highest aspirations
  • States, school districts, teachers, and parents deserve an excellent alternative to the incomplete, distorted and diluted U.S. History curricula all too prevalent today
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