“I went to the Vietnam War Memorial yesterday because I stayed in town. It didn’t make sense to go home. And, I spoke to a veteran, a Vietnam veteran from Louisville who came over there by himself. And, he just said kids don’t know World War II history anymore. Who’s putting that in the textbooks? And, I believe he, from his other comments, appeared to be probably Democrat in his politics, but he was just worried about – I talked to him about what was going on in our country and did he have any concerns and he just said kids don’t know their history. He said World War II history wasn’t in the textbooks.”
Kentucky Representative Melinda Prunty (R) Belton, comments during the November 12, 2020 meeting of the Kentucky Legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Education
You can hear Rep. Prunty’s comments beginning at 28 minutes and 55 seconds into the KET video file of the meeting.
It didn’t come up at the meeting, but kids in Kentucky will be ignorant of a lot more than World War II material unless the legislature acts to send the terribly inadequate Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies back to the Kentucky Department of Education for a lot more work. World War II is vaguely mentioned in the standards, but no war since then is, including Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia and the Middle East conflicts. Also missing is any reference to the Chinese Civil War that brought Communism (another important, but missing term) to that country or any of the major Arab-Israeli conflicts.
In addition, the World War II references are pretty meager. Here’s one example:
“HS.UH.CO.3 Analyze the role of the United States in global compromises and conflicts between 1890-1945 in the Spanish American War, World War I, the Interwar years and World War II.”
This is all about global compromises, not really World War II as a set of important historical events. There’s no Pearl Harbor, no Battle of Britain, no Iwo Jima, no atomic bombing, either. That veteran Rep. Prunty ran into probably would not be pleased.
In fact, I also am a Vietnam vet, and I guarantee I am not pleased. The war I fought in isn’t mentioned at all.
You can read a lot more about the mess with Kentucky’s incredibly vague social studies standards in our recent Policy Point paper, “PRESERVING HISTORY, Problems with Kentucky’s Social Studies Standards, Must be Redone.”
After reading the paper, I encourage you to let your legislators know loud and clear that our kids deserve to learn what “The Greatest Generation” went through and they also deserve to know that Abraham Lincoln was born in the great state of Kentucky. You see, these deplorable standards never mention, Abe, either.