Massachusetts needs to revive U.S. History instruction!

Hover over these pictures to learn just how much our students don’t know.

In 2010, most 4th graders

did not know one reason why Abraham Lincoln was important.

Just a third of 8th graders

could name a single advantage the Patriots had in the Revolutionary War.

98% of graduating seniors

could not explain the central issue of Brown v. Board of Education.

MA students should know the importance of the history that surrounds them. 

  • We are the home of so many influential Americans including John Adams, Horace Mann, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, and JFK. Our schools should teach the importance of these figures.

 

If U.S. history is not tested, it will not be taught. 

  • 87% of MA teachers say there is a correlation between the subjects that are taught in our schools and those  that are tested.
  • Despite a national reputation for rigorous history standards, no Massachusetts team has ever placed in the top 10 teams at the We The People competition.
  • Rigorous standards alone are not enough.

 

MA should keep its 2006 promise to add history to the MCAS test. 

  • In 2009, the MA Board of Education postponed the administration of the MCAS test.
  • MA should reinstate that test as a requirement for the graduating class of 2016.
  • Since the test was already written for 2009, reinstating it would have little additional cost.
  • More than two-thirds of legislators believe that the cost of administrating the test “could be found” in the state budget.

 

A Common Sense of U.S. history is essential for engaging future generations with American social, economic, and civic life.

A recent poll of 500 representative MA residents shows broad support for the U.S. history test in every category. 

 
  • 97% of teachers, 95% of parents, and 88% of legislators believe that U.S. history should be taught in our schools.
  • 97% of teachers, 84% of legislators, and 82% of parents think that MA should focus more attention on educating students on U.S. history.

Information provided on this page is from THE RISE AND FALL OF THE STUDY OF AMERICAN HISTORY IN MASSACHUSETTS and HISTORY IN SCHOOLS: A POLL ON REINSTATING THE MCAS U.S. HISTORY TEST CONDUCTED BY DAVID PALEOLOGOS.

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