Michael Dukakis comes out in favor of high school history requirement

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tags: education, Michael Dukakis, history crisis



A basic purpose of American public education is to teach students how to exercise the rights and responsibilities associated with active citizenship in a democracy, but national testing shows that it just isn’t happening. To change that, Massachusetts should revive the requirement that public school students pass a US history MCAS test to graduate from high school. 

According to 2014 results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a mere 27 percent of American eighth-graders scored proficient or better in geography. The numbers were worse for civics (23 percent) and US history (18 percent).

Massachusetts’ 1993 Education Reform Act was not overly prescriptive when it came to what subjects should be taught, but it did require students to learn about the principles of American democracy, including the fundamentals of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. To ensure that, it required that they pass a US history test as a condition of high school graduation.




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