Friday, April 9, 2010

Why am I not surprised?? Are our educators duplicitous or just ignorant??

An AOL article on how poorly US colleges and universities teach about US history, key texts (Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, etc.), and our institutions (ht Jerome Darnell at American Thinker).  What's frightening is the 'before picture'.  According to the article, half of the incoming freshmen (14,000) failed an exam on history/civics (getting half of the 60 questions or fewer correct).  The article does not look closer at this piece of information, but it clearly shows that our K-12 public education system is dropping the ball.  

This goes back to my theory that teachers in the K-12 system do not know their history and if the books are incorrect (and there is some indication that primary texts being used in K-12 have either incorrect data or are deliberately biased against our country), the teachers have no personal knowledge-base to critically look at the information in the books.

What's scary is this lack of knowledge is not being corrected in at the post-secondary level.  It's interesting to note that most of the universities cited as doing poorest at correcting the inadequacies of K-12 teaching are considered to be top-tiered schools:  Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Yale, Brown, Duke, Princeton, Georgetown, etc.  Not only did they not make up the difference, their students actually went BACKWARDS in their knowledge of US history/civics. 

Now think about this....  most of our top-level politicians are Ivy-League--Harvard (whose students didn't make over 69% on the test), Yale, Princeton (students scored lower going out than coming in).  They are not learning any information about our country, its founding documents, the institutions (I'm betting that they're not learning about checks and balances and they sure as hell don't know anything about the Constitution) and yet they are running this country.  I think that people are starting to realize that advanced degrees don't necessarily equal advanced knowledge, but this information gives the issue a much broader dimension.

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