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Don’t know much about history

February 3rd, 2010 Posted in School, WTF

And if North Carolina has it’s way, it’s students will know even less

As the North Carolina curriculum stands now, ninth-grade students take world history, 10th-graders study civics and economics and 11th-graders take U.S. history going back to the country’s founding.

Under the proposed change, the ninth-graders would take a course called global studies, focusing in part on issues such as the environment. The 10th grade still would study civics and economics, but 11th-graders would take U.S. history only from 1877 onward.

So, our children don’t need to learn about the founding of our country until 11th grade because it’s not relevant to current history?  Please tell me how our fight for freedom, the right of self determination, and throwing off an oppressive government is not relevant to today’s situation?  By 11th grade most of these students are already going to be set in their ways and not really interested in history because most will be planning for life after high school.

Also, how can you teach the history of what happened after the Civil War unless you have an understanding OF the Civil War?  This is an asinine idea that it is unimportant to teach history along a historic time line that shows cause and then effect.   There were reasons that led up to the Civil War and repercussions that echoed for generations such as the formation of the KKK and the National Rifle association, Jim Crow laws and, eventually, the civil rights movement.

To ignore the Founding Fathers and cover it with something along the line of “The US was formed in 1776 when we fought the British and then wrote the Constitution…” (which is what most students I have encountered think) is not only inaccurate, but does a huge disservice to the men and women (yes, there were women that risked all) who fought to form the greatest country the world has ever seen.

But those considering the proposal say kids will still learn the basics.

“The students are in school for 13 years,” said Garland. “They certainly are taught U.S. and North Carolina history in middle school.”

Garland says they’re making this curriculum revision process very public to get as much feedback as possible.

Now, granted I don’t have any kids but my mom was a teacher (History, English, Debate and US Government)  so I might be outdated on how many classes kids take today.  That said, my thoughts on the subject go along these lines.  Our students in middle school should focus on US History, Math, English and World History, and PE – that should be all through middle school.  That’s five classes and leaves a class open that can be filled in with electives or with a class on State History for one year and then electives the rest of the time.

High school should continue US History, Math, English and Government/Civics/Debate all four years with the other two classes being electives.

When we have kids getting out of High School who think that Vietnam happened in the 80’s – yes, I went to college with a girl who thought that.  Worse was that none of the other kids in the class had any idea what years it DID happen – it tells me that our schools have drifted way too far off course of what they should be doing which is making sure kids can think for themselves and understand how our government is supposed to work.  How bout instead of worrying if kids learn proper social justice, how to use a condom and making sure they are not only racial sensitive, culturally diverse, and ecologically aware the schools instead just teach them how to research a topic on their own, use their brain for something other than just regurgitating what is on a test, and then they can have all the self esteem they need from actually passing the class rather than being told all the time they are good no matter what.

My last question is this – Since the Department of Education was formed, government spending on education has gone up 400% and yet we have cutbacks in the school systems, test scores are dropping, and many schools are charging kids fees to participate in extracurricular sports and activities.  Where did all that money go?

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