Thursday, June 16, 2011

Knowledge of history test scores pale in comparison

George Carlin had it half right:
“Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!”

With the latest history test scores in, Sara Palin may have actually tested above the average test score of US 12th graders, maybe even showing she knows more than a 5th grader. But don't get too excited if she did. Those benchmarks barely make it onto a bench.

U.S. Students Remain Poor at History, Tests Show
American students are less proficient in their nation’s history than in any other subject, according to results of a nationwide test.

Over all, 20 percent of fourth graders, 17 percent of eighth graders and 12 percent of high school seniors demonstrated proficiency on the exam, the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

fewer than a third of eighth graders could answer even a “seemingly easy question” asking them to identify an important advantage American forces had over the British during the Revolution, the government’s statement on the results said.

Only 2 percent of 12th graders correctly answered a question concerning Brown v. Board of Education. Students were given an excerpt including the passage, “We conclude that in the field of public education, separate but equal has no place, separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” and were asked what social problem the 1954 ruling was supposed to correct.

“The answer was right in front of them,” Ms. Ravitch said. “This is alarming.”

History still a mystery for 12th-graders
12th-graders have shown little progress in their understanding of the U.S. role in global affairs, the concept of American democracy, technological breakthroughs and other key areas.

“All of these students are going to be voters in a year. … They should be well informed,” said Diane Ravitch, an education professor at New York University

To graphically appreciate that last statement, check out the YouTube video here and be sure to watch the last half if nothing else (but it's a total of only 10 minutes, so watch it all).

And remember George Carlin:
“I do this real moron thing, it's called thinking, and I'm not a very good Amercian because I like to form my own opinions.”



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