Boston Herald: Our Kids Are Clueless About U.S. History, National Standards May Make It Worse

The Boston Herald had an editorial this morning citing the shocking ignorance of our nation’s kids when it comes to knowing about our history.  They write:

Only 20 percent of fourth graders and 17 percent of eighth graders who took the test scored in the “proficient” or “advanced” categories. And the high school picture is worse — more than half the seniors tested have a “below basic” grasp of history.

Supporters of social sciences education blame federal and state education standards for shortchanging history, and certainly in Massachusetts we’re doing nothing to dispel that notion.

Two years ago state policy makers voted to “postpone” implementation of a history MCAS requirement for high school graduation, citing budget constraints. Since then Massachusetts has signed on to adopt national curriculum standards that could weaken the emphasis on history even further. The Patrick administration, meanwhile, continues to give every signal that a history MCAS graduation requirement is never to be. (emphasis mine)

Massachusetts has been lauded as a model for education reform, yet they and many other states are adopting one-size fits all common core standards which serves to weaken our education system, not improve it.  States like Iowa has been told that their Core Curriculum has flunked history as well, do we really believe national standards will help Iowa or any other state? Unfortunately the educrats in the Beltway and states clamoring for money seem to think so, but they lack data or anecdotal evidence back that belief up.  The more distance curriculum and standards development has from parents, community leaders, and local school boards the worse our students have performed.  History bears that out.

Originally posted at Caffeinated Thoughts

Shane Vander Hart is the Communications Director of American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  He is also the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular conservative blog in Iowa.