Share & Connect
U.S. students don’t know their own country’s history.
Based on recent national test scores, results show less than one-fourth of students are “proficient” in American history, CNN reports.
The Nation’s Report Card: U.S. History 2010, test results report by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education showed 20 percent of fourth graders, 17 percent of eighth graders and 12 percent of 12th graders showed “solid academic performance” on the tests.
Exam statics are based on 7,000 fourth graders, 11,000 eighth graders and 12,000 12th graders.
When it comes to testing, it doesn’t seem as though history is the most important subject for students to know anyways. U.S. history is not even tested in the No Child left Behind policy.
Knowing history also can’t help students pass the SAT, because there’s no history section on that test. Most jobs don’t even focus on employees’ abilities to remember what year the civil war started or who the president was during that time period.
Teachers tend to focus on subjects such as English and math, which have more practical and vocational applications for students, beyond standardized testing.
There could be many factors and reasons why students are doing so poorly in U.S. history. Teachers may need to venture into new methods of teaching history to the country’s children.
“All of these students will be voters… and almost 40 percent were already eligible to vote when they took the assessment,” said Diane Ravitch, a New York University research professor of education in a statement released after the results of the study were published. “They will be making decisions in the voting booth that influence our lives.
They should be well informed and capable of weighing the contending claims of candidates, especially when the candidates rest their arguments on historical precedent.”
Knowing history may not help to perform well on the job at McDonalds or Starbucks. But, knowing history helps those who are informed make better decisions in life.
“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree,” the words of Michael Crichton an American writer.