Teaching History

What Should High School Students Learn?


Parents, teachers and public officials have complained for years that students don't know much about history. But when new standards for teaching history were released last fall, they came under fierce attack. Conservatives said the standards accentuate the negative in American history, overly romanticize the role of protest in the U.S. and downgrade the importance of European civilization in world history. Officials at UCLA's National Center for History in the Schools, which wrote the federally funded standards, denied the charges of political bias. But the Senate voted overwhelmingly to condemn the standards. An independent group will report soon on possible revisions. But some history educators fear the controversy has set back efforts to improve the teaching of history.

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