Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

History - Add it to NCLB ? Or go extinct ?

I was digging through a pile of misc. papers and "stuff" when I came across a partial article I tore out of a newspaper last summer. It was an article about the lack of a history requirement in many US universities and colleges. I may be a bit dense at times, but I just assumed that every US university or college would require their graduates to at least pass one history class. I recall that when I was in school, most people were told that it was a requirement to pass a US History course and a World History course, usually Western Civilization. This was no problem for me, as I was a Social Science major ( classes in History, Geography, Anthro, Poli. Sci., Psych and Sociology). But apparently, that is not the case today. There are many universities and colleges, including some state universities, that do not require their graduates to take and pass a history class. How sad.

Now, with NCLB, am I seeing a trend? States have in their state frameworks, that history, both US and World, are taught to upper elementry and junior high students. AFAIK, most junior high/middle school students take some history classes. But with NCLB, elementry schools have been allowed to stop teaching history in favor of more english and math so the students score better on their state tests As you know, with the emphasize on Math and English test scores, science, art, music, physical and health education have been grossly neglected in most elementry schools also. So, in its current form, NCLB creates another jab at the teaching of history by our schools. Some universities don't require it and now it is being grossly neglected at the elementry level.

Is this nation on the path of greatly increasing the number of citizens who do not know what has happened in our past? Who do not care about what happened in our past? Who IMO, do not make good citizens because they do not know the basics of how our government operates, how they should be involved in government and who do not really know much about anything? Conspiracy of *someone* (far left? ultra right?) to produce generations of people who cannot/will not think for themselves and just blindly follow or accept whatever the career politicians tell them to do? Is this the path this nation is on? What will it be like for my future grandchildren ?

I see two possible paths; the one we are currently experiencing in which history is de-emphasized to the point where it may someday be extinct from most schools, or that testing in history (and science, humanities and arts) is added to the requirements of NCLB, which in a future form, works to try to ensure no child is left behind from being a well educated, functioning, employable, politically enlightened, thinking member of our society.

NCLB is coming up for reauthorization by Congress. Those of you who read this blog are educated, intelligent and know how to voice your opinions to your elected officials in Congress. Please do so.

Thanks for reading my blog. I welcome your comments.