Linda Salvucci: History is being crowded out of the daily school schedules in many states across the nation; only 12 minutes a week?

Historians in the News

This past week, we learned that American students are less proficient in the history of the United States than in any other subject. The New York Times reported that the National Assessment of Educational Progress released the results of a nationwide exam given to thousands of students. According to the results, most fourth graders couldn’t explain why Abraham Lincoln was important. Eighth graders couldn’t identify why American forces had an advantage over the British during the Revolution.

How much attention do you pay to this report?

With a doff of the hat to Sarah Palin, the NAEP report on U.S. history is the proverbial sounding of the alarm. 

Some argue that American students have always been deficient in their knowledge of U.S. history, but I do think that we are at a particularly difficult juncture.  The situation is deteriorating because of the reasons listed below.  It truly is the “perfect storm” of inadequate attention to, training in, and support for history education. 

Public officials and society at large have devalued the study of history, which when taught and learned well, goes a long way in making students college-, career- and citizenship-ready.  It serves a myriad of purposes–intellectual, inspirational, practical and political....

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