Contact Us

MarkJarrett, Ph.D.
10 Folin Lane
Lafayette, CA 94549

Tel. 925-906-9742
Fax 925-939-6557

Gateway to U.S. History with
Revised Civics and Government Standards


What truly distinguishes Gateway to U.S. History with Revised Civics and Government Standards is its unique combination of the following:

  • The closest possible alignment to Florida's learning standards
  • A compelling narrative
  • A chapter organization that facilitates learning
  • Practice test questions that closely mirror released End-of-Course (“EOC”) items

All of this lays a solid groundwork for performing well on the EOC in U.S. History at the end of the school year.

Based on the landmark findings of the National Research Council’s How People Learn, Robert Marzano’s Classroom Instruction that Works, and other recent research, Gateway to U.S. History is especially designed to facilitate student learning. Both the book and the online program help to unmask student preconceptions, organize information around key concepts, and take a metacognitive approach to skills instruction. The structure of this resource eases the assimilation of new learning schemata and provides opportunities for students to reinforce and apply their learning. At the same time, it introduces all of Florida’s Benchmarks for United States History in a logical, coherent and comprehensive way.

In this book/online program, your students follow a chronological narrative of the most important events in U.S. history from the Civil War to the present day. Each chapter begins with a list of the Benchmarks that it covers and a word wall of important terms, names and concepts based on the Benchmarks, Benchmark Clarifications and Content Focus terms in the 2012 Item Specifications guide. This section is now entitled “Content Focus Vocabulary in This Chapter,”  placing added emphasis on those words and phrases that Florida students really need to know. This section is followed by the Florida “Keys” to Learning—a one-page advance organizer of numbered paragraphs that provides a complete overview of the chapter. The Content Focus Vocabulary terms are  bolded whenever they appear throughout the chapter—in the Florida Keys to Learning, the chapter text and the review cards.

The chapter text presents important concepts, events and details—based on Florida’s Benchmarks, Benchmark Clarifications and Content Focus terms—in clear and precise language that students can easily follow.  Special pop-ups and highlighting in yellow point out information that is tested on the EOC. Essential but non-tested content, such as the role of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during the New Deal or the European background to the outbreak of World War II, appears on a blue background.

Student activities, known as The Historian’s Apprentice, appear at the end of most major sections.  Some of these activities ask students to interpret primary source documents such as President Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural Address and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”  Many of these primary sources--such as excerpts from Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, Shirley Chisholm on the E.R.A., and President George W. Bush's address to the nation on September 11, 2001—are based on Florida's B.E.S.T. ELA standards. Other Historian’s Apprentice activities require students to role play or to conduct their own research and present their findings to their classmates. 

At the end of each chapter, students will find “Connections” between the chapter content and Florida’s newly revised Civics and Government (CG) standards. Often there is also a short chronology. This is followed by a concept map, a complete set of chapter review cards, and practice test questions to help students master the content as well as prepare for the EOC assessment. Our  practice test questions closely mirror the released questions on the Florida Department of Education’s Items Specification guide.

Gateway to U.S. History with Revised Civics and Government Standards is divided into six main units. Each unit covers several closely related chapters and provides additional vocabulary exercises and a paragraph frame for students to complete.

Each major concept is thus identified and presented to students in multiple ways: in the list of Benchmarks that open the chapter, in the Content Focus Vocabulary in this Chapter, in the Florida “Keys” to Learning, in the chapter text, in The Historian’s Apprentice activities, in the chapter concept map, in the review cards, and finally in the practice test questions that close the chapter. Using these different features, teachers are able to provide differentiated instruction, while students are able to assimilate, apply and reinforce new information for an authentic learning experience. The many Historian’s Apprentice activities and the additional activities suggested in our Teacher’s Guide provide many opportunities for students to engage in analyzing primary and secondary sources, conduct their own research, and present their findings in exciting and challenging ways.
In the online program, your students can highlight text and make their own annotations, which they can keep for the rest of the school year. Teachers can assign student work and end-of-chapter tests. The online version also includes audio files and will automatically score and report students' responses on the end-of-chapter tests.

The major strengths of our program are its laser-sharp focus on Florida’s Benchmarks, its logical organization, its engaging and cutting-edge historical narrative, and its many special features to facilitate student learning. 

The honors edition of Gateway to U.S. History, available online, includes an additional online chapter with a Capstone project.

Our new “enhanced” online edition provides an additional series of scaffolded activities using excerpts from primary sources. Each activity includes historical background, before- and during-reading tasks, an excerpt from a primary source with a word helper, and post-reading questions. Several primary sources are presented together to provide multiple perspectives of an event or to show how an event unfolds over time.


  • 189.50 plus 10% shipping for a set of 10 books
  • $9.95 per student for a one-year license to the online program
  • $12.95 per student for a one-year license to the enhanced online program with primary source activities

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Evidence for Gateway to U.S. History

The design of Gateway to U.S. History with Revised Civics and Government Standards follows the research-based strategies of How People Learn (National Research Council, 1999), How Students Learn: History in the Classroom (National Research Council, 2005), and Robert Marzano et. al, Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (ASCD, 2001).

Each chapter begins with an advance organizer. Part of this advance organizer introduces new vocabulary. A second part of the advance organizer (Florida “Keys” to Learning) provides an overview of the chapter before the student is exposed to details. Information in the text is then divided into meaningful sections, with student activities at the end of each major section. At the end of each chapter, there is a concept map to help students tie together ideas. Students thus have repeated exposure to both concepts and key details (see, e.g., Marzano, Classroom Instruction that Works, pp. 132-137). There are also vocabulary exercises in the unit activities at the end of several chapters based on the research of Janet Allen, Inside Words (Stenhouse, 2007).

Empirical evidence suggests that interventions with earlier editions of Gateway to U.S. History were highly effective. Performance on the statewide EOC in U.S. History can be seen as one means of measuring student abilities in reading and logical reasoning, since this test requires students to read and apply their knowledge and reasoning skills in answering each question. Florida Transformative Education has collected data on some of the schools purchasing its books in the first years of the last adoption cycle. The data in the following case studies is based on results posted on the Florida Department of Education website and our own sales data.

Case Study: Mater Academy Lakes High
During the school years of 2015 and 2016, each 11th grade student in Mater Academy Lakes was provided with a copy of Gateway to U.S. History. During these years, Mater Academy Lakes students surpassed the district’s mean score by 13 points (2015) and 19 points (2016). From spring 2014 to spring 2016, Mater Academy Lakes High students’ overall passing rate increased from 71% to 84%.

Case Study: Doral Academy Charter High
In spring 2014, the students of Doral Academy Charter High each had a copy of Gateway. Their mean score surpassed the mean score of 11th graders in their district by 11 points. This was followed by strong performance in spring 2015, when Doral Academy students surpassed their district’s mean score by 17 points.
Case Study: New Dimensions High
In 2015, New Dimensions High in the Osceola County School District purchased one copy of Gateway to U.S. History for each 11th grade student. From spring 2015 to spring 2016, New Dimensions students’ overall passing rate rose from 65% in spring 2014 to a passing rate of 91% in 2016 (a 40% increase over two years).

Case Study: G-Star School of the Arts
The teachers and students of G-Star School of the Arts in Palm Beach County turned to Gateway to U.S. History as their principal printed resource. They maintained a high passing rate and saw gains in their mean score. In 2015, their 212 students had a mean score of 415. In 2016, their 267 students had a mean score of 420, followed by a mean score of 421 in 2017.

Case Study: Pahokee Middle-Senior
In spring 2014, the students of Pahokee Middle-Senior in the School District of Palm Beach County had a mean score of 379 on the EOC. After Pahokee Middle-Senior students were provided with one copy each of Gateway to U.S. History from 2015-2016, there were significant improvements in their mean scores. From spring 2014 to spring 2016, Pahokee students’ passing rate improved by 145%. 

School Year 2014: School Passing Rate: 22%; District Passing Rate: 70% 
School Year 2015: School Passing Rate: 35%; District Passing Rate: 69% 
School Year 2016: School Passing Rate: 54%; District Passing Rate: 69%

Case Study: John I. Leonard High
In spring 2015, the teachers and students of John I. Leonard High in Palm Beach County School District turned to Gateway to U.S. History as one of their primary printed sources. Their mean scores on the U.S. History EOC improved consistently from spring 2014 to spring 2016, going from 391 to 401, a 10-point improvement.

These case studies demonstrate that the design of Gateway to U.S. History had a statistically positive effect on a relevant outcome (US History EOC scores) in helping students to achieve success.


To see a PowerPoint presentation about The Gateway to US History, click below:

To see the correlations between the state’s learning standards and the new Gateway to U.S. History, click below:

To see a list of primary sources in Gateway to U.S. History, click below: