February 29, 2008

IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES

The Girl sent me a depressing study called Still At Risk: What Students Don't Know, Even Now. Seventeen year olds were asked basic questions about history and literature; guess how they fared.

What I thought was quite interesting was that the questions the students did best on were the "I Have a Dream" speech and Uncle Tom's Cabin. So Black History Month is achieving its goals. But I think we need a White History Month to even things out, since only 74% of kids knew which century Columbus sailed to the New World and only 52% knew what the book 1984 was about (apparently 18% thought it was about time travel, backwards!) Kids don't know what JFK said in his speeches, but they know what MLK said.

My kids are going to have to read, at gunpoint if necessary.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:14 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 My kids (except the 5 year old, who can identify Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt (both), and the current President Bush know this stuff. Sonlight. Seriously. Even if you don't homeschool, the reading list is PRICELESS. All the books kids should read excepting Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. And my girls and my boy love the list. Best thing we ever bought.

Posted by: airforcewife at February 29, 2008 07:00 AM (mIbWn)

2 Have you seen this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juOQhTuzDQ0 My 7 AND 5 year olds knew the answer to that question. How sad. What makes me the most upset is that she thinks it's cute...shouldn't she be embarrassed?

Posted by: Angie at February 29, 2008 11:06 AM (BJEkk)

3 I was watching something about this on the news the other night. And while I think it's sad that kids today don't know a lot of the stuff that I still remember from school, one guy pointed out that kids today don't need to know this stuff - they can just google it if need be. Today, education is aimed more at analyzing reading material rather than memorizing dates and names. He had a point, I think. But then again, kids should have at least a vague idea about when the Civil War occured.

Posted by: Erin at March 01, 2008 01:43 PM (y67l2)

4 Ronin loves learning about history and the presidents (especially the ones who have been assasinated--it's his obsession with death). Have you ever watched the cartoon Time Warp Trio? It's kind of fun

Posted by: Kate at March 03, 2008 01:10 PM (JIGe1)

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