"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

The sad state of Americans' knowledge of American history...courtesy of Jay Leno

Happy Independence Day! Quick, quick....from which country did America declare her independence? Check out this clip from Jay Leno asking this and other history questions to Americans:


I love the title of the piece: "Leno demonstrates effectiveness of American education on history". I was curious if my incoming freshman in college would be able to answer Leno's questions. He passed it with flying colors. He thought it was quite easy because he had American revolutionary history in 4th, 5th, 7th and 11th grades.

This video came out on Saturday. I will call Kirkwood District Tuesday to determine if the district supersedes the state's history requirements, or if my son's education was a state standard. You can access the "Show Me" standards here:


I don't see specifics on American history standards listed here. Could it be Kirkwood District has more rigorous standards than the state? If that is true, is Kirkwood's capability to set its own standards lost with Missouri signing on to national standards? The national history standards have not yet been formulated. Who knows what "board" will decide what is important for your child to learn? I know Missouri has some of the highest standards currently in the nation. What will happen when a new set is introduced?

I don't know why these people Leno interviewed were so clueless on their own nation's history. Either a.) they didn't pay attention; b.) American revolutionary history wasn't a high priority for that state/school district; or c.) a combination of both factors occurred resulting in unbelievable ignorance of this country's struggles and ideals.

Check this test out on Independence history...take it for yourself and see how you do:


Are you ready to appear on Leno? How many questions can your child answer correctly?

Kudos to Kirkwood School District for providing a firm foundation for my son in learning American revolutionary history. I am concerned we will be teaching our children a different type of revolutionary history in the next few years; the history of how America is solely global, we have no rights to borders, we must approach the United Nations before we can protect America's interests, etc.

If I were a parent of a school aged child, I would make sure he/she is tutored by ME to understand the founders and their intent for this country. Call your school district this week to determine which version of American history your child is learning. Better yet, have them answer Jay Leno's questions. This may be your answer.

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