Our Work

Debating U.S. History (DUSH) is a comprehensive college-readiness curriculum for a U.S. History and Government Regents-aligned course (History 5 and 6) and a unique professional learning community supporting teachers to adapt the curriculum to their students’ needs based on analysis of student work.

Initially funded as a pilot in 2013 by the Tortora Sillcox Foundation, the Debating U.S. History curriculum has been developed in collaboration with participating teachers and implemented in dozens of New York City Department of Education schools as part of the CUNY Office of K-16 Initiatives’ effort to better align high school curriculum with college expectations and bridge academic gaps between high school and college learning.

Participating students will enter debates around crucial issues facing Americans and defend their interpretations through the use of historical evidence. The history-specific skills cultivated throughout the curriculum align with 11th and 12th grade college and career readiness standards and with the forthcoming edition of the Social Studies Regents Exams, centered on evaluating the reliability of sources. The component skills used in strong argumentative and expository essays are explicitly modeled and rehearsed throughout the course in order to support students to do their best work.