History is important for three main reasons. One, it is an endlessly fascinating tale and can excite kids with tales of great heroism and drama. It can provide a spark for young kids to go deeper – to read and research, to write, and to learn. Second, history provides – to some extent – a road map to the future. It can help us avoid some mistakes. At the very least it should make us all a bit more humble. Third, and most important, history makes better citizens. To be effective citizens in a democratic society students need to learn about our nation’s past, our basic laws, and our most basic ideals.
That is very difficult to answer! All history is endlessly important. I think, however, I would pick World War II and the story of D-Day in particular. For kids to know how Americans – young Americans with dreams and hopes for the future and from so many different ethnic groups – came together and took the beaches of Normandy and marched into Germany to destroy Hitler is so important. Learning about D-Day can help students learn not to take their freedom for granted and to be thankful for those who came before us and sacrificed everything.
Yes I do. A well designed MCAS test will encourage districts to put the resources and effort behind the teaching of American history. Without an MCAS history test, as evidence shows, resources and effort will go elsewhere.