National geographic society education foundation

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Cover Sheet


Proposal due March 1, 2005
Date: Target Submission Date: February 15, 2005
Organization Name: Arizona Geographic Alliance Federal ID 860196696

Mailing Address: Arizona State University

Department of Geography, Box 870104

Tempe AZ 85287-0104

Telephone Number: 480-965-5361 FAX Number: 480-965-8313

E-mail address:,,

Website address:

Primary Contact: Ronald I. Dorn with Gale Ekiss and Barbara Trapido-Lurie

Title: Professor of Geography, Co-Coordinator Arizona Geographic Alliance, and Academic Professional

Contact Information: Same as above

Organizational Background: The Arizona Geographic Alliance (AzGA) is Arizona's partnership between the Arizona Department of Education, the National Geographic Society Education Foundation, and Arizona State University. Arizona State University's Geography Department provides AzGA with university space, and faculty and staff support to promote teacher professional development as the most effective and cost-effective instrument for ensuring the next generation of children possesses geography skills and knowledge. We match $50,000 in annual support from the Arizona Department of Education to obtain between $74,000 and over $200,00 in additional support. These financial totals do not include the over 80,000 free maps distributed by National Geographic through the Arizona Geographic Alliance to Arizona's schools or the monetary figure for time teachers spend conducting peer trainings that impact tens of thousands of school children each year.

Submitting in Guidelines Category #2:

Title: High Stakes Standards Alignment: Proving Portability and Relevancy
Project Description: Our 2001-2004 Grosvenor grants focused on the integration of K-8 geography standards with tested elements of the high-stakes curriculum in language arts and mathematics. We anticipate that ongoing revisions in social studies standards will be approved by the Arizona State School Board. Rather than take a Band-Aid approach to fixing the GeoLiteracy and GeoMath curriculum by fixing Microsoft word files and CD delivery systems, we propose to tackle the massive re-articulation systematically and prove the portability of geography. We also propose to assist the Arizona Department of Education by bringing together master world history and world geography teachers to generate test bank questions and appropriate historical maps for the new standards that link world history with world geography.
Project Start Date: September 1, 2005

Project End Date: August 31, 2006

Project Title: High Stakes Standards Alignment: Proving Portability and Relevancy
Applicant Name: Arizona Geographic Alliance
Project Dates: September 1, 2005 to August 31, 2006

NGSEF Grosvenor Grant 2004 - Proposal Budget


NGSEF Support

Match Support

Project Personnel

Gale Ekiss stipend


Cathy Davis supplement



Ronald Dorn, salary


Barbara Trapido-Lurie, salary


Sharon Osborn-Popp Assessment Expert


Ph.D. Student (GK-12 fellow)


Undergraduate student helper


SUBTOTAL Project Personnel



Participant Costs (Teachers)

GeoLiteracy Lesson Revision and Reloading

85 lessons, 8 teachers, $2000 each



GeoMath Lesson Revision and Reloading
85 lessons, 8 teachers, $2000 each



Assessment Piece for World History and World Geography
8 teachers, $2000 each



SUBTOTAL Participant Costs




Dan Hartshorn Consultant Group



$900 Travel supplement to the 6 most dedicated teachers to present Assessment Piece (2) and Revised GeoLiteracy (2) and GeoMath (2) program at NCGE meeting.





1 Cost-sharing contingent upon funding the renewal of ASUs National Science Foundation GK-12 proposal.

2 Salary time will be part of their annual workload agreement with Arizona State University, authorized by the geography department chair Richard Aspinall.

3 Cost-sharing from ADE support for Arizona Geographic Alliance

High Stakes Standards Alignment: Proving Portability and Relevancy
1. Need and Link to Grosvenor Grant Program

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal legislation has led to a condition throughout the country where administrators divide curriculum and teacher training into tested and untested subjects.

"Across all types of testing programs, teachers reported increased time spent on subject areas that are tested and less time on areas not tested...Overall, teachers, regardless of stakes or grade level, feel the greatest pressure from their superintendent."

Pedulla and others, 2003, Perceived Effects of State-Mandated Testing Programs on Teaching and Learning: Findings from a National Survey of Teachers, National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy, p. 114,116

Arizona administrative priorities reflect this national trend with the this trend increasing over time (Olson, 2004. Taking Root, Education Week on the Web, December 8 Edition 24 (15)).
Since geography is an untested subject in Arizona, the Arizona Geographic Alliance (AzGA) received prior Grosvenor Grant support to develop curriculum linking NGS geography education to tested skills in reading and writing (our K-8 "GeoLiteracy" package) and to math (our K-8 "GeoMath" package). Each lesson contains assessments that mirror state-mandated NCLBs-required testing in Arizona.

The GeoLiteracy package has been very well received by administrators and teachers who have been shown and trained in these materials. Preliminary results reveal that GeoLiteracy lessons improve reading scores; this research is being supported by an ongoing March 2004 Grosvenor GeoLiteracy Research grant, using a controlled research design more rigorous than those suggested by the U.S. Department of Education (Whitehurst, G.J., December 2003, Identifying and implementing educational practices supported by rigorous evidence: A User friendly guide, published by U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance).

The GeoMath package has received even more enthusiastic support among Arizona's educational administrators. Our preliminary research on the GeoMath curriculum reveals an improvement in math performance through these lessons (Ekiss and others, in press, Math learning and geography education, Special Issue of Journal of Geography, edited by C. Shearer and D. Rutherford). However, there is need for a more rigorous study assessing the ability of authentic geography lessons, integrating NGS priorities of geography awareness, to help increase teacher attitude towards math instruction as well as student performance on math skills. However, we are faced with a more urgent need than following up on this GeoMath efficacy research.
Arizona's State Superintendent of Public Education, Tom Horne, has made it a priority to revise Arizona's Social Studies Standards to increase their rigor and to articulate them to specific grade levels — rather than broad grade classes. He proposes that revisions occur on a five-year basis. The 2005 revisions are almost complete, and all signs indicate State School Board adoption by May of 2005. Similarly, since development of the GeoLiteracy program, the language arts standards underwent a grade level articulation. On top of these changes, districts are anticipating revising their curriculum in light of a far more detailed set of standards. Rather than take a Band-Aid to each of these issues, we propose a unified proactive strategy.
2. Beneficiaries

There are several different types beneficiaries of the proposed grant. At the individual level, this grant would continue the relevance of the GeoLiteracy and GeoMath lessons for the some NEW 20,000 children experiencing these lessons each year in Arizona, where standards-based geography lessons enrich their lives. At the K-8 grade level, continued relevancy of GeoLiteracy and GeoMath lessons emphasizes the importance of geography in the K-8 curriculum. AzGA teacher trainings have 1874 teachers and some 128,050 students. At the high school level, the beneficiaries would include assisting the Arizona Department of Education in producing assessment packages for the many standards that link World History and World Geography, as well as the rural or small school districts who cannot afford to have the talent to prepare appropriate assessments.

3. Examples of Prior Success in the Proposed Project

a. GeoLiteracy Project: The attached CD is a package of 80+ K through 8 lessons that link the learning of geography with practicing key reading and writing skills in the Language Arts standards.

b. GeoMath Project: The attached CD is a package of 80+ K through 8 lessons that link the learning of geography with practicing key math skills in the Mathematics standards.


tape here GeoLiteracy CD

tape here GeoMath CD

c. High School Asessment: This product does not exist. It will be generated by the master world history and world geography teachers, based on the new social studies standards.

Although we do not know the types of questions that will be generated, we can at least exemplify how maps might play a role. In our initial surveys of high school world history teachers, we found tremendous enthusiasm for the production of maps appropriate for reproduction on tests. We found that teachers had tried to download maps from the Internet, with great frustration over shading and font sizes that were inappropriate and made the map hard for students to read.

One of our grant partners is the cartographer at ASU Geography, Barbara Trapido-Lurie, who will organize her student interns to produce maps requested by the teacher team. We provide here a few illustrations, not to suggest questions, but to simply exemplify to the reviewer how maps might be used in the high school assessment.

The first example of the importance of making maps for the teachers assumes that there will be overlap between world history and geography standards related to migration to the United States. Events in European history generated waves of migration to different parts of the United States at different times. Understanding differences between "push factors" and "pull factors" in the movement of people is one of the core concepts in geography.

This single illustration of "dot" maps probably brings to the mind of the reader questions that we anticipate could relate to several different world history events in Europe that generated excellent examples of "push" factors at different times and places.

We are not trying to push this question on the teacher. The teachers will be the ones who generate the ideas that then generate requests for specific maps. Rather, we present this example simply to demonstrate the flexibility in the types of questions that could be asked, simply by having the ability to present crips and clear graphics.

Another example might be a likely world history standard asking students to describe factors that influenced town locations at specific times in the history of Europe.

This one map could be used to develop questions related to five cities identified on the map:

  • Location A is near an early Viking trading center,where people crossed from the northward-flowing Dvina River to the southward-flowing Dnepr River.

  • Location B is close to the eastern border of Poland, a short distance upstream from Warsaw, the capital. Control of this area was important for the security of both Poland and Russia at various times.

  • Location C is probably the best choice for a fort.It is Wien (pronounced VEEen,and spelled Vienna in English). Vienna was a Roman outpost, a medieval city, the central city of the Habsburg Empire, the capital of modern Austria, and now has offices for the United Nations and the European Union. Some people also consider Vienna to be close to a “dividing line ” between predominantly Christian Europe and the Islamic world centered in Arabia.

  • Location D is Venice, a key ocean port for thousands of years. Its importance as a trading center was limited only by the relatively small size of the area behind it – one a continental scale. This location is surrounded by high mountains that are difficult to cross.

  • The square identifies the location of Istanbul today, and the questions related to this particular location are plentiful.

Now consider a hypothetical World Geography standard asking students to describe factors that influence the location and development of cities. By generalizing the above map of Europe with these same cities and spinning it around, questions could ask students to apply their knowledge about this basic geographic concept.

This one map could be used to ask a number of questions about the nature of cities in different settings.

  • Location A has good connections to the island – it is only a short distance up a river that flows into the ocean on the “invaders ” side of the continent. On the other hand, it is not located directly between the farmers and the northwest island, and it does not have the site advantage of being in a region of good cropland

  • Location B has a better site than A, because has a river for fresh water and good cropland for food. The river flows to the west, and there are mountains just north of the location. As a result, it is harder for the raiders to get to this location than for the farmers to reach it with soldiers and supplies.

  • Location C has a good situation,where a large river goes between two ranges of high mountains. Whatever country controls Location C probably can control the movements of traders (and armies), since it is hard to carry supplies over high mountains (but remember that Hannibal crossed the Alps to attack Rome!) On the other hand, the place does not have much cropland nearby, and it might be prone to flooding because of the narrow valley and nearby mountains.

  • Site D has a great site,with plenty of water, cropland, and an ocean-port location. On the other hand, it may be harder to defend than the other locations,because it is also vulnerable to attack by sea. It is also much easier to reach from the homeland of the raiders than from the farmers.

In the end, it will up to the teachers to isolate the key standards and performance objectives and to request appropriate maps for their questions.

4. Specific Goals

The following table provides general goals and how they will be measured.

Program Goal

What Measure

Why Outcome is Achievable

1. Edit 80-plus GeoLiteracy and 80-plus GeoMath lessons to integrate with new Geography standards and Language Arts standards

• Number of lessons edited to achieve integration

In our "cross-walk" with the new language arts standards, the relevance between geography and reading/writing increased.

2. Providing the most current content and the most effective instructional strategies.

• Number of lessons where content and supplemental material is updated
• Review new NGS materials on Literacy and Math for inclusion in revised lessons
• Evaluation forms by teachers conducting lesson revisions

The Ph.D. student (supported by the National Science Foundation GK-12 grant) and Ron Dorn will work with the teachers to provide new copyright free resources (e.g. animations, readings, and images). Gale Ekiss and the Ph.D. student will also review newly published NGS materials and facilitate teacher examination of these new materials for inclusion in the lessons. Barbara Trapido-Lurie and her cartography students will work with teachers on needed map revisions and map additions.

3. Develop cross-walks between old Arizona geography standards, new Arizona geography standards. Develop cross-walks between Arizona and Michigan geography, language arts and math standards for grades K-8.

• The number of lessons that can be "viewed" on the web by Arizona and Michigan teachers as specific to their state standards
• Successful production of separate CD for Arizona and Michigan to permit off-line lesson access

The programming language of php is designed to facilitate such cross-walks, where the programming delivers only those parts of the lesson relevant to the state where the lesson will be taught
The programming language of php delivers webpages that can be exported for CD viewing.

4. Monitor lesson access on GeoLiteracy and GeoMath lessons

• The number of lessons accessed

• The new lesson delivery software will monitor and generate statistics specific to the state of access (in this case Michigan, Arizona, and white board entries of other locations)

5. Development of high school assessment Items

• Number of total assessment items with the goal of four parallel assessment packages of 75 item tests

• Number of districts and teacher newsletters where assessment items advertised in Arizona

• Number of "hits" on the publicly available assessment package

• We have surveyed our high school teachers that teach World History and World Geography courses and have received an enthusiastic response from our best and brightest of their interest in developing this test

• Use of the website will be monitored privately and be made available to the alliance network

5. Detailed Project Description
Overhaul of Lesson Engine: The overhaul of the Arizona Geographic Alliance lesson entry engine would involve multiple tasks. We divide these into required to make the project work and those that could be cut to reduce the budget
• develop automated cross-walk of old Arizona geography standards to new AZ geography standards to seamlessly transfer GeoLiteracy lessons, GeoMath lessons, and over 250 other lessons on the website of the Arizona Geographic Alliance to seamlessly transfer lessons for different "users"
• develop automated cross-walk of Arizona, Michigan, and National Language Arts Standards to seamlessly transfer lessons for different "users"
• develop automated cross-walk of Arizona, Michigan, and National Math Standards to seamlessly transfer lessons for different "users"
• develop automated export of lesson packages so that they can be viewed on CD for off-line Arizona and Michigan users
• develop a "counter" for the lessons so that use can be monitored graphically at a non-public website and track the geography and identifiable characteristics of the users


• develop a first-generation system whereby different states (or countries) could voluntarily enter their own cross-walks for geography, language arts, and math standards such that their teachers could access the lessons. This initial "piloting" system would certainly require refinement in a national-level grant, but it could provide a valuable demonstration of demand and feasibility for such a national-level proposal.
The next two items are to make geography as "user friendly" as possible for the district coordinators. Development of these items would require an additional expenditure of $28,000 in the grant request:
• develop a test-maker engine for the publicly available high school assessments and the purchased assessments. For the publicly available assessments, the student/parent could take the test themselves and see interactive responses. For the password protected parallel assessment items, the teacher or district could prepare the test (with a check-box system) for downloading as a PDF file, along with a download of the key (and explanation for student).
• develop a test-grader engine (with password) for the district or school parallel assessment items. After the teacher or district prepares the test and sends a list of student IDs (anonymous number 001-0001 to 999-9999, where the first three digits identifies the district/school and the second four identifies the student) to take the test. The students are then directed by their teacher/district to a password-protected site to take the test. A file is then e-mailed to the teacher/district showing the grade of the student, including answers for each of the selected test questions).
Selection teachers for GeoLiteracy Revision Team and Process: K-8 teachers will be given an opportunity to apply. Gale Ekiss will monitor the selection of the team, and the completion of tasks with the assistance of the GK-12 fellow who will ensure consistency of language and style.
Selection teachers for GeoMath Revision Team and Process: K-8 teachers will be given an opportunity to apply. Gale Ekiss will monitor the selection of the team, and the completion of tasks with the assistance of the GK-12 fellow who will ensure consistency of language and style.

Selection of teachers for High School Assessment Team and Process: All high school teachers will be given an opportunity to apply. Gale Ekiss will monitor the selection of the team, and the completion of tasks with the assistance of sssessement specialist , Sharon Osborn-Popp, who will train the team in NCLB testing issues. The team will work closely with ASU cartographer Barbara Trapido-Lurie to develop historical map items that are appropriate for questions.
6. Difference from Present Practice
AzGAs present strategy of GeoMath trainings was discussed in our original Grosvenor GeoMath grant proposal and its plan.
7. Program Visibility
Results of the workshops and evaluation data will be disseminated to local educators in the form of the Arizona Geographic Alliance newsletter, sent to a mailing list of more than 3003 teachers and administrators across Arizona. The findings will also be presented at the statewide GeoFest and Arizona Council for Social Studies meetings in Arizona, at no cost to the NGSEF. The budget includes a request to promote dissemination of the idea nationally at the National Council for Geographic Education and to the National Council for Social Studies annual meetings. We will also submit the evaluation data compilation to the internationally respected "Journal of Geography" -- a serial devoted to dissemination of the latest research in K-16 geography education.
8. Program Leadership: We believe AzGAs leadership team of (Ekiss and Comeaux, Davis, Dorn, Mings) have established a track-record of carrying out these complicated projects.

Although we do not know what teachers would be selected, it is important that the reviewer understand that a large number master K-12 teachers in Arizona are excited by this project. The following members of the Arizona Council for Social Studies or Arizona Geographic Alliance have expressed interest in applying to development a high school assessment:

Ken de Masi, World History teacher, Mesa Vista High School

Michael Fogel, World History teacher, Chino Valley High School, Chino Valley

John Gerace, AP Geography and World History teacher, Central HIgh School, Phoenix

Charles Kennedy, Social Studies Coordinator, Mesa Unified School District

Susan Mayhew, World History teacher, Marana High School, Tucson

Jane Morgan, World Geography teacher, Corona del Sol High School, Tempe

Kenneth Mossman, Comparative Religion teacher, St. Gregory College Prep School, Tucson

Jeffrey Quinn, World History teacher, Westview High School, Avondale

Christina Valenzuela, World History teacher, Tolleson High School District

Barbara Williams, World History, Philosophy and Debate teacher, Buena High School, Sierra Vista

The following members of the GeoLiteracy and GeoMath Authors would be interested i n receiving applications to participate in the revision of lessons to fit the new standards:

Kathryn Anderson - Middle School, Roskruge Middle School in Tucson

Michael Baron - 6th grade teacher at Christensen Elementary in Flagstaff

Jane Chambers – 5th grade teacher at Pueblo del Sol Elementary School in Sierra Vista

Sandra Cloyd – Kindergarten teacher at Tomahawk Elementary School in Phoenix

Gail Gorry, Principal, Frontier Elementary, Payson

Wayne Gorry, 2nd Grade teacher, Julia Randal Elementary, Payson

John Halverson – 7th and 8th grade teacher at Desert Sands Middle School in Phoenix

Patricia Hutchinson – Grades 3 – 8 Gifted Program at Cottonwood Middle School in Cottonwood

Sara Jenkins – Language Arts coordinator in the Avondale Elementary School District in Avondale

Penney Plakproth, 4th Grade Teacher, Heatherbrae Elemenmtary, Avondale

Kathy Knowler – 1st grade teacher at Desert View Learning Center in Paradise Valley

Jeannine Kuropatkin – 7th grade teacher at Rhodes Junior High School in Mesa

Dawn Larson – K-3 teacher, Holiday Park Elementary, Cartwright

Julie Leckman – 5th grade teacher, Madison #1 Middle School, Madson

Julie Leftofsky – 2nd grade teacher at Kyrene de los Lagos Elementary School in Phoenix

Gretchen Loken – Middle School teacher, Copper Ridge Middle School, Scottsdale

Barbara Martin – 6th grade teacher at Apollo Middle School in Tucson

Sandra Martinez – 1st grade teacher at Los Ninos Elementary School in Tucson

Joanne Munson, 4th grade Teacher, Queen of Peace

Sheila Nice – 6th grade teacher at Altadena Middle School in Phoenix

Susan Nixon – 2nd grade teacher, John F. Long Elementary, Cartwright

Mimi Norton – 2nd grade teacher at Solano Elementary School in Phoenix

Judy Phillips – 3rd grade teacher at Pueblo del Sol Elementary School in Sierra Vista

Barbara Post – 4th grade teacher in the Washington School District in Phoenix

Dennis Rees – 6th grade teacher at Oakwood Elementary School in Peoria

Barbara Stout – 7th grade teacher, Shepherd Junior High, Mesa

Diana Valenzeula – 6th grade teacher, Bisbee Middle School, Bisbee

Carol Warren – 3rd grade teacher, Sacaton Elementary and Arizona Department of Education

Jim White – K-3 teacher, Black Mountain Elementary, Cave Creek

Cheryl Wiens – 7th grade teacher, Madison #1 Middle School, Madison
9. Timetable

Spring 2005: Upon learning of a funding decision, we would immediately take applications from teachers for revision teams and schedule workshops.

Spring and Summer 2005: Dan Hartshorn has agreed to start programming revisions upon learning of the funding decision, and then bill after the official start date of the grant — permitting teachers to carry out the revised lesson entry.

Academic Year 2005- 2006: Teachers carry out revisions and presented results at Arizona and NCGE national conference

September 1, 2006: Final Report presented to NGSEF.
10. Organizational Partners: Our partners providing matching support include the Arizona Department of Education, Arizona State University, and the National Science Foundation.
10. How improvements in student learning will be evaluated: This grant does not request funds to monitor student learning directly, but rather the number of GeoMath and GeoLiteracy lessons taught to students each year and the number of teachers trained in these lessons. The world history/world geography course is a universal high school course. The test bank items would aid districts in transitioning to the new standards, and districts would monitor improvements in student learning at the high school level.

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