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  • Originally published 10/27/2014

    Common Core and the End of History

    "History education in the schools is clearly the victim of Common Core and efforts by New York and other states to secure federal Race to the Top dollars."

  • Originally published 05/24/2014

    Lost in the Past

    Ask a high school senior what the Great War was all about and you’re likely to get a shrug or a stab based on a recent episode of “Game of Thrones.”

  • Originally published 06/26/2013

    Julian Zelizer: History, Literature, Civics and Arts on the Chopping Block

    Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and "Governing America." (CNN) - Everyone talks about our broken political system. Washington is too polarized. Money dominates politics. Politicians don't know how to lead. Citizens are not as attentive to governance and public policy as they should be. Americans either ignore politics or see it is one more form of entertainment, "American Idol" on steroids.As a result, politicians get away with all kinds of misstatements and truths, in part because the electorate is so gullible.How do we make our democracy work better?Political reform will be essential to making sure that our institutions operate effectively. The news media needs to do a better job of separating truth from fiction and backing away from the increasingly partisan outlook of journalism. Civic organizations need to do more to make sure that voters are active in politics and, at a minimum, that they actually vote on Election Day....

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    What's Still Missing From the Gun Control Debate

    Behind the gun control debate lies a deeper one that we need to have. It would show that the danger to our freedom isn't coming from government censors and conspiracies but from marketing sensors that are bypassing our brains and hearts on the way to our gut instincts and wallets.

  • Originally published 01/30/2013

    Could We Actually Learn Something from '50s-Style Civics Education?

    During last year's presidential campaign, I asked a class of freshmen students to keep track of each candidate's references to history. They needed a basic knowledge of history -- enough to code each historical mention according to the time period referenced. I was prepared to be distressed by my students' ignorance of history, and I wasn't disappointed. I wasn't as prepared, however, for the much greater ignorance of and disinterest in the election. In September, few could name both presidential candidates; none could name a candidate for any other office; only two or three evinced much interest in civic life.

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