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Is Our Children Learning? Not When It Comes To Civil Rights History

It's no wonder voting rights are being taken away with aplomb, especially in the South and swing states like Ohio and Michigan. After all, why shouldn't they be when our children aren't learning about the price paid to get them? This study is

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It's no wonder voting rights are being taken away with aplomb, especially in the South and swing states like Ohio and Michigan. After all, why shouldn't they be when our children aren't learning about the price paid to get them?

This study is pretty telling:

That ignorance by American students of the basic history of the civil rights movement has not changed — in fact, it has worsened, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, on whose board Mr. Bond sits. The report says that states’ academic standards for public schools are one major cause of the problem.

“Across the country, state educational standards virtually ignore our civil rights history,” concludes the report, which is to be released on Wednesday.

The report assigns letter grades to each state based on how extensively its academic standards address the civil rights movement. Thirty-five states got an F because their standards require little or no mention of the movement, it says.

Eight of the 12 states earning A, B or C grades for their treatment of civil rights history are Southern states where there were major protests, boycotts or violence during the movement’s peak years in the 1950s and ’60s.“Generally speaking, the farther away from the South — and the smaller the African-American population — the less attention paid to the civil rights movement,” the report says.

Over the past decade, students have performed worse on federal history tests administered by the Department of Education than on tests in any other subject. On the history test last year, only 12 percent of high school seniors showed proficiency.

That weakness is a huge hole in our society and our democracy. It leaves a door for parents to pretend tea party child indoctrination camps are a way of teaching their kids the "proper history", or pretending dinosaurs were roaming the earth with man.

It's a dangerous trend, and one that benefits those who wish to rewrite it.

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