According to a survey released yesterday by Common Core many of the 1,200 17-year-olds who were called in January and asked to answer 33 multiple-choice questions about history and literature, didn't fare so well. Common Core is an independent bi-partisan group including members from the American Federation of Teachers, and a former assistant education secretary under President George H.W. Bush. The group criticizes No Child Left Behind, saying that it has weakened public school curriculum by holding schools accountable for student scores in reading and mathematics, but in no other subjects.
Here are some of the results:
- Fewer than half knew when the Civil War was fought.
- 25 percent said Columbus sailed to the New World some time after 1750, not in 1492.
- Only 75 percent were able to name Hitler as Germany's leader in World War II.
- Good news! 97 percent were able to identify Martin Luther King, Jr. as the man who said, "I have a dream."
What do you attribute this historical near-sightedness?