The State of State World History Standards

Dale Patrick Dempsey

Harvey Pennick, the late, great Texas golf instructor, once wrote: “If you don’t have a good grip, you don’t want a good swing.” Ohio finds itself in a similar situation in its teaching of world history. The state’s world history standards, documents outlining what students ought to learn, doesn’t have a firm grip on the material, thereby hampering teachers and schools ability to follow through on effective instruction. That’s the finding from a new report authored by the eminent historian and foreign policy expert Walter Russell Mead, who gave Ohio an “F” on its world history standards. Mead found Ohio’s content standards “vague” and he noted they “do not specify content to be taught.” Ohio’s instructional methods for teaching history received even greater criticism.
 
Not that other states are fairing better, Two-thirds of them either failed or were awarded “Ds.” Just eight states—California, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia—earned an “A."

 “At a time when the United States faces threats and competitors around the globe, and when our children’s future is more entangled than ever with world developments, our schools ought not treat world history so casually,” said Chester E. Finn, Jr., president of the Fordham Institute, which published the report. “It is as if Americans are wearing blinders—and happy about it.”

Surf here to view the report.

 
Report Says Ohio Fails to Make the Grade in History,” by Scott Elliott, Dayton Daily News, June 6, 2006

 

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