Video: High school students are, uh, a bit aloof on American history

posted at 8:01 pm on June 29, 2015 by Matt Vespa

Last week, MRCTV’s Dan Joseph showed that nothing is sacred whatsoever when he trolled the graduation ceremony of Centreville High School in Northern Virginia. Before students can celebrate graduating high school, Joseph asked basic history questions, like, in what year did we declare our independence from Great Britain? Of course, the answer is 1776, but 1704, 1674 (or 1673), and 1907 were just some of the years that were given. Yet, regarding who are the Speaker of the House and the Vice President of the United States, these recent graduates fared much better.

Now, we can all mock these students for not knowing basic American history, slam Millennials for being dumb (though a lot of them have political views that make no sense), or criticize our education system for not teaching our children.

 

At the same time, a lot of Americans who aren’t high school graduates don’t know a lot about history, or the basic machinations of American government. As the Washington Post  reported in June of 2014, Americans had some trouble finding Ukraine on the map; 55 percent couldn’t identify the party that Abraham Lincoln belonged to during the Civil War; 53 percent of Democrats knew that FDR was indeed one of them; two-thirds couldn’t name one Supreme Court Justice; only 38 percent could name the three branches of government; and a 1999 survey by Project Vote Smart found that only 38 percent of Americans 18-25 didn’t know the function of the Supreme Court, which is deciding the constitutionality of laws.

Jamie Fuller, who is now the Associate Editor at New York Magazine, who wrote the post, also mentioned that Newsweek’s 1,000-person survey in 2011, found that 29 percent couldn’t identify the vice president–and 73 percent had no clue as to why we fought the Cold War.

So, in the grand scheme of things, we’re all falling short in some area relating to U.S. history, politics, and government.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Actual tea party sign: “keep you government hands off my medicare.”

Don’t underestimate how incredibly ignorant the wingnut base is.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:09 PM

And then there’s incredibly ignorant you …..

On the other hand, not know the three branches of government is a pretty major deal.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:13 PM

fogw on June 29, 2015 at 10:11 PM

Whereas putting “knows dates of major events inamerican revolution” on your resume is a sure fire way to land that job!

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:42 PM

I will admit ignorance of facts such as these is a definite advantage for community organizers / rabble-rousers / race-baiters.
For instance, if you actually knew that the American Revolution began in 1776 and ended in 1783, and that president Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 during the American Civil War, wouldn’t it make you a liar if you were to say “the United States held African-Americans as slaves for 400 years”?

dentarthurdent on June 29, 2015 at 10:13 PM

And some defend that lack as acceptable.

davidk on June 29, 2015 at 9:59 PM

Not acceptable, but frankly kind of trivial. If you value the ability to research then why not just let them research that factoid in the extremely unlikely case that it actually becomes relevant to something they are doing?

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 10:32 PM

For instance, if you actually knew that the American Revolution began in 1776 and ended in 1783, and that president Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 during the American Civil War, wouldn’t it make you a liar if you were to say “the United States held African-Americans as slaves for 400 years”?

dentarthurdent on June 29, 2015 at 10:13 PM

Because the 400 number really matters? Does the statement really change when the correct number of years is put in its place?

In other words you are nitpicking to try and avoid an argument you can’t defeat. Much like fogw pointing at my typos and lack of proofreading.

*shrug*

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 10:36 PM

This is a pretty good indicator of how we have come to be in the state we are in. And quite possibly why aliens won’t talk to us…

ghostwalker1 on June 29, 2015 at 11:08 PM

On the other hand, not know the three branches of government is a pretty major deal.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:13 PM

Considering that you yourself Lied here on another thread Sunday by calling the United States “a Democracy”, that’s pretty imbecilic, even for a Clive Cussler fan like yourself.

H

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2015 at 12:09 AM

In other words you are nitpicking to try and avoid an argument you can’t defeat.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 10:36 PM

9TH GRADE-

When are you going to hold your breath and threaten to turn blue?

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2015 at 12:11 AM

Obama has been in office about 6.5 yeas now.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:06 PM

No, his two terms are up and anything he does now is unconstitutional.

At least, it’s close enough for academia. Since dates don’t matter, why should we just assume he hasn’t been in for 8 years?

malclave on June 30, 2015 at 12:53 AM

Considering that you yourself Lied here on another thread Sunday by calling the United States “a Democracy”, that’s pretty imbecilic, even for a Clive Cussler fan like yourself.

H

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2015 at 12:09 AM

Really?

This is pathetic even for you, del.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 12:56 AM

No, his two terms are up and anything he does now is unconstitutional.

At least, it’s close enough for academia. Since dates don’t matter, why should we just assume he hasn’t been in for 8 years?

malclave on June 30, 2015 at 12:53 AM

Good one.

You’ve sold me on your point of view with that incredibly well reasoned argument.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 12:57 AM

Whereas putting “knows dates of major events inamerican revolution” on your resume is a sure fire way to land that job!

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:42 PM

Yes, absolutely it’s part of it. You’re as stupid as the people we’re talking about.

Liberals, have progressive convictions they’re given. They memorize them and treat them like Gods. That, is a liberals intellect. Regardless of how hard to try to portray Conservatives as stupid, most of what you have is just very strong opinions.

hawkdriver on June 30, 2015 at 3:29 AM

hard “you” try …

hawkdriver on June 30, 2015 at 3:30 AM

…function of the Supreme Court, which is deciding the constitutionality of laws.

It seems that Matt doesn’t know about the document called The Constitution for the United States of America. Care to show me where this is enumerated therein?

This assumed power (I prefer the phrase “usurped power”) was bestowed upon themselves by themselves when they decided Marbury v. Madison. Had Madison had his head screwed on right, he could have fought back by saying, “No, allowing SCOTUS to make this decision unilaterally would give them too much power. We are three equal branches, so TWO branches are required to arbite the Constitutionality of any given law.”

Had we had that, we’d have a chance to unseat the tyrants in black robes that the Scrotus has become. (Misspelling intentional and appropriate)

Wino on June 30, 2015 at 6:16 AM

(R)s have had near absolute control of the US educational system for decades, right?

rogerb on June 30, 2015 at 6:17 AM

They’re not “aloof . . . they are simply freaking dumb and undereducated.

rplat on June 30, 2015 at 7:32 AM

For instance, if you actually knew that the American Revolution began in 1776 and ended in 1783, and that president Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 during the American Civil War, wouldn’t it make you a liar if you were to say “the United States held African-Americans as slaves for 400 years”?

dentarthurdent on June 29, 2015 at 10:13 PM

Because the 400 number really matters? Does the statement really change when the correct number of years is put in its place?

Yes, the number matters when you and your merry band of oiks try to paint slavery as a southern thing it is quite instructive to note that New York (as New Amsterdam) became the first slave importing center in 1626, Massachussetts the first slave holding colony in 1630, that up until 1808 the epicenter of the slave trade was New England, and that up until 1861 the economies of both New England and the Federal government profited greatly off the cotton, rice, sugar, and other exportable goods grown on Southern plantations.

When when one knows dates, as in this case, a more accurate picture of slavery in the US comes to light as opposed to your Howard Zinn cartoon of “North, good; South, slave, bad.”

F X Muldoon on June 30, 2015 at 7:38 AM

This explains how Obama got elected and reelected.

bluegill on June 30, 2015 at 7:41 AM

1999 survey by Project Vote Smart found that only 38 percent of Americans 18-25 didn’t know the function of the Supreme Court, which is deciding the constitutionality of laws.

That’s not correct. They’re not just a constitutional court. They can even try cases under certain circumstances as the court of original jurisdiction.

blammm on June 30, 2015 at 8:06 AM

Not acceptable, but frankly kind of trivial. If you value the ability to research then why not just let them research that factoid in the extremely unlikely case that it actually becomes relevant to something they are doing?

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 10:32 PM

I would accept that. These kinds of surveys are little more than gotcha exercises, and we can all feel better about ourselves because we’re “smarter than that.”

But not knowing the date the Dec. of In. was signed? One wou;d have to sleep through twelve years of school not to know that. Factoid or no.

davidk on June 30, 2015 at 8:12 AM

Tlalaoc:

Don’t forget dear leader Obama:

57 states
5000 percent savings
corpse-men
He said people in Austria speak Austrian

DavidM on June 30, 2015 at 8:18 AM

High school history classes frequently stop at WWII.

Count to 10 on June 30, 2015 at 8:31 AM

I work in the schools as a substitute teacher and the the grades k-5 are not taught world or USA history. They get a little in middle school and a little bit more in high school. They also are not taught any of the old folk and historical songs that once were taught.The Plus side is that students don’t know what the Confederate flag is or what the CSA was either. This is ignorance that is welcome because if they don’t know the evils of the CSA than they are better off,, only kidding.

garydt on June 30, 2015 at 8:50 AM

This article reads like it was written by a millennial. The word “aloof” in the headline: I don’t think it means what you think it means. Try “ignorant about” instead of “aloof on”. Perhaps reading a few dozen books will help. I don’t mean to be harsh, but I took Noah to task for his frequent poor grammar and his writing was an order of magnitude better than this article. I couldn’t even make sense of some of the statements.

Immolate on June 30, 2015 at 8:53 AM

All Russian students are aware of the communist revolution, The Great Patriotic War and the year the Czar was overthrown. These things are hammered in Russian schools. We also rank 37th in Science nd Math. The republic needs to be transformed back to what it was after this communist president has almost destroyed it.

garydt on June 30, 2015 at 8:59 AM

Tlaloc – I’n going to make a statement that has stood the test of time. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. This is very appropriate when discussing the history of socialism/communism with libruls such as yourself. If knowing history was not important, then why do your librul/socialist friends spend so much time and effort revising it. If the modern children and citizens do not know their history, particularly that of the Western civilization, then it becomes easy for the flim-flam artists and grifters to convince them of causative events that are not true. Through these actions they obtain power. Of course, by grifters and flimflam artists, I mean politicians, community organizers, librul trolls, teachers, and popular culture figures. Why else would you librul trolls try, and somewhat succeed, to take over the news media and entertainment industries. You have been doing this since the 30s. Ah, there is a number, 85 years, and I have personally witnessed 75 of those years.

Old Country Boy on June 30, 2015 at 9:15 AM

Half of all people are below average in intelligence.

myiq2xu on June 29, 2015 at 8:23 PM

Inaccurate. Far more than half are below average. The bell curve on those stats is decidedly NOT symmetrical. The fewer numbers who are above average tend to be further above average than those greater numbers who are below. You know, those people in school about whom everyone complained “they wrecked the curve”?

It is a common but incorrect supposition that distributions above and below a mean must automatically be equal. And while the aggregate value of the samples employed may indeed be balanced above and below that mean, it doesn’t ensure that an equal number of samples is on either side of the scale.

As an example, for every 5 people with a 95 IQ (-5 each to the mean), there may be 1 person with a 125 IQ. The mean (600/6 = 100) isn’t created through an equal distribution of samples.

Just saying.

Freelancer on June 30, 2015 at 9:19 AM

and a 1999 survey by Project Vote Smart found that only 38 percent of Americans 18-25 didn’t know the function of the Supreme Court, which is deciding the constitutionality of editing laws.

Axeman on June 30, 2015 at 9:22 AM

55 percent couldn’t identify the party that Abraham Lincoln belonged to during the Civil War

1) You can drop the “during the Civil War”. I can’t find any reference to Lincoln switching parties, so that inclusion is only there to promote that lie.

2) It’s not surprising since most Democrats think Lincoln was a Democrat freeing the slaves from the evil Republican plantation owners, and that the Civil Rights act was a Democrat move to supplant the Republican segregationists.

Sad… which is why the Demonrat party runs on low information voters.

dominigan on June 30, 2015 at 9:23 AM

It’s quite ignorant to believe that dates don’t matter. Originally, it’s a good idea to get a flow of historical events, perhaps the dates don’t matter that much. But when you want to know history, be able to walk around in it, dates are mandatory.

For example, it gives us some perspective to say that we declared independence July, 1776 and it took us 16 months to come up with the scant Articles of Confederation as an agreement to how we were banded together.

It’s also interesting to know which had their Republican revolution first, America or France?

America.

France was interested in what was happening in America, but never really got started until 1789. What also happened the year of 1789? The election of George Washington, the world’s first elected executive since the classical ages in January. March 4th, Congress would begin their first session.

To know the succession of “whats”, you have to know what happened before what.

Axeman on June 30, 2015 at 9:56 AM

From my previous post, “Tlaloc – Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. By using the word know I of course mean to study and understand.

Old Country Boy on June 30, 2015 at 10:02 AM

On an almost daily basis, somebody I deal with gives me an odd look, and asks, “Why in the world do you know that?”. To which I always give the same reply; “I pay attention”. In each of those cases, the “factoid” could very well be called trivial, or to some, useless.

And yet, I know otherwise. Every single bit of information retained by a person informs their thought processes, their judgment, their ability to accurately analyze, problem-solve, and distinguish between other pieces of information as to which are valid and which are not. You may as well build a house with no foundation.

To willfully ignore items of fact which are available is, by definition, to choose ignorance.

Now to address Tlaloc’s particular brand of idiocy directly. His mis-direction in this case is to suggest that one is NOT DUMBER by not retaining relevant dates of historical events. First of all, what a lovely standard on which to set one’s sights, being NOT DUMBER. That should say more than enough about the value of said troll’s thoughts and opinions. But let’s give it more slack than that for a moment.

This article and video are concerned with graduating high school seniors. The collection and acquisition of facts and details pertaining to the subjects attended, has been their primary responsibility for the majority of the previous twelve years. In most public school systems, alternating grades devote classroom study to American History, the other years being aimed at World History. No less than 3 entire semesters of study have concentrated on the founding and development of this nation. Drills, quizzes, and tests have focused on precisely the dates and places of events. And on the day that they have achieved what was required to move on in life, they cannot answer what should be the absolute simplest date-related question from their school career.

And that’s totally copacetic with Tlaloc. Because whatever. And also, shut up. I’m sure that what’s really being said here is that Tlaloc wouldn’t have known the answer either, without Google. And as long as you can trust in Google/Wikipedia, what else do you need?

Well, friends, a day is coming when you will be unable to trust anything produced by electronics means as fact. Orwell knew that what we wrote was possible, but he believed men would know enough to prevent it. He over-estimated men by quite a bit.

Home school your children, and make sure they learn the details of our nation’s conception, birth, and adolescence. Teach them to love the details, and to ignore those who laugh at such ability. Teach them to be able to survive anything, for without them, the others don’t stand a chance.

Freelancer on June 30, 2015 at 10:27 AM

55 percent couldn’t identify the party that Abraham Lincoln belonged to during the Civil War; 53 percent of Democrats knew that FDR was indeed one of them; two-thirds couldn’t name one Supreme Court Justice; only 38 percent could name the three branches of government; and a 1999 survey by Project Vote Smart found that only 38 percent of Americans 18-25 didn’t know the function of the Supreme Court…

…29 percent couldn’t identify the vice president–and 73 percent had no clue as to why we fought the Cold War.

 
So we decided a “factoid” is what we’re expected to call everything people who consider themselves smart don’t know, right?
 
Because it’s all just a matter of levels, and it can be applied at *any* level. If 1776 is a “factoid” that someone can simply research, then the names/roles of the three branches of government is no different. As long as someone knows there’s a government then everything below that level of knowledge can be a factoid, right?
 
“Factoid” is just an excuse, right? There’s no reason people should automatically know the party Abe Lincoln was a member of, right?
 
Consider where acceptance of this level of ignorance is taking us.

rogerb on June 30, 2015 at 11:01 AM

I certainly wouldn’t hire anyone who didn’t know the year America declared independence.

tommyboy on June 30, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Because the 400 number really matters? Does the statement really change when the correct number of years is put in its place?

In other words you are nitpicking to try and avoid an argument you can’t defeat. Much like fogw pointing at my typos and lack of proofreading.

*shrug*

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 10:36 PM

Yes it does matter. Facts matter. And you libtards keep using lies to get your way. Knowing the facts allows people to figure out that you leftists are lying – which of course you don’t want to happen. That’s why you hate real education, because an educated population can see through your lies.
You leftist libtards are all con-artists, pure and simple, and you hate it when people call out your con.

dentarthurdent on June 30, 2015 at 11:38 AM

If the modern children and citizens do not know their history, particularly that of the Western civilization, then it becomes easy for the flim-flam artists and grifters to convince them of causative events that are not true.

Old Country Boy on June 30, 2015 at 9:15 AM

Precisely why leftists like tlaloc don’t want people educated with actual facts.

dentarthurdent on June 30, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Tlaloc – I’n going to make a statement that has stood the test of time. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

Old Country Boy on June 30, 2015 at 9:15 AM

So a kid who doesn’t know the year 1776 is when the declaration of independence was signed is doomed to relive 1776?

Neat.

My point is that knowing date factoids has very little to do with knowing history. If you view history as simply a collection of numbers you haven’t learned a thing, really.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 12:33 PM

To know the succession of “whats”, you have to know what happened before what.

Axeman on June 30, 2015 at 9:56 AM

And were they asked about your succession of events?

Nope.

They were asked to assign a date to a singular event. But you trick yourself into thinking that by being able to do this it means they really know something about the context in which the event occurred.

That is naive.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 12:35 PM

This is funny. I say funny because in my experience I remember civics and art class were removed from out available classes in high school my sophomore year. Highline high school in Burien, WA because of some tax that failed and the District was short money so they removed civics and art from all schools in the district lol. So yes, you have to make sure kids are getting taught these things..
And yes..that means some one has to pay for it.

Politricks on June 30, 2015 at 12:35 PM

Now to address Tlaloc’s particular brand of idiocy directly. His mis-direction in this case is to suggest that one is NOT DUMBER by not retaining relevant dates of historical events. First of all, what a lovely standard on which to set one’s sights, being NOT DUMBER. That should say more than enough about the value of said troll’s thoughts and opinions. But let’s give it more slack than that for a moment.

I clearly said they should know the date, but your contention that knowing it makes them smarter is obviously false. It barely even qualifies as making them more informed.

And that’s totally copacetic with Tlaloc. Because whatever. And also, shut up. I’m sure that what’s really being said here is that Tlaloc wouldn’t have known the answer either, without Google. And as long as you can trust in Google/Wikipedia, what else do you need?

Freelancer on June 30, 2015 at 10:27 AM

It must save you so much time to post without actually having read anything you are responding to.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Because it’s all just a matter of levels, and it can be applied at *any* level. If 1776 is a “factoid” that someone can simply research, then the names/roles of the three branches of government is no different.

rogerb on June 30, 2015 at 11:01 AM

The difference is that the structure of our government has direct effect on all american citizens (and indirectly citizens of most of the world due to our superpower status). You should know this because it directly impacts you and is a necessary prism through which to understand modern events.

1776? Not so much.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 12:40 PM

The left always sees education as simply memorizing facts while mixing in their own emotions. They never understand the fundamental process of building a foundation by developing a solid understanding of a subject matter.

blink on June 30, 2015 at 11:16 AM

That’s an interesting interpretation given that your side is the one arguing for memorization of a date devoid of context while I’m arguing that by itself the date does little to educate you.

Did you forget which of us is which again?

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 12:42 PM

lol. So yes, you have to make sure kids are getting taught these things..
And yes..that means some one has to pay for it.
 
Politricks on June 30, 2015 at 12:35 PM

The current expenditure per student is projected at $12,281 for the 2014–15 school year
 
http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

 
So how much more do you reckon y’all will need?

rogerb on June 30, 2015 at 12:43 PM

My mother died a few years ago, at the age of 80. But a year or two before that, I had a batch of several hundred multiple-choice questions on American history; and one day, to pass the time, I quizzed her. I read the questions and the possible answers — usually four, and usually at least two plausible ones.

It had been about 60 years since she’d studied American history in school, but I would estimate she answered about 85% to 90% of the questions correctly. I had once used these questions for classes of 11th-graders in a high school I will not identify. But very, very few of those students did better than 85% — they were fairly tough questions, IMO.

I would say, generally speaking, that people do not learn because they are in a classroom. They learn because they want to learn. The secret to teaching is persuading the student that the subject is worth learning.

J Baustian on June 30, 2015 at 12:54 PM

I was a history major in college and always have been in the history of everything. And, dates and timelines do matter. The United States did use two atomic bombs to end World War II in 1945, not to end World War I in 1918.

SC.Charlie on June 30, 2015 at 1:09 PM

Tlaloc: Would you tell us what you mean by “factoid.” Is it not a “real fact” but something that looks like a fact or can be mistaken for a fact? Is it a fact that you, personally, thinks has no importance or no importance to you? Is it an “oid” like humanoid, something that superficially looks human? Or is it just your description of a fact that disagrees with your beliefs. Remember, facts can not be proven. They can only be demonstrated. A demonstration is not proof because it can’t be shown that the same thing will happen next time. Of course, socialists like you will continue to demonstrate your social system, using other peoples money, until maybe, after 179 times, something different happens. Meanwhile, you don’t care if you destroy the world, as long as you get all those stupid evil conservatives.

Old Country Boy on June 30, 2015 at 1:17 PM

That’s an interesting interpretation given that your side is the one arguing for memorization of a date devoid of context while I’m arguing that by itself the date does little to educate you.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 12:42 PM

The above coming from the brainiac who posted the following.

No. There is nothing in the constitution that says “this document must be interpreted according to the views of the writers.”

Tlaloc on June 27, 2015 at 2:04 PM

Your ideas about education are prone to make us all imbeciles.

Keep up the good work.

NotCoach on June 30, 2015 at 1:21 PM

My mother died a few years ago, at the age of 80. But a year or two before that, I had a batch of several hundred multiple-choice questions on American history; and one day, to pass the time, I quizzed her. I read the questions and the possible answers — usually four, and usually at least two plausible ones.
 
It had been about 60 years since she’d studied American history in school, but I would estimate she answered about 85% to 90% of the questions correctly. I had once used these questions for classes of 11th-graders in a high school I will not identify. But very, very few of those students did better than 85% — they were fairly tough questions, IMO.
 
I would say, generally speaking, that people do not learn because they are in a classroom. They learn because they want to learn. The secret to teaching is persuading the student that the subject is worth learning.
 
J Baustian on June 30, 2015 at 12:54 PM

 
The other problem is that current 11th and 12th grades are likely at a similar educational level to her eighth grade.
 
It’s pretty much accepted that college, where 73% of all grades are amazingly somehow A’s and B’s, is now what high school should be, and grad school has taken college’s place. I honestly suspect it won’t be too long before there is something new above a doctorate.

rogerb on June 30, 2015 at 1:23 PM

That’s an interesting interpretation given that your side is the one arguing for memorization of a date devoid of context while I’m arguing that by itself the date does little to educate you.

We’ll ignore the fact that no one other than you was suggesting ever memorizing a date devoid of context.

F X Muldoon on June 30, 2015 at 1:33 PM

It’s pretty much accepted that college, where 73% of all grades are amazingly somehow A’s and B’s, is now what high school should be, and grad school has taken college’s place. I honestly suspect it won’t be too long before there is something new above a doctorate.

rogerb on June 30, 2015 at 1:23 PM

I would expect not something above a PHD, but something between a bachelors and a masters, or between a masters and a PHD.

NotCoach on June 30, 2015 at 1:35 PM

So how does common core and modern end of grade testing determine knowledge? Are there fill-in-the-bubble choices next to out-of-context dates?

rogerb on June 30, 2015 at 1:54 PM

Thinking that independence was declared in 1902 isn’t just lacking knowledge of a specific factoid. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding. But you think that knowledge is just a collection of factoids – just like most leftists.

blink on June 30, 2015 at 12:49 PM

I agree that a student saying 1902 clearly has a very bad sense of history. But a student who says 1780? Frankly that’s close enough for almost all purposes.

It isn’t the specific date that really matters, it’s whether they have a sense of the context into which the event fits. If the DoI had been signed in 1902 the world would be very different place than it now is.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Because the 400 number really matters? Does the statement really change when the correct number of years is put in its place?

In other words you are nitpicking to try and avoid an argument you can’t defeat. Much like fogw pointing at my typos and lack of proofreading.

*shrug*

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 10:36 PM

Actual tea party sign: “keep you government hands off my medicare.”

Don’t underestimate how incredibly ignorant the wingnut base is.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:09 PM

I think we’ve found our own Anthony Kennedy.

Ricard on June 30, 2015 at 2:47 PM

Tlaloc: Would you tell us what you mean by “factoid.”

Old Country Boy on June 30, 2015 at 1:17 PM

I already have. It’s a single datum. A piece of information that while true is usually of very low actual use by itself.

the piece of information that 1776 is the year the DoI was signed is a factoid. The mass of the sun being 1.9891×10^33 g is a factoid. The definition of the word exasanguinate “to remove all blood” is a factoid. Pi to 10 digits is 3.141592654 is a factoid. I use these examples because they all happen to be ones *I* have memorized but there are an infinite number of others.

An individual can be a perfectly intelligent and capable member of modern society without having any of these memorized. Even Pi, easily the most useful of the factoids above, you;d be vastly more likely to use a stored value from a computer instead of using the memorized version.

It’s not bad to learn them, in fact it can be fun when you manage to work exsanguinate into a sentence naturally. But don;t trick yourself into thinking that knowing any of them actually makes you smarter or even really better informed.

That comes from understanding how they fit together with the overall mesh of reality.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 2:51 PM

NotCoach on June 30, 2015 at 1:21 PM

You can choose to be a slave to the views of dead men but please don’t pretend that’s the smart choice.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 2:52 PM

We’ll ignore the fact that no one other than you was suggesting ever memorizing a date devoid of context.

F X Muldoon on June 30, 2015 at 1:33 PM

That’s what this tested and what you are saying all students should pass, which means, yes, you are directly saying that memorization of dates without context is important.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 2:53 PM

Nope. You’re on the side that thinks education is blindly swallowing individual facts being told to you while simultaneously claiming that there’s no value in gaining an understanding of issues.

blink on June 30, 2015 at 1:50 PM

You’re still describing your side, blink. Please try to catch up.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 2:54 PM

That’s what this tested and what you are saying all students should pass, which means, yes, you are directly saying that memorization of dates without context is important.

Well, I had to get out the Tlaloc-to-English translator for that dog’s breakfast of a sentence, but you might have noticed the context of that being tested in the video was U.S. history.

Are you really that hard over as a slobbering defender of the crappy education these kids are getting that you really don’t think it is important to know even what century major events in history occurred ?

F X Muldoon on June 30, 2015 at 3:54 PM

Well, I had to get out the Tlaloc-to-English translator for that dog’s breakfast of a sentence, but you might have noticed the context of that being tested in the video was U.S. history.

Are you really that hard over as a slobbering defender of the crappy education these kids are getting that you really don’t think it is important to know even what century major events in history occurred ?

F X Muldoon on June 30, 2015 at 3:54 PM

that’s not the context, that’s the subject.

I’ve said repeatedly that yes these kids should know 1776, I just refuse to go along with your fiction that the date itself is that meaningful devoid of the historical context.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 3:59 PM

…I just refuse to go along with your fiction that the date itself is that meaningful devoid of the historical context.

Nobody said the date is meaningful without context. No one but you has ever suggested someone memorize “1776=Declaration of Independence” without the background of what the Declaration means and why it was written, but is inarguable, except to a chucklehead such as yourself, to know that the date is important to place it among the other documents and events surrounding the establishment of the United States.

It is your supreme intellectual apathy regarding such things that gives us nonsense such as slavery having existed in the US for 400 years when a) the first slaves were brought to what is now the US less than 400 years ago (1626), b) the US hasn’t been in business for 400 years, c) it was all of 19 years from the time the Constitution was signed (1789) till US slave trade was outlawed (1808), and all of 74 before emancipation (1863).

I realize that learning hard facts, not “factoids”, is harder than just going with your feelings and fuzzy concepts because your lies and delusions dissolve, but we’ll get you a participation ribbon anyway.

F X Muldoon on June 30, 2015 at 4:15 PM

More evidence that the American educational system is garbage.

grumpyank on June 30, 2015 at 5:45 PM

Nobody said the date is meaningful without context. No one but you has ever suggested someone memorize “1776=Declaration of Independence” without the background of what the Declaration means and why it was written, but is inarguable, except to a chucklehead such as yourself, to know that the date is important to place it among the other documents and events surrounding the establishment of the United States.

Once again- you;re just wrong. this test asked simply for people to associate a date and an event. i.e. it wanted to know if the student could correctly pair “1776” and “DoI signed.”

It didn’t test ANYTHING about their knowledge of the context. It didn’t do anything except test whether they had that singular isolated factoid. And I guarantee you a great many of those who knew that factoid could not subsequently put the DoI into much of a historical context at all.

If you don’t want me to accuse you of only caring about the factoid then it’d help if you weren’t up in arms specifically because of the lack of knowledge of that factoid.

It’s just that simple.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 5:50 PM

The History channel once interviewed a World War II veteran who aid he was announced at a High School assembly, by an adult mind you, as “a veteran of World War Eleven.”

Fred 2 on June 30, 2015 at 7:02 PM

The History channel once interviewed a World War II veteran who aid he was announced at a High School assembly, by an adult mind you, as “a veteran of World War Eleven.”

Fred 2 on June 30, 2015 at 7:02 PM

Some people panic when public speaking, the announcer may well have known it was 2 but still said 11.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 7:14 PM

This is probably by design, because most public school teachers are Democrats and teach their students to become good little ignorant Democrats, who love socialism as a way to stick it to the evil rich guys who run corporations and make cars and iPhones.

This started back in the 1960’s, but was slowed down by the election of Ronald Reagan, whose greatness was evident to the parents of the brainwashed kids, who could counteract what the kids were taught in school.

But by the election of 2016, voters under the age of 28 (10 years’ worth of births) will have no memory whatsoever of Ronaldus Maximus, and were never told anything about him by their teachers.

They probably don’t know that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and doubled the area of our nation in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase, but they probably do know that he fathered a child with a slave girl…

Steve Z on June 30, 2015 at 7:34 PM

Yup, but your side thinks that learning is just being able to memorize the factoids that your superiors force you to swallow. Global warming is a perfect example of this. Your side doesn’t want to learn for themselves. They just want to swallow and memorize.

You can’t deny this, Tiaioc.

blink on June 30, 2015 at 8:41 PM

It’s funny you say this because I’m pretty sure I do deny it, actually.

The amusing thing is you bring up Global Warming where you uncritically accept all the hosesh!t produced by fossil fuel companies while deriding the actual science.

That makes me giggle.

Make sure you don’t work out too much, I like my Eloi tender.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 9:11 PM

I find this very bothersome. If it is your desire to take over a society then it is necessary to create empty minds and fill them with what you want. This gives you control without revolution. It is the mind that has free thought that can not be controlled.

This empty mind syndrome seems to be contrary to reason. There will always be a portion of society that lives in the bliss of ignorance but with the great use of the internet and inter personal communication and not stop news cycle, I find that I can not explain the high degree of empty minds.

jpcpt03 on June 30, 2015 at 9:24 PM

If you don’t want me to accuse you of only caring about the factoid then it’d help if you weren’t up in arms specifically because of the lack of knowledge of that factoid.

It’s just that simple.

Tlaloc on June 30, 2015 at 5:50 PM

I think the problem is that “factoids” are actually data. If you use bad data when you are making an analysis, you will draw incorrect conclusions.

For instance, using the incorrect data that Republicans were the party that supported slavery and Democrats were the party that supported civil rights you could draw the conclusion the Democrats support the interests of African Americans, which is not true (who do you think suffers more from illegal immigration, for instance?).

If people had any basic concept of actual climate science-the actual composition of the atmosphere and the source of CO2 in the atmosphere, climate propaganda would get no traction.

Knowing the US declared independence from England in 1776 is a pretty basic fact (factoid). Ignorance of such a basic fact suggests (but does not prove) a lack of general knowledge sufficient to cause one to make poor political and scientific judgments.

talkingpoints on June 30, 2015 at 9:49 PM

Knowing the US declared independence from England in 1776 is a pretty basic fact (factoid). Ignorance of such a basic fact suggests (but does not prove) a lack of general knowledge sufficient to cause one to make poor political and scientific judgments.
 
talkingpoints on June 30, 2015 at 9:49 PM

 
There it is. A graduating high schooler knowing 1776 is similar to a first grader knowing the alphabet. It’s something I’ve always assumed was common knowledge.
 
Would someone writing a paper be expected to cite a source for a reference to “1776”?

rogerb on July 1, 2015 at 6:52 AM

Tlaloc, you’re a little closer to the context if you know that the country was founded in 1776 as opposed to the 20th century. They are quite different contexts aren’t they?

After all, in progressive theory, 1907 has 130 years more “progress” than 1776.

Of course, that’s not entirely true that you can say they are different contexts if don’t know what the hell else is true about 1776.

You reverse contingencies like the order does not matter. You can know “1776” without knowing context, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean that knowing 1776 is some insignificant part of the context.

But just like being able to regurgitate the word “context” doesn’t mean you understand what a historical context is.

Axeman on July 1, 2015 at 8:01 AM

Actual tea party sign: “keep you government hands off my medicare.”

Don’t underestimate how incredibly ignorant the wingnut base is.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:09 PM

Thats cute and shows how well the left had indoctrinated people over the last 50 years. It definately angered me a lot during the healthcare debates 5 years ago. At least those ignorant wingnuts weren’t calling me a racist though.

My favorite lefty sign of the last few years was a gal in Portland a few years ago protesting budget issues. Her sign read, “We don’t have a budget problem, we have a revenue problem”. Her answer was to just raise taxes.

oryguncon on July 1, 2015 at 11:20 AM

Self tested;

I could name 8/9 SC justices:
Alito
Scalia
Roberts (Chief Justice)
Thomas
Ginsburg (sp?)
Kagen (sp?)
Sotomayor (sp?)
Kennedy
– missed Breyer –

Pres/VP:
Obama/Biden

Leader/Speaker:
McConnell/Boehner (sp?)

Branches and duties:
Legislative, Judicial, & Executive
Writes the laws, determines if laws are constitutional, & executes the laws.

US documents:
1776 for the Declaration of Independence
1787 for the US Constitution (I *think*)

Historical figures:
Lincoln was Republican
FDR was Democrat

Name PotUS backwards;
Obama
Bush
Clinton
Bush
Reagan
Carter
Ford
Nixon
Johnson
Kennedy
Eisenhower
Truman
FDR
Hoover
Coolidge
– drew a blank here –

I think I did OK.

I’ve been told that our public schools now focus on only two real topics in US history anymore; slavery and greedy corporate industrialists. Sad, so very sad.

Geministorm on July 1, 2015 at 11:35 AM

lmao a marxist ITT arguing that history, of all things, is unimportant.

you leftists have really lost the plot.

TarasBulbous on July 1, 2015 at 11:58 AM

They should do the same interview on the steps of the Capitol building. But they’d probably be arrested.

virgo on July 2, 2015 at 10:27 AM

just like being able to regurgitate the word “context” doesn’t mean you understand what a historical context is

Axeman on July 1, 2015 at 8:01 AM

rotf

Axe on July 2, 2015 at 5:59 PM

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