Wanna be a good citizen? Know your history, civics

Aug 28, 2015 by

An organization devoted to the strengthening of constitutional self-government is worried about what students won’t be learning in public schools this fall.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress has shown consistently that many students, in the fields of U.S. history and government, among others, are not even mastering the basics. For example, the most recent NAEP U.S. history exam (conducted in 2014) found just 18 percent of eighth-graders scored at or above the “proficient” level. The same test showed less than a quarter of that age group has a proficient grasp of civics.


Roger Beckett, executive director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, says one of the problems is that teachers aren’t given the content they need to teach the complex subject of history and civics.

“And the second is that as a result of that, there’s an over-reliance on textbooks,” he continues. “We’re using far too many textbooks that give, at best, a boring – and at worst, a biased – view of America to students. And it isn’t helping to prepare citizens.

Beckett says adequate education – specifically, the accurate and truthful teaching of American history – is essential for self-government and freedom.

“It’s always struck me that [many of] the American founders, after they created this system of self-government, … set out to create schools,” he shares. “Education was central to preserving this new experiment in self-government – and 230 years later, it’s no different.”

Source: Wanna be a good citizen? Know your history, civics

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