A new national study demonstrates what has long been known: America’s students are terribly ignorant and clueless about American history–its personalities, principles, accomplishments, and failures! This was demonstrated by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, called America’s Report Card.
22 percent of fourth graders, 18 percent of eighth graders, and 13 percent of high school seniors showed real understanding of the concepts and the important facts and principles of our nation’s historical tradition.
But it is not just American history, but also understanding of world civilizations and foreign lands that is a problem.
Also, the knowledge of science is abysmal, with many students having no understanding of the physical and biological sciences, with religion having a greater hold and acceptance than the realities of science, so that there are millions of young Americans who have no understanding of evolution or the natural sciences and climate change.
Very small percentages go into the sciences or engineering or technology fields, forcing American companies to recruit students from India, China and elsewhere to fill their needs for trained scientists.
With the emphasis on basic reading, writing, and math skills, but without very good returns even on those subjects, America’s children are being cheated out of what is MOST important: a broad General Knowledge base by the time they have left high school in America!
I feel like the area in which the student grows up plays a major part in their understanding of history. Growing up in SE PA made understanding history very easy not only for me but almost all the students i know of from the area. There are thousands of MAJOR historical sites within a 2 hour drive in any direction, and the school district I went to took full advantage of the sites. Many of them i have seen several times just from school trips alone. Not to mention the road trips i had taken with my Grand Father to explore these areas.However, my experience living in Fl has left me very disturbed. Most of the students I know of in the Sunshine state couldnt tell me what state Valley Forge is in, or What was Ben Franklin’s role in the Revolution….and believe it or not one time someone asked if Ben Franklin was the guy who chopped down the cherry tree. Another factor that plays a huge role in FL’s ignorance in American History is the state is such a melting pot of cultures that many people forget our own culture.