Why Is U.S. History High-Schoolers’ Worst Subject?

June 20, 2011 04:36

While the public would prefer schools to devote their time to enhancing pupils’ concrete civics knowledge, teachers favor the more social lessons of community service and tolerance — no matter that the public ranks these among schools’ least important goals.

By Gary Schmitt & Cheryl Miller at National Review Online


According to the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), just 12 percent of seniors are proficient in U.S. history while only 24 percent measure up in civics.

When we asked respondents to rate their confidence levels about whether students have mastered important content and skills, the numbers never topped 50 percent for any item.

While almost 70 percent of respondents thought teaching students to identify the protections in the Bill of Rights was absolutely essential, barely one-third were at all confident that most high-school graduates can do so.

— Gary J. Schmitt is resident scholar and director of the Program on American Citizenship at the American Enterprise Institute. Cheryl Miller is program manager of the Program on American Citizenship. The Program’s report, “Contested Curriculum: How Teachers and Citizens View Civic Education,” can be found at citizenship-aei.org.


Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere:

Interested In Further Reading? Click Here