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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Students really don't know much about history



It's official: history is American students' worst subject.

That's the bottom line in the latest of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, otherwise known as the nation's report card.

Just 12 percent of seniors scored at proficient levels on the U.S. history test, with eighth graders at 17 percent and fourth graders at 20 percent, reports the New York Times. Most fourth graders struggled to recall anything important about Abraham Lincoln, and seniors mostly dropped the ball on the significance of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education.

Officials point to gains on the NAEP history test since 1994, though eighth graders were the only group to significantly improve their standing since 2006.

And some experts say the numbers won't rise above dismal until states and the federal government raise the stakes and make history as important as, say, math or reading.

“History is very much being shortchanged,” said Linda K. Salvucci, a history professor in San Antonio who is chairwoman-elect of the National Council for History Education.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:33pm]


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