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Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools

K-12 American History Educational Standards Low; But Politically Correct Disrespect of US Widespread

By Bill Korach

Dean Kalahar Concerned History Teacher Sarasota

Not only are K-12 students failing to learn about American history and what makes America exceptional, but this year’s Florida End of Course (EOC) Exam totally disrespects America. The National Association of Scholars recently released a report about politically correct, multicultural Race, Class and Gender studies taught as history at America’s universities. This approach has been trickling down to K-12 history education.

When the Department of Education week released the results of the 2011 of the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress. Not even a quarter of American students is proficient in US history, and the percentage declines as students grow older. Only 20 percent of 6th graders, 17 percent of 8th graders, and 12 percent of high school seniors demonstrate a solid grasp on their nation’s history. In fact, American kids are weaker in history than in any of the other subjects tested by the NAEP — math, reading, science, writing, civics, geography, and economics. Since the NAEP has been warning about declines in k-12 understanding of American History the problem has only gotten worse.

How big is the problem? The test for fourth-graders asked why Abraham Lincoln was an important figure in US history, and a majority of the students didn’t know. Among eighth-graders, not even one-third could correctly identify an advantage that American patriots had over the British during the Revolutionary War. And when asked which of four countries — the Soviet Union, Japan, China, and Vietnam — was North Korea’s ally in fighting US troops during the Korean War, nearly 80 percent of 12th-graders selected the wrong answer.

Historically illiterate American kids typically grow up to be historically illiterate American adults. And Americans’ ignorance of history is a familiar tale.

When it administered the official US citizenship test to 1,000 Americans earlier this year, Newsweek discovered that 33 percent of respondents didn’t know when the Declaration of Independence was adopted, 65 percent couldn’t say what happened at the Constitutional Convention, and 80 percent had no idea who was president during World War I. In a survey of 14,000 college students in 2006, more than half couldn’t identify the century when the first American colony was founded at Jamestown, the reason NATO was organized, or which document says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’’ Numerous other surveys and studies confirm the gloomy truth: Americans don’t know much about history.

Dean Kalahar, a Sarasota History teacher, says the mid-term American History EOC exam (just administered) is invalid and disrespects America.

If the EOC exam is supposed to be a valid and reliable evaluation of what students have learned and used as half of a teachers evaluation as to their effectiveness; then the American History midterm end of course (EOC) administered this week in Florida is invalid educational malpractice and must be thoroughly discredited and thrown out as an evaluative instrument of students and teachers.

In reality, the test is being used as a tool to promote an agenda of historical revision that has nothing to do with evaluating what students are supposed to be learning in history, what teachers have been told to teach, or what parents expect their children are learning.

In short, the test is propaganda based on indoctrinating students to a negative view of America focused on race, class, and gender victimhood caused by capitalism and western values and promoted by an imperialist America.

The evidence is as follows:

Of the 45 questions on the test, the following are totals by topic.

Race/identity 5 questions (11%)

Anti-capitalism 5

Pro-union 3 (6.6%)

American “Imperialism” 3

Women’s discrimination 3

Pro-Immigration 2 (4.4%)

Abuse of Indians 2

Anti-western civilization 2

Anti-war 2

Pro-political machines 2

This means 30 of the 45 questions or 66% of the test was either negitive toward the United States or advanced positions on unionization, leftist politics, immigration, or were anti-war.

The units covered on the test went from the Civil War through WW1. Many key fundamental historical learnings were ignored on the test to make room for questions with little historical relevancy or weight.

The following are a sampling of specific questions from the actual test that are either not in state standards or state approved resources. Many of the questions are not factually correct or are placed in a context that is a distortion of history. There is little chance students will be taught many of the items on the test, while teachers must use the resources approved by the state and county. The comments in red show the bias in the question.

What position did the Knights of Labor take under Terence V. Powderly?

Unionization was good, Capitalism is harmful.

Use the quotation to answer the question that follows.

“I want to congratulate you for doing your bit to make the world safe for democracy . . . and unsafe for hypocrisy.” - A. Philip Randolph

Randolph was known to make this statement about African American soldiers who had fought in World War I. What did he mean?

American’s are hypocrites and racists.

“Is America a weakling, to shrink from the work of the great world powers? No! The young giant of the West stands on a continent and clasps the crest of an ocean in either hand. Our nation, glorious in youth and strength, looks into the future with eager eyes and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.” — Theodore Roosevelt, in a letter to John Hay, June 7, 1897

According to the quotation, what is Roosevelt’s attitude toward American imperialism?

Assumes America is an Imperialist nation.

Did you find anything good about America? Did you see a role model for our students? Is there any demonstration of appreciation for what America has accomplished for her citizens? I didn’t see it, but the EOC does not describe the America I know and love.

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