Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, August 22, 2011

Should Schools Teach American History?

Just this summer, the National Assessment of Education Progress, which is an arm of the U.S. Department of Education, released its 2010 "report card" on American history, as taught in U.S. public schools. This national assessment showed that 12th-grade students have made little progress in their understanding of the concept of American democracy or of the U.S. role in world affairs. All these students will be voters in just a couple of years, and they seem to be appallingly uninformed about the history of our country and the principles that made us exceptional. The survey, which included both multiple-choice and essay questions, showed that only a small percentage knew significant facts about the Civil War, the two world wars, and other major events.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he was disappointed. He said, "These results tell us that, as a country, we are failing to provide children with a high-quality, well-rounded education." It's too bad that Arne Duncan didn't admit that the billions of dollars the federal government has poured into public schools has been a total waste and should be eliminated.

North Carolina state legislators decided to do something about this problem. The North Carolina House Education Committee approved a bill that would require public high schools to teach, and students to pass, a semester-long course on the concepts behind the founding of the United States. Testing would start in the fall of 2014. Students will be tested on what they learned about the due process of law, individual rights and responsibilities, and inalienable rights. The legislators said they believe that the survival of the American republic requires graduating North Carolina students to understand the principles that helped form our country.

What a wonderful idea! I hope this bill will be copied in other states.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

Further Reading: August 2011 Education Reporter

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