FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Contacts: Jason Baran +1-609-683-2428
The American Heritage Society to offer thousands of free resources for teaching American history at 4score.org
Content aligned to new Common Core State Standards, C3 Framework
Princeton, N.J. (September 17, 2013) — The American Heritage Society, with support from Educational Testing Service, will soon launch an innovative Internet-based system of free online historical resources for schoolteachers and students.
Fourscore (4score.org)— the new online resource for Social Studies and English Language Arts teachers — will provide educators with free access to thousands of quality informational and literary texts, primary documents, and instructional resources, enabling teachers to select the best content and tasks for their students. Furthermore, through ETS’s TextEvaluatorSM the content has been tagged by the grade level of instruction for which it is appropriate. History and social studies teachers and other educators can quickly locate quality, grade-appropriate materials.
“This remarkable system provides educators with thousands of America’s primary source documents and essays by leading historians—all categorized by era, subject, geographical location if known, and history teaching units,” says the Society’s CEO Edwin S. Grosvenor. “It is also flexible in that each teacher can create their own customized reading lists for students.”
Tapping into the rich archive of American Heritage Magazine, Fourscore includes thousands of essays by the preeminent historians of the last half century such as Douglas Brinkley, Bruce Catton, Joseph Ellis, Eric Foner, Henry Louis Gates, Pauline Maier, David McCullough, Arthur Schlesinger, and Gordon Wood.
Fourscore also features a unique database of historical documents, images and artifacts from sites and institutions across the country such as Gettysburg, Library of Congress, National Archives, Abraham Lincoln Home, and Valley Forge. Many of the informational texts can be used for teaching English Language Arts.
The extensive instructional tasks and models in Fourscore are aligned to Common Core State Standards and the C3 Framework for social studies and history.
Over 7,000 essays by historians and primary documents display the new cutting edge TextEvaluator metrics from ETS, providing a wealth of information about primary and secondary sources never available before to Social Studies and ELA teachers.
“A key advantage of using the TextEvaluator with Fourscore’s content is that feedback about the sources of comprehension difficulty detected in each text can be communicated to users at two levels of granularity: as a single, overall measure of text complexity, and as a profile of eight component scores to better inform and support student learning,” says ETS VP and Chief Strategy Officer Scott Weaver.
ETS's TextEvaluatorSM (formerly known as SourceRaterSM) capability represents a new, and previously proprietary, approach for modeling text complexity, designed to help test developers evaluate source material for use in developing new reading comprehension passages and items. The TextEvaluator capability combines a large, cognitively based feature set with advanced psychometric techniques in order to provide text complexity classifications that are highly correlated with classifications provided by experienced educators. This feature set extends beyond the limited dimensions of text complexity assessed by other methods (such as sentence length and vocabulary) to encompass text-level cohesion and account for differences between different text genres.
While TextEvaluator was designed to help evaluate content for test questions, it carries broad applicability outside the assessment realm within any domain where people care about the complexity of text being published as is evidenced by this work with the AHS.
“The Heritage Education project is simply remarkable,” says Kathleen Swan, co-director of the C3 Framework project. “I am impressed with the repository of scholarship and the way American Heritage is thinking about pushing media to do more in the classroom. Bringing together content experts, teachers, educators, and instructional technologists will ensure the site is of the highest value for users.”
For more information please visit www.4score.org.
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE ® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org
About the American Heritage Society
The American Heritage Society (AHS) is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit based in Rockville, Maryland, dedicated to connecting American to their shared heritage. The Society publishes American Heritage and Invention & Technology magazines as well as books, and is developing new media resources to assist in teaching K-12 and college students American history, English Language Arts, and STEM subjects. After its completes the acquisitions of assets from the 62-year-old American Heritage Publishing, the Society will be the largest member-based historical organization with some 200,000 members.
Society website: www.AHSociety.org
Magazine website: www.AmericanHeritage.com.