Proposed Social Studies Standards won’t fix it, either
It’s really sad. The Herald-Leader just reported how our state flunked a U.S history test in its article, “So why was Ben Franklin famous? Kentuckians flunk test of U.S. history knowledge.” The article is based on a recent report from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation that shows Kentucky ranks second to lowest for history knowledge based on questions given to applicants for US citizenship.
Per the Woodrow Wilson study, almost 3 out of 4 Kentuckians (71 percent) flunked.
What’s worse, the proposed changes to Kentucky’s public school social studies standards, which include the subject of history, offer no hope that things will improve.
You see, the proposed standards exhibit an almost complete disregard for important historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Woodrow Wilson (also mentioned in the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s report) and many, many more.
It’s just unbelievable. It’s true that you can’t make Franklin memorable with bad instruction. But, you certainly can’t make him memorable if you don’t mention him at all.
Once you consider that the proposed social studies standards revision also completely ignores many, many other important people such as Abraham Lincoln (honest – he is nowhere mentioned), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (also AWOL), and other key Americans like Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers, you begin to understand that some of the 71 percent of the Kentuckians who could not pass the Woodrow Wilson test just might have had a hand in writing the vacuous standards the state is now being asked to accept as the central guidance for everything our kids will learn about social studies, history included.
The Kentucky social studies standards revision is currently in a public comment period, and it is time for every Kentuckian to speak out and demand better. To learn how to do this, click the “Read more” link.