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Updated on August 22, 2010


 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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.


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.



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 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!!!!!!!!!!!!


The test below is an abbreviated version of the test given to entering college freshmen (33 questions only).


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

Alexander Hamilton

Benjamin Franklin

Declaration of Independence

Federalist papers

Anti Federalist papers

Constitution Bill of Rights

Added thanks to fellow hubber Harvey Stelman



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    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      Isn't it a travesty that young college graduates can't score better than less then 69%? How can my grandchildren have any future with buffoons like that as leaders??!!!!!

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      9 years ago from Illinois


      I don't have kids, but I want all that come along to enjoy the real America. See we have a lot in common, we both have an 89 score.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I totally agree with your assessment of our current situation. Remember to visit Sheri Sapp's hub on this subject from the viewpoint of a teacher!!!!!!!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Tom, This is an excellent hub about a very important issue. It seems the public education system is deplorable in most schools as compared to the education we receive growing up. I remember more after all these years about various then children seem to be taught today. Private schools seem to be the exception, and in many cases home schooling can be very good. Outstanding article Tom!

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I had no doubt that an intelligent person as you would outperform the recent college grads who took the test.

      Thanks for stopping and your comment.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      This is an excellent Hub, Tom. Thanks for providing the link to that interesting test. I missed 2 for a score of 93.94%. :D

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      sheila b.,

      I obviously agree with your observation. The three R's must come first. However the three R's are useless if falty data is input after the three R's are learned. It's like a computer, garbage in garbage out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      9 years ago

      Back to basics for me - the kids have to learn to read before we can teach them anything. I belong to your generation, and I know positively that everyone in my class, as well as my school, could read.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I must be psychic I was hoping you would see this hub and make my wish come true for a teacher to give their perspective on the subject of education and I look forward to reading your upcoming hub with eager anticipation!!!!!!!

    • SheriSapp profile image


      9 years ago from West Virginia


      thanks for the quiz link. I am a bit disappointed in myself as I missed 4 questions, but an 87% is pretty respectable IMO. What a sad statement on the education provided by government schools, if they get failing grades from their students.

      I will be composing a companion hub to this one which will bear a "Part Two" in the title. I will include some of my experiences as both a student as a current teacher in the public school system. GREAT hub TOM!!!

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      The decline of the school system began about the same time as the formation of the Federal Department of Education. Now we have NAMBLA supporters like Kevin Jennings involved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Tom, you've heard, our school systems are failing, we need to throw more money at them. Wow, is this an incentive for the schools to fail, so they will have more money sent their way. Then this all just keep escalating. Then the government gets involves, because they are now funding it, and tells them what to teach. An of course the liberals, i.e. Bill Ayers and other are heading up the new teaching system.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Enlydia Listener,

      You did exactly the right thing in keeping your daughter safe from possible perverts. I congratulate your inititive in doing your sacred duty!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 

      9 years ago from trailer in the country

      Tom, that is a good article...we took our daughter out of the school system...(she is 16) because we did not like what was happening there...I wrote any article on that also...but left out a few the fact that a male figure in authority there gave her a sexy sun dress at the end of her stay there...she said it was totally innocent and he was just being nice...I thought it was inappropriate.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      That is all we can ask of any teacher. Learn, investigate, and then relate to the future generation!!!!!!!!

      Thank you for your visit and your kind comment.

    • msorensson profile image


      9 years ago

      Tom, few people distinguish between History and indoctrination.

      My son will be a History major in college. I hope he will pass on his knowledge with unbiased accuracy.

      Thank you for this hub.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      This is too important a task to count on a government entity to carry out!!!!!!! We must check on our children's knowledge of history ourselves and make sure it's correct!!! The fact that college professors are of a progressive bent makes this all the more imperative!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Springboard profile image


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      So true, and so sad in this country that most of our nation's kids know more about the history of Apple than they do about America. They know every player on every sports team, as well as who the coach is, but can't tell you who their senators are.

      Much needs to change, and it should start in our schools. Americans should outrightly demand it. But here is part of the problem...

      College. It has BECOME the progressive movement. Our teachers become tools of this movement.

      And when progressives run what can well be classified as one of the most important institutions we have in this country, we're all in real deep trouble.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I unfortunately don't have any idea about a history book that old. I do have my old History 53 book somewhere. If you're intrested let me know and I'll look for it. There may be public libraries or the Library of Congress where you can find old archived volumes.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      9 years ago from HubPages, FB

      To, great and very important Hub.

      I am looking for history book published before 1925 or so, before history was rewritten. Do you have any tips?

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      At this point in our history I don't feel safe assuming that the children will exibhit the wisdom you displayed in your time. We are obligated by sacred duty to teach them the truth!!!!!!!! Thank you for your visit and comment.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I finished my formal education in 1962 but later took courses both for professional development and personal interest.The last history course I took the professor certainly had a liberal point of view, but to be fair I think he tried to be somewhat objective. Or maybe I was better able to ignore the parts that I took as personal bias.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      50 Caliber,

      You have stated one of the most profound truths in the entire universe. If we lose our souls by neglecting a sacred duty to our children then by God's rules we are doomed to eternal darkness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Tom, great job! It is compulsory to learn and I think the video I spread far and wide would be a nice addition. I keep it on the top of my survivalist forum bookmarks, I'm sure you've seen it Let us teach those who will listen, and bid the rest farewell as they ride the box cars out of their town. It is a good time to teach them about the savior Jesus Christ, who will teach them that loosing your life on this plane of existence is not that big of deal as long as they know him and have set their selves straight with him and heed his call first and foremost of all things, then they cannot die.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I have no shadow of a doubt that you are an outstanding parent. You are an inspiration to many of us hubbers. We must all accept our responsibility to educate our young folks. It's a sacred duty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      9 years ago

      Terrific and extremely important hub, Tom. What we are witnessing now is the result of the dumbing down of America. I read somewhere that education went downhill after 1967. I remember clearly watching my niece prepare a paper for a college class. It was handwritten , sloppy and in my view completely unacceptable. Her professor gave her an A. When my girls were in school I was always on top of things and now that they are parents they play an enormous role in teaching their kids what the schools leave out. My grandson who is 6 told me that he teaches himself things all the time because what he is doing in kindergarten is for babies! As for the content and accuracy in history books in print today, they all get failing grades. It is an absolute disgrace!


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