Scrolling through the popular secret/opinion app Whisper, I often see high school students posting about how unfair certain laws are and how much they sympathize with people who have staged attacks on our land. 9/11 being one of my earliest memories, I stiffen in defense at how unpatriotic and lewd their comments are. They blame my patriotism on racist upbringing in the bible belt, but in reality it is based in a love for my country and seeing first hand how important it is in times of trouble.
However, the issue may not lie just with their upbringing, but also by their schooling. According to the Atlantic, “only between 18 and 27 percent of students scored ‘proficient’ or ‘higher’ when it comes to American history. This lack of knowledge serves as a primary reason why students have no love or loyalty to their country.
NBC News backed up the Atlantic stating, “Just 13 percent of high school seniors who took the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress — called the Nation’s Report Card — showed solid academic performance in American history. The two other grade levels tested didn’t perform much better, which just 22 percent of fourth-grade students and 18 percent of eighth-graders scoring proficient or better”.
But why is this happening? NBC also offered a theory in the same article saying, “Education experts say a heavy focus on reading and math under the federal No Child Left Behind law in the last decade has led to lagging performance in other subjects such as history and science”. But as the saying goes, those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it.
Arizona is determined to not repeat history. CBS News reports that the state passed what is called the American Civics Acts. This law would require every Arizona high school senior to pass a civics test much like then American Citizenship Test that immigrants must take to gain citizenship.
The funny thing is, this is not new news. Most of these articles date back to 2015 at the earliest. So why is this so relevant to right now?
Another Atlantic article proposed an interesting theory, stating, “Given Millennials’ lifestyle habits and the general public’s ever-growing skepticism of people in power, perennially low voter turnout may seem inevitable. But perhaps schools are largely to blame for the rather pathetic participation numbers; perhaps young adults’ ignorance of civic affairs helps explain why so few of them cast their votes. Perhaps that means change is possible”.
Personally, I would love to see this implemented in all 50 states. So many schools, especially left leaning ones, apply more time to events like the civil rights movement. However,that is only one part of our history. Every part of American history is important, including the ugly parts. I learned more about wars and the rich history of our country on family trips and going to museums than I did in a class room. After all, knowing past politics can help us tackle current ones.
More and more states are considering laws like these and rightfully so. Ignorant voters lead to a weak and poorly led country. Hopefully this a step in the right direction. But only time will tell.
Keep an eye out for a new live stream coming soon discussing this via twitter. And please let me know your opinion on this issue.