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Group pushing for American History requirement for college graduation
KVOA Tucson Channel 4 News (AP Story) ^

Posted on 08/02/2006 8:40:07 PM PDT by SandRat

A national group is asking Arizona's public universities to require at least one United States history course of every student before graduation.

American History currently isn't a required course at any of the state's major public universities.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni has written letters to Gov. Janet Napolitano and 20 state lawmakers, asking them to pressure college regents and administrators to make the change.

"The flag doesn't mean all that much if you don't know how it got there," trustees member Charles Mitchell said. "What use is the Constitution if you don't know how it was written?"

State Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said he is exploring legislation that would require colleges that received Arizona tax dollars to mandate their students take American history before receiving a diploma.

"I think we have a fundamental responsibility," said Pearce, who sponsored the flag bill from this session. "The risk is losing our understanding and appreciation of the founding principles."

Faculty members note funding and other logistical problems that would come with an additional curricular mandate. Some are wary of what brand of history the American council has in mind.

Some students say they are simply tired of studying our nation's history by the time they reach college.

"You basically take U.S. history for your whole elementary and high school career," said Kristina Guerra, 20, a junior majoring in English at Arizona State University. "It's just really redundant. How many times can you learn about the pilgrims?"

The debate comes as Arizona school districts and colleges prepare for a new state law that requires the presentation of the U.S. flag in every public classroom, as well as display of the Constitution and Bill of Rights in classrooms for Grades 7 through 12 and college.

The measure, approved this session by the Legislature and signed by the governor, takes effect July 1

Mitchell said that, although the law is well meaning, it will do little on its own to ensure students have a grasp of the events and foundational documents that shape our nation.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: academia; american; americanhistory; college; curriculum; graduation; highereducation; history; historyeducation; learning; requirement; teaching

1 posted on 08/02/2006 8:40:09 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: SandRat

What a shocker...real U.S. history?? An actual teaching requirement for our country's founding principles and events?? How UNLIBERAL, why academia will not tolerate this!!!


2 posted on 08/02/2006 8:41:40 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: SandRat

What a shocker...real U.S. history?? An actual teaching requirement for our country's founding principles and events?? How UNLIBERAL, why academia will not tolerate this!!!


3 posted on 08/02/2006 8:41:41 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: SandRat

bttt!

And no liberal crap from etext.org!


4 posted on 08/02/2006 8:42:04 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: SandRat

Good idea.When i went to college(way back when???)American and Georgia history were required.


5 posted on 08/02/2006 8:44:04 PM PDT by Thombo2
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To: SandRat; DaveLoneRanger; Tired of Taxes; mcvey

You'd think they'd be teaching it in high school for crying out loud. I suppose in light of how illiterate kids are comiing out of school in math and English, it's no surprise they don't know their American History, too.


6 posted on 08/02/2006 8:45:50 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: SandRat

Be careful what we ask for - we may get it.

If left to their own curriculum, what the colleges would teach is the Ward Churchill version of U.S. history.

So what's worse - complete ignoramuses like those on Leno's Jay-Walk, or kids indoctrinated with history written by anti-Americans?


7 posted on 08/02/2006 8:49:52 PM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: SandRat

It should be a required two semesters of American History, during freshman or sophomore year.

Biology is required, as is Chemistry. Two semesters of World Civilization are required too.

Of course, my solution would be to extend high school by an additional year, and compress the four year high school curriculum into the first three years. The last two years of high school would be the equivalent of an associates degree in the arts, encompassing studies in History, basic science, Civics, Personal Finance, Art History, English/American Literature, Economics, and one practical skill - either auto mechanics, ROTC, basic computer repair, clerical, or for the college bound - two Advanced Placement courses in any subject.

Did I forget to mention mandatory athletics?


8 posted on 08/02/2006 8:54:10 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: SandRat
American History currently isn't a required course at any of the state's major public universities.

Damn, how sad.

9 posted on 08/02/2006 8:54:50 PM PDT by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: SandRat

My university (university of california) requires we take one "American Instiutions" requirement. I fullfilled it with two classes - a black studies one, and an actual american history class (although we concentrated on minorities, socialism, communism, the struggle of women, etc.)


10 posted on 08/02/2006 8:57:17 PM PDT by too short
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To: SandRat

I have mixed feelings about this. Which is worse - Left wing professors not teaching US History or left wing professors teaching US History? Tough call.


11 posted on 08/02/2006 9:00:52 PM PDT by hometoroost (TSA = Thousands Standing Around)
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To: SandRat
"How many times can you learn about the pilgrims?"

Not too many, evidently. What a ridiculous statement. There are so many things you learn at different levels and considering American high schools as they are now, I'm sure the retention level isn't particularly high.

12 posted on 08/02/2006 9:01:13 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: too short
"although we concentrated on minorities, socialism, communism, the struggle of women, etc."

Of course. It is mandatory to learn about our entitlement-driven society.

13 posted on 08/02/2006 9:03:01 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: SandRat

Wonderful History Site and Resources!

http://www.i-served.com/MagruderArticlesIndex.html
VIETNAM VETERANS FOR ACADEMIC REFORM


14 posted on 08/02/2006 9:03:36 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: hometoroost

Good point.


15 posted on 08/02/2006 9:04:22 PM PDT by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: coconutt2000

But when would there be time for liberal arts!!?? :O


16 posted on 08/02/2006 9:05:09 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: SandRat; LS; EagleUSA; Calpernia; Thombo2; metmom; SirJohnBarleycorn

I hereby nominate Freeper LS to be the United States History Czar!!


17 posted on 08/02/2006 9:10:46 PM PDT by Enterprise (Let's not enforce laws that are already on the books, let's just write new laws we won't enforce.)
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To: Calpernia

I must've left out Philosophy... Introduction to Logic should be required too.

In my mind, what I described is an education in the Liberal Arts. Maybe a study of Latin, instead of a foreign language... Nah, too retro.


18 posted on 08/02/2006 9:11:13 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: coconutt2000

What a taskmaster you are. Sounds like a plan to me.


19 posted on 08/02/2006 9:12:48 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: coconutt2000

It interesting how many liberal arts classes engineering majors have to take, and how few science classes liberal arts majors have to take.

I need about 5 liberal arts classes, while liberal arts majors need 2 science classes (which can be fulfilled by pseudo science classes such as environmental studies, a surfing class or anthropology).


20 posted on 08/02/2006 9:13:37 PM PDT by too short
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To: SandRat

I'd add Economics as a requirement as well. Too many people are clueless about basic business, which is the engine that drives our economy; despite what most democrats will tell you.


21 posted on 08/02/2006 9:20:58 PM PDT by Cobra64 (All we get are lame ideas from Republicans and lame criticism from dems about those lame ideas.)
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To: SandRat


Won't take long for it to be the PC version of history....


22 posted on 08/02/2006 9:22:45 PM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: SandRat
Their secondary excuse:

Faculty members note funding and other logistical problems that would come with an additional curricular mandate.

Their primary excuse:

Some are wary of what brand of history the American council has in mind..

This one is a convenient excuse:

Some students say they are simply tired of studying our nation's history by the time they reach college.

"You basically take U.S. history for your whole elementary and high school career," said Kristina Guerra, 20, a junior majoring in English at Arizona State University. "It's just really redundant. How many times can you learn about the pilgrims?"

I would safe in guessing that this girl could not say when the Lexington-Concord battles occurred. How about who wrote the Federalist Papers? How about the Suffolk Resolves? What were the main issues involving opposition to the Stamp Act? What year was the Constitution ratified. What is the process to amend the Constitution? When was the Civil War? This one may be pushing it: Who won the Civil War? When was the Great Depression? How many members of the US Senate? How many members of the House? How many electoral votes do you need to get elected President? You get the idea. Ax George Washington and place in his stead Rigoberta Menchu (sic?)

Mitchell said that, although the law is well meaning, it will do little on its own to ensure students have a grasp of the events and foundational documents that shape our nation.

This makes no sense since Mitchell is quoted a few sentences before as strongly supporting the measure:

"The flag doesn't mean all that much if you don't know how it got there," trustees member Charles Mitchell said. "What use is the Constitution if you don't know how it was written?"

If Mitchell said that the law was well meaning but will do little on it's own to promote US History literacy then why didn't they use such an actual quote? Because he is probably being taken out of context by a biased reporter.

23 posted on 08/02/2006 9:31:23 PM PDT by torchthemummy (Abortion: One Dead, One Wounded)
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To: too short

I bet the highest grades in the humanities classes are made by the engineering majors (or natural science majors) instead of those who major in those subjects. It was that way at Purdue in the 1980s.

I agree that the liberal arts majors should have more technical beef to their classes. They should be required to take at least one chemistry and one non-Calculus physics course and math to at least the Pre-Calculus level.

I don't think that American History should be a required course (just too much to take especially in an engineering curriculum). Some option should be made for testing out of the material. Actually the high school exit examinations should test for a minimum level of knowledge. A good chance that a required college based History course would be hijacked by liberals anyway.


24 posted on 08/02/2006 9:31:40 PM PDT by exhaustguy
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To: too short
I need about 5 liberal arts classes, while liberal arts majors need 2 science classes (which can be fulfilled by pseudo science classes such as environmental studies, a surfing class or anthropology).

Thus making a lot of highly educated people susceptible to highly technical gobbledygook, since most people probably graduate with a liberal arts degree, or a degree in a social study like economics/business.

25 posted on 08/02/2006 9:31:45 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: SandRat

Huh? I thought it already WAS a requirement. It was for me, although I didn't go to school in Arizona. I thought it was pretty standard though.


26 posted on 08/02/2006 9:40:04 PM PDT by sweetliberty (Stupidity should make you sterile!)
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To: metmom

I remember taking American History in college, but I don't remember if it was required for all students, if it was just required for my major, or if it was one option on a list of requirements.


27 posted on 08/02/2006 9:57:20 PM PDT by Tired of Taxes (That's taxes, not Texas. I have no beef with TX. NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation.)
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To: coconutt2000
...haha....Aristotelian Logic...or whatever it was, is too convoluted...how about a course in common sense...haha, I know many that don't even reach remedial level......
28 posted on 08/02/2006 10:04:30 PM PDT by NorCalRepub
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To: NorCalRepub

I found Logic to be a very easy class... when I studied it on my own. The lectures were convoluted and confusing, adding to the mystique and importance of the professor, no doubt.


29 posted on 08/02/2006 10:07:33 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: coconutt2000

No doubt.....I took a Medical Ethics class my senior year in college...the text book was very well written and self explanatory......the professor made the class 10 times harder and confusing then it should have been


30 posted on 08/02/2006 10:12:35 PM PDT by NorCalRepub
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To: torchthemummy

Think that's bad?

This summer I taught 3 courses, A US Hist since 1877 and World Civ I & II. (Yes I needed the extra money!)

Lexington/Concord?
Freshmen in college do not know who won WWII!
On day one I like to start with a basic exam, just for fun and it helps students realize how much they've learned when the re-take it during the final week. It also helps me find how much background will be needed.
Anyhow, half the class knew that the Union defeated the Confederacy in the Civil war. A third thought that the U.S. defeated Britain in the Civil War. No one could define "New Deal", "Gold Standard" and only one could define the "Cold War", although he thought it was the Germans who formed the Soviet Union. sigh...
I could go on, but you get the drift.

My world civ courses are the most difficult. Imagine this, young men and women, able to vote, yet they cannot find China on a map, don't know what I'm talking about when I say the word "Israel", and they have no idea that a "Cold War" ever took place.
Imagine a generation those has no idea what "communism" really means, except some lefty drivel about "sharing things" their HS social studies teacher told them.

It's maddening, but I feel great when they starting "getting it". For example, after discussing the foundation of Israel and the multiple Arab-Israeli wars, the kids could discuss the events in Lebanon with a basic understanding of the issues involved. Yes! They are getting it!

We should require US History at the college level. No, this is not just about preserving my job...hehe.
It's about sending out educated people from the university.
If a kid can get a college degree and not know anything about WWII, the US Constitution and the Civil War, we have a major problem.


31 posted on 08/02/2006 10:44:32 PM PDT by Will_Zurmacht
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To: SandRat

It should be required from kindergarten through graduate school, each year.


32 posted on 08/02/2006 11:01:19 PM PDT by pissant
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To: Will_Zurmacht

If college kids don't know any of that information by the time they enter college, it seems to me the solution is to fix public education at the grade school level.

College is a time to specialize, not to get bogged down in an endless list of gen eds. It should be (ideally) a time to engage in critical thinking and research skills, not to memorize dates and names. Those who actually managed to learn historical facts about their nation that they should have memorized during middle school shouldn't have to waste their time in this kind of course. And those that haven't, well, maybe they shouldn't be in college.


33 posted on 08/03/2006 2:30:00 AM PDT by Narcolepsy
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To: SandRat

Good post. Great thread.


34 posted on 08/03/2006 3:28:35 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: EagleUSA

We need to scrap all of today's public school curriculum and reinstate the curriculum of 1960, the only exception being the substitution of computer classes in lieu of typing classes.

The schools then taught the basics and once learned, all other education would take care of itself.


35 posted on 08/03/2006 4:24:20 AM PDT by DH (The government writes no bill that does not line the pockets of special interests.)
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To: SandRat

It was a requirement at the colleges I attended, one private and one public. Both were conservative campuses and my teacher was wonderful. That being said, I was lucky. What if it's required and you get someone like the long haired guy in Colorado?


36 posted on 08/03/2006 4:26:53 AM PDT by EmilyGeiger
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To: SandRat
Ah yes. U.S. History in College - good idea...

[ater a female student answered correctly why America pulled out of Vietnam]
Is she right? 'Cause I know that's the *popular* version of what went on there.
And a lot of people like to believe that. I wish I could, but I was *there*.
I wasn't here in a class room, hoping I was right, thinking about it.

[shouting] I was up to my knees in rice paddies, with guns that didn't work!
Going in there, looking for Charlie, slugging it out with him;
While p*ssies like you were back here partying, putting headbands on, doing drugs,
and stening to the goddamn Beatle albums! Oh!.. Oh!.. Oh!..

37 posted on 08/03/2006 5:13:23 AM PDT by Condor51 (Better to fight for something than live for nothing - Gen. George S. Patton)
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

You stated my immediate worry. The last thing we need is for colleges to teach American History. That would be the end of our country for sure....


38 posted on 08/03/2006 5:18:00 AM PDT by demkicker (democrats and terrorists are intimate bedfellows)
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

I agree. However, years ago, Arizona instituted a "free enterprise" course in all high schools, and from what I could tell in my few years there, it seemed to be working ok. But I agree we must use caution.


39 posted on 08/03/2006 4:43:19 PM PDT by LS
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To: hometoroost

I agree, it's tough either way. And I can't possibly teach ALL the nation's 'youts.'


40 posted on 08/03/2006 4:44:02 PM PDT by LS
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To: Enterprise

I will not run, and if elected, will not tyrranize :)


41 posted on 08/03/2006 4:44:35 PM PDT by LS
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To: SandRat

We were required to have TWO semesters if American History when I was in college. I was very fortunate in my professor - and developed a deep interest/love for the subject at that time. Elementary/high school just did not do it for me.


42 posted on 08/03/2006 4:47:26 PM PDT by mathluv (Never Forget!)
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To: LS
You have no choice. You must serve! I finished your book and I have one whine. It ended! THERE'S NO MORE! Arghhhhhhhhh!(Just an outstanding piece of work, from beginning to end - but you knew that)

Anyway, they might not know it now, but your students are damned lucky to have you as a professor!

43 posted on 08/03/2006 6:28:34 PM PDT by Enterprise (Let's not enforce laws that are already on the books, let's just write new laws we won't enforce.)
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To: Enterprise
My friend, I have good news for you :)

Our PAPERBACK edition, updated through mid-2006, is coming out in early spring 2007!

And, if you go to our website, www.patriotshistoryusa.com, we have some 20 excerpts from the book that were NOT published due to space. And I'm putting more up as time permits.

44 posted on 08/04/2006 4:41:06 AM PDT by LS
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To: LS

OK -thanks!!


45 posted on 08/04/2006 9:58:46 AM PDT by Enterprise (Let's not enforce laws that are already on the books, let's just write new laws we won't enforce.)
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To: EagleUSA

I like it, but the teachers at the college that I am attending will definitely put a liberal spin on everything.


46 posted on 09/04/2006 7:37:59 AM PDT by brwnsuga (Black, Proud, Conservative!)
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