American students in state schools fail history

It’s much easier to divorce generations from their inheritance of liberty and self-governance if they have no idea of American exceptionalism in the first place.

U.S. students don’t know much about American history.

Just 13 percent of high school seniors who took the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress, called the Nation’s Report Card, showed a solid grasp of the subject. Results released Tuesday showed the two other grades didn’t perform much better, with just 22 percent of fourth-grade students and 18 percent of eighth-graders demonstrating proficiency.

The test quizzed students on topics including colonization, the American Revolution and the Civil War, and the contemporary United States. For example, one question asked fourth-graders to name an important result of the U.S. building canals in the 1800s. Only 44 percent knew that it was increased trade among states.

“The history scores released today show that student performance is still too low,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. “These results tell us that, as a country, we are failing to provide children with a high-quality, well-rounded education.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan blamed the emphasis on reading and math as a result of No Child Left Behind. Funny, that, since a student should have reading proficiency in order to read history.

Cue the dated “our failing schools need more money to thrive” track just in time for the unions to donate for the coming election.

Cross-posted at Pundit & Pundette.

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3 Responses

  1. umm, NCLB was implemented long after seniors started school. Pesky detail, but when all else fails blame Bush.

  2. Congrats on guest blogging for Pundit and Pandette!
    I’m glad that the emphasis is on math and reading, because it prevents further politicization of history.

    • Thanks!

      You have a great point. Though even with an emphasis on math and reading, students aren’t mastering either one.

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