The Mpls./St. Paul Star Tribune published an interesting article on-line that suggests Minnesota students are generally well informed about American History. Coming from a teaching background in
, this is great news. Georgia
According to the article, teachers and student evaluators in
give students high marks for knowing the basics of U. S. History. Unfortunately they lack depth in their understanding. Students know who Thomas Jefferson was, that Richard Nixon resigned the Presidency in disgrace, and the basics of World War II. Unfortunately, they don’t necessarily understand Watergate or appreciate the relationship between Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Minnesota
This is a big deal. I once taught U. S. History at a university in
where students didn’t know who won World War II!! It sounds like Georgia is doing well to teach their children their history. Nationwide the news is not so good. A report quoted in the article notes that only 12 percent of 12th grade students, nationwide, are “proficient or better” in history. Anecdotal evidence puts Minnesota higher than that. Minnesota
students receive high marks. Yet, we can’t let the emphasis on Math and Science take away from teaching history. The phrase “well rounded education” exists for a reason. We need to make everyone who is involved in the education system realize that allowing history to take a back seat to other subjects is not an acceptable alternative. Minnesota
We are doing okay, but we must do better.