Bill Bennett gave a very interesting and wise address today at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He reflected on American education 30 years after the “Nation At Risk” report. Bill has kept up with the research and had insightful things to say about choice, content, unions, and other issues.
The heart of his talk, though, or the part that struck me most forcefully anyway, was about the failure to impart our history and culture to our kids. He noted that only 22 percent of students scored proficient on a recent NAEP test on civics, and only 18 percent scored proficient in history. There are Americans, he said, with long bloodlines in this country who are nonetheless strangers to it, because no one had taken the time or the trouble to teach them that “In the long story of inhumanity and misery that is human history, the American achievement stands high and unique, and it’s worth knowing.
The speech is here.