You Gotta Fight...for Your Hist'ry

My apologies to Beastie Boys. And to anyone who will now have their song stuck in your head all day. And to anyone who hates wordplay in titles. I couldn’t help myself, apparently. If it’s any consolation, I do have the song firmly wedged in my brain (even Toni Basil’s “Oh, Mickey” hasn’t been able to dislodge it).

Two weeks ago, Trailheads focused on the Pennsylvania History Bill of Rights and reported that people who visited sites on the Trails of History on Charter Day were asked to share their opinion on these rights by voting.

The results are in. Almost 1500 votes were cast on March 14. Each voter had up to 3 sticky notes with which to indicate their support, so that’s at least 500 people (I think).

Receiving 24% of votes cast: Current and future generations are assured that historical resources are preserved for their enjoyment and use.

22%: Museums, historical societies, and historic sites receive adequate public and private support to maintain high standards of stewardship and public access.

19%: Pennsylvania’s students understand history in the context of local, national, and world events.

17%: Communities retain their historic character that is essential to attracting and retaining residents, businesses, and visitors.

11%: Citizens have access to the permanent records of government and the permanently valuable documents which tell the history of the Commonwealth.

8%: The Commonwealth maintains a competitive position as a premier tourism destination for heritage travelers.

Karen Guenther, a professor at Mansfield University (and a former PHMC intern), asked the students in her Teaching Secondary Social Studies class to vote on the Bill of Rights. Not surprisingly, they gave the most votes to "Students understand history in context." The rest of the rights were ranked in the following order: "adequate public and private support"; "historical resources are preserved"; "access to...records"; "communities retain...historic character"; and "premier tourism destination." (Thank you to Karen and her students for sharing in this effort.)

Many of you have responded to the Trailheads poll (to the right of your screen near the top of the blog)—way more than any poll we have put up in the past. Because the response has been so good, the life of the poll has been extended 2 weeks to give more of you a chance to exercise your franchise. To see where the voting currently stands, click on “Show results” at the bottom of the poll.

For Trailheads who want another way to show support for the History Bill of Rights, you can now become a fan on Facebook (or if Facebook has already done away with that feature by the time you are reading this, then please "like" us). Tell your friends.

Thank you to those who have already voted and shared this information. We don’t take it for granted.


Karen said...

Thanks for the kudos, Amy. I would like to thank my students for participating in the poll: Casey Baker, Alex Bower, Jillian Brosnan, Bill Butterfield, Jordan Collum, Talitha Coolbaugh, Stephanie Crane, Tricia Dowling, Bryn Dunham, Chris Fieno, Mike Hansen, Patrick Hare, Devin Heim, Jessica Hurlburt, Jay Rouse, and Ryan Shelp.

Meanwhile, I've got "Philadelphia Freedom" by Elton John stuck in my head now (not the Beastie Boys--I'm obviously from a different generation).

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