Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don’t know much about history - STILL

“Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.”

Edmund Burke

The new National Assessment of Educational Progress in History report is out, and it looks like our kids still don’t know much about history. Average scores for grades 4 and 12 are not statistically significantly different in 2010 from what they were in 2006. In fact, the US high school seniors’ score isn’t statistically different from the score a decade ago in 2001. Only the grade 8 kids saw a little improvement.

Want to know why voters get so confused.

In fourth grade, only 20 percent of the students performed at or above the Proficient level in history. In eighth grade it was only 17 percent and by high school only 12 percent – little more than one in ten! – met muster!!! This has been going on for years, thanks to inadequate performance of our public schools. Now, generations of Americans lack the historical background needed to really understand many issues and vote intelligently.

Want more specifics about what our kids (and many adults) don’t know? Click the “Read more” link.

Here is a quick list of what our kids don’t know much about:

• Democracy – Change and Continuity in American Democracy: Ideas, Institutions, Events, Key Figures, and Controversies

• Culture – The Gathering and Interactions of Peoples, Cultures, and Ideas

• Technology – Economic and Technological Changes and Their Relationship to Society, Ideas, and the Environment

• World Role – The Changing Role of America in the World

• Historical analysis and interpretation include the following:
o Explaining issues
o Identifying historical patterns
o Establishing cause-and-effect relationships
o Finding value statements
o Establishing significance
o Applying historical knowledge
o Weighing evidence to draw sound conclusions
o Making defensible generalizations
o Rendering insightful accounts of the past

The full report card can be downloaded on line from here.

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