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  1. #1 Students Stumble Again on the Basics of History 
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    Fewer than a quarter of American 12th-graders knew China was North Korea's ally during the Korean War, and only 35% of fourth-graders knew the purpose of the Declaration of Independence, according to national history-test scores released Tuesday.


    The results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that U.S. schoolchildren have made little progress since 2006 in their understanding of key historical themes, including the basic principles of democracy and America's role in the world.

    Only 20% of U.S. fourth-graders and 17% of eighth-graders who took the 2010 history exam were "proficient" or "advanced," unchanged since the test was last administered in 2006. Proficient means students have a solid understanding of the material.

    The news was even more dire in high school, where 12% of 12th-graders were proficient, unchanged since 2006. More than half of all seniors posted scores at the lowest achievement level, "below basic." While the nation's fourth- and eighth-graders have seen a slight uptick in scores since the exam was first administered in 1994, 12th-graders haven't.
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    This is a sin. I blame not only the schools, but the parents. There's not a trip that I take with the kids that we don't talk about history in some fashion. I also have "atlas quizzes". One child has the atlas and chooses topic or states from the atlas to ask questions from...it might be naming the state capital, or guessing the state nicknames, etc.

    Now, every time we go on a trip the kid in the front seat always reaches for the atlas and starts the game him/herself.

    My parents were by no means rich, but the few vacations we took always involved some sort of history, whether it was in Boston, Williamsburg, D.C. or just a visit to our local Revolutionary War Battlefield.

    I always try to talk about current events with the kids as well, to make certain they have at least some connection to what is going on in the world through politics, government, war, etc.
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    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    "What gets measured, gets taught,"
    That's the problem, lady.
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    Festivus Moderator ralph wiggum's Avatar
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    Fewer than a quarter of American 12th-graders knew China was North Korea's ally during the Korean War
    M*A*S*H should be mandatory viewing for high school students. :D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    "What gets measured, gets taught,"
    That's the problem, lady.
    In part, yes. But in general I've found people disinterested in history. I had a minor in history in college, yet I don't think I learned anywhere close to say that I earned a minor in that subject area. You and I went to school well before the NCLB Act, yet I also felt that history was given short shrift back then. My school never made it past WWII in terms of history. How can that be possible in 12 years?
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    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillygirl View Post
    In part, yes. But in general I've found people disinterested in history. I had a minor in history in college, yet I don't think I learned anywhere close to say that I earned a minor in that subject area. You and I went to school well before the NCLB Act, yet I also felt that history was given short shrift back then. My school never made it past WWII in terms of history. How can that be possible in 12 years?


    My high school american history textbook ended with the assassinations of MLK and RFK, and the election of Nixon in 1968. We were using it in 1981.

    My government teacher included current events fairly thoroughly in her class.
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    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillygirl View Post
    In part, yes. But in general I've found people disinterested in history. I had a minor in history in college, yet I don't think I learned anywhere close to say that I earned a minor in that subject area. You and I went to school well before the NCLB Act, yet I also felt that history was given short shrift back then. My school never made it past WWII in terms of history. How can that be possible in 12 years?
    What is taught is always going to be controversial. What I found slightly humourous when I read the article was the emphasis apparently put on Math and Reading. It reminded me of those who long ago argued that education should get back to teaching the (ironically named) three R's.
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    Best Bounty Hunter in the Forums fettpett's Avatar
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    The problem with History is HOW it's taught, not what is taught
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    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph wiggum View Post
    M*A*S*H should be mandatory viewing for high school students. :D
    Only if you put the show in it's proper context. I loved that show and still do but it was very, very left wing in it's view.
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    Festivus Moderator ralph wiggum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    Only if you put the show in it's proper context. I loved that show and still do but it was very, very left wing in it's view.
    I was going to add that disclaimer, but you get my point. I learned more about the Korean War from M*A*S*H than I did in school. I don't recall them talking about it much.

    Maybe just have them watch the first couple seasons, which was before Alan Alda/Mike Farrell took the show WAY to the left.
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