History Advocates

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We approached UC Berkeley in early 2015 and met with the Dean of Humanities, Dean Cascardi as well as Department Heads of History, Near Eastern Studies and AHMA (Ancient History, Mediterranean Archaeology) to inquire and encourage a Chair in Ancient Iranian Studies.  When the university signaled that they are ready for funding we approached potential funding sources, which culminated in the generous donation of Ms. Bita Daryabari to a Presidential Chair in Iranian Studies.

(Bita Daryabari Presidential Chair in Iranian Studies announcement)

We attended the October 8th, 2015, meeting of the State of California's Instructional Quality Commission's History-Social Science Subject Matter committee presenting our edits to the framework regarding the coverage of the Mossadegh era in Iran, arguing against new and arbitrary designations used to denote the Persian Gulf.

We attended the December 18th, 2014, meeting of the State of California's Instructional Quality Commission’s History–Social Science Subject Matter Committee, in Sacramento, presenting our edits regarding the inadequate coverage of Persian history in the history-social science framework. (revised framework draft incorporating edits suggested by History Advocates )

We are currently in contact with Senator Loni Hancock and with Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, who are both in support of our efforts in revising the California School Board content standards.

 English text of History Advocates interview with Soheila Vahdati (iranian.com).

 Persian text of History Advocates interview with Soheila Vahdati (gooya.com).

May 2014 Interview with KPFA highlighting issues with history curricula and ancient history (Audio).

BBC Persian article (dated May 11, 2014) on History Advocates and its efforts appears here.

Launch of online petition in support of California Senate Bill 1057 (link to petition is here). 

Multiple school districts within the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including the Berkeley, Oakland and Contra Costa Unified School Districts, have been alerted to the shortcomings of both the current standards and the history textbooks, as well as the upcoming revisions to the standards.

In conjunction with the groundbreaking U.S. tour of the iconic Cyrus Cylinder, History Advocates along with the San Francisco Asian Art and the J. Paul Getty Museums issued a joint letter to the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Outreach to Teachers Curriculum Institute (TCI), the publisher of "History Alive!," a widely used textbook in middle schools across the country, has resulted in TCI providing teacher supplements and reevaluating the contents of the textbook.

A letter addressed to the California State Board of Education, endorsed by a number of renowned scholars, has initiated collaborative work that is currently underway between ancient Persian history scholars and the California State Board of Education to revise and update current state standards.

Contact Us At:

[email protected]