HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT EDUCATION IN AMERICA
On April 9, 2010 I saw an article on a website that decried the state of our educational system in America on the subject of history and government. It seems that students entering into college scored below 60% on average on this subject, and often their scores declined after college graduation. Folks we have a problem with our education system. Fellow hubber 50 Caliber (Dusty) and I both took this test and scored over 90% and we haven’t been in school for quite a while!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MY EDUCATIONAL HISTORY
I started school in first grade in September of 1952 and graduated from WVU in December of 1968. During my school career I had to take history, geography, civics, humanities, and economics both Econ. 101 and 102. Even though I majored in engineering I was always interested in these other subjects also and I tried very hard to learn them well.
During my primary education I went to two different schools Sanford Grade School in Moundsville, WV and Glen Dale grade school in Glen Dale, WV, where I also completed Junior High. Being a “Baby Boomer” we never had a classroom with less than 40 students and our teachers gave us all the attention we ever needed. They were a dedicated group of people who loved their students and prepared them for future life. Many were widows and some were maidens and a few had husbands with other jobs. In today’s economy it seems the latter category is the rule as multiple incomes are necessary to raise a family. There are also men teaching in primary grades today but I never had a man teacher until I reached Moundsville High School in September of 1960. During my primary, Jr. High, and High School education experience I never had an occasion to doubt the motive of any of my teachers the only times any of them were the least bit political was when Marshall County had bond issues (voluntary raise in taxation) on the ballot and they always promoted the additional funds for school system operation. Free textbooks and some supplies for kids whose parents couldn’t afford to buy them along with free lunch for those students.
SEPTEMBER 1964 WVU, HISTORY INDOCTRINATION
As an electrical engineering major I decided early in my university experience to also study history. I registered for History 53, American History from the Civil War forward. I quickly learned I wasn’t in Moundsville anymore. My History 53 professor, Dr. Wesley M. Bagby was a left wing loon and his intent was not teaching but indoctrination to his cause. He started the very first day with his rant against Barry Goldwater who was the Republican candidate running against President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Dr. Bagby quickly informed his humble students that the result of electing anyone but LBJ would be the elimination of western culture, as we know it. He claimed the result of Goldwater being elected would be the rise of the yellow race to dominance with the white race having eliminated itself in nuclear holocaust between the USSR and The United States. This was similar to advertisements run on TV by the Johnson campaign if you are old enough to remember the countdown commercial. It showed children playing on a typical American street, while in the background a clock ticked, and a man with a looming voice counted down,” 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-KABOOM!!” Followed by a huge mushroom cloud. Then a “Vote Johnson” message followed.
I know the difference between history and indoctrination when I see it now and then!!
Going back to my initial registration period at WVU I had seen History 53 in the catalogue at WVU. By it’s description I thought it would be an interesting course of study in my educational endeavors. I bought the textbook prior to my first class. I found out I had wasted my money as Dr. Wesley M. Bagby would teach strictly by lecture and by compulsory buying of his book “The Road to Normalcy” subtitled, “The Presidential Campaign and Election of 1920”. Passing the course was solely based on class participation and a book report on Bagby’s book. The book was a glorification of the “Progressive Movement”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I did my duty and complied just to make a passing grade, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.
1970’s AND 1980’s CHECKING ON MY CHILDREN
Back in 1976 when my first daughter Tracee entered the public education system I decided I would check her textbooks myself and I did and found them lacking. The same was true when my second daughter Jennifer entered public schools in 1979. I then told them to study their textbooks only to pass their tests and daddy would teach them history. That’s exactly what I did. They learned history from dear old dad!!!!!!!
THE TEST AND THE ARTICLE
The article claimed that of recent college grads they scored an average between 50% and 55% and actually the Ivy League schools were the worst. Half of incoming freshmen failed the 60-question multiple-choice test, getting just half the questions correct. What's worse was that they barely know anything more by graduation time. No school, not even Harvard or Yale got above a 69% average even among seniors. Worse yet, in some schools scores declined!!!!!!!!!
Folks these are our future leaders. What kind of leadership can we expect from these graduates who are illiterate in our own history? If they don’t know about The Founding Fathers and their values how can we expect them to lead the proper course for our Nation? They can’t do what they don’t know!!!!!!!!!
We must take the bull by the horns and teach them properly ourselves. Anything less is akin to treason to The United States of America!!!!!!!! I know you can do it just stick to your guns and be diligent!!!!!!
I will bet a dollar to a doughnut each and every one of you can do better on the test than the incoming college freshmen did in 2008. A score of 50% is reprehensible!!!
Take the test!!!!!!!!!!!!
EDUCATION IS A DUTY NOT A RIGHT
I would contend that we have no right to obtain an education, but it is our duty to educate our children as our parents exercised their duty to educate each of us. We may CHOOSE (through our elected officials) to exercise that duty in public schools. We must also be aware of the job the education system is doing since it is OUR obligation to our children.
It has been my experience that our teachers today are fighting an uphill battle. The educational system often makes them work in handcuffs. They must teach from textbooks they may know are wrong but they need their income so they must comply with many stupid rules and regulations. I know my cousin Penny Henry was a third grade teacher from 1963 to 2002 and her dedication to her students was legendary. I remember the time one little boy who was a good student and made good grades had but one problem. This lad was well behaved in class but his record of tardiness was unacceptable. Penny asked him what was keeping him from being on time for school, and the answer may break your heart. His parents were either drunk or drugged and never woke him up on time. Penny went shopping after school that day and discretely gave that little boy his very own alarm clock the next day at school. He was never late again!!!!!!
I firmly believe there are as many good teachers today as there were during the period of 1952 till 1968 when I obtained my formal education. I would long to hear from one in response to this hub. They could even write their own hub on this topic from their point of view.
This is my challenge to all of you. Help everyone exercise their duty to educate the children. We have all necessary resources and information on American History on the Internet.
John and Abigail Adams
Declaration of Independence
Anti Federalist papers
Constitution Bill of Rights
Added thanks to fellow hubber Harvey Stelman
SHARE THIS WITH YOUR CHILD, GRANDCHILD, NIECE., NEPHEW, OR FRIEND'S CHILD IT’S OUR OBLIGATION TO EDUCATE THEM.