AHA Announcements

Keep up with the latest AHA activity supporting history and historical thinking in all fields and professions.

  • AHA Issues Action Alert Concerning Proposed History Standards for Virginia (February 2023)

    Feb 01, 2023 - 

    The agenda for the February meeting of the Virginia State Board of Education (VBOE), scheduled for 9:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, February 2, suggests that state Superintendent Jillian Balow has decided to proceed without consideration of the December collaborative combined history standards developed and endorsed by the AHA in partnership with VASCD and VASSLC. The AHA has sent the following message to its members in Virginia.

  • AHA Sends Letter to US Secretary of State Urging Assistance with Safe Return of Pierre Buteau (January 2023)

    Jan 27, 2023 - 

    The AHA has sent a letter to US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken regarding the January 24 abduction of Professor Pierre Buteau, president of the Société Haïtienne d’Histoire, de Géographie et de Géologie. “We recognize that the crisis of domestic insecurity in Haiti goes well beyond the fate of a single individual,” the AHA writes. “Understanding Haiti’s history is an essential element of any viable long-term response to this crisis, and Professor Buteau has devoted his professional life to bringing such understanding to bear on the challenge of re-founding a democratic state in his native land. On behalf of the American historical community, we appeal to you to use your good offices at this difficult time in Haiti’s history to do whatever is possible to help secure the safe release of Professor Buteau.”

  • AHA Supports Collaborative History Standards for Virginia (January 2023)

    Jan 26, 2023 - 

    The American Historical Association has monitored with increasing concern Virginia’s history and social studies standards revisions process. On February 2, the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) will discuss whether to accept draft standards developed by the AHA and our collaborators for first review, or to move forward with an alternative put forward by the politically appointed state superintendent. We encourage testimony at the hearing and/or to submit written comments in support of the AHA-endorsed draft document.

  • AHA Signs On to American Anthropological Association Letter Opposing Appointees to New College of Florida Governing Board (January 2023)

    Jan 25, 2023 - 

    The AHA has signed onto a letter from the American Anthropological Association opposing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s appointment of six new members to the New College of Florida governing board. “The brazen aspiration of transforming a nationally ranked public honors college into a college along the lines of the private evangelical Christian Hillsdale College is especially alarming and appears to be nothing more than an orchestrated attack on academic integrity.”

  • AHA Sends Letters Opposing Proposed Elimination of History Major at Marymount University (January 2023)

    Jan 25, 2023 - 

    The AHA has sent letters to Marymount University president Irma Becerra, provost Hesham El-Rewini, Faculty Council president Sarah Ficke, and Board of Trustees chair Edward Bersoff opposing the proposed elimination of the history major at the university. “The AHA has seen this approach to prioritization and restructuring before, and the results have been detrimental to students. . . . Overwhelming evidence shows that employers seek the kind of skills a history degree can provide,” the AHA wrote. “This elimination is an especially wrongheaded shift at a time when civic leaders from all corners of the political landscape have lamented the lack of historical knowledge of American citizens. Offering a history major is standard at comprehensive universities, and the elimination of the history major would place Marymount far outside the mainstream of its peer institutions.”

  • AHA Signs Onto CIE Letter Urging Title VI Funding for 2023 (January 2023)

    Jan 11, 2023 - 

    The AHA signed onto a letter from the Coalition for International Education asking leaders in the US Senate and House of Representatives for “robust funding for HEA-Title VI, International Education, and Fulbright-Hays programs.” In addition to “strengthen[ing] the key Title VI foundational programs that address the nation’s critical and expanding needs for deep expertise in foreign languages, world regions and international business,” the letter states, this funding “will incentivize research and innovation in U.S. international education capacity, organization and delivery to meet 21st century challenges, as well as expand international and foreign language education to traditionally underserved students and institutions.”

  • AHA Issues Guidelines on Broadening the Definition of Historical Scholarship (January 2023)

    Jan 05, 2023 - 

    The AHA has issued Guidelines on Broadening the Definition of Historical Scholarship. These guidelines lay the foundation for a broad expansion of what constitutes historical scholarship.

  • AHA Collaborates on Proposed Virginia History and Social Science Draft Standards (December 2022)

    Dec 30, 2022 - 

    The American Historical Association, the Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium, and the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development “have collaborated to share their collective knowledge, experience, and expertise” to draft proposed history and social science standards for K–12 schools. Our work responds to the Virginia Board of Education’s (VBOE) determination at its recent meeting that neither of the two documents on the table were satisfactory; a new draft was needed that would combine the two proposals with reference to the existing (2015) standards. We are grateful to our partners for inviting the AHA to participate in the standards revision process.

    Brief Background:

    In October, the AHA sent a letter to the Virginia Department of Education urging adoption of draft standards of learning for history and social science submitted in August, and reiterating the AHA’s offer to assist if revisions were necessary. In November, the AHA encouraged historians to testify at a VBOE hearing that would consider the August proposal and a new document that was deeply flawed, rooted partly in the ill-fated federal “1776 Commission“ report (2021). The AHA’s letter warned that “a new version of revised standards, dated November 11, would create substantial gaps in the knowledge, historical thinking skills, and habits of mind taught to Virginia students.”

    “As the largest organization of professional historians in the world, the AHA can provide expertise and insights into history education at all levels, and we were happy to be helpful,” AHA executive director James Grossman told the Virginia Mercury. The new draft standards, which are expected to come before the Virginia Board of Education in January, were also featured in articles from Virginia Public Media and DC News Now.

  • AHA on Virginia Social Studies Standards Revisions Process (November 2022)

    Nov 16, 2022 - 

    The AHA encourages testimony before the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) about the state’s social studies standards process. “In October, the AHA sent a letter to the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) (and to each of its members individually) commending the draft standards that the VBOE considered at its August meeting and offering our assistance with the process....Unfortunately, the VBOE seems prepared to possibly choose a set of draft Standards of Learning that have been substantially altered in ways that are fundamentally at odds with the AHA's criteria and the best practices of history and social studies education. A new version of revised standards, dated November 11, would create substantial gaps in the knowledge, historical thinking skills, and habits of mind taught to Virginia students. The likely result: serious shortcomings in student understanding of American history in particular and historical thinking in general. This is not the way to create a thoughtful and informed citizenry.”

  • Julia Young Represents AHA at Inauguration of Catholic University of America President Peter K. Kilpatrick (November 2022)

    Nov 15, 2022 - 

    On November 11, AHA member Julia Young (Catholic Univ. of America) attended the inauguration of Peter K. Kilpatrick as the 16th president of the Catholic University of America as a representative for the AHA.