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History results abysmal on National Assoc. of Educ. Progress Assessment

June 17, 2011

The New York Times has a blog written about the subject in which students performed the lowest on this year’s NAEP test.  Here is an excerpt from the piece:

History advocates contend that students’ poor showing on the tests underlines neglect shown the subject by federal and state policy makers, especially since the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act began requiring schools to raise scores in math and reading but in no other subject. The federal accountability law, the advocates say, has given schools and teachers an incentive to spend less time on history and other subjects.

“History is very much being shortchanged,” said Linda K. Salvucci, a history professor in San Antonio who is chairwoman-elect of the National Council for History Education. Many teacher-education programs, she said, also contribute to the problem by encouraging aspiring teachers to seek certification in social studies, rather than in history. “They think they’ll be more versatile, that they can teach civics, government, whatever,” she said. “But they’re not prepared to teach history.”

Another casualty of NCLB?  I think so.  In elementary school we have Social Studies, which includes all the basic history of California.  I don’t get to devote as much time to this subject as I would like to, and I think that is a shame as it is a very interesting topic.

The NAEP results make sense to me because History/Social Studies are not tested, thus they don’t receive the same level of importance as math and literacy.  This is a FACT in schools across this country.  I have read blogs about schools where the ONLY subjects teachers are allowed to teach are math and literacy.  This is a crying shame.  Gone is Art, Music, Wood-Shop, Metal-Shop, Power-Mechanics, Graphic-Arts, Photography – all the subjects that I used to have access to as a kid.  Subjects taught on part time are history/social studies/second languages.  I really hold the Obama administration and Arne Duncan as responsible for maintaining a horrible statute like NCLB.  There was and still is plenty of support to overhaul this legislation, but I sadly feel that this administration has too many wealthy friends in high places that like the law, so just like with the banks being bailed out on our dime, we suffer with this legislation.

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