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For teens, history is so last week March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, J non-fiction, nonfiction, YA.
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A recent study undertaken by the new educational research and advocacy organization Common Core has found that:

many of America’s high school students do not possess the basic knowledge they need to succeed in the world or to achieve their full potential as democratic citizens. The report, entitled Still at Risk: What Students Don’t Know, Even Now, shows that, twenty-five years after the publication of the landmark study, A Nation at Risk, America’s children continue to demonstrate a stunning ignorance about basic facts of U.S. history and literature. Overall, the 1,200 17-year-olds surveyed earned a “D.”

  • Nearly a quarter cannot identify Adolf Hitler, with ten percent thinking Hitler was a munitions manufacturer.
  • More than a quarter think Christopher Columbus sailed after 1750.
  • Fewer than half can place the Civil War in the correct half-century.
  • A third do not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees the freedom of speech and religion.
  • Half have no idea what the Renaissance was.
  • Nearly half think that The Scarlet Letter was either about a witch trial or a piece of correspondence.

Ouch! Take the test yourself (PDF), and then how about putting together a display of historical fiction, classics, and the most gripping history books you can find? You could even print copies of the quiz and challenge parents and teens to compare their scores.

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