(CNN) If students fail history, does it matter?

Test results released in June showed that fewer than _____ of all students are “proficient” in American history.

Many of the fourth grade students asked about Lincoln on the tests could identify him, but few could say why he was an important president.

You need to guess the percentage to be placed in the blank first; then read it all.[/i]

Print Friendly

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Education, History, Teens / Youth

8 comments on “(CNN) If students fail history, does it matter?

  1. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    As a historian, I am both appalled and not surprised. The day I started college, I knew I was going to be a history major. To get into college, I took the SAT, ACT, and a college entrance exam. I was never [i]once[/i] in any of those tests asked a single question about history or political science or civics. Granted, this was 15 years ago or so, but things haven’t changed.

  2. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    Which, I will add, I thought was a complete crock, because all academic scholarships were based on those tests. So, I felt like I got ripped off because my entire academic scholarship was based on tests that had absolutely nothing to do with the field of study I was going into.

  3. Cennydd13 says:

    Why is it so vitally important that history be taught in our schools? Well, the answer should be perfectly obvious: [b]So that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past![/b] I keep drumming that into my granddaughters’ heads, and their teachers’ heads, too.

    One of them told me recently that our schools don’t have the proper books for teaching American History, for example, and it turns out that she was right. I’ve got books in my own library that the schools can’t get, nor can our public library! Books telling of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Dr Benjamin Franklin, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Supreme Court justices, and sundry other subjects such as the Louisiana Purchase, of Lewis and Clark, the Mexican War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, etc.

    We Americans know less of our own country’s history than people of other countries know theirs, and that’s deplorable!

  4. paradoxymoron says:

    It’s deliberate. There’s no way that people could be convinced to espouse multiculturalism, and the idea that all cultures are equally good, unless they have no idea what our own culture is. They’re also completely ignorant about free market enterprise, and the source of our prosperity, which is a major reason why people, especially the young, voted for Obama.

  5. sophy0075 says:

    Does it matter? Look at the mess our Nation is in right now. It is those umpteen percent of people who don’t know their history, US and world, who are the majority of the electorate.

  6. David Hein says:

    One good thing I’ve noticed about the study of history is that, even though young people are often uninterested, older people are often very interested–and eager to learn more. AND the older people now interested were often once the young people not interested. It’s just a fact that as people gain more history–having made choices of their own, having established a place in an interesting little community, having gained a sense of identity within a larger whole–they get more interested in the larger world of space and time within which they fit.

    Yes, as a historian, I teach 18-year-olds, and it’s often an uphill (though not impossible) struggle. But I also occasionally give a lecture to an older audience, and the response is invariably gratifying.

    A few months ago, I joined Tom Clemens and Dennis Frye (local Civil War experts) in a day-long program on the Civil War in Washington County, MD (site of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam; location also of St James School), and the large audience was well informed, actively engaged, and … predominantly white-haired.

    I suspect, hopefully, that many of today’s uninformed and uninterested young people will in a few decades be reading history, going on bus tours, joining their local historical society, talking to their children about history, and … bemoaning the lack of historical knowledge of “kids today.”

  7. Cennydd13 says:

    You’d be surprised at how, once they got their hands on books such as those that I have in my library, my granddaughters found that they were indeed interesting and fascinating to read. Sometimes, all it takes is a little spark……………..

  8. Stefano says:

    without even looking I’m going to estimate 12% ( 1 in 8 ) or less. Now, onto the article. See you later!